Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chilling with The Neons (&mp3)

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be chilling out on a snow day when you're a young'n in a rock and roll band, this myspace video from The Neons is straight up for you.

While I lost interest in the video in about a minute, I can guarantee you their song "Oh So Wrong" will not have the same effect on you. Love this tune.

snow day...sorrta

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Video from the vault: DCFC

My wife forwarded this one to me. Death Cab for Cutie's "A Movie Script Ending."

The mayor's "nightlife" legislation

While I can't consider myself fully informed, I've been vaguely following the situation with Mayor Nickles and his nightlife legislation. There's a piece on it in the Seattle PI this morning.

According to the article, the city council isn't slated to review the proposal until after the first of the year. The new language is apparantly less onerous than previous versions, but it still requires bars and venues to be responsible for not only their own space, but 50 feet surrounding them (essentially saying the venues must serve as the police for public space, which his problematic) and ensure that no sound (i.e. bands) can be heard further than 75 feet away from the venue.

All this, plus $350 the first year and $300 every year after that just to operate.

The Sea Navy xmas song & recipe

I got a note from Jay in The Sea Navy, who has provided not only a cute little xmas song recorded several years ago, but also recipe called "THE SEA NAVY'S HOLIDAY SWEET POTATOES."

He also sent me their album, which I'm hoping to review in the next day or so.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Small Change on Friday

I mentioned this show in the "shows for the week" post a few days ago. But, as The Small Change are one of my favorite local bands, it's worth repeating. And I'm not just doing so because I'm playing bass in Shake Some Action, who is also on the bill. ;)

The Small Change have an absolutely addictive mix pop and 1960s motown-ish soul. Think Elvis Costello and the Attractions "Get Happy" album, with more guitar and more gusto.

Here's a sample of two of their songs via CD Baby:

"Last Piece of the Puzzle"
"Cheating A Cheat"

I've sent some questions to them via myspace for an interview. I'm hoping to run that before the show. But, whether or not I do, you should plan on seeing them on Friday. They don't seem to be playing a lot these days. So, catch them now.

For fun, here's a picture of them with Kiss make up on. :)

Studio 66 Saturday

You may or may not be familiar with the Pebbles compilations. The original Pebbles releases featured 28 (!) albums of somewhat obscure 60s pop, mod, garage bands. Well, the fine folks who put on Studio 66 are closing out 2006 with a bang, as their last show of the year is a Pebbles Compilation tribute night featuring The Zero Points, The Tall Birds and Vince Saxon's Beat Slaves.

But, it's more than just a rock show, as there are go-go dancers and DJs spinning great music in between the band sets.

It all goes down on Saturday, December 2 at Lo-Fi Gallery on Eastlake. $7 at the door. Here's the flyer:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Sea Navy CD

I received a tasty surprise via email this afternoon. Three emails, each containing three tracks from the new CD by The Sea Navy (titled "Oh These Troubled Times). I did an interview with Jay previously here on the blog, but I'd not had a chance to listen to more than what was on their myspace page.

The Posies video for "Richie Dagger's Crime"

Here's the video of The Posies covering The Germs' "richie dagger's crime." For reference here's an mp3 clip of the original tune.

New disc by The Figgs

It's not necessarily Seattle Powerpop. But, since they have influenced a large number of the active bands in our scene, it's worth mentioning that The Figgs' new record is out now. It's titled Follow Jean Through The Sea, and the pieces that I've heard sound like typical high quality output from The Figgs.

You can buy it online from their website. It also seems to be online at eMusic (where you can hear short sound clips), at Napster (from which I purchased the whole record for $9.95 -- it's downloading as I type), and probably some other places, as well.

Anyway, just a heads up on one of my all-time faves. And while I'm here, I'm going to post the video from the first song I ever heard by them ("favorite shirt") back in the 1990s:

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holy crap...

Having relocated from sprawl-city Atlanta, I've never felt like my commute from Edmonds to UW and back was particularly noteworthy.... that is until tonight. I got off work at 5pm and walked into my house at 8:35pm. Crazy snow and ice everywhere. if you're at home now, don't leave!

SHIM mp3

If only because I just found it, here's an extra mp3 for the day. This one from SHIM, who is playing next weekend (along with Young Sportsmen, whose mp3 is below).

This one is called "Epistemologee." But, I actually like the demos on their myspace page more. The demos have a bit more of a 70s feel to them... but maybe that's just the fuzzy bass and deep groove.

Fleet Foxes performance video

Here's some live footage of The Fleet Foxes doing "in the hot hot rays."

Shows for week of 11/27

Lots of shows worth seeing this week:

Tuesday, 11/28
The Lemonheads are at The Crocodile Cafe

Wednesday, 11/29
"George Harrison Night" at The Crocodile Cafe

Thursday, 11/30
The Long Winters, Tapes n Tapes at UW Hub Auditorium

Pin Pon Dash and others at Funhouse

Friday, 12/1
The Small Change, Shake Some Action and The Four Colour Process at the Jules Maes

The Village Green, Fleet Foxes and others at VERA (YMCA Fusion Cafe)

Patience Please and others at Mars Bar

Saturday, 12/2
Peter Parker and The Blakes at the Crocodile Cafe

The English Beat at Neumos

Monday Morning mp3

This morning's mp3 is "Chavez" from Young Sportsmen. No real reason, other than the song rocks and the band rocks.

You're going to have a couple of opportunities to see them play next week. I'll list the shows here when we get closer.

Young Sportsmen

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stars of Track and Field video

Here's a performance video of Stars of Track and Field (from Portland) at the Sunset Tavern back in September. The lighting makes them seem headless.

What's with the snow?

I live on the north side of town (Edmonds, actually), and it's been snowing like crazy all day today! No joke. Here's a photo off my front balcony:

Vanilla CD review

The fellows in Vanilla sent me their disc a few weeks back, and now that I'm back from all my travelling (two trips out of town within two weeks...), I've had a chance to take a listen.

First, their lineage is one that I can appreciate. I love Tiny Volcano, and although I'm less familiar with Liar's Club, I have enjoyed what I've heard from them. Vanilla, you see, is basically parts of those two bands (with a member of Jet City Fix thrown in for good measure!). They call it the "tiny vanillacano club."

Second, let's talk about this disc. As is probably to be expected with the "collective" nature of the group, there are a number of songwriting voices to be found on the first Vanilla release, and to some degree the disc comes across as schizophrenic -- especially moving from the lush acoustic-driven "E9" with it's XTC-ish vibe to the novelty quirk of "Teach Your Parakeet to Talk," which sounds like it could be featured on a children's TV show.

Indeed, the whole thing feels more like a recording project than a band. Perhaps naturally, given how much I like Tiny Volcano, I find myself leaning toward Scott McPherson's tunes on this project and I'm less drawn to the songs on which Jayson Jarmon leads, which sound a little contrived.

Overall the disc is creative and interesting, if not entirely inventive. But, it's definately a solid disc and one that any fan of the typical powerpop players over the years will enjoy.

Just..... WOW

So, Death Cab For Cutie is playing Key Arena on December 9th. That's so crazy... hard to wrap my mind around them being so big. But, good for them! And speaking of wackiness, I saw a pair of tickets for sale to the show on craigslist for $159. Now THAT'S crazy!

Matt Southworth on Radio 8 Ball

I've talked about Radio 8 Ball here on the blog in the past. But, they're worth mentioning again, as Matt Southworth, main dude from The Capillaries is appearing as their guest on Tuesday, November 28th from 6pm until 8pm. The show is on KAOS FM, which is 89.3 out of Olympia. Or, you can listen live via their website, as well.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Robyn Hitchcock & Once for Kicks

Speaking of The Stranger, they also have a piece up about Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3, which includes Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin. They're performing at The Croc on Saturday.

Of course, I'm still kicking myself for not being in town on Saturday, because while Robyn Hitchcock is cool and all, the last ever show for Once For Kicks is happening over at the Sunset Tavern. Their song "Pieces" is one of my favorite Seattle powerpop songs of all time. I'm imbedding it here, because I can't find a stand-alone mp3.

[follow up note: I've taken the Once For Kicks tune off of the blog, because it seems it fires up automatically when you come to the site. But, here's a link to their eMusic page."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have great food, great friends and family, and your football team wins the game.

But, if you're hoping to avoid the holiday altogether, The Stranger has compiled a list of things to do entitled "Escape From Thanksgiving."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Funhouse stabbing update

I have to admit after reading about the initial reports of the stabbing that took place at the Funhouse recently (see previous post), I haven't been paying attention. So, I read with interest today the piece in the Stranger than points to the possibility that the person who was arrested wasn't the stabber at all.

Boss Martians performance video

Here's some high quality b&w video of The Boss Martians doing their tune "looking for you."

File under: things I don't understand

So, You Tube is a pretty cool thing. I love digging through and finding videos and weird clips. But, I'm not really sure what motivates folks to post 15 second video clips, like this one from the Young Sportsmen, live at Neumos. Don't get me wrong. I'll take 15 seconds of Young Sportsmen over some of the crap that's on You Tube. But, I guess I don't quite understand what motivates someone to post 15 seconds of video in the first place. I assume it was captured on a phone or something. But... still kinda weird.

Anyway, enjoy 15 seconds of ROCK!!!!!

Random Patience Please mp3

I came across an unreleased Patience Please mp3 on their website. It's a demo from earlier this year. It's a cool tunes called "Plenty of Experience." Lots of peppy indiepop energy going on here.

If you're in Tacoma, they're playing at Bob's Java Jive on 11/25.

Monday, November 20, 2006

plus/minus & Sea Navy at the Croc

In the 1990s there were two indie pop bands that truly rocked my world. They were Small Factory and Versus. Well, one third of the latter (namely James Baluyut) is in a band called plus/minus, who happens to be playing the Crocodile Cafe tomorrow night (Tuesday, 11/21) with local faves, The Sea Navy.

Here's a plus/minus mp3 for you: The song is called Steal The Blueprints."

The Sea Navy has been profiled here on SPB in the past, and I'm still a fan. You can hear them over at myspace.

Shows for week of 11/20

Well, it's Thanksgiving week. But, the rock is still coming! Here are some suggested shows for your post-turkey delight:

Friday, 11/24
sea.mine is having their album release party at The High Dive
The Pharmacy is at the Comet Tavern

Saturday, 11/25
Robyn Hitchcock is at the Crocodile
The Four Color Process is at the High Dive
Once For Kicks is at The Sunset Tavern

I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I am to be going out of town on Saturday. I loooooooooooooooooooove Once For Kicks. Go to this show. Don't miss it, because this is listed on their myspace page as their last show ever. Gaaaaah, that sucks! Take pictures for me!

Once For Kicks

Monday Morning mp3

I'm still recovering from being gone for a week. So, I'm taking the lazy way out for the Monday Morning mp3 today. Not that the quality is low or anything, mind you. It just didn't require a lot of searching, because I'm in the band. :)

So, today's mp3 is from my band The Scheme and our song "The Sun Also Sets."

While I'm on the subject of The Scheme, we're in the market for a bass player. After looking for a 2nd guitarist for a while, we're considering having me move from bass to guitar. So, if you play bass and like what you hear, drop us a note.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Ghosts & Liars mp3

Ghosts and Liars just posted a new tune on their myspace page and it's another excellent slice of pop. I'm really excited about this band, which rose from the ashes of the dearly departed Some By Sea.

When the first Ghosts and Liars song was posted on myspace (called "Sunsets on the Side") just after SbS broke up, I immediately fell in love with it. The second song they've posted is a demo of a song called "We'll Carry On." Here's a link to the song in mp3 format.

As an early teaser and heads up for the future, Ghosts and Liars will be on the bill for the next SPB Powerpop Night (which is most likely going to be at the Comet Tavern in January). More details soon. But, for now, enjoy G&L in mp3 form, and do check out their myspace page to hear the other tune.

VERA benefit tonight @ Sunset

Tonight (11/17) at the Sunset Tavern there is a VERA Project benefit. Band include Shorthand for Epic, the Vomiting Unicorns (blogger note: lol at this band name, but I dig the tunes on their myspace page -- kind of twisted, but catchy. Especially "Air Raid."), and more.

Central Services on NPR

Central Services posted a blog recently about being featured on NPR's "all songs considered" site. It's just a little profile piece on them. But, congrats on the coverage, guys!!

An early heads up: Central Services has a show in December 13 with Jon Auer at the Croc (which is not, contrary to what their myspace page says, located in Seattle, Virgina... lol).

I'm back & shows this weekend

Hi all,

I'm back from my trip to Atlanta. I'm sure I've got a lot of powerpoppin' to catch up on. So, expect a flurry of posts through the beginning of the week.

There are a few shows to check out this weekend:

Tonight (Friday 11/17)
The Decemberists are at the Paramount Theater

Saturday, 11/18
The Divorce and Fleet Foxes are at the Crocodile Cafe

Visqueen, The Grates and Village Green are at Neumo's

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gone fishin' ...

I'm going to be travelling to Atlanta to visit family for from November 10 through November 17. So, you can expect posts on the blog to slow to a crawl.

In honor of my visit to the south, I will officially deem my trip "gone fishin."

Be back soon! In the mean time, go to rock shows, buy albums, and support powerpop! :)

Boycrush & The Little Heroes @ Comet tonight (11/9)

Down at ye ol' Comet Tavern tonight (thursday, 11/9) you will find Boycrush (locals) and The Little Heroes (from California).

Thusfar, the recordings I've heard from Boycrush haven't blown me away. But, any band that lists The Jam, The Clash, Elvis Costello and The Kinks as influences is barking up my tree.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dept of Energy video

This is a tad old. But, hey, like I said before -- slow news day! Enjoy Dept. of Energy's video for "Summer."

Slow news day?

Probably not... but it's been a slow few days for the Blog, and it'll be even slower next week while I'm out of town. So, don't forget about me just because I'm posting less frequently! I've got lots of stuff to post about in the next week or so -- CD reviews of Vanilla and Racetrack, as well as a couple of band profiles/interviews that I'm hoping to work on soon.

But, for now, anyone got any good jokes? Post 'em in the comments section of this message.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stabbing at the Funhouse

There's an article in the Seattle PI about a stabbing that happened at the Funhouse on Sunday night. Be careful out there, people!

Monday (afternoon) mp3

Another busy start to the work week. So, this week's Monday Morning mp3 is hitting you right at the end of the work day. What better way to summarize my feelings about when I'd like to leave the office than Llama's "Right now."


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Young Fresh Fellows live vid

I just found this on You Tube after seeing a different YFF performance clip on NYMary's powerpop blog.

Vote, Tuesday November 7

I have no intention of turning the blog political. But, I do want to encourage everyone to vote on Tuesday. Regardless of your political leanings, this is an important election. So, do your duty!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

VERA Project show tonight

Although I find the venue to be somewhat uncomfortable, I recommend you head down the Seattle YMCA's "Fusion Cafe" to catch The Lashes (first Seattle show in quite some time), Speaker Speaker, No-Fi Soul Rebellion and The Neons. This is a VERA project show.

You're no doubt familiar with The Lashes, and probably Speaker Speaker and No-Fi Soul Rebellion, as well. However, you might be less famliar with The Neons, whose song "Oh So Wrong" on their myspace page rocks my world.

The Neons

SPB show photos

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Cafe Venus and Mars Bar last night for the first SPB powerpop night. It was a great night of music with a great turnout (I counted about 75 in the room at 10pm). I look forward to the next one (probably January, and I've already go the line up set. It's going to rock!!).

Here are some photos and comments:

Friday Mile (okay, technically just Jace and Hannah) started out the night strong with gorgeous songs and lush harmonies.

Friday Mile

Shake Some Action played next. I'm in this band, so I'll keep the comments to a minimum. But, I think things went quite well, given how little prep we had before the show. I'm a fan of James' songs and tickled to be part of the new band.

Shake Some Action

Shake Some Action (that's me)

Closing out the night was Central Services. I really like their indiepop/powerpop tightrope act. It's catchy and melodic, sometimes rocking, sometimes sensitive and introspective, always interesting. I was happy to have them headline the first SPB night.

Central Services

Central Services

Friday, November 03, 2006

KEXP Audioasis @ High Dive 11/4

Take a deep breath, and then read this semi-wordy release about a show on Saturday, November 4 at the High Dive:

Heavy Hearts CD Release party, and 90.3 KEXP and Rivet Magazine present Audioasis Live Remote Broadcast and Benefit show w/The Lights, The Heavy Hearts and the Purrs at High Dive in Fremont

Can we pack anything more into one night? We are celebrating the release of our new EP Saturday night at the Highdive. What else is going on there? Only the live broadcast of Audioasis, beginning at 6:30 with Four Easy Pieces and The Hands. The evening showcase is The Lights, The Heavy Hearts and The Purrs. All proceeds from the evening go to support the The Ballard Food Bank, so please bring a non-perishable food item as well. There will be a collection box there to accept them. We really hope you'll come out and celebrate with us! Getting an album completed, pressed, and in stores is a huge undertaking. We are ready to relax and play some rock for our friends as a celebration. This will be a really fun evening!

That's a lot to digest. But, I agree, it sounds like a fun evening.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"myspace surprise" of the week

I'm always getting random friend request or randomly finding bands via myspace that, for whatever reason, I haven't heard before. The pleasant surprise from myspace this week is The Universe. This is another one of those bands that I have the sense that I should have known by now, but didn't -- afterall, they created their myspace page on 6/21/2004! So, I'm glad they found me.

Their myspace page has demos that are rough, but tasty -- they describe them as "Nothing ready for prime-time yet (just a coupla quick-n-dirty demos)." I hear some Elephant 6 influence (the song "on a limb"), and also some Tobin Sprout in there (the song "plans"). I'm looking forward to seeing where they head with their sound.

One of their members also has one of the craziest suits I've ever laid eyes on. But, I'm going to try to not hold that against them.

Did I mention....

... that I'm putting on a cool rock show tomorrow? Of course I did!!

But, hey, it's National Blog Posting Month (props to David for giving me the challenge), and I haven't posted today. So, I'm going to say it again!

Friday, November 3 -- that's tomorrow, turkeys!
Cafe Venus & Mars Bar

Friday Mile
Shake Some Action
Central Services

I never know if one should list the headlining band first or last. The running order is Friday Mile, then Shake Some Action, then Central Services. But, you'll want to get there early enough to see the whole darn thing anyway. Three great bands. $6.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Vanilla disc

I hope to get my hands on a copy for a full review soon. So, consider this a general heads up that Vanilla has a new record out. Who is Vanilla, you ask? I'll let them answer that for you:

Vanilla is a musical project and a record and a band. Made up of veteran musicians from Tacoma, WA, Vanilla features Jayson Jarmon and Scott McPherson (formerly the principal songwriters of Liar's Club), Sean Gaffney, and Dana Sims (The Jet City Fix). The project also features a combination of players who make up the "Tiny-Vanillacano Club" family of Tacoma pop bands -- members of Vanilla, Tiny Volcano, and Liar's Club.

What I'm hearing on their myspace page makes me think it's more classic powerpop from these guys. Very clean and clear production with little in the way of ragged and jagged edges. Melodic and pleasant.

You can get their disc through Not Lame and probably others, as well.

Friday, the clouds will part...

... and from the darkness shall arise a rock show. And this rock show shall be proclaimed poptastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you can join in on the fun!