Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spin reviews Ben Gibbard solo show in Seattle

Spin, the magazine that I consistently forget even exists, has posted a review of Ben Gibbard's solo show at the Showbox here in Seattle. They have mostly nice things to say about it.

I didn't realize, until reading the article, that the show was sponsored by Real Change (the newspaper). It doesn't seem to have been a benefit for Real Change, but rather it was sponsored by them. I don't think I even understand that concept. I mean, I get it when something is presented by Mountain Dew or a radio station or some such entity. But, what is implied by having a newspaper whose stated goal is to "create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end homelessness and poverty" sponsor the show? Anyone?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Voxtrot video

Voxtrot is playing at the Croc this weekend. They were here a little over a year ago, as well, and vaporized caught some video of them at Sonic Boom.

Speaker Speaker performance vid & tour blog

The guys of Speaker Speaker are criss-crossing the country as we speak. If you read their myspace blog, then you've seen a boatload of tour video diaries. They've just added some footage of a show in Chicago, which I'm posting below. But, you can see the host of tour footage, which ranges from performaing to goofing around to having people impersonate them for an interview, on their myspace page blog.

The Blakes get Pitchfork write up

In their coverage of Sasquatch, the folks at Pitchfork said this about the Blakes:

One of the pleasant surprises of the festival were the Blakes, a Seattle trio with the distinction of being only unsigned band playing this weekend. The group blended Dandy Warhols-ish swampy guitars, twitchy Strokes rhythms, and power-pop vocal harmonies, offering an energetic and unmannered romp through modern rock radio. With messy arrangements and a theatrical drummer fond of the both-sticks-in-the-air poses, their bluesy-cool rock brought a bit of a dirty nightclub vibe to the sunny (if already very windy) afternoon.

Now, I'm not sure how Light In The Attic feels about them saying they are unsigned. But, nonetheless, it's a great write up for them!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Georgetown Music Fest video & info

The Georgetown Music Fest is happening this weekend (June 2 & 3) and there are a bunch of bands playing worth checking out (and 47 in all). The bill includes Lillydale, Dept of Energy, Supersuckers, The Trucks, Patient Patient, The Hungry Pines and more.

Here's a promo video they've put out:

Noise For The Needy

Noise For The Needy has released their full schedule for 2007. The events are going on the week of June 5 and go through the 10th (that's next week). It's a pretty lengthy list of bands and shows, and you should support them all, because it's a good cause.

This year the beneficiary of the shows is an organization called Ris n' Shine. Here's some info from the official press release about them:

Rise n’ Shine is an organization that provides emotional support programs, advocacy, and mentoring for children and teens affected by HIV and AIDS. In 1988, Rise n’ Shine began their program with 5 children, and this figure has now grown to 182. Rise n’ Shine offers many programs including AIDS education, a summer camp, youth leadership programs, and year around mentoring.

“Music is a vital part of the Seattle community and we have an incredible lineup
of musicians this year to support Rise n’ Shine” says Noise for the Needy
cofounder Rich Green. “Rise n’ Shine was chosen because of their great need for
funding and the many amazing things they do to help their kids. We are excited to
be the vehicle to help them gain much needed funds and publicity.”

“We are excited to have been selected” says Rise n’ Shine’s Founding Director
Janet Trinkaus. She hopes the festival will “raise awareness of the needs of
overlooked children in our local communities affected by AIDS; to know of the
volunteer opportunities available to work with these children; and that
individually, they can positively impact the life of a child by volunteering.”

Shows for week of 5/28

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend! Here are some shows for the week:

Thursday, 5/31
H Is For Hellgate (whose CD I plan to review soon) at Rendezvous

Andy Werth, The Royal Bear and Turn Around at the Crocodile

The Hungry Pines at The Comet Tavern

Saturday, 6/2
Voxtrot at the Crocodile

Ben Folds is at the Gorge. But, you'd have to also pay for John Mayer and Rocco DeLuca. So, take that for what it's worth.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Red Sky lands a serious punch

Okay, so maybe a boxing analogy isn't really called for when discussing a band as lush and romantic as Red Sky. But, it was the first that came to my head.

The band has been working on a record for a while, and they just reported that they've connected with some folks who are really perfect for helping them get it done. Here's the 411 directly from them:

For those who don't know, we recently left our producer over a difference of styles/approaches and set about finding someone new to mix the record. We wanted someone who would "get" the pretty yet sad nature of our style, and also the sparceness and airyness we cherish, in all its hauntingness and tears-in-the-eyes (both happy and sad) ways.

We're very happy to say (tears in our eyes) that we NAILED IT!!! Enter Tim Mooney, whose credits include American Music Club (his band), Mark Kozelek and Red House Painters, a BEAUTIFUL recent record by Portastatic, and the Bobby Frank/John Murray recording that David Fricke from Rolling Stones just picked as one of 3 classic records to not miss this year, including a specific reference to Tim's production. (You can check out a track from that record at: )

He's excited, we're excited-- and the first week of July we'll head down to San Francisco to start mixing the record with him. So we're back on track, and should have a record for you all to hear sometime this summer.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Small Change and Young Sportsmen tonight

I'm headed down to the Sunset Tavern tonight to catch The Small Change and the Young Sportsmen tonight. They're on a bill with Argo and The Maldives, both of whom I like but are in slightly different genres.

The Small Change has slotted themselves firmly into place as my second favorite band in town (the first slot is currently occupied by The Tripwires), and it's always a good time to see them live. Here's an mp3 of one of my favorite tunes they do, called "Mexico City," which has a very Get Happy-era Costello vibe.

The Small Change

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tiny Volcano video

Here's a new video for an old song... or maybe an old video for an old song. I can't quite tell. "When Girls Collide" by Tiny Volcano:

Friday Mile does "High School Musical"

I don't know if I should be twee and think this is adorable, or be jaded and shrug it off. I think I'll go with being twee and think it's adorable. In case you've been in a cave, High School Musical won an Emmy and produced the highest selling album of 2006. Don't believe me? Ask Wikipedia.

Here's the news straight from Friday Mile.

We've been quiet the past few weeks, and I wanted to let everyone know why.

We've been learning a ton of songs from High School Musical so we can help out a local children's theatre, Broadway Bound. They are putting on a production of HMS at The Moore and asked us to be a part of it. High School Musical is a Romeo & Juliet sort of tale, and has been overwhelmingly successful among younger audiences.

We are very excited about this opportunity for a number of reasons. We'll be helping an organization that's getting young people involved in the arts, we'll get to play music for many new people, and grace the stage at The Moore.

We will even be able to play a few of our own tunes during intermission and after the show, so it's a win-win situation for everyone. But the real winners, of course, are the kids. Shows start May 31 and run through June 17.

For ticket info, check out The Moore's site

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Divorce announces another show

The Divorce has just announced at least one other show that will happen before they close up shop. As someone who works at UW, I welcome a free early show. :)

hello folks,

as many of you know, we (the divorce) are putting the band to sleep forever after our final shows, which will be played at the crocodile on june 30th. before we do that however, we've been graciously asked to perform one extra show on the university of washington campus on wednesday, may the 30th at 6 o'clock. this show is free and all-ages and will take place behind terry hall near the university bridge (or so we're told). THIS WILL BE OUR THIRD-TO-LAST SHOW EVER, so please, if you're interested, do not miss it.

and be sure to mark your calendars and get tickets to our final shows (again, that's june 30th at the crocodile. all-ages and 21+ shows are scheduled); it would be a shame not to see you there.

the divorce

Monday, May 21, 2007

Young Fresh Fellows "video from the vault"

Here's an oldie, but a goodie:

The Pop Machine loses some members

The Pop Machine just posted a myspace bulletin with this announcement:

We are not broken up.

Derek has relocated to ATL, Spencer Austin, Tx. Everyone else is still in, or back in Seattle after our rough US Tour.

The band will continue, and we're writing our first album now. Which we will get together to record sometime in the next couple months. So sit tight and don't forget about us.

And when they say "rough US Tour," here's a blog they posted from their experience down South:

Q: What is going on with Huntsville, Al Vs. the Pop Machine.

A: We're a gay friendly band. And they said. "Ya'lls look like girls" and "you are faggots" Etc. Boycott Huntsville and watch out for them because they are fucked up yokels. Like in that movie wrong turn.

there is a cool dude named Josh and Travis who live in Huntsville, Al. We don't know why though.

Oh and also. We got video of the whole inncodent along with alot of pictures and proof that we will be posting as soon as we get back to Seattle.

Bands. Do not go to Huntsville. Unless you wanna be ripped off and pissed on and chased by pitchforks

Hornets nest.

I played Huntsville, Alabama once. I was in a punk rock-ish kind of band whose guitar player was African American. We were hired by a fraternity for some event. We got on site and set up. As we waited until our start time, the attendees of this event started showing up.... in full "prom attire." Turns out it was their formal dance. To their credit, they never asked us to leave or anything. One girl did ask if we could turn down, because it was hard for them to talk over us. :)

Shows for week of 5/21

Holy crap, it's almost June. May is simply flying by!

I gotta tell ya, there doesn't seem to be much going on this week. Unless I've missed them completely, there aren't many shows of interest. Cantona is playing the Jules Maes on Thursday, and on Saturday Young Sportsmen, Argo, and the Small Change are playing at the Sunset Tavern. But, that's about it.

Feel free to post comments to help me discover what I'm missing!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Interview with The Capillaries

Last fall I did an interview with Matt Southworth from The Capillaries. But, rather than posting the full interview, I did a profile type of thing in which I pulled out the quotes. I was just on their myspace page, and they had the full text of the interview up, and I thought I would go ahead and post the whole thing here.

You can tell the interview is a bit dated (it refers to a fall 2006 release of their new record, which is actually due out in a month or so). But, it's still a good read:

1. How did the band form? What's the history (timelines/backstories/etc.)?

The band formed in 2000 in Los Angeles, where I was making an independent film, breaking up with my live-in girlfriend and having a nervous breakdown. I had played guitar for a long time but had never led my own band and had actually given up on music while working in film. But I started writing songs and recording them in the basement and then started to put together friends to play them with me. There was never any intention of being a professional musician, there was only the desire to write more songs because I found it helped me to release a lot of the anxiety I had.

Things led to things, and we played a lot of shows, got some radio play in Los Angeles, and things got more focused. However, our bass player had to quit to focus on his job on the exact weekend that our drummer revealed he was going to have to move to Chicago for work and I confessed I was thinking of moving to Seattle. It was the easiest band breakup in history--we all made the same decision at the same time, totally unaware of each other.

So I came to Seattle and rebuilt the band. I made a record with the first version and we got a lot of airplay off of that, and I hunkered down and wrote over a hundred songs in 2004 for this one. Then I got into the recording process and got obsessive and here we are in 2006 and the new record, LOVE CONQUERS SOME, is finally done.

2. How many releases do you guys have? What's your take on how they've been received?

We have two records--OVERNIGHT LOWS AND DAYLIGHT SAVINGS is the first record, out in 2003, and LOVE CONQUERS SOME is the new one, out in fall 2006. OLDS was very well-received--all told it cost about a hundred and thirty six bucks to make and people really seem to like it. It was a pretty accurate picture of a certain mind-state that people seem to respond well to.

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

I think Seattle has a really strong connection to art in general. Something about being in the corner of the country makes the people more social here, more interested in art, particularly more so than in Los Angeles, where it's much more focused and financial. There seems to be a solid audience here for power pop just like there is for hip-hop and roots country and metal. I like that, particularly since the fans of each style don't seem to be competing with the other fans over whose style is better, and that gives musicians lots of room to incorporate elements of other types of music into their own without turning off the people they're trying to speak to.

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

It would be Led Zeppelin right at the beginning of their career, mainly just so I could see this amazing group of musicians before things got muddled by careers and jets and 14 year-old girlfriends and was just about them making this music, playing off of each other. Think about it: you're going out with some friends on a Thursday night, just want some drinks and there's some band setting up, and twenty minutes later your jaw's on the floor from the intensity and quality of this band. Particularly that drummer. I'd like to see that.

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

I think people are currently curious about what's happening with and to us. Which I guess is the same as I see us, too. But generally speaking, I think of us as a highly literate band with an unstable side that comes out in shows. We have a tendency to go off the rails, and sometimes we're able to reorient and other times not. I think that combination of emotional instability and verbal acuity is interesting--just having a lot of literary tools doesn't mean you can express your feelings more clearly, but it makes it interesting to try.

6. What's the future hold for you guys?

We'll put out this record, LOVE CONQUERS SOME, and play as many shows for as many people want to come see us. Maybe we'll all get married (not likely).

7. What's the future hold for powerpop in general?

I think power pop is nothing more than forceful melodic music, actually, which can cover everything from that "You're a Grand Old Flag" song to Superdrag to "Since U Been Gone". I think as long as there are relationships going south, there will be an innate desire to write about it and to mask those feelings in pretty little melodies. Sometimes that teary, trembling smile is the most effective way to express deep sadness.

And I know that as long as politicians get more and more venal and that there is more corruption and bald dishonesty in government, there will be more explosive anger in the public, and that's going to fuel the "power" part.

8. Who plays what instruments in the band? Has your line up been stable or a rotating cast?

We've had sixteen members since the band was formed. That includes several people who only played a couple of shows with us, etc., and also includes my having moved the band from LA to Seattle, but even in Seattle there have been a few different casts.

The core of the band in Seattle has been me, Matt Southworth, on guitar and vocals and Jon Foley on drums. Now we also have Michael McGivaren on keyboards and Aaron Brown on bass. (Blogger note: This is one area that has really changed for them -- see my previous post about the Comet show)

9. What do you want people to know about The Capillaries?

I want people to hear the stories in these songs. Some of them are very specific, about specific people and places, and I like telling those stories. I also want people to see us play. A magazine once called us "Seattle's most entertaining live band" and I think that's a ringing endorsement.

10. Anything else to add?

Just to thank you for asking the questions. I hope I've answered them clearly, but who knows? If people want to check out some songs, they should visit us at And come see us at a show and tell us you found out about us at Seattle Powerpop.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More haiku on The Comet

Last night was a pretty rockin' show at The Comet. The crowd was larger than I thought it might be for a night that had so much going on (Dino Jr., Slender Means, Mirah, and several other shows were all happening at various clubs). I'd probably guess 150 through the door, which is not bad, all told.

You might recall that Ari Spoon posted an "ode to the Comet" over at the Stranger's Line Out blog back in April and I responded with some Comet-inspired haiku. I figured I could continue that tradition (if something you've done exactly once can be called a tradition...) in this post about the show last night.

I'll start with a few complaints.

I think I've simply logged too many hours in clubs over the past 20 years, because I'm really impatient at rock shows. I just want to get things started at 9pm and have the change-overs between bands be smooth and quick. That never happens at the Comet.

You book four-band bills
But won't start them 'til 10:10
Makes for a long night

The sound system at The Comet cracks me up. They have a three foot tall rack of power amps, equalizers, enhancers, compressors, limiters and various other gadgets. Yet it still sounds like my garage. In fact, I think last night might've actually sounded better if the bands had been in my garage, because by the end of the night, I couldn't hear a word the Young Sportsmen were saying. Now, given, my boys are loud. But, still.

Mighty sound system
You are a paper tiger
The mics shock my lips

So, with those complaints out of the way, it was a generally fun night. Red Sky started the evening off. I really love their songs and I'm a big fan of Max's guitar playing and Rob's unapologetic lyrical sensitivity. But, I'm not sure they are the best band to have start out the night. Because while their slow, dreamy pop is appealing to me, I think I needed an energy boost to start my Friday night of rock. Maybe if they had a few more uptempo numbers in their set.

Fans of Scottish pop
So in love and dreamy
90 bpm

The Capillaries came out next, after a lengthy delay with the sound system. Apparently the monitors were not working. So, the sound person worked to get them going. I believe this was also the beginning of the "get shocked by the mic" part of the evening. This show was the debut of the new Capillaries line up that includes Eric Corson (The Long Winters) on guitar and Aaron Huffman (Harvey Danger) on bass. They've got a new recording coming out quite soon, and I'm digging a lot of their new material.

Catchy falsetto
Riffs that get stuck in my head
New record drops soon

We of Shake Some Action were on third. We focused our set on more of the rockin' stuff and a little less of the poppy stuff, and given the PA system situation, I'm glad that we did, since rock transcends being able to actually hear the vocals. Other than taking a low-grade shock to the lips about a dozen times throughout the set, I thought it went well. Kudos to our guitarist David Bos who agreed to play this show even though he had a 10a.m. flight this morning to France for a two week vacation with his wife, Imaginary Dana.

Such a rocky start
But new songs go over well
Glad I'm in this band

Closing out the show was the Young Sportsmen. They gave us exactly what we've come to expect -- both the energy knob and volume knob rolled all the way off to the right. As I mentioned before, you could barely hear their vocals through the PA system, which is a shame because Wesley has a great voice and a big, rock-and-roll delivery. But, at least you could still see the delivery, even if you couldn't hear the voice. Even though the whole night was running late and I don't think they even started until nearly 12:30am or so, there were still plenty of folks in the room to hear them lay it down.

Big sound yet still pop
Cracking snare drum and big bass
Foam smells like toilet

That last line was just for Wesley and those paying attention to his in-between song banter.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nada Mucho presents...

Nada Mucho presents.... A show that I would've presented, as well. :) In fact, I did the flyer for the show. Cute, huh?

The *what* Capitol Hill Block Party?

Maybe this is old news or something, but I just noticed that the myspace page for the Capitol Hill Block Party now refers to the event as the "ESurance Capitol Hill Block Party."

Doesn't quite roll of the tongue, does it?

The Nice Boys video

Here's some footage from the Nice Boys show at The Sunset Tavern earlier this month. The mid-chorus drum fills make my day. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boss Martians/Pris tonight (5/16)

I somehow missed this earlier in the week. But, here's a show worth seeing:


Boss Martians @ Studio 7 TONIGHT with:



DOOR @ 7:30PM

TIX: $7

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Jon Auer video (and testing the new template)

So, it's convenient enough that I needed to test the new template's ability to embed You Tube videos and at the same time Jon Auer has released, in his words, "a new video to an old song" done by his wife Michelle. Enjoy (hopefully... assuming the blog is working!). It's a pretty cool video with some familiar faces.

Benefit for Eric Lashes this Thursday (5/17)

This is making the rounds. But, if you've got nothing to do on Thursday, supporting Eric's recovery is a good cause. Here are the details:

Thursday, May 17, 2007
6:00 PM - 12:00 PM

McLeod Residence
2209 2nd Ave.
Seattle, Washington 98121
47.6133, -122.345

We are very sad to report that one of our favorite members (and a true McLeod by blood), Eric Andrew McLeod Howk (aka Eric Lashes) is in the hospital after being injured in a serious accident. In an attempt to help Eric and his family with hospital bills, we will be holding a special benefit happy hour at McLeod Residence this Thursday. Please join us in drinking whiskey for a good cause. All donations for whiskey drinks will go to Eric Howk.

0pm Performance: "The Adventures of Bubble Girl and Accordion Boy" (aka Shayne Eastin and Nate Lashes)

Donation-supported bar; All donations for Eric's drink of choice (well whiskey drinks) will be donated toward Eric's hospital bills; a donation jar will also be available. Our web site,, will also have a paypal donation link for Eric.


You can also buy a shirt to support Eric.

Monday, May 14, 2007

SPB gets a new look

It probably jumped off your screen and poked your eyes out when you first arrived. But, I gave the Seattle Powerpop Blog an "extreme makeover" tonight. I had planned on launching a new site with the one-year anniversary, which is next month. But, I got to playing around with a design and ran with it.

I haven't gotten all the bugs worked out yet. For example, it appears the previous posts that included a clip from You Tube have been hosed. I'll work on things like this asap.

Hopefully any *new* ones I post won't have problems (fingers crossed).

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts. Do you like this look? I'm not married to it yet. So, if those of you who read on a regular basis think it sucks, let me know!

Llama photos and write up

Gwon from the Lund Bros is becoming my unofficial Olympia/Tacoma correspondent... at least at gigs where the Lund Bros are performing. He wrote up his thoughts on his own So Yummy blog and forwarded them my way.

So, here are some photos he took, with a few words quoted from his original blog.

If you haven't seen Llama yet, you should check them out. Rusty's this wiry guy with stringy hair who is left-handed. He plays guitar and sings and when you see him play guitar, you'll be intrigued. It takes a few moments to notice, but he doesn't play a left-handed guitar; he plays it strung standard, just flipped over. In other words, the low E is away from him and the high E is closest to him. That causes his right hand, his chording hand, to play chords upside down. It's very weird. He's very diminuitive on stage, but he performs very well.

Scott on bass is very solid with his pickstyle playing and excellent backing vocals. Evidently he is in 3 other bands (fronts Doll Test, plays guitar and sings in Paul Lynde Fan Club, and plays rhythm guitar for the Riffbrokers) so he's quite the busy dude. He's the first guy from the crew to have approached me last fall when we played the Sunset together. He's very humble and down to earth.

Jim plays drums and he looks nothing like you'd expect. I joked with Sean last night that Jim looked to be the guy that would do your taxes in April. But he's quite good behind the kit. Very peppy player and always plays appropriate to the song.

Together, the three of them have a great group of pop tunes. Rusty's jangly guitar and Scott's backing vocals are probably the most notable parts of the songs, along with the actual songs themselves.

More tickets for Ben Gibbard

Ticketmaster just released some extra tickets for the Ben Gibbard show at Showbox. So, if you wanted to go but didn't think you could, think again. Just act fast!!

Smile Brigade show & video

Smile Brigade is playing on Wednesday at the Croc, and they posted a little video promo deal on You Tube.

If You're Only Doing One Thing...

If you're only able to do One Thing this week, then I'm going to recommend you make it the Comet Tavern on Friday for the show featuring Young Sportsmen, Shake Some Action, The Capillaries and Red Sky.

There are a lot of shows going on this week, and a lot of them feature bands that I like. But, this one gives you the biggest powerpop band for your buck. And, I'm not just saying that because I play in one of them!

This is also apparantly the unveiling of the new line up of The Capillaries. So, that, by itself, should be enough to get you down to the Comet to hear the goodness.

Shows for week of 5/14

Lots to do this week, kiddies. So, put your rock hats on and hit the shows.

Monday, 5/14
Everclear at The Crocodile Cafe

Tuesday, 5/15
The Sea and Cake at Neumos

Wednesday, 5/16
The Bravery at El Corazon

Thursday, 5/17
Shorthand For Epic and Patient Patient at the High Dive

Friday, 5/18
Young Sportsmen, Shake Some Action, The Capillaries and Red Sky at the Comet Tavern

Saturday, 5/19
Meat Puppets at The Crocodile Cafe

Sunday, 5/20
Ben Gibbard at Showbox
The Killers and Hot Hot Heat at WaMu Theater

Myspace surprise: Electric Tape

Occasionally I get a myspace friend request from a Seattle band that I have never heard before, but really like what I find on their page. I've had this happen on a few other occasions -- with The Universe and The Knast specifically. And I like to think of these moments as a "myspace surprise."

Well, I got my latest "myspace surprise" over the weekend via a band called Electric Tape. There's only one tune on their myspace page, a track called "Wake Me." But, I really dig it.

They list the following bands as influences: The Police, The Rentals, Elvis Costello, Mates Of State, Death Cab For Cutie, Stars, Weezer

That's a mix of bands that would keep me happy for days. On this first recording, they seem to fall closer to the indiepop side of the world than the powerpop side. But, who cares. Good pop music gets its hooks in me, and this is good pop music. Their site says they're planning shows for the summer and releasing an EP next month. So, I'll look forward to hearing more from them soon.

Electric Tape

Radio 8 Ball gets ripped off?

Hat tip to Three Imaginary Girls for this one

I've written about Radio 8 Ball a number of times here on the blog. If you're not familiar with the concept, you can see their myspace page. But, if you are familiar with the radio program, then you probably also know that there is a "live show" version called The Ego and the Oracle.

Well, now it turns appears that Andras, who started the Radio 8 Ball show, has been fired from involvement with the live show and they're moving forward without him. Here's some text from a myspace page titled "The Ego Stole The Oracle:"

How The Ego stole The Oracle. On Valentine's Day 2006 a Boston band called Jim's Big Ego appeared on Radio8Ball, a call-in divination show created and hosted by Andras Jones. Radio8Ball has been on the air since 1998. Jim's Big Ego are an indie rock band with a reputation for conscience and integrity. Jim's Big Ego liked the Radio8Ball experience so much that they asked Andras Jones to collaborate with them on a stage production based on his show. Together they created a stage show called The Ego & The Oracle. This show was performed in Somerville, Massachusetts in late September of 2006 and was followed by a successful Seattle production in early April of 2007. When it came time to mount the second Boston production creative differences arose between Andras and the band's manager (who had taken on the role of the Boston producer.) The result of these creative differences was that Andras was fired from the production and his name and involvement in the creation of the show were removed from the all promotional materials for the show. Jim's Big Ego moved forward as if the idea for the show was entirely theirs and refused to compensate, credit or even communicate with the person whose format they were brazenly claiming as their own. Although The Ego & The Oracle continues to run it does so without Andras Jones's consent. People who wish to experience Radio8Ball can tune into the show Tuesdays from 6 to 8pm (Pacific Standard Time) at

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Posies video from last night

Here's some footage of the Posies doing "Everyone Moves Away" at the Triple Door last night, courtsey of Dreaming Viola There are more videos if you follow that link.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Benefit for Eric Lashes

This has been reported pretty widely in places with much higher readership than my blog. But, just to help spread the word as far and as wide as it can go, there is a benefit for Eric Lashes taking place tomorrow (Friday, 5/11) at the Firehouse in Redmond. If you haven't heard, Eric suffered a pretty severe back injury last weekend.

U.S.E. will be headlining the benefit, and the show is all ages.

More info on his accident can be found over at the Stranger's Line Out blog.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The curse of the latest Lillydale album

Settle in, children. I'd like to tell you a tale. It's a ghoulish tale of mystery and intrigue. Of apparitions, dressed all in white. Of evil, um, postal deliveries and stuff. It all began what seems like a fortnight ago. But, in fact, it was closer to two fortnights ago.

Typically getting a copy of a CD to review for the blog is relatively easy. Either I contact the band and ask if they can send me a copy, or they contact me and ask if they can send a copy. No fuss, no muss. When I contacted Lillydale, they referred me to the press person, Peter, at Skyscraper Media who is working the record. I sent him a message, and he offered to send the disc to me. So far, so good.

Well, some time passes and I follow up with him again, mistakenly thinking he is also working the new Slender Means record (since both Lillydale and Slender Means have stuff out on Mt. Fuji Records). Turns out that Peter's not working the Slender Means record, but he's surprised to learn I never received the Lillydale record that was mailed weeks earlier.

No dice, I tell him. I never got it. So, he says he'll send another one. More weeks pass. Earlier this week he emails to ask if I'm going to review the disc. "What disc?" I have to ask, since the second mailing never arrived either! We give up and he gives me a URL to download it from. Turns out that doesn't work either! But, it was a technology problem that at least could be overcome.

Now, more than six weeks later (this sucker was released in February!), I'm listening to the disc. Better late than never, I suppose!

Now, onto the disc. It was produced by Johnny Sangster, which is always a good sign. The performances are a little looser around the edges than I had anticipated, veering toward a "played live" feel, but not reaching "shambolic" proportions. The production itself sounds great.

The band has an interesting vibe that I can't quite pin down. I hear a little bit Modest Mouse, a little early REM and oddly a little bit of David Byrne. Mix that in with a healthy dose of 1990s indie rock and you'll have something approaching Lillydale. There's a faux (?) accent happening with the vocals that I first found off putting, but with multiple listens I have grown accustomed.

A few of the songs could've used some editing, as they begin to approach the six minute mark. But, "Broken Stereos" (which can be downloaded from their myspace page) is just an instantly catchy hit song that is an entirely enjoyable way to spend 4:02 of your life. I'm going to live with this one a while, and I think the other songs will likely sink their teeth into me in the way this one did immediately. But, given the long, winding road this release took to reach my typing fingers, I couldn't sit on reviewing it another day.

Lillydale has a good local following for their live shows, and you can become part of the crowd if you head to the Jules Maes this Friday night (5/11), since they're playing there with a tragically/humorously titled band called the Vomiting Unicorns. Apparently also on the bill is a Billy Joel tribute group called The BJ's. This show gets my "weirdest line up of the week" award.

Info about the Posies on Friday

This message was just sent out by Michelle Auer about the Friday show at the Triple Door:

The first show (ALL AGES) is *thisclose* to sold out (as in only a couple of tix left) so they added a second show (21+) and it is half sold at this point.

I wanted to make sure that everyone knew a few things about these very special shows:

A: A second show was added
B: The first show is all ages
C: The guys have assured me that they are going to play different sets for the two shows so the folks who decide to go to both have something new to look forward to in each set.
D: Keep in mind that they don't play in town as often as they used to now that Ken lives in Paris. The last show in Seattle was almost a year ago!
E: This is a RARE acoustic perfomance, so they will be playing a lot of songs they don't usually play because it is just the two of them!

Here's the info:
The Posies (Acoustic): Fri 5/11
The Triple Door - 2nd Show Just Added!
7:30PM (All Ages) & 10:30PM (21+)
$16 adv/ $18 day of

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lund Bros performance video

Here's some video of the Lund Bros at the High Dive. It sounds kind of cavernous. Possibly soundcheck??

It's a little too wide for my blog frame. But, I'm including it anyway, because it's cool.

The Posies friday & Jon Auer video

The Posies (really Jon and Ken) are doing an acoustic show at the Triple Door this Friday, May 11, and Matt Southworth from the Capillaries is opening the show.

Via the Dear 23 email list, I just received a link to some live acoustic footage of Jon in New York just a few nights ago. Thanks to dreamingviola for the vid.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Photos: Conservative Dad and Boycrush

While I was over at the Sunset on Saturday, The Lund Bros, Boycrush and Conservative Dad were at the Skylark. Gwon, the bassist for Lund Bros, sent me some photos that he snapped with his cell phone. He also posted his thoughts on the show over on his personal blog. So, you can head there to have a read and to see a few other photos.

Conservative Dad


Photos: The Small Change and The Nice Boys

As I mentioned earlier, I showed up at the Sunset Tavern this past Saturday just in time to hear Visqueen announce "thank you, goodnight" from the stage. So, that's sucked. But, the rest of the night was entertaining.

On next was The Nice Boys from Portland. Their set was somewhat shambolic, but still very rock and roll in a 1970s CBGBs kind of way that I fully appreciated. The whole thing felt like it could careen off the rails at any moment. But, it never did, and they ended their set with my favorite tune of theirs, called "Teenage Nights."

Here's a shot of their guitar player.

The Nice Boys

Third on the bill was the Buffalo Killers. I didn't get any good pictures of them. But, I'm not sure it would've done them justice anyway. They came out and just blew the doors off in a very 1960s power trio kind of way. I'd never want to hang the albatross of this comparison upon anyone, but I was reminded of the Hendrix trio and of Creem. My friend Chris said he felt the drummer was a direct descendant of John Bonham. And having these guys follow The Nice Boys made for an interesting study in musical aesthetic. Both rocked, but they couldn't have been more different in their approaches.

Closing out the night was The Small Change. These guys always rock nuts, and they did just that on Saturday. Greg's energy and enthusiasm for what he's doing is infectious and they write great tunes. I'm hoping they get their butts back into the studio for a new release sometime soon.

I took a bunch of shots, but they all sucked. So, here's one of Greg that's been photoshopped to be slightly more interesting.

The Small Change - Greg

Dolour performance video

Here's some footage of Dolour performing at Western Washington U up in Bellingham. You can also find a Dolour tune on the latest AstroPOP podcast from Three Imaginary Girls.

Shows for week of 5/7

Here are some recommended shows for the week. Go forth and rock, people. It looks like Saturday is gridlock day for the week.

Tuesday, 5/8
Ghosts & Liars at Atlas Clothing (all ages)

Thursday, 5/10
All-American Playboys, Boss Martians at the Fun House

Friday, 5/11
The Posies (acoustic) at the Triple Door

Lillydale at the Jules Maes

Visqueen at the Crocodile

Key Note Speaker, Brides of Obscurity and Dept of Energy at The Comet

Saturday, 5/12
The Blakes and Speaker Speaker at The Crocodile

Lund Bros at the 4th Ave Tavern (Olympia)

Saturday night photos coming...

I took some photos at the Nice Boys, Small Change, Buffalo Killers and Visqueen show on Saturday. But, I forgot to upload them. So, I'll have to post them tonight.

That will give me more time to forumlate my thoughts on how upset I was that I literally walked into the Sunset as Visqueen was saying "thank you, goodnight!" Grrrrrr...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Nice Boys - video & show tonight (5/5)

Down at The Sunset Tavern tonight you'll be able to catch The Nice Boys and The Small Change. Supposedly Buffalo Killers are on the bill, too. But, last night at the Comet, the buzz was that they had to cancel and that a surprise set by Visqueen was going to happen. I have no idea if that's reality or not. So, take it for the rumor that it is. The Sunset's website makes no reference of this.

In the meantime, here's some footage of The Nice Boys to get you ready for the rock. The song, "Teenage Nights," begins with a most excellent cowbell. :)

Photos: Tripwires, Sgt. Major & The Riffbrokers

I headed out to the Comet last night to take in the Tripwires, Sgt. Major, The Riffbrokers and Llama. It was a solid night of music and well attended. An interesting thing happened that I've never seen at the Comet before. As soon as the Tripwires kicked off their set, everyone crowded over to the band side of the room and got right up close to the stage area, leaving the bar side considerably less crowded.

I applaud everyone for doing that. It totally changes the vibe of a rock show to have people crowded around the stage, enjoying the band. Once the Tripwires ended their set, people dispersed to the bar side and to outside the club. So, I was wondering what would happen with Sgt. Major took the stage. Turns out, same thing! Everyone came back over and stood close to the band (thereby allowing Kurt Bloch to better behave like the rock and roll giant that he is -- running into the crowd, leaning on audience members, and pogo-ing like a mad man).

Anyhoo, as per usual, the lighting at the Comet leaves the photos less than ideal. But, here are the snapshots as they are:

The Tripwires, with audience

Sgt. Major - Kurt Bloch

Sgt. Major - Carmella

After Sgt. Major's set, but before The Riffbrokers took the stage, Heather Riffbroker brought a box of cupcakes out and put them on the merch table. It turns out that this coming Tuesday is her birthday. So, happy early birthday, Heather!

Here's a shot of the box of cupcakes... just because.

The Riffbrokers - birthday girl, Heather

The Riffbrokers - Nick's guitar

Unfortunately, I didn't get to hang around to see Llama. My energy meter hit empty, and I packed it in around 12:20am.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Review: The Heaters "Live & Live Again"

I got my greedy little hands on a copy of the double live album by the classic Seattle powerpop group The Heaters. I've written about the Heaters (also known as The Heats due to a lawsuit) on a number of occasions here, and did an interview with Steve Pearson not too long ago that was chock full of info. But, until this disc arrive, I didn't own any of their stuff.

The Heats/The Heaters were primarily active in the late 1970s and early 1980s and had tremendous regional success. They toured with Heart and The Knack and generally rocked the house around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. You can still get their studio recordings from that era via Chuckie Boy Records.

But, these two live disc gives you two separate glimpses into the band. The first contains about 70 minutes of music recorded between 1978 and 1981 in three different states (Washington, Oregon and Idaho). The second disc gives you around 75 minutes of music and was recorded at a 2001 reunion show at Waldo's in Kirkland. The disc set is available from Epilogue Records/the Lien Company for $20, which includes postage. You can find out where to send your dough on their website.

Both discs are ragged, sweaty, out-of-tune-in-the-right-way examples of their catchy, foot stompin' powerpop in a live setting. With The Heaters you get amped up songs about girls and parties, sung with harmonies and fervor. Stand outs from disc one ("Live") are "She Don't Mind" and "She Belongs To Me" (which you can also hear on their myspace page). But, you also get "bonus" tracks that are covers of The Kinks, The Who, The Yardbirds and more. The second disc ("Live Again") includes a number of the same songs from disc one along with a handful of additional tracks.

The Heaters rocked hard back in the day, and this disc gives those of us who were not around, not old enough, or not hip enough to have experienced it at the time a way to get a taste.

Blogger's update: I meant to mention that you can also get the disc in local stores and at Here's the album cover art:

The official word from The Divorce

As reported a few weeks back, The Divorce are calling it quits. They just posted an official statement to that end on their myspace page. Here's their post:


After nearly seven years of glorious ups and grievous downs, we have decided to lay The Divorce to rest. We cannot thank all of you enough for the years of support and encouragement and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. Of course, each of us have plans for subsequent projects, so do keep an ear peeled for those as they are sure to be entertaining and thought-provoking. In the meantime, it would behoove you to mark your calendars for June 30th, as we will be playing two final shows that day at the Crocodile Cafe in downtown Seattle; one will be all-ages and the other, 21+. It goes without saying that these are Not To Be Missed! We sincerely hope you can join is in this terminal blowout celebration of life, love, The Divorce and the future. Until then...

Love Always,
The Divorce

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Boss Martians write a song with Iggy Pop

In addition to serving as the opening act for his Seattle tour stop recently, The Boss Martians report that they have co-written a tune with Iggy Pop for their upcoming album. Here's their post on the matter:

Word from the studio is... WE'RE ALMOST DONE! We mix the last few songs for the new album next week and trust me, we CAN'T WAIT to get this fuckin thing done and out there -- finally.

For any of you interested we'll post some pre-release tracks on the page for you to check out. Also, this new album will include the song we wrote with IGGY FUCKING POP -- he wrote the lyrics, we wrote the backing track -- it's fucking KILLER sounding and we can't wait to roll it out on you all.

They also posted about some shows in Seattle and Bellingham that are coming up later in the month. So, you'll have a chance to rock out with them soon.

Powerpop bands make my life hard...

I just found out that The Nice Boys, The Small Change and Buffalo Killers are playing at the Sunset Tavern on Saturday (5/5). Now that's a great line up of great bands.

But, then I remembered that Lund Bros, Boy Crush and Conservative Dad are playing over at the Skylark, and I've been wanting to see those guys, too.

So, I'm left with the conundrum of which show to attend.

Here's some video from Buffalo Killers, by the way:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Bug Nasties CD release this Friday, 5/4

The mod rocking fellows of The Bug Nasties are having a CD release party this Friday (5/4) at The Funhouse. The poster for the show (and the cover for their disc) have some pretty awesome graphics. But, sadly, the files are too large to embed in the blog. So, you'll have to click over to see them.

The disc, titled "Which Way You Gonna Go?", is coming out on the local Flotation Records label.

What I've heard on their myspace page makes it sound like the disc is a rip, roaring, shouting, soulful good time.

Shins footage from Letterman show

Here's some live footage of The Shins appearing on David Letterman.

Noise For The Needy schedule annouced

The folks at Noise For the Needy annouced their schedule recently. You can head to their site to see the full schedule that includes Shorthand For Epic, Shim, Dept of Energy, Patient Patient, The Cops and a heck of a lot more over the course of five days.

Or you can stare at this banner for a little while:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Score one for goofy ass rock

For reasons that I can't explain, the doofy fellows in We Wrote the Book on Connectors call themselves mustache rock. In addressing this self-proclaimed moniker in the Stranger's Line Out blog, they said:

Although having a mustache on your face has been scientifically proven to improve your ability to rock out, it is not a requirement for playing the mustache rock. They are optional. Which is a good thing for me because a 12 year old boy could easily defeat me in a mustache growing contest. However, sometimes I wear a fake mustache. I know it’s fake but it helps me feel more like a man. I also like to wear sombreros.

Now, I hardly have the heart to tell them that "mustache rock" as a genre already exists. You can't lay claim to a term that already exists. I mean, you CAN. But, then you'll have folks like me saying things like, "We Wrote the Book on Connectors is no Grand Funk Railroad." Or perhaps, "Triumph really ought to show them what's what with this mustache rock stuff."

So, if they're not mustache rock, what are they? Besides being sophomoric and goofy, these guys are solid musicians that craft simple and to-the-point "college rock" in the 1980s sense of the term. Think They Might Be Giants, The Descendents and so forth. But, they're lyrically quirky while being relatively straight forward musically.

Those who know me know that I generally can't stand jokey bands. For some reason comedy and music rarely is a good combo for me. But, I don't dislike what I'm hearing here. Maybe because for all it's silliness, it's still somehow earnest. If I were still a 16 year old skateboard kid hitting the mini-ramp in my neighbor's backyard I'd probably have this disc on with some regularity while busting my ass. But, those days are nearly 20 years behind me.

When I reviewed the Slender Means' new ep last week I said good rock and roll has to have a certain amount of stupidity to be really good. Well, the dudes in WE (as they sometimes go by when folks like me get tired of typing their full name) probably can't even see line of demarcation on the horizon in their rear view mirror. But, for a moment of stupid fun, it's probably hard to beat this one.

Take a listen to Happy Torso, Bloody Torso and see for yourself.

Blogger's update: I forgot to mention that they are playing a show tonight (5/2) at the Crocodile. I don't know who does their graphic design. But, these guys always seem to have cool posters. Head to their myspace page to see it.

Free all-ages Long Winters show tonight (5/1)

This was posted by The Long Winters via myspace about a free show at Urban Outfitters on Broadway:

All right, kids. I don't want to get another, "Why don't you ever play all-ages shows in Seattle?" message for at least 2 months.

Just go here ( and print out your evite. Word. Like a turkey bird.

Word like a turkey bird, indeed. The site listed in their post says the print out from that page doesn't guarantee admission, but is required to enter.

Vote for End Fest locals

Over at 107.7 The End, they're taking votes for local bands to be included at End Fest 2007. There are some solid entries, and they include SPB faves Dept of Energy and The Pranks, as well as Patient Patient, with whom I'm less familiar but have still enjoyed.

If you head over to their voting site you can listen to tunes and submit your ratings.

I think you have to have an imeem account to vote. So, that sucks.

But, they do have some Dept of Energy video over there that I hadn't seen before, and I can embed it here: