Seattle Subsonic - July, 2008
They rock the party that rocks the body on the Neumos Stage at 10:30 Saturday Night (imagine that).
Though the digital download became available on Cinco de Mayo, Nine Inch Nails has released a hard copy of “The Slip” this week. That album had followed on the heels of the enigmatic (that’s putting it nicely – got sick of it after a week) “Ghosts I-IV”. “The Slip” is a coherent album of rock tracks with vox, while listening to “Ghosts” nearly caused my iPod remote to wear out.
Dirt on “The Slip”:
This CD with bonus DVD edition will be a one time only worldwide run of 250,000 individually numbered digipacks. Each digipack features a six-panel layout, 24 page booklet and an exclusive three sticker set. Art direction by Rob Sheridan.
The bonus DVD includes 5 live performances filmed during rehearsals for Nine Inch Nails’ upcoming tour, including album tracks Echoplex, 1,000,000 and Letting You.
(Rehearsal vids? Yawn. I am keeping my expectations low.)
A gatefold vinyl version of The Slip which contains one 180gm vinyl LP and a 24-page booklet will also be released in the US and Canada on August 12.
The Slip, written and performed by Trent Reznor, with Josh Freese, Robin Finck and Alessandro Cortini, has been downloaded 1.6 million times worldwide since its online release on May 5, 2008.
NIN’s Lights in the Sky Tour opens in Pemberton, BC this Friday with support slots from Crystal Castles, Deerhunter, Does it Offend You, Yeah and A Place To Bury Strangers.
Visit tour.nin.com for the latest tour information.
Another hot-’s’ gem slipped under the concert radar for this month with all the Capitol Hill Block Party hooey happening. This Saturday July, 26th @ the HIGH DIVE in Fremont will be an all out RAWK EXTRAVAGANZA with one of my local favorites, 17th CHAPTER, and the fabulously naughty local rockers, SHIM
It has been a while since 17th CHAPTER has played a proper show here in Seattle. The eclectic yet familiar sound of 17th Chapter’s take on alt-country mixed with Shim’s feverish and rauckus sound should set the High Dive all a twitter. These are two of Seattle’s most talented bands being paired on this bill.
The show is only a measly $7!
Doors @ 9 Rawk @ 10
We can’t spout about the genius of The Black Keys all the time, so let’s take a moment for a non sequitur. Though this is of questionable musical value, I’m posting this is for educational and entertainment purposes. I was down in LA this weekend visiting family and learned about “flatbillers” and “bro’s”, who espouse beliefs abbreviated by “FTW” and “DGAF”. This is a song that illustrates this phenomenon of dubious cultural merit.
It might occur in Pioneer Square on Friday nights, or up in Snohomish County, but nothing quite comes close to seeing this firsthand in La-La Land.
The Bro Song.
(The poster’s cowardly plea at the end of the vid is deplorable. -Ed.)
Friday, August 1st @ Bob’s Java Jive (Tacoma)
The Cave Singers are fucking awesome. Ooooooh Thinking of Heaven….. A special treat they’re playing such a small and quaint gig at Bob’s, well worth the trek to Tacoma. Seattle’s Whalebones and Port Townsend’s Solvents open.
One of the better (and more incognito) bands down in Portland just suffered a horrendous automobile accident in Fresno when their tire blew, causing their van to roll several times. The band suffered some pretty serious injuries, and probably lost a lot of their gear. They were on tour through California.
From a myspace bulletin:
Our dear friends The Prids – David, Mistina, Joey and Maile – and two of their significant others – Kristin and Chris – were in a serious accident early Sunday evening while en route to Los Angeles on tour.
A tire blew and they lost control of the van and it rolled several times. David was airlifted from the scene of the crash, he suffered a broken collar bone, broken ribs and has 6 staples in his head. He is still in the hospital. Everyone else has been released from the hospital. Chris broke his arm, and may have spinal injuries. Maile has a broken vertebra and toe and a severe cut with stitches on her knee. Joey broke ribs, Mistina suffered a concussion, and as far as I know Kristin is in similar shape. They are currently staying at a hotel in Fresno.
A special paypal account has been set up to help out and donate directly to The Prids. They need help getting home and paying their hospital bills. If you can’t help out monetarily, please repost this info on your blogs, etc.
Man, what a fucking buzzkill. Here’s to their speedy recovery. Go here to find the PayPal ‘DONATE’ button.
There’s plenty of music-related news that we don’t bother with on this site, but this I thought was too despicable not to share:
So it look like the Sub Pop train just keeps a rollin!
No Age is playing a free show tomorrow (Wed 7-23) to benefit KEXP t. This is thanks to FREE YR Radio, a collaborative effort between Yaris and Urban Outfitters. Also on the bill is some band of old dudes that used to play in Seattle a like decade ago. Mud-something-something..
Click the ticket below to print it out. You’ll need it to get in
Free YR Radio has been putting on nationwide events to benefit various non-commercial radio stations like our beloved KEXP, including -just recently- !!! in Ohio, and coming July 30th to the Twin Cities, Yeasayer (print your ticket here)
U2′s first three albums have been re-mastered and will be released by Universal Tuesday, July 22nd.
Following the re-mastered release of The Joshua Tree last year, Edge has overseen a similar re-mastering of Boy (1980), October (1981) and War (1983), all of which have been re-mastered from the original audio tapes.
Each album will be released in physical and digital formats; as a standard single disc, a deluxe double version including a disc of b-sides, live tracks and rarities, and an LP version pressed on 180gm virgin vinyl.
The packaging on all three titles has been restored and expanded, with new liner notes for each record, previously unseen photos and full lyrics.
Bono and The Edge have hand-delivered a goodie bag of full of collectibles for us to give to you kiddies including:
“The Best of 1980 – 1990″
“How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb”
“The Unforgettable Fire”
“Zoo TV Live From Sydney” DVD
We’ll be giving away all this schwag in 2 installments. First, the CD’s as a package and the DVD as a second. Enter to win by clicking here to send us an email with “U2 Reissue” in the subject.
I confess I’ve been sitting on a particular disc for well over two months now. And I feel quite guilty about it ‘cuz it’s turned out to be one of the most intriguing albums I’ve stumbled upon this year. At long last, I’m hear to spread the word on this lil’ gem of a band, a seemingly unknown local foursome that have literally blown me away over the last few months.
When the Upperhand reached out to us here at SS back in April, I wasn’t yet a minute into “Oceans in Kansas” on their myspace before I called our editor, Mr. leDoux to jump on a review. Sure, whether it be positive or negative, it can be stupefying to judge a band this quickly. But as I continued to listen, the Upperhand kept incrementally astounding me. The more I absorbed, the more gravitating and fascinating they became. Coming from someone who was already taken upon first listen, the Upperhand has not ceased to grow on me.
“Oceans in Kansas” and “Day” were the only two tracks I had access to before I received The Sailing and Sinking of the S.S. Ridiculous in the mail. Little did I know these two tracks would be a mere introduction into the breadth and depth of their music. Yes, the album title is fantastically quirky, and if you’re able to access a physical copy of the album (buy it here), the cover art is as creatively outlandish in nature. This, and the fact that they are for the most part unheard of, speaks to how curious the Upperhand are. They have only 8500 or so hits on their myspace page, and this count includes the significant number I’ve inadvertently contributed thus far. I’m still scratching my head, the Upperhand have serious potential to cause a stirring here in Seattle.
Lead singer Nate Hill’s vocals are brilliantly memorable and one of the main draws to the Upperhand without doubt. The closest comparison that comes to mind is Ryan Adams, inclusive of the interspersing alt-country twang, though all in all more distinctively folk rather than country. Resonating deep from his chest, Hill’s voice also exudes a pleasant nasal quality as well. These attributes, in addition to the peculiarly alluring grumbling of lyrics that pepper his predominantly soothing and fragile vocals, produce a uniquely appealing and versatile sound. This may sound comical, but at times Hill almost sounds like a roaring Oscar the Grouch. Regardless, I’m certainly not doing justice in simply saying his voice is aesthetic and striking. You must take a listen for yourself.
Having soaked in the beauty of Hill’s voice, the underlying instrumental flow is the next equally remarkable feature unique to the Upperhand. Guided by piano-based melodies, alt-country, blues and jazz undertones creep in to form a mesmerizing and fluid soundscape. Drum, bass and keys repeatedly shift in momentum throughout their tracks, creating a rhythmic ebb and flow throughout. Breaks in song are commonly introduced, and always smoothly transition from one to the next. Eight of the Upperhand’s 9 tracks on The Sinking are lyrical, with the final track, “Aggressive Positions”, purely instrumental (well, save for the Aaaaaaaaaah Shit that pops out of someone’s mouth at the end). Plenty buffer time within each of the lyrical tracks amplify instrumental and jamband elements to the quartet. Their music is a melodic adventure led by acoustic keys, a unique rolling beat, and compelling play on guitar and bass that all come together to produce a textured and refreshing sound.
And I’m not done – the Upperhand show plenty girth in the quality of their songwriting. Hill is a talented storyteller and whether his tainted tales are true or fictitious, they are powerful, thematic and metaphorical. Delving into the intricacies of adulthood – family, responsibility, human nature, internal struggle, the search for meaning, and the quest for freedom – one can’t help but relate to and feel compassionate for Hill or whoever the main characters are within the Upperhand’s mortal and lyrical journeys.
In “Oceans In Kansas” and “Mariana”, the following excerpts provide a representative sampling of how introspective and narrative Hill’s songwriting is.
In “Oceans In Kansas”:
I left my wife and kids back in Kansas
Far away from the ocean’s edge
I promised I would be back just as soon as I finished
My descent into the abyss
…Bags packed, the Mrs. admits that she hopes
I come home empty handed
‘Cuz adventuring is not for fathers,
See my place is here with them, back in Kansas
…Get this shit out of your system’ she says
I don’t know what it was I expected
To find here in the darkness…
Dont’ know what it says about me as a man
Leaving my kids so far away back on the land
I dont want to have to tell you just what it is
Its magnificent and i’m never coming back
All in all, the Upperhand cover all their bases. I’m still sitting here, baffled at how they hover completely under the radar. Their sound is unequaled and surely cannot get washed away in the over-saturated realm of music dubbed as indie.
See them live at the Rendezvous (also known as the Jewelbox Theater) on Tuesday, August 5th. I missed them play at the World Famous Bob’s Java Jive in Tacoma last month and will surely not make this mistake again.