The Missionary Position @ The Tractor

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The Missionary PositionOn the day after Thanksgiving, I met the photographer who to took the cover photo for Chris Cornell’s Songbook. We were at Easy Street in West Seattle to pick up copies of the vinyl and have her sign it, and over the course of signing and breakfast and pots and pots of coffee, she asked me a question, “Have you ever heard of the Missionary Position?”

“Uh … I’ve heard the name but not their music.”

“Oh, you NEED to go December 2nd. They’re playing at the Tractor. They’re awesome. We’re going.” A friend of hers who was there confirmed it. “Yeah, we’re going. You should come.”

“Hmm, I’ll check them out online.”

And I did. I listened to “Here Comes the Machine”: Here Comes The Machine

Only one song, and it was settled.

I’m going. And they’re right. I think it will be awesome.

Dave

Who: The Missionary Position
Where: The Tractor Tavern 5213 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
When: Friday, December 2 9:00
How Much: $8.00

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The Missionary Position @ The Tractor

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The Missionary PositionOn the day after Thanksgiving, I met the photographer who to took the cover photo for Chris Cornell’s Songbook. We were at Easy Street in West Seattle to pick up copies of the vinyl and have her sign it, and over the course of signing and breakfast and pots and pots of coffee, she asked me a question, “Have you ever heard of the Missionary Position?”

“Uh … I’ve heard the name but not their music.”

“Oh, you NEED to go December 2nd. They’re playing at the Tractor. They’re awesome. We’re going.” A friend of hers who was there confirmed it. “Yeah, we’re going. You should come.”

“Hmm, I’ll check them out online.”

And I did. I listened to “Here Comes the Machine”: Here Comes The Machine

Only one song, and it was settled.

I’m going. And they’re right. I think it will be awesome.

Dave

Who: The Missionary Position
Where: The Tractor Tavern 5213 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
When: Friday, December 2 9:00
How Much: $8.00

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Julia Massey and the 5 Finger Discount @ Hard Rock Cafe

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Julia MasseyI saw these guys at the Crocodile for Dia De Los Muertos, and they were good so I’ll see them again on December 1 at the Hard Rock Cafe. With bands, I’m like I am with beer. I find something I like, and I stick with it. On any given night if you see me around town, I’ll have either a Blue Moon or a Manny’s in hand. And on any given night when Julia is playing, you can find me in the audience with said Blue Moon or Manny’s

Thursday’s show is a contest of some sort with things like recording time and video production up for grabs, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is getting out to see and hear some goods musicians playing music and making something happen. And it’s a benefit show to boot. Some portion of the profits will go to Treehouse: a foster care program in Seattle. The door fee is either a donation ($15, suggested) or a NEW TOY for the kids there. Julia is bringing a toy. I’m on the guest list, but I’ll bring a toy too.

Dave

Photo by Sandy Lane

Who: Julia Massey & the 5 Finger Discount
Where: Hard Rock Cafe
When: Thursday, December 1
How Much: Donations for Treehouse ($15, suggested) or a New Toy.

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Julia Massey and the 5 Finger Discount @ Hard Rock Cafe

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Julia MasseyI saw these guys at the Crocodile for Dia De Los Muertos, and they were good so I’ll see them again on December 1 at the Hard Rock Cafe. With bands, I’m like I am with beer. I find something I like, and I stick with it. On any given night if you see me around town, I’ll have either a Blue Moon or a Manny’s in hand. And on any given night when Julia is playing, you can find me in the audience with said Blue Moon or Manny’s

Thursday’s show is a contest of some sort with things like recording time and video production up for grabs, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is getting out to see and hear some goods musicians playing music and making something happen. And it’s a benefit show to boot. Some portion of the profits will go to Treehouse: a foster care program in Seattle. The door fee is either a donation ($15, suggested) or a NEW TOY for the kids there. Julia is bringing a toy. I’m on the guest list, but I’ll bring a toy too.

Dave

Photo by Sandy Lane

Who: Julia Massey & the 5 Finger Discount
Where: Hard Rock Cafe
When: Thursday, December 1
How Much: Donations for Treehouse ($15, suggested) or a New Toy.

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The Debbie Miller @ The Conor Byrne

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Debbie Miller - BathroomSinger/Songwriter Debbie Miller will be performing this Wednesday at The Conor Byrne in Ballard. I found this show on the recommendation of multi-instrumentalist Jason Welling of Sightseer, a local favorite of mine. Welling will accompany Miller for the show as she plays songs from her debut CD, Fake Love. I’ve listened to “Tippy Toe” and “Kindly Remove” from the CD and have to say I’m suitably impressed. It’s catchy, quirky, and a little unexpected.


ComScore

Fun stuff. See you at the show.

Dave

Who: Debbie Miller w/Jason Welling
Where: The Conor Byrne 5140 Ballard Ave NW. Seattle WA, 98107 – (206) 784-3640
When: Wendesday, November 30 at 9:00 pm
How Much: $7.00

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The Debbie Miller @ The Conor Byrne

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Debbie Miller - BathroomSinger/Songwriter Debbie Miller will be performing this Wednesday at The Conor Byrne in Ballard. I found this show on the recommendation of multi-instrumentalist Jason Welling of Sightseer, a local favorite of mine. Welling will accompany Miller for the show as she plays songs from her debut CD, Fake Love. I’ve listened to “Tippy Toe” and “Kindly Remove” from the CD and have to say I’m suitably impressed. It’s catchy, quirky, and a little unexpected.


ComScore

Fun stuff. See you at the show.

Dave

Who: Debbie Miller w/Jason Welling
Where: The Conor Byrne 5140 Ballard Ave NW. Seattle WA, 98107 – (206) 784-3640
When: Wendesday, November 30 at 9:00 pm
How Much: $7.00

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Kim Virant, Songs From a Small House at Darrell's Tavern November 25

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Kim Virant - Songs From a Small HouseSeattle rocker Kim Virant will be playing at Darrell’s Tavern on Friday, November 25th. Yes, it’s the day after Thanksgiving, but what better way to end Black Friday and to rid yourself of Thanksgiving food comas than with cheap drinks and good rock and roll? Virant made a name for herself and nearly made it big with Lazy Susan in the late 90′s and has since continued on in Seattle with her solo material, namely her most recent CD, Songs From a Small House.

Love Ain’t For The Weak by Kim Virant

Kim Virant and Mike McCready

And as a bit of full disclosure, I will be filling in on bass as her usual bass player cannot make the gig. I’ve never been so glad I decided not to visit relatives for the holiday, but my involvement aside, the star of the show will be Kim of course. She’s fantastic in the more earthy alt-organic-rock of Songs From a Small House. Come on out. There will be grooves, a few slower numbers, and some covers for good measure. You won’t be disappointed.

Kim Virant on MySpace

Dave

Who: Kim Virant
Where: Darrell’s Tavern
When: Friday, November 25. 8:30
Cost: $5.00

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Kim Virant, Songs From a Small House at Darrell's Tavern November 25

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Kim Virant - Songs From a Small HouseSeattle rocker Kim Virant will be playing at Darrell’s Tavern on Friday, November 25th. Yes, it’s the day after Thanksgiving, but what better way to end Black Friday and to rid yourself of Thanksgiving food comas than with cheap drinks and good rock and roll? Virant made a name for herself and nearly made it big with Lazy Susan in the late 90′s and has since continued on in Seattle with her solo material, namely her most recent CD, Songs From a Small House.

Love Ain’t For The Weak by Kim Virant

Kim Virant and Mike McCready

And as a bit of full disclosure, I will be filling in on bass as her usual bass player cannot make the gig. I’ve never been so glad I decided not to visit relatives for the holiday, but my involvement aside, the star of the show will be Kim of course. She’s fantastic in the more earthy alt-organic-rock of Songs From a Small House. Come on out. There will be grooves, a few slower numbers, and some covers for good measure. You won’t be disappointed.

Kim Virant on MySpace

Dave

Who: Kim Virant
Where: Darrell’s Tavern
When: Friday, November 25. 8:30
Cost: $5.00

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Alabaster, Shows and Shows, Overcome

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Joe from AlabasterSeems to be a video kind of week for Seattle rock bands that I’ve written about and liked. Tuesday was the release of Out Like Pluto’s video, and now, here we have Alabaster’s new video for “Overcome”, the footage for which was shot on the same day as my book release party. I mention that because after a long day in front of the camera, they still came out to the Feedback Lounge way over in West Seattle to help me celebrate. They’re good people, and their music is too.

For the past few years, I’d gotten away from music like this. I was all about Beethoven and Pink Floyd and Traffic, not about finding something new. I was going back to the stuff I grew up with. I even started to think about playing in a cover band all the way up in Everett that wanted to rehash all the psychedelic rock of the 60′s and 70′s. But then I finished my book, and in the void of available time that followed, I jumped back full force into writing for Seattle Subsonic. And I went out to see shows and shows and shows … and shows. That’s the great thing about this writing gig. I see a lot of stuff.

And going out so often, one cannot help but find all the undiscovered musical gems in this city. Bands, Singer/Songwriters, Solo artists. And all kinds of music too. There’s a lot of folk, alt-country stuff in this rock and roll city, and much of it is very good. There’s a movement afoot creating bands with no bass player which I like because it’s unexpected, forces the musicians to be more creative. Some succeed in this. Some don’t. And there are just plain old good rock and roll bands. Case in point, Alabaster.

I first saw Alabaster in March at the Kingcat Theater at the perfect time. Music will do that. It will make a moment, an evening, a time of life. It will work its way into the heart and tug strings. It will give one strength even as it makes one cry. So I happened to see Alabaster at the right moment for me. There was the repeated phrase, “I can’t feel anything anymore,” and dream girls, those remembered and those of the moment, and I was hooked. And these days, I’m not in that place anymore, not sleeping drunk in the back of my car singing that phrase, and their music helped some with that.

They don’t attempt to be too cool or hip or work in the genre of the moment. They just write good rock music. Case in point, “Overcome” from their upcoming CD, Unraveled.

Overcome. It’s an appropriate word since I’m in a new place, but being etched into permanent memory, that first evening remains, the dream girl remains, and I still sing the other to myself sometimes, “I can’t feel anything anymore.”

Dave

“Unraveled” CD RELEASE PARTY! ( ALL AGES ) at El Corazon Saturday, December 10th
Me Talk Pretty-12:00am
Madina Lake-11:15pm
Hell Or Highwater (feat. Members of Atreyu)-10:30pm
New Years Day-9:45pm
Avion Roe-9:00pm
Alabaster (CD RELEASE)-8:15pm
Anchor The Tide-7:30pm

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They Might Be Giants, Medley, Sock Puppets, Question Answered

Friday, November 18th, 2011

They Might Be GiantsI never knew much about They Might Be Giants. There was the name, of course, which always lead to the question of whether or not they were, but the music never caught me in years gone by, one of those bands I heard about from time to time but never heard (that I knew of) or saw. I’m always one to give a band a chance live, though, so when TMBG came to Seattle, and I was asked to be a substitute Rock World Magazine writer, I said “Sure.”

TMBG were playing in the Showbox SoDo in Seattle so I met the photographer at a pub across the street for a quiet beer before the show. It was certainly better than waiting outside in the lengthy line of TMBG fans. So we drank a few and talked of my book, the differences between what the pen and the camera capture of an evening, the fact that though we both knew little of TMBG, it was encouraging to see a line of fans all the way down the block. A queue that long made me think they might indeed be giants.

A couple beers later, the line had entered the Showbox, and so we followed and inside promptly ran into a mutual friend, a guy who plays bass in Settle band Out Like Pluto. That was encouraging, too. I like OLP, and seeing a musician I respect out at a show as an excited fan (“Man, I can’t wait to see these guys!”) of TMBG, I was beginning to get a little eager for the show. I wanted to hear the music I’d never heard, and if it was good enough, if they were indeed giants, I thought I might just work my way up front and scribble among the bodies rather than settling back by the bar with as beer and my notebook.

They Might Be GiantsWhen TMBG finally came on, fans crowded forwarded in excitement. There was no intro. The house lights went down, the music started, the bodies moved. “It’s a Stone Cold Gas to be here at the Showbox,” one of them said after the first song. Another chimed in, “Hello, St. Louis!” to the laughter of the crowd, and then they started in on a number from their new CD, Join us. There was a keyboard intro and they sang, “down, down, down,” and I wrote, “decent tune, energetic…” as the video screen behind the band was filled with shots of someone running in the dark with a flashlight.

And that’s how it went. People all around me in back by the bar sang as they drank. Some danced. A woman and her boyfriend grooved a little too much to a song called “Judy is Your Viet Nam,” and they fell, spilled their drinks, got up laughing and still focused on the music. People clearly liked them more than a little. The thing I liked most about TMBG was that they took chances. Early on there was what I figured was a medley of some of their early songs. It was very Frank Zappa-like, and there were tempo and rhythm and key changes, and it was very cool. They were obviously talented musicians. And entertainers, for later in the set the retired from the stage as the song “Spoiler Alert” was sung by sock puppets on the video screen.

They Might Be GiantsIt was amusing, and the song wasn’t bad, but like most of them, it didn’t quite soar. The highlight for me was the medley. I like unexpected stuff like that, things that challenge and jar the listener, things that force one to pay attention. And they did some of that. They got points for taking chances. When TMBG stayed inside more traditional arrangements, though, they were merely good, and I stayed rooted at the bar. Songs like “Chess Piece Face” and “The Mesopotamians” weren’t bad, but they didn’t move me. People in attendance liked them, though, perhaps hearing a little something more, something that I did not or could not hear, but I had to go with my own instinct on it.

After the show, I failed in an attempt to get backstage and get a set list and a photo. The guy blocking the way was not impressed with my press credentials, “But I’m writing about the show.” He just shook his head, “Sorry, dude.” So I left, went back to the pub across the street to think about the possibility of being a giant. The beer was cheaper over there and made for a good thought enhancer. I wrote the name in my notebook. “They Might Be Giants.” The bartender saw me, “Did you just see they show over there? How was it?” Their musical career certainly has been more successful than my own, but giants they are not. I’ll give them this, though, for the medley and the musicianship, and say that they’re a little taller than average.

Dave

Photos by Jacob Lucas

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