Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Ettes, The Purrs, & Village Green photos

I took in the rock show at the High Dive this evening, featuring The Ettes (from LA), The Purrs (local), and The Village Green (Portland, I think). Good time all around. Pretty darn crowded. But, fun. Here are some photos.

The Ettes were on first, and they were the most enjoyable band of the evening for me. It was a whirling dervish set, part garage rock and 60s pop. Imagine Dusty Springfield with a fuzzed out bass and crashing drums behind her.

This photo pretty well captures the energy of the rhythm section:

The Ettes bass & drums

This one is perhaps a bit more tame. But, not an altogether bad shot:

The Ettes guitar & drums

Up next were The Purrs. The crowd was giving them a loving send off for their tour, and they got a great response. As always, they lose me a little when they extend into the repetitive drone/jam sections. But, then they pull me back in with the dark, but catchy melodies and interesting guitar lines.

I was quite close to the stage at the beginning of their set and took a few good ones:

The Purrs

The Purrs

Finally, The Village Green took the stage. Vests are apparantly back in style, as each member was wearing one. The band seemed less rocking to me than when I saw them last, which, given, has been a while. They had more of a rootsy thing happening. But, in fairness, I got tired and headed home after 4 songs.

Played around with B&W for them:

The Village Green

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Racetrack video & comparison

Here's Racetrack performing their song "Sure Thing!" at the Kirkland Teen Center. You've only got two more chances to see these guys live before they pack it in. So, note your calendar for October 20 and 21.

This Racetrack tune generally reminds me Velocity Girl. No specific song I could reference as particularly similar, but "Audrey's Eyes" comes close -- at least with regard to the general vibe of the tune. This is meant as a compliment, as I used to love me some Velocity Girl.

A rant and a Capillaries show

First up: the rant. Ready? Here goes:

Damn, I wish there was some sort of rss feed for rock-n-roll calendars! I do my best to plan out my week and find all the cool powerpoppin' rock shows, but then somehow I miss a great show like the one below. How can that be? I dunno.

And, in truth, I don't even have an excuse, because it's right there in The Stranger's live music listings. Perhaps the issue is I just suck at reading event calendars. Maybe it's time to get a SPB intern to read the calendars for me. It'll be like Kramerica Industries (the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets an intern). Best dialog from that episode:

- Dean of school: "As far as I can tell Mr. Kramer, your entire organization is run out of a messy appartment that may or may not contain a chicken."

- Kramer: "And with Darren's help, we'll GET that chicken!"

- Dean of school: "I'm sorry, we can't let Darren continue this internship."

- Kramer: "What?? That seems arbitrary and capricious."

- Dean of school: "Your fly is open."

Anyway, onto the good stuff. This is from The Capillaries:

Tonight, Thursday Sept 28, the Capillaries will be at the Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill (Seattle) with good friends Get Set Go and New Maximum Donkey, both from the sunny climes of Los Angeles.

This is a rare opportunity for Seattlites (Sattelites?) to catch the gorgeous melodies and rich antisocial sentiment of one Mike TV, frontman for Get Set Go.

The Capillaries are also doing something unusual tonight in that our keyboardist, Michael, is on safari, and so we are playing as a stripped-down sweaty three-piece. We promise some roaring new songs and a fair amount of mistakes.

Please come down to what must be Capitol Hill's oldest bar and join us. Things start, oh let's say at 9:00, and they'll cost $3.00? $5.00?, I don't know.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Purrs CD review

I was pleasantly greeted by my mailbox today, as it brought me the gift of The Purrs new self-titled CD on Sarathan Records. The disc is actually seven tunes from their Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of disc, along with a few additional songs off of their No Particular Bar, No Particular Town ep. So, I suppose I'm wrong to call it a "new" self-titled CD. But, it's a new release, so... good enough.

The disc leads with "She's Gone," a tune that rides a 60s pop guitar groove into a relatively snide vocal delivery, and the results pull me in every time. "Connect the dots" is a woozy dirge that recalls Velvet Underground. Track six, "Because I Want To," sounds like what I think The La's might sound like at the end of a long drunken weekend hanging out with the Hoodoo Gurus.

I tend to prefer The Purrs in their poppier moments, and they lose me a little when they start to shoegaze or get all psychedelic on me. But, they strike a nice balance between the two sides. The whole disc sounds cohesive, even though we know it's culled from two previous releases. So, if you like your melody with a heavy dose of... a heavy dose of... well, maybe just a heavy dose, then this disc is for you.

Or, you can see them live this Friday (9/29) at the High Dive with The Ettes and The Village Green, who also have a new release out (on spinArt Records), which I have not yet heard. Based on samples on their myspage page, it's less bombastic than when I last saw them live. But, sounds interesting.

Bellingham or Olympia...

You get your choice of driving north for a cool show or driving south for a cool this this Friday (9/29).

Up first, rock show to the north:
The Divorce
The Boss Martians
Yes, Oh Yes
At The Rogue Hero in Bellingham

Up next, rock show to the south:
Mon Frere
Kane Hodder
At The Capital Theater in Olympia

Of course, if you're staying in Seattle, you can also see Shorthand For Epic (at The Comet Tavern, 9pm), The Stars of Track and Field (at the Sunset Tavern, 7pm), and prolly a bunch of other bands around town, as well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The best PacNW band photos EVER!!!!

I was cruising around the web and came across a site that has lists of literally hundreds of bands from the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. And let me tell you, I have found some of the absolute best publicity photos ever.

I realize making light of photos from 20 to 30 years ago is like shooting fish in a barrel. And, to be fair, if I had pictures of myself from then, we'd all get a laugh at my expense. Well, technically in the 70's I was a cute little kid. The 1980s are another story altogether. But, I digress.

I'm going to walk you through several of my favorite photos from this site, starting with a band called Tri-Power and the Headers (1972-1974 - Seattle). I can't decide if these guys look more like Sha Na Na or The Village People. But, I bet they rocked:

Now, the folks in Easy Meat (1971-1977 - Vancouver) not only picked a pretty gross band name, they also happen to have a member with one of the best white dude afros I've ever seen (second from right):

Five Pound Smile (1975-1977 - Seattle) looks like a band that would put on one hell of a show. To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure what I'm looking at:

Of course, I'm sure there were some cool, powerpoppin' bands back in the day, as well. I don't really know what The Need (1979 - Vancouver) sounded like. But, the skinny ties and tennis shoes have me thinking "The Knack:"

And, I'm thinking that Apogy (1970s - Seattle) has the potential to be the Weezer of their time:

Pete Holly and the Looks (1976-1981 - Boise, ID) were hitting the new wave stuff pretty hard and apparently they were huge in Germany:

So, anyway, that's all for now. But, I recommend you head over there and take a peek. I could get lost in this site forever!!

The Purrs at Easy Street 9/26 (today)

The Purrs are playing at Easy Street Records tonight (9/26) at 6pm. There is also a video of their performance at Bumbershoot up at, who said of the band, "The Purrs prove to be unrelenting – wielding track after track of perfectly harnessed bits of psychedelic-pop."

This performance video seems to be higher on the psychedelia than the pop. But, then again, the quicktime file would only load about half of the clip for me. So, YMMV.

They're also playing Friday at the High Dive with The Village Green and The Ettes. Should be a good time.

Two great tastes...

.... that you might not expect together. And those two things are: Edmonds and rock-n-roll. That's right, my 'burgh has rock music. And all-ages rock music, at that!!

The venue is called The Halcyon, and they have a truck load of shows in the coming weeks and months. Technically, it's located in Perrinville, which is a touch north of Lynnwood, where Edmonds curves around on the waterfront. This map does a better job of describing it that I do.

Of particular interest for you might be the Speaker Speaker show there this Friday (9/29).

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Scheme in the studio

I wasn't doing much in the way of blogging this past weekend, because I was in the studio with The Scheme, recording a new track with Rob Sharp (of New West Motels) in his studio The Playroom.

Rob does good work! The new tune, the title of which is still being debated but for now is now called "You Let Me Go," is up on our myspace page. This is an early CD burn. A higher quality version will be up in a day or so.

Here are some photos:

David lays down a guitar track

Although Chris was completely sober, you'd never know it from the photos I took!

David and Rob try to coax something cooler than static out of the ol' Korg.

First SPB podcast!

I'm tickled pink to present you with the first Seattle Powerpop Blog podcast! I mostly wanted to put this together to understand how podcasting is done. But, I really got into it and had fun. I'm planning to do more. But, one thing is certain: I need a better microphone!

Thanks to all the bands for flowing tracks my way. They are:

- Central Services with "4 Letter Word"
- The Doll Test with "Sings Without Sound"
- New West Motels with "Dumb"
- Tiny Volcano with "Loaded Gun"
- The Tripwires with "I Hear This Music"
- Friday Mile with "Dry"
- Shake Some Action with "I Can See Where This Is Going Now"
- Shorthand For Epic with "End Times"
- Plus, a "bonus track" (aka, an afterthought on my part) by my own band The Scheme called "Sidewalk Soundtrack."

I'm using podOmatic to post this. So, click the little play button below to hear the podcast, or you can follow the link to the iTunes version (although not being an iTunes user, I'm not sure what happens when you do!).

For those listening in by clicking the play button below, please note that if you surf away from this page, it will cut off the podcast. Let me know you have problems with the player. I don't think podOmatic is a permanent solution for my podcasting. But, it's a start.

The Scheme in the studio

I wasn't doing much in the way of blogging this weekend, because I was in the studio with The Scheme, recording a new track with Rob Sharp (of New West Motels) in his studio The Playroom.

Here are some photos:

David lays down a guitar track

Although Chris was completely sober, you'd never know it from the photos I took!

David and Rob try to coax something cooler than static out of the ol' Korg.

Death Cab items

Just picked this up via myspace:

Tune into The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this tonight (MONDAY, 9/25) to catch Ben play "I Will Follow You into the Dark." Other guest includes Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives. The show will air at 11:35 PST/EST. Click here for local showtimes.

Death Cab for Cutie is a contender in week three of the mtvU Streaming Woodie Award. You must stream DCFC's video to vote for them, so go to and stream now! Voting ends Sunday 10/01 at 11:59PM EST.

I'm going to sound quite a bit like Beavis here, but.... heh, heh, heh. They said "woodie." There is surely an Eva Longoria joke in there somewhere!!

Monday Morning mp3

I spent about 24 hours of the past 48 hours tucked away in a studio, doing some recording (I'll post some photos tonight). But, I poked my head out of the sand long enough to learn that The Reluctants are doing a show next week (10/5, to be exact) and I found a song by them that I quite like, called "Sun Fish", from a 2003 demo release.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Snapvine - is this cool or not?

My own personal jury is still out on Snapvine. I don't know if you've seen or heard of what this is, but it's essentially a way that you can leave someone a voicemail via a predetermined phone number and mailbox number that will then instantly appear on a myspace page, blogger page, friendster page or wherever the owner of the account puts the code.

I've set it up over on the Seattle Powerpop Blog myspace page. Setting up the account was literally like filling out a registration form and then copying some html. See picture below for the results - you just click the little button to which the arrow points to get the number to call.

I'm trying to decide if it's cool or rediculous. Or if it's rediculously cool. I dunno. Technology is pretty nuts, though. As my friend David says, "it involves cell phones, myspace and teenagers. So, where do I buy stock?"

Anyway, I would be altogether pleased if you would leave me a message. A funny message is good. But, just saying hello is neat. Telling me about cool shows or music or something is even better!

Powerpop DJs (?) tonight in Seattle

This just in from a myspace bulletin:

jacob lashes and kyle divorce are djing at the bus stop on pine street and summit tonight in seattle. it will be a lot of fun. people will listen to music, drink beverages and talk shit about each other from across the room. it will be great. 21+

Before Cars tomorrow in Bremerton

If you're anywhere near Bremerton tomorrow, you can catch Before Cars, the group fronted by Chad Channing (former Nirvana drummer and good songwriter in his own right), tomorrow at Hansen's. Here are the details

Before Cars, Sparse, Lick Like A Lion
1220 Sylvan Way, Bremerton, WA 98310
Cost: 5$
Time: 8pm

Mon Frere pajama party

I'm not sure that this is age-appropriate for many who read this blog. But, I just saw this from Mon Frere:

OK, so we have already told you about our show at the Kirkland Teen Center, Friday night at 7pm for $5. BUT......We forgot to mention that the show is a PAJAMA PARTY!!!!! And the Kirkland Teen Center will be serving PANCAKES in between sets. How cool is that?

So don't forget to wear your PJ's and slippers.

xoxo~~~~~~~~Mon Frere

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Band of Horses video

I just stumbled across this on You Tube. It makes me realize I didn't take full advantage of our gorgeous summer weather. The rain, it has arrived. :)

Tell me something I don't know...

Seriously... I've been blogging like crazy for the past few months, digging through myspace bulletins and bands websites. But, it's time for y'all to do some work. :)

Actually, between me being busy at work and it feeling like "a slow news day" for bands operating in the Seattle powerpop world, I thought you guys might know some stuff that I don't.

Anyone out there have any news, rumors, gossip or cool stuff to share? Hit "comments" below and let me know what you know!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Thermals live video

I've finally started to realize that a lot of the videos I'm finding on You Tube from interesting bands in Seattle are done by a person posting as Vaporized.

Props where props are due! So, here's another video by him, this one featuring The Thermals performing live at Easy Street.

PF Sloan & John Ramberg 9/20 at the Tractor

I got this message from John from The Tripwires.

Hey Ho,
John Ramberg here... just wanted to let everyone know that this Wednesday, Sept. 20th at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, I'll be opening for legendary songwriter P.F. Sloan. He's most famous for writing "Eve Of Destruction"(!!) and "Secret Agent Man"(!!!), but there are tons more great songs where those came from! . Here's where to learn more about Mr. Sloan-
It should start about 9 pm- the cover is $12...
Hope to see you there,

PF Sloan was also the man behind Dunhill Records, and he wrote tunes for groups like The Turtles, Herman's Hermits, Jan and Dean and The Mama and The Papas (he played the lead guitar part on "california dreamin").

Monday, September 18, 2006

Shows for week of 9/18

Here are a few shows for the week of 9/18 that you might want to check out -- for some reason Tuesday and Thursday hold all the goodies this week.:

Tuesday, 9/19
Maritime, Speaker Speaker and Boat at the Paradox

Thursday, 9/21
Irving at the Paradox
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett tribute feat. Central Services, Mono in VCF, Zero Points and more at the Sunset Tavern.
The Degrees and more at Rendezvous

Monday Morning mp3

I'm in a bit of rush this morning, as it's a busy day at work. But, I've got the Monday Morning mp3 ready to roll... kind of. I've had to pull it from a myspace page and put it into a putfile. So, hopefully that works and is cool with everyone.

So, enjoy 99 Men (out of Tacoma) and their song "No Fun".

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Photos: Shorthand for Epic and H is for Hellgate

I snapped a couple of photos of Shorthand For Epic and H Is For Hellgate tonight at Cafe Venus.

Bands that came to mind while watching Shorthand For Epic's set tonight (in no particular order): Stiff Little Fingers, Wire, Tullycraft, Pylon, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, The Jam, and Devo. Good set, guys.

Unrelated to these bands, but related to these pictures: I'm getting slightly better with my new digital camera. I'm down to maybe taking five pictures for every good one. Before it was like ten to one.

Shorthand For Epic

H Is For Hellgate

My underestimation of Doll Test

Why do I keep assuming things about Doll Test that prove to not be true? There is some weird disconnect with this band and my brain, and it always causes me to doubt how good they are. But, that's clearly my own shortcoming rather than theirs, because they just mailed me their brand new '06 release, titled Gasoline and Banks, and it has proven me wrong again.

I first heard these guys through their myspace page and I really liked the music. But, I hadn't seen them live. So, when the IPO rolled around, for some reason I thought I wasn't going to like them. But, I did... a lot. So, why then, when the CD shows up did I think I wasn't going to like it? I don't know. But, I've gotta get my head checked. I do like the disc. But, a little back story before I talk about it.

The Doll Test, if you don't know, was an experiment related to racial identity and was a factor of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on school segregation. You can read about this part of the story in other places.

That's the genesis of the band name. As to why they chose it, I don't know. Their website says they liked the story. But, the band story goes back further than the 2005 selection of this name, as these guys performed for the preceding decade as The Model Rockets (who put out records on C/Z back in the day).

So, enough history. This 5-song EP on Unsmashable Records is a great slice of what these guys are all about. It's driving and energetic without being overly macho or posturing. It's melodic and harmony-heavy without being strictly about the vocals. There's something really "American" about this disc. By that I mean except for "Scared Out of Your Mind" (track 3) I don't hear a lot of British influences, which is funny since they list John Lennon, The Jam and The Kinks as influences on their myspace page. The influence of the other bands listed on their site (Cheap Trick, Beach Boys and Sloan) are a little more evident on these recordings.

I'm going to end this rambling blog post and just suggest you pick up the disc or head to their myspace page to check them out. And, I promise you, Doll Test, that I won't continue to underestimate you.

What's up with Nada Mucho...

... and their obsession with feet?

And why am I enabling them by putting a photo of my own feet (seen below) in their myspace comments?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mon Frere in Spin Mag

There's a short Bumbershoot piece in Spin that dedicates a few paragraphs to Mon Frere, who they say "belt out a series of almost-gothic, electro-dance rock songs." The article also talks about the New Pornographers, who I suppose we can still consider a "Northwest artist.

Mon Frere

Phamous Phaces live video

Here's some video of Salem, Oregon's Phamous Phaces live at the San Francisco edition of the International Pop Overthrow a little earlier in the year.

Their vocalist reminds me quite a bit of Scruffy The Cat era Charlie Chesterman, which I think is a good thing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shorthand For Epic ep & show

So, I arrived at home this evening to find this envelope waiting for me:

How great is that?

Now, generally speaking, I'm not a fan of "jokey" bands. I'm a fan of comedy and I'm a fan of music. But, rarely can the two co-exist in my world. So, when I first saw pictures of Shorthand for Epic I was thinking they were going to be precious at best, annoyingly jokey at worst. Thankfully, beyond the humorous publicity photos, they're not a jokey band.

Instead, they churn out golden nuggets of confectionary pop delights -- angular, new-wavish hooks, and dancable, head-bobbing beats. Pop, pop, pop. My head is about to pop, they're so fun. I hear traces of many groups that have come before, but in their hands these influences sound fresh, fun and new.

But, it's also easy to be deceived by the kitchy photos and toe tapping sounds. Methinks there is more going on with this band. Sublimely subversive lyrical content. Perhaps pop is the new revolution? Maybe Shorthand for Epic is the next Nation of Ulysses? Nah, probably not. But, much like the transformers, this band has "more than meets the eye."

In short, their self-titled, three-song EP has left me wanting more. Therefore, you will find me at Cafe Venus and Mars Bar this weekend checking out their show (see flyer below). But, Shorthand For Epic, I must tell you that you've set the bar awfully high with this EP. It's going to be hard to top in a live setting. But, I look forward to hearing you try!

Random Belltown PR video

This is kind of random. But, I just came across this public-relations style video about Belltown. Includes an interview about The Croc (that references a previous 3-night Cheap Trick stint!)

Belltown PR video

The site also has similar videos on Fremont, Georgetown, Ballard, and various Seattle landmarks.

A punk rockin' good time @ Comet (9/15)

If you're in the mood for some punk rock sounds from days gone by (meaning punk rock as it was closer to 1970s than 2000s), head to the Comet on Friday.

The Trashies
Bug Nasties
The Cheats
The Suspicions

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Degrees on KBTC

Indierockers The Degrees are going to be on KBTC-TV, appearing on a program called "This Ain't Karaoke." The band says the program will air on Comcast Channel 76 on two Fridays (9/15 and 9/22) and one Monday (9/18), at 9:30am.

As they say in the television biz... check your local listings.

The Degrees taping their KBTC performance

The Nice Boys mp3, album and tour

The Nice Boys, out of Portland, have a new self-titled record out and have a tour kicking off on thursday to support it. No Seattle dates listed as of now on their myspace page.

Spin Magazine said they
"…infuse Nick Lowe's infectious pub-rock songcraft with the charmingly sloppy abandon of the Faces."

I've not heard enough of the record to confirm or deny those comparisons. But, the song "Johnny Guitar" certainly has a 1970s glam rock feel to it (as does the album cover -- see below). Actually, after listening more, this track has sort of a Bay City Rollers meets the Ramones vibe.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Buffalo Springfield tribute show on 9/15

There's a show this weekend at the Sunset Tavern that you might want to check out. It's a Buffalo Springfield tribute, featuring:

- The Riffbrokers
- Henry Boy
- Young Sportsmen
- and others.

I *think* this show is connected to the recent Buffalo Springfield tribue CD (that featured a track by The Riffbrokers). Perhaps Nick can confirm???

While I'm on the subject of the Sunset Tavern, Sgt. Major is playing an opening gig there on Saturday, as well.

Shows for week of 9/11

I should say that typing that title made me feel funny. I've always used that subject line for shows for the week. But, I don't want it to seem like these are the shows in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks or anything. It's just a random coincidence.

Anyway, here are some recommended shows for the week.

Tuesday, 9/12
The Purrs (album release) at Neumos
Sirens Sister in-store at Sonic Boom (7pm)

Thursday, 9/14
Patience Please in-store at Tower Records in the U District
Friday Mile at Sunset Tavern

Saturday, 9/16
The Divorce, Sirens Sister and Siberian at The Crocodile
Shorthand for Epic at Cafe Venus & Mars Bar

Bands, feel free to add "comments" below to add your shows for the week.

Monday Morning mp3

Good Monday morning, everyone. Today's Monday Morning mp3 is from The Purrs and their song "She's Gone."

Someone mentioned to me that they were disappointed that a lot of the mp3s I'm posting are actually just sample clips, rather than full songs. Sorry about that. But, here's a novel thought -- support 'em if you like 'em!!

The Purrs

There's a whole big piece on The Purrs over at The Stranger.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Long Winters live at KEXP BBQ

Here's a video of The Long Winters performing "Rich Wife" at the KEXP BBQ about a month ago.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Peter Parker interview at Lineout blog

There's an interview with late-1990's Seattle power pop group Peter Parker up over at The Stranger's music blog, Lineout.

They've got a VERA project gig in October with Racetrack (who unfortunately will be playing their last gig here, while simultaneously releasing an EP), Patience Please and The Pale Pacific.

The Broadcast Debut, Emblematic, & Neon Wilderness tonight (9/9)

At the Mars Bar & Cafe Venus tonight (9/9) you can catch:

- Emblematic
- The Broadcast Debut
- Neon Wilderness

Here's a sample of The Broadcast Debut's song "Brooklyn Bridge," which is a song I adore. Here's a photo of them:

Dept. of Energy, Young Sportsmen and Ruston Mire tonight (9/9)

If you missed the Dept. of Energy, Young Sportsmen, Megasapien show last Saturday, you can make up for 2/3rds of that show tonight (9/9) at the Sunset Tavern with:

- Young Sportsmen
- Ruston Mire
- Dept. of Energy

Here's a sample of Ruston Mire's song "23a". This show represents your last chance to see Ruston Mire for a while, since, according to their myspace page, "Brian is off for a nine month around the world search for something worth searching for. A search for something to write about besides girls. Or perhaps just more girls to write songs about."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Video oddity

Okay, so it's got nothing to do with the Northwest or Seattle. But, at least it's powerpop related. And, it's downright odd.

Cheap Trick, being interviewed in 1988 by Japanese puppets. Gives a new meaning to "we're huge in Japan."

Photos from Central Services/Parks & Recreation

I snapped a few photos of Central Services and Parks & Recreation last night at Chop Suey. Unrelated sidenote: what's with the trend of bands picking names that sound like government offices -- Central Services, Parks & Recreation, Postal Service, Dept. of Energy, etc.

Anyway, here are the shots:

Kevin from Central Services

Mark and Jeff from Central Services

Anthony and Michael of Parks & Recreation

The Purrs video footage and tour

The Purrs are headed off on tour soon, and I just came across this video that seems to be basically edits of several live performances synced to a recording. But, at least it's a good recording. Love the song.

The tour kicks off at Neumos on Tuesday 9/12.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Central Services interview

Normally when I send people questions for profiles here on the blog, I edit them into some sort of "article." Well, my friends in Central Services responded with such humorous and entertaining answers, that it would do them a disservice to edit them.

And you're doing YOURSELF a disservice if you don't come to their CD release tonight (9/7) at Chop Suey.

Here's the full interview for your reading pleasure:

1. You guys seem to ride the (given, blurry) line between rocking powerpop and lighter indiepop with a good balance of both. Tell me how you guys write and come up with sounds. How has that changed or evolved with this recording?

Kevin: We’ve found that people have a hard time categorizing our sound. We never consider what we’re writing when we’re writing music. It’s all about what’s compelling to us in the moment- coming up with melody and music that really engages us, and then among those, finding subject matter lyrically that resonates. Writing songs, for me, is about working stuff out. Some emotions require “the rock” as it were, and some require a "sad acoustic", brushes and a weepy slide guitar, as it were.

We all listen to lots of different kinds of music- One day you wake up with a Fountains of Wayne style pop hook in your head, the next it’s a 1973 Genesis riff. It doesn’t make any sense to me to try to make yourself a specific style. Nobody ever criticized the Beatles for Revolver, but that album is all over the map genre-wise. Not trying to draw a comparison there, just saying is all.

Jeff: One of my favorite bands has always been Led Zeppelin - not just because they're the greatest rock band ever, but also because they took on so many completely different styles of music. They go from something like No Quarter to Communication Breakdown to Hats Off to Roy Harper to Gallows Pole and do them all so legitimately. I've always wanted a band where that same type of variety fits under the umbrella of a single band name.

2. What are your feelings about the state of pop in the Northwest and Seattle in particular? Where do you guys think you fit in?

Kevin: We like the scene out here. Compared to Boston, where Jeff and I once rocked, the Seattle scene is a little more DIY. I agree with people who describe Seattle as a small town, even though it’s a big city. My experience is that it’s about 98% about who you know, and 2% about the music, until you get some exposure. That said, I love the people I’ve met on the scene out here.

Jeff: Kevin has a few retro-ish t-shirts, and Jeff has a sport coat, though. Mark wears a bandanna sometimes. Oh, and Ethan plays a Tele. That's about where we fit in.

3. How do you think others would describe Central Services, and is that the same or different than you'd like to think of yourselves?

Jeff: We're really just a side project of Math and Physics Club, and we're pretty content with that description.

Kevin: A recent review described us as “boundary breaking,” which is awesome and hould always be said aloud with a booming reverb voice, or by William Shatner.. I would hope that others would describe us as “good,” or more so, “I like them.” Ultimately, we think of ourselves as guys in a band, who challenge ourselves to make the best music we possibly can. We also enjoy the term “cute”.

4. If you could open up for any band (any time period, any location), who would it be and why?

Ethan: Why? Do you know of any shows that need an opener? Because we're probably free...

Jeff: Central Services circa 2008, because I'd love to blow those arrogant jackasses off the stage.

Kevin: I’d like to open for Journey circa ’83, after Escape, before Frontiers, on the tour where Van Halen opened for them, and parachuted into the open air stadiums. I would gladly settle for the 1993 David Lee Roth, Cinderella, Extreme tour, which I saw at a two-bit amusement park in Connecticut. Okay no, actually, how about Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” tour, which I went to with my high school girlfriend Jenna? Cause then she might have thought twice. . .

5. Who are your favorite Seattle bands and why?

Jeff: The Elephants (whose name has changed I think) because they're almost as brown as early Ween. I also like the guy that plays the tuba at Safeco because low notes played on a brass instrument are funny.

Eric: Andrea Wittgens. Her songs are well-crafted and musically, very interesting. She's got an amazingly beautiful voice, and her band is top notch.

Ethan: The Electric Kisses. Love their new album. It's loud even when you're trying to play it quietly.

Kevin: I like Friday Mile. Jace is a jerk and should be stopped before he writes all the good moody melodies in town.

6. You've got a recording coming out next week (blogger's note: obviously I sent them these questions last week - the CD comes out TONIGHT!). What's the scoop? What's your favorite song on the record and why? What do you want people to know about the record?

Jeff: We're pretty happy with how all the songs turned out, so there's really not much in the way of a favorite or least favorite. It was nice to see how well it plays from start to finish - everything fits together nicely, and there are no "OK, I suppose we gotta let Ringo have his song here..." sort of moments. We want people to know that there's a prize for spotting the typo in the liner notes, and if they find it, they win the chance to pay the bill for 1,000 reprinted, corrected CDs.

Kevin: We want people to know that an artist named Alice Tippit did the artwork, and made the record an album. Seriously. She’s a dream. Overall though, we want people to know that we’re not fucking around about the rock. Song ’89 was the song on the EP that people latched on to most, and thus, we want them to be prepared for the level of rocking of which we are now capable. It’s dangerous. Hell, this album should come with a warning label about the rock of which we are the unholy purveyors.

I think we’re all in some way proudest of Settle Into Gray- every time we hear it it’s like: we did that? All the way back to the beginning, convincing Jeff to release that song from its secret polymer suspended-animation chamber, we felt like it was unique. I’m proud of It’s Not My Day for a similar reason. I hear it and I’m like: “huh, what do you know about that…” Those are also two songs that would probably be low on the ‘hit potential-ometer’ too.

7. What's the future (beyond this record) hold for you guys?

Jeff: A nomadic lifestyle to avoid credit card debt collectors.

Kevin: Well, there’s an A-line business plan in place, which obviously involves tour busses, organic coke, and skin, I mean, there’s pretty much no getting around that, is there? I recently heard that on their Hysteria tour, Def Leppard had glass panels in the floor of their “In the round” stage, with gyrating groupies beneath. So that’s been added to the business model. I would say the B-line plan involves anti-depressants and a has-been lifestyle of turning our kids into prodigies in order to compensate for our own failings, then watching their lives self-destruct in the spotlight.

Speaking of Def Leppard. . . Well, nevermind.

8. What's something people don't know about Central Services?

Jeff: That we exist.

Eric: Kevin is a published novelist, Mark has opened for Ben Folds, Eric is aspiring to be a film composer, Ethan has starred in a movie, and Jeff does a pretty mean Michael McDonald imitation.

Kevin: That despite the veneer of grace and stardom, we’re just normal guys like everyone else, with the same foibles and insecurities. I mean, for example, I too spend a good hour every morning debating whether or not to parlay the Tahoe house into a Sierra Club annuity while sipping a mimosa in my jet tub, suspended in the water by therapeutic netting.

Shorthand For Epic vs. Central Services

It's another night for choices in rock music.

First up, Three Imaginary Girls presents Parks and Recreation, Central Services (album release), Patience Please (ep release), and Jace & Hannah at Chop Suey.

But, simultaneously over at The Comet Tavern is a band that I've recently fallen in love with: Shorthand For Epic, along with Via and The Hungry Pines. It's the CD release for Shorthand for Epic, as well.

Sigh... I love having the choice, but I hate having to choose. You know what I mean? I think I'm going to go to Chop Suey, as I really want to see the new Central Services. But, let me really strongly point you to Shorthand For Epic's myspace page to give a listen to their new wave-ish pop rock blend. It's sweet.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

sea.mine new release

sea.mine released Does Anyone Miss the Cold War yesterday on the Brad Music label. You can get it in stores and online now.

The group is also the featured local band on KMMT 103.7 ("the mountain").


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Shows for week of 9/4

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day holiday. Here are some shows for you to check out this week.

Tuesday, 9/5
Matt Southworth (of The Capillaries) at Nectar Lounge

Wednesday, 9/6
Lillydale and Husky Rescue at Chop Suey.

Thursday, 9/7
Three Imaginary Girls presents: Parks and Recreation, Central Services (album release), Patience Please, and Jace & Hannah at Chop Suey.

Saturday, 9/9
Little Steven's Underground Garage presents: The Zombies, The Woggles, The Forty Fives, The Mooney Suzuki, Boss Martians and more at El Corazon.

The Electric Kisses new release

If you like your powerpop with a wink and a sneer, you might want to check out The Electric Kisses new disc. It's being released today by Full Breach Records.

Here's an mp3 sample: "These Dayz"

You can order it via their blog or through the record company directly. Or catch them at Studio Seven on Sept. 12, where they will have limited edition LPs with hand-printed sleves.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Monday Morning mp3 (late again..)

Stupid Labor Day, convincing me that it was still the weekend. I forgot to post this mp3 this morning.

This week it's "Underneath It" by Sgt. Major, because I needed to rock out a bit for the last holiday of the summer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Young Sportsmen & Megasapien photos

(sorry if you looked previously and got dead images -- I had a file storage problem that I just had pointed out to me and fixed!)

I headed over to West Seattle to the Skylark Cafe, which is a cool little spot that I wish was closer to my house, to catch Dept. of Energy, Megasapien and Young Sportsmen.

Apparantly I had the start time wrong in my head (even though I clarified it in the previous post about the show!), because I arrived promptly at 9:30 to what I assumed was Dept. of Energy setting up their equipment. It turns out they were breaking down their equipment, as they had just finished their set. That sucked! But, I did catch Megasapien and Young Sportsmen. Below are some photos with a few comments.

First up for me was Megasapien. This group features Lian Light of Magneto on guitar and vocals (see next photo). They were densely textured with her voice serving as a nice balance to the pounding.

For some reason, Megasapien reminded me of Pond a couple of times. Not sure why, except for perhaps the hyper drumming and thick texture of the bass. They didn't really sound like Pond otherwise. Here's a photo of the rhythm section. This is my favorite shot of these two, primarily because he's playing with a broken drum stick. :)

Up next was Young Sportsmen. I like these guys a lot, but I always draw blanks when it comes time to talk about them. So, I spent the entire set (in addition to just enjoying the music, of course) trying to figure out good comparisons for them. I'm still pretty well stumped. Perhaps some Superdrag mixed with pieces of The Figgs in their more rock moments.

On the way home after the show, I was listening to Little Steven's Underground Garage (which is on 103.7 "the mountain" on Saturday nights, apparantly!) and they played a Sex Pistols track. That's when it hit me that a lot of the guitar work in Young Sportsmen reminds me of several 1977 UK punk bands with that sort of driving, power chord, Gibson guitar thing.... in a good way.

Random thought: Young Sportsmen did a great cover of Guided By Voices' "motor away."

And, here are some random photos of the rock show.