Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Feelings Hijackers

I have to admit I had no idea who the Feelings Hijackers were until about five minutes ago. I was scanning the calendars to see what's going on tonight aside from the Divorce final show. I saw that The Feelings Hijackers are having an album release at the High Dive, so I did some googling.

It turns out that TFH is a project that involves PUSA'a Chris Ballew, and it's sort of an alternative/hip hop thing.

They describe the history of the project on their myspace page thusly:

I got together with Mike “outtasite” Singleton from the subset days and we accidentally started making the sweetest noise I had ever heard….2 songs grew into 5 into 10 into 14 so fast and fun that it took us by surprise…this thing made me jump off the ceiling in the shack and I pulled out every trick I had up my sleeve in the digital realm…acoustadelic swing along crunch-beat jingles sung by lofty cloud high skeletons….


It sounds pretty goofy and somewhat square. But, Ballew sure can write for catchy, even if it's often draped in cheese.

KEXP's Audioasis tonight (June 30)

Audioasis is happening *right now* as I type this at the High Dive. With Friends Like These is playing now. At 8pm, Olympia's Lake will hit the stage, and I like those guys. So, if you're looking for an early night out, or want to tune in to hear them, that's a good choice.

Your thoughts on the SPB anniversary

I don't get a ton of comments on posts here on the blog. But, I wanted to add a posted specifically to ask for the thoughts of anyone out there who is willing to share. Just click "comments" below to add yours.

(And, again, anyone who has photos that they would be willing to share with me, please shoot me an email at seattle.powerpop at gmail)

The Atlas/Stranger situation

While we were powerpop-partying our asses off over in Ballard, it looks like things were getting shut down at Atlas in Cap Hill, and there is now a brouhaha of boycotts going. It seems folks blame the Stranger piece on their space for the shut down.

While it might be true that it is what called the attention of the police, I think I might agree with the Stranger's perspective on this one -- if they didn't want press coverage, perhaps they should have thought about other ways to promote the shows than the very public methods they chose. I mean, they were taking out *ads* for these shows, weren't they? It wasn't exactly on the d.l.

That said, it's too bad that it's going away, because while I don't often frequent them when they exist, I do appreciate the lack of all-ages opportunities for rock in Seattle.

You can read more about it on about a half dozen posts at the Line Out blog.

Thoughts on the anniversary show

Whew... now that I'm a little more awake, I thought I'd try to post some thoughts about the anniversary show last night before they faded into a jumbled mess of memories.

First, why, oh, why do I ever think that any kind of rock show is going to start on time? The PDXplore early show at the Sunset was supposed to start at 7pm and end at 8:30pm. Unfortunately I don't think the first band for that show even arrived until 7pm. So, sorry to all you anniversary show attendees who had to stand around outside the venue until after 9pm for them to finish up.

But, once things got rolling, they were cooking! The Knast came out of the gate strong. I had heard their recordings, but this was my first chance to see them live, and they didn't disappoint. I love what they're doing, and I can't wait to hear more from them.

Andy Werth packed his group onto the stage after The Knast. As they set up, I said to Andy that it was a little bit like clowns in a volkswagon. It was quite a sight to behold -- two keyboards, bass, drums, guitar and two trumpet players (and believe it or not, they left their cello player at home!). They cranked out crowd pleasing, catchy songs and did a great job with the Color Bars cover.

The Small Change took the stage next and, as always, didn't disappoint. I don't know if I have anything to say beyond my usual praise for these guys. But, don't let my loss for words fool you -- they rocked the house.

Shake Some Action (with me on bass) was on fourth. I never really like to say much about my own performances. But, I thought it went well, and we received a bunch of nice compliments from folks. I think my favorite was from a fellow who recognized one of the songs we played and it was familiar enough to him for him to think it was a cover. Nope, it was our tune. It just happens that it got a lot of KEXP airtime earlier in the year!

Dept of Energy followed us. I find these guys, and Robb in particular, quite captivating to watch and listen to. There's sort of this inward intensity with their playing that I dig. David Bos and I decided that the guitar riff to their song "Story" is one of the catchiest in recent memory.

To close out the night, Sgt Major gave us a tour de force of rock and energy and pop and past and present and whiskey and pogos and "Lump" and so much more. That was one of the most enertaining and fun sets I've seen in a while. They were on fire, and the crowd was right there with them. Packed up to the very edge of the stage, the audience fed them and vice versa. Damn good time.

After two encores, the lights came on and the recorded music started playing over the PA system. But, after about two-thirds of the room had cleared out and the Sunset staff started making the rounds to clean up, an impromptu, and somewhat drunken, set broke out featuring (at various times) Kurt Bloch, the Sangster bros, Greg Small Change, Jason Small Change, Scott Sutherland, Dustin Riffbroker and possibly some other folks.

It was out of tune and filled with missed chords and plenty of off-key caterwauling. And at some point Greg Small Change hit himself in the face with a microphone and started bleeding (which is only funny since earlier in the night he jokingly said they were going to a whole set of GG Allin tunes). But, it was a rough, rugged and right way to end what was the perfect party to celebrate the Blog's anniversary.

I couldn't have asked for more. Here's to another year of great music by Seattle powerpop bands! Cheers.

Post-party thank yous

I want to send a super-duper thanks out to everyone who made the SPB Anniversary Show at the Sunset last night a tremendous success. There was a great crowd, a great energy and a crapload of great music. That was a rediculously fun night!!

Like a complete spaz, I accidentally left my camera at home. So, if anyone has pictures to share with the class, please send them my way. I'd love to be able to post some shots.

A special thanks to the bands: The Knast, Andy Werth, The Small Change, Shake Some Action, Dept of Energy and Sgt. Major. Everyone rocked the house.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Divorce tomorrow

I'm sure you've seen it covered in a variety of places. But, in case you're only getting your music news from SPB these days (ha ha), The Divorce are playing their final shows tomorrow at the Crocodile.

Here's some video of them performing:

The Bug Nasties on KEXP tomorrow

This in from myspace:

The Bug Nasties will be playing live on KEXP 90.3FM's Sonic Reducer program!! Airtime is 10:00pm sharp, peeps! You don't want to miss it!!

The show will also be available worldwide at www.kexp.org. You can listen to the streaming archive for two weeks after the broadcast, if you just can't tune in on June 30th. We will have a special guest on keyboards, too!

Here's a link to the show -

http://www.kexp.org/programming/instudio.asp

Blogger/You Tube problems

As you can see below, there is something funny going on with either Blogger or You Tube, as the embedded videos are not appearing. This happened once before when I changed to the new template. But, it cleared itself up in a short period of time. Hopefully that happens here, too.

[Update 2 seconds later: as soon as this post went through, it seemed to start working again... fingers crossed]

Voxtrot video from Easy Street performance

Here's some footage (shot by vaporized) from Voxtrot's performance at East Street back at the beginning of June.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 0

The one-year anniversary show for the Seattle Powerpop Blog is TONIGHT, Friday, June 29 at the Sunset Tavern. It's been a 10-day countdown in which I've told you something about each band, about the venue, and about me.

So, now that the day has arrived, I'm just going to let the poster speak for itself. However, one point of clarification: The running order of the bands tonight does NOT match what's seen on the poster.



The actual running order is:

1. The Knast
2. Andy Werth
3. The Small Change
4. Shake Some Action
5. Dept of Energy
6. Sgt. Major

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sgt. Major mp3

Just for giggles, here's an mp3 for one of my favorite Sgt. Major tracks, called "In the Garden."

And here's a shot of them at the Sunset, taken back in '03.

Some love for the SPB anniversary show

A tip of the hat and a thank you to The Stranger's Line Out Blog and the Seattle PI's SeattleNoise Blog for giving some attention to the SPB Anniversary show. Thanks bundles.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 1

Day 1??? That's right, tomorrow is Day 0. So, this is the last blog of the ten-day countdown to the SPB Anniversary Show that is happening tomorrow (Friday, June 29) at the Sunset Tavern.

To close out this countdown, I want to do a thank-you-in-advance to all the bands on the bill. You guys all rock. Thanks so much for being part of it!

Here's a rundown of the schedule (starts at 9pm sharp!):

First up: The Knast. These guys blasted onto my radar back in January with a myspace friend request that had a single song posted called "Sittin' In My Tree." Since then they've played around town a bunch and added three more songs to their site and have been in the studio laying down tracks. I love what they're doing. It feels very NYC, very dirt-under-the-fingernails, but still very catchy.

Second on the bill: Andy Werth. Andy's sunny 1970s pop is a stark contrast to the Knast, but what they share is an undeniable ability to write catchy melodies. I learned of Andy last year with the release of the "Back To the Sun" ep, which immediately brought a smile to my face. I expect the same will happen on Friday.

Third at bat: The Small Change. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- These guys are hands-down one of my favorite bands in town. The energy, the melodies, the retro-mod sounds that are somehow completely modern-day... I love it all. I only wish I had a better camera so that I could actually snap a photo of Greg in mid-air instead of after he lands (stupid shutter delay!).

On fourth: Shake Some Action. I play bass in SSA, so I'll keep the praise to a minimum. But, suffice it to say that James has crafted some incredibly catchy tunes, and I feel lucky to be able to hold down the bottom end for them.

Coming on fifth: Dept of Energy. There's something hypnotic about these guys. I remember first seeing them and thinking Robb had a voice that, while it's sometimes all over the place, you can't stop listening to. Unique lyrics, unique melodies, no bass player. Quirk pop at its finest.

Closing out the night: Sgt. Major. What can be said about this motley crew of rock dudes (and dudette)? Sgt. Major is like the aftermath of a head-on collision between one van full of pure rock energy and another van full of Seattle powerpop history. Kurt gave me a bit ol' tease by sending an email saying "Many surprises... this I know." I can't wait to find out what they are!

And you shouldn't miss it.

Oh.... my..... god.

At first I was embarrassed for Chris Ballew watching this. But, his tongue is planted so firmly in his cheek that it will require surgery to remove it.

Of course, y'all know I loves me some Squatch. And what's better than Squatch? Why, Squatch playing drums, of course.

Quite surreal.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Blakes recording a new EP

Straight from the horse's mouth:

in the studio and drinking

FACTS: we are mixing a new EP. it sounds like we want it to. we are exploring new sounds. we are having fun. there are many new songs coming!! it should be out soon.. It will be called Streets ( the last song on our full length) Light in the Attic will release it worldwide.. no joke. SHHHHHHHHH

Pop songwriting

Ever since Rachel from the Seattle Weekly interviewed me last week I've been thinking more about the craft of songwriting. In that interview she asked me what made a good pop band and what I thought the best pop song ever written was (I feebly offered The La's "There She Goes" as an example of a great pop song, even though I don't know if I'd call it the best ever written).

Today I was reading Time.com, which has an article up about Kelly Clarkson (I will admit with no shame that I like her). The article is actually more about the producers and "Svengalis" of the pop music world, and Clive Davis in Clarkson's case specifically.

In that article was a statement that really intriguiged me:

And as any pop Svengali knows, making a pop record is as much a matter of craft and precision as it is eccentricities. It's about the thin line between hackwork and magic.


Hackwork and magic. After letting that digest for a moment, I think they have a point. There is a fine line between something that is incredibly cliche and something that is universally understandable. A lot of that is in the lyrical content. Some of it is the music behind the words (a key change at the end of the song to try to add emotional "oomph," for example). And some of it is in the delivery.

Consider the following choruses from two pop songs:

Hey, hey, (bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey, (bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey, (bop shuop) yeah, she say ya do. (Bop shuop)


And then:

Mmmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du


The first is the Beatles and the second is Hanson. Most people probably have pretty strong opinions on the hackwork/magic matrix involved with those two.

I don't have any great points to make about all of this. But, I do find it really interesting to think about. Anyone have thoughts?

Article on Seattle record labels in the PI

There's a good read about Seattle-based record labels up over at the PI.

Today's local labels reflect the sprawling diversity that has blossomed in Seattle's music scene. If you can name a genre, chances are it has a devoted home in Seattle.

According to the Mayor's Office of Film and Music, there are 88 labels now operating in Seattle.


Wow! Eighty eight labels? I had no idea.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 2

Wow, the anniversary show is day after tomorrow (Friday June 29), and I'm super duper psyched up about it. In today's edition of the countdown, I thought I'd tell you more about... ME! I've met a lot of you in person. But, for those who don't know, here's my story.

My name is Gary Miller. I moved to Seattle from Atlanta at the end of 2003. I was born in the South (East Tennessee, specifically) and lived there my entire life up until my Seattle move. I went from East Tennessee to Middle Tennessee to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and to Atlanta.

I've been a musician since my junior year in high school (1987). I wanted to be a drummer, but my mom was having none of that. Two of my skateboarding pals played guitar and drums, and they told me I should get a bass so we could start a band. So, for Christmas of 1987 (holy crap that's 20 years!) I got my first bass and amp. We played our first show two months later.

Fast forward to Chapel Hill in 1993 where I formed the band Gumption with my friend Kurt (who is now in Portland, coincidentally, and has a great solo record out now called Ten Singles). Gumption had a moderate level of success, putting out a 7" single and a six song EP that we recorded with Chris Stamey (of dB's fame).

After that band came to a close, I went to grad school and moved to Atlanta for work. I wasn't very involved in the Atlanta music scene, which (like most of Atlanta) didn't seem very creative to me. So I took up swing dancing and married a great woman named Theresa. Neither Theresa nor I liked Atlanta, so we decided to move elsewhere, and that place ended up being Seattle.

I now play in Shake Some Action and The Scheme. I work at the University of Washington, where I am the assistant director of the Undergraduate Programs Office in the Business School. And, in case my boss is reading this, I do the blog between my student appointments during the day. :)

So, that's my story. Well, at least part of my story.

Shake Some Action, of course, is on the bill for Friday. So, if you're coming to the show, please come introduce yourself. I'll be the one playing bass.

Oh, and one last thing. I love petting animals. Here's a photo of me with a goat.

Yet another Kurt Bloch project

I somehow just found out that Kurt Bloch has another music project going. It's called Timewasters Ltd. He currently has the myspace page set to allow the downloading of all four tracks. So, head there now and grab 'em.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

SPB gets shoutout in Seattle Weekly

I'd like to say thanks to Rachel Shimp for giving the SPB Anniversary Show some press over at the Seattle Weekly's "The Wire" column (you'll have to scroll down the page a bit to see the post)!

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 4

In today's edition of the countdown to the Seattle Powerpop Blog Anniversary Show (Friday, June 29 at the Sunset Tavern), I'm going to hit close to home by talking about Shake Some Action.

Shake Some Action was formed from the ashes of The Jeunes. Jeunes main man James Hall recorded the SSA primarily at home himself (with some assistance from currently guitarist David Bos). The current rhythm section, comprised of Chris Campbell on drums and yours truly on bass, came into the fold just as the SSA record was being finalized.

Shortly thereafter, the group starting hitting the clubs, and in December they played a show at the Crocodile Cafe, which they recorded. Today is the official release date of the Shake Some Action "Live at the Crocodile." It's currently a digital-only release through iTunes.

We're currently writing material for the second SSA studio album, and we'll be playing a few of those new songs at the show on Friday. But, I'm most excited about our cover of The Heaters' "She Belongs To Me." A few of the Heaters have said they're coming to the show, too. No pressure. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rikki Lee Robinson- one man band

I have to admit I meant to blog about Rikki Lee Robinson a terribly long time ago and just completely forgot. He's got a pretty cool one-man-band thing happening, and he posted some You Tube clips to prove it. I've totally got to get him on a future Powerpop Night bill.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 4

If you've looked at the Blog at all in the last week, you'll know that the one year anniversary show is this Friday, June 29 at the Sunset Tavern. And you'll also likely know I'm doing a daily countdown to the show.

Over the weekend I posted about Dear John Letters, of which two Dept of Energy members were a part. But, in today's countdown post, I'm going to talk about DoE itself. This is a band that is really quite difficult to label, but their knack for melodies and interesting music is undeniable.

The first song I heard by them was the super catchy "I remember what the light felt like" (partial mp3 clip), and that's still a favorite of mine. Their new record is a leap forward. When I reviewed it a few months ago, I said "the collection seems more expressive, more nuanced and, I expect, more long lasting."

With Dept of Energy you get melodies, but you also get a heaping helping of quirky pop that is serious in its delivery. They hit you with curve balls in arrangement and chord progressions. But, at no point to they make you think you're listening to a prog rock act. They're a pop band at their core.

They also put out lots of videos on You Tube. The one for their track "Story," from the latest disc, looks like something Devo would've released in 1981:




Robb Benson - Dept of Energy

Shows for week of 6/25

There are several shows worth your attention this week. Of course, I'll be pounding SPB Anniversary Show info into your eyes all week long. :) But, there are other shows to see, as well.

Wednesday, June 27
The Tea Cozies and The Little Penguins at Nectar (it's the Little Penguins' CD release, and I'll be reviewing the disc asap)

Thursday, June 28
Steve Pearson and the British Racing Green at Neumos (opening for Apple Jam, which is a Beatles and related projects tribute thing)

Friday, June 29
Seattle Powerpop Blog One Year Anniversary Show featuring Sgt. Major, Dept of Energy, Shake Some Action, The Small Change, Andy Werth and The Knast. All this rock for only $7 at the Sunset

Unfortunately for me, The Capillaries and the Broadcast Debut are also playing this night, over at the Skylark in West Seattle.

Saturday, June 30
The Divorce (final shows) at the Crocodile

Sunday, June 24, 2007

SPB Anniversary Countdown: Day 5

The SPB Anniversary Show is happening at the end of *this week*!!! It's happening at the Sunset Tavern on Friday, June 29 with a bevy of fine Seattle pop bands: Sgt. Major, Dept of Energy, Shake Some Action, The Small Change, Andy Werth and The Knast. The whole thing starts at 9pm on the nose. So, don't be late!

In today's edition of the countdown to the show, I decided to focus on the venue itself. I really like the Sunset. For my dollar it's got the best combination of quality sound system, good bar, and cool vibe. I was tickled pink to be able to book the anniversary show there.

A yelp.com user named Mel R. described the venue thus: "My god, I've died and walked into a cheap Chinese whore house!!! In other words-heaven! It even came complete with hanging lanterns, fuzzy red damask wallpaper, a collection of disco balls and plenty of seating."

I've hijacked a number of photos from around the web to share with you here. Apologies to those sites from whom I'm stealing.

That ol' familiar sign:


Leading into the club:


A nice photo of the interior:


Here's what it looks like when you have a hoe down on stage:


And here are some ladies at the bar:


And to close things out, here's some video (with distorted-audio) of Thee Emergency playing there:

Photos: The Box Social

I headed down to the Mars Bar last night to take in the Young Sportsmen, The Box Social and Speaker Speaker. It was, in fact, my second night in a row at Mars Bar, as I played there the night before with The Scheme.

So, before I get to last night, let me talk about Friday night. Model Photographer was added to the bill late, after The Colors Bars had to drop out. Well, it wasn't a let down, because they did a great set of catchy tunes. Someone said they were reminded of Sebadoh. I could see the comparison. But, they were tighter, more in tune and more controlled than Sebadoh. What popped into my head was a more-likable Lemonheads. In any case, they were good.

Now, onto last night. If there's one thing that the whole world should know about the Mars Bar is it's a small-ish space with bad acoustics. They have a lot of good shows there and of that I'm appreciative. But, facts is facts, and the sound is rarely great there. So, the concept of going to see the Young Sportsmen, who are probably the loudest powerpop band in town, there was initially off-putting. But, to my surprise, the Sportsmen sounded balanced and in no way harsh. Wesley told me they dialed their amps back a bit. But, it sounded great. In fact, I could hear them 20,000 times better than that last show at the Comet (which perhaps isn't a rining endorsement of the sound system at the Comet... but still!).

But, The Box Social then proceeds to load some ludicrously large gear onto the stage. I don't blame them, as they're on tour and possibly playing many venues that merit a full SVT bass rig and a Vox-powered Marshall cabinet guitar and such. But, in this setting it turns out that it was they, not the Young Sportsmen, who were too loud for the room.

That's not to say they were bad... just loud. Remember that old KISS saying, "if it's too loud, you're too old"? Well, I'm too old, apparently.

I did enjoy their set quite a bit. I'm not overly familiar with their music, other than what's on their myspace page. But, they did that material justice. They also did a cover of a Talking Heads tune, which always gets someone points from my book.

Here are some photos I snapped of them. Another thing that the Mars Bar shares with The Comet is that there is very little lighting to work with for photos, and frankly my camera just sucks with bad lighting. So, bear with me. If anyone out there wants to buy me a nice digital SLR, it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts.


The Box Social


The Box Social


The Box Social

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Young Sportsmen, The Box Social and Speaker Speaker tonight

The Mars Bar is hosting a cool show tonight (Saturday, June 23) featuring Young Sportsmen, The Box Social and Speaker Speaker. I've written a ton about Young Sportsmen and Speaker Speaker here. But, I'm quite excited about seeing The Box Social, who are from Madison, Wisconsin and are just touring through town.

I really dig the sounds on their myspace page. They're somewhat close to the pop-punk side of the world. But, I don't think they're nearly as snarky as a lot of pop-punk bands. They will fit really well in between the Sportsmen and Speaker Speaker, since I can hear shared influences with both acts.

Here's a video from about a year ago of them performing a tune called "Hot Damn."

SPB Anniversary Countday: Day 6

Howdy and welcome to Day 6 of the countdown to the SPB Anniversary Show, which is happening on Friday, June 29 at the Sunset Tavern. In today's countdown edition, I've decided to talk about the Dear John Letters. While the Dear John Letters are, of course, not on the bill of the Anniversary Show, two-thirds of Dept of Energy were in DJL (and I'll talk more about Dept of Energy in a few days).

The story of how Dear John Letters came into being and operated as a band is really interesting, and while it might be lazy blogging, they have the whole story told very succinctly on their myspace page. So, I'm hijacking it here. You can also download four songs from their myspace page.

Front man/guitarist/songwriter Robb Benson has been writing and playing songs for over 10 years in the Seattle area. During that time, his former band The Nevada Bachelors released two pop records on the Popllama record label. Soon after the release of Hello Jupiter the band went different directions citing artistic differences.

Robb immediately focused his attention on building a stripped down acoustic EP. He went in to Egg studios and recorded "Songs about Songs", with the help of Producer Johnny Sangster (The Makers, The Posies). The E.P. was officially released in October of 2000 on Roam Records.

On the EP, Robb had collaborated on three songs with, Writer/Poet Michelle Price-Auer. Her music business adventures began on the other side of the market in the press industry. Working for 'Plain Jane PR' she found herself promoting the likes of RadioHead and The Posies, before getting burned out and taking time off to work on her writing.

Michelle's realist and emotive subject matter and musical vision/style strayed from Robb's former happy go lucky poetic approach, and allowed him to channel a much deeper more moving style of Pop. Together they began recording an album at home for the band that they wished to create under the name Dear John letters, on suggestion from Michelle. (Named after her future husband Jon Auer of The Posies)

All song lyrics were penned by Michelle Price-Auer, the music was Robb's creation. Cassady filled out the beats, and Johnny Sangster helped with both his production skills and his lending his lead guitar and keys skills wherever it was needed. Soon after the record was mastered, Bass player Richard Davidson of Radio Nationals came on board to fill out the group.


Friday, June 22, 2007

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 7

The SPB Anniversary show is exactly one week from today! Hurrah. Did I mention it's June 29th at the Sunset Tavern?

In today's edition of the daily countdown to the show, I'd like to chat a bit about a side of the music community that I probably don't spend enough time talking about: The glam/powerpop scene.

There is a side of powerpop that is grittier in its approach to songwriting and image, and that side is well represented here in Seattle. I'm talking about groups who are more influenced by Slade, The Ramones, Nikki Sudden, The Heartbreakers, as well as pieces of 60s Motown, garage and early British rock like The Small Faces.

Across the Pacific NW, you've got bands like The Greatest Hits, The Pop Machine, The Neat, The Nice Boys, Avenue Rose, The Soda Pop Kids, and most importantly for the purpose of this blog, The Knast.

When I received a friend request via myspace from The Knast at the beginning of the year, I was really excited by their sound. They dabble in all the above referenced sounds, but they are also very adept at catchy melodies and hooks.

They will be kicking off the SPB Anniversary show with a prompt 9pm start time. I have to admit this will be my first time seeing them live, and I'm excited about it. Is it dangerous to book a band you've never seen? Maybe, but I like what I hear enough to take that risk!

Revisiting the "Mission Statement"

The one-year anniversary show for the Seattle Powerpop Blog is one week from tonight! The show is Friday, June 29 at the Sunset Tavern. But, while the anniversary show is next week, it was actually one year ago TODAY that I made the first post to the blog in the form of a "mission statement."

In that post I wrote, "Why a Seattle powerpop blog? I suppose the short answer is, 'why not.' The slightly longer answer is because there doesn't seem to be such a thing already. While there are a number of great print and web publications in Seattle, none focus on powerpop. So, perhaps there is room for a blog on the subject."

Now a year later, I still think that's true. I like to think that SPB is filling a niche in the coverage of music in this town. There are obviously a ton of great publications, both online and in print. But, given that there are an even greater number of bands, I still see the relevance of something like this blog giving attention specifically to this style.

I hope those of you who read the blog feel that way, as well. I still have no idea who reads this thing. But, for the nearly 600 of you who look each week, THANKS!

And I'd like to raise a metaphorical glass to the great bands in this genre for giving me something cool to write about and listen to.

Model Photographer tonight at Mars Bar

Alex Rose is a busy man. Last I checked he was playing with Heather Duby, Minus the Bear and Model Photographer. The latter band is his own songwriting. But, due to the hectic schedules of the former, the latter hasn't been playing much lately.

But, that changes tonight as they are playing at the Mars Bar with The Scheme and M Bison (full disclosure: I play bass in The Scheme).

Model Photographer made a record that was intended to be a regularly released disc. But, as Alex got more and more busy with Minus the Bear, they decided to release it for free on the web. I posted about it about a month ago. But, here are some links to my favorite tracks.

Before You Drive Away

Secret Club

Nikki Corvette on Sunday at the Funhouse

Hat tip to Brian Foss for putting this on my radar. I was saying to him that for some reason I have a tendency to miss shows that are happening on Sunday. I think the rock week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday to my brain.

But, by not paying attention to Sunday, I came awfully close to missing the opportunity to talk about a very cool show that is happening this Sunday (June 24) at the Funhouse. The show features Nikki Corvette and The Stingrays, Little Girls, Riff Randalls, and The Make Out Party. Brian says the show is "late (after Gay Pride)."

The show is $10 advance, $12 day of show, and advance tickets can be purchased online.

Here's some footage of Nikki Corvette & The Stingrays live:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Great article on Jim Anderson

The Stranger has a nice piece on Jim Anderson, soundperson extraordinaire for the Crocodile Cafe, up on their website (and presumably in print, although I haven't seen the print edition).

Jim does great work and probably doesn't get the appreciation that he deserves. So, next time you're piling out of the Croc at the end of a night of rock, poke your head into the sound booth and tell the man "thanks!"

Saccharine is now The Schroedors

Everett powerpoppers Saccharine have had to change their name to The Schroeders due to trademark issues with the name Saccharine.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 8

Only eight days left in the countdown to the Seattle Powerpop Blog Anniversary Show. The event is happening at the Sunset Tavern on June 29 and features a bevy of cool folks doing their own music plus music from another bevy of cool folks.

In this countdown, each day I'm picking something related to the show to talk about. Today, it's Andy Werth.

To be straight up honest, I don't know that much about Andy. I know he's a transplant from Colorado to Seattle. I know he put out a three-song EP of ridiculously catchy music last year. And I know he's second on the bill at the Seattle Powerpop Blog Anniversary show.

I also know I did an interview with him for the blog that I posted back on January 8 in which I learned that he planned to do more Christmas shopping throughout the year so as to avoid piling it all up in December. Andy, how's that going so far? It's June, you know!

Here's a partially clipped mp3 to give you a taste of his tunes. This one is called "You're Going To Be a Star" and it demonstrates Andy's Brian-Wilson-meets-Burt-Bacharach style.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More on Seattle Nightlife ordinances

Hopefully you music fans out there have been following the Seattle Mayor's nightlife proposals. If not, I recommend reading the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association site.

There is another meeting on the subject tomorrow (June 21) being held in the University District at University Heights 5031 University Way NE at 6:00pm. Apparently there was next to zero representation from Seattle musicians at the last meeting, although there was representation from clubs and other music related businesses. (see video link below).

Video from the June 4 City Council Hearing. You'll have to stick with it for a while, since the meeting (and audio) don't actually kick in until around the 2 minute mark. The video says there will be a *vote* tomorrow after the council having met to discuss next steps the the proposals.

So, let your voice be heard, music fans.

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 9

So, here we are with nine days left until the SPB Anniversary show (June 29th at the Sunset Tavern), and I was trying to decide what random bit of information I could provide for you about a band or band member on the bill. Then it hit me... I've never written anything about Muzzle here on the blog.

Muzzle was the 1990s rock juggernaut that featured Ryan and Wesley from Young Sportsmen and Greg from The Small Change, who are on the anniversary bill. I'm drawing a total blank on the fourth member of Muzzle... anyone help?

These guys released an indie album before putting out "Actual Size" on Reprise in 1999. After their demise, it's not altogether clear to me if Greg immediately started the Small Change or if some times passed. But, what I do know is the first record by The Small Change was released in 2003, and it was followed by their latest release in 2005. Both of those are absolute gems, and you'd be well served by picking them up. In fact, you can buy the first one via CD Baby right now for only $5.99.

Due to their perfect combination of melody and energy, The Small Change are among my favorite bands -- and I don't mean locals only. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I think the Small Change are powerpop incarnate. I mean, have a listen to Mexico City" or I'm Too Busy Lovin' You and tell me that's not good stuff.

They're third on the bill for the Anniversary Show and will no doubt be a tough act to follow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SPB Anniversary countdown: Day 10

I'm going to do a 10-day countdown about the upcoming SPB Anniversary Show, which is taking place at Sunset Tavern on Friday, June 29. So, good day and welcome to day 10 (Bob and Doug Mackenzie reference anyone?).

Rather than just making the same announcement ten times in a row, I'm going to include something about one of the bands on the bill, or one of the bands being covered, or, heck, the venue itself.

For today's countdown item, we start with the man at the top: Mr. Kurt Bloch, who will be headlining the show as part of Sgt. Major.

Some interesting things happen if you google Kurt.

You can find an old production/engineering resume that was created in 2000 and includes the work that he did between 1992 and 2000. That includes working on albums by Once For Kicks, Flop, Supersuckers, John Wesley Harding, Tad, Gas Huffer, Overwhelming Colorfast, Pure Joy, and more.

His wikipedia entry is surprisingly brief. It says only: Kurt Bloch (born August 28, 1960), is an American songwriter, guitarist, and producer, best known as songwriter and lead guitarist of The Fastbacks. He has also been a member of The Young Fresh Fellows and recorded tracks for Robyn Hitchcock, The Venus 3 and more recently the Tall Birds.

I did not know he played the role of "Chuck, the engineer" in The Year of My Japanese Cousin. But, the Internet Movie Database says it's so.

And, in case anyone is interested, there is also a fellow named Kurt Bloch who is a Harvard Medical School professor, who apparently does some interesting research. He published a paper called "DISCHORD IN THE INNER EAR," which I find completely appropriate for our own Kurt. ;)

Chop Suey & Neumos booking conversation

There's quite the conversation going on over at the Stranger's Line Out blog about the recent announcement that Chop Suey and Neumo's will be sharing a booking agent.

The press release said:

Chop Suey is proud to announce that, in addition to booking for Neumo’s, Steven Severin and Jason Lajeunesse will take on our national booking. Kris Kierulff will continue booking all local shows.


You can read the rest over at Line Out.

IPO Seattle schedule

I got my first look at the first draft schedule for the International Pop Overthrow Seattle edition, which is slated for August 24, 25, 26 and 27 at the Sunset Tavern.

Assuming it comes together like this first schedule implies, it's going to be a great four days of music. The Friday schedule alone has me drooling. But, the whole weekend has great bands of past and present that come together to form a shotgun blast weekend of pop.

Here's the schedule (subject to change somewhat):

Friday, August 24: Sunset Tavern
$10

7:30 Beyond Veronica
8:00 The Scheme
8:30 Young Sportsmen
9:00 The Small Change
9:30 Stuporhero
10:00 The Sterling Loons
10:30 CATFIGHT!
11:00 The Tripwires

Saturday, August 25: Sunset Tavern
$10

7:30 Crack City Rockers
8:00 Emilio Banda
8:30 The Broadcast Debut
9:00 The Capillaries
9:30 The Color Bars
10:00 Twink The Wonder Kid
10:30 The Snakebites
11:00 Amateur Lovers

Sunday, August 26: Sunset Tavern
$10

7:30 Edmonton Block Heater
8:00 Andrea Wittgens
8:30 Steve Pearson and British Racing Green
9:00 Vanilla
9:30 Before Cars
10:00 Easterly
10:30 Phamous Phaces
11:00 We Wrote The Book On Connectors

Monday, August 27: Sunset Tavern
$10

7:30 Sweet Diss And The Comebacks
8:00 Blackout
8:30 The Cheats
9:00 Lund Brothers
9:30 The Green Pajamas
10:00 Jimm McIver
10:30 Gary Reynolds and The Brides Of Obscurity
11:00 Ionesco

Monday, June 18, 2007

Two weeks until SPB anniversary show!

You've probably all seen the graphic over there --->

But, perhaps you've not paid very close attention. Well, now is the time to start paying attention, as the one-year anniversary party for the Seattle Powerpop Blog is in 12 days!

The show is taking place at the Sunset Tavern and has a rediculously cool line up. But, as if the line up wasn't cool enough by itself, in addition to their own music, during their 20 minute sets each band will be paying tribute to (at least) one other Seattle pop band by performing a cover tune. So, while you'll be seeing six bands, you'll be hearing the music of over a dozen!

Here's the scoop:


FRIDAY, JUNE 29

Midnight -- Sgt. Major, paying tribute to: Young Fresh Fellows, Model Rockets, The Sonics and The Fastbacks
11:25pm -- Dept of Energy, paying tribute to: Harvey Danger and/or Western State Hurricanes
10:45pm -- Shake Some Action, paying tribute to: The Heaters
10:10pm -- The Small Change, paying tribute to: Green Pajamas
9:35pm -- Andy Werth, paying tribute to: The Color Bars
9pm -- The Knast, paying tribute to: Screaming Trees


Now if that's not a fun evening, I don't know what is. Go ahead and mark your calendar for the night. Only a fool would miss such a party!!

Video from Jon Auer's Radio 8 Ball performance

Shows for week of 6/18

Happy Monday, y'all. I'm freezing cold today. Where the heck is summer? Isn't it the middle of June? Why is it in the 50s? Ack!

Here's some rock for the week to get you warmed up. However, it looks like everything is piled up on the weekend. Anyone know of anything else going on this week in the world of Seattle Powerpop?

Friday, June 22
Model Photographer, The Scheme, M Bison at Mars Bar

Ms. Led and Shorthand for Epic at Sunset Tavern

Saturday, June 23
Green Pajamas at Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater

Young Sportsmen, The Box Social and Speaker Speaker at Mars Bar

Slender Means at the Tractor Tavern

PWRFL Power wins Block Party competition

This just came through myspace.

Friday June 15 was the first annual Capitol Hill Block Party "Block Star" band contest. 8 judges listened to 8 bands perform 2 songs each. Close to 300 people came through Seattle's Vera Project to support their favorite bands. The 8 finalists raised the bar for the normal band contest and Seattle is definitely blessed with a great group of bands doing an incredible variety of music. This night featured everything from nerd-core hip hop to stoner rock to power pop. But one performer really stood out - PWRFL Power, and he is the 2007 Block Star winner. PWRFL Power is fresh. Weird. Charming. He performs intimate, sweet bizarre songs mixed with great acoustic guitar work.


Bizarre is definitely the right description. But, captivatingly so.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Heaters CD re-released

The Heaters, the classic Seattle 1970s/1980s powerpop act, just had their fabulous "Have An Idea" album re-released. It is a Japan-only release, but is available in the States via Not Lame. In fact, Bruce from Not Lame was quite jazzed about the re-release and had this to say about it:

2007 Japanese only reissue! Funny how things work...a month ago we were talking about The Heats and saying how sad it was this mini-classic power pop had never been properly released on CD. BOOM! It arrives...with 4 very good bonus trax tacked on! Never heard of The Heats? You are not alone as even many serious power pop fans have and the main reason why was that they were from Seattle and their sole album was strictly a regional release and was hard to find. Now, I found a copy in Boston 1981 and "Have An Idea" was something I played on my college radio songs all the time. Best way to enlighten yourself is not reading this, but clicking on the sound bites and start digging on the skinny tie awesomness of this long lost band.

What do they sound like? Well, you listened to what's below, right? *There* you go! Okay, well, they remind me of the first album from Paul Collins' Beat, the debut from 20/20, Midwestern power pop bands who only released 7" singles like Arlis and The Boys(Titan Records roster) and the first album from The Romantics. Yes, for the real power pop geek, Extremely Highly Recommended!


I may have mentioned this already, because it's Sunday and I've been away from the blog for the weekend and perhaps have forgotten. But, Shake Some Action is going to be covering The Heaters' "She Belongs To Me" at the Seattle Powerpop Blog anniversary show on June 29 at the Sunset Tavern. We were just working on it this afternoon, and it sounds great. I can't wait to debut the cover!

Friday, June 15, 2007

New West... um... Facts About Funerals responds.

I just got more info from Rob about the New West Motels officially becoming Facts About Funerals.

we're officially having "no comment" about the name change, but the truth is-- everyone on earth including US hated "red sky" *laughs*

so we changed it. we'd played around with this name before, and ALMOST used it the first time we changed names...

then we let other people talk us out of it...

then i watched "the devil and daniel johnston" 6 times in 2 days, and realized... who gives a fuck. the music is all that matters... we'll call ourselves whatever we want... it's time to stop using our minimal amount of mind-space worrying about all the wrong things.

we're Facts About Funerals. we like it.

we're happy about it. we're moving forward... we apologize to all the media folks for the confusion.

oh dammit. or like i said originally- "no comment"

-r

ps- named after the official brochure from the state of Texas, on the rules for burials in Texas... including the fact that you can bury your kin on your own property without a permit... or any help from the state. just file the proper paperwork afterwards. (kinda fitting that the state that kills the most people, is the most lenient about what to do with the bodies)... max found it laying around charis' parents house when we were playing in austin ('cause her grandma is 91 and collects any and everything having to do with death.)

New West Motels > Red Sky > Facts About Funerals?

I was surfing myspace this morning and I saw that the band formerly known as New West Motels appears to now also be the band formerly known as Red Sky, because they're now calling themselves Facts About Funerals. Of course, they just became Red Sky ealier this year, so perhaps that name was already taken? In any case, they've launched a new myspace page for the new band name.

I think the guys are off recording with Tim Mooney (American Music Club, Red House Painters). But, I'll see what I can find out.

For the record, I do like the name Facts About Funerals more than Red Sky.

"Guilty Pleasure" night at the High Dive

Yesterday I asked if anyone has any kind of update on Eric Lashes. No one gave me any info. So, I don't really know his status.

But, I do know that as a musician without health insurance, he still needs financial help, and you can assist with that while simultaneously being amused if you head to the High Dive tonight. They're hosting "guilty pleasure" night, featuring a ton of bands, including Young Sportsmen, Black Night Crash and others.

[blogger's edit: I just realized that Pris is on this bill, too. Even more reason to go! If you don't know Pris, don't be turned off by the sound that immediately comes out of their player on myspace, as that screaming isn't necessarily indicative of their sound -- either hang in there for a minute with the one that loads up, or pick another song to listen to]

Young Sportsmen tell me they're covering Metallica, Tommy Tutone and Smashing Pumpkins. The High Dive website promises other bands doing Ashlee Simpson and Toto. But they have the audacity to call E.L.O. a guilty pleasure! Shame on you High Dive!

Just for that, I give you ELO, doing "turn to stone" live.

Throwback Suburbia video

The fellows of Portland popsters Throwback Suburbia have released a new video, and I thought I'd share it with you on this rainy Friday morning. I haven't heard their new full-length yet, but what I hear on their myspace page seems much more up my alley than their last release. They've still got a pretty strong strain of "radio friendly modern rock" running through them, but, I hear more powerpop in this one than the last.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jon Auer in live version of Radio 8 Ball (& mp3)

Tonight is another live performance version of Radio 8 Ball (the "sanctioned" one with Andras Jones), featuring Jon Auer. It's happening at the Capitol Hill Arts Center tonight at 7:30pm (doors at 7pm). It's $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Here's an mp3 from Jon's song "Six Feet Underground" to listen to while you surf over to buy tickets.

Random Pale Pacific video

This Pale Pacific video appears to have been a project for someone's class.

Any news on Eric Lashes?

I was just cruising the web and saw something about the Lashes and realized I haven't heard anything about how Eric is doing. Anyone have any news?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Review: The Femurs' "Modern Mexico"

[blogger's note: I had a wonderfully-composed review of this record completely done and ready to post and Blogger hosed it. What follows is my attempt to recreate that review while simultaneously punching my computer]

I love coming home to find a package in the mail containing a shiny new CD. Today's package transported the new disc by The Femurs to me. It's titled Modern Mexico, and it's quite excellent.

What you get on this disc is a collection of 12 songs (six new and six from the Jack Cafferty Vs. Chuck Scarborough EP) played on acoustic guitar and drums. So, what does it sound like? Take a bit of the Ramones, a bit of the Violent Femmes, a bit of Weezer, and a touch of the lyrical goofiness of some of today's pop-punk bands and you're somewhere in the ballpark of their style.

They call what they do "folk punk," and if you're a genre purist, I'm not sure that really fits. I don't know that there's really anything "folk" about them, other than the presence of the acoustic guitar, and it seems like they're way too likable to be "punk" in the way I think of that term. That said, they do share some traits of punk rocks bands in that they write speedy songs that have been stripped of excess (although there is something approaching a drum solo on track 5). Of course, I've never been a genre purist, so I don't really care where they fit.

While it may be hard to fit neatly into a genre, the disc is unmistakably great summertime record that is toe-tappingly fun. Even my wife, who isn't really a music fan, yelled "that's catchy" to me half way through the first track during my first listen. If you don't have this one blasting at your Fourth of July party, then you're missing out on a good vibe setter. Just add this album to some burgers, some libations and someone almost getting a finger blown off with an m-80 and you've got the perfect party.

I'm pleased as punch to have The Femurs slated for Powerpop Night in early August. So, stay tuned for more details on that in July.

New stuff from The Pranks

I don't typically put up blog posts on the basis of someone posting new songs to their myspace page. I'd generally prefer to be able to post an mp3 or something in the post. But, I'm making an exception here because The Pranks have posted a message that their album is finally done, and they've posted four new mixes on their myspace page.

For those who don't know, The Pranks is the band of Erik Foster, who is the younger brother of Evan Foster of the Boss Martians. Evan had quite a bit to do with the recording of these tunes, and you can hear his presence on guitar. But, Erik has his own voice as a songwriter, and I really like what I've been hearing on their site over the past year.

There are some biting guitars and a bit of bratty sneer in the vocals. But, it's poppy as hell, and I can't wait to hear the full length.


Erik Foster, The Pranks (photo from their myspace page)

Videos from The Pipettes and Smoosh

The Pipettes and Smoosh are playing at Chop Suey tomorrow night (Thursday, June 14). So, here are a couple of videos for ya.

First up, The Pipetts with "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me."



Second, here's a cute clay-mation video from Smoosh and the song "La Pump."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The last of the Speaker Speaker video tour diaries

This one is done up Proclaimers-style.

Now that they're home, you can catch these guys a few times this weekend, including the Fremont Fair, Capitol Hill Block Party "blockstar" competition at Vera, an all-ages thing at Atlas and an Audioasis show on KEXP. It's like a Speaker Speaker carpet bomb!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Central Services on Car Talk

Car Talk, the show auto repair show that can be heard on NPR, featured the song "She Was My Ride" by Central Services on June 9.

That's some pretty random exposure for a Seattle pop band. But, hey, rock bands take it where rock bands can get it! ...exposure, that is.

You can cruise on down to the Fremont Fair this Saturday to see them live (and if you squint your eyes just right, you might recognize me sitting in on the bass guitar for them).

No powerpop content: Oddly funny/offensive content

Pardon the off-topic post. I try to keep such things to a minimum around here. But, this one was too good/offensive to pass up. Our gub'ment is just plain strange. It's no wonder we've still got "don't ask, don't tell."

Check out this article in which the Pentagon confirms it tried to build a "gay bomb." $7.5 million of your tax dollars went toward this effort.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soliders to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," Hammond said after reviwing the documents.


Sheesh... that's pretty far out there. I'm keeping my eye on snopes.com to see if this pops up as fake.

Green Pajamas "Kim The Waitress" live video

As I posted yesterday, Green Pajamas are doing a show on the 23rd of this month. So, hearing that news got me on a kick. I posted an mp3 from them yesterday. But, here's a video from them performing their song "Kim The Waitress."



And just for fun, here's the video for the Material Issue cover version of that same tune:

Shows for week of 6/11

Here's some rock to put on your schedule for the week. Saturday looks busy!

Monday, June 11
The Greatest Hits at the Funhouse

Thursday, June 14
The Pipettes and Smoosh at Chop Suey

Jon Auer & Andras Jones at the live version of Radio 8 Ball at Lower Level at CHAC

Friday, June 15
Capitol Hill Block Party Battle of the Bands, featuring Speaker Speaker, Iceage Cobra, The Sutures and more at VERA

Saturday, June 16
Cantona, The New Up and Curtains For You at Sunset Tavern

Speaker Speaker and Shorthand For Epic at Atlans Clothing (7:30pm)

Fremont Fair, featuring Central Services, Sister Psychic, H is for Hellgate, and a truckload of other folks during the day and evening.

Shim at the High Dive

The Troublefakers at Cafe Bella

Ashworth at Seattle Central Community College

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Green Pajamas wma & mp3 files

I like to think I'm relatively up on what's going on with Seattle pop music, especially of the power variety. But, occasionally something happens that makes me realize how much of idiot I really am. For example, I didn't realize that Green Pajamas were still playing shows. But, darned if they aren't playing at the Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater on Saturday June 23.

The folks over at Parasol have a handful of Green Pajamas wma files, as well as one mp3 that you can snag. The links are to the collection of unreleased material that Parasol put out last fall. Here's a direct link to one of my favorites, called "She Turns Me On."

In semi-related news, at the Seattle Powerpop Blog anniversary show on June 29 (Sunset Tavern) each of the six bands on the bill is going to be doing at least one song by another Seattle pop band. The Small Change has chosen Green Pajamas. Will they go the classic route of doing "Kim The Waitress," or will they go more obscure, or both? Come find out.


Green Pajamas then


Green Pajamas now

Young Fresh Fellows video from the vault

Here's a video of Young Fresh Fellows covering "Picture Book" by the Kinks.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

mp3 from new Shake Some Action live disc

It might be lacking in class for me to pimp my own playing here. But, what the heck. It's Saturday night and I'm online looking for stuff to post. So, why not.

Shake Some Action has a new live CD coming out in a few weeks. The disc was recorded at our third show ever at the Crocodile Cafe back in December 2006, and it sounds pretty cool -- full of jitters and beaming with a raw, what-the-hell-are-we-doing feeling.

The disc will be available via iTunes on June 26. You can go out to our website to see some artwork and read more about the show and the release. You can whet your appetite with this mp3 of "I Can See Where This Is Going Now."

The Purrs at Easy Street tonight

Just a heads up that The Purrs are doing an in-store at Easy Street Records tonight at 9:30pm. I think I'm going to head down there and try to find some old Hoodoo Gurus records. I've been jonesing to hear them recently, but I've only got a couple of tunes on my mp3 player.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Some new stuff from Patience Please

The fine folks of Patience Please have posted a new tune on their myspace page from their forthcoming LP, titled "Fleeting Frequencies." It's clear that they enjoy alliteration (their EP was called "Parallel Plots"), as well as speedy indiepop that reminds me of one of my favorite 7" singles from the mid-1990s from a band whose name completely escapes me. I realize that's a completely useless description for everyone but me.

So, to make up for it, here is an mp3 from Patience Please. It's a different tune than the new one on their myspace page. But, it's bouncy and pleasant anyway.

These guys always name check Elvis Costello and XTC, which I don't hear in their music at all. But, I give them props -- do people still give props? -- for the name checks anyway.

I'm back, so what's going on?

I've just finished spending a week with my family, showing them the sights, and eating waaaaaaay too much. Now I'm somewhat back to real life (although not returning to work until Monday).

So, what's going on in the world of rock? Did I miss anything?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I forgot how much I love this

I stumbled across this video in a random stream of myspace surfing. It really has nothing to do with Seattle (although I'm sure we could play the degrees of separation game and find something, if necessary). But, I really forgot how great this song is -- it's the title track to the Tom Hanks flick "That Thing You Do."

Of course, most people probably know. But, in case not, the tune was written by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne, who have a fab new record out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Some rock shows to see

Well, as my mom is in the shower and we're getting ready for whatever touristy activities we will undertake today, I thought I'd take a moment to post about some shows.

First and foremost, Noise for the Needy is happening this week. So, when in doubt, go to their shows. But, here are some other things to do, as well:

Wednesday, 6/6
The Police at Key Arena

Friday, 6/8
The Quiet Ones, The Turn-Ons and The Elephans at the Crocodile

Saturday, 6/9
Pretty Girls Make Graves final show at Neumos

Memphis Radio Kings at the Tractor

The Wrens and Say Hi To Your Mom at the Crocodile

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Vacation city

Hi all,

I'm on a bit of a vacation right now, with my mom and sister visiting town. It's been about a year and a half since I've seen them. So, not much blogging going on right now. I'm sure there's good rock happening. So, go see it and then send me your pictures or thoughts about it, and I'll post them.

I was going to put up a "gone fishin'" sign on the blog, but this one is funnier:

Friday, June 01, 2007

Seattle Nightlife ordinances - take action

I've been semi-casually following the Seattle Nightlife Ordinances that have been under discussion for 6 months or so, and have done my part to contact these folks and let them know where I stand. I hope you'll do the same. It really does matter.

Here's the latest from the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, and how YOU, dear reader, can help keep this junk from messing up our rock-n-roll.


From The Seattle Nightlife and Music Association (SNMA)
www.seattlenma.org

Yesterday City Council member’s Clark and Drago issued a press release and briefing paper outlining a series of proposals in response to the Mayor’s proposed nightlife regulations. The press release is available at http://seattlenma.org/downloads/clark_release and the briefing paper at http://seattlenma.org/downloads/clark_brief

The two council members are proposing a series of actions that if, taken together, would be for more egregious than what the mayor originally proposed. These actions include:

Embracing the mayor’s proposal of creating a new nightlife license which would be used to close down clubs at the discretion of the city.

Significantly increases fines for noise violations from $500 up to $6000.

Amends the current nuisance ordinance so the city could more easily close down clubs.

Requests the mayor to consider even more regulations on nightlife establishments.

If this entire package were to be adopted, Seattle would have some of the most stringent nightlife regulations in the country.

It appears that Council member Clark is intent on seeking approval of all elements of the package! This would have a devastating impact our music industry!!

Your voice needs to be heard now and loud.

First, email the City Council members today. And then attend the June 4th public hearing on this package. It begins at 5:30. Get there early to sign up! This hearing is in the City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall located at 600 - 4th Ave downtown.

Below are the emails to the council members:

Nick.licata@seattle.gov 684-8803
Sally.clark@seattle.gov 684-8802 **
Richard.conlin@seattle.gov 684-8805
David.della@seattle.gov 684-8806**
Jan.drago@seattle.gov 684-8801
Jean.godden@seattle.gov 684-8807**
Richard.mciver@seattle.gov 684-8800
Tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov 684-8808**
Peter.steinbrueck@seattle.gov 684-8804**

** indicates these members are up for reelection this year. Peter Steinbrueck is not seeking reelection and this will be an open seat.

seattlenma.org

Fancy new SPB buttons

I just got a snappy shipment of shiny round buttons that I'll be giving away at the SPB Anniversary Show on June 29. Here's what they look like:

The Sutures - video interview from Folklife