Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sean Nelson covering The Posies

Review: Heidi & Nick's Birthday Bash at Sunset

Andy Miracle (aka "Full English Breakfast" on myspace) posted a review of Nick and Heidi's birthday bash in the comments of a previous post here on the blog. I felt like it deserved its own space. So, I'm bumping it here. Great work, Andy. Thanks for the report!

"Heidi and Nick's Birthday Bash" at the Sunset last weekend was incredible.

The Doll Test sounded better than ever (and they’ve always sounded great) with the addition of Nick Millward on guitar and vocals. Unfortunately I arrived late and missed most of their set. They closed with Gasoline and Banks (such a great song) and left the crowd yelling for more.

Next up was an unadvertised but well received performance from a band consisting of Heather Burnett on bass, Jason Toft on drums and Nick's older brother (I can’t recall his name) on guitar and vocals. They weren't bad, played all covers including a cool version of "River Deep, Mountain High".

The Small Change played a really great set despite the fact that guitarist/lead vocalist Greg Collinsworth had had at least one too many drinks before taking the stage. He actually played a whole song with absolutely no sound coming out of his guitar amp. It didn’t really matter though because the band is great and Greg is such a charismatic performer with a great voice and great songs like “Cheating a Cheat”. The highlight of their set was when Ryan Maxwell of Young Sportsmen joined them on guitar for an awesome cover of The Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Police On My Back" by The Clash.

The Riffbrokers were great but they kept their set short. Nick said he was getting tired of playing and wanted to get off and let the Tripwires take over.

The Tripwires where excellent per usual. They seem to really be hitting their stride, tight but at the same time loose in all the right ways. They opened with “Break It All” by Los Shakers (but I’d say the Tripwires pretty much own the song at this point) and proceeded to play a bunch of John Ramberg’s incredible originals including “Monument”, “Arm Twister” and the anthemic “Big Electric Light”. The crowd was very enthusiastic, dancing and shouting out requests that the band seemed happy to oblige. They played “She’s a Mod” after which John and Jim pontificated on whether or not one could be both balding and a mod, “One Note Joe” featuring an awesome one note guitar solo by Johnny Sangster, “Crawling from the Wreckage” and an NRBQ song, I think it was “It Comes to Me Naturally” but I can’t remember for sure.

John announced that their record will finally be coming out in November on Paisley Pop Records and that they will be playing a record release show at the Tractor on November 9th with The Young Fresh Fellows!

The night ended with Scott Sutherland joining the band for an impromptu rock ‘n’ roll version of “Happy Birthday” played in the key of A. Good times rock ‘n’ roll.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Funny: Tetris

I don't understand a word of it. But, it made me laugh.

Happy Birthday, Jon Auer!

Jon's wife Michelle just posted to the Dear 23 list that not only is Jon playing tomorrow night (at Chop Suey, part of the "Awesome" cd release show), but that it is also his birthday. So, head on out and sing him a round of Happy Birthday.

The Blakes and Shake Some Action free today

If you're anywhere near the U District, a new block party type event called AVEventure 2007 is happening today with music and so forth. The line up features a lot of world music and raggae. But, both The Blakes and Shake Some Action are on the bill.

The whole shebang is free. Shake Some Action is on the 41st Ave stage at 4pm. The Blakes are at the 43rd Ave stage at 7pm.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Iceage Cobra loses bassist

This just came to me via a press release:

Seattle rock purists Iceage Cobra - Jordan West (guitar/vocals), Brad Kaufman (bass/vocals), Metch Brasch (drums/vocals) - released their debut full-length, "Brilliant Ideas from Amazing People" (Heavy Soul Records) earlier this year, and have toured relentlessly since the album's release.

The band had a West Coast/Midwest tour booked for October and November. However, due to the departure of bass player Brad Kaufman, who has left Iceage Cobra for personal reasons, the band has been forced to cancel the second half of their West Coast dates and their Midwest dates. The first five dates of the West Coast tour, however, are still happening as planned. Joe Reineke, former lead singer/guitarist of The Meices/Alien Crime Syndicate, will be filling in on bass for these five shows. After the tour, the band will be auditioning new bass players.

Iceage Cobra are known in and around Seattle for being rock purists. Always growing tighter as a band with each show, these guys are sure to inspire fist-pumpin' and drink-spillin' all over the place. And with "Brilliant Ideas from Amazing People", their debut full-length, released on Seattle-indie Heavy Soul Records, they plan to extend their reach and get people all over the U.S. talking up their ferocious, sweaty brand of rock.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Boycrush becomes Quadrillion

I got a note from the band formerly known as Boycrush. They are now known as Quadrillion. They didn't really tell me why the name change happened, or why they picked Quadrillion. Personally, the name Quadrillion reminds me a bit too much of another band.

But, in order to really learn what it means or what it's all about, you can simply ask them at their show at the Monkey Pub (5305 Roosevelt Way NE) on Saturday night.

Shows for the rest of the week

Funny thing about going on a vacation that ends on Tuesday -- your first day back at work is already hump day! Sweet. But, that does mean that a few days of rock this week have already gone by. Here are some shows to consider for the rest of the week.

Thursday, Sept 26
Shake the Shack anniversary show at the Tractor -- I know rockabilly isn't powerpop. But, who can argue that such music laid the foundation for powerpop (and all other forms, really). So, support your local twang.

Friday, Sept 27
Shake the Shack anniversary show at the Tractor continues

The Femurs at the Sneakery (anyone know what this venue is?)

Saturday, Sept 28
Shake the Shack anniversary show at the Tractor continues for a third night

Arctic Monkeys and Voxtrot at WaMu Theater

Awesome, Sean Nelson, Jon Auer and others at Chop Suey

Sunday, Sept 29

Ghosts & Liars at Chop Suey

Blogging is back

Hi, all. I'm back from vacation and have jumped head first into the beginning of Autumn Quarter here at work. So, I'm going to try to do some blogging tonight about a variety of topics. Anything fun happen while I was gone?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blog on week's hiatus

I'm headed back to the South to visit some family and such. So, blogging will cease for a week. I'll be back on September 25. So, hopefully nothing good happens between now and then (he says, sarcastically, knowing that this weekend has a ton of great shows).

So, have fun this week and don't break anything while I'm away.

Kurt Haggardorn video

My pal Kurt just put some video of a live performance up on You Tube. Kurt is very much in the recently dubbed "popicana" genre.

Shows for week of 9/17

I'm going to be gone for the next week (Tuesday to Tuesday). So, I won't get to take in any of these great shows. But, you should. And you should take pictures. And you should send me those pictures for the blog.

Friday is total gridlock. So, divide and conquer, people. I expect a report on my desk first thing on Monday. :)

Thursday, September 20
Shim at the Sunset Tavern

Flaming Lips at Showbox

Friday, September 21
Curtains For You at the High Dive

Magic Christian (featuring members of Flamin' Groovies, Blondie, and Plimsouls) at the Comet Tavern

Imperial Teen at the Crocodile Cafe

The Tripwires, The Riffbrokers, The Small Change and The Doll Test at the Sunset Tavern(do I even have to tell you how much it breaks my heart that I'm out of town for this show?)

Saturday, September 22

Fremont Oktoberfest featuring Young Sportsmen, Thee Emergency, Slender Means, Speaker Speaker, and lots more.

Guster at Showbox

Just to pass the time

I've got a super busy day at work today. So, since blogging will be slow to none, be amused by this squirrel obstacle course.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Pornographers video

The New Pornographers are in town tonight. Here's some video of their recent appearance on Letterman.

Seattle Powerpop Radio - 7th playlist added

I've just updated the Seattle Powerpop Radio widgets that you see over to the right there. A seventh playlist has been added. But, it was getting crowded. So, I removed the first several to keep it from looking cluttered.

This latest playlist includes the following tracks:

Young Fresh Fellows - "Rock and Roll Pest Control"
The Color Bars - "Dog Out of Water"
Brides of Obscurity - "Instant Happiness"
Steve Pearson and British Racing Green - "Complicated"
The Posies - "I May Hate You Sometimes"

Click, listen and enjoy!

Friday Funny: Homer laughs at Seattle

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Color Bars are genius

Alright... I realize the title of this blog post is a bit hyperbolic. But, I've been sitting on The Color Bars' new release Kairos At Infinity for nearly a week now, trying to figure out how to review it, and I'm just stumped. It's really good. But, it's so crazy that even taking it all in is a challenge.

Don't get me wrong. It's super easy to enjoy each of these songs as they whiz, whirl, and swirl past me at each listen. They're all catchy and fun. It's just that anytime I've tried to get a 10,000 foot view of it for a review, I have struggled.

The one sentence that I have used a few times to describe the record to people is: This is what it might sound like if Matthew Sweet and The Beach Boys got high and went nuts in a Hello Kitty store.

So, let me try to slog through something more detailed and coherent to say here...

.... okay, I just sat silently without typing for five minutes. Obviously, I'm having a hard time being coherent.

Let me try again. I'll start with the lyrics, which are sublimely brilliant. They're evocative and surprising and psychedelic, while giving an acute perspective on whatever subject they're addressing in a given song. But, perhaps even more than the lyrics, what jumps out at me is how they're delivered. In truth, I have no idea what they're singing about 90 percent of the time. But, they are delivered with such a longing that they tug at my heart even when they're singing in Japanese (the very Matthew Sweet-esque "Ja Mata Shibuya") or about Dairy Queen (the falsetto disco pop of "Nepenthe Powered Tart").

With Kairos At Infinity The Colors Bars give us a post-modern, helium-driven ride through both pop history and pop future. Sometimes loping, sometimes danceable, sometimes driving and always poppy, the record is simultaneously confounding and irresistible. I can see everyone from the most jaded hipster to the most impressionable teenager to the most sophisticated listener enjoying this record.

Either that, or it will be completely missed by all parties, and if that happens it will be a shame, because they really do have their creative genius flowing on this record.

Rock The Vote widget added

Rock The Vote is an organization that I've thought had its heart in the right place for nearly 20 years. So, when I saw that they now have a system that allows bloggers to place a voter registration widget on their pages, I jumped at it.

Of course, this isn't' a political blog, and while I have strongly held political positions, I don't share them here. But, having more people participating in the political process, irrespective of their beliefs, is a good thing.

So, if you're not currently a registered voter, click on that little graphic there on the right and you will officially be registered to vote. So, if some chump tries to, say, make life difficult for clubs around town, you'll be able to vote against that person when given the opportunity. :)

[blogger update: The widget is buggin' out. So, I've removed it for now until I can figure out why it's behaving funny. So, for now, just visit their website.]

[blogger update #2: The widget is back. Hopefully it behaves this time. :)]

Young Sportsmen tonight (9/13)

The Young Sportsmen are playing at the Sunset Tavern tonight (Thursday, Sept 13) with Psuedosix out of Portland and someone called Night Life, who have an absolutely ungoogleable name.

The YS guys are still out promoting their recently released "Death To Palaces" CD, which is nearly flawless in its execution of truly powerful pop. If you don't have it yet you're really missing out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lund Bros on the radio

Tonight at 10pm the Lund Bros will be making an appearance on the Kevin McDonald show on KKNW, which seems to normally be an AM talk radio station. But, hey, one takes exposure where they can get it. It looks like Mr. McDonald has had the Lonely H and others on in the past. So, seems like a cool thing.

You can listen live via the station's website.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pattin' myself on the back

I was just looking some stuff up on, and I feel quite proud to have been the first person to ever play The Tripwires on KEXP. If you haven't seen it, the site allows you to search the KEXP playlists by band and timeframe.

Here are the searches for the last month of the bands that I was able to play on Audioasis:

The Small Change
Young Sportsmen
The Boss Martians
The Pranks
The Tripwires
The Green Pajamas
The Color Bars

My set was the first spin of the month for all of these folks except for The Color Bars (one other play in the last 30 days), and the Young Sportsmen, whose new disc has thankfully been getting some play! I'm really happy to have been able to get some of these folks on the air.

Okay, that's enough patting myself on the back. I hope my little visit there spurs some of the DJs to play more of them!

Shows for week of 9/10

Rock. Go.

Tuesday, September 11
Dino Jr & Band of Horses at Neumos

Thursday, September 13
Bang The Mantra at Rendezvous

The Radio 8 Ball Show featuring Jon Auer at Cap Hill Arts Center

Friday, September 14
The Lonely H, Model Photographer, Don't Tell Sophie at VERA

New Pornographers at Showbox

The Femurs and The Greatest Hits at the Sunset Tavern

Saturday, September 15
New Pornographers at Showbox

Jennifer Gentle, Llama and Paul Lynde Fanclub at the Sunset Tavern

Presidents of the United States of America at Town Hall (11am and 1:30pm)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My KEXP experience

I just got home from my stint on KEXP's Audioasis. I'd like to send a big ol' shout out to Sharlese, who invited me to come on and spin some songs and talk music. I had fun on the show, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I didn't get to play as many tracks as I had hoped, and I prepared for way more than I knew I'd have time for. I had 14 songs ready to roll, and I ended up playing seven. Here's the set:

The Small Change - "Downtown in a Restaurant"
Young Sportsmen - "Her Independent Feature"
The Boss Martians - "Oh, Angela"
The Pranks - "Modern Communication"
The Tripwires - "I Hear This Music"
The Green Pajamas - "She Turns Me On"
The Color Bars - "Id Incinerator"

If I had another half hour, I would have played tracks by Lund Bros, Model Photographer, The Capillaries, Steve Pearson and British Racing Green, Curtains For You, Tiny Volcano and Sorry. Maybe next time!

You can hear my time on the show via their website. Just go to the Streaming Archive and search for date and time - Sept 8, 7:00pm. It's not there as I'm posting this. But, I imagine it will be relatively soon.

Reminder: SPB on KEXP tonight

I wanted to stick a reminder up that I'll be the guest on KEXP's Audioasis tonight at 7pm. I'm not sure exactly how many songs I'm going to get to play, as we've got a half-hour slated for an interview and playing tunes. But, in any case, tune in or listen online and see if I can avoid making a fool of myself.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Moving up in the world

I was having a tasty double burger at A Burger Place on the Ave a moment ago, and I was reading The Stranger. As I flipped to the music section, I noticed they have an article on Seattle music blogs, with the subtitle of "The Best Seattle Music Blogs You Might Not Know."

"Oh cool," I thought to myself. "I wonder if SPB got a mention." In fact, it did! But, not in the way I expected. Apparently SPB has moved up in the world. While I still think of this thing as an upstart, a newbie, still struggling for readership, The Stranger thinks differently.

We've steered clear of widely read long-runners like Three Imaginary Girls and Seattle Powerpop, and we know we haven't hit every one worth mentioning.

Turns out that I'm both widely read and a long-runner! That's awesome! Maybe my site meter is broken or something. :) I'm being snarky. But, thanks to The Stranger for mentioning SPB. It's cool to think that after just a bit more than a year I can be grouped with the incredible TIG as a mover and shaker in the world of Seattle music online stuff.

The Friday Funny

This is from 2006. So, you may have seen most of it already. But, I find Chris Rock quite funny. Here he's riffing on rap music.

And, I'm assuming there are no kids reading this blog. So, if you are, say, eight years old, or you faint when hearing curse words, perhaps you shouldn't hit the play button.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Curtains For You and others on Saturday

Hat tip to another anonymous poster who told me that Curtains For You, C'mon C'mon and Love Lights are at the Sunset Tavern on Saturday. Seems like a solid show.

I've written about Curtains For You a bunch. So, hopefully you're on board with them already. C'mon C'mon has a video up for you to check out (see below).

And it turns out that The Love Lights, who are from Bellingham, will be on Audioasis this Saturday after I spin a set. So, you can get a sneak preview of their live show by tuning in. I dig what I'm hearing on their myspace page.

Here's that C'mon C'mon video. It's kind of rough (guitar needs tuning, druming is a bit shaky), but it's pretty darn catchy.

Free Slender Means show tonight

Hat tip to the anonymous comment in the shows for the week post for this one.

Slender Means is playing a free show at the Seattle Art Museum tonight (Thursday, 9/6) at 7pm. [blogger update: While the show is technically free, you still have to pay a Museum entrance fee] It'll probably look something like this:

Another note: They have made their song "Fade Out" downloadable from their myspace page now.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

SPB on KEXP's Audioasis this Saturday

I've been invited to be a guest on KEXP's Audioasis program this Saturday, September 8. I'll be on from 7pm until 7:30pm, and they're letting me spin any band I so desire. Pretty cool, huh?

I'll be talking about local music and playing some cool stuff, likely including unreleased tracks by The Small Change and The Tripwires, as well as new stuff by The Color Bars, Young Sportsmen, British Racing Green and others.

So, tune in or listen online to hear me spreadin' the Seattle powerpop love.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

IndiePages on myspace

I just got a myspace friend request from IndiePages, which made me realize I hadn't included them in my links over there to the right. So, I've added them to my links, and accepted them as myspace friends. Welcome to 2004. ;)

That bit of snark makes me a....

Shows for week of 9/4

September, September, September. How did you arrive so quickly? Did you catch an earlier flight or something? I wasn't expecting you for a while. But, here you are! As if on cue, it was rainy and gray this morning. Is it fall already?

And if that isn't bad enough, wait, what's this? Are there literally no powerpop shows happening this week? This might be a first since I started the blog. Anyone? What am I missing?

Monday, September 03, 2007

My solitary Bumbershoot photo

This photo of about half the crowd was taken from the stage about two-thirds the way through the set by Shake Some Action! I love how I told the audience I was shooting a photo of them and most of them actually looked at the camera and smiled. Sweet! :)

If anyone out there has other photos they'd like to send my way for the blog, just shoot me an email.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

TIG Bumbershoot reports

Since I'm not taking in Bumbershoot, allow me to refer you to the coverage being provided by Three Imaginary Girls. They already have articles and photos of Crowded House, The Lashes and others.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Very interesting (and early) show announcement

How's this for an interesting show: September 21 at the Comet Tavern, Magic Christian, featuring Cyril Jordan (of the Flamin' Groovies), Eddie Munoz (of the Plimsouls), Clem Burke (of Blondie), Paul Kopf (of... I'm not sure, actually).

I'm a rabid Flamin' Groovies fan. So, that's quite exciting news. Here are a few mp3s of Magic Christian for ya. Sounds very Stones/Faces.

Too Close To Zero

Till I Looked Into Her Eyes

Visqueen video & show tonight

Visqueen is playing the High Dive tonight as part of KEXP's audioasis. In fact, they've already done the early show and will be doing the late show in a few hours. So, you should head down there.

As a bonus, here's their video of "Crush On Radio."

Look what just arrived!

I checked my mail today to find the new Color Bars cd. I'm ridiculously excited to talk to y'all about it. So, expect a full report and review and more info soon.

Between the Young Sportsmen and The Colors Bars releases, August was hot for Seattle powerpop music.

Seattle Nightlife regulations update

I've been vaguely following the ongoing development of these new Seattle Nightlife regulations/restrictions. That's been harder in recent weeks, because the SNMA hasn't updated their website since August, and I was (albeit lazily) relying on them for info.

But, someone over on the ForceWeb forums just posted a link with some official city gibberish updates. You can read those updates here.

According to that site, here are the things that have been put into place as of now:

The Council’s package has four main elements: 1) A new nightlife enforcement unit that could issue fines and respond to neighborhood resident complaints; 2) the strengthening of the City’s existing nuisance code; 3) a new requirement that large nightclubs prepare a safety plan; and 4) legislation requesting that the Mayor’s staff research and report back to Council with recommendations concerning club security staff training, zoning, promoter licensing, and new enforcement authority held by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

The devil is no doubt in the details, though, especially with number two on that list.

That site also contains a variety of links to ordinances and resolutions that will be considered in September. But, I've got to admit, I'm such a skeptic of governments' intentions that a line like this one is scary to me:

In September, the Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee will also consider “smartening” Seattle noise code as it applies to clubs at a future meeting.

What the hell is "smartening?" Sounds like code to me.