Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tonight in Music: Lil Wayne vs. Drake, Pulse Emmiter and Addison Groove

Posted by on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM


(White River Amphitheatre) Is this even a fair fight? It’s like apples versus oranges, with apples being the smooth-and-sensitive hip-pop hitmaker Drake and oranges being the GOAT-tempting monolith on the wane Lil Wayne. In this case, as in life, I prefer oranges, but whatever your taste, this should be a hell of a show. Earlier tour stops have seen the eternal question “Who’s on first?” answered via text-message votes from the audience, and the guys have even worked up some playful between-song shit talk. Sample Wayne dis: “I been doing this shit since the little boy was in a wheelchair.” Sample Drake dis: “I know his career is longer but my shit is stronger!” Is Drake a good enough actor to say that line with a straight face? Find out tonight! DAVID SCHMADER
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With the recent increased attention devoted to new-age music (the life-enhancing kind), you should direct your ears to an active modern composer doing great work in that style: Portland synth master Pulse Emitter (aka Daryl Groetsch). Recent releases like the 2013 LP Crater Lake and this year’s Alien Vacation are brilliant elaborations of patient, ever-evolving cosmic tone exploration that will calm your chakras and align your heartbeats. Seattle’s Panabrite is an ideal complement for this show: His upcoming full-length on Immune, Pavilion, is one of his more tenebrous and tension-building ambient efforts. The beatific vibes at this show are gonna be off the chain. With Walt the Fish. Machine House Brewery, 8 pm, $8 adv/$10 DOS, all ages. DAVE SEGAL

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The Best Reason Ever to Go to Auburn (as if You Need an Excuse!)

Posted by on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

You guys. Duh. It’s LIL WAYNE! And DRAKE! Aka the greatest reason to pile into your friend’s Geo Tracker and head to Auburn while it’s still nice out. It’s supposed to be a battle: Lil Wayne versus Drake (feat. Street Fighter font)—but I’m not gonna choose sides. How could you? Weezy’s a reckless and...



Saturday, September 13, 2014

RIP, Two Important Rock/Pop Music Producers: Cosimo Matassa and Bob Crewe

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM

How is it that these two giants of R&B/rock and pop music, Cosimo Matassa and Bob Crewe, both died on the same day?! And on god-damn September 11?! Also, forgive my brevity, I know both men deserve more respect than a couple simple "this is your life" paragraphs.

Cosimo Matassa was in part responsible for the famed "New Orleans" sound, but not by some magic design. He was an untrained engineer/producer who happened to be in the right place at the right time to record what turned out to be the defining sounds of rock 'n' rolllate '40s and early '50s R&B. He'd first hoped to become a chemist, but after two years in college, he quit and went to work for his dad's jukebox business. Then, after World War II ended, his dad opened a record and appliance shop, and, while they were sorting out the shop details, his dad's partner suggested adding a recording studio. They did and called it J&M Recording. Um, Cosimo, who was only 19, got tapped to run the studio as he was the most "technically inclined"! The musicians who recorded at J&M said Cosimo's easy, willing nature, the quality gear, and affordable prices made the studio a favorite; Cosimo says he only tried to capture what he heard. His "let it happen, man" philosophy kept the recordings organic and immediate, which obviously emboldened the raw HEAT being recorded at J&M. He recorded Roy Brown's seminal "Good Rockin' Tonight," along with early Little Richard, Ray Charles, most of Fats Domino's MAJOR hits, including his earliest "Fat Man," as well as Jerry Lee Lewis' pre-Sun Records demos. Oh, and if not for Cosimo, a teenaged Allen Toussaint wouldn't have gotten to tickle the ivories of a grand piano. The grand at J&M "was the first grand piano that I touched," Toussaint said, and it changed the way he thought about music. Toussaint later would record almost all of his early and, arguably, most important work at J&M. Cosimo finally quit the music business in the '80s and went to work with his sons; he was 88 when he passed.

Unlike, Cosimo, Bob Crewe was a career producer and songwriter; he wrote big, like, MAJOR pop songs! We've all heard "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," right? Anyway, he began in the '50s as a producer for his label XYZ and immediately hit with the Rays' "Silhouettes." Crewe, and his XYZ partner Frank Slay Jr., eventually connected with the Swan label and continued with their hit-making. Then, in the early '60s, he began writing with Bob Gaudio. And again, right out of the gate, he (and Gaudio) hit BIG with their first song - the 4 Seasons' "Sherry." I swear, everything Mr. Crewe's fingers touched turned platinum. In the mid '60s, Crewe started another label, DynoVoice/New Voice. The DynoVoice label might be best known for the vocal group the Toys, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. Oh, for you loungers, I'm sure y'all know his easy-listening group, the Bob Crewe Generation; they had a well-known hit "Music To Watch Girls By." Uh, I should ALSO note the Bob Crewe Generation Orchestra soundtracked the Jane Fonda film Barbarella!! In the '70s, his BCG continued recording, he made a solo record, some disco records, and wrote even more hits, including Labelle's massive "Lady Marmalade." By the '80s his output slowed, but he was still able to make the charts with a duet by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson, "You're Looking Like Love To Me." Then, in 2001, his writer credit reappeared via a then contemporary remake of "Lady Marmalade!" From what I can suss, post-Jersey Boys acclaim, he'd been pretty quiet, musically, instead focusing on his Bob Crewe Foundation. His death was from complications after a fall; Crewe was 83.

An Exclusive Interview with the Legendary Yanni (Yah-Nee), in Which He Reveals What Happened to the 'Stache

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 4:39 PM

I dont dance very often. I love the water.
  • I don't dance very often. I love the water.

The Yanni concert begins like dew on an Athenian chrysanthemum opening its face to the morning sun. Sit back in your velvet Benaroya womb-chair and let one of the greatest composers of our time birth you like a baby. The song is "Truth of Touch." Yanni tickles out a melody on the piano so motherfuckin' sweet it's like honey cascading down a waterfall of moonbeams onto butterfly wings. Yanni makes passionate love to every note. Magic, power, beauty, and more power radiate out from the stage like a zephyr of Armani Eau Pour Homme. Leonardo DiCaprio embraces you from behind on the front of the Titanic as you sail, arms out, into the fuchsia blush of a Mediterranean sunset. This is love. This is what it's like to fly. Violins and cellos float in, then drums. You never knew love before. Yanni (yah-nee), you cry out! Soaring, emotional and triumphant. God, his hair looks so fucking good.

Yiannis Chryssomallis by birth, from Kalamata, Greece, the adult-contemporary marauder has sold 17 kadgillion albums worldwide. In March 2014, Yanni released his 17th studio album, Inspirato, featuring operatic vocalists performing remakes of Yanni songs, mostly in Italian. Some sound like Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell. Yanni spoke from the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, about to start the second leg of his North American tour. He'd just finished working out in the hotel gym, and it was raining there.

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Yanni plays Benaroya Hall, Sunday September 14.

What Would Katy Perry Do?

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM


I want to be friends with Katy Perry. At least I think I want to be friends with Katy Perry. I have always (mostly secretly) enjoyed some of the pop star's hits, but I could never allow myself to completely embrace her because, while she seems fun, the stage persona she presents is also completely ridiculous. She's a sexed-up Candy Land figurine; she plays dumb about the arguably racist and homophobic things she says and sings while also trying to pander to tweens with her heartfelt "be yourself" anthems. You can't have it both ways, Katy!

But despite the flaws, I'll admit that I had a great time watching her perform during her Prismatic Tour earlier this summer. She changed costumes nearly a dozen times. She took selfies with the audience, had a pizza delivered to some fans in the front row, and rode a giant mechanical horse. She sat in an inflatable convertible while an inflatable poo emoji larger than my apartment danced over her head, and she flew through the air while the world's largest balloon drop softly fell all around her. There were fireworks (of course) and an acoustic guitar covered in a bajillion crystals—the entire two-hour performance was shiny and beautiful and about as real as Joan Rivers's face. At one point, she sang her double-entendre-filled song "Birthday" to a preteen as the two sat atop a giant cake. "That's not appropriate," I thought as Katy sang about wanting to "get you in your birthday suit."

But it made me wonder: What would it be like having Katy Perry as a BFF? Would I get to meet Rihanna? Would she buy me extravagant presents? Would she comfort me during life's shitter moments? What Would Katy Perry Do? I'm sure it would be messy, hilarious, and annoying, but at least it would be entertaining.

Here's what it might be like if Katy Perry were your best friend.

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Katy Perry plays tonight at the Tacoma Dome.


Some Pop Perfection at the Tacoma Dome

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 2:22 PM

It’s true, Katy Perry’s most recent album, Prism, wasn’t quite the neon-champagne-overflow heart-shaped piece of pop perfection that 2010’s Teenage Dream was, but Ms. Perry’s press release for the current Prismatic tour—coming to a dome near you—confirms...


Tonight in Music: Code Orange, the Dee Dees, Eprom and Thirty Seconds to Mars

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM


(Vera) Hardcore kids have to grow up so quickly these days. A band’s rudimentary beginnings live on much longer in the internet age than in the home-dubbed demo cassette age. Perhaps that’s the reason that Pittsburgh’s malefic underage quartet Code Orange Kids dropped the “Kids” from their name for their new album, I Am King. Perhaps it felt necessary to enforce the notion that the band was growing up, and to create a distinction between the present and the past. But maturity can be a death knell for hardcore, and fortunately Code Orange haven’t tempered their ferocity as they’ve approached drinking age. Better production values? Sure. More sonic variations to their plan of attack? Absolutely. But I Am King is still every bit as mean and punishing as their 2010 demo that’s still floating around on the internet. BRIAN COOK
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(Rendezvous) A punk night for all kinds of punks! The Dee Dees are a tribute band comprising GG, Janie, Dou Dou, and Merky, with the collective last name Ramone, of course. Their website states, “The Dee Dees are not a girl band. They are not glittery. They are a tribute band covering the Ramones’ hits from the ’70s and beyond. The Dee Dees are dedicated to bringing back to life the power, speed, and sheer energy of the best rock and roll group of all time, the Ramones.” With Portland’s Bone Snatchers, who make Bettie-Page-bangs/bald-with-sideburns rockabilly, and Seattle’s anthemic-punk-makers the Lazy Animals featuring Larry Brady (guitar, vocals) and Lesli Wood (bass, vocals) of the Redwood Plan, plus Ben Hooker of Visqueen (drums). EMILY NOKES
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Major Scores and Sci-Fi Revisionism: Puget Soundtrakcs Seeks to Reimagine Film Scores

Posted by on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM

  • Frank Correa

Who can forget that indelible combination of image and sound from Blade Runner, as Vangelis's majestically forlorn synthesizer washes play over the initial wide-screen view of a dilapidated and dystopian Los Angeles? Or the repetitive, eerie bass throbs John Carpenter favored in his classic flicks from the late '70s and '80s?

Movie soundtracks often accrue iconic status regardless of the features they're tied to, but science fiction, with its wide-eyed futurism and flights of technological fancy, seems to bring out particularly memorable work from forward-thinking composers.

"[It's about] expansion of exploration, life, humanity, culture, known worlds, and the worlds we create," says Scot Porter, aka local electronic musician Vox Mod, when describing his fascination with sci-fi. Perhaps it's this clear understanding of the links between philosophy, sound, and vision that prompted the Northwest Film Forum to pick him as the inaugural artist for its new Puget Soundtracks series. The monthly event asks musicians from a variety of genres to perform brand-new original soundtracks, live in the theater...

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Are Rob Zombie's Films Too Wrong, Or Not Wrong Enough!

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 3:15 PM


One aspect of Rob Zombie we can all agree on is that his music and films aren't for everyone. The images of killing and ultra-violence shown in his slasher films are graphic, grotesque, sordid, and often misogynistic. Zombie portrays the bogeyman/woman, the evil monster, and the deranged clown—archetypal characters inducing archetypal fear, killing in unimaginably wrong ways. In House of 1000 Corpses, the lead killer cuts off the face of a man, wears it like a mask, and kisses the dead man's tied-up daughter on the mouth, saying, "Who's your daddy?" Zombie fans love it. They like it bloody and wrong. They want violence. But is it ever too wrong? Is there a point where society becomes too numb to violence? Better in a film than in reality, right?

Rob Zombie is a highly intelligent man. He's sold more than 15 million albums of his psycho industrial-grooved metal, and he's grossed more than $150 million as the writer/director of six feature films. Zombie's longtime wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, has been cast as a killer in his movies. Curiously, or not, Zombie is an "ethical vegetarian" and does work for a charity called Puppy Rescue Mission, helping dogs taken in by soldiers on their tours of duty. Not exactly facets of a man who's derailing society.

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The New Musical by Belle and Sebastian's Frontman Is About Girl Trouble

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Girls of the World Aint Nothing but Trouble
  • Girls of the World Ain't Nothing but Trouble

Stuart Murdoch, the singer of Belle and Sebastian, has made us a musical. And look, making a musical seems hard. There are a lot of elements to nail and a lot that could go wrong. It's like figure skating. Maybe the costumes are neat, but you didn't quite land any of the triple axels. Maybe you found the perfect partner to throw you into the air, but there's zero chemistry. Or maybe you just hate figure skating and no amount of twirling will ever do it for you. So then, how do you feel about Belle and Sebastian? Your answer to that question will probably help you determine whether this movie was a dull toothache or a delightful little meringue cookie wearing a marzipan beret.

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Tonight in Music: Noise for the Needy, Neil Welch, and Some Needy Goats

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM


(Tractor Tavern) Ever since the initial warm glow of Helio Sequence’s sorrowful but optimistic Keep Your Eyes Ahead faded, I’ve been hoping for a repeat of that record’s magic from the talented Portland duo. Unfortunately, 2012’s Negotiations does not fit the glove. It’s fine enough coffee-shop, hushed-guitar material, but it fails to score direct hits at the core of human existence like its predecessor did. Back in 2008, a friend ventured that maybe Eyes enjoyed greatness because one of the band members had been dumped by his girlfriend prior to production. I don’t have any idea if that is true, but it conjures the idea that maybe comfort just ain’t good for art. GRANT BRISSEY
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(Chapel Performance Space) From 8 to 10 every Sunday night, musicians and listeners get together for an improvisational composition session called the Racer Sessions. It’s held at Cafe Racer, which hosted art and artists and pure goodness until 2012, when it was the site of a multiple murder. In response, Neil Welch, one of the Racer Sessions founders, wrote an extended solo saxophone response. Tonight, he performs and releases the album of it (his sixth), A Response to the Wednesday Morning Shooting at Cafe Racer. The night begins with a set of improvised duets by bassist John Teske and cellist Natalie Mai Hall. JEN GRAVES
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My Oral Surgeon Wanted to Talk About U2's Songs of Innocence

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM

This morning I had a molar extracted. My surgeon proved to be very competent and got the job done in about 20 minutes. However, while he had my mouth pried open and was finessing the useless tooth out of its home, he started talking about U2's new album, Songs of Innocence. (If oral surgeons are discussing your album mid-operation, you or your marketing team may be doing something right.)

Doc had it on his iPhone, of course, but he hadn't listened to it yet. He then asked if I am a U2 fan. In my vulnerable, distressed state, I couldn't say, “Well, I like scattered songs from the first few albums, but I lost interest in them around 1984.” So instead I spluttered something incomprehensible and sprayed blood onto his implements. I hope listening to Songs of Innocence is a more pleasurable experience than having a tooth yanked, but I'm not overly optimistic.

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Goddamn, the New Fly Moon Royalty Track Is HOT!

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Our love for Fly Moon Royalty is endless —┬áit's here, here, and here — and it will certainly not slow down with their new track "Rx." Usually singer Adra Boo's soulful vocals take center stage, but in this percussion-filled hiphop track, beat-maker Action J's rap skills are the star.

Let the music talk to your body, indeed.

Fly Moon Royalty are playing Touchdown City at CenturyLink Field during the Seahawks game on Sunday, September 21.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Careful What You Wish For: Diddy and Co.'s Response to Ferguson

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM


Shout-out to all the folks who are still caught up in the unmitigated devilry that is Facebook—though it steals your privacy (don't download the messenger on your phone, people) and pimps your info (ooh, you like Reeboks?), it's still somehow a good way to spread information and have conversations—sometimes? Ask Facebook user and Seattle police officer Sergeant Christopher Hall, who recently flexed much support for Ferguson's infamous Officer Darren Wilson on his wall. No shock whatsoever, of course—cops back each other up, no matter what. (That's basically the same thing they say about us, by the way—"us" being the people they seem to shoot so much.)

You'll remember I was wondering where the hiphop response to the killing of Mike Brown was. Well, damn him for reading that, but ya boy Game got together a whole bunch of freedom fighters—Diddy, Rick Ross, 2Chainz, Fabolous, Wale, Yo Gotti, Swizz Beatz, Curren$y, and Problem—to make a #poignant song about Mike Brown's murder, and it's the definition of "be careful what you wish for." While "murdered son" does indeed rhyme with "Ferguson," there's a day-late-dollar-short-itude in the song's terrible Kidz Bop hook and the references to Diddy's Ciroc and Ross's status as a bawse, not to mention the blustery, fervent promises of first-person warfare.

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DEAR MAYOR MURRAY, Please Don't Let an Automotive Parts Storage Lot Go Where Seattle Drum School Could Go

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Steve and Kristy Smith
  • Steve and Kristy Smith

The City of Seattle is requiring extensive building code renovations at Seattle Drum School’s north branch (12510 15th Ave NE) which neither they, nor their landlords can afford. Unfortunately the building is being sold. An opportunity has arisen for them to purchase the former Fire Station 39 in downtown Lake City, less than a mile away from their current location. Drum School director Steve Smith says the city has other options for this fire station property, and they need supporters to let the Mayor’s office and the city council know that Seattle Drum School belongs in Lake City.

Smith said, “What we need now more than anything is the city’s cooperation and support. We think there’s a lot of enthusiasm inside the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) for our attempt in acquiring the fire station. They have stressed repeatedly that getting politicians involved in the process is going to be critical to our success. The latest we’ve heard is that the city is about to lease the property to Bill Pierre for two years to use as parts storage. They’ve been trying to buy the property (they already own sixteen acres along Lake City Way), but so far the city has turned down that proposal. We’ve emailed area politicians and Lake City civic groups attempting to garner support for our endeavor. So far we have only received a notification from the Mayor’s office acknowledging our inquiry.

In terms of fundraising we will need to raise at least $300,000 in order to make the fire station our new home, as it is in need of a seismic retrofit as well as other code improvements, in addition to significant basic renovations just for it to be made inhabitable for us. We really hope we can make it work.”


Mayor’s Office:
City Council's Nick Licata:
City Council's Mike O’Brien:

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New Club Night Darqness Opens Up the Dance Floor to Queer and Trans People of Color

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Reverend Dollars DJing at the first Darqness.
  • Viviann Nguyen
  • Reverend Dollars DJing at the first Darqness.

A lot of music promoters try to appeal to as many people as possible, and consequently they end up sounding generic and bland (and often reeking of Axe®). Jarreau Greene—aka Seattle DJ/producer Reverend Dollars—said “Fuqq that,” and started a new club night called Darqness, which bestows to “queer and trans people of color” a wide, vibrant variety of dance music in the welcoming environment of Maxim’s.

Catering to such a narrow niche may seem on the surface foolhardy, but it’s actually brilliant, as this demographic traditionally hasn’t had a place of its own to get down. The time is ripe for such a celebratory event. Greene says that the first Darqness in August drew about 60 people, “which exceeded my expectations. The word of mouth has been very strong, so I'm expecting even more for September 26.”

That second edition of Darqness features special guest DJ from Boston, Jamila Afrika. I had some questions for Greene about his night, which he answers below.

What inspired you to start Darqness?
I started Darqness after hearing many complaints from friends and experiencing incidents myself where Seattle's white-dominated queer party scene wasn't always welcoming and comfortable for queer and trans people of color. I'd also heard about problems with what few events there are aimed at QTPOC, and while I'm not trying to be in competition with them, I wanted to create more options. Basically, the demand for a party like Darqness already existed, and I realized it was a demand I could fulfill. I was very intentional in hosting this event in somewhere that was away from the Capitol Hill scene, I wanted it to be in a minority neighborhood, and when I found a venue that was owned and operated by queer women of color, it felt like a perfect match.

What sort of music do you and Jamila Afrika spin?
At Darqness, I'll be playing a mix of rap, R&B, house, dancehall, Latin, ballroom/vogue, club, bounce, and more. Jamila Afrika (a Boston queer scene veteran who will be making her Northwest debut) plays a similar mix, but takes a particular interest in house, especially Afro-house. She even has future plans to spend time in South Africa to experience the house scene there.

What if a straight or queer white person wanted to attend Darqness?
If straight and/or white people want to come to Darqness, they are welcome to come party, but are asked to remember that they are guests in a space for and centered upon queer and trans people of color. If they insist on centering their whiteness or straightness, they will no longer be welcome.

Find more info on Darqness here.

Tonight in Music: Xome's Improv-Noise is Like an Industrial Disaster in Your Ears

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 2:08 PM

(Re-bar) Sacramento improv-noise dynamo Xome headlines what looks like an intense night of highbrow cacophony and disruptive tone science. On his 2010 album, Separation Anxiety, Xome lets loose erratic jet streams of extremely high and low frequencies that sound like natural and industrial disasters funneled directly into your pitiful earholes. For a while, maybe 15 minutes, this is exhilarating. After that, the foundations of your carefully constructed edifice of “sanity” may start to crumble. Timm Mason plays guitar and bass in Midday Veil and Master Musicians of Bukkake and synth in TJ Max, yet he also finds time to maintain a solo career under his own name and as Mood Organ. His two long compositions on The Lost Levels (Debacle Records) combine drones with what could be rarefied horror-film and sci-fi-flick soundtrack concepts that are too strange for Hollywood. Mason pours a lot of interesting ideas into the disc’s 39 minutes.
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

RIP: Apple iPod™ "Classic"

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I admit I haven't been to Best Buy™ (wait, is Best Buy still open?) in years, and, since I'm a record nerd, I don't keep up with the latest and/or greatest digital music gadgets, but this Flavorwire blog entry from yesterday informs me Apple™ has discontinued its iPod "Classic."

So there was an Apple event yesterday. Didja hear? There was a bit of coverage. Most of it focused on the zippy new iPhone 6...But it also marked the official end of the “iPod Classic”

Obviously, the "Classic" market vanished, or, well, was upgraded out of relevance. Fine, but, um, are ANY iPods used (or even bought) now? Turns out, yes...well, kinda. I don't know anyone who has bought a new iPod, but the iPod users from a certain generation (the oughties) still use them. However, once their iPods, any style, die they won't be replaced thanks to smart phones and streaming. DUH. So, finally, the device which made portable CD players extinct, has now gone extinct. I prolly shouldn't ask, but Slog Out, y'all still iPodin'?

Full disclosure: I was never an iPod owner. In fact, I've used an iPod only TWICE in my life - once while helping run sound at a wedding, but there was a short in the USB cable and the sound cut the fuck out and I almost RUINED the bride's processional (!!), and then once at a "pants off dance off" party. Uh, I was drunk at the party and couldn't figure out how to work the damn "click wheel" thing! Blerg! FYI—I'm way better at playing actual records.

What You Missed at Last Night's Genius Showcase in Music at the Frye

Posted by on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM

ERIK BLOOD AND CHARLES MUDEDE Is your name really Erik Blood? Yes. You didnt invent it? No, my dad did.
  • Kelly O
  • ERIK BLOOD AND CHARLES MUDEDE "Is your name really Erik Blood?" "Yes." "You didn't invent it?" "No, my dad did."

Erik Blood, man. He was the first Genius Award nominee to be interviewed at the Music Showcase at the Frye last night, and he blew the crowd away with his art, his story, and his insane personal grace. Charles Mudede did the honors, asking Blood to paint a portrait of his childhood in Tacoma as the son of a white father and a black mother. They listened to black music almost exclusively, he said—except for his dad: "I love my dad, but he had terrible records. I didn't want to hear Kenny Rogers"—until new wave arrived when his sister was a teenager. And then came hiphop, which "was all I was about for a little while."

Specifically, until he came out at age 15.

When you're in hiphop culture and you come out in the early '90s," Blood said, "you kind of have to get out of hiphop culture. Luckily, Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine were there. That changed my life.”

What's amazing about Blood is that he's a crack producer—for Shabazz Palaces and many others, and musicians love working with him—and he's also a songwriter. Growing up, he played piano, guitar, and had a four-track cassette recorder. He went to the Art Institute in Seattle to study sound production, where he "learned about really expensive things that I'll never have," he said. He learned to do it in a bedroom with one microphone; onstage at the Frye, he turned the mic over in his hands and looked at it. "I can make really good guitar sounds out of this mic," he said.

We heard two clips of Blood's work. One was the soundtrack he wrote for Steven Richter's short film Center of Gravity, shot in São Paulo. If you were in the audience and for some reason your sweetheart was not sitting next to you that night, this movie and song made you positively ache. What if he was already gone and you didn't know it?

Erik Blood - "Tantas Coisas" / "So Many Things" - Official Video from Brian O'Shea on Vimeo.

"You make me wanna dance, and you make me sad," Mudede told Blood.

"All I'm doing is giving you what I hear," Blood said. "I'm giving you back the love letter that you're giving me."

Next up was the marvel of an art project that is Hollow Earth Radio, represented by founders Amber Kai Morgan and Garrett Kelly, who were also outrageously charming. (This does not always happen with Genius nominees, so please don't think I'm just throwing it around.) Hollow Earth started in part because Morgan wanted to expand an experiment she did for about a year with a "Sound Friend" she enlisted on Myspace. They'd call each other and just play a sound, no talking, no getting to know each other. They did this probably 40 times each over the course of the year. Morgan wanted to hook up other people with their own "Sound Friends," to give people a chance to circulate things that were amazing to someone but would never become popular.

HOLLOW EARTH RADIO AND EMILY NOKES They knew it was time to expand into a real space when there was a funk band playing in the attic of their house at 10 am on a Sunday.
  • Kelly O
  • HOLLOW EARTH RADIO AND EMILY NOKES They knew it was time to expand into a real space when there was a funk band playing in the attic of their house at 10 a.m. on a Sunday.

"We're all about strange human encounters," Kelly said, including: the conversations from answering machine tapes from thrift stores, a DJ recording the extraction of his own tooth, a man in prison DJing from the prison pay phone, and a happening that brought 17 bands and 50 performers to play on the light rail between the International District and Sea-Tac Airport one day. You should have seen the faces of the unsuspecting riders.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Seattle's Sinister Torch Label Plans to Reissue a Load of Great Punk- and Hard-Rock Records

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM


Gainsbourg bar owner JJ Wandler and Brandon Bay of Clone Press are starting a record label called Sinister Torch. It will specialize in reissuing obscure punk- and hard-rock releases, and so far the schedule looks ike it will get hardcore fans of these styles salivating. Sinister Torch, whose catalog will be distributed by burgeoning Seattle reissue gods Light in the Attic, has ambitious plans. I interviewed Wandler to find out what his and Bay’s agenda is.

Is this your first excursion in the record business?
It is. I've been friends with the Light in the Attic guys for a long time. I've actually packaged records for them on a couple of their big releases (the PiL record, for one), but never from a record-producing standpoint.

What was the impetus to start a label now, when record sales are, to put it mildly, anemic?
I'm a record collector. I've been collecting records for a very long time. My friend Brandon came to me last year and said he was thinking about starting a reissue label. I thought, “Why not?” I like the way LITA do it, but I'm more of a punk-rock guy, so we were more interested in tracking down some punk-rock rarities. I might already own it, but it's a very expensive punk-rock record that I think other people would benefit from hearing.

Would you say that’s the guiding philosophy behind Sinister Torch?
More or less. I wish we had a mission statement. But the truth is, Brandon and I have really varied tastes, and I don't even know if it will be punk-rock records all the way along. There's a Philip Glass concerto (Concerto for Violin in D Minor, or something like that) I really like that's only ever been on CD; if I could put that out on vinyl, I'd be all over it. [Wandler heard it while on top of mountain in the midst of a bad relationship while working construction. He was loading wood onto a truck in a snowstorm and listening to NPR in central Washington. "Snowflakes were falling and I hated my life and it spoke to me."]

We want to release music that moves us viscerally. Some of it is opportunity. I don't know that the Fluid's first record, Punch and Judy, necessarily moves me this early, but I'm friends with those guys and the talk has been going around for a long time about putting that album out. Jello Biafra has been bugging them to do it, but they actually went with us over Alternative Tentacles, even though we're just a start-up. Which is kind of cool.

It's not just about putting the record out. We don't want to do just a standard record. We're working on doing heavyweight vinyl, thick jackets, getting archival photos and liner notes, and putting together a really nice package. So you're not only getting a rare record, you're getting some background on it.
For our first release, Do You Feel Safe? [out on CD and download Oct. 7] by LA hardcore band SIN 34, fortunately their drummer was David Markey, who directed Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and 1991: The Year Punk Broke. He just did Bob Mould's and the Black Lips' videos most recently. He's really well connected in the music biz. He's been around a long time. He was instrumental in getting Thurston Moore to write a blurb for our release. He knows Tobi Vail, probably because she was dating Kurt at the time they were doing 1991. He helped us to score some great people to do the liner notes for SIN 34.

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Tonight in Music: The Breeders, Sashay, and Dead Leaf Echo

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM


(Showbox at the Market) What if instead of that Pixies song at the end of Fight Club it had been the Breeders playing while buildings exploded around Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter? Yeah, yeah, it was a great song choice. But I can’t help imagining an alternate reality where millennials were introduced to bassist Kim Deal’s other (better) band through the power of a kinda clichéd movie ending. Would there be a whole crew of magical, fuzzed-out slacker-pop bands fronted by twin sisters ruling the world? The group has been blowing minds on and off since 1990, crafting gorgeous gems with sister harmonies that feel like a warm, lavender-scented bath for my brain. Plus, the openers are an all-mermaid surf band who play songs about salt-water-proof mascara. This is going to be the best night ever. ROBIN EDWARDS
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(Chop Suey) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—new (mostly) queer-boy Seattle band Sashay channel all the best fuck-it-all-to-hell live performance stylings of icon-punks the Germs. And tonight (drum roll, bitches!) Sashay are releasing their first-ever recording—a lo-fi cassette called Kate Moss Un-Break My Heart. Some of the songs included on Un-Break are “Gaysted,” “Six-Six-Dix,” and “Drag Queen.” Guitarist Mike-Mike describes these songs to me, in order, as being about: “blacked-out queers,” “the number of boys—six hundred and sixty-six—that I have [supposedly] fucked,” and “drag queens who throw serious SHADE.” Of the song “America’s Next Top Bottom,” Mike-Mike tells me, “This one needs no explanation. Well, not unless you’re one of those people who thinks that show Duck Dynasty is real.” Personally, I hope the “punks versus rednecks” feud never dies—especially when they’re GAY punks. With OX and Sayonara. KELLY O
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DJs Spinning Songs That’ll Make Your Life Complete

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Chicago label Numero Group reissues and contextualizes great, obscure music from soul, gospel, metal, psychedelic folk, and other genres. Its operatives dig deep to unearth gems you never knew existed, but that you can’t live without once you hear them...


Experience Music Genius TONIGHT (and Have a Drink on Us!)

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM


The Frye Art Museum is open after-hours tonight for the The Stranger's Night of Genius in music!

Charles Mudede and I will be hosting a night of music listening, conversation, discussion, and drinking with 2014 music Genius nominees Erik Blood, Amber Kai Morgan and Garrett Kelly, and Industrial Revelation. Each nominee will present their work and answer questions from me, Charles, and the audience. There will also be cocktails and the exhilarating feeling of being let loose in a museum after-hours!

The Genius Night of music is 5:30-8 p.m. After the Frye lets out, if you are still having too much fun, there will be an after-party down the street at Vito's!

Get a ticket right here! There are a few still available right now—but if you click through and they’re gone, then tickets will be issued to standbys in the order of arrival, and you'll still be able to have a drink on us.

And! Reserve your spot at the huge Genius Awards party on October 18 now—it's free, but you do need a reservation!

Dig 20/20's Rap Music Profile From 1981

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

This 20/20 feature on rap music is fucking AWESOME (and by "AWESOME" I mean kinda goofy, but really well intentioned). The feature first aired in 1981 when rap was still mostly an underground street level happening, so the feeling is very outside looking in. However, considering the time, it's not too bad of an uninitiated intro to the world of rap. Also you get to hear 20/20 straight-laced host, Hugh Downs, refer to rap as "marvelous" and "infectious too." Seriously, major thanks to Consequence Of Sound for unearthing this!

It’s an a surreal expose on the then-burgeoning genre, as correspondent Steve Fox approaches rappers, young kids, and others attached to the culture like he’s meeting alien lifeforms.

Oh, and make sure y'all also check out part two. Alirght, HOLD MY CALLS, I've now been inspired to go on a boogie bender through my old 12 inch singles.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tonight in Music: Esmé Patterson and Tobacco

Posted by on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 2:06 PM


(Tractor) The namesakes of Townes Van Zandt's "Loretta" and Dolly Parton's "Jolene" may have had their own bones to pick, but they never got a chance to express them. Until now. Esmé Patterson's Woman to Woman imagines the responses of seven ladies immortalized in song, a clever idea that translates into a breezy little Americana album. With a delicate, warbling voice and pedal steel, the Paper Bird singer fills in details the originals left out—embodying Jolene telling Dolly that she should "never chase a man" and calling out Elvis Costello's subtle slut-shaming of Alison with sassy lines like "I'll take off a dress whenever I want to." Local folk musicians Edmund Wayne, Led to Sea, and Paleo will join the bill alongside the Denver musician's stories of spurned ladies. ROBIN EDWARDS
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The leader of enigmatic Pennsylvania psychedelic band Black Moth Super Rainbow uses the Tobacco alter ego to create more beat-oriented records that sound like Boards of Canada on stronger psilocybin. Still, you can hear BMSR’s trademark synth textures all over the Tobacco records: Think Bernie Worrell’s strident, strutting, and squirting keyboards on “Flash Light,” but fried to an alien frequency. On Tobacco’s first two albums, Fucked Up Friends and Maniac Meat, he twists every tone and tune into slurred, Techicolor™ daymares and mutant funk that could work as backdrops for Venusian rappers. The title “Nuclear Waste Aerobics” sums up the vibe of this phase. His new full-length for Ghostly International, Ultima II Massage, finds Tobacco slightly cleaning up his filthy production, but it still sounds like a magic-mushroom party in your third ear. With Stargazer Lillies and Oscillator Bug. Neumos, 8 pm, $15 adv, 21+. DAVE SEGAL

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

David Bowie's Stunning 3-Song Set on SNL December, 1979

Posted by on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 7:07 AM

I was so stoked David Bowie's 1979 Saturday Night Live performance made the record-nerd rounds once again; the clip is stunning. Uh, and, YES, that IS Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias backing up Bowie!

The three songs they perform are “The Man Who Sold the World” and “TVC 15” off Station To Station and “Boys Keep Swinging” from Lodger.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jazz Beautified by Japanese Traditional Koto Music

Posted by on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Before you go to this show, you should visit It’s filled with wonderful posts about the artist, Chris Kenji Beer, and his aesthetics, which are all about the impermanence of beauty: the falling petals of cherry blossoms, carp in a pond, leaves animated by a breeze, the water flowing over an...


Tonight in Music: Owen Pallett, Scott & Charlene's Wedding and Melted Toys

Posted by on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 2:16 PM


(Neumos) It’s interesting to note the phonetic similarities between Owen Pallett’s surname and the word “polite,” as his compositions (from string arrangements for other bands to film scores and his own orchestral pop) tend toward the elegantly pleasing and inoffensive. His thorniest impulses were embraced on his debut album under his own name, Heartland, a dense collection of strangely angled, baroque indie rock showcasing his skill on violins and keyboards, as well as his everyman vocals and twisted poetry. His collaborative work on Spike Jonze’s Her, with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, represents the safer side of Pallett, a scrubbed-clean soundtrack that came off as a sort of futurist Disney score. Tonight, Pallet will likely draw heavily from recent release, In Conflict, a middle road of sorts between the avant leanings of his solo work and his G-rated collaborations. KYLE FLECK
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Check out Underage's coverage here »


(Barboza) Scott & Charlene’s Wedding might be the best band named after an episode of an Australian soap opera. The New York via Oz band sounds like a cross between scrappy indie-rock melody factory Guided by Voices and the Moles, a defunct ’90s Aussie psych-pop group with a knack for poignant-as-hell tunes. S&CW leader Craig Dermody sings with an expressive flatness, not a million miles from that of Jonathan Richman. Stuff like this can either sound dreadfully pedestrian or surprisingly uplifting. Much of S&CW’s success rides on Dermody making the most of his limited pipes and plucking listeners’ heartstrings with just the right amount of pathos in his lyrics and tunesmithing. When done this well, hard-luck music can really hit those soft spots. DAVE SEGAL
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EMP Pop Conference Seeks Presentations on Musical Transgression and Perversity

Posted by on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 11:53 AM

The theme for 2015's EMP Pop Conference is Get Ur Freak On: Music, Weirdness, and Transgression. You have until Nov. 17 to submit a proposal to organizer Eric Weisbard []. Next year's conference will take place at the EMP Museum April 16-19.

Check out the press release after the jump for further instructions and elaboration.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014



Friday, September 5, 2014











Thursday, September 4, 2014













Wednesday, September 3, 2014



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