Friday, June 30, 2006

Pre-July 4th rocking

There are a couple of shows this weekend to which I'd like to draw your attetion. I hope everyone gets a long weekend, as I do. Four day weekends rule.

Friday, June 30 at The Midnight Sun (olympia)
The Electric Kisses will be performing, along with The Neckers, The Soda Pop Kids, and SDR.

Saturday, July 1 at Cafe Venus and Mars Bar you can catch Jon Auer in what appears to be a singer-songwriter setting (there are three other folks on the bill). See the video below from a solo performance at KEXP.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

International Pop Overthrow -- Seattle

It's official. They've released the schedule for the Seattle branch of the International Pop Overthrow. The event is taking place August 24 through August 27 at the Croc. It's $10 each night and each evening features some great acts, both local and not.

Thursday, August 24
7:30 The Small Change
8:00 The Cheats
8:30 Doll Test
9:00 Young Sportsmen
9:30 The Sterling Loons
10:00 Twink The Wonder Kid
10:30 Lund Bros.
11:00 The Snakebites

Friday, August 25
7:30 The Capillaries
8:00 The Craze
8:30 Tiny Volcano featuring Vanilla
9:00 Jon Auer
9:30 My Brave Face
10:00 Gary Reynolds and The Brides Of Obscurity
10:30 Sgt. Major
11:00 The Tripwires

Saturday, August 26
8:00 Jet City
8:30 Girls Say Yes
9:00 The Quags
9:30 Tim Lee
10:00 The Windbreakers
10:30 Don Dixon
11:00 True West

Sunday, August 27
7:30 Jimm McIver
8:00 Phamous Phaces
8:30 The Glasses
9:00 Easterly
9:30 Tranquilla
10:00 Jim Basnight Band
10:30 sea.mine
11:00 Terrene

What are your thoughts on the line up? Post 'em now by hitting "comments" below!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tiny Volcano profile

Tiny Volcano is old school. And I’m ashamed to say I just found out about them less than a week ago. Scott McPherson, the main man in Tiny Volcano, informs me the genesis of the band was back in 1995, when his previous band, the Liar’s Club, folded their tent. Of course, perhaps I can be excused for missing out on them for some of those years since he also informs me the band didn’t fully coalesce until 2000 and released their debut record in 2003.

However, that still leaves me 3 years behind the times, which is marginally less embarrassing. But, that does mean I’ve been missing out on their pure pop sound for longer than I should have!

Fortunately for them, the rest of the world has not been as in the dark as I. Their 2003 release got great reviews from notlame, Popbang, Gods of Music and so on. When asked what sort of unexpected results came from the reviews, Scott said, “Hmm, well, Tiny Volcano was offered a lot of film work, or soundtrack stuff. Weird huh? The great reviews really introduced us to the underground pop world of Southern California, which is massive BTW, and that was a very big they seemed to embrace us. Very cool.”

So, what does Tiny Volcano sound like? A lot of familiar pop touchstones are here. You’ll hear elements of Jellyfish, Crowded House and XTC. Brian Wilson and 70s am radio inform the arrangements. But, it’s still fresh and doesn’t sound retro. I say pick up the record or head to their myspace page to give a listen.

Scott says he’s “still waiting on a wave of mega power pop to ride on in” to Seattle (so are we, my friend!!). But, he sites Jet City Fix and The Degree’s as some of his local faves. You can find Tiny Volcano around Seattle at their favorite clubs, Show Box and the Crocodile. But, in particular, watch for them on the bill in August when the International Pop Overthrow comes to town.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jeremy Enigk, Jen Wood and sea.mine

This article in the PI says more than I can on the subject. Show is Wednesday, June 28. $12 in adv, $15 at the door

Your top 5

I'm hoping folks will start posting comments on the blog, in general. So, in an effort to encourage that, today I want to ask what your top 5 favorite "powerpop" bands in the Northwest are.

You can be a loose in the defintion of "powerpop" as you want to be. But, let me hear from you. Just hit the "comments" button below to leave your top 5 list. I look forward to reading and perhaps finding out about some bands I haven't heard!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Central Services @ Chop Suey

I recently got a sneak peek into the new Central Services record (full disclosure: I was auditioning to be their new bassist, a gig which I did not get -- but hold no ill will... lol), and I've gotta say, they've taken a huge step forward. You, too, can get a sneak peek of these new recordings by heading to their myspace page and listening to the track titled "Tear Me Down." They're still sensitive in their approach. But, there's more rocking going on. Really good stuff.

You can also get a sneak peek, I'd imagine, by catching them on Tuesday, June 27 at Chop Suey with fellow indie-popsters Model Photographer, the more experimental The Epochs and a band I know nothing about called Never An Anything. Doors at 9pm.

Song of the weekend

Since I spend way too much time on myspace on the weekends, each week I'm going to post a "song of the weekend," which will pretty much be whatever tune jumps out at me as particularly memorable. I'll feature it on the Seattle Powerpop myspace page for a few days, too.

For the weekend of June 24, it was a demo version of "Modern Communication" by The Pranks that stuck out for me.

The tune starts off with a very "Cheap Trick at Budokon" drum fill opening (although I'm pretty sure it's a drum machine throughout the demo -- correct me if I'm wrong on this one, fellas), and quickly heads into a new-wavey melodic bounce that's catchy as hell and overcomes the rough demo production limitations with sheer joy. That's a summertime hit right there, kids. I can't wait to hear the full recording (which is, according to their myspace page, in production as I type).

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Need some Sunday night abandonment?

If you find yourself needing to shake your rump with wreckless abandon, head down to the High Dive at 7pm tonight (sunday 6/25) to catch mod garage rockers The Bug Nasties. Dance up a sweat and still get home in time for Family Guy reruns (assuming you don't stick around for the more punk rock Fatigues and Black Fairies that follow).

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dept. of Energy video

I stumbled across this live performance video of the song "Stereo Embers" on You Tube by the good ol' Dept. of Energy. This was filmed at a recent live performance in Portland. Fervent vocals and powerful delivery. It's a somber song, but still catchy and interesting. Preach on fellas.

Fyi: the lighting gets better about 1.5 minutes in. Enjoy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

We're launched on myspace

Well, after an only-semi-exhaustive search through the pages of myspace, I've got band friends streaming into the Seattle Powerpop Blog myspace page. We're at 45 and counting. It's my goal to get as many Seattle (and PNW) powerpoppin' bands signed up as friends as possible. Having them all grouped in one place would be handy, dandy.

So, if you're in a band and didn't get a friend request from me yesterday, head on over to and make a request. If you didn't get a request yesterday, no slight intended. You know how the myspace search engine can be. All told, I probably found about 75. I'm sure there are more out there in the greater PNW area.

Logistics aside, searching through myspace was a very interesting and rewarding experience, as I discovered several groups that I'd not heard of previously. A particular shout out to Tiny Volcano, The Riffbrokers, and The Conversation Heart, all of whom sound very different from one another but have some great sounding stuff on their pages.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mission statment, of sorts.

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.

The first question to tackle when planning such a thing, of course, is what exactly qualifies as Seattle powerpop. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm going to be fairly loose in my definition.

By "Seattle," I probably mean to include much of the Pacific Northwest. Whether it's a band from the area or a show that's taking place in the area, it can meet that criteria.

By "powerpop," I probably mean to include a lot of things. Is it indiepop or powerpop or indierock or rock-n-roll or garage or pop-punk or post-punk or other? This is a question that will no doubt be trampled along the way. I see no reason to be militant about it. If it's poppy and has guitars, it's probably fair game.

So, let the good times roll! If you're a band and want to send your demo or route me to your myspace page, feel free to do so! Otherwise, stay tuned for reviews, interviews, opinions, gossip and more.