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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe the Guitarist

posted by on October 30 at 11:06 AM

Aerosmith's Joe Perry has come out for John McCain:

“We pretty much stay out of it, but seeing so many people come out for Obama, I just felt like ‘What the hell, I might as well raise my hand for this side,” Perry said from his Duxbury home.

The Bay State rockers have done a few fund-raisers for the Kennedy family over the years, but Perry’s endorsement of McCain marks a first for the platinum-selling guitarist/songwriter. A lifelong Republican, he said he was inspired to come forward because of ringing McCain endorsements from Rudy Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I’ve been a hardcore Republican my whole life,” he told the Herald.

The McCain campaign is well pleased:

Of the rocker’s endorsement, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said: “Joe Perry is an icon of rock-and-roll and a great American. John McCain absolutely appreciates his support.”

This is the first time I've thought of the word "Aerosmith" since I accidentally watched part of Armageddon about a year ago.

There's good news on the Joe the Musician front, too: Joe the Plumber is not pursuing the country-music record deal that was offered to him:

"Joe the Plumber" seems to be creating a bona fide brand for himself.

But as to rumors that he's being pursued for a country music record deal, Joe Wurzelbacher says he doesn't know if the American people are quite ready for his crooning.

"I love country music, and I mean it's pretty much what I listen to from sun-up to sundown," he told FOX News on Thursday. "But as far as me being a country music star, I don't know. I don't think people are that deaf-tone out there."

Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Worst Chorus of the Year?

posted by on October 22 at 9:35 AM

As I mentioned in this post yesterday, Pitchfork thinks Of Montreal's "For Our Elegant Caste" has "one of the most annoying choruses of the year." I like that chorus*, which got me thinking: What song really has the year's most annoying chorus?

As Paul Constant has pointed out here, "Womanizer" is a terrible word to hang a chorus on. It sounds so mechanical or procedural, like "fertilizer" or:


(For contrast consider the central noun of R. Kelly's "I'm a Flirt"—it's short and sweet, it has a little clipped chirp to it, and it rhymes with many more applicable words for a love/pop song: shirt, skirt, dirt, hurt, pert.)

Some other obvious choices for worst chorus: "I Kissed a Girl," "Low," "Lollipop." Of course, these are all mainstream acts, but no one ever said "worst indie rock choruses of the year," although I'm sure there's plenty more atrocious choruses from that camp. It's early, so help me out, what songs had even worse choruses this year?

*I like this chorus, but it's far from my favorite part of Skeletal Lamping. Right now, my favorite part of the record is on "Women's Studies Victims," when Kevin Barnes sings, "She draped me in a stole," another voice (Barnes again?) asks, "what kind," and Barnes replies, "I think Malaysian mink." It doesn't read so hot on paper, but when punctuated with distorted guitar and lysergic mariachi horns, it's awesome. Unfortunately, at the Of Montreal show I caught in NY someone's mic wasn't turned on, so there was no "what kind" for Barnes to answer; note to Showbox SoDo sound guys: please don't flub this part (or for that matter the similar conversation in "Triphallus, To Punctuate!"). That's all about this band for a while, I promise.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things I Hate About Songs I Like [Part Two]

posted by on October 9 at 4:22 PM

Alright, Megan, I'll take the baton.

Here are some other recent examples that come to mind.

Verve - 'Love Is Noise'

Verve : "Love Is Noise"
I hate that, even though it's a likable and improbably successful comeback single that sounds nothing like anything they've done before, Richard Ashcroft nearly ruins it in the first few seconds with his vocal imitation of the odd, dehumanized, and quite interesting electro-choir sample lining the floor of the entire song. Like he's making fun of his own band. "Woo-woo woo-woo woo!" he sings, "Ahh-ahh ahh-ahh ahh!"

TC - 'Where's My Money [Caspa Remix]'

TC : "Where's My Money [Caspa Remix]"
I hate the rambly bit of the sample, sandwiched between the phone-dial and the title quote, that sounds more The Muppets than menacing, and keeps one of the most exciting and threatening dubstep efforts of the year from being one-hundred percent immense.


London Elektricity : "Attack Ships On Fire"
I don't like how the song, which isn't a cover of the Revolting Cocks track, is a fine enough circles-under-the-eyes slice of liquid-funk drum & bass peppered with army-ready temple stomps, but chucks in a sample of Rutger Hauer from 'Blade Runner' as if it's never been endlessly done before, like it's a first-year college student staying up all night with roommates linking sex with death.

The Streets - 'The Escapist'

The Streets : "The Escapist"
I hate half of the whole song. Mike Skinner's verses are so off-puttingly off-hand, so anti-melodic, that you nearly don't realize how lovely and enduring the gushing chorus is, all bittersweet abandon, staying in the bloodstream long after it's gone.

Annie - 'What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song)'

Annie : "What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song)"
I hate how, well, wait. It's brilliant.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Worst Music Ever?

posted by on October 7 at 4:53 PM

I think it may be Totally Michael’s self-titled album (out Oct. 14; he plays with MC Chris at Chop Suey that same night). It's definitely one of the worst listening experiences I’ve endured in years. For a record that’s bears the supposedly hipster-friendly IHEARTCOMIX imprimatur, this sure is some laughably twee, sexless music. Can anyone except emotionally stunted virgins actually enjoy this shiz? It’s like Johnny (Who Was Born Yesterday)'s First Electro-Pop Album, for fuck’s sake. Check out a representative slice of Totally Michael’s atrociousness in the video below. I suffered this afternoon by playing the whole disc; the least you can do is view this 3:40 anti-aphrodisiac. [/bludgeoning butterfly]

Things I Hate About Songs I Like

posted by on October 7 at 11:35 AM

I hate the way Ben Gibbard sings "San Francisco" in Narrow Stairs' opening track "Bixby Canyon Bridge."

I hate that Kanye West says "Me likey" in "Stronger."

I hate the way Rocky Votolato rolls the R when singing "excuses r-r-r-r-ring out loud" on the Waxwing song "Everything's on Fire."

I hate the lyrics to "Days of Phoenix" by A.F.I. I love the way the song sounds, but I hate that Davey Havok sings "I remember when I was told a story of crushed velvet, candle wax, and dried up flowers." Such a dumb lyric.

Speaking of dumb lyrics, I also hate the lyric "Am I late to the kingdom of love?" in Jeremy Enigk's "City Tonight." But the song has a great eerie, new wave quality, so I still listen to it.

Sometimes even great songs have their flaws.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

RE: Now is the Time, Again

posted by on September 30 at 3:57 PM


The Crystal Method?

Irritating, fruitless cash-ins to the '90s Big Beat success, these are the same people who milked the formula inside bog-standard rhythms and the most hollow theatrics in dance music without ever wondering why they couldn't get any of it right. And here they are missing the point again.

As election time nears, THE CRYSTAL METHOD—who are Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland—have remade the song utilizing a sample of Obama’s “Now is the time…” statement from his speech.

The Crystal Method, though, are the Alan Keyes to the Chemical Brothers' Barack Obama.

None of the charisma, none of the talent -- a bad cover version -- but thrown into the face of the public in the Senate race of 2004 by a political party that thought people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Analogies '08!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Matter of Grave Import

posted by on September 24 at 4:51 PM

Sure, the American financial system precariously wobbles over the abyss, but on Friday Sept. 26 at the Northwest Film Forum (12:30 pm), a group of distinguished individuals will mull over a much more important matter: the future of music journalism. Held as part of the Decibel Festival, this panel discussion will ponder whether music writing makes a bit of difference in the lives of homo sapiens in 2008—and beyond. Much is at stake, that’s for certain.

The Stranger’s excellent columnist Christopher DeLaurenti (The Score) moderates a panel consisting of yours truly, Dale Lloyd (and/OAR and the Phonographers Union), TJ Norris (Signal to Noise and MIT/Leonardo Magazine), Todd Burns (NA Editor for Resident Advisor), Robert Crouch (co-director and curator of Bleeding Edge Festival and Volume Projects) and Lusine (Ghostly International recording artist). It promises to be a very stimulating hour of prognosticating and pontificating.

Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading "A Matter of Grave Import" »

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sam Machkovech, Your Services Are No Longer Needed

posted by on September 17 at 2:10 PM

We've found our new video game guru:

Via Joystiq

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vinyl is Dead, Long Live Vinyl, Etc

posted by on September 16 at 5:21 PM

Regarding this post about my current crisis of faith in record collecting, a few questions: Does every music fan have to be a collector of records? If I have a library of mp3s instead, does that make me less of a music fan? If record collecting is the mark of a "serious" music fan, does that bar people of a certain economic class from taking part? Is it just about who owns the most physical stuff?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day

posted by on September 5 at 12:01 AM

With regard to this and this:


A reader writes:


So, what fuck is even throwing 'New Faces' in with legit, working, GOOD rock (indie, whatever) bands in Seattle.

Sure, let's give the kids some cred. Let's support or youthfull songsters.... but in the grand scope of Seattle bands, or more importantly, GOOD seattle bands, let's just go ahead and get over this finicky, bullshit, scene crap. Everyone wants to be 17, 18, and live in some kind of indie-rock glory, but let's (the stranger) pull our shit together, actually live up to our grand reputation, and write about music that really matters.


Way to make a stand, uh... anonymous. Mr. Anonymous! Very... brave... anonymous person!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Most Negative Review Yet of No Age’s ‘Nouns’

posted by on August 27 at 11:09 AM


…by miles. Find it in the August issue of The Wire, the one with Tricky on the cover (I’m a bit behind in my reading; forgive me, I just moved).

On page 60 in the British magazine’s Avant Rock column (the review isn’t online), critic David Keenan rips No Age something fierce. “Deeply ordinary alternative rock murk and lightweight instrumental fluff” [can something be murky and fluffy?]; “There’s a fairly diverting use of loops here, an eruption of fuzz guitar there, but it all seems so diluted, so lite, that it plays more like a Wikipedia entry than a rock record.” Keenan then delivers the deathblow: “these guys… dress like punks from a Madonna video.” Meow.

I think Keenan is offbase with his No Age slags (and so did my Stranger colleague Eric Grandy), but what do you expect from a guy who played in the deadly dull Telstar Ponies and mistakenly puts an apostrophe in Trumans Water’s name?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Band names I have read and wept

posted by on August 22 at 11:12 AM

One thing I have learned from doing the listings is that there are nearly infinite ways for band names to be bad. There’s the overly conceptual or referential but ultimately meaningless (the Colour Revolt (See what they did with the spelling there? So cool! So Different!) Black Nite Crash, Five A.M.). There’s “words that sound cool together” which is sort of related to the previous (cool being a relative term here, as we have: Cicada Omega, Crack Ratchet, and Nihilistic Terrorist.) There’s bands that obviously just saw something written down and said, “Hey, let’s call it PC Load Letter,” there’s that special sort belonging to metal (Partial-Birth Abortion et al.… oh wait…), and then there’s the just plain lame (I’m looking at you, Press Start to Rock).

But the absolute worst: any kind of Effect, Explosion, Fiasco, Experiment, Collective, or Situation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Insert Pun on "Reatard" Here

posted by on August 5 at 11:30 AM

Is Jay Reatard already on the fast track to an early burn-out? I laughed off the whole "punch a dude in the crowd" thing a few months back, but after reading some reports coming from his canceled gig at a 200-deep venue in Texas last night, I think the guy just might have a shot.

Starts innocently enough with the official report by Dallas' Village Voice Media paper, hours before the show was to start:

According to [club co-owner Ben] Tapia, Reatard was far too inebriated to perform. "He stumbled out of [our club] with these two girls," Tapia says. "I wouldn't be surprised if he was passed out on their couches right now." Adds Tapia: "His band is pissed."

The guy who booked the gig had more to say on his own blog: Jay started the night off with a feud with an opening band from Texas. Then he threw a glass at that band in the green room, and then began pleading with club ownership to let in a girl he'd met "earlier that day on MySpace." When asked for ID, she responded she didn't have any, but to verify her age, she tried to insist that she worked at a local strip club. And then the pre-exit tantrum:

He is rich now and likes to remind people of that fact. My favorite quote by him: “You know how much money I have in the bank?” Actually, yes; $250,000 courtesy of Matador Records.

End with accusations of a 12-hour coke binge and a quest for $55 of LSD, stir, spill onto Internet, sip loudly. Good thing he kept his shit together at Block Party long enough to get on stage and, well, earn dat money.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Letter to the Editor

posted by on July 28 at 9:30 AM

I hate to say it, but I think I've attended my last Cap Hill Block Party. What was once a celebration of local music with the occasional touring headliner thrown in has become Bumbershoot light. This year there were so many people in such a confined space that I was tempted to call the fire department half way through Friday. If there had been any kind of panic around the main stage, a lot of kids would have died. There was no way out, no way to get around, completely atrocious planning.

And... the sound sucked. Really, really bad.

I've have a lot of great memories from the Block Party over the years, and though its lost me as an attendee I implore the powers that be to fix the following three things for the kids who will keep going no matter what you do:

1. Downsize draw power -- Les Savy Fav and The Hold Steady are plenty big to fill this place (Hold Steady verges on too big.)

2. Fix the sound. It was unbelievably bad around the main stage.

3. Crowd flow. Before something terrible happens. Please.

Hope ya'll get it together.

Your pal,
Keith Kyle

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Stop, Madge, Stop

posted by on July 23 at 5:15 PM

Is this what too much yoga, too much anemia, too much Kabbalah, and too much chitty-bang-bang with married baseball players does to you? Poor Madonna?


Eric Grandy: Vile Misogynist?

posted by on July 23 at 11:15 AM

Bee tee dubs, regarding this riot of a comments thread, TacocaT and I are now totally BFFs (and one of us might be a little flushed). See:


Friday, July 11, 2008

Another "Fuck You" to Apple

posted by on July 11 at 1:41 PM


It's a little late to be jumping on this bandwagon, but Trent's grievances became all too familiar for me today. A realization: It's very hard to write for a music blog when your internet has no sound. That's what I've been dealing with all morning. I was listening to the Feral Children track Pitchfork posted today when I got an alert from Apple that there were updates for iTunes and a download of Safari (I use a PC with Firefox, as I am a plebe). Since my current browser has been acting kind of weird lately I decided to give Safari a try. After restarting my computer I found that neither of my three internet browsers would play any sound. I've spent the last few hours installing and un-installing plug ins and trying various unsuccessful tips from help forums yet my internet is still agonizingly silent. Myspace songs won't stream, Imeem won't even play that Feral Children song again. The world wide web is a cold, harsh place with no sound. You really screwed me this time, Apple.

Although I am excited about the new guitar tuner application for iPhone. That is a pretty good idea, as long as it doesn't cause something else to stop working.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Best Thing Jawbreaker Ever Did Was Break Up

posted by on July 9 at 3:05 PM

Okay, so that's not entirely true. It's very possible that if Jawbreaker stayed together, they would've continued to release really, really great records. But it's also possible that if they stayed together, they would've started to suck and it would've tainted my image of them and instead of praising Jawbreaker and getting stoked for a (possible) reunion, I'd be sighing and wondering why they're still making music at all (cough cough, Weezer, cough cough).

That would be so awful.

So this morning I was thinking about the bands that I wish would've gone the way of Jawbkreaker--bands that were great, showed a lot of promise, and then started to suck. Jimmy Eat World came to mind. Bleed American (AKA their self-titled record) was a really solid pop record, but it didn't have the same anthemic, magnetic quality that Clarity still has. And Futures was just bad. And their latest? Forgiveable but unmemorable songs about dancing alone in your bedroom. So sad. If they had quit after Bleed American, taken a few years off, and then toured again, then I'd be stoked for their upcoming show at the Showbox SoDo (July 15th). But they didn't, and I'm not.

Weezer the other obvious example. Obviously.

I polled a few friends to see what they had to say. On the "should've called it quits" list: Alkaline Trio, Metallica, Weezer, Public Enemy, Hella, Saves the Day, Belle & Sebastian, Cave In, Metallica again, Green Day, and NIN.

So maybe, instead of cursing the Jawbreaker break-up for years, I should've been thanking them. I got to keep their great records, they got to keep their great reputation--everyone wins.

Wish I could say the same for Jimmy Eat World.

Now here's the Alkaline Trio video for "Goodbye Forever." Look at Skiba! He looks like a lil' baby! Awe!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Best Thing About My Trip to Portland Was...

posted by on July 8 at 11:20 AM

Being introduced to


Yeah, Wombstretcha. With an A instead of an ER. And last name The Magnificent.

Actually, this may have been the worst part about my recent trip to Portland.


I saw this sticker on the back of a stop sign. Of course the first thing I do when I get back to Seattle is check out his MySpace page. It says it's comedy, so I listened. I like funny things.

Here are just a few of his hits (via

"Poach Yo' Eggs"

(About killing women and selling their eggs on the black market)

"Tramp Collector"

(Basically a shitty rap version of "88 Lines About 44 Women")

"Shake It (Like a Baby)"

(Containing the line: "Shake it like a baby, let me see you gettin' violent / like your ass was a screamin' preemie, shake it 'til it's silent")

And look! They have a video!

I mean, I know it's supposed to be funny and all, but it's not really... Nor is it even that good. That's the last time I take music suggestions from the back of a stop sign.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Re: No Age - "Eraser"

posted by on June 30 at 10:03 AM

Re: the new No Age video, the internet has spoken:

(ht yardlie)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Got 99 Problems But Oasis Ain't One

posted by on June 29 at 2:06 PM

Jay Z got his chance to sling some shit during his headlining set at Glastonbury last night, a performance Noel Gallagher deemed inappropriate as the festival was "built on a tradition of guitar music." Jay's response:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kanye Takes it to the Blogs (Again)

posted by on June 25 at 3:18 PM


After fans verbally attacked Kanye after he appeared two-hours late for his performance at Bonnaroo (apparently it was Pearl Jam's fault), Kanye has decided to take this fight to the blogs (via Daily News):

"This is the most offended I've ever been," he wrote. "This is the maddest I will ever be. I'm typing so f------ hard I might break my f------ Mac book air!!!!!!!! Call me any name you want - arrogant, conceited, narcissistic, racist, metro, f--, whatever you can think of BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL! " West goes on to point fingers at Bonnaroo for their disorganization, calling them "F------ IDIOTS" and noting, loudly, "BONNAROO SHOULD HAVE RELEASED A STATEMENT IN MY DEFENSE BUT THEY HAVEN'T. " West does get around to an apology of sorts toward the end of his rant, telling fans, "I'M SORRY TO EVERYONE THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE ABILITY 2 GIVE THE PERFORAMNCE I WANTED TO."

Please don't break your MacBook Air, Kanye.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Letter of the Day from a Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan

posted by on June 23 at 10:39 AM

A year-and-a-half ago I posted about how much I hate the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Whatever. I still do. But nothing is ever forgotten anymore, thanks to the internet. This morning, I get this e-mail regarding that old, old post:

hey Megan you really need to get a life i just read your little article about the Red Hot Chili Peppers and people like you disgust me why don't you just get a fucking life and instead of fuckin wasting your time writing shit about bands why don't you get that time and suck an aids infested dick....I don't understand how you can actually "hate" a band there's no need for all of that seriously do something better with you life. gosh fuck off you dumb ass and think next time before your writing shit about the greatest band ever!

- Jesyka

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cancer Muffling

posted by on June 20 at 12:55 PM

I'd really like to meet the guy that's been calling in whatever noise complaints have forced Chop Suey to keep so quiet lately (I'm told it's just one cranky old dude calling every damn night). Last night, while this mystery man enjoyed the peace and quiet that has historically made Capitol Hill such a great place to live, Cancer Rising was struggling to rise above a muffle on Chop Suey's PA at Macklemore's birthday party. They gave it their all, as always, and looked like they were keeping it tight, but back in the bar it was pretty hard to make out what was going on. It was, though, ridiculously easy to carry on a casual conversation without even raising your voice. The low volume somehow made it feel like the middle of the afternoon even though it was well after dark. It's not a good look for a nightclub.

The Mcleod Residence, on the other hand, was bumping for DJ Paco's monthly House Party last night. Granted, they have a much smaller room to bump, but at least you could hear some bass.

Soulja Boy to Ice T: "You Was Born Before the Internet Was Created"

posted by on June 20 at 11:22 AM

Soulja Boy responds to Ice T's hip hop Andy Rooney-isms:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ice T to Hunt Soulja Boy For Sport in the Woods

posted by on June 18 at 11:59 AM

Monday, June 16, 2008


posted by on June 16 at 3:14 PM

Idolator's got a pretty good comments thread going about Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme's recent outburst at Oslo's Norwegian Wood music festival (curiously, not a lot of "your a fag" in those registration-required comments).* Short story: kid throws a bottle at Homme; Homme calls him a "fucking pussy," a "chickenshit faggot," and "dickless turd," after promising to "buttfuck [him] in front of all [his] friends" and before having security hoist the kid up so Homme can throw the bottle back at him. How droll! (Then he says the name of that one song his band does, the one you gave a shit about for maybe a minute and a half some years ago.)

*The discussion so far seems to hinge on what's worse, using "faggot" and "buttfuck" as an epithet and a threat respectively or throwing a bottle at a giant douchebag.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Leak Out

posted by on June 13 at 12:10 PM

Has anyone else heard the leaked fake version of Feed the Animals, the recently announced sophomore full-length from Girl Talk?


It's like what a kindergartner with Ableton Live would make in an hour after just learning about the concept of a mash-up. (Note to Girl Talk haters: I know, I know, you think that's no different than what Gregg Gillis does; go play "Through the Fire and Flames" on Guitar Hero again.)

So, yes, this means I've been trolling around for a leaked copy of Feed the Animals, I'm not too proud to admit that. But what if—and this thought has really started to shake me—what if it's not really a fake leak at all? What if it's the real Girl Talk album, and it just sounds like Hollertronix mixing Top 40 following a massive stroke?


Thursday, June 12, 2008

...But All Hands on the Bad One Really Was the Worst Sleater Kinney Record

posted by on June 12 at 11:15 AM

Hey! Did you enjoy this letter to the editor, written by one Liz Gay, re: my column last week about TacocaT?

A few points:

There are hundreds of guy bands in this city playing all different kinds of punk/party music, and you never read shit like, "It's just that I wish the Coconut Coolouts were more like Gang of Four."

When Coconut Coolouts start playing Gang of Four covers, I'll start pointing out how they're no Gang of Four. Actually, I'll do it now: Coconut Coolouts are no Gang of Four—not even close—wise of them, then, not to base their set around covers of "Damaged Goods" or "To Hell With Poverty!"

In Grandy's view, TacocaT cover a Bikini Kill song and are therefore written off as a lame version of a Riot Grrrl band. One of the things I love about TacocaT is that they are what Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney songs didn't allow those bands to be—a really fun punk dance band.

If you're going to play covers of multiple riot grrrl anthems, not only Bikini Kill but also Huggy Bear, then, yes, you are asking to be compared to the original wave of riot grrrl. Also, Sleater Kinney weren't allowed to be a really fun dance band? "Dance Song '97," "Words and Guitar," "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" and a bunch of their other songs were fun and dancey as hell. Notably, though, those songs weren't covers. And Heavens to Betsy help you if you can't dance to Bikini Kill.

I do, however, love to dance to a band who has the guts to get up onstage and trash Eric Grandy for being a condescending, sexist prick...

To my knowledge, TacocaT has yet to decry me as a "condescending, sexist prick" from onstage—so far, it's only been one of their members telling me that another of their members "hates me" offstage. Not sure if that makes them any more or less worth dancing to.

Anyway, if that letter's you're cup of tea, perhaps you'll enjoy this one from the vaults, written by one Elizabeth Gay (related? the mind boggles), re: Sleater Kinney, Isaac Brock, rape, Eminem, Kathleen Wilson, and Everett True:


EDITORS: "I got this thing that I consider my only art of fucking people over" is an unforgettable, insightful lyric? ["To Hell and Back," June 15.] Bet you wouldn't think so if Sleater-Kinney wrote it. But it's Modest Mouse, everyone's favorite boy band, featuring the abusive Isaac Brock--who was chased out of the "cold, cold world of Seattle" because some people felt he shouldn't be able to force women to sleep with him without a slap on the wrist. [Editor's note: Brock was accused of, but never charged with, date raping a young woman last year. He denies committing the crime.]

Anyway, my point in writing this is not only to say that it was pointless having Kathleen Wilson write the review--why not let Isaac's mom write it?--but to note that since Kathleen and Erin Franzman have become co-editors, the music section has seen a remarkable decrease in female musicians and a sickening amount of young and cute boy bands. It also seems to have taken on a really negative/dismissive attitude toward female musicians and women in general. Take Kathleen's comment about Sleater-Kinney's new album sounding like '70s AM radio girl rock ["All Hands on the (Blank) One," May 4]. While the album isn't great, I could not figure out what '70s bands she could possibly be referring to, and since she didn't name any, I was unconvinced that she knew what she was talking about. Part of what makes the new album so good is that it seemed like Sleater-Kinney had fun, rather than obsessing over every detail the way they had in the past. That's how you want your boy bands to sound. Why expect more from women?

And wasn't anyone else confused and pissed at Erin's praise of Eminem ["The Best White Rapper," June 8] for honestly voicing fantasies such as killing his cheating girlfriend when others only dare to think things like this? Um, have you ever heard of a song called "Hey, Joe?" How 'bout the blues? Or the Beatles? "I'd rather see her dead than be with another man"? In the immortal words of Roseanne Barr, "Great, just what those wife-beaters need--an anthem."

Regardless of what people thought of Everett True, he went out of his way to listen to different types of music, and gave equal attention to female bands.

Elizabeth Gay, Seattle

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lords of Cotton Basics

posted by on May 28 at 11:49 AM

Do the red mannequins at the American Apparel on Broadway (unpleasantly) remind anyone else of this:


It makes me really not want to shop there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Few Showers"

posted by on May 23 at 11:00 AM

So says meteorological oracle about Sunday in George, Washington (home of the Gorge). This is how it begins. Come Sunday, I fully expect to be knee deep in mud and hail in what will look like a third world refuge camp (only full of white people). Pray, Zeus, stay your thunderbolts.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quiet, Please

posted by on May 22 at 10:30 AM

I'm writing a little something about the upcoming Radio Slave / Quiet Village show at Nectar on Wednesday, June 4th—it should be a stellar show—so I visit Quiet Village's website to get some basic information out of the way when I'm confronted by one of my biggest, most enduring internet peeves, one that I can't even believe still happens on websites that aren't personal homepages about cats (and myspace, same dif): automatically playing music. Is there anyone who actually appreciates this? Sure, it won't actively bother the people who have their volume muted (but they won't hear it, either), but if you're someone who listens to music on your computer while you browse the internet—you know, the type of person who might be visiting the sites of recording artists—then it's massively annoying. Even if you might otherwise enjoy the automated music, it inevitably clashes with whatever you've, you know, chosen to listen to. Yeah, it only takes a second to find the widget to turn the shit off, but for that moment, you're aurally violated by some awful chance trainwrecking. Ugh. Shit is sooo 1.0. Quiet Village (and everyone else), please.

[/Andy Rooney]

Friday, May 16, 2008

For What It's Worth

posted by on May 16 at 3:42 PM

For what it's worth, I've had the melody of Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal" stuck in my head most of the afternoon. It is a fine melody.

Wake Me Up for No Age and the Vaselines

posted by on May 16 at 10:54 AM

On this post about Wednesday night's Fleet Foxes/Mudhoney show at the Sunset, Get Your Shine Box comments:

What a non-review. Next time post it in the food section.

Who would have thought that I would start to pine for the "objective" Kathleen Wilson era of Stranger music journalism.

It's probably folly to engage with the comments like this, but fuck it (and, yes, we all pine for the days of Kathleen Wilson, get over it), you're right. It was kind of a non-review. I was trying to be a good sport and engage with some music that's never really grabbed me, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, see what other people see, be "objective" (a myth, nowhere moreso than in criticism). The truth is that—minus occasional instances of truly dazzling songwriting—the trad-garage rock/folk end of the Sub Pop spectrum frequently bores the shit out of me. I always feel like it's more for the old guard that's been with Sub Pop for all these past 20 years, although I know there's plenty of people my age going nuts for Fleet Foxes right now (I look forward to the moment they win me over, maybe it'll even be the next time I see them). So there's something for you to chew on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mars Hill, Guantanamo, Is There Anywhere Everclear Won't Play?

posted by on May 14 at 10:00 AM

In our last installment of "As If You Didn't Have Enough Reasons to Hate Everclear," the Portland-based ex-junkie/wife-beating/alt-rockers played Seattle's #1 homophobic, misogynist breeder church, Mars Hill. In this installment, they're playing at hot above-the-international-law torture resort GITMO. It's unclear whether this is as part of the military's hilarious music as torture practice:

EVERCLEAR have added two special dates to their Spring/Summer tour: a May 26 Memorial Day concert at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and a July 6 performance at the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. “These two are important to the band,” says singer and guitarist ART ALEXAKIS of the multi-platinum EVERCLEAR. “There are folks in uniform all over the world, and at home, looking out for us--and to play for them is an honor. Not a bad way to spend the holiday weekends, not at all.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Smith Owes Me Four Songs on Its Jukebox

posted by on May 13 at 1:46 PM

Last night, I fed one dollar into Smith's jukebox (which, to my mind, has an ok, but not great, selection) and picked four songs. Not one of my selected songs played (it came close once, playing the wrong song from the right album, which only made it worse). Did the jukebox malfunction? Did I? My friends assured me that I had been using the standard procedure for entering selections into a jukebox, but I wondered, had I failed to press some elusive but vital button? In any case, it's only a dollar, no big deal, but I was set on hearing these songs:

Galaxie 500 - "Ceremony"

Of Montreal - "The Past is a Grotesque Animal"

The Jesus & Mary Chain - "Just Like Honey"

Bikini Kill - "Anti-Pleasure Dissertation"

Next time, Smith.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"The indictment is as much on us Christians as on anyone else"

posted by on May 12 at 5:59 PM

Christian Today has a review of Christian band Delirious?'s new album, Kingdom of Comfort. I don't know how I stumbled into this site, but it provides a very interesting look into the world of Christian record reviewing.

Firstly, if you want to be a Christian music reviewer, it's important to assess the spiritual content before you review the musical part: "You cannot help but self-reflect on your priorities after hearing this album." Note the unnecessary 'self' before 'reflect,' driving the reviewer even further into his or her own mind. This is deep. Jesus deep.

In fact, the next few sentences don't mention the music at all, except to use the horrible music-review word 'ethereal.' And that the lead singers' delivery is 'humble' and 'straight-up.' It continues by saying that this style of singing "makes each song feel as if it is a private confession that he is letting us in on – yet as we listen it becomes our confession too."

It goes on. There's another mention of the music here: "And never at any point is music or spiritual substance sacrificed in the name of agenda." But then the reviewer doesn't talk about what the music sounds like. Then the reviewer calls two songs "heavenly and beautiful," without explaining in what way the songs are heavenly and/or beautiful. And then things close by saying: "The balance is perfect and the result is music that puts substance between the ears and stirs a tearful compassion in the heart."

So, in conclusion, the album has songs that are ethereal, humble, straight-up, beautiful, heavenly, and substantive. I don't know what kind of music it is, or what kind of songs are on the album--up-tempo? ballads? Eh. Who cares? It's all about the Jesus.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ooh, Burn...

posted by on May 9 at 5:05 PM


Bad Band Names Part LXVI In a Never Ending Series: Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

You gonna let Idolator talk to you like that, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

About Robyn in This Week's Issue...

posted by on May 7 at 4:05 PM

Swedish pop darling Robyn, profiled here in this weeks' Stranger has postponed her scheduled Seattle show in favor of playing the View. Pitchfork reports:

Alas, Robyn's time with "The View" has forced her to push planned dates in Portland on May 13 at Berbati's Pan and Seattle May 14 at Neumos back to August to accommodate the taping. That's a bummer, Pac NW, but think about it this way: there's another North American Robyn tour in the works, and it is definitely coming your way.

Maybe we'll just publish a link to our archives for that one.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Overheard in My Apartment

posted by on May 5 at 11:51 AM


...from the smart mouth of my fella Jake, mulling over last week's nuptials of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.

"That marriage doesn't help either of them seem more heterosexual."