Seattle Subsonic - December, 2008
‘Tis the season for local bands to make videos it seems..
Local Seattle singer/songwriter, Damien Jurado released a new video for the song Caskets off his most recent album Caught in the Trees (Secretly Canadian). The video was produced here in Washington on the dry and sunny side of the mountains by fellow Seattlite, Matt Daniels, of THINKLAB up on Capitol Hill – where all the musical magic of the city seems to take place anymore. The “star” of the video is actually Damien’s brother, Drake.
Have yourself a look-see!
Also, check out the Behind the Scenes of the video Casket
There’s also a hi-def version of the video here
Ok, so yesterday I posted my favorite local tracks from 2008 and subsequently promised my NON Northwest edition, and I rarely disappoint (despite what you may have heard). I really thought this Year of the Rat was an especially remarkable one music-wise. I felt as if at every corner I turned, I found or was exposed to an awesome new album or song. Partly it was bands I already favored (i.e. Wolf Parade, the Kills, CSS, TV on the Radio, Bloc Party, Gnarls Barkley, Tokyo Police Club, the Black Keys), but there were also many artists that grabbed my attention for the first time, such as Deerhunter, Santogold, Foals, MGMT, Lykke Li, Cut Copy, and Crystal Castles. Even bands that I’d previously given a pass on piqued my interest with some truly excellent albums (i.e. the Raveonettes, the Raconteurs, Hot Chip, Man Man). Let us all bask in their collective glory.
In no particular order. (Audio Players bog down with slow connection speeds. Use the song links if you’re having troubles.)
1. Wolf Parade – “California Dreamer“
2. Santogold – “You’ll Find A Way“
3. Cut Copy – “Hearts on Fire“
4. Lykke Li – “I’m Good, I’m Gone“
5. Deerhunter – “Nothing Ever Happened“
6. The Raconteurs – “Salute Your Solution“
7. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “We Call Upon the Author“
8. The Raveonettes – “Aly Walk With Me“
9. RATATAT – “Shempi“
10. Foals – “Two Steps Twice“
11. Crystal Castles – “Courtship Dating“
12. The Kills – “Getting Down“
13. TV on the Radio – “DLZ“
14. CSS – “Give Up“
15. Hot Chip – “Out at the Pictures“
16. Man Man – “Hurly/Burly“
17. Gnarls Barkley – “Blind Mary“
18. MGMT – “Electric Feel“
19. Hercules & Love Affair – “Blind“
20. Tokyo Police Club – “Your English is Good“
21. Bloc Party – “One Month Off“
22. Ladytron – “The Lovers“
23. The Black Keys – “Same Old Thing”
24. The Breeders – “Night of Joy“
25. M83 – “Kim & Jessie“
Update: Oh man, how did I forget No Age? No. 26: “Ripped Knees“
Spokane resident, Stones Throw alum and all around party-rawker James Pants will be tearing down the house at Nectar this Saturday Dec. 13th. If you were in attendance for his set during the Solstice you recall just how live of a show he can put on. He is one uber talented dude and truly something to witness up close and in person.
Honestly tho, I am even more pumped to see Daedelus do his thing live. I have heard rave reviews from friends that have caught him up and down the west coast, and rumor has it he brought down the house at the Stranger Genius Awards this year. This guy lays micro-chopped samples across an enormous mutli-hundred button interface/controller that he constructs himself (peep his weapons of choice in the image to the right) often risking electrocution during sets. Using these little magical boxes, he creates mash ups (I hate this word) and dance breaks to keep that ass shaking well into the midnight hours. This is not to be missed people.
Rounding out the lineup we have Seattle’s own funky foursome (sometimes more) Velella Velella and DJ WD4D on the wheels of steel. You will probably want to get in the building early to catch their sets and to also have a chance to get your fade on before the masses get their rave on.
This show will be packed as all hell and be one effing good time. Do yourself a favor and get your advance tixx here.
The good man who was John Spalding passed away November 23rd after a four year battle with cancer, and now his good friends have put together another scheduled benefit concert to help his wife out with mounting medical bills. It’s no secret that John had a tremendous gift for making others feel welcome, nor is it secret that he shredded his share of guitars. These two elements of his life will be primarily responsible for the excellent lineup of bands he called friends:
8pm Doors / 21+
Local outfits, Man Plus and Safe Passage Clause have just released videos to back their recent projects. To say they’re completely different, I think, is an understatement. These 2 examples do, however, give a pretty decent feel for the range available in the Seattle music scene. Check ‘em out.
Man Plus “My Kind of People” from the album The Hungarian Suicide Songbook
The video was made by their friend Mike Fleming. Spread the word!
Man Plus have been working hard on a new album, which we’re expecting to release Spring 2009, so hopefully this will tide you over until them. If you’d like to grab the remix of this and other songs from the The Hungarian Suicide Songbook album, you can get it free here
And the second
The Safe Passage Clause – Chartreuse (Run Devil Run)
Directed by Corey Perkins, Chartreuse is the first video from their critically acclaimed, Jules Hodgson (KMFDM) produced new digital release, Titans Put Down Your Swords, available now on iTunes and most other mp3 providers
Big news, kids, regarding the legendary Murder City Devils. Shows scheduled all along the west coast, with the kick-off being at the Showbox February 11th and 12th. All I can say is “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.”
Here’s a couple classic MCD cuts for your listening pleasure:
“Dance Hall Music”
“Boom Swagger Boom”
I really liked Big Rob’s idea of picking a favorite album to rave about every so often so I think I might just have to throw my hat into the ring as well.
Grand Funk Railroad is one of my favorite classic rock groups of all time. I know most people either love them or hate them, and I a proud member one of the former. They have such a huge sound for a group consisting of three white guys. The late 60s and early 70s had so many good musical trios but this one stands out to me as being one of the best. Not only do they mesh elements of hard rock, funk, blues, soul and folk music, but they fit so much soul and emotion into all of their songs. I wish I could have seen them live on stage in their prime.
Closer to Home was the first Grand Funk record I purchased and one of the first records I ever sampled. It was first issued in 1970 and contains some of my favorite riffs and change ups in any hard (now deemed ‘classic’) rock record. The intro track ‘Sin is a good man’s brother’ is nothing short of epic. The strain and emotion in lead singer Mark Farner’s voice and the sheer amount of tempo changes and breakdowns really set the listener up for a wild ride. ‘Nothing is the same’ has one of the hardest bass and drum intros of that era and is one of the catchier rock riffs you’ll ever hear. On ‘Get it together’ the band shows their versatility with downtempo rhodes organ licks that slowly pick up the pace to become full fledged in your face rock. The guitar solo and change up midway through the song are face-melting. Then they throw you into a soul choir extravaganza that screams for a Who-style rock opera. ‘I don’t have to sing the blues’ also comes with an amazing guitar intro and a drum/bass break that would make the Creedence Clearwater Revival jealous. ‘Hooked on love’ once again starts with such a furious riff that begs to be looped over and over, and has some serious blues influence. You can see a theme here…the riffs are spectacular on this record. Finally we have ‘I’m your captain’ – probably their most famous song – is just an amazing amalgam of soul, rock and blues. It comes in at just over 10 minutes and the breakdown around 4:30 with the bass, flute and ocean sounds coupled with Farner’s croon are the stuff of legend. It’s musical storytelling 101. Then they come back with an instrumental section that brings it all ‘Home.’
Do yourself a favor and check this record. You’ll find one at just about any record shop in the greater Seattle area for under 4 bucks…hell maybe even in the dollar bin. Don’t let that fool you though, this LP has some serious cuts and will take you back to a time when people made ALBUMS.
Grand Funk Railroad – Sin’s a good man’s brother
Grand Funk Railroad – Nothing is the same
Grand Funk Railroad – Get it together
Grand Funk Railroad – I don’t have to sing the blues
Grand Funk Railroad – Hooked on love
Grand Funk Railroad – I’m your captain
And so the lists begin. Yes, it is that time of year, Music Nerds (that stands for Never Ending Radical Dudes, btw), where all your favorite on-line idiots tell you who and what they liked most in this wondrous year of 2008 (not counting Mr. Barry Obama). What made you dance? Who made you sing? What made you think? But, most importantly, what made you feeeeeeeeeel. And, if you’ve spent at least 1% of your leisure time reading this site, you’ll no doubt recognize some of the names below such as the Heavy Hearts, Sera Cahoone, Starfucker, Past Lives, Mono in VCF, Grand Archives, the Saturday Knights, Portugal. The Man, and many others who’ve graced these pages. I may have cheated and called Black Mountain ‘local’—whatever, I’m fine with that.
Here today is the first edition of a two part series, where I’ve listed—along with the actual music (!)—my favorite listening tunes from our little hotbed of an enclave of a musical commune: the Pacific Northwest. Tomorrow I’ll give you my non-NW perspective. Most people know me as partial to albums over single tracks, but a little unconventionalism is always good for the soul. Chicken soup, if you will. Please remember that this isn’t necessarily intended to be a definitive “Top 10″ list where I snarkily snoot about the best of the best; it’s simply a thoughtful collection of all the rad shit I’ve been listening to these past 12 months. And why 21? Why the hell not 21?
No particular order: (you can find audio players after the break)
1. Sera Cahoone – “The Colder the Air”
2. The Heavy Hearts – “Attrition”
3. Grand Archives – “Sleepdriving“
4. The Helio Sequence – “The Captive Mind“
5. Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos“
6. Starfucker – “Isabella of Castile“
7. Past Lives – “Beyond Gone“
8. The Dutchess & the Duke – “Reservoir Park“
9. Mono in VCF – “Escape City Scrapers“
10. Portugal. The Man – “Colors“
11. Black Mountain – “Queens Will Play”
12. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head – “L.A. Noir“
13. Head Like a Kite – “Daydream Vacation“
14. These Arms Are Snakes – “Lead Beater“
15. The Saturday Knights – “Nobody Beats Us“
16. Kinski – “Crybaby Blowout“ (This came out in 2007. I’m an idiot.)
17. Jaguar Love – “Antoine and Birdskull“
18. Man Plus – “Once In Awhile (Getting High Alone)“
19. Partman Parthorse – “I’m A Book“
20. Helms Alee – “Shhmna“
21. Venus Verse – “Dreaming Again“
The Builders and The Butchers, Portland via Anchorage’s form of story telling folk can be quite captivating – intense to say the least. The band was recently awarded Willamette Week’s best new band, a prestige that has been bestowed to bands such as Talkdemonic, The Shaky Hands, and Menomena, and they are certainly deserving of it. Poised to contend for the current pinnacle of the Northwest staple of story driven folk akin to The Decemberists, or even Neutral Milk Hotel, The Builders and The Butchers weave compelling dramas into their music, focusing on storylines involving the typical terrors of folk music; gallows, dancing with demons, bottoms of lakes, slow trains, and the like, but without seeming contentious, trite, or even like they are imitating a tried and true method. The Builders and The Butchers take on intricate, banjo driven folk is completely fresh. The absolute conviction of this band live is a sight to behold – and completely amazing.
You can witness all this Thursday night Dec 11th, at the Showbox when The Builders and The Butchers play with Amanda Palmer and The Danger Ensemble. Which is an equally, though different, interesting form of folk pop that recalls a burnt out version of a former pop hit rattling around an old radio, they’re all songs you’ve heard before, but you never knew their name, and you could never remember how they went, but man, were they stuck in you head for days. That’s the best way to describe the music, but certainly doesn’t touch on the videos or book that go along so nicely with the music. And that doesn’t even touch on her work with the Dresden Dolls. Zoe Keating also performs.
Doors at 8
Bottom of The Lake - Builders and the Butchers