Music

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Book Future Days Looks Back on Krautrock's Vast Influence

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM

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British writer David Stubbs' Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany (Faber & Faber) joins the small pile of books dedicated to krautrock, the powerful flowering of underground rock that bloomed in Germany in the late '60s and flourished in the first half of the '70s. Previous volumes on this topic include the encyclopedic The Crack in the Cosmic Egg by British brothers Steven and Alan Freeman, Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy (edited by Nikolaos Kotsopoulos), and Julian Cope's famously controversial Krautrocksampler.

Faber & Faber's site hints that Future Days—which is named after Can's 1973 masterpiece—will focus on Faust, Neu!, Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II—all crucial artists whose works you need in your collection. But I hope he delves beyond these groups, as inspirational bands like Et Cetera, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Agitation Free, Cosmic Jokers, and others still remain largely overlooked. Stubbs is a fine, perceptive writer—I read him regularly in Melody Maker in the '80s and '90s—and I'm confident he'll do the subject justice. Here's a description of his general thrust from the publisher:

Future Days is an in-depth study of this meditative, sometimes abstract, often very beautiful music and the groups that made it, throwing light too on the social and political context that informed them. It's an indispensable book for those wanting to understand how much of today's music came about, and to discover a wealth of highly influential and pioneering artists.

So many of the world's most interesting post-punk, psych-rock, electronic, and ambient musicians from the '80s onward have drawn sonic sustenance from the cream of krautrock. Its ideas are still shaping the outlooks of outward-bound musicians worldwide. Let's hope Stubbs' book doesn't just preach to the converted, but also triggers interest in this music in people who've not yet explored it.

Future Days is published Aug. 7 in the UK.

What's Crappening? News, Reviews and Cats

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:34 PM

NOT NEW ORDER
  • NOT NEW ORDER

• Opening for the Notwist on Saturday night at Neumos, Anticon Records mainstay Jel looked like Jeff Spicoli's tightest bro from way back when with his lank blond hair and skateboarder-skinny build. But when he started tapping out beats on his MPC, Jel turned into a one-man Neptunes, his stark, hard-as-hell slaps recalling the production on Clipse's Lord Willin'. In between tracks, Jel mocked his old-ass flip phone and cracked wise about US/Canadian border patrol, among other things. He was as funny as he was funky. The Notwist's Germanic indie rock was fine—ranging from beautifully hushed slow numbers to fiery, rambunctious songs—but singer Markus Acher's bland voice always sounds like sour milk being poured on an elegantly conceived and executed meal. Like many rock bands, the Notwist would substantially improve if they went all instrumental.

New Order played a hit-filled set to a packed Paramount on Sunday evening, finishing with an encore of crowd-pleasing Joy Division songs. ("Love Will Tear Us Apart" was the final song, as it should be, always and forever.)

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Building a Community Only to Watch It Fall Apart: Razing the Bar Documents the Final Days of the Funhouse

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

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Ryan Worsley's documentary, which premiered at SIFF in May, is a celebration of the Funhouse, which closed two years ago, but it's also a celebration of the punk spirit. That can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In first-time filmmaker Worsley's hands, it's about pursuing the career of your dreams, no matter how many naysayers try to talk you out of it. For former co-owner Brian Foss, that meant running a punk club on lower Queen Anne.

In retrospect, it's amazing it lasted as long as it did. I walk past the old site twice a day to and from work, and three new housing developments are in various stages of completion all within the same two-block radius—one right across the street. It's hard to believe the Funhouse was ever located on the same 5th Avenue that houses the EMP Museum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (that said, The 5-Point Café, only a few blocks away, is still going strong).

So, Razing the Bar is also a lamentation for the accelerating pace of gentrification in downtown Seattle, an issue with which I've long been concerned—even more so now that my own apartment building, in which I've lived for 20 years, is slated for demolition. (The city plans to build a 44-story luxury hotel, Seattle's highest, where my five-story building has stood since the 1920s.)

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This Week's Hiphop Roundup, Courtesy of My Philosophy

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

JURASSIC 5
  • JURASSIC 5

If I recall correctly, my first show as a 21-year-old was at Neumos—well, it was at Moe's to be exact—Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, and the Beat Junkies. Great show, and I only saw one other person wearing the same Black Star shirt I was wearing. Damn near 15 years later—yikes—this very same lineup is coming to the Showbox at the Market on Wednesday, July 9. It's also presented by KUBE, which is pretty funny considering how much airplay they've given those artists (Sunday Night Sound Session being the well-known exception, of course). And yes, this show is also 21+... I mean, how many 15-year-olds are trying to see J5 who aren't related to any of them? (Which reminds me, big ups to Snubnose Frankenstein from the ATL collective Two-9, whose dad is actually J5's Akil.)

The all-ages program for those heads would be up the road in Belltown—as Ryan Caraveo plays the Crocodile's Back Bar the same night. Slightly brotastic but not egregiously so, Caraveo puts words together in a fashion that sounds confident and cool—his cut "Schlager," for a song titled after a frat-ass liquor, is pretty fun.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Tonight in Music: Jurassic 5, the Dutchess and the Duke and Ceremony!

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

JURASSIC 5'S GOLDEN-AGE KNOWLEDGE

(Showbox at the Market) There was a moment when it seemed that LA’s massively talented Jurassic 5 (rappers Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7, and turntablists DJ Nu-Mark, Cut Chemist) might save innovative hiphop from underground banishment. This happened around the turn of the millennium, which was a difficult time for real hiphop. Crews that banked on skills were either not getting signed or being dropped by major labels. In this challenging climate, Jurassic 5 seemed to do the impossible: Be innovative and popular at the same time. The crew was signed to a major label, adored by music critics, and between 2000 and 2002 released two albums that sold pretty well. Eventually, however, reality caught up with the crew and pulled them down to the place where producers and rappers with talent are exiled to this day. With Dilated Peoples. CHARLES MUDEDE
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THE CAPTIVATING, CHARMING FOLK OF THE DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE

Whoa! The Dutchess and the Duke are kinda sorta maybe playing shows again? (The duo—that’s Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz—played their last show at the Tractor in 2010.) Or maybe it’s just this show, but whatever the case: YAY, relight that campfire punk! Their heart-squeezing, acoustic dusk folk is captivating, like watching swirls of warm, slow smoke rise from a stick of incense, but also charming—the sweetness and sand and honesty in the lyrics yin-yang perfectly with the boy/girl harmonies and catchy melodies. This show will be in Chop Suey’s Dragon Lounge (the smaller room in the front of the venue)—a perfectly intimate space for you to go ahead and cop some mental feels. EMILY NOKES
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I Hope Y'all Heads Are Having Some Killer Good Hangs With Ms. Mary Jane

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Since I pretty much only listen to "old music," recorded by now-dead people, it should be no surprise I listen to a lot of music from hippie era, and we all know hippies liked to get high, so I've listened to many songs about some "girl" named MARY JANE. Turns out, this Mary Jane woman is NOT a woman at all, but instead slang for marijuana, better known as pot, weed, or grass. Well, in celebration and, I guess, solidarity of Washington's legal marijuana shops opening today/this week I'd like to share my fave song titled "Mary Jane." It's by the group the Renaissance. Um, tho' it sounds more like a warning to not smoke as there's a suggestion Mary Jane might wanna "get off the devil's merry-go-round!"

There's a ton of bands which used "Mary Jane" as a song title, narrative, and for skunky inspiration: Fickle Finger, the Baroques, the Spokesmen (!!), the Sweet Smoke, the Tombstones, Willie & The Red Rubber Band, the XLs, Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, the Excells, Rob London (& the Rogues), the Red House, the Everly Brothers' (their "Mary Jane" is fuzz drenched heaven), and even Del Shannon had a try.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tokin' of Appreciation: A Survey of the Best Pot-Smoking Songs

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Back in 2012, when Sleep's mighty Dopesmoker album was reissued, The Stranger ran a survey of songs that will enhance your marijuana experience to the utmost. Now seems like a good time to revisit it. Dank me later.

Attack of the 90's: Korn and Ilk Invade the White River Amphitheatre

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM

(White River Amphitheatre) If Nirvana killed hair metal, then At the Drive-In rang the death knell for nü metal. But just as grunge’s loser-angst and loud-quiet-loud formula ultimately birthed the culturally inbred miscalculation of Korn, so did At the Drive-In’s world of shrieking, moppy-haired, skinny jeans post-hardcore morph into the mall-friendly monstrosity of Asking Alexandria. In a strange turn of events, Appetite for Destruction received a new kind of veneration once grunge became something of a joke, which helps explain why Korn have seen an unexpected revival in popularity now that any new genre with a “-core” suffix has enough of a lowest-common-denominator appeal to serve as a prime marketing tool for right-wing conservative-owned energy drink companies and their attendant rock festivals. In summation: All music is terrible.
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

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Show Respect to One of the Queens of Hiphop

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

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Enough already about her personal shit. Enough of the gossip. Let’s just stop it and instead turn our minds to the fact that hiphop only has a handful of female rappers who made it big (meaning, entered the mainstream) by selling nothing but skills, and Ms. Lauryn Hill is one of those rappers...

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Attention, Greil Marcus Obsessives

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

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One of America's preeminent old-guard music critics, Greil Marcus, has a new website dedicated to writings by and about the man who's authored a library's worth of important books, including Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music, In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977–1992, and When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison. Marcus also edited Lester Bangs' posthumous collection of essays and features Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, a Nobel-worthy endeavor.

GreilMarcus.net is a blog that spotlights some of the man's archived writings, "pulled from as many sources as possible (magazines, newspapers, liner notes, books, fanzines, websites, podcasts, etc.) and posted in a more or less random fashion, with one or two posts per day, four or five days per week," writes administrator Scott Woods.

Marcus' ability to connect music to broader cultural movements and political ideologies is almost unparalleled. He possesses pretty good taste, too. Dig into his huge archive of writing here.

Tip: Michaelangelo Matos

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today Marks 8 Years Since Syd Barrett Died

Posted by on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I was reminded this morning it was eight years ago today we lost Syd Barrett—well, his body and what he'd become; Syd's mind first went missing sometime in 1967. Anyway, I'll save the editorial and just leave y'all with this live clip of the Pink Floyd. The performance is genius, natch, but the interview after they play, conducted by noted essayist and musicologist Hans Keller, is awesome. Being a trained musician, he asks, "Why has it got to be so loud?" Obviously he missed the physical possession and manipulation by their LOUDNESS. He did, however, nail it with his end summation, "My verdict is that it's a little bit of a regression to childhood, but after all, why not?"

This clip I first heard via bootlegs years ago and when I finally saw the source clip it was a bit of a revolution revelation; I don't think I knew the Pink Floyd's non-instrumental effects were actually made by Syd's mouth!

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Today's Recommended Show: A Free All-Ages Courtney Barnett In-Store at Sonic Boom!

Posted by on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 3:32 PM

(Sonic Boom) The kind of easy charm that seems to ooze out of singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is a trait that can't be faked. Genial, subversively funny, wide-eyed but never naive, her songs can resemble the Moldy Peaches at their ugly-cutesy best, or maybe Mac DeMarco with a winning Aussie accent (Barnett hails from Melbourne). Like so many indie rockers of yore, Barnett manages to seem nonchalant even when her compositions belie a care for the craft often absent in the sea of lackadaisical acts clogging festival stages this time of year. Along with that self-effacing persona, her knack for hook-laden melodies and lyrical acuity seem to portend a massive cult following for this uniquely gifted performer.

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Einsturzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke to Play With Chris Brokaw at Cairo July 18

Posted by on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

This potentially amazing show was announced over the holiday weekend, so you may have missed it: Einstürzende Neubauten guitarist/bassist/vocalist Alexander Hacke will be performing with Seattle guitarist/drummer Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come, Boredoms' 77 Boadrum) Friday July 18 at Cairo. Hacke has been an integral member of Neubauten, one of the world's most important and adventurous industrial groups, since 1980. He's also collaborated with Crime & the City Solution, Caspar Brötzmann, J.G. Thirlwell, and many others while maintaining a prolific solo career.

Tickets are $10 at the door, which opens at 8 pm. This all-ages show is going to get packed quickly, so be punctual. Health Problems open at 8:30 pm.

Check out Hacke's cover of the Monks' "I Hate You" below. Find more info about the show here.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Poster of the Week

Posted by on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 6:53 PM

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This poster (the designer of which I was unable to track down at press time) feels like pure summer to me. For more info on this event, which features a huge art installation by Ben Beres and music by Fly Moon Royalty, go to wework.com.

This Week's Hiphop Roundup, Courtesy of My Philosophy

Posted by on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 5:46 PM

OPEN MIKE EAGLE
  • OPEN MIKE EAGLE

In the internet age, when choice is endless and your adventure is truly yours to choose, some people concentrate too much on the stuff they choose to omit—yet not nearly as much on the shit they choose to include. The coolest shit to me is the confluence of things, the melding or meeting of things thought separate, Rick Rubin's highbrow/lowbrow theory, etc.

Open Mike Eagle's latest, Dark Comedy, is a sweet confluence of sharp consciousness-streaming that's equal parts Second City and Project Blowed, post–Low End Theory (as in LA's world-famous electronic/experimental rap monthly) slump, and Mike's own irreverent reverence of everything from Gang Starr to They Might Be Giants. The "laugh to keep from crying tip" is his lane, though Mike admits that he's "bad at sarcasm, so [he] work[s] in absurdity"—such as getting Hannibal Buress to rap on "Doug Stamper." If you despair for brainy, funny, affecting indie rap, don't miss this.

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Four-Word Album Reviews, Courtesy of The Stranger

Posted by on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

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The Peeping Tomboys' Lo

Ideal ghost hunting soundtrack.

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Craft Spells' Nausea

Solidarity for the solitary.

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WEEED's Feng Shui Capital of the Universe

Sun-high stoner rock.

Read all the reviews here »

Tonight in Music: New Order, Fishbone, and Reigning Sound!

Posted by on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 2:19 PM

THE UNIMPEACHABLE CLASSINESS OF NEW ORDER

(Paramount) Writing about New Order at this point in musical history feels a bit superfluous: "Blue Monday" remains the biggest-selling 12-inch of all time, its inescapable melody familiar to everyone from the black eyeliner crowd to businessmen dozing off on their 11-hour flight to Hong Kong. Formed in the wake of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis's suicide, New Order traded in that group's morose post-punk for a keyboard-and-drum-machine-based synth-pop sound, in the process inventing a whole new vocabulary for both dance music and pop. Suddenly you could be goth, romantic, mod, or glow-stick-wielding rave kid, and all get down to the same thing. Throughout it all, New Order have stuck to their guns, refusing to become a casino-gigging legacy act and remaining vital performers. Their importance to modern music can't be overstated, and if I need to tell you that, then you have some catching up to do. Consider this show remedial homework. KYLE FLECK
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FISHBONE: ORIGINAL BLACK WEIRDOS

(Neptune) For 35 years, original black weirdos Fishbone have swirled together punk, funk, ska, metal, and soul into something that's pura vida, and pure LA. Check 2010's stunning band doc Everyday Sunshine (narrated by Larry Fishburne) and hear the likes of Flea, Gwen Stefani, and Perry Farrell all bowing to the OG skeleton crew—and all bemoaning the fact that Fishbone (much like the Bad Brains), for all the influence they gave to a generation of freaks and radio stars, never saw the breakout success that each of their bands did. Despite plentiful setbacks and much drama—including, most recently, the $1.4 million lawsuit from a victim of lightning-bolt frontman Angelo Moore's stage diving—Fishbone's legendary live experience rarely disappoints; it’s a shambolic, ecstatic church of funky exultation. LARRY MIZELL JR.
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Check out Underage's coverage here

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sound Check: Sharon Van Etten In the Distance at 3 A.M.

Posted by on Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Shes not completely dark.
  • Dusdin Condren
  • She's not completely dark.

Sharon Van Etten's songs are like that train you hear in the distance at 3 a.m. The immense hush, heading somewhere, boring its horn through the dark. Knowing the conductor is also awake makes you feel less lonely. Are We There is Van Etten's fourth album, released this past May on Jagjaguwar. In her writing, Van Etten is confessional and faces fears. She knows both the pain caused by being with someone who's not right and the pain of being away from someone who is right. A New Jersey native, Van Etten spent five years in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, soaking in country and folk music after a year of college there. Her voice stretches words out deeply from her lungs. "Your Love Is Killing Me" kicks out plaster walls to be unbound. She sings, "Break my legs so I won't walk to you/Cut my tongue so I can't talk to you/Burn my skin so I can't feel you/Stab my eyes so I can't see/You like it when I let you walk over me." If you're standing up when this song comes on, you'll want to sit down because of the solemnity. If you're sitting, you'll stand because of the courage and the majesty. I did, anyway. Van Etten spoke from the back bench of her tour van, somewhere between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

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Catch New Order, One of the 80's Most Enduring Acts, TOMORROW at the Paramount!

Posted by on Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Members of Joy Division continued after the death of one of the gloomiest figures in UK pop.
  • Getty / Kevin Tachman
  • Members of Joy Division continued after the death of one of the gloomiest figures in UK pop.

I must begin with a line in the Eagles' classic rock tune "Hotel California." The line in question is this: "Some dance to remember, some dance to forget." Why is this a useful place to begin a piece about the British band New Order? Because the kind of dancing one does to their music (which is a blend of dance music, new wave, and rock) is not for forgetting. You dance to forget when you listen to A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie," or Madonna's "Holiday," or Rihanna's "Birthday Cake." These dance tunes annihilate not only the past but also the future. (Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," for example, annihilates the past but opens the future.) When you move to this kind of music, the kind that forgets, you are very present, very much in the now. You're "just happy," you've "left your cares behind," you "don't have a trouble in the world." That is dancing to forget. Now, what is dancing to remember? This happens when a dance tune makes you kind of sad or reflective at the same time you are getting down. New Order make this kind of dance music, and there is a good reason why. The thing we always remember in the dance music they made during their peak years (which is almost every year in the '80s) is the death of Ian Curtis...

Keep reading and get all the details for tomorrow's show at the Paramount!

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!

Tonight in Music: Steely Dan, Aan and the Notwist!

Posted by on Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 3:11 PM

REWARD YOUR EARS WITH STEELY DAN'S SOPHISTICATED JAZZ-ROCK

(Marymoor Park) Do they teach Steely Dan in universities now? They ought to. It would benefit humanity—and gratifyingly anger dogmatic punks—if aspiring musicians studied the long-running yacht-rock/jazz-pop group’s madly intricate compositions, immaculate virtuosity, and sardonic lyrics. You probably know and love—or loathe—the numerous hits (“Do It Again,” “Peg,” “Black Friday,” et al.); few bands are as divisive as Steely Dan, and arguments between fans and haters still cause much gnashing of internet bandwidth. But as sleek and catchy as the radio standards are, Steely Dan’s deep album cuts—“Doctor Wu,” “The Fez,” “Monkey in Your Soul,” et al.—reward sophisticated ears with equal aplomb. Hearing this smooth and twisted American music outdoors in the summer is like gorging on luxury. DAVE SEGAL
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AAN'S LOVESICK POP YEARNERS

Portland four-piece Aan make lovesick alt-pop that stumbles between meticulous-yet-slightly-off-kilter rock songs, and sun-in-your-eyes experimental slow pop. Sometimes the drums keep a technical pace under swirls of harmony and shimmering effects; sometimes the singer yowls like he’s had his heart broken by the same person more than once. You could definitely dance to Aan with emotional sparklers in your hands, but I’m not trying to get sued by the Sunset here or anything (love you, Sunset!). Also on the bill are distortion-laced psych-pop shredders Peeping Tomboys (whose new album Lo is worth checking out) and dreamy, Breeders-esque slow-rock masters Posse (whose new album Soft Opening is worth checking out). Be safe out there tonight! EMILY NOKES
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Tonight in Music: A Talking Heads Tribute Band, Geographer Some Excellent Local Punk!

Posted by on Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 2:03 PM

"THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL BAND"'S TALKING HEADS TRIBUTE

(Tractor) Since I have not heard nor seen This Is Not My Beautiful Band, I can’t necessarily speak to their abilities to cover Talking Heads songs, BUT I will take any opportunity to talk about how great Talking Heads are, duh. More Songs About Buildings and Food is one of my favorite albums ever! Tina Weymouth is such a boss bassist! David Byrne’s insane dancing in Stop Making Sense is my spirit animal! The Facebook event info for this indicates that this tribute band and I are on the same fan-club page: “This is a project of passion. A loud, public, thank you to one the greatest bands of our lives... TALKING HEADS!” So if you only have any tentative decisions for this holiday, this will probably be the good thing to do. See what I did there. EMILY NOKES
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GEOGRAPHER'S MIDDLEBROW ELECTRO-POP

(Crocodile) San Francisco–based indie rockers Geographer have the tools in their tool kit; I'm just not convinced they know how to deploy them. Prettily brittle synth arpeggios mingle with guitar chugs and the occasional burst of cello, while frontman Michael Deni breathes needy nothings (why so serious?) and the world continues to spin. It's well-composed music with technical precision, but it unfortunately lacks hooks. After delving into their discography, I'd be hard-pressed to remember a single clever turn of phrase or catchy melody. Which isn't to say it's not serviceable electro-pop; there's just nothing overtly noteworthy about it. Besides that cello: more of that, please. Beyond that, these "geographers" need to pinpoint their focus. KYLE FLECK
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Free Show Tomorrow Night: Partman Parthorse/Gods Themselves/Hearts Are Thugs

Posted by on Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

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Provided you're not currently in the hospital for blowing off a finger or hand today, here's something to do TOMORROW night (July 5): a FREE fuckin' ROCK and ROLL SHOW!

Okay, first up will be the intense, and kinda post-punk-informed, new romantic pop group Hearts Are Thugs. Followed by the Gods Themselves; I gushed about them back in May and tonight they're playing their first show! I'm stoked; the Gods Themselves shoot for "angular" and come off as a not-so-angry Boss Hog or Honeymoon Killers. YEAH! The headliners are the well-loved, and Speedo-clad-fronted group who "would'a been on Alternative Tentacles in the '80's" punkers, Partman Parthorse. Dig it, we get all killer and NO FILLER. This show is at the Rendezvous and completely FREE! Doors at 9pm.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rachel Lark's "Born This Way"

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Better—certainly funnier—than GaGa's. I have a crush on this girl.

Harvey Danger's Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? Gets a Vinyl Reissue on Its 17th Anniversary

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM

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With Sean Nelson making waves in this week's perspicacious feature, now might be an opportune time to alert you to this news. His former rock band Harvey Danger's Gold-selling 1997 debut album will be reissued on vinyl July 29 through No Sleep Records. Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? will sport new artwork, designed by Nelson, Stranger art director Aaron Huffman (who played bass with Harvey Danger), and HD drummer Evan Sult, and will include liner notes by Nelson. Here's an excerpt:

Under the long shadow of 17 years’ worth of memory, I must say that listening back to the 10 songs that changed everything for us is a bracing sensation. To hear the person you were when you weren’t yet who you are now is to understand how little you understood, and to recognize how little you even could have understood. This is doubly bracing when you consider that the person you were then had everything riding on the depth of his understanding. It’s tempting to be hard on your past self, the one who made all those idiotic mistakes, who scorched so many friendships, who insisted he knew exactly what we was doing while steering car after car into ditch after ditch. And yet, temptations aside, it feels a lot better, and in a much bigger way, to hoist hindsight’s binoculars to your deteriorating eyes and spy something you love.

Read more about the album here.

Susan Cowsill's Stunning Relevance

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I lerve the Cowsills, but, at the moment I'm really loving the youngest Cowsill, Susan Cowsill. I've been playing her song "Real Life" endlessly since first hearing it two days ago; this song sounds like it was grown in sunlit shade, seeded by the Left Banke.

Until I heard this track, I'd not heard any of her solo work. Her two kinda recent albums, Just Believe It (2005) and Lighthouse (2010), are billed as Americana, but to me, it's more of a rural rock '73-/74-style update. Like, think less suede fringe and cocaine and more pastoral contentment. It's awesome she is still playing and is STILL relevant. Many child musicians with pop-star billing tend to become fenced in and can't move forward as they're expected to be a fucking oldies act.

Tonight in Music: Future, METZ, M. Geddes Gengras, and Mark Lanegan!

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

FUTURE'S FORWARD-LOOKING, ALIEN POP-RAP

(Neptune) You know when those golden-age hiphop fans complain about the state of current mainstream rap? Too much Auto-Tune, too little intellect, club mantras repeated ad nauseam in place of real lyrics? Well, Future is basically whom they're bitching about. The Haitian-born, Atlanta-raised rapper/singer is one of the founding fathers of current street rap's sound, from the stadium-devouring beats to the robotized over-emoting, and yet? The music this guy makes is guaranteed to be way more fun than 99 percent of the underground shit those same old-school dudes are rocking with. Future can fit in with the trap sound just fine, going hard on industrial-strength bangers like "Move That Dope" with ease. What sets him apart, though, is when he forgoes the smack talk for straight songcraft: "Turn On the Lights" and "I Be U" are flat-out monuments of pop music, no matter the scene. Give it five years and the same heads who hate now are going to bemoan the fact that there ain't more songsmiths like Future in the rap game. KYLE FLECK
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THE CATHARTIC AURAL CATHEDRALS OF CLOUD NOTHINGS AND METZ

(Neumos) Frankly, Ontario post-hardcore/post-genre-name/loud-as-fuck, standard rock-band instrument barbarians METZ are going to be a tough act to follow. They’re not for the faint of aural faculty, and evidently they don’t care to ever be. That said, if Cloud Nothings can channel just some of the of the zeal from the high points of 2012’s Attack on Memory, namely the cathartic aural cathedrals found in “Wasted Days” and “Stay Useless,” things are going to be just fine. Their latest, Here and Nowhere Else, has trouble finding that zone, but maybe they’ve constructed a way to ramp it up live. GRANT BRISSEY
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Clipping. Provide More Evidence That Sub Pop Might Be the Most Important Label in American Hiphop

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

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Let’s do something different tonight! Abrasive LA rap/experimental hiphop trip clipping. just debuted their Sub Pop album CLPPNG, and it’s a much-needed dose of weird. Producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes make noise—crumpling cardboard, abrasive alarm clocks...

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Nick Cave Brought His Patented Jazz-Punk Vegas Act to the Paramount. And It Was Good.

Posted by on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

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  • Photo by Brooklyn Benjestorf
It's been 25 years since I've seen Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in concert. I haven't been avoiding them; life just gets in the way sometimes. During that interval, Cave doesn't appear to have missed a step. To judge by his appearance at the Paramount last night, he doesn't look much different, either. He wasn't wearing a gold lamé shirt when I saw him in 1989, but it was a nice touch, especially since he performed 1985's mournful "Tupelo," which references Elvis, who was also fond of lamé. But the slim figure, jet-black hair, coiled-snake moves: some things never change.

Mark Lanegan, looking a little like Scott Walker in his all-black ensemble, opened for Cave, and proved to be as introverted as the marquee act was extroverted, but their styles gel smoothly. Other than "thank you," I don't recall that he said anything else. He performed around a dozen songs with electric guitar accompaniment, including covers of "Mack the Knife" and "You Only Live Twice." He also threw in a Screaming Trees song, "Where the Twain Shall Meet," from 1989's Buzz Factory. I don't know if he usually does that, but I'm glad he did.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's Crappening? News, Reviews, and Speedos

Posted by on Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

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  • DEVO

Seattle's Pride festivities happened this past weekend!!! The sound of the Dyke March approaching is always music to our ears, and we screamed ourselves hoarse watching it all roll beautifully by. Sample sign: "MY MOM HATES MY HAIRCUT BUT LOVES MY GIRLFRIEND."

• Rapper Khia played her infamous sex anthem "My Neck, My Back" to a beer garden full of hot and bothered queer folks at Wildrose on Saturday night, and sure enough, booty-popping and lots of dirty dancing ensued. Then on Sunday, smashing all stereotypes that gay-pride celebrations have to be powered only by DJs who play bass-heavy electronic music, local band Sashay brought down the house at Chop Suey's "Queer as Fuck" Pride party with their brutally fun punk hardcore song "America's Next Top Bottom."

• Special shout-out to the R Place dancers: Holy shit, they were bringing it, sipping on Red Bull in Speedos. Ow!

• The Neptune Theatre was filled with an interesting mix of old and young joyful nerds at the sold-out Devo show on Friday. The tight hour-and-a-half set focused only on the band's Hardcore Devo era (their weirder, more experimental recordings between 1974 and 1977) and began with Mark Mothersbaugh throwing cigarettes into the audience as a nod to the past. The performance did not disappoint—we screamed, danced, risked a security guard glare by grabbing Mothersbaugh's sleeve when he hopped into the crowd to sing "Jocko Homo," and maybe cried just a little bit because whoa. And did we mention Bob Mothersbaugh is still a fox?

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