Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New video from The Lashes

The Lashes have put out a new video for the song "There Goes The Neighborhood." It's on You Tube, and you can see it here:

And here's a completely unrelated video from a 1991 Arsenio Hall performance by Body Count that shares only the song title. :)

p.s. man, Body Count was weak. It's funny now to look back on all the "Cop Killer" hub bub and realize how much distraction politics was at work.

KEXP pledge drive

Just a note to all that KEXP is holding its winter 2007 pledge drive. Head over to their website to donate funds. They do good work.

I would ask why the winter pledge drive is going on when tomorrow is the first day of march. But, the yard full of snow I have right now probably is enough of an answer. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Really freaking late mp3

It wasn't Monday morning, it wasn't even Tuesday morning this week. Nope, this week it's the Tuesday Evening mp3. That's not as catchy as "Monday morning mp3," but it will have to do.

So, here's a great song by Kurt Hagardorn, out of Portland. Kurt is going to be opening the next SPB Powerpop night, which is March 10 at the Mars Bar. He's got this great roots pop thing happening that seems equally influenced by the Beatles, the Everly Brothers and some of the modern-day folks like The Jayhawks (with perhaps a bit of 1990s indie pop a la Portastatic thrown in for good measure).

The song I'm linking here is called "It's Okay, It's Alright," and it's a more delicate number. Altogether pleasant, while still aching with sadness and ending with an unexpected layer of guitar feedback.

You should pick up his record, titled Ten Singles, because it's really chock full of tunesmithy goodness.

New West Motels interview

The good fellows of New West Motels have a show tomorrow night (2/28) at The Crocodile with Lions in the Street and Brides of Obscurity. I interviewed Rob from NWM via myspace messages.

1. How do you think others would describe New West Motels, and is that the same or different than you'd like to think of yourselves?

In Seattle it seems like if you focus on the vocals, and play rock, you automatically get compared to 3 bands-- Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and/or Death Cab For Cutie... which is completely flattering, but honestly I think, like all those bands, we have our own sound.

If I could choose who to be compared to, it'd probably be Sparklehorse, or Snow Patrol, or Travis, maybe Low, or Reindeer Section, though they're not actually a "band" per se (Scottish "supergroup" featuring members of Snow Patrol, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, Belle & Sebastian)... And, okay fine, I'll admit it-- Built to Spill... *laughs*

2. Who are your favorite Seattle bands and why?

I like a pretty wide variety of stuff, but it's almost always vocal-based and full of great hooks (that's my definition of "pop music", I suppose)... I like songs more than bands, per se, but maybe-- Central Services just made a great record, I really like the new Friday Mile... I think Karen Pernick is amazing, if you haven't heard her... Tullycraft, the Minus Five, Mountain Con, the Long Winters, Slender Means... I grew up listening to my older brother and sister's record collection, stuff like America, Simon & Garfunkel, Supertramp, Tom Petty, so I tend to like music that you can sing along to the first time you hear it...

3. What are your feelings about the state of pop music in the Northwest and Seattle in particular?

I think people are getting a little bored of the whole angular, jagged-edged, staccato beat, "hey let's sound like The Jam" thing that's been going on the past few years (which only annoys me because I LOVE The Jam)... but if you think about it, the top bands the past couple years in Seattle-- a year later-- they're nowhere to be found... It was style over substance for awhile... It's hard to constantly be playing "the new sound" and even harder to keep the people who like it interested... I used to joke that there are 4000 amazing bands in Seattle, and maybe 10 good songwriters... But it was TRUE for a long time...

And now, suddenly, there are a bunch of great pop bands making waves in town, sort of circling like sharks below the radar, waiting to get their chance in the clubs... which hopefully the clubs figure out, 'cause all these bands are playing the type of music that appeals to a wider audience than just other bands and the hardcore indie kids in town... Seattle is unique in that way, when you travel to other cities... It isn't acceptable to be in a band here that the average joe on the street would like... Which is sad, 'cause it's THOSE people who really need music most... the ones with the shitty everyday lives who need a break from it and are counting on you to provide it for them... The part of music that makes it "pop"-- as in popular. People want to relate to what you're saying, not just be impressed by "I haven't heard/seen that before"... And until recently that wasn't happening in Seattle...

I think the major sign that the pop tide is turning is that some great pop bands from years gone by are getting back in the pool-- like Sister Psychic, and Peter Parker. It's finally safe to be "pop" in Seattle. Thanks to Death Cab and Modest Mouse, who were somehow able to straddle the line between indie and popular, and break the mold.

4. If you could be the opening act for any band, any time period, who would that be and why?

Easy, The Who during "Sell-Out"-- best pop album by a rock band ever... the harmonies, the guitars, the picturesque lyrics, the hilarious advertisements between songs... Although, since I wouldn't actually be alive for that one, 2nd choice might be Wilco during their "Being There" days... Another great pop record written by a rock band... Of course, the liquor tab for either of those tours would be astonomical!

5. What's the latest news from you guys and what's on the horizon?

The last couple months have been crazy really, we finished recording the majority of our debut record outside Manchester, England in December, little place called APE Studios... GREAT studio, great people, great little town overlooking Wales... Got picked up by a production/management group called The Dexa Cult (based out of London)... literally in the last two weeks have had 3 labels pop up on the radar asking about us... We're suddenly worrying about all the little stuff that gets a little overwhelming, like lawyers, band agreements, tour offers, press, etc. We're headed down to play a showcase at SXSW.

Meanwhile, finishing up the vocals and overdubs for the record, when we can fit it in, so it can actually come out. Playing shows when we can fit 'em in. It's fun, though. It's all the stuff you'd WANT to be happening, so we're pretty excited about it. For now, we'll just finish the record and see what happens. We're letting the music do the talking for us.

6. What's something people don't know about New West Motels?

In England, our bassplayer Doran is practically a celebrity, because his Great Uncle was Cliff "Boy" Bastin, who played football (soccer) for Arsenal back in the '30s and '40s. He was the all-time leading scorer for Arsenal all the way up until the 1990s.

Mat, our drummer, almost died a couple years ago from an infection he got when he cut his hand on his snare drum. He lost all the skin halfway up the inside of his left arm. Very scary moment. Then he had a secondary infection flare up this past October, but insisted on playing drums immediately after getting released from the hospital-- we have pictures of him playing Emo's in Austin hooked up to an IV-- no lie!!!

(Blogger's note: I'm working on getting a copy of the photo of Mat playing with an IV in his arm)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Shake Some Action on Radio 8 Ball (2/27)

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, 2/27) Shake Some Action will be performing live on KAOS' Radio 8 Ball program at 7pm. KAOS is out of Olympia, but you can listen online via their website, as well.

If you're not familiar with the Radio 8 Ball program, check my past blogs or see their myspace page.

Shows for week of 2/26

Here's how you should spend your evenings this week:

Monday, 2/26
Sirens Sister with several bands that I don't know about at Chop Suey

Tuesday, 2/27
Snow Patrol, OkGo and Silversun Pickups at Key Arena. A rare arena show that has three bands that I actually like!

Wednesday, 2/28
New West Motels, Lions in the Street, Brides of Obscurity and Driving the Eights at The Crocodile

Friday, 3/2
Parliament freaking Funkadelic at Showbox
Boy Crush and The Happy Ending at Cafe Venus & Mars Bar
The Hot Rollers, Sgt. Major and Tennis Pro at The Sunset Tavern

Saturday, 3/3
Awesome, Central Services, C'mon C'mon and The Shee Bee Gees at the Sunset Tavern

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

The Monday Morning Powerpop mp3 will be posted.... on Tuesday morning.

Like a goober, I forgot to upload the song last night. So, I'll do it tonight and post it tomorrow. oopsie.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cantona, Shortand For Epic & Hot Toddies photos

I took in the Nada Mucho show down at The Comet last night. I was totally low on energy all night, and came close to leaving three times before I actually headed out the door halfway through the Hot Toddies set.

The first band was already playing when I arrived. I don't even know their name, to be honest. The guitar player had some pretty good song ideas and a strong voice, but the rhythm section was pretty pedestrian. I actually felt sorry for them at one point, because the crowd was not particularly patient nor welcoming, and at one point someone yelled "you f#@king suck." That's harsh for someone to hear regardless of how "ready-for-stage" they may or may not be.

Up next was Cantona, who I've only managed to see once previous (at one of last year's Studio 66. I enjoyed them quite a bit last fall. Tonight they were short one member -- the bass player, who was stuck in New York. A show like this makes you realize how much the bass guitar is needed. I'm not talking about a group like The White Stripes or locals The Snakebites, where there is a purposeful absence of bass. Rather, when a group normally has bass (and has all their songs prepared thusly) is all of a sudden lacking in that department, it's obvious. Cantona did as well as could be expected under the circumstances. But, even as a fan, it was lacking.

Cantona - Leslie Beattie

Shorthand For Epic came on next. But, before I talk about their show, I want to get a chuckle at either Brooke's or my expense.. not sure which. I was leaning against the wall under the big neon "C" next to the stage as she brought her keyboard stuff into the room. As she walked past me, I said in a fake, deep voice, "hey lady." Well, she proceeded to stick her keyboard stand into my sternum, thinking I was some random lame dude.

In fact I was a specific lame dude. But, funny that she didn't recognize until they were almost playing their show that it was me, at which point she walked off stage and came over to apologize and say a real hello. It was a funny moment. But, note to self, be less convincing as the creepy deep voiced guy. :)

Anyway, once they started up, they rocked the house. They've always been good, but I think they've been practicing, as they were as tight as I've ever seen them. Stormi rocks the drums... she's a little loose at times, but is 100% going for it at all times, which I love. They provided the most rocking set of the night. I was going to say if I have any complaints about SfE it's that their songs are too long, but if you have the word "epic" in your band name, I suppose that's to be expected.

Shorthand for Epic - Larry and Brooke, laughing as a song ends

Shorthand For Epic - Billy from down low

Shorthand For Epic - Billy from up high

Closing out the night were the Hot Toddies from California. They have obviously made a splash here in town by having a song called Seattle (in addition, of course, to just being catchy and good), which contains the lyric "I get so horny when I'm in Seattle." The crowd went nuts when they played it (smartly done 2nd in the set to avoid some of the less cool folks [read, jerkwads] in the crowd from starting to call for it). The crowd felt a little icky at times, like a bunch of dudes hooting and hollering at cute girls.

Of course, in this instance, the cute girls are on stage and playing bouncy and fun pop tunes that are thoroughly modern in their lyrical content but backed by 60 pop melodies. I don't know if the Shangri Las ever envisioned singing something along the lines of "w w w, sha la la la, dot com." But, there it was. Cute, campy, catchy, and I was done after 6 songs because it was late on a friday and I suck.

The Hot Toddies - Jessica

The Hot Toddies - Sylvia

Friday, February 23, 2007

Boss Martians w/The Stooges in Seattle

I just got word via a myspace bulletin that The Boss Martians are slated to open for Iggy and the Stooges on their Seattle date. Rock on, guys. I don't know who else might be on the bill.

Here are the details:

WaMu Theatre
800 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98134
Friday, April 27th -- 8:00PM

Obviously that's a ways off. But, according to the venue website, tickets are on sale starting tomorrow (2/24). So, heads up.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

March 10 SPB Powerpop Night annoucment

It's time to make the formal annoucment about the next SPB Powerpop Night. Here are the details:

Saturday, March 10
Mars Bar & Club Venus
SPB Powerpop Night featuring

The Riffbrokers
Kurt Hagardorn

I'll have the formal graphic up soon. It's a ripoff/tribute to Andy Warhol. :)

The Hot Toddies, Shorthand For Epic, Cantona...

The Hot Toddies, from California, have a tune called "Seattle" in which they declare "I get so horny when I'm in Seattle." I suppose you now have the opportunity to put that to the test. They're going to be live on KEXP tomorrow (Friday, 2/23), and then will be at The Comet Tavern that night with a great line up.

The show is presented by Nada Mucho. This is a solid pop show, my friends. Make your plans now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Live365 Stations

I often listen to Live365 while at work. So, I thought it might be helpful to share some links to stations that do good stuff, and perhaps also have a Seattle connection.

D23 Powerpop Plus - out of Seattle, and presumably named after The Posies tune "Dear 23." This is always a good listen. It doesn't seem to get updated very often in recent times (most recent update was November, 2006). But, it's full of great tunes of the powerpop variety.

Shake Some Action radio - out of Seattle and programmed by James Hall of Shake Some Action and The Jeunes. James has dipped into his collection and put together some great hours of music. I'm not sure how long it goes before repeating. But, what's here rocks.

Power Pop Of The Gods - out of Seattle. I haven't listened much here. I just found this one today. The programmer seems to be pretty open on the content front, with artists ranging from Sugarcult, The Kinks, Athaneum, Zeppelin and others out both in and outside the powerpop field.

Jet City Radio - out of Seattle, and focusing primarily on "oldies" from the 60s and 70s.

Powerpop Radio - out of Georgia. Good programming, and a good place to go to hear many of the "core groups" of the powerpop world.

Popbang Radio - out of Minnesota. Like Powerpop Radio above, but going deeper into lesser known acts and newer releases.

VERA ribbon cutting

I found this on the Stranger's Line Out blog. Congrats to VERA on getting the doors opened!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shows for week of 2/20

Here are some shows to have on your radar this week:

Tuesday, 2/20
The Shins & Viva Voce at the Paramount Theater

Wednesday, 2/21
The Thermals and Speaker Speaker at Chop Suey

Thursday, 2/22
Patience Please, The Glasses and others at the Jules Maes Saloon

Friday, 2/23
The Blasters and the All American Playboys at The Tractor Tavern

Shorthand for Epic, Cantona and others at The Comet Tavern

Aqueduct is doing an in-store at Easy Street at 7pm, also

Saturday, 2/24
Paul Lynde Fanclub, The Fucking Eagles, and The Tripwires at The Rendezvous

Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

It's just barely still Monday morning (11:55am). So, I'm getting this in under the wire. It will, however, definitely be afternoon by the time you finish listening to this, because it's a nearly 14-minute long live medley by The Posies.

It's rugged and rough and perhaps a little drunk. But, totally fun.

(and I doubt I have any easily offended readers, but if you are, you might not listen to the lyrics too closely....)

Central Services' recordings for kids

I've always liked the guys in Central Services. They're like regular ol' dudes who happen to play great music. But, as much as I've liked them in the past, they just jumped up another notch in my eyes by putting together a set of songs for kids via a new myspace page that they have called Central Services Division of Educational Outreach. No doubt this is what happens with rock dudes have children... but perhaps while still a little high.

It's all quite silly and cool.

Their blog post about it says:

These songs probe the depths of loneliness in the common tomato, explain how fun the coming ice age will be, point out the deplorable treatment of your elbow, and highlight the usefulness of commas, and of course, the danger of their overuse.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Red Sky v. New West Motels

As previously reported New West Motels annouced a name change at the Global Cooling Benefit. But, rumor mill has it that such a name change has been put on hold because all of a sudden they find themselves fielding phone calls from record industry types who have taken a shine to the new recordings over at their myspace page (listen to "Dandelions").

Personally, I always loved the name New West Motels. So, this does not break my heart at all. What does break my heart is a diggety-damn awesome show is taking place a few weeks from now... on a Wednesday. Don't clubs realize I've got an early alarm clock for work? :)

Such is the way of the world. But, this is a line up that will be worth missing a few hours of sleep. It's at the Croc on February 28 and features:

[edited to remove one of the bands, who, for weird legal reasons with former management, asked me not to mention them at this point... but they rock]
New West Motels
The Brides of Obscurity
Driving the Eights

Rock! Mark your calendar now.

Rob from New West Motels

New TIG podcasts

The shiny, happy ladies over at Three Imaginary Girls have posted three new podcasts with some great stuff on them. Groups featured over the three podcasts include:

Friday Mile
The Femurs
The Long Winters
Shake Some Action
Central Services

and a lot more. So, head on over and take a listen.

TIG - photo by William Anthony

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Duran Duran night tonight (& video)

Tonight (Valentine's Day, smooches) The Crocodile is hosting Duran Duran cover night featuring a ton of cool bands, including:


All I can say is I'd better see some dancing on stage that has the same quality as that found here:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Friday Mile: Love & Gasoline review

Friday Mile has a new recording coming out soon (Feb 20 to be exact) titled Love & Gasoline. If they were on top of things, they'd arrange a tour with The Doll Test, who named their 2006 ep Gasoline & Banks. :) But, I digress.

Jace was kind enough to send me a copy of the new release, which checks in with six new tracks. I've listened to it probably a half-dozen times since receiving it late last week, and I've got to say there isn't a clunker in the bunch. In fact, I can already see this being on a number of Top EPs of 2007 lists 10 months from now. It displays their mastery of melody while bringing to light a series of influences ranging from Americana sounds to 1970s AM radio pop.

Here's a song-by-song run down as I listen to the disc.

Track 1 - Distance Is Danger
This track is unique among the songs on the disc for a few reasons. First, it's the most uptempo of the bunch, and that's not particularly difficult since most of them are slower numbers. Second, it's also the only tune on the e.p. with a minor-chord progression that sounds vaguely "menacing" rather than aching or longing. This couples nicely with the lyrical content, in which the main character says "we should have it out right now" with "little miss laceration" who is "cutting up my words."

Track 2 - Curtain Call
Jace and Hannah trade lead vocals on this slow churning, heart-wrenching tune. This song features the "aching and longing" mentioned in the previous song in both the lyrical content and the melody. "I love you, but you've already made up your mind. So, sorry but I've wasted enough of your time." they sing in a sweet harmony. This song reminds me of the group Mysteries of Life, which features Freda from The Blake Babies and Jake from Antenna (although you can't hear the similarities on their myspace page). I never quite got why Friday Mile tends to say they have R&B influences, but I hear it in Hannah's voice here.

Track 3 - Islands Abound
Within 10 seconds of this song being on, I thought of REM. It was only after my second listen that I realized the opening phrase of the main melody of this tune is nearly identical to part of the "South Central Rain" melody. In fact, there are REM touchstones throughout this song, and that's not a bad thing. In fact, that's not to say that the song is even derivative. We'll just say that it "harkens" in that direction.

Track 4 - Battlescars
Track four opens with a waltz beat, and I initially thought it was going to sound like Elliot Smith, who used the waltz beat so effectively. But, that comparison washes away as soon as the song kicks in. This song emphasizes the rootsy side of Friday Mile and sounds familiar in the same way that all great pop songs do. It's like they grabbed a sheet of paper, made a list of all the important pieces of our collective musical memory, balled that piece of paper up and tossed it into our laps on the way out the door.

Track 5 - Three Years
This one finds Friday Mile in full ballad mode. Imagine the credits rolling on a romantic movie. The screen is black, the text is white, and this song is playing in the background. But, I don't mean that in a cheesy way. The song is earnest and heart-felt and all together pleasant to the ears. This song is the soundtrack to the best heart ache of your life, be it good or bad.

Track 6 - Westward Bound (The Whitest Blankets)
Another one that taps into their rootsy side. Brushes on the drums, long strums on the guitar, lyrics that reference Independence Day and vocals that have just a touch of twang in their delivery. A bit of haunting melancholy covers the song. So new, yet so familiar. There's an element of Southern Gothic to this tune, and as someone who grew up in the South, the whole thing feels like home to me.

As you can tell, I love the whole album. None of it would technically fall under the "powerpop" genre. But, powerpoppers understand and appreciate good songs, and that's what you've got with this release -- six solid tunes that should be required companions on cold weekends, lonely weeknights and perhaps should be issued each October to every person who moved to Seattle during the sunny summer months to prepare them for the dark gray that is to follow.

Shows for week of 2/13

Tuesday, 2/13
The Broadcast Debut, Blue Light Curtain, So They Said at The Crocodile Cafe

Wednesday, 2/14
Duran Duran Cover Night featuring Peter Parker, Speaker Speaker, Central Services, Sirens Sister and more at The Crocodile

Thursday, 2/15
Shorthand For Epic and The Long Ranger at Skylark Cafe (West Seattle)

H Is For Hellgate and Conservative Dad at The Sunset Tavern

Friday, 2/16
Presidents of the USA at Showbox

The Divorce, The Affair and The Ettes at Sunset Tavern

Saturday, 2/17
The Brides of Obscurity and others at the Skylark Cafe

Thee Emergency and Iceage Cobra at Sunset Tavern

Sunday, 2/18
The Shins and Viva Voce at the Paramount Theater

Monday, February 12, 2007

Holy crap... Portastatic tonight (2/12)

As a former Chapel Hill-ian, I've got a real soft spot for Mac's work in both Superchunk and Portastatic. The newest Portastatic record just out and out rocked. Somehow I missed that they're playing Neumo's tonight, which is a shame both because it's Monday and I can hardly ever get to a show on Mondays, and because it's my birthday, which means no going to a show tonight.

But, you should if you can. Here's why: I wanna know girls

And another reason:

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

The dudes in Vanilla have made a track available on their website. The song is called "Black Minus Saturday," and it's got a late-period Beatles mixed with High Llamas (which is in itself is a Beach Boys meets Beatles thing) kind of vibe.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lillydale in-store Saturday (2/10)

The haps on the craps:

free live in-store @ Sonic Boom Records in Ballard (2209 Market)
Saturday, February 10 at 3PM

Whatcha doing at 4pm Sunday?

I'll tell you what you're doing. You're going to 4 O'Clock Rock at The Sunset Tavern (who have one of the worst websites on the face of the planet. I lose just a bit more of my vision each time I go there).

The line up for the show is:

Lund Brothers
Young Sportsmen
Rootbeer Barrels

Starting off the show are the Rootbeer Barrels, which is a new group featuring Dick Rossette of Twink the Wonderkid and 107.7. Their myspace page refused to open any music, which could be either because myspace sucks sometimes or because they're so new they haven't loaded any music yet. Or both. I can literally tell you nothing else about them, except that they made a flyer for the show (see below) and didn't list the other two bands. That ain't cool!

It seems that the Young Sportsmen are on second (at least according to the listings in the papers and on the Sunset site), although I previously thought they were last. You know the deal on them. But, if you don't, here is my stream of consciousness version of describing them: Rock. Energy. Superdrag. Harmony. Ted Leo. Guitars. Volume. The Figgs. Great stuff.

Then comes The Lund Brothers, my appreciation of whom has grown stronger since seeing them live at the Tractor recently. I had always enjoyed their recordings. But, they never really got their hooks in me for any kind of long-term swoon. Well, it all came together in a live setting. Powerpop with non-cheesy classic rock elements. Kind of a Cheap Trick meets Dwight Twilley thing, but less rootsy and more rock. Totally tight harmonies and really good songs.

Go Fever, SSA and Clean Prophets review

Of course I was at The Comet last night (due to being in one of the bands and all), and I had a great time.

Go Fever from Portland opened the show, and I think they hit me in just the right mood, because they were awesomely delicious. To be honest, their songs all blended together for me into a big mess of reverb, overdrive and catchy-but-fleeting choruses. But, it was just the vibe and the atmosphere that got me. I mean, the drummer has a 100% irony-free gong as part of his kit, for goodness sake!

But, what really sealed the deal -- and I realize that there is no way that this will translate to description here on the blog -- is when about two-thirds of the way through their set, and two-thirds of the way through a random song, the guitar player stopped strumming, turned and grabbed what can only be described as the smallest maraca in the word, shook it in the vicinity of the microphone for about 7 seconds, then chucked it over his right shoulder and went back to strumming. It was just a moment of perfect rock ridiculousness. I had a friend who once said that good rock and roll requires a certain amount of stupidity, and these guys had the exact right amount for me last night.

We (Shake Some Action!) went on second, and I just had a blast. The crowd was great, and we put what I feel was probably our best show to date. I won't gush, because that wouldn't be nearly humble enough. But, the show felt great. Thanks for everyone who came out, and thanks to KEXP, The Stranger and others for giving our band such great attention (even if Megan Selling insists on giving us a hard time about having an exclamation point in our band name).

The Clean Prophets out of LA came on next, and I was looking forward to their set. I have enjoyed the online stuff, and it translated quite well to a live setting. Their drummer is a flailing mess of arms and drum sticks, but it gave them great energy. He did quite a bit of this 16th-note, Larry Mullen Jr kind of stuff (while the band itself sounds nothing like U2) that I was digging. Perhaps most noteworthy, people DANCED!! That's two consecutive trips to the Comet in which this has happened. This whole "enjoying the show" thing is just getting out of hand. ;)

I only made it through about five tunes by the Clean Prophets before the drive home beckoned (it was a school night after all, and my old ass already has to be conjured out of bed when my 6:30am alarm goes off!). But, those five tunes were quite enjoyable.

Apologies to Black Night Crash for not being able to stick around. I would've liked to have seen the show.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Download a full Llama album

I just got a note from Rusty of Llama in which he informed me that Llama not only has a new website, but also that one can download an entire album there. I suggest you head over there now and partake in the poppy goodness.

Seattle bands at SXSW

I was just cruising the South By Southwest band list to see who was making the trek from our neck of the woods. Here are some groups who might fit in here on the blog (including a few I hadn't known about until finding them on the sxsw list!)

The Blakes
The Briefs
Daphne Loves Derby
The Femurs
The Long Winters
the Trucks

There's also a Seattle band on the bill that wins the award from zaniest name.

Although it's a month away, I'll wish you safe travels! Do us proud down there. :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Pop Machine video

It's a video posting kind of day here at the Seattle Powerpop Blog. This one is by local pop youngsters The Pop Machine

When these guys started their myspace page and started building momentum, I was quite excited to see where they were headed. So far, I love the enthusiasm and energy. I love the influences and the style. I'm less sold on the actual material delivery. Much of their stuff is a little too out of tune for my preferences. I'm sure it'd be a kick live, though.

Dept of Energy video

This one is a video for the song "Emote" from their upcoming record. The song is not so much on the pop tip. But, it's a cool video.

Emote (dept. of energy music video)

The Clean Prophets show & video

The Clean Prophets are playing tomorrow (Thursday, 2/8) at The Comet Tavern with Go Fever out of Portland, local faves (ahem... yes I'm in the band) Shake Some Action and a reunited/reactivated Black Nite Crash.

If you've not heard of the Clean Prophets, they've got a bit of a buzz and the band is made up of former members of Sunstorm, The Superbees, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Here's a funny video of one of their songs, synced to a variety of John Tesh clips.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lions In The Street video

Here's a video from Vancouver, BC's Lions In The Street. They've got a great Rolling Stones/Badfinger/Jayhawks thing happening. This one is for their song "Mine Ain't Yours." They've got a few others up on their myspace page.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Jon Auer interview in The Stranger

Jon is headed to Australia for a tour, and The Stranger posted an interview with him on a variety of topics.

Shows for the week of 2/5

Here are some recommended shows for the week. I don't know if I'm being stingy, or if there's less going on.

Thursday, 2/8
Black Night Crash, Clean Prophets, Shake Some Action, and Go Fever at The Comet Tavern

Friday, 2/9
Of Montreal and Aqueduct at The Showbox

Sunday, 2/11
Young Sportsmen, Lund Brothers and Rootbeer Barrels at The Sunset Tavern (4:30pm early show!)

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

Happy Monday, y'all. Here's an mp3 from Oregon's The Visible Men. It's from their 2001 record titled "In Socks Mode", and the song is call Poker Face. The cover from this record is humorous.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Mona Reels in deep space...

... or perhaps a black hole.

Between the Comet Tavern's lack of stage lighting and You Tube's processing pulling out what little light there was, my video of The Mona Reels' performance last night is less-than stellar. Indeed, it's pitch black.

I'm going to post it anyway, because at least you can hear it. :)

Photos of The Mona Reels, Dept of Energy & others

Last night I headed down to The Comet Tavern to take in The Mona Reels, Spanish For 100, The Sea Navy and Dept. of Energy. It was a good show and well attended. The stand out for the night for me was definitely The Mona Reels, for whom I also captured some video to post a little later.

The Mona Reels are an interesting amalgam. Normally when I see two gals and a guy on stage where the only instrumentation is acoustic guitar and keyboard, I expect them to be "endearing" in their indiepopness. But, these guys defy those stereotypes.

On one hand, their lyrics trend toward typical, if somewhat literate, indiepop fair. On the other hand, these three have perhaps the strongest voices I've heard in a club setting in Seattle. Absolutely beautiful harmonies and melodies. And the melodies and chord structures are more "classic pop" than indiepop. More Beatles and Beach Boys than The Softies and Belle & Sebastian.

Anyway, here are a few snapshots:

The Mona Reels - Summy, Peter and April

The Mona Reels - Peter David Connelly

On second was Spanish For 100. I enjoyed their set quite a bit, although it's no where near the type of music I normally write about here. They're quite angular and mathematically rhythmic. They remind me of the Louisville/Chicago bands of the 1990s. Sort of a Slint-y, post-rock thing, but with some of the song structure tendencies of Television.

Spanish For 100

On third was The Sea Navy. This was my first opportunity to catch them live, which is nuts, since I interviewed Jay back on October 2. I actually liked them more in the live setting than on their recent release. Although it occasionally suffered from "sounds the same-ness" and they are the masters of the abrupt ending, their tunes had good energy and some good hooks. This was their last show with drummer TW Walsh, who is apparently Boston bound. They gave him a going away cake. Very sweet.

Their set was also interesting from the audience perspective, as there was a small cadre of sorority/fraternity types in the room, and they were quite a bit tipsy. Interestingly, although I would generally find folks like that annoying, they actually stood right up in front of the band and dances... gasp. Dancing? At a rock show. Surely I jest? So, for that I applaud them. Jay seemed quite amused at the whole scene.

The crowd dances to The Sea Navy

The Sea Navy - Jay Cox

Closing out the night was Dept of Energy. As is becoming my ongoing reality, I lose steam somewhere around 12:30pm. So, while they did a great job with their music, I was tired. So, I snapped a few shots and headed home.

Dept of Energy - Robb Benson

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A most confusing video

I frankly don't know what to make of this performance at the Mars Bar back in November. Funny? Possibly. Cool? I think so. Confusing? Definitely!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Comet tomorrow (2/3)... good pop music

This week has been a long one for some reason. So, TGIF! My rock show for the weekend is down at The Comet with Dept of Energy, The Sea Navy, Spanish for 100 and The Mona Reels.

I've written plenty about Dept of Energy and The Sea Navy in the past. But, in addition to hearing them, I'm quite excited to hear The Mona Reels.

The Mona Reels are from Olympia and have a great lighter pop sound. But, not in a fey kind of way. I had seen their name around a bunch, but I hadn't checked out their stuff until seeing their name on this bill, and I really like what I hear at their myspace page. The band has existed for quite some time with a variety of line up changes and releases along the way. Head over to their site and listen to songs from their new maxi-single ("Come On Mona" and "The Way You Show Your Love"). Good stuff!