Celebrate the Seattle International Film Festival world premiere of the feature film Scrapper at the Crocodile. After the 6 pm premiere screening at the SIFF Uptown Theater the afterparty will begin at the Croc featuring live music from Rose Windows, Kithkin, and Ephrata. Mingle with the stars and filmmakers from the movie including Michael Beach (Sons Of Anarchy, Soul Food, Insidious 2) and Joanna Angel (Burningangel.com).
You guys, that's porn star JOANNA ANGEL!!! Check out the official trailer (and my personal high-fives to director Brady Hall):
And recent days gave me a good but sad one, as this past Friday, Alan O'Day, the songwriter who created "Angie Baby" (as well as the #1 hit "Undercover Angel" and the hilariously titled album Caress Me Pretty Music) passed away at age 72. Here's the cartoon video that was made of his career-defining song, which was broadcast on The Sonny and Cher Show. Also, today is Cher's birthday. Anyway, please enjoy the cartoon "Angie Baby." (And if you need more Angie, don't miss this great live performance and this unnerving computer animation.)
MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?: A futuristic surf-rock band from outer space.
Man or Astro-Man? reportedly take their name from the promotional poster for the 1960 film The Human Vapor, known in its origin country of Japan as Gas Human No. 1. Also, Man or Astro-Man? are from outer space, and most definitely not Auburn, Alabama. Around the turn of the century, Alpha and Gamma clone replicas of the band began touring in order to meet popular demand for their highly sought-after intergalactic sonic wave forms. Twelve years after their last documented recordings, and after "years of hibernation," the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, and Star Crunch have returned with their ninth album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1, which finds their futuristic adaptations of surf rock to be otherworldly in technical precision. The following electronic communications were recorded on May 7, 2013.
Your intergalactic sonic wave forms are often documented by one Steve Albini. Is Steve Albini human?
Well, what a lot of people don't know is that Steve Albini is actually the inspiration for The Six Million Dollar Man. Last-minute studio changes resulted in the character having "bionic" implants as opposed to the "microphonic" implants Albini employs. Execs felt the world of studio recording was perhaps not as exciting as that of crime-fighting and espionage, so Albini's character was shelved. They then changed Steve's last name to Austin, and Albini became the Pete Best of electrical implants.
How have the years of hibernation affected your ability to manipulate your instruments?
It didn't affect us as much as it affected our instruments. Those things were dusty.
MATT BAYLES: Seven years ago, he left Minus the Bear to focus on making records.
Matt Bayles is a Seattle-based producer/engineer/mixer (and founding member of the band Minus the Bear) who owns and runs the beloved Red Room recording studio. Bayles's production renders songs raw, yet contained. His low-end heft is an accurate beast. Atmospherics shimmer and bend with a convex glint—when a song needs to punch, it hits with pronounced girth. Mastodon's Bayles-produced Remission album will straight up make you claw a tree and mark territory. Other Bayles clients include the Blood Brothers, ISIS, the Murder City Devils, Helms Alee, Absolute Monarchs, Eighteen Individual Eyes, Rocky Votolato, Botch, Pearl Jam, and more. Recently, he's been working with Sandrider and Dust Moth on new material. Seven years ago, Bayles left Minus the Bear to focus solely on making records, and people have been marking trees because of him since. Bayles spoke, pronouncing everything perfectly.
When you think of mixing and producing, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
At its most basic, mixing is the balancing of frequencies, levels, and panning to get things to even out. After you get the tech stuff out of the way, you have to concentrate on what's meant to be the musical hook at any given time—a guitar nuance, a vocal inflection, a drum fill—and make it pop. Production is the choices you make to create those moments during recording. Getting the vocal take, the vocal sound, arranging the song so that there are those little things to listen for on the second listen, or a year later, or five years later.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Daniel Enders, a Satan Donkey, and Austin Hund.
MTNS play the Black Lodge TONIGHT with Black Pus and the Numbs!
For their big Debacle Fest matinee performance at the Highline on May 4, Seattle duo MTNS are barefoot and wearing silk slips like it's no big deal. Slender Austin Hund ignites a bass dirge that ripples pant legs. Burly Daniel Enders coaxes crackles from a light theremin, then grabs his drumsticks and stands on his stool in order to beat on the venue's ceiling pipes. Eventually he sits down at his kit and attacks it with feral grace, his face distorted into a demonic grimace.
MTNS then launch into a wild, methodical growl and stomp. The twosome's portentous noise rock unexpectedly accelerates with mad energy, revealing roots in speed metal and no-wave. Enders drops a stick twice in 10 seconds, but no matter. The apocalyptic tone's been established.
As the set progresses, Hund makes his bass corkscrew and spasm in strange contortions and squeal like a pig (see: Deliverance), with a predilection for ratcheting up the tension to infernal degrees. But MTNS are about more than just speed and power. Their last song of the set—and the finale of their excellent new album, All Songs Are Spells—"Hut on a High Peak," shows that they're capable of writing a moving, majestic melody. Marked by an ascending recorder motif, it's one of the best songs by a Seattle band this year.
Louisville, Kentucky, mountain man Jim James (aka Yim Yames) has an unassailable transcendentalism about him. He's rootsy and Zen, and he has a resonant, yodel-throated mine shaft of a singing voice. With James's first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, the My Morning Jacket frontman has become a bit of a Southern mystic. His songs swim through expansively altered folk and gospel, each possessing its own calm, rich, tidal sensation. James could not meet me at Electric Tea Garden for an interview, so he sent his holographic interview persona instead. On hand was primordial idiotechno DJ/artist Frankie Crescioni, who was preparing his next set of dankwave by experimenting with water-droplet sounds autotrophing through arena-sized delays. Hologram James and Crescioni hit it off immediately. Meatcliff, Seattle's wisest corgi, was also there. James called for a meditation—the two sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the sub with their eyes closed. James's mountainous mane and Crescioni's flowing rat-tail fluttered from the vibration coming out of the speakers like a light-blue breeze off the Sulu Sea. Opium incense was near. I asked James questions, but he was too locked into the colossal water-drop kundalini and couldn't speak. Crescioni spoke for him, softly.
Where did you learn to sing like you're yodeling in a mine shaft?
My grandfather was a great coal miner in Betsy Layne, Kentucky. On his one day off, he liked to go there to assert his dominance over the miners, and sometimes he'd bring me.
Do you have any yodeling stories?
No, not really. I guess there was one occasion where my grandfather yodeled loud enough to startle a group of wolves away from some friends' sheep, but really it wasn't that exciting.
Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
Radiohead Kid A (Capitol)
I have a relationship to Radiohead that consists mainly of confusion and fear. I've heard of them, and I even went out and bought Pablo Honey when I was a teenager. I just didn't like it, and that was it. Then they became the Jesus of music and the world shitted itself every time they took another step, and it freaked me out. I never followed up—I used to avoid music that I thought I'd be embarrassed if I didn't understand. (I'm curing that impulse weekly now.)
When we started this column, I just assumed someone would eventually assign me Radiohead. Right?! But so far the contents have tended more toward old-school music learnin' and haven't caught up with the hip kids of the new millennium.
So I asked for it. Kid A was decreed, and I went home with determination (and some trepidation). It was a mostly silent sit-down couch listen; no running errands with headphones, no sorting laundry, no leaving the room for a minute. I listened to it like I was watching a movie, or waiting to be saved.
I just read about the passenger who refused to stop loudly singing an off-key rendition of "I Will Always Love You" during an American Airlines flight. She apparently worried the flight staff enough that they hand-cuffed her and had to make an emergency landing. Another passenger caught a secret cellphone video of her continuing to belt the song out as she was lead to the front of the aircraft in cuffs. The woman was not charged, and she claims that the incident was a caused by a bizarre diabetic episode, but American refused to fly the woman on to her destination and she had to make other arrangements.
When I first saw this I couldn’t tell if it was cringeworthy or simply awesome. But listening to the whole thing I’m gravitating heavily toward option two. This is Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station, performing Bowie’s Space Oddity from … well, space.
Laura Stevenson plays the Sunset Tavern tomorrow night with Field Mouse and Seapony! Tickets are still available here.
There's something about Laura Stevenson's music that makes it impossible for me to stop listening to her songs. Last year, I played her song "Master of Art" hundreds of times in a matter of months, and this time around, on her latest record, Wheel, my drug is the first single, "Runner." It sounds like the epitome of summer—the chorus captures the same bright bitterness of "Vacation" by the Go-Go's, while Stevenson sings over and over, "This summer hurts." It's the same kind of relationship I have with summer. I love it, and I hate it.
Elsewhere on Wheel, Stevenson continues the evolution from acoustic folk songs to more explosive anthems with injections of horns and piano—new layers reveal themselves with every listen. I chatted with Stevenson while her band made the long trip from Houston to El Paso.
You used to be billed as Laura Stevenson and the Cans. I was going to ask you where the Cans went, but then I read your interview with Larry Livermore, where you pointed out one of the reasons you dropped it was because people kept making boob jokes.
That was the thing that annoyed me from the get-go, but I was like, "I'm going to try to overcome this."
Did you see Grimes's recent blog post about the things that she's no longer going to put up with as a female musician? She doesn't want to be infantilized; she's tired of reviews calling her a waif or a fairy... all these cute words. I feel like it's something that isn't talked about much in the music industry. Does it ever still feel like it's a boys' club out there?
Definitely. Especially the infantilizing thing. It's so ridiculous, because no matter what I do, my voice is called "cute." Even if I'm saying something hideous and sounding as ugly as I can, I'm still called cute. I had a party at my apartment, and this young couple said to me, "We listened to your music! It's really cute." They were guests in my home, so I couldn't be like, "Get the fuck out," they were my roommate's friends, but how shitty! Your life's work is fucking cute? Would you say that to Beethoven? Like, "Real cute sonata, Beethoven." It makes you feel small, and you shouldn't have to feel that way, especially if you're an adult human being who's making something honest.
by Dan Savage
on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:15 AM
Confused by the moment when these "awesome Christians" throw a stack of Bibles on the floor. Is that how the faithful roll at soulless, exurban evangelical megachurches? Because the nuns at St. Jerome's would've decked anyone who pulled a stunt like that. In an unrelated matter: I would totally put my dick faith in that rappin', shaggy-haired pastor—right after I tithed him to the bed. (Via The Friendly Atheist.)
by Dan Savage
on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 6:53 AM
There is no morality without religion...
Grammy-nominated As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested in Oceanside on Tuesday on suspicion of hiring a hit man to murder his estranged wife, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Lambesis, 32, was charged on three federal counts—one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit crime.... Fans have taken to the act's Facebook page seeking more information on the incident. "I can't even imagine him resorting to this after all of the inspiration from this band," wrote one. "They have never produced a single thing that would make me believe any of them were capable of this. This would be absolutely heart breaking to hear." .... Lambesis recently posted a video on YouTube in which he and a bandmate trade "mosh calls for the lord," including such rallying cries as "crowd surf for the virgin birth."
MOON POOL & DEAD BAND: This festival is going to be a gas.
You gotta admire the steely nerve of a music festival whose biggest acts are Hieroglyphic Being, John Wiese (and his nasty alter ego, Sissy Spacek), and Wolf Eyes treblemaker Nate Young. Organizer Sam Melancon once again has gone deep into the underground to gather a lineup of national and local subversives who explore the extremities of drone, noise, minimalism, electronic music, and avant rock. Now in its sixth year, Debacle bestows three days of subterranean aural adventures in three venues. Think of it as a concentrated spring break for hardcore experimental-music heads. The Stranger asked Melancon—who also runs a simpatico label called Debacle—to shed more light on this important event.
Did you approach the curation of Debacle differently from previous years? It seems like there's more emphasis on dance music (albeit very strange dance music), judging by Sunday's bill, which reflects the influence of your MOTOR night.
I may have allowed myself to dream a little bigger and go harder for certain artists this year. Overall, the approach was the same as ever. These are artists that I enjoy and would love to see live. That's my only litmus test. I write down a huge list of people I would love to have, and I send out e-mails or ask friends to make connections, and I go from there. As always, what I set out to book and what the final lineup becomes are very divergent, but it's definitely more interesting than anything I could have come up with in a vacuum.
MOTOR is new to Debacle Fest this year. I wanted to go big with a whole night being a showcase of the local MOTOR crew, along with national-level artists that fit in to the vision of what MOTOR can be. I think that night is going to be phenomenal. Just Hieroglyphic Being alone is a huge thing, but I think it will be a historically good night—Moon Pool, Prostitutes, Strategy, GOODWIN, etc. You couldn't ask for a better lineup of mutant-dance heavies.
Originally published at 10:30 pm last night, but moved up because LOOK! The Breeders! Superchunk! The Zombies! OH MY!
Tonight Bumbershoot organizers have announced their 2013 line-up and I think it looks pretty great. Confirmed musical acts include Death Cab for Cutie (playing Transatlanticism in its entirety), Heart, fun., BASSNECTAR, Kendrick Lamar, the Breeders, Superchunk, MGMT, Tegan and Sara, Crystal Castles, Allen Stone, and many more.
THE BREEDERS! SUPERCHUNK! HOORAY!
This year there will also be a new, all-ages EDM stage that'll open at 7 pm each night—the line-up for that will be announced in the near future.
Here's the complete list, broken down by day:
Saturday, August 31
Heart, Kendrick Lamar, Crystal Castles, Gary Numan, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, Maceo Parker, !!!, Icona Pop, Joey Bada$$, Washed Out, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Thao + the Get Down Stay Down, Robert Glasper Experiment, Watsky, ZZ Ward, Diamon Rings, the Physics, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Lake Street Drive, Kris Orlowski, Cookie Monsta, Nacho Picasso, Ernie Watts with New Stories, Grynch, Gus + Scout, Davidson Hart Kingsbury, Total Experience Gospel Choir, Hyperfunk, the Flavr Blue, Sean Majors, Dave B, Human Spirit, Matt Jorgensen +451, Down North, Darrius
Since 1986, Seattle Drum School has been a beacon of percussion and musical instruction for people of all ages and skill sets. The North Seattle and Georgetown locations are absolute assets to our city. Combined, they have roughly 600 students, 40 teachers, and four administrators. They offer bass, guitar, piano, voice, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, DJ, mandolin, and ukulele lessons, as well as rock-band classes, a Scottish drum corps class, and audio-engineering instruction. During the summer, Seattle Drum School offers camps, and they host all-ages shows and clinics with big-name hitters at their venues the Slab (Georgetown), and the L.A.B. (North Seattle, standing for Little Auditorium in the Back). But all is not rosy right now for the school—the city is threatening their existence. After 25 years of fire inspections with no problems, the Department of Planning and Development has decided to change Seattle Drum School's risk classification to that of a public school. It would force them to install sprinklers, have a seismic assessment and retrofit, and make various other alterations—the cost could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, effectively putting them out of business.
DEAR MAYOR MCGINN: Seattle Drum School should be flourishing, not on the verge of being shut down. Mr. Mayor, we cannot let places like Seattle Drum School perish. It's a great, positive place for kids, employing good people. We need music. We need music teachers. We need music taught. Our city and its government should be helping places like this, not threatening them.
Seattle Drum School founder Steve Smith spoke.
What's the latest on the retrofit/sprinkler issue?
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with an assistant Seattle attorney who handles land-use issues. She was very kind and said she was going to contact her client at the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to see if there was a way to bring us into compliance without resorting to a lawsuit. So far, I haven't heard back.
But for now, please enjoy this video for "Bad Kids" by the Black Lips:
It plays on repeat in my head whenever I'm at direct-action demonstrations like tonight's, where earnest idealism, clumsy hooliganism, and the comedy of human error (on all sides: cops, activists, media) are on parade.
My favorite band photographer Sarah Creighton tooled together a steak chastity belt and took a series of these Virgin Suicides-with-a-twist photos after a conversation where the band was joking about making it a habit of throwing raw meat at apathetic crowds. It makes for some striking feminist imagery, and I gotta give props to Chastity Belt for having the guts to not take the same stupid "band lined up in front of a brick wall" press photo...
Last week Buzzfeed crunched some numbers and discovered that only about 16% of this year's Coachella performers were or featured a female. 16%? Ouch!
Yesterday a writer at Slate weighed in, theorizing that it isn't just a problem with Coachella—the lack of women on the bill mirrors many other big music festivals (including Lollaplaooza, Bonnaroo, and Sasquatch, which I calculated also has a pitiful 16%). That isn't just Coachella, Bonnaroo, et al.'s fault, though—it may also have to do with the musical genres they tend to focus on:
...the real problem at most of these festivals lies in the alternative subcultures they celebrate. Formed out of the male-dominated music scenes of jam music (in the case of Bonnaroo), late-’90s indie rock (Coachella), and early ’90s alternative and grunge (Lollapalooza), these festivals tend to celebrate diversity while dismissing the most popular pop acts—the ones who tend to dominate the charts and who tend so often to be female—as frivolous or corporate. As the festivals expand beyond their narrow roots, maybe fans and organizers should start to take the commercially and critically successful female acts they currently deride more seriously. Surely some of them are worth the kind of herculean effort—and often exorbitant cash—required to reunite groups like The Stone Roses (who headlined Coachella this year, in front of a disappointingly small audience).
There's a hole in the earth where the Funhouse used to be, and Healthy Times Fun Club is now a hair and waxing salon. Queen Anne's Easy Street Records is being replaced by a shiny new Chase Bank, and five years ago the Bellevue real estate company Murray Franklyn bulldozed a strip of iconic bars on Pine for condos and then left it as a parking lot for two years. And now, just a few blocks downhill, Bauhaus and other independent businesses are getting sold up the same river. Rent is rising, people are getting pushed out of the center of the city, and with water on either side, the development refugees can go either north or southx. If Capitol Hill isn't in the picture and you're looking twice at the rest of the map, these days the University District isn't looking half bad.
After years of gathering momentum, and to the surprise of many, the renaissance of the University District has arrived. The community of musicians and organizers spidering out from Roosevelt Way was created by and for the people who couldn't find a space for themselves anywhere else. It's for the part-time day-jobbers and young urban unprofessionals who don't have $15 for a show, who never take cabs, who maybe aren't 21, or who just want to play music for each other without red tape. There are more shows than ever happening in the U-District, and they're cheap or free, all ages, and totally DIY.
END OF DAYS This is the final lineup of the Tokyo String Quartet, which began in 1969. They performed their last concert in Seattle one week ago today.
Most students who have studied philosophy come across Theseus’s paradox. It involves a ship that is slowly replaced piece by piece as its parts weather away. The question then is whether or not the ship, ultimately composed entirely of new materials, is the same ship at all. The members of the Tokyo Quartet, which played its last ever Seattle performance a week ago today, were recently faced with a similar conundrum.
Amanda Palmer doesn't impress me. She never has. And while I've never bought into her exhaustingly whimsical pro-artist nonsense that's actually really self-serving and obnoxious, I've also never felt the need to physically recoil at anything she's done. Until now. Until reading her "A Poem of Dzhokhar," where she writes:
you don’t know how many vietnamese soft rolls to order.
you don’t know how convinced your parents were that having children would be, absolutely, without question, the correct thing to do.
you don’t know how precious your iphone battery time was until you’re hiding in the bottom of the boat.
you don’t know how to get away from your fucking parents.
you don’t know how it’s possible to feel total compassion in one moment and total disconnection in the next moment.
you don’t know how things could change so incredibly fast.
you don’t know how to make something, but the instructions are on the internet.
You can read the whole thing here. But, be warned—if you don't like it (and many people don't) that's not Palmer's fault. That's your own inability to see what the poem is really about. And her response to that criticism is what makes it all the more awful: