Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Call To Arms

... alright, so that blog title is a little overly dramatic. However, it somewhat accurately describes what I'm about to type. I don't know if this message will be heard and acted up on, or if it will be mocked and dismissed. But, either way, here goes.

I'm calling on bands to attend other band's shows. As a musician, I know how much cooler it is to be on stage with a room full of folks, and while I personally have been fairly lucky to not have to play to empty rooms here in Seattle, I've attended a number of shows where the bands were not as fortunate.

So, it got me thinking, there are quite a few bands in Seattle working somewhere in the neighborhood of "powerpop" as a genre. In fact, I made up a list of them back in December, which is no doubt incomplete. But, let's pretend for a moment that there are 50 bands working this genre. Now let's assume for math's sake that there are between three and four members in those bands.

That's around 175 warm bodies. That alone makes for one well-attended show! Now, of course, not every band member is going to be able to come out to every show, and it would be ludicrous to think it could happen. There are just too many shows per week and too many choices of how to spend one's time. But, if even a third of that number was to attend a given show, that's still nearly 60 people. And that's before you add in the regular club-going music lover.

My point is that if more bands started going to other bands' shows, the attendance numbers would no doubt be higher. And then clubs would be even more willing to give good nights to bands and bills for this genre. Thus, allowing for even more opportunity for folks to be seen and heard.

So, consider this a call to arms to all you bands out there. Support your fellow bands!

And, as Little Mikey Jackson once said, I'm staring "with the man in the mirror," as I'm personally trying to go to at least one or two shows per week.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Evan Foster (Boss Martians) solo disc

I just saw that Evan Foster of the Boss Martians is releasing a solo disc. Here's the annoucement:

For the Surf/Garage/Primitve instro Rock & Roll fans out there!!! Check out Martians guitar man Evan Foster's 1st solo effort entitled "Instrumentals"!!!

Evan's joined by partner in crime Dusty Watson on drums (drummer for Dick Dale, Agent Orange, Supersuckers!) and features some guest keyboard wizardry coutesy of the Martians' own NickC. Songs from this disc have already been featured on Miami: CSI, MTV's Maui Fever and in several Indie films!!!

The Pale Pacific live video

Here's a performance video from The Pale Pacific live up at Western Washington Univ. It's a somewhat-muffled performance of "If Only She'd Leave Town."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Shows for week of 1/28

There ain't jack shit going on this week...

...just kidding. As usual, lots of good shows from which you can pick.

Tuesday, 1/30
Keane at Paramount Theater

Concorde, Yes Oh Yes, and Boycrush at The Crocodile

Thursday, 2/1
Cantona at The Crocodile

Friday, 2/2
The Pale Pacific at the Bakerview Auditorium (Bellingham, if you want a little road trip action)

Saturday, 2/3
Shim, Tall Birds and others at The High Dive (KEXP Audiosis show)

Dept. of Energy, the Sea Navy, Spanish For 100 and Mona Reels at The Comet Tavern (I had previously cut and pasted this one onto the wrong date -- it's Saturday, not Friday. Thanks for comment to point out the error!)

Action in The Color Bars camp

I've been randomly monitoring a number of band pages for some signs of life. The Color Bars were slipping into the realm of those that I just assumed nothing was outwardly going on.

Well, they've given an overhaul to their website and their myspace page and posted some new recordings from their impending new record, which appears to be titled "Kairos At Infinity." The songs they've posted are strong. Hit the link to check out Ja Mata Shibuya, Id Incinerator and Pretty Krinkled. They're a little "trippy," while still poppy. But, very cool. Id Incinerator manages to bring to mind the Beach Boys and ELO, while still managing a moment of electronica drum break two-thirds of the way through the song.

I've sent these guys a few messages to no response. They're quite secretive, it seems. Or maybe just holed up in a studio.

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

This week's Monday Morning mp3 comes by way of Everett's Saccharine and their tune "Girl With The Lavender Hair." Good tune, and I'm looking forward to more from these guys.

Half the band can be seen here, with the Fremont Troll:


Sunday, January 28, 2007

New classified site launched

This post is a duplicate of the first post found on a new site that I've launched. It's a Seattle Powerpop Musicians Classified site. If anyone working in the general powerpop genre is looking for musicians, or if you're a musician looking for a powerpop-ish band, get involved!

I was talking to a few bands last night at the SPB Powerpop Night, and we were talking about how hard it can be to find like-minded musicians in Seattle. So, consider this an experiment. This page will run as an ancillary site to the Seattle Powerpop Blog. But, it will exist only as a place where bands are looking for musicians or musicians are looking for bands.

The only rule is that it has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of powerpop. Much like the Blog itself, I'll be pretty loose on the definition. But, don't expect to be able to post here to find a metal drummer or a turtablist for your hip hop project and what have you.

I don't think there is a way to let people post directly other than using the comments section, and that won't be particularly viable. So, send your listings to me and I'll post them here. If I come across any postings in other places (like craiglist, the stranger, etc.), I'll port them over.

Send you postings to me via email and we'll get this experiment started!

Powerpop Night photos

I snapped a bunch of photos last night during the Powerpop Night at The Comet. I forgot how hard it is to take good photos with my camera there. In most venues I get better shots without the flash, but since The Comet has no stage lights, it's too dark without it. So, none of these are stellar. But, not horrible, either.

The night went quite well, overall. I think The Comet folks were somewhat befuddled by the running order of the night, which went band-solo-band-solo-band. For some reason this seemed to confuse them and resulted in longer change-overs than necessary.

They also wouldn't let us start until 10pm instead of the pre-determined 9:30pm, which meant the Young Sportsmen were going on as 12:30 instead of midnight. Sadly, the crowd of close to 100 had dwindled by that time. Their loss, however, as the Sportsmen rocked it out like they were in an arena instead of a sparsely populated club.

My band The Scheme started the night off, and since I was on stage, I didn't get any photos. But, trust me, we were very handsome. :)

Here are some snapshots of and comments on the rest of the bands.

James Hall, from Shake Some Action, came on second and did some nice solo acoustic version of SSA tunes. The songs hold up very well to that kind of stripped down setting, which is a testament to how good they are to begin with. I took a handful of shots of James, and he looks absolutely possessed by some kind of demon in all of them except this one.

James Hall - Shake Some Action

Up next were Ghosts & Liars, about whom I received more comments than any other band on the bill. I think lots of folks were surprised at how good they were. Descriptions of them from other folks to me ranged from "like The Decemberists without the sea chanties" to "like a folk-rock Jellyfish." Great songs, great sound.

Ghosts & Liars - Chris DuBray

Ghosts & Liars

On after G&L was Matt Southworth of The Capillaries. Matt played a lot of new tunes, as well as a Beatles cover, and sounded great. He was also pretty entertaining with funny in-song banter.

Matt Southworth - The Capillaries

Closing out the night were Young Sportsmen. As always, they rocked. As I mentioned earlier, it's to their credit that they played that show with all the heart and performance irrespective of the number of folks left in the house. Once again my friend David and I were trying to find decent comparisons for these guys. We settled on a little bit of Superdrag and a little bit of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give them, however, is that my wife -- who normally doesn't like live music unless she knows all the band's songs -- enjoyed their set. That might not seem like much. But, she's a tough critic. So, that bodes well for their appeal to people who "like music" but are not necessarily music fans. Based on this, I say they have a hit record within two years.

Young Sportsmen - Richard and Wesley

Young Sportsmen

Young Sportsmen -- providing a very big ending to a fun night of music

Powerpop Night came and went

It's about 2am and I've just gotten home from the second SPB Powerpop Night. I want to genuinely thank all the bands and The Comet Tavern. It was a fun time, and I hope the bands and audience members all found it enjoyable. I think there were around 100 there at the evening's apex, if you include the band members and their sundry guests. Overall, I thought it was a good rock show.

I'll have photos and more comments tomorrow or Monday. But, for now, just thanks to all.

Believe it or not, I've already got the next one lined up. Mark your calendars for March 10. More info coming in mid-February.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

New West Motels photos

Okay, first and foremost, New West Motels have changed their name to Red Sky. According to Rob, the name New West Motels had people thinking they were an band (presumably because it's a Walkabout's album title...??). I think it's a pretty great band name. But, either way, they unveiled themselves as Red Sky at the Global Cooling benefit last night.

I arrived just as a hip hop duo was finishing their set. I had time to say hello to Rob and Charis and then New West Mo... er... Red Sky took the stage. I snapped these photos. Given their name change, it's quite appropriate that all my photos turned out with a heavy red tint.

Red Sky - Rob Sharp

Red Sky - Rob & Max

After they finished, Optimus Rhyme took the stage. I said to my friend David as they geared up, "these guys definitely started this band after getting high in their dorm room." I mean, they took their name from the Transformers, for goodness sake. They were totally high. :)

Anyway, although it's probably not fair to them, it just sounded like warmed over 311 to me. I didn't realize college kids still dug that stuff. Shows ya how out of touch I am with the youth of today, because the whole thing felt very 1993 to me... said while recognizing that I didn't even make it through one full song.

I had hoped to stay to hear Conservative Dad, a poppy band with a horrible name but a good sound (at least on their myspace page). "Bent Out" is a cool tune, and I look forward to hearing more from these guys.

SPB Powerpop Night tonight (1/27)

A reminder to one and all that the second SPB Powerpop Night is tonight (1/27) down at The Comet Tavern. There's a great line up of bands, and the shindig kicks off at 9pm. Here's the bill

Young Sportsmen
Matt Southworth (The Capillaries)
Ghosts & Liars
James Hall (Shake Some Action)
The Scheme

That's a lot of pop music for only $5. Come on down and join the fun.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sirens Sister show and video

I just got word that Siren Sister, Speaker Speaker, Slowly We Survive and The Lonely Forrest are playing at the Redmond Firehouse tonight. That's a fairly alliteration-heavy line up... lots of S's. :) If you're on the eastside or don't mind trekking across the water, check 'em out. According to the band, it's a 7pm start time.

I'm fairly certain I've posted this video from Sirens Sister before. But, it's a great, soaring tune with U2-esque vocals in front of powerpoppy music.

Chad Channing/Before Cars interview link

Chad Channing, and I imagine most of you know his background, has a group these days called Before Cars.

The Myspace Interview site just ran a fairly lengthy Q&A with Chad in which he indicates they'll be recording a record with Jack Endino soon and should have a 7" single out even sooner. I assume the two tunes on their myspace space are the songs on the single. I dig 'em.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Lashes tonight at Chop Suey (& mp3)

If you're looking for something to do, Chop Suey is hosting "Club Pop" featuring The Lashes, Rocket and a few DJs. Here's a Lashes mp3 to whet your appetite.

Earl Grehound/Blakes/Small Change cancelled

I got a note from the Small Change that their show planned for tonight (1/25) at the Crocodile with Earl Greyhound and The Blakes has been cancelled. Something to do with Earl Greyhound's van breaking down.

Now, I'm not sure why The Croc felt the show should be cancelled completely instead of running with The Blakes and The Small Change and another local band thrown into the mix... maybe too much of a mess with ticket prices/refunds?? But I suppose that's neither here nor there at this point. But, don't head down if you were expecting the show. If you bought tickets in advance you can get a refund at "point of purchase."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More on Seattle Nightlife ordinances

The folks over at the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association (SNMA) have done a great job of staying abreast of the proposed ordinances that could/will affect the bars and clubs around town. They've just posted a message that is asking for you to take action.

If you're in Seattle, please send an email to the City Council via the "sample email" link in the message below.

Action Needed – the City Council needs to hear from the nightlife community! Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 01:59 PM

The City Council needs to hear from the nightlife community regarding our opposition to the proposed nightlife premises ordinance. SeattleNMA is hoping you will get involved today. Neighborhood activists are organizing an email campaign as we speak – the City Council must hear from our industry as well.

Please email the City Council and let them know you oppose this legislation. A sample email can be found at and you can just cut and past it into an email by clicking on the link to the councilmembers email addresses.

To read Seattle Nightlife and Music Association's talking points of the proposed law:

To read Seattle Nightlife and Music Association's Analysis of the proposed law:

To read the entire Nightlife Premises License Ordinance:

Post-punk(ish) show tonight

This is happening at Chop Suey tonight if you're looking for something to do!

PUSA video and shows

The Presidents of the USA have a trio of shows lined up in Seattle at the Showbox over President's Day Weekend in February (clever, guys). I also missed the fact that back in October they released a video that coincided with a "garage sale" (which will make sense after you watch the video) that was/is a cross-promotion with Windows Live Expo. I assume the garage sale has ended, however.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Patient Patient performance vid

Here's a clip of Patient Patient doing a cover of Bjork's "unraveled" recently at The Crocodile.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shows for week of 1/22

Here are my recommended rock shows for the week of January 22. Thursday is stacked! We gotta do a better job of coordination. :)

Tuesday, 1/23
Dateless, Monostereo and The Cheatz at The Crocodile

Wednesday, 1/24
The Electric Kisses, Rocket and The Pop Machine at The Funhouse

Thursday, 1/25
Earl Greyhound, The Blakes and The Small Change at The Crocodile

The Lashes and Rocket at Chop Suey

Chiefly, The Universe and the Weebalos at The Mars Bar

Central Services, Argo and Mint Julep at The Nectar Lounge

Friday, 1/26
Global Cooling Benefit feat. Conservative Dad, New West Motels and others at The Nectar Lounge

Saturday, 1/27
SPB Powerpop Night feat. Young Sportsmen, Ghosts & Liars, The Scheme, James Hall (Shake Some Action) and Matt Southworth (The Capillaries)

The Riffbrokers, Paul Lynde Fanclub and The Doll Test at The Tractor

Sunday, 1/28
Primadonna, The Greatest Hits, The Pop Machine at The Comet Tavern (early show - 7pm)

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3(s)

This Saturday, 1/27, is the second SPB Powerpop Night. This one is being held at The Comet Tavern. So, this week's Monday Morning mp3 is a actually collection of mp3s from the bands on the bill. Enjoy a taste of this weekend's show and I hope you can make it. It's going to be a heck of a good time.

Young Sportsmen - Under The Rocks and the Stars

Ghosts & Liars - We'll Carry On

The Scheme - Sidewalk Soundtrack

I don't have mp3 links for James Hall (Shake Some Action) or Matt Southworth (The Capillaries). But, you can hear their respective bands on their linked myspace pages.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Random Video by The Jam

I was having lunch with Rob from New West Motels the other day and we were talking about how we think the music world changed between the 80s and now, with more and more emphasis being placed on bands being perhaps more avant garde or in other ways "non pop" in their approach. I suppose it might've just sounded like two old dudes complaining that "things were different in our day." But, it's true that anything pop or catchy can be overlooked in certain parts of the music community.

Of course, around here there are some poppy bands that get attention and there are outlets paying attention to folks writing pop songs. So, don't peg me as one complaining too loudly about this stuff. But, it's still an interesting conversation to have. Anyone have thoughts? Hit "comment" below. I'd love to hear your take.

How is it related to the title of this blog post? Well, I was just cruising You Tube and found this video by The Jam and their song "In The City." What's interesting is how the annoucer intros the band. It made me think of my conversation with Rob.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Go see The Sutures tonight

The Sutures, who were formerly known as The Neons, are performing an early show tonight at the LAB (Seattle Drum School) with Sirens Sister. I believe it's a 7pm start time, and the venue is at 12510 15th Ave NE.

Point blank: They rock. I like every song they've posted on their myspace page. And I'm not at all jealous that they're writing such good songs while barely being old enough to drive. :)

New live365 station

James Hall of Shake Some Action has created a new powerpop Live365 station. I've been listening for about 2 hours and it's packed with great stuff. If you need a good powerpop feed for your work day, like I do, tune in.

There's another Seattle based powerpop station on Live365, called d23 (presumably a reference to the Posies' "Dear 23."

Both are worth listening.

The Upskirts music video and show

The Upskirts are a bouncy little pop band with a tragically over used name. But, don't hold that against them. Their debut, which came out back in 2004, was called Tube Top Tease, which is completely appropriate since the music brings to mind the summertime and flirting.

Here's an mp3 for their song "Swallow" from that release.

If you're a visual person, then you might instead prefer to watch the video from their song Sunshine.

They've got a bunch of shows coming up in the next month, including one tonight (Friday, 1/19) at The Lobo.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Blakes are the slam dunkiest

So, after going to actually look at the KEXP charts mentioned in the Shake Some Action post below I realized that The Blakes are firmly planted at #1 in both the overall charts and the NW charts. Wow. I knew they were making some noise, but I didn't realize it was that big of a splash! Congrats guys!

Their new disc is quite hit and miss for me. But, when they're in their more melodic mode (or at least they less screamy modes), I dig 'em deeply. "Don't Bother Me," (which is on their myspace page) for example, isn't overly melodic. But, it is quite catchy and for some reason reminds me of something Billy Idol might have done when he was still cool.

Shake Some Action's slam dunk

Yes, yes, I know I'm in the live version of the band. Still, James just posted a blog and this piece of Shake Some Action news surprised even me!

Our CD debuted at # 9 in the KEXP 90.3FM charts and # 2 for the Pacific Northwest chart! To put that in perspective, that's higher than the latest releases from the Shins, the Decemberists, Modest Mouse, Sloan, the Arcade Fire and Clinic!

Congrats, James! Your hard work on the disc is paying off.

The Sea Navy needs a drummer

I just saw this post over on The Stranger's musicians classified ads section. Good opportunity to find yourself joining a good band!

SEA NAVY needs drummer
posted 01/14/2007
The Sea Navy needs a drummer. Radio's playing the record. Stores are selling the cds. Writers are writing about us. We are sitting at home watching the club calendars fill up without us. HELP! or

Here's some band info from their label's site:

The Sea Navy are a band that lives in Seattle, WA. The Sea Navy = Jay Cox (vocals/guitar) & Stuart Fletcher (bass). Jay Cox use to handle the vocal & guitar duties for Boston indie rock band The Ivory Coast. Stuart comes to us from DC favorites The Sorts. In October 2006 The Sea Navy released record number 2 called "Oh These Troubled Times." The record was recorded/mixed by TW Walsh of Pedro The Lion/Headphones fame. TW Walsh also played bass and keys on the record. The record also features drummer Andrew Rudd who previously spent time with Seattle darlings Aqueduct.

SPB mentioned in Seattle Weekly

I randomly found this reference to the Seattle Powerpop Blog over at the Seattle Weekly. It was from a few weeks back, however, in a recommendation of a show by The Sun Ups.

Here's the text:

Power-pop is happening in Seattle right now—it even got its own non–Three Imaginary Girls blog this summer, at Since June, it has covered the Long Winters, the Lashes (though their power-punk status is debatable), and plenty of others including Visqueen, who would be fantastic on a double bill with local quartet the Sun-Ups.

In truth I've spent very little time talking about the Lashes. But, hey, why argue over small details. Thanks for the mention, Seattle Weekly!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Silly Dept of Energy/Visible Men tour video

Robb Benson of DoE put together this video collection of silliness from the last night of the Dept of Energy/Visible Men tour.

I'll balance that silliness by also posting their rendetion of "Summer" on the Audio/Visible program.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NW bands @ Radio Heartbeat Fest

In March, Radio Heartbeat out of Brooklyn, NY is having what they call the first ever NYC powerpop festival. Tey say they have finalized the line up, and there are a number of Northwest bands on the bill, including:

The Nice Boys, Portland
The Suspicions, Seattle
The Pop Machine, Seattle

I don't know about this "first ever" declaration, especially since the International Pop Overthrow is held there. A lot of the bands seem more on the garage-pop tip. But, it looks like a pretty cool series of shows.

Congrats to our NW friends for making the bills!

Shows for week of 1/16

Here are some shows for you to consider planning your life around this week.

Wednesday, 1/17
The Liars Club and The Glasses at The Crocodile. I'm not really sure if this is the Liars Club that is connected to Vanilla and Tiny Volcano via Jayson Jarmon or not. My guess is no, since there is no mention of it on any of their sites.

Thursday, 1/18
Key Note Speaker, Peter Parker, and Llama at the Crocodile

VERA Project show w/Central Services, Ghost Stories and Young Heartbreaks (7pm showtime), all ages

Friday, 1/19
Andrea Wittgens at the Sunset Tavern

The Neons (now The Sutures) and Sirens Sister at L.A.B. at the Seattle Drum School

Saturday, 1/20
Speaker Speaker, Wallpaper and others at The Comet Tavern

Monday, January 15, 2007

Video for (from) the departed

Everyone has probably heard by now that Mon Frere broke up. While they're not really powerpop, per se. I did like a lot of their stuff and I'm sad to see them go. Here's a video to their song "Drain."

Monday Morning mp3: Ghosts and Liars

Happy Monday, y'all. I'm happy to share an mp3 with you of one of my favorite new bands and favorite new songs of the past six months.

The band is Ghosts and Liars. Chris DuBray and Rachel Bowman formed the group after their previous act, Some By Sea, called it day. When their first song ("Sunset on the Side") appeared on myspace, I was hooked. It was soon followed by "We'll Carry On," this week's Monday Morning mp3.

Both tunes manage to be both joyous and aching. When I listen it's hard for me to determine if it's joy hiding behind sadness or sadness hiding behind joy. I feel like they're the musical equivalent of wanderlust, that desire to leave your current situation and find a new one, somehow with the promise of happiness. Their songs tug on all the right heartstrings for me.

And, if I might do a little marketing while I'm here, that's the reason that I wanted to get them on the next SPB Powerpop Night taking place at The Comet on Saturday, January 27 -- see the flyer to the right -->.

I can't wait to see them live.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Myspace surprise: The Knast

Wading through the tons of gambling, porn and international heavy metal bands that request to be myspace friends with the blog can be somewhat tiring. But, occasionally something breaks through that is genuinely good, and on a really good day that group is also from Seattle.

Well, today is a really good day. I received a friend request from The Knast which seems to be a relatively new group (their myspace page was just created back in October). I can't say I know a thing about them (no bio on the site). But, I'm thrilled they found me.

They're a little bit garage, and little bit 60s pop, and a little bit mod/R&B (in the same way that The Small Change is). The one tune they have on their page, "sittin' in my tree," is one toe-tappin', head-bobbin' number that I've listened to three times straight. Head over and take a listen.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Peter Parker on 107.7

I just got this word via myspace about Peter Parker appearing live on 107.7 later today. They're also playing list next week (1/18) at the Croc.

Peter Parker will be making an appearance on 107.7 the End today (Friday) @ 6pm. We're playing a couple of new songs.

If you're like me the only radio you own is either connected to your iPod or in your car. I dug around the station's website and they do offer streaming services but they also ask you to register an e-mail address with them.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Travel story and snow photos

My drive home from The Crocodile last night about midnight was an interesting experience in spotty weather. As I drove on surface streets downtown, the snow continued, but the roads were completely clear. As I got onto I-5 at Mercer, the same was true. I accelerated onto the highway at a clip of 60 mph.

This held until I crossed the Ship Canal Bridge, at which point the swirling snow became as thick as a full box of packing peanuts (nice analogy, eh?) and I had to slow it down. The roads were still relatively clear, until I hit the exit for 85th. By then the roads were completely white, slowing me to about 30.

As I continued north, the snow continued but the roads cleared around Northgate. Back up to about 45 mph. But, then around 145th, it got more nasty. The roads were not only white, but thick with snow. And these conditions persisted all the way to Edmonds.

It was that great kind of snow. Sticky, almost penetrating in its ability to just turn everything white.

This morning, the snow had finally ceased. But, we ended up with three to four inches of the stuff, and our roads are a mess (by Seattle standards - I know my friend David is laughing at us all right now. He's from Boston). Thus, I have time to post this lengthy blog about snow (having called out of work). Here are a few shots I snapped from our front balcony this morning around 8:30 a.m.

Velvet Underground tribute photos

A solid crowd of 50 or so braved the Seattle snow (snicker) to come out the Velvet Underground tribute night at the Crocodile last night. It was a cool show with varied sounds eminating from the stage. From the Maldives' plaintive country to Ragazza's laptop and smokey vocals duo to Ghost Stories, who played so fast I missed their set by going to get a drink and so on. I can appreciate the rapid fire/adhd approach to nights like this.

Here are some shots:

The Maldives



I snapped this one of Chris as we (Shake Some Action) set up our gear. It's the only photo I've ever take of Chris in which he doesn't look high.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Sterling Loons/The Doll Test show 1/11

When compiling my shows for the week earlier, I somehow forgot to mention the fact that The Sterling Loons, The Doll Test and The Femurs are playing tomorrow (Thursday, 1/11) at the High Dive.

Here's an mp3 of The Sterling Loons' "Wilting In The Sun"

The Sterling Loons

Monday, January 08, 2007

Free concert tickets: Vega4

I was offered some free tickets to see Vega4, and I want to pass them onto someone out there reading who might be interested. The show is Saturday, January 13 at the Showbox with Augustana.

I planned to do a trivia question as a giveaway, and the PR folks for the band suggested I ask which TV show featured one Vega4's songs (the answer: Grey's Anatomy). While that has at least some vague connection to Seattle, since that show is set here, this is the Seattle Powerpop Blog. So, I'd rather reward someone who gets some Seattle powerpop trivia.

But, I don't want to make it hard. So, the first person who sends me an email and names two bands (past or present) that feature Kurt Bloch as a member gets the tickets. Easy enough, huh?

Here's an mp3 from Vega4

Shake Some Action review

Shake Some Action got a nice write up over at one of my fellow powerpop bloggers' sites, Powerpopaholic.

You can catch the band (full discloser: the live version of SSA includes me on bass) at the Velvet Underground tribute night at The Crocodile on Wednesday.

Shows for week of 1/8

Hi all,

Lots of good shows this week, as is often the case. Here's how I recommend you spend the second week of January:

Monday, 1/8
My Morning Jacket at the Moore Theatre

Tuesday, 1/9
Andy Werth, Turn Around, and tart at The Crocodile

Wednesday, 1/10
You've got your choice of tribute nights (I recommend the first!):

Velvet Underground cover night featuring Monostereo, Ghost Stories, Shake Some Action, Blue Light Curtain, Pleasurecraft and more

Pat Benetar cover night featuring The Sun Ups, Kim Virant, Everyday Jones and more.

Thursday, 1/11
The Glasses, Crown Aruba, Boycrush at Sunset Tavern

Sister Psychic, The Doll Test and The Femurs at the High Dive

Friday, 1/12
Sea Mine, Lilydale and others at The Crocodile

The Purrs, The Sun and the Sea and others at the High Dive

Did I miss anything cool? Let me know by clicking comments below and adding a note.

Andy Werth interview & show

Andy Werth is a fellow who writes cool, breezy and catchy pop tunes that bring to mind 1970s AM radio on a sunny Saturday afternoon. He (and full band) are performing tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/9) at the Crocodile. I did this interview with him early last week, as you can likely tell by the holiday references.

1. First and foremost, was Santa good to you last week?

Santa was good and bad to me this year. He got me a great setup for making mixed drinks, which is good, but this will make it very difficult for me to make to work on time in 2007, which is bad.

2. Any New Year's resolutions?

My New Year’s resolution is to get things for my friends and family throughout the year so that I don’t feel obliged to get them stuff on Christmas.

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

There are lots of exciting things on the rise in Seattle pop music. Great local talents like Shane Tutmarc (Dolour), Sameer Shukla, and The Young Sportsmen are getting ready to unleash pop records (I’m lucky enough to have heard the in-progress tracks for some of these bands), and other locals like Tennis Pro and The Sun-Ups have recently released albums that prove there is a vibrant pop scene in this town. And while these bands do a great job of putting the “rock” in pop rock, we also have some incredible pop songwriters who can give us doses of excellent softer pop. For example, Andrea Wittgens’ album How Do You Love, Aquamarine? is a little pop masterpiece and always seems to find its way into my CD player (she also recently came out with a new EP), and Central Services, whose new CD is also excellent. When I look at the Northwest in general, there are certainly some very bright spots: I enjoy looking north to Vancouver’s The New Pornographers to see what a truly fantastic pop rock band can do. Portland also has a small but dedicated group of musicians writing excellent pop songs, like Danny Delegato and Blitzen Trapper.

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

I’d open for Harry Nilsson during one of his extremely rare concert appearances just so I could grab him by the collar and scream, “Teach me everything you know, you reclusive S.O.B!” Since that would probably land me in jail, maybe I’d choose to open for Rufus Wainwright so I could grab him by his feather boa and scream, “Teach me everything you know, you flamboyant S.O.B.!”

5. How do you think others would describe your music, and is that the same or different than you'd like to think of yourself?

Based on the reviews my EP has gotten, people often hear Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Chicago, and Randy Newman in my music, along with relative unknowns like Bobby Goldsboro and Rupert Holmes. I can honestly say haven’t spent much time listening to any of these artists. When I get compared to someone I’m not that familiar with, I check them out, and some of these comparisons are really flattering. I raised myself on jazz and the whole pantheon of 60’s and 70’s pop rock, and I think the music I write reflects the variety of those influences. When I hear a melody in my head and start to write a song, I don’t know if the end result is going to harken back to Neil Young, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, or what.

6. Who are your favorite Seattle bands and why?

Some of my favorite Seattle bands are, in no particular order: The Jim Knapp Orchestra (best jazz in town, hands down); Tennis Pro (great pop rock songs, and live shows offer the chance to be flipped off by the talented multi-instrumentalist Phil Petersen), The Young Sportsmen (killer live shows), Central Services (beautiful, balanced sound)—Actually, there’s just too many great local bands to name.

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

The band and I have really only been at this since September, so pretty much everything qualifies as “latest news” for us. The EP generated some excellent comments from indie reviewers, as well as from The Stranger and KEXP, and made a couple of “Best of” lists for 2006 and has received some airplay. We also were just covered in VegNews magazine, one of the largest vegetarian lifestyle magazines with a readership of 150,000+. We’re excited to already be playing great venues like the Crocodile and the High Dive, and have managed to get out of Seattle and play as well. We’ll continue to develop our set list and play shows around the Northwest, and will be recording a full-length record around July of 07.

8. What's something people don't know about Andy Werth?

I speak German, and at an upcoming show I’ll be singing one of my songs in German.

TIG's best of 2006

For reasons that I cannot quite determine, if you go to the calendar links over at Three Imaginary Girls, you get their list of the best of 2006. This is odd, because the front page says their still tabulating.

I'm tempted to cut and paste the list here. Since I think it might be an accident, I'm going to refrain from doing so. But, I will say that the bands on my own ballot for their list did pretty well (assuming the list I'm seeing over there now is correct!):

The Doll Test - didn't make the list
Racetrack - comes in at #13
Central Services - comes in at #27
Jon Auer - didn't make the list
The Long Winters - comes in at #3

(blogger's follow up: The results are now officially posted over at TIG)

Monday Morning mp3

Good morning all!

Today's Monday Morning mp3 is "Statues/Shadows" by speaker speaker. That's a fair amount of alliteration for 8:45am. :)

They've got a number of shows coming up this month. You can read all about it on their myspace page.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Llama/Tripwires/Lund Bros photos

I headed down to the Tractor Tavern to see the Lund Brothers/The Tripwires/Llama show last night. Good show all around. I think it's a sign of my age that I'm finding Friday night shows harder to attend than Saturday night shows, because I tuckered out about 6 songs into Llama's set. But, overall it was a solid night of music.

The Lund Brothers from down Tacoma way opened the night. I had been trying to catch them for a while but they (like The Capillaries) are one of those bands that always seems to have shows on nights when I've got alternate plans. But, thankfully, I could catch them this evening.

Those guys are pretty darn rock n' roll. I was riffing with my friend David about who they remind us of. The names we were throwing around included Cheap Trick, You Am I, and the more rocking side of The Posies.

The Lund Brothers' Gwon Chang

The Lund Brothers' Chris Lund

Second on the bill was The Tripwires. I've gushed about them plenty in the past. So, no need to rehash it too much. I just really dig their sound and their songs.

The Tripwires' Jim Sangster

Closing out the night was Llama. As I said earlier, I kind of ran out of steam during their set, so I wasn't digging it as much as I thought I was going to. But, I'm perfectly willing to chalk that up to being tired, because I've always enjoyed them in the past.

Llama's Scott 5

Llama's Rusty Willoughby

Thursday, January 04, 2007

SHIM show (1/6) & video

It has popped onto my radar that SHIM is playing on Saturday (1/6) down at the Sunset Tavern. If you're not familiar with these guys, I blogged about and took some photos at their record release party. Do yourself a favor and head to their myspace page and listen to the demo to "Something To Hide."

If you find yourself thinking, "yeah they rock, but I'd like to see some random video of them being silly in a tour van," you now can do so thanks to the power of the internet.


Introducing... The Sutures

You may also refer to them as the band formerly known as The Neons. But, it looks like perhaps someone already had dibs on that name. So, you can now call them The Sutures.

If you visit their myspace page now you can also find a newly posted (although older recording) tune called "You're No Fun." Another excellent tune from these guys.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Llama mp3 & show

As previously mentioned, Llama is playing on Friday with The Tripwires and Lund Bros at the Tractor Tavern. Llama, like The Tripwires, includes part of the family lineage of the Model Rockets (namely one Scott [5] Sutherland also of The Doll Test), and is coalesced around the songwriting talents of one Rusty Willoughby (Pure Joy, Flop, etc.).

I haven't written much about Llama since starting the blog, and I don't have a good excuse as to why that is. They did quite a few shows toward the end of last year. But, if you've not had a chance to see them, this show on Friday is the perfect opportunity, since it's a strong bill.

To whet your appetite, here's an mp3 of their song "Right Now."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shows for week of 1/2

Happy New Year everone!

Wednesday, 1/3
The Sun-Ups, Royal Bear and Belle Epoque at the Crocodile. The Sun-Ups remind me a bit of Madder Rose, if you remember those guys from the 90's.

Thursday, 1/4
Smile Brigade, Ghost Stories (although I'm not sure which one, as there seem to be two bands from the area with that name and many others outside the area with that name!) and others at the SS Marie Antoinette. I didn't know they were doing shows here anymore.

Friday, 1/5
The Tripwires, Llama and Lund Bros at the Tractor. This is the show of the week for me!

The Turn-Ons, Go Fever and others at the Sunset Tavern

Saturday, 1/6
James Mercer (of the Shins), Eric Bachmann (of crooked fingers, archers of loaf) at Neumos

Memphis Radio Kings, Young Sportsmen and Red Jacket Mine at the Crocodile

Tuesday morning mp3

Due to the holiday, I'm once again posting the Monday Morning mp3 on Tuesday morning instead. I'm sure I've posted this at some point in the past (probably back when the IPO was going on). But, even if I have, I'm posting it again.

The Tripwires are a favorite of mine, and their song "I Hear This Music" is just a toe-tapping classic.

You can catch them this Friday (1/5) at the Tractor Tavern with Llama and the Lund Bros. It's a show to not miss!