Seattle Subsonic - August, 2011
In a rare moment of brevity, I will simply let the music do the talking for Star Anna’s new video for “Alone in This Together” from her new CD of the same name. Great Tune. Great Band
Boy, success didn’t go to this guy’s head at ALL!
Personally, I think their schtick sucks, so, whatever. Hope the guy’s neck is ok.
Just finally listened to a couple tracks from Chris Taylor‘s (Grizzly Bear bassist/producer) new solo record, Dreams Come True, and, man, was I sucked in fast. Syrupy and solid and soulfully ephemeral electronic tracks. They are sliding down my cerebrum right now and “hypnotized” isn’t entirely the wrong word for what I’m feeling. “Answer” has a particular brooding R&B aspect to it. He’s going with CANT (not the contraction) as his project’s name.
You’ll recall my overwhelming adulation for Veckatimest a few years back (or maybe you won’t, I don’t know you), and it’s now a bit more apparent why that album, and Yellow House, is so entrancingly awesome.
Where’s the Seattle angle you ask? Taylor is from this town originally, and according to Wikipedia, has a birthday in 3 days. Do him a gift and check out these tunes. The album comes out September 13 on Taylor’s own Terrible Records imprint. He’ll perform at the Triple Door October 3rd.
We get over by the stage in the Big Yard. It has the air of an outdoor music festival. The sun is beaming, the skies are clear, the Yard open. It must be at least a couple football fields in size, no bleachers though, just those thirty-foot walls surrounding everything. There’s a stage being set up in one corner just inside the fence. As big as the Yard is, nothing is totally open here, locked fences all around. From the building, we’d walked between them, had to have the guards in one of the towers let us into the basketball courts and then again into the Yard. The female guard escorting us had to call up a few times, “Uh … tower 10, gate 9 please.” Silence as the gate remained locked. “Tower 10, gate 9 please.” The gate opened, and we went into the Yard where there were many guys busy at work setting up for the show.
It is the prison roadie crew hard at work with the stage and tent, the amps and instruments, the sound system. They are all dressed in blue, a color we’d been told not to wear because blue equals inmate. Again, we all remember the orange vests for there will soon be 1000 men in blue out here. For now though, there are just the two crews setting up, a stage crew and a sound crew, and a few guards in orange vests like us. There is mixer by the stage for the monitor and stage mix and another one about fifty feet directly out from the stage for the Yard mix. The Slants begin to help setting up their instruments, so I have a few moments on my own. People are buzzing around me running wires and cables and setting up speaker columns, mixers, and amps. They are placing microphones around the drum kit and testing PA levels, and in the swirl of movement, I fall out of the scene to observe, have one of those moments of disappearance. Read the rest of this entry »
Another video from Dumb Eyes (who’ll also be providing visual stimulation at that Cairo Vibrations thingy I mentioned yesterday) for Soft Metals‘ “Voices”. My earlier blurb about the band here. I’m pretty hooked on this album right now, FYIIIIIIIII.
Cairo‘s plans for world domination trudge on, with barely a wince or flinch from the destruction left in its wake.
This Saturday, August 20th, the multi-faceted art & music venue/boutique/label (you might have heard about their first album here) enters into the festival fray with a zero dollar admission concert in one of the country’s most carefully and beautifully designed urban parks, that of Volunteer. (Designed by a pair of bros. who copied their dad’s design of Central Park! Yes, that Central Park! Plus, like, the entire city of Seattle!) Vibrations runs from 2pm to 11pm and is non-ageist in its admittance policy. You can find all the fun at the band stand in the northwest quadrant near the reservoir.
If, as a frequent looker or occasional gazer of SSS, you find your tastes aligning with mine, then we will agree to agree that the lineup is something to behold. Especially for a sunny summer Saturday. If you can’t decide whether the music will be any good or not, I’ve added some mp3′s here for you to peruse and/or sample beforehand. Do yourself a solid:
More on Purple & Green here
More on Metal Chocolates here
Press Release after the jump/cut/fold/whatever:
I arrive at the Oregon State Penitentiary, a little after 10:00 on Saturday morning. I park in the visitors parking lot and sit in the air conditioning of my Jetta for a moment wondering how it will all go down. This is prison after all, maximum security prison, and shit can go down at any time, any moment, any reason. I sit for a few more minutes a mixture of excitement and fear as I’m about to willingly enter this facility and spend an afternoon in the company of 2000 inmates milling about a court yard, what they call The Big Yard, with a handful of guards to keep them in check as they watch a rock band. I turn on the CD player where Iron Maiden continues “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. I’ve had the song on repeat for nearly the whole way down from Seattle. It seems fitting when coming to a maximum security prison where there are men doing time for rape and murder. Some are here for only a decade (only???), some for life, some on death row, which is the shorter version of life. Bruce Dickenson sings:
Somebody cries from his cell,
“God be with you!”
If there’s a god,
why does he let me go?
I turn it off. Perhaps they all think it, “Why me?” Maybe not. I guess I’ll find out on the inside, but some shit went down for them to end up here, and looking at the thirty-foot walls from the outside, I know right away I’d hate to be stuck on the inside. Yeah, there is indeed a ton of crazy shit that goes down in this world. Jim Morrison was right. People are strange. Crazy more like, mad, despairing, lost. How do people end up here? I turn the CD off thinking that I don’t want any shit to go down. No shit. That’s my motto for the day.
We got to the Lo-Fi Performance Gallery for the Studio 66 event just as DJ Chrispo was doing his thing. He was my contact for the show, and had been kind enough to get me on the list for a night of DJs and live bands mixed between the two rooms. DJ Chrispo was spinning in the loft by the back room just before the psychedelic pop of The Purrs, and while he was working the mix, there was a woman dancing with a Hula hoop. She was sexy in a orange dress cut nicely short and with a tattoo on her right upper arm. She swung that hoop around and gyrated with a smile, and I thought that dancing just might be a fun thing to try. I suggested to my photographer companion that she take some pictures of the Hula hoop dancer, and she did, and in the dark of the lens, the hoop flashed blue.
“Look at this!” she said, “Cool!” It was.
Between sets of the DJ and the band, the back room fell quiet, and I met DJ Chrispo and thanked him for getting me in, “I liked what you did. It was a little more rock than I’d anticipated. And the gogo dancers are a nice touch.” And they were. Gogo dancers always are.
“Super group” trepidations and celebrity bassist appearances aside, I’m pretty enthusiastic about the forthcoming Out of Love, out August 16th on Sub Pop. Amazingly, I have a copy, but have yet to spin it! Mister Heavenly is Nick Thorburn (Islands, The Unicorns), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse—only the not-very-good We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank; nobody mentions that) and Ryan Kattner aka Honus Honus (Man Man).
More info here. Recorded live to tape at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA!
After some time wallowing in his own mire, the creative genius behind defunct stone-folkers The Dutchess and The Duke is at it again. That’s right, Jesse “The Duke” Lortz is back in our empty lives and he’s got a new wine-swillin’, livin’ room lady singin’ guitar project he wants us to REVEL in! Case Studies is the name (how nerdly!), and it sounds NOTHING like a person writing in all CAPS and with several exclamation points would lead you to believe! In FACT, it’s rather melancholy. Deception!
New album, The World Is Just a Shape to Fill the Night, is out August 16th on Sacred Bones Records. Stream the whole thing over at Paste Magazine. It was (mostly) recorded at a secluded cabin in Sequim. How idyllic!