Seattle Subsonic - September, 2009
The last Kinski appearance for awhile is happening this Friday Sept 25th in Seattle. They ‘re playing as part of the Escalator Festival at the Lo Fi Gallery on Eastlake. It’s A tiny space where the performers hit it right there on the floor with you and there is a great little balcony to get an overview on the action. They’ll be doing something kind of different this time that may or may not involve 3 keyboards. That’s all the info I have so you’ll just have to come check it out.
Friday Sept 25th $12 – 21+
Lo Fi Gallery
w/ Lumerians 12:30 – 1:30
Jackie-O Motherfucker 11:30 – 12:15
Kinski 10:30 – 11:15
Purple Rhinestone Eagle 9:45-10:15
One thing I like to do with my free time is run. Run and run and run and run. Like the WIND. Or, Forrest Gump (but without the stale, podunk platitudes). Preferably not from the cops. As you may have guessed, another of my big free time-eaters is supporting the local music scene. Sweet Jesus, I can now combine the two! That’s right, the Vera Project—Seattle’s all-ages beacon of hope—is hosting a real life jog-a-thon October 11th at Seward Park (did you guys have jog-a-thons in grade school??). Walkers, all you sloooooooooow walkers, can join in too. No speed discrimination here. Here’s a li’l description, courtesy of the website:
Join the Vera Project and hundreds of runners, walkers and fans of music and art in Seward Park for a 5k run/walk to support youth access to music and the arts in Seattle. We’ll have live music, performers along the course, an awesome warm-up routine led by some of Seattle’s finest ‘80s-style dancers, great food and of course prizes for the biggest fundraisers. Register now to get in on the action!
Registration consists of whatever donation you want to make, along with the donations of anybody who wants to sponsor you (100 clams guarantees you a swell t-shirt). I’ll remind you that this is a fundraiser, so signing up for zero would be weird. You can also form a team, or join an existing team (provided you don’t smell or kill puppies or something). Me and the wife chose to join the Sonic Boom team, cuz that’s basically how we roll. Word has it that the Maldives will be performing after the race. Excellent.
|Registration and participant check-in||10/11/2009 8:30 am – 10:00 am|
|Run/Walk start time 10am!||10/11/2009 10:00 am – 11:30 am|
|Post-run/walk festivities||10/11/2009 11:00 am – 2:00 pm|
Supposin’ you might be keen on this, here’re a couple things to think about. You don’t have to actually run/walk to donate. You can sponsor ME (or some other loser) and I will run my little heart out for your generous support. Also, it’s not one of those annoying half-marathons or full marathons or whatever; it’s only 5 kilometers! Or 3.1 miles for you English folks! Your grandma could do that with her walker! (Seriously, she could.)
Leave a comment if you’d like more information. And do it for the music, maaaaaaaaaaan.
Dissuaded from arriving earlier by my ticket, which had a 9:30PM start time, we missed the entire We Were Promised Jetpacks set that wrapped at 9:40PM. That’s some crap.
Twilight Sad was already playing a somber rock set. The band was fairly motionless, even while playing some heavier sounds, and I tired of the lead singer’s melodramatic rom-antics fairly quickly. Dressed in a Kurt Cobain-esque striped sweater, the singer weeped into his hands and dropped to the floor way too many times. It’s not my thing; but they had the workings of decent band if the singer were to just rock out. I place them somewhere between Cut Off Your Hands and Dredg; bands who’s over-dramatic lead singers were less than tolerable to watch and all of which preceded amazingly upbeat headliners (planned contrast I suppose).
Frightened Rabbit was brilliant. I had found their CDs a bit mellow, but the live performance was stellar. The passionate Scottish accent dominated Scott Hutchison’s vocals. The lyrics were not discernible as on the recordings; but like the Cave Singers, that may not always be bad thing. Maybe I’m naive and misinterpreting a foreign accent, but there seemed to be a true earnestness to Scott Hutchison, in his singing and banter with the audience, that made me think he would be easy to know. He seemed appreciative to be on stage, which I rarely sense from artist’s anymore. It felt like the whole sold out show was listening to him from a small bar in Scotland full of friends. That was a strange and comforting feeling.
Scott fiercely played the guitar like a fire house he didn’t have control off; guitar pointing towards the ceiling as he spun around the stage. The drummer tore away with long drumsticks and the rest of the band carried the same enthusiasm. The encore was a given and Scott returned by himself, guitar still around his neck, and crooned out a stirring acoustic version of “Poke”. Then band returned for one last song, “Keep Yourself Warm”. I was sold.
REVERB 2009 (formerly REVERBfest) will take over Ballard on Sat Oct 3rd, filling 10 neighborhood venues (including 4 all-ages) many of which, like The Sunset and Hattie’s Hat, are Ballard institutions while others, like the Salmon Bay Eagles Club and New York Fashion Academy are transforming themselves just for the event. The nice thing is that all of the venues are in the heart of old Ballard which makes it simple to hop from place to place and catch all your favorites.
Now, I know it’s a pretty big claim, but I am 100% convinced that REVERBFest is the greatest thing to happen to the Seattle Music scene… ever. This is a rare gem among music festivals in that the focus here is on showcasing our local artists. Not just Sub Pop bands or KEXP faves, not any one particular style or genre, but a huge variety of what the city has to offer. A welcome relief in the wake of the Bumbermonster. And it’s not going to cost you gobs of cash to get in. All you need to get access to everything is a little writband which will cost you all of $8. Seriously, 8 clams for all this. Kudos, Seattle Weekly. You can pick one up here.
In listening to the samples and band sites (found below), I’ve found this year that each venue seems to have taken on it’s own vibe/genre. For example, if you’re looking for hip hop, you’ll want to get to the New York Fashion Academy for a taste of Fresh Espresso and Champagne Champagne. The Tractor is staying true to its roots and dishing the alt-country licks of bands like The Maldives. You can find the heavy hitters working the old pool room at the infamous Bit Saloon. These harder rockers include one of my current favorites, the Redwood Plan, lead by former Ms Led front , Lesli Wood. And, in a new twist, Volterra, the little tucked away Italian restaurant on Ballard Ave, will be featuring jazz and world type music definitely suited to their higher-end mahogany atmosphere.
In addition to the 60 (+ -) bands 2 of Seattle’s mayor candidates for Mayor, Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan, will be appearing at the Conor Byrne at 8:30 p.m. to verbally berate each other and (hopefully) enlighten us all as to what they actually plan on doing about our city’s myriad of problems. Pretty important inclusion considering they will need to continue our namesake as the “City of Music” eh?
Below you will find the schedule for the festival as it was on Sept 17th as well as links to most all of the bands sites and samples of some of my personal recommendations. The Weekly has done a much better job getting info out there this year and you can find a comprehensive schedule as well as loads about the fest and bands here as well as a great little flash player that samples most of the bands involved.
The Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW)
3:30 – Little Cuts
4:30 – Katharine Hepburn’s Voice
5:30 – Born Anchors
6:30 – Telepathic Liberation Army
7:30 – Erik Blood
9:30 – The Girls
Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW)
4:00 – Hallways
5:00 – Southside
6:00 – Brent Amaker & The Rodeo
7:00 – Raggedy Anns
8:00 – Fences
10:00 – Widower
11:00 – Staxx Brothers
12:00 – The Maldives
Ballard Loft (5105 Ballard Ave NW)
6:00 – Trashy Trash DJs
10:00 – DJ Taco Supreme
Conor Byrne (5140 Ballard Ave NW)
7:30 – Kaylee Cole
8:30 – MAYORAL DEBATE
9:30 – Zera Marvel
10:30 – Barton Carroll
11:30 – Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs
The Bit Saloon (4818 17th Ave NW)
6:00 – The Basements
7:00 - Levator
8:00 – Tea Cozies
9:00 – Redwood Plan* (Movers Shakers Makers)
10:00 – The Keeper
11:00 – Mobile Slaughter Unit
12:00 – Midnight Idols
Hattie’s Hat (5231 Ballard Ave NW)
4:30 – Jet Sparks
5:30 – Lindsay Fuller
6:30 – Lonesome Shack
7:30 – Shana Cleveland
9:30 – Rusty Willoughby
10:30 – Hattie’s Hoot! featuring many special guests
New York Fashion Academy (5201 Ballard Ave NW)
6:30 – GMK
7:00 – SK
8:00 – Spaceman
9:00 – Fatal Lucciauno
10:00 – Thee Satisfaction*
Salmon Bay Eagles (5216 20th Ave NW)
3:00 – Recess Monkey
4:00 - Visqueen (all- ages Record Release!)
5:00 – Wallpaper
6:00 – Valis
7:00 – The Lonely H
9:00 – Cute Lepers
10:00 – Shook Ones
Mr. Spot’s Chai House (5463 Leary Ave NW)
7:00 – Lady Drama
8:00 – Heatwarmer
9:00 – Kore Ionz
Volterra (5411 Ballard Ave NW)
10:00 – Los Volcanes
5:00 – FOWM Jazz Combo and String Ensembles
6:00 – Greta Matassa
7:00 – Matt Jorgensen + 451
9:00 - Lushy
Here’s a pretty sweet Black Cab Session from Champagne Champagne that the trio filmed while down in Austin for SXSW. “Soda and Pop Rocks” is the song (and it’s a good one), and the jaunt happens to be one of the better BC Sessions I’ve seen. Pearl Dragon is front and center, with Sir Thomas Gray by his side, while DJ Gajamagic is both magnetic and amusing in his passionately well-executed melodica playing.
So today marks day 4 of my 4-day musical binge. Every night this week had something to offer, and I couldn’t come up with a legitimate reason to stay home, even though I’ve been battling a wicked cold since standing in the rain for most of Labor Day Weekend. I could use the rest and could definitely go without drinking, but what the hell Method Man and Redman are in town and it promises to be one of the better hip hop shows of the season…
Meth and Red are in town in support of this summer’s Blackout 2! the follow up to their classic LP released a full 10 years ago (Damn!). The album was a very solid effort, although it didn’t seem to make too many waves in the press or in the mainstream. It did make an impression on my ipod and in my DJ sets, however. I’ve been dropping club cut Hey Zulu, stoner anthem Dis Is For All My Smokers and the speaker box melting (and one of my personal favorite drinking songs) City Lights on the regular. If you enjoy some good ol fashioned party-hop, this album will do the trick. It doesn’t have any instant classics like Da Rockwilder, but it is enough happy go lucky head nodders to warrant some love on your houseparty ipod playlist.
I’m almost more excited for the local lineup, and the fact that they get to rock a packed out Showbox MKT, which had always been one of my favorite venues in all the land.
So if you want to win some tickets to tonight’s show hit us up at: info (at) seattlesubsonic.com with ‘Meth and Red‘ in the subject line. First one to respond gets ‘em! Good luck!
congrats to Noah!
Obese, Wake Up & Kube93 Present
Method Man and Redman
- Fatal Luciano
- Jay Barz
- Marc Sense
Showbox MKT | Sep 17, ‘09 | 8:00PM | All Ages+Bar | $25 Adv
OK. Its almost two weeks past Bumbershoot; but I still need to finish my tale of sorrow, and redemption. I need to ensure that no one else makes the same mistakes (not that you would).
Muddy MONDAY [aka Black Eyed Please get off the stage]:
I woke up late; exhausted from Sunday. Smarter today; I grabbed an umbrella and waterproof boots. I arrived at the comedy tent (too late to grab any tickets) and I hadn’t planned a damn thing. I decided to just make random choices and follow my tired instinct…
Here’s what transpired:
- Anomie Belle – A good, and wet, start to the day. Her violin set was one of the best and I appreciated the larger backing band. There was a lot of anticipation, by me, for a collaboration with Mr. Lif. He only appeared for the very last song, but did lay down some crisp and poignant lyrics; I desired a bit more.
- The Knux – The first Main Stage hip hop flop of the day. The lyrics weren’t impressive and the MCs filled time with self-impressed pot-smoking banter, even after they pulled 40 kids on the stage (the Monday crowd was under 18). They seemed pretty run of the mill and closed the set with House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’, but walked on and off stage without even singing the chorus to the song. Worst finale of the festival (I came to this realization when I stopped jumping).
- Black Eyed Peas – This is where Monday took a nose dive (that inspired this article). We were on the way to see the well-hyped Lonely Forest; then we heard big things from the Black Eyed Peas (B.E.P.) on the Main Stage. The thought was that we would never actually pay, directly, to see B.E.P.; and that we could always catch Lonely Forest again (I’m an idiot. You can stop reading my reviews now, if you want). Admittedly,I think B.E.P. had some catchy songs and a glimpse of talent, prior to their pop explosion with Fergie.
The stadium was packed and their setup was huge. The main singers were lost amongst multi-tiered mayhem, bright lights, and huge sound. We squirreled up near the front and it was packed snug full of only youth trying to get a peek at some onstage scandal (mainly Fergie who has gone from blond to black hair. I didn’t think it was her).
I thought I would move frontward and find some people my age. Fergie was spending an unnecessary amount of time encouraging crowd surfing (don’t think anyone from the band bothered to jump in the crowd) and I capitalized on that idea; rather than fighting the crowd. I didn’t attempt to surf this bulk; and instead helped carry “surfers” through the waves of weak prepubescent muscles (although there was a satisfaction to watching people fail). This led me close to the front and smack into a line of taller adults that were fending for their kids.
Once the position was acquired, I came under the realization that no one my age was up front (they new better. I’m an idiot). Then in true Main Stage fashion the sound on the vocals died (or maybe the lipsync track) and only the beats could be heard. This went on for 10 minutes and the singers stood dumbfounded on the edge of the stage. No megaphones were acquired. Just the waiting game.
The sound came back and I vibed to a familiar song or two (with sweaty parents) until one of the singers (I’m bad with specifics) went into a freestyle rap. I can take hip hop for what it is (and that’s danceable) but rap is a different (and separate) game and there’s a fine line (some people can do both. I can do neither). The line was crossed and he laid down one of the worst freestyles that I have ever heard for several minutes (I have heard better freestyles from BNL). One outstanding lyric was [loosely quoted]: “I’m a Mac and not a PC; and by Mac, I mean Mack Daddy.” My brain cringed and Fergie took to a solo slow song. I walked out of the crowd and out of the stadium (leaving was a lot easier).
WTF Black Eyed Peas? Remember “Fallin’ Up”? Gone are those days. It just took me this long to believe it. Why did I miss Lonely Forest? BAD CHOICES. That’s why.
How I picked up the pieces: Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, you heard me right! This news is really one of my dreams come true! After years of speculation, the 1990s indie darlings, Pavement, will be returning to the stage with the lineup of Mark Ibold, Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg, Stephen Malkmus (the man with the dreamiest hair ever) , Bob Nastanovich and Steve West reuniting for dates around the world in 2010.
The first confirmed show will be September 21, 2010 at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. According to Matador “Things worked out really well when Diana Ross played Central Park in 1983, and we have no reason to suspect Pavement’s return to the live arena won’t generate similar headlines.”. Still waiting to hear about when they’ll be in Seattle so stay tuned but if you’re interested in the New York show, a pre-sale begins tomorrow at 10AM EDT – password is “Zowee”.
Matador also emphasized that the tour is not a “prelude to additional jaunts nor a permanent reunion” so don’t get your undies in a bunch thinking this is a forever thing or that they’ll be recording new tracks. They will however be releasing a greatest hits compilation to support the tour. Hey, we’ll take anything we can get, right? B/c lemme tell you, I’m tired of seeing Steven Malkmus and people yelling out in the crowd to play Pavement songs when it’s the Jicks on stage.
Did you hear the Capitol Hill Sonic Boom is moving? You probably did. Not off the Hill, just out of short walking range from my home (total bummer). Oh well, they say their new home on Melrose between Pike and Pine will be bigger than the Ballard location. Anyway, last night was this location’s final in-store session, delivered by country-tinged hush rockers Grand Archives. Their new LP, Keep in Mind Frankenstein, hit shelves yesterday. You might recall from a few months back a show of theirs (it was a Noise For The Needy benefit) where I might have been less than enthusiastic about the band’s performance.
At the time, I just kinda thought the band was selling themselves short. Ruptured by the departure of Ron Lewis, I conjectured, the band didn’t have that ‘oomph’ or ‘pizazz’ I was hoping for with new material (note: I’m aware of the irony in using the word ‘pizazz’ in reference to a band like Grand Archives). I was optimistic, though, and eagerly awaited the new record. To wit, the acoustic version of the album the band played in its entirety last night now makes complete sense. In its sparest form—Mat Brooke and Thomas Wright on guitar, Jeff Montano on stand up bass and lap xylophone, and Curtis Hall on bongos/shaker/tambourine (might’ve been a kick drum buried up there, too)—this new batch of songs found a quiet, solitary home in my head.
You’ll recall that Brooke, who wrote 90 percent of Frankenstein, got his start with Carissa’s Wierd, the lush and tranquil violin/guitar/piano “sad-core” band with the cult following. Out of all the records that outfit has spawned (two from Grand Archives, two from Band of Horses, two from Sera Cahoone, Jenn Ghetto as S), I’d reckon this one resembles CW’s output the most. And that, in my mind, is a good thing. There are essential differences, of course, but Brooke remains the constant, and his songwriting—now pervading its third band—is unmistakable. Listening to the skeletal renditions in Sonic Boom’s tiny space last night, this was a welcome illumination. Huh, maybe there was an ulterior motive to their set-ending cover of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Telephone Line” (listen to the original here). Illumination, Light? No? Whatev.
I’ve only given Frankenstein a few spins so far, but I like it; especially given the aforementioned “revelation”. There’s no “Crime Window” or “Torn Blue Foam Couch”, but there is “Silver Amongst the Gold” and “Witchy Park/Tomorrow Will (Take Care of Itself)”. The former is the album’s uptempo feel good track (reminds you of autumn, no?), and the latter a circuitous, two-faced pastoral rocker with a rompin’ saloon piano and the band’s trademark harmonies. Another standout track is the eerie haunt of “Siren Echo Valley (Part 1)”, which is basically a chilling vocal threesome with Brooke, Jenn Ghetto and Ms. Cahoone. The sun quickly rises, though, with “Left For All the Strays”, a perfectly warm harmonica-heavy beaut.
They’ll be at the Croc September 24th.
This Saturday at Neumos is a rare triple bill worth camping out early for and sticking around late. The night opens up with B-Ham’s horror punk favorites, Black Eyes and Neck Ties. Donning shreaded clothes, loads of eye makeup and the obligiory skinny black ties, the music that comes forth is epic, heavy and drips from the guitars like the fake blood from their skin. The down side of this is that Sat night will be the last time BENT plays Seattle. They have sadly confirmed that their 7 year stint is coming to an end so jump at this last chance to catch them play.
Black Eyes and Neck Ties – Tide of Bones
Up next is Seattle underground superband Unnatural Helpers. An ever evolving guitar-heavy punk consortium of our most talented musicians lead by Dean Whitmore. The music delivers full impressive sound for such incredibly minimalist, lo-fi riffs. The line-up currently includes Kimberly Morrison (Dutchess & the Duke) on bass, and Brian Standeford (Idle Times, Catheters, Tall Birds) Leo Gephardt (Catheters, Tall Birds) on guitars and of course Dean on durms/vocals. It’s like watching the all-star game of Seattle Music. See more of what we have to say about UH here.
Unnatural Helpers – Heavy Sugar
Finally, Monotonix cap off the night. If you haven’t heard of the Israeli trio’s antics by now, I’m not sure where you’ve been. Neumos has agreed to let them take their preferred place on the floor where they can get the crowd whipped up into a writhing frenzy of sweat blood and flames. Prepare for a wall of Middle Eastern Punk Rock to fall on your face. Bring your tall shoes for this show as it’s bound to be a sea of iPhones and digi-cameras being held above people’s heads in a weak attempt to capture the essence of their insanity. Here’s a little taste of the Comet show I saw a last Feb.
The show is billed for this Saturday Night Sept 19th starting at 8:00 (doors) and lightening your wallet all of $13. This is an all ages show, so getcher tix soon!