Seattle Subsonic - February, 2009
Los Angeles based VOICEsVOICEs are comprised of the female duo Nico Turner and Jenean Farris, two ex-drummers delibertaly breaking away from the instruments they once knew to immerse themselves in the unfamiliar machines and methods they chose to adopt.
Their goal, none other than to break down artistic barriers and preconceived notions while creating something unique, lasting and authentic. While this task may seem lofty to some, the end result is a rewarding blend of unpredictable left turns down darkended corridors and hauntingly beautiful soundcapes bathed in slippery loops, thudding drumbeats and ethereal vocals.
Emerging from a crowded Los Angeles Smell scene and the rising tide of experimental ambient bands from the area, VOICEsVOICEs are taking their sexually charged live show on the road with stops in Portland and Seattle in early March. Hot on the heels of their newest recording, the critically acclaimed, Sounds Outside EP, the duo seeks to carve out a niche among their contemporaries offering a live experience like none other. Highly recommended for fans of Mercury Rev, Explosions in the Sky and Sigor Ros.
West Coast tour dates:
Feb 26, 9pm - Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA
Feb 27, 9pm - Ghost Town Gallery, Oakland, CA
Feb 28, 8pm - the Boogie Room, Santa Rosa, CA
Mar 1, 8pm - East End, Portland, OR
Mar 4, 8pm - the Comet, Seattle, WA
Mar 6, 8:30pm - Pappy & Harriet’s [Welcome Home Show!!!] Pioneertown (Joshua Tree), CA
Mar 11, 9pm - The Smell – ANAVAN + Birds & Batteries + Laco$te, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 14, 10pm - The Unknown Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 16, 8pm - The Echo – Origami Residency w/ Wait. Think. Fast. & more!, Echo Park, CA
Mar 19, 8pm - Avant Garden, Northridge, CA
Apr 21, 9pm - The Smell, Los Angeles, CA
May 29, 9pm - The Smell, Los Angeles, CA
$8 cover to see a truly talented, and very entertaining troubador do his thang as only he can. You like Dylan, Mould, Lou Reed & LaMontagne? Then I’m sure you can find space to love Mr. Bondy too. I reviewed his gig opening for Bon Iver a few months back, so dig deeper if you want to know a bit more. If you ain’t going to the other great gigs this weekend, but you still want to hear some great tunes, I encourage you to check him out. AA Bondy, Fences, Widower – 9:30 @ The Tractor Tavern
Honestly, this has to be one of the finer weekends music-wise of this young year. If you can’t find something to whet your whistle, well, then, maybe you shouldn’t be whistling. I will admit, however, that choosing a show (or two) this weekend will be a difficult task. That’s why we’re here to help, salary-free. Here’s some live-blogging of some live shows that should find your live body a-tingling. (Note: I kind of hate the idea of live-blogging, but I also think it’s hilarious; 2nd note: this isn’t live-blogging. I know, it’s all very confusing—just read.)
My top 3 recommendations are all on the calendar, so check out those little featurettes for more info.
- Friday: C-Leb, Champagne Champagne, Mad Rad @ Lake Street Bar & Grill (Kirkland…wtf?)
- Friday: Voyager One, Sky Cries Mary @ Neumos
- Saturday: The Purrs, The Pica Beats @ the Comet
Other top notch shows you might consider:
- Friday: The Spits, Partman Parthorse, Steel Tigers of Death @ the Funhouse. Apparently, PMPH’s lascivious frontman has taken to outright dissin’ lots of other Seattle bands these days (bands I dig, too). I still love ‘em, though. Ride the Horse!
- Friday: KINSKI and AFCGT at the Comet
- Friday: Coconut Coolouts, Loving Thunder, Pathogens @ the Greenhouse (Doors @ 8pm. Show @ 9pm. ALL-AGES! $5 suggested donation) I saw Loving Thunder there once and it was impressive. Plus, Nathan, the Greenhouse’s proprietor and champion, is a friendly fellow and solid presence in the DIY scene (you can even catch him bartending at the Showbox downtown). Support this awesome venue with all your might!
- Saturday: Kev’s done a swell job getting you in touch with Sound Off! at EMP, and the all-ages band battle’s third round will be going on this Saturday. Tons more info here and here. We even have a prize package for one lucky doofus!
- Saturday: Army Navy, See Me River, Facts About Funerals @ the Sunset. I’ve been really itching to see Kerry Zettel’s new(ish) band See Me River (you’ll recall his defunct band Das Llamas), and the Sunset would the perfect place for it. Check out Time Machine, A-SAP.
Even more…jeezus christ:
When I found out earlier this week that King Cobra was closing down (it broke on the seattlepunk.org message board before anywhere else), I was pretty bummed. While I have known people that have had negative experiences there, that place, in its short-lived history, had some excellent shows. While I generally attended punk shows there, at the end of this past summer they started doing the occasional hip hop show, and I was excited to see the venue become a mainstay of two underground scenes that I am proud to consider myself a part of. The venue was doing a great job of supporting scenes that other venues are not always so quick to champion. It is possible that that led to its demise, but that is neither here nor there…
I was most likely apologetic due to my fondness for the club, but I had heard from patrons on a consistent basis that the staff there was not up to par. As a whole, the security is solid, and the bartenders seem to do a great job, but from what I had been told, the doorman and the sound guy left something to be desired. As a passive individual, I simply chalked it up to clashes of personality…but after tonight I realize I was simply naive.
In all likelihood, the people at King Cobra are bummed out that they are losing their jobs. But as professionals, they should not be taking it out on the patrons. At one point tonight, my friend took my camera and snapped a picture of Slats: a Capitol Hill mainstay and one of her acquaintances. It happened to catch the doorman in the corner of the picture, at which point he motioned to her to cut it out. I decided to bring up a running joke of the night (to my friend, mind you) and mock a friend who was their earlier, who had said that he was going to get kicked out because it was the second to last day it was open. Out of nowhere, the doorman grabbed me, took me outside, made me delete pictures off of my camera. He then repeatedly chastised me for my comments. When I tried to explain to him that I was mocking another individual, he simply called me names…eventually he let me back in, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Later, when I tried to again apologize, as did my friend who started the whole thing, he simply blew us off.
This story is not unique to me, as I talked to several others who were escorted out this evening (including people who were performing) for the smallest of things. I understand that people get out of line. I understand that people at the venue are on edge because they are losing their jobs. But as a faithful patron who stood up for that venue on many occasions, I cannot accept the fact that the staff can treat people that way. If that is the way the venue wants to treat people, it really should not continue to exist.
That being said, tomorrow is the last day at King Cobra. I urge you to go out an celebrate the last day of what should have been a great legacy in Seattle…a local venue that celebrated the local scene. And, if any of the staffers happen to read this, I urge you not to take your frustration out on the patrons…we are people too!
Should you have trouble reading Crazy, fuzzy noise-rock overlords Kinski will be drowning the Comet in din with the post-apocalyptic punk weirdo-dirge of AFCGT, a local “supergroup” of sorts comprised of the A Frames (Sup Pop) and Climax Golden Twins. Friday night. Tree Tarantula opens and Mama Casserole does turntablism. If you’re into loud and/or weird shit, don’t miss this show.
The classic story of yet another violinist turned experimental trip-hop artist…WAIT….How often does that happen!!? Toby Campbell IS the band, Anomie Belle. And if you’ve listened to the complexity of her enchanting debut album, Sleeping Patterns, you would know that making such music solo is probably as easy as running a factory by yourself. Her business card could boast, “Violinist, keyboardist, guitarist, drummer, singer, songwriter, producer, and audio engineer” but I hope it just says Musician/Composer, so that it remains wallet size and readable.
..The multi-instrumentalist samples her own recordings and blends them with down-tempo electronic beats to form intricate music, which serves as a platform for her rich and engaging lyrics. A Portland-born world traveler, who moved to Seattle to pursue a PHD, in studying culture and media; Toby also hopes to use her medium to promote open discussion of social and political issues.
..Seattle Subsonic caught up with Toby and her manager, Anthon Smith, for a graciously long interview at the end of their west coast tour with San Diego band, the Album Leaf. Anomie Belle’s live show included guest vocalists, Aileen Paron and Anne-Lynn Willams, both skilled in the keyboard, so Toby could rotate through her arsenal of instruments. We had some questions about the tour, the music, the issues, and what’s next for this multi-talented Seattle resident:
[On playing live and touring with Album Leaf]
S.S: What does the presence of the live band bring to the stage that you can’t do on your own?
..I do all the recording by myself and bring in guests because I think it would be fun to have this person sing with me. People really like it. Playing by yourself isn’t as fun. I like the dynamic of singing in harmony with other female vocalists. Anne-Lynne Williams has done great work in the music industry herself and has a unique voice. It’s like having a new instrument at my disposal and I think about that when composing, “Anne-Lynne could sing something ethereal in this part.” As in classical music, I’m a composer and producer. I see the whole big picture, as I write the string part which will dovetail over the melody, along with the bass line which will go over the beat, all at the same time. The singing follows the composition and the people play their parts. It’s nice to have them up there. We sometimes have other guests, like a sax player who is a local grad student in music. But, usually it’s just the three of us on tour.
I had to play a show in New Orleans by myself and thought, “How can I get people to play onstage with me?” I called two dozen Baptist churches and found two different Baptist choirs that were willing to combine forces and back me up for the show. One choir was all white and the other choir was all black and they were totally into it. They were like, “we would have never met these other people.” It was amazing. I had to physically write out the parts in sheet music, which I don’t usually do for people and it was a challenge. There’s a lot of syncopated parts and I didn’t know the exact range of say..a tenor. They had great energy. I do shows like that when I can.
Everyone in the choir had their own CD. It was sweet of them to come out and we couldn’t pay them very well, so the least I could do was buy their CDs and support them. It was a cool to learn some of the culture of the south at the same time. I worked primarily with the directors of each choir and when the directors met they realized that they had gone to grade school together. They were excited to collaborate again in the future, with each other, and that’s inspiring!
Bellingham’s own Pop-Rockers, The Pale Pacific, are scooting down to Seattle on March 11th to play Chop Suey. Joining them on the bill is a SLEW of other local bands including The Catch, Aqueduct, Wild Orchid Children, and others… Now, this isn’t going to be your run-of-the mill show. What they’ve got planned up there at Chop Suey is a night of Disney Covers.. Yup.. rocking bands covering Disney songs. I have no idea how this came to be or how it’s gunna go down but it sounds VERY promising.
Gabe Archer will not be singing for Pale Pacific but they will be appearing with a different frontman on vocals.
As a little incentive to get you all riled up The Pale Pacific and Chop Suey have given us a promo pack to give to you fine folks. The package contains:
Signed Pale Pacific PosterPromo copy of ‘Gravity’
Promos copy of ‘Urgency’
Promo copy of ‘Rules are Predictable’
Pale Pacific PinSideCho Sampler Disc
SideCho stickerDAMN.–Update– We now have a pair of list spots for the winner as well! Wowzers!
The Pale Pacific (minus Gabe Archer on vocals)
People Eating People
Wild Orchild Children
8pm Doors / 21+
Yesterday, NME reported that a new supergroup called Tinted Windows has formed, and that the album will be coming out April 21st. Why is this of any significance? It is because of who is in the band…The band includes James Iha (former guitarist of Smashing Pumpkins), Bun E. Carlos (the drummer for Cheap Trick), Taylor Hanson (yes…of the band Hanson!), and Adam Schlesinger (bassist for Fountains of Wayne).
That sure sounds like a weird lineup to me. But anything with Adam Schlesinger in it has to be pretty great. He is truly the master of writing pop songs. Beyond his work in Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger composed the award-winning soundtrack for That Thing You Do, along with the soundtracks for Josie and the Pussycats, Art School Confidential, Orange County, and more. He even won a Tony Award for his score to Cry-Baby. And let us not forget that he penned eight songs for the Colbert Christmas Special! Want to hear for yourself, then head on over to the Tinted Windows Website and listen to the power pop goodness!
Do you remember when I told you about Middle Cyclone, the new album from that broken-hearted redhead from Tacoma, Neko Case? Do you also, per chance, remember when I told you about NPR’s First Listen Series? (Mostly in the context of Merriweather Post Pavilion, which you should be addicted to now, btw.) Well, the two have now been wed into a perfect union of listening pleasure.
Go here to listen to the new record. I’m listening to it for the first time right now, so I can’t give you a lot of description other than it sounds like her earlier stuff, only newer (?), and, apparently it’s an hour and 13 minutes long (!). I guess the last track is a 31-minute field recording of crickets chirping…wtf? I’ve seen some less than favorable opinions floating out there recently, but I’ll reserve judgement upon further review. I do know that it contains the talents of numerous guests, including M. Ward, Garth Hudson, Sarah Harmer, and members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos, Calexico, The Sadies, Visqueen, The Lilys, and Giant Sand.
You can also sample Neko’s animal awareness prowess here.
RA RA ROCKING good times to be had at the RA RA Riot show this Wedensday night at Neumos.
Their energetic live show is really something to experience. So come out tonight and dance till your face melts. it will be worth it!
RA RA Riot w/ Cut Off Your Hands & Telekinesis
Doors at 8PM :: $12.50 ADV