Friday, March 30, 2007

Even more thoughts on You Am I

I just got a message from Jason from Fastback Studios with the following thoughts about the You Am I/Steve Turner/Young Sportsmen show at the Croc from a few days back. Here's what he had to say about the show.

They did in fact "wreck" the place! Steve Turner and His Bad Ideas, and my good friends The Young Sportsmen also did some heavy damage. Kudos to whomever booked that bill! That was a great line-up.

You know how you'll go to see your favorite band and they will be playing with some death metal band that has a name you cannot pronounce? None of that crap going on at the croc last night. This was a great night of rock and roll! I have never had the pleasure of seeing You Am I before, only heard their records. I hate to be cliche, and being a producer/engineer myself it kind of pains me to say it, but I must admit...they were even better live.

You Am I have the stage thing down, It's been a while since I've seen anyone do a windmill very well. Tim Rogers did them (and how) with style and ease, like Pete Townsend walked on stage himself.

Jason Lackie

A compilation of Shim stuff

Shim is also playing the WIG Bash tonight at the High Dive, and those guys rock like some sort of mad, out-of-control rocking machine that was set on high and left outside in the rain. That's a bunch of nonsense, but it's been a long week. So, cut me some slack.

Here's an interview I did with them a while back.

And here's an mp3 of one of their tunes, called Epistemologee.

And finally, here's an image I snapped at one of their shows back in the fall.

Is this easy, or am I old?

I just took an online quiz via Entertainment Weekly that challenged me to identify 80s hair metal bands who have their faces blurred out in the photos. I got 100% correct. That either means it's an easy quiz, or reinforces that I was totally into many of these bands as a teenager in the 1980s and hung onto more of that information that I thought I had.

Somebody go take the quiz and let me know.

The Trucks performance video(s)

The Trucks are playing at the WIG Bash show tonight (3/30) at the High Dive. So, I thought I'd throw some video up to entice you.

The first is a relatively tame, but still engaging, performance at Easy Street Records:

The second is a bit more of a "meet The Trucks" kind of situation that involves live footage (from a Skylark show back in December) interwoven with random graphics and pre-recorded songs.

WIG Bash '07 tonight (3/30)

Tonight at the High Dive The Wig Fits All Heads is hosting WIG Bash '07 featuring Iceage Cobra, Shim, The Trucks, and Seaweed Jack. While generally more "rock" than "powerpop" this is still an evening I support and recommend.

I'm going to be posting some random stuff related to the show throughout the day, and if you missed it, click over to the interview I did with Iceage Cobra earlier in the week. That post also contains their video.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Seattle musicians' thoughts on You Am I, final chapter

Well, after all that hype and lead up yesterday, my head cold got the best of me and I didn't go to the show. I'd love to hear how it went.

My guess is it fell along the lines of how Jayson Jarmon from Vanilla describes them (of course this was sent prior to the show... can someone confirm whether or not they wrecked The Croc?):

I'm a huge fan of Australian pop and it was probably about the time that Hourly Daily came out that I first picked up on You Am I. They weren't dreamy like the Church, nor songcrafty like the Finns, (ok, New Zelanders but I'm generalizing here), nor accessible lightweight pop like INXS. They are down and dirty rock, screaming, posing jumping up and down and that's it. And the antics! Boozing, punching out talent show sort of warms the cockles of your rock-n-roll heart. I hope they wreck the place tonight (I mean that in a good way)!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Seattle Musicians' thoughts on You Am I, part 3

Well, looks like I was able to hear from at least three Seattle musicians in celebration of the randomly deemed You Am I Day here at the Seattle Powerpop Blog. Not bad for a late morning idea.

David Thompson of The Scheme:

My ex-girlfriend introduced me to You Am I .... we had their "Lo Fi Way" recorded on a blank tape with the Lily's "Better Can't Make Your Life Better" on the other side and we played it to death while driving around Boston. Both are great albums that don't sound too terribly alike but I didn't know anything about either band and couldn't remember which was which until they both happened to come to town in the same month. Sadly, the Lilys were a mess live but You Am I completely blew me away. What showmen! My favorite bit was when frontman Tim Rogers would point to a spot on the floor, do a giant scissor kick and land on that spot. ROCK 'n' ROLL! My friend Paul imitated that move on stage for months later. Probably still does.

You Am I live in 1996

Here's some footage of You Am I performing their song "Solidiers" live in 1996. This is interesting performance, as it features a full horn section.

And don't forget the Young Sportsmen

Although it is You Am I Day here at the Seattle Powerpop Blog, I wanted to put a few links out for the Young Sportsmen, local faves and full-on rockers who are opening the show tonight at the Crocodile. Here are some things to click on:

Last' year's SPB profile article on the Young Sportsmen

An mp3 of Under the Rocks and the Stars

Their myspace page

And here are a variety of photos I've taken of them over the past 10 months or so:

At The Comet

At The High Dive

Different show at The Comet

At The Skylark Cafe

Capitol Hill Block Party band applications

Although it's apparantly been active for nearly a month, I just noticed that the Capitol Hill Block Party is accepting band submissions for consideration. They're using Sonic Bids for their application, which means you've got to pay to submit and that sucks. But, it's pretty nominal -- $5 or $10.

Just a heads up for any bands who might want to try to get on the bill.

Seattle musicians' thoughts on You Am I, part 2

As soon as I posted the first one, a second one came in. No sense in waiting around to post it!!!

Greg Collinsworth from The Small Change:

My first You Am I exposure was in 1997 while I was working at a wine warehouse with The Doll Test/Model Rocket's bass player Boyd. He played Hourly, Daily for me and (if you've ever heard The Small Change then you know) I found my purpose in life - ripping off an obscure Australian rock band. Seriously. No, but I was taken with those super fucking smart lyrics that seemed more like stream-of-consciousness style ramblings that rhymed and that music that fucking rocked. I had, at 25, my teenage "That guy gets me" moment.

All this before I saw them live.

Then in the beautiful year of 1998, I saw You Am I twice - TWICE - at the Croc with about 50 other people. I don't remember it all - believe it or not, You Am I and drinking go well together - but I do remember Tim going into the crowd to kiss a girl and then, so as not to offend her boyfriend, kissing him too. That is rock and roll. I remember Rusty being the best fucking drummer on the planet both of those nights - Keith Mooning his ass off. I remember 'Baby Clothes'! One of the best songs ever written -

"Just 'cause I'm spoon-fed on milo and cheese
don't go shootin' every dog just 'cause one of us have got fleas"

I don't even know what that means, but it fucking rocks.

Go see this show or you are a fool. And I know they still have it because I just saw them in New York on Sunday...and they played 'Baby Clothes'.

Here's hoping the whole damn city shows up tonight, Greg Change.

Seattle musicians' thoughts on You Am I

I decided I would send some emails around and try to get some thoughts on the band You Am I from a variety of Seattle musicians. I have no idea how many I'll be able to gather, since I just had this thought an hour or so ago. But, they're starting to come in.

And since I've deemed today to be You Am I Day, I'll post them throughout the day as they arrive.

James Hall from Shake Some Action!:

If you didn't grow up there [blogger note: James did grow up there], you probably find it hard to believe how huge You Am I were in Australia in the 1990s. Three consecutive albums went straight to #1. Their music was everywhere. They were that rare creature - simultaneously the best band in the country as well as being the most popular. Even the critics raved about the genius of Tim Roger's songwriting and the ferociousness of their live shows. It's all true of course - even now, after being through the mill several times over, they still put on one hell of a show and I, for one, will be there at the Croc tonight to soak it all up.

An mp3 from You Am I

In my ongoing celebration of You Am I day, I wanted to post an mp3 for everyone. This is coming courtesy of the Cropper blog out of Ontario, Canada.

The song is It Ain't Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore, which is from their latest release. Later in the day, I'll delve into some history on the band and some of their older music.

I declare today YOU AM I day

In honor of the absolute, full-on rocking that will take tonight at the Crocodile, I declare today, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, You Am I day here on the Seattle Powerpop Blog. So, I'm going to be posting a variety of things throughout the day to whet your appetite for their show at the Crocodile tonight.

I'm going to start with their most recent video, "Friends Like You" from their 2006 record titled Convicts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sarah Shannon on Thursday

Another show that I forgot to mention when I was running down the list of things to do for the week features Sarah Shannon, Robb Benson and The Hope appearing at the Tractor Tavern on Thursday, March 29. Sarah Shannon is the former singer of beloved-by-many 1990s indie pop act Velocity Girl (who released records on local Sub Pop).

And who didn't have a crush on her back then... and maybe still does now? (note to wife: Sarah might be on my "get out of jail free" list)

Sarah's new stuff is in a completely different vein than VG, but I like both. The songs that I've heard via her myspace page and website seem very 70s a.m. radio influenced in the same way that local Andy Werth is -- meaning, it's on the lighter side of things, but bouncy and poppy and melodic in a classic way (but she seems a little more "broadway" than Andy). It's kind of a shame that Andy and his band isn't opening this show. But, fret not, because Robb Benson (Dept. of Energy) and The Hope will surely do a fine job.

I have to admit total ignorance because I had no idea that Sarah lived here in Seattle until right now. And now that "get out of jail free" line up there just seems weird and creepy. :)

I assumed she was in D.C., since that was home of Velocity Girl. But, obviously that was a decade ago and I haven't been following her activities since that band. Her Seattle band features Katie Freeze (from The Hope), Sonny Votolato (of his own damn right), Paul Pugliese (Slender Means), Adam Fream (maybe Blue Sky Mile??), and Sarah Nelson (not sure...).

So, long story short, this is a worth while way to spend your Thursday evening. I can't make the show, however. So, if anyone goes, take some photos and send me a report. You can be the first SPB correspondent.

ABC piece on The Shins

There's a big old article on The Shins over at ABC News today. According to the article, there was an accompanying spot broadcast on "The Mix" (which presumably is part of ABC News??) at like 20 minutes ago. Did anyone catch it?

Shins image from the ABC Site

Iceage Cobra interview

The fellows in Iceage Cobra live slightly outside of the very loose genre boundaries that I typically write about. But, a lot of my favorite powerpop bands have a little bit of caveman rock in them, and Iceage Cobra is all about the rock (see the video below the interview).

They're playing at the WIG Bash '07, which is happening this Friday, March 30th at the High Dive with other great bands like Shim and The Trucks. So, it'll be a good time to get your rock on. I endorse it so much that the Blog is one of the media sponsors (see my little tiny logo on the flyer? It's the 2nd from the right). Here's the poster for that show, followed by the interview.

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

People have said we sound like The Hives, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice Cooper, Rage Against The Machine, Modest Mouse, Led Zeppelin, Weezer, Foghat and Twisted Sister. With comparisons that diverse it's safe to say that we don't sound like any of them. We would describe our sound as having equal influence from the last 50 years of music. We listen to and enjoy anything that's original and in doing so, hopefully we've come up with something original too.

2. Who are your favorite Seattle bands and why?

Thee Emergency: the first time we saw them my hands were beat red because they made the crowd clap along to every song. Their live show is amazing and there's nobody like them. Hopscotch Boys: very original and sometimes disturbing live show. It's awesome when the crowd feels slightly uncomfortable. Shim: great tunes, great harmonies and an awesome live show complete with lights and fog machines. Vindaloo: Ben Harwood is a guitar shred master! Louder and faster, that's Vindaloo. The Whore Moans: Nobody else sounds like them and they turn every show into a party. The Trucks: They're 4 girls that get the party started. A Gun That Shoots Knives: Comedy/Art/Rock geniuses! I've seen them a dozen times and they haven't repeated a stage costume yet.

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

The future's looking good and things are only getting better. There are a lot of good bands and people are very hungry for a good live show.

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

T. Rex is the best band of all time. Their fans go crazy and Marc Bolan seems like a very fascinating individual.

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

Our album, "Brilliant Ideas From Amazing People," just came out nationwide last month so everybody needs to make sure that their local record store is carrying it. We have our first video up on our myspace page. We're wrapping up our 4th tour in a year's time and another album and more touring are on the horizon for next fall/winter.

6. What's something people don't know about Iceage Cobra?

We stole the cookie from the cookie jar and we also put the "bop" in the bop-shoo-bop but we have no idea who put the "ram" in the rama-lama-ding-dong.

Iceage Cobra's "We Gotta Move"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shows for the week of 3/26, part 2

Here are a few other shows to check out this week:

The most obvious "well duh" moment from this morning post is the first one:

Wednesday, 3/28
You Am I, Steve Turner and Young Sportsmen at The Crocodile.

Thursday, 3/29

1090 Club and Ghosts & Liars at Hell's Kitchen in Tacoma (all ages)

Friday, 3/30
Sterling Loons and The Turn Ons at Skylark Cafe in West Seattle.

Shows for week of 3/26

I'm crazy busy at work this week, but I wanted to throw up a post with some shows worth checking out this week. There are some others that I'll come back and add once my brain is on stright and can remember when/where they are.

Thursday, 3/29
Apples in Stereo at Neumo's

Friday, 3/30
Spook the Horse and The Capillaries at El Corazon

WIG Bash '07 featuring Shim, Iceage Cobra, The Trucks and Seaweed Jack at the High Dive

Saturday, 3/31
Saccharine at Mr. Spot's Chai House

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Heavy Hearts, Purrs, Shake Some Action photos

I was down at the Sunset Tavern Saturday night, playing a show with Shake Some Action. It was a good time, with a great turn out. Here are some photos and thoughts:

The Heavy Hearts have a lot of amplification. There were 16 guitar/bass amp speakers on stage during their performance (8 bass, 8 guitar). And the drummer uses a converted floor tom as a snare. They're are the monster truck rally of rock and roll -- big and loud and in your face. They're ultimately not my cup of tea, but good at what they do.

The Heavy Hearts - Denise

The Purrs came on next. The guys told me they're currently recording their new record and that it's going well. They busted out quite a few new tunes during their set. They've got this mid-tempo swirl that is mildly psychedelic while still song-oriented. James from SSA suggested the Verve as a reference point, and I can get behind that.

The Purrs - Jason

The Purrs - Craig

Shake Some Action! ended the night, with a pleasantly surprising (at least to us) earlier than advertised start time. We were sure we wouldn't hit the stage until 12:30am or so. Turns out, we were on by 11:50. Hurrah for timliness! ... That's not a very rock-n-roll thing to say, is it?

Of course I was on stage during the SSA! set, but I did snap a photo of James hanging out with Imaginary Dana backstage.

Dana and James

Friday, March 23, 2007

TIG launches new site

I wasn't going to post about this, because Dana told me they were going for a soft launch. But, since I saw they posted a myspace bulletin about it, I figured it was fair game. :)

Three Imaginary Girls has launched an updated, redesigned and improved website. The new site features a blog, an improved layout, an overhauled indieRSS feed (which rules), a really detailed list of band links, and more. Head on over and take a peek.

Congrats, ladies. It looks great!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Stranger's poster of the week

The Stranger chose the graphic for the Shake Some Action/The Purrs/The Heavy Hearts show that's taking place on Saturday night (3/24) at the Sunset Tavern as their poster of the week.

It is awfully cool.

Sneak peek at The New Pornographers

This post came through myspace from The New Pornographers:

Into the upcoming album coming very soon to the subscribers of the New Pornographers mailing list. Sign up NOW to check it out.

It reads like someone's got English as a second language. But, I believe they're saying if you sign up on their mailing list, you'll get an early listen to their new record.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cheese & Beer's searchable KEXP site

I've been aware of this site for a little while, but I've been playing around with it some this afternoon and thought I might throw a blog post up about it. The website is called and the site provides (among many other things related to music, film and more) a way to search the KEXP playlists.

It's really quite fascinating to play around with the search. And the results tell you not only what songs and when they were played, but also provide a link back to the KEXP page to allow for a listen to the actual program via the KEXP website.

Most of all, I've found it surprising in which local pop and powerpop acts got quite a bit of airplay over the past year (e.g., The Doll Test, Shake Some Action, Central Services, Shorthand for Epic) and which haven't gotten nearly as much as I would've thought (e.g., Speaker Speaker, Young Sportsmen, Llama, Daylight Basement). Although, certainly it should be considered that the former have newer releases than the latter.

KEXP, of course, doesn't have a specialty show that is focused on this genre as some of the other NW college or community radio stations do (such as One Chord To Another in Olympia and Snap, Crackle Pop out of Eugene). So, it's not like I expected a ton of spins for any particular group. But, it's still all really interesting.

Couldn't just ONE more of you read spb yesterday?

I don't really put a lot of stock into how many folks are reading the Seattle Powerpop Blog. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love to see high numbers and hope that it's translating into folks going to more shows or buying records or whatever. But, on a day-to-day basis, it doesn't really come into my thinking. Some days it's up, and some days it's down.

Right now it averages between 50 and 60 unique vistors per day. But, yesterday was literally one vistor away from a milestone -- having 100 unique views in a single 24 hours period. Yep, yesterday the Blog had 99 unique vistors. It would've been cool to hit 100 in a single day.

But, hey, I appreciate that there are 50 to 60 people who look at this blog each day. Lots of folks land here via a search. Some of you land here via myspace. And others I just simply don't know you got here. But, I hope it's fun and interesting and useful, whoever you are!

Irrespective of how you arrived, I'm thrilled that in less than a year, this thing manages to get the traffic that it does. If you had told me last year I would have a montly unique readership of around 1500 people on a powerpop blog, I would've thought you to be nuts.

See Barcelona pelted with silly string

This is a case of a literal subject line. In this clip, the band Barcelona gets absolutely pelted with silly string. I'm sure it was a set up just to make the video get passed around like this. It worked.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Speaker Speaker video

The dudes from Speaker Speaker have put out a video for their song "Statues/Shadows." Cute video for a cute, quick tune.

Fleet Foxes performance video

Here's some footage taken at the Fleet Foxes' performance at Neumo's back on February 28, 2007. Very jangly guitars, but sort of dreamy/hazy vocals over a laidback beat.

Monday Morning mp3

I usually do the "monday morning mp3" each week simply by scanning the sites of great bands in the area. Well, I think I'm officially running out. Not because I've depleted the supply of great bands, but rather because most of them don't have downloadable mp3s linked from their pages. So, I might move to getting bands' permission to rip things from discs for the weekly posting.

But, in the meantime, I think I'm down to what may be the last Seattle pop mp3 on the web. :) But, at least it's a doozy.

Enjoy Friday Mile's "Curtain Call." Great song.

Shows for week of 3/19

There were a few shows over the weekend that I had planned to attend, and I ended up making it to none of them. Hopefully that won't happen this week. Things seem more quiet on the powerpop show front this week, though.

Thursday, 3/22
Shake Some Action live on KEXP (noon)

Sister Psychic, Vanilla, and New West Motels at Jazzbones in Tacoma

Friday, 3/23
Patient Patient, Smile Brigade and Mysterious Chocolate at The Rogue Hero up in Bellingham

Saturday, 3/24
Shake Some Action, The Purrs, The Heavy Hearts at The Sunset Tavern

The Nice Boys, The Electric Shadows, The Knast at The Comet Tavern

Friday, March 16, 2007

Nada Mucho's 10 year anniversary

Tomorrow night (Saturday, March 17), Chop Suey is hosting the 10-year anniversary party for Nada Mucho. While Nada Mucho hasn't been updated much in the past six or seven months, obviously a 10-year anniversary is well worth celebrating. So, head on down to Chop Suey tomorrow night. The shindig kicks off at 9pm. Here's the line up:

Tim Seely ( )
Korby Lenker (
At the Spine (

Thursday, March 15, 2007

DoE cancels in-store

This just came through myspace:

Our drummers wife Kim went into labor nearly 3 weeks early today...

so our free instore show is canceled.


we are still playing our release show tomorrow night at the sunset tavern.

Dept of Energy

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Steve Pearson interview

Steve Pearson was the voice and main songwriter behind The Heaters, also known due to legal issues as The Heats. The Heat[er]s were active in the Seattle music scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s (and have done some reunion shows in more recent years). They had a tremendous amount of success (see the photo below of them playing in a packed arena!) and released some great, great music that you should check out.

I was able to do an email interview with Steve Pearson about his time in The Heats and what's going on with him currently.

The Heats live in a setting that amply demonstrates their level of success!

1. As someone who has been around the Seattle music scene for quite sometime, what can you tell folks about powerpop in the area back in the early 1980s when The Heaters were first active?

In the late 70's early 80's Seattle was like you imagined "Swinging London" to be like. Everyone was looking for and finding their own unique and creative sound. There was an amazing amount of great music that came out in a very short time. Also there was a very cool sense of camaraderie between all the musicians - we knew we were involved in something special. The audiences knew this as well and supported us more than we could have hoped for.

In those days people did not think of themselves as "Power Pop", rather we felt we were anti-Kansas, Styx, Foreigner, etc. I Don't know about others, but I hated the generic, coporate rock of the 70's. I longed for the intense, simple stuff of the 60's. In a way all of us from that era were just re-creating the 60's. We had missed out by being too young.

2. Who were your favorite Seattle powerpop bands back then, and do you have any local favorites now?

The Cowboys, The Allies, The Girls, HIFI, No Cheese Please, The Pins, The Moberlys, Moving Parts and many more were our friends in those days. Many of these people are still dear friends. I loved what they were doing because it was original. Seattle had not seen an original band in a long time.

The only local band I've seen in forever is The Ones (Seattle). They are great but not Power Pop. More like Ramones on speed. I don't really follow any sort of modern music. I just think about my own stuff.

3. I've noticed you've created a myspace page recently. Have you found many of the current generation of powerpop bands reaching out to you either via myspace or in general?

Yes. This is a very recent thing. It's flattering and odd at the same time. It's hard to imagine that after all this time "The Heats" have become some sort of cult band. Obviously I like it.

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

At this point I have no opinion, but the times could be a-changin'.

5. Battles and Ballads garnered a lot of positive feedback in 2003. Is there a follow up to that record on the way, or is your focus primarily on British Racing Green (which looks to have a record out in 2007, right?)?

The new record will be a follow-up to "Battles & Ballads". The main difference being the songs are almost all just-written in the last year. The last record were songs from over ten years that had never been recorded or with "Count On Me' I wanted another try at it.

The new record will not have so many friends as guest artists. It will mostly be me and "British Racing Green". I hate naming bands after myself, but probably it will be "Steve Pearson and British Racing Green". The record will hopefully be out this year. BRG is Lucette Pearson, Tim Moore and Tony Contratto.

6. Over the past few decades making music that is generally in the powerpop vein, what's the most interesting thing that has happened to you?

"The Heats" virtual overnight success is still amazing to me. It absolutely came from nowhere. We thought we were good but didn't expect so many people to agree.

7. What is something that people don't know about you?

I'm very much an old-fashioned, blue collar type guy. I think dark and esoteric thoughts but try to live like "The Andy Griffith Show"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Shins performance video

Here's a clip of The Shins doing their breakout song "New Slang" live down at Easy Street Records. You'll need to crank the volume up, because vaporized had to stand further back than usual due to the big ol' crowd.

Monday, March 12, 2007

DoE: Held By Waits review

I arrived home this evening to find a copy of the new Dept of Energy record, titled Held By Waits, in my mailbox. This is the first full-length by DoE, who released a most excellent ep last year. Both that ep and this release were put out by Roam Records and produced by Mr. Johnny Sangster. Johnny and the fellows of Dept of Energy go way back, of course, having shared time in Dear John Letters.

The output from their time recording this album sounds well-considered on the whole and like a band seeking to define new boundaries for themselves in specific. What results is an album that isn't as immediately catchy as the ep (there is no "I Remember What The Light Felt Like" here), but one that has more depth and dimensions.

Upon immediate listen, it seems like a record that needs a few listens to fully sink in. That said, the collection seems more expressive, more nuanced and, I expect, more long lasting. Some of the pop elements have given way to something a little more "progressive." That doesn't mean odd time signatures and no hooks. Just that they are not as direct.

The production is stellar and the tones are varied enough to keep the bass-less trio from sounding the same on every tune. In fact, the instrumentation is flawless and the vocals strain in (mostly) all the right ways. I'm also tickled that one of my faves from their live shows, Stereo Embers, closes the disc in high style.

In all, this is a solid release from an interesting and creative band that will be making noise on the Seattle scene this year. You can catch them a few times this week: Thursday, March 15 at Sonic Boom Records (6pm, all ages) and the official CD release on Friday, March 16 at The Sunset Tavern.

Dept of Energy

Shows for week of 3/12

Happy Monday, y'all. Mid-week seems thin. Is there something I've missed??

Otherwise, here are my recommendations for the week:

Monday, 3/12
The Zombies at the Triple Door

Friday, 3/15
Dept of Energy, North Twin and Kim Virant at The Sunset Tavern

Saturday, 3/16
The Hungry Pines, Danielli, The Upskirts at Skylark Cafe (West Seattle)

Sister Psychic, Flake and The Doll Test at The Comet

Ghosts & Liars at VERA

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Show tonight (3/11) ....self serving

Hi all,

If you're free tonight, there is an early show at The Comet Tavern featuring The Scheme, The Zero Points and The Bug Nasties. of course, as the bass player for The Scheme, I've got a vested interest in saying "it will be a good time." But, don't let such conflict of interest prevent you from coming down and rocking out with us.

It's an early show, with The Scheme starting at 7pm on the nose.

SPB Powerpop Night photos

It was another fun evening of music at the 3rd SPB Powerpop Night. Here are some thoughts and photos:

Kurt Hagardorn opened the show. I realized last week that I've known Kurt for 20 years, since we were both in bands in Tennessee. We both ended up in the PacNW, with him in Portland and me here in Seattle. So, it was cool to have him come up and be on the bill.

Kurt Hagardorn

Kurt and his pedal steel player, whose name completely escapes me right now.

Following Kurt's set, The Riffbrokers took the stage. This was my first chance to see them with their new/old fourth member, Scott Sutherland (from The Doll Test and Llama). It was a great set with good energy (and excellent guitar tones). In the interview I did with them last week Heather said they're either a powerpop band with a twang problem or vice versa, and that really came through on this night. Excellent, catchy tunes, but with a bit of twang in the guitar and vocal delivery.

The Riffbrokers: Scott, Heather and Nick (l to r)

The Riffbrokers: Nick & Heather

Closing out the night was Vanilla. They were missing a few players and had a different rhythm section sitting in. But, they still did a great job all around. I think it caught some folks off-guard, because the guys of Vanilla are so completely unassuming. I said to a friend that if you saw any one of them walking down the street you'd have no idea that they were involved in a powerpop group of this quality.

Vanilla: Jayson


Friday, March 09, 2007

SPB Powerpop Night

This is just a blog post reminder of the SPB Powerpop Night show that is taking place tomorrow (Saturday, March 10). The show is going to be a great fun, with three very cool bands. See the flyer to the right ---->

The show starts promptly at 9pm, and due to Mars Bar policies, we've got to be done by midnight. So, show up early so as to not miss the pop rockery.

And please do seek me out to say hello!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shake Some Action in a top 10 list

Well, although it seems like mid-March is an odd time for someone to have a Top 10 list, Steve over at Absolute Powerpop has done just that. And in that Absolute Powerpop Top 10 list, he has included Seattle powerpoppers Shake Some Action!.

[conflict of interest alert: I play bass in SSA!]

But, the congrats go to James Hall, who recorded the SSA! record mostly on his own prior to putting together the live act. Congrats, James!

Blender video: "Meet The Trucks"

The folks at Blender Mag have a "Meet The Trucks" video on their site currently. It's a pretty nice little intro thing that mixes interview clips with performance clips and some shots with overdubbed music.

This is probably as good of a time as any to throw out that the Trucks are playing at the Wig Bash '07, which is the anniversary show of the Wig Fits All Heads site. The show is March 30 at the High Dive and also features Shim, Iceage Cobra and Seaweed Jack.

The Modernettes... old school video

The Modernettes are playing at the Funhouse tomorrow (3/9) with Sgt. Major, The Electric Kisses and Head. I stumbled across this old video piece about them from back in the day (around 1980 I'd guess).

Some of the members have changed. In fact, I don't know enough about them to know who is original at this point. But, anyhoo, here's the video footage.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Last minute Lashes show tonight! (3/7)

I just hopped on the computer and saw that The Lashes are playing a last-minute show at the Sunset Tavern tonight (Wednesday, 3/7). Here's there little myspace announcement:

announced right now! tonight! the lashes with the che arthur at the sunset tavern! come party with our awesome friends the che arthur and us! 21+

The Che Arthur is from Texas. I know nothing else about 'em!

The Thermals, video for "How We Know"

Interview with The Riffbrokers

The Riffbrokers are on the SPB Powerpop Night bill that's happening at Mars Bar this Saturday (3/10). So, I thought I'd do a little interview with them to let you get to know them better.

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

Powerpop with a twang issue. Or the other way around. We have always been a tough one to nail down.

2. Who are your favorite Seattle bands and why?

Young Sportsmen- They rock and they are like our family.
The Doll Test-See above
The Small Change- See above, again
Crown Aruba-Same as above

[blogger's note: All of the above are part of Unsmashable Records]

Llama, The Tripwires, Paul Lynde Fan Club, Sgt. Major-We wanna be them when we grow up. They are also like family and our guitar player Scott is in two of those bands. He's also the head Doll Tester.

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

In our view, we know and love some of the best pop rock outfits. Seattle is home to some of our favorite bands. We feel fortunte to have such talented friends!

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

I'm speaking for four very opinionated souls, but I think that I can safely say that the four of us would have simultaneous heart attacks at the prospect of opening for Elvis Costello. The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield would also do some damage. There's a laundry list of other lesser known folks that we would trample over one another to support, but they would take far too long list.

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

We are recording some tracks with Johnny Sangster at the end of March. We have an amazing show coming up in May. The Tripwires, Llama, Sgt. Major and us. This will be a show of pop rock force!

6. What's something people don't know about The Riffbrokers?

We go on ill-advised tours, we always take our vitamins and we quote the Simpsons ad nauseum.

Random stuff from the Lineout blog

The folks over at the Stranger have a few items of interest thusfar on the Lineout Blog this week:

1. A conversation about the best Beach Boys song.

2. Information about the payola settlement that came down.

3. A link to a free Wilco download.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Free show @ The Croc on Friday

It looks like the headliner has cancelled. So, rather than do nothing, The Crocodile is having a free show on Friday (3/9) featuring The Hands, Speaker Speaker, and The Lights. Sounds like a good time to me!

Shows for week of 3/5

Wow... there are a lot of good shows to take in this week. I hope you've got time to nap during the day!

Monday, 3/5
Shorthand for Epic at The Comet

Wednesday, 3/6
Friday Mile (album release) is at Chop Suey

Friday, 3/9
Modernettes, Sgt. Major and Electric Kisses at The Funhouse
Central Services at VERA
Peter Parker, Conservative Dad, Brides of Obscurity (album release) and We Wrote the Book on Connectors (album release) at The High Dive

Saturday, 3/10
SPB Powerpop Night featuring Vanilla, The Riffbrokers, and Kurt Hagardorn at Cafe Venus & Mars Bar

Sunday, 3/11
Zero Points, the Bug Nasties and The Scheme at the Comet (early show - 7pm)

Monday Morning Powerpop mp3

This week I've giving you a taste of The Electric Kisses. They fall somewhere in the midst of the Ramones, Nikki Corvette, garage side of powerpop. I could place them on a Bomp compilation without blinking an eye.

The tune is called These Daze and is on their full-length that came out last year.

You can catch them live this Friday (3/9) at the Funhouse with Head, Sgt. Major and the Modernettes. See the groovy flyer below:

Friday, March 02, 2007

And while we're meeting folks....

Go ahead and Meet Johnny Sangster while you're at it.

"Meet Dept. of Energy"

I like Dept. of Energy. Not only because they write good, catchy music, but also because they keep doing things that end up on You Tube that I can post here for all to enjoy.

So, without further ado, Meet Dept. of Energy.

More on SXSW

I just saw this over on the Lineout Blog:

BALLARD party at SXSW!!! Friday March 16th, 12pm-7pm The Big Red Sun 1102 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78702
Little Brazil
Jon Langford & The Sexy
The Tripwires
Ian Moore
The Nice Boys
The Cops
The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Schoolyard Heroes
Carolyn Mark
The Trucks
Rachel Flotard (of Visqueen)
Grand Champeen

Refreshments courtesy of New Belgium Brewery!
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