Friday, August 31, 2007

Boss Martians honored by Seattle Weekly

This just came through a myspace blog. Congrats to the Boss Martians! Has anyone heard of any other honorees for the year?

Quick news: Boss Martians just selected as an "Outstanding Act of 2007" by The Seattle Weekly! We'll be playing the Seattle Weekly Music Festival in Ballard -- more details soon!

Happy Friday! The Friday Funny

It's been a looooooong week. So, in celebration, I'm starting a new weekly post called the Friday Funny. That sounds very "morning DJ," I know. But, nonetheless, I'm going to post some comedy to celebrate the end of the week.

Here's a clip from Aron Kader, one of the Axis of Evil guys.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ASCAP Showcase at Neumo's tonight

Looking for something to do tonight? Here's one option:

ASCAP Showcase, featuring Sera Cahoone, Jon Auer, The Lonely H, the Hugs, Battle Hymns. It's $7 and starts at 8pm, apparently, at Neumo's

[blogger update: There is also a rumor coming through the Dear23 mailing list that they're giving away otherwise-sold-out Dino Jr tickets at this show tonight.]

Going to Bumbershoot?

I'm curious how many SPB readers are going to Bumbershoot. If you're planning on going, what bands are you excited to see?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Iconics... how did I miss this?

How on earth did I miss this!! Holy crap! A local all-star tribute apparently just took place like two weeks ago. There was a piece in the Seattle PI about it, but I didn't see it until now.

From that article:

When Seattle all-star band the Iconics takes the stage for tonight's Pike Place Market Centennial Days concert, they'll be performing "the songs that made Seattle great," says band member Dave Dederer.

The band was made up of Dave Dederer and Andrew McKeag (PUSA), Mike Musburger (Posies, Fastbacks, Sgt Major and others), Jeff Fielder (Sera Cahoone) and Ty Bailie (Dept of Energy), and they were joined by random people throughout the set.

Here's some footage of them doing "The Witch" by the Sonics.

And here's their version of The Heat(er)s, "I don't like your face:"

Nothing like finding yourself on YouTube

I was doing my semi-regular searches of YouTube for stuff for the blog, and what did I happen to find? ME! Well, more correctly it's a 2 minute and 39 second compilation of The Scheme set at The Comet a few weeks back. It's kind of herky-jerky and cuts from song to song it pretty random places. But, nonetheless, it was funny/odd to find it, since I don't think we knew anyone was taping the performance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Photos: IPO Day 4

Here's my last round of photographs from the 2007 International Pop Overthrow in Seattle. I didn't last the entire night. But, I did manage to see four bands before needing to pack it in. So, apologies to Jim McIver, Brides of Obscurity and Ionesco.

I arrived at the Sunset in time to catch a few songs by Blackout 101. I had forgotten about this tiny trio of teen (pre-teen?) rock tots. I stick by last year's assessment that the guitar player is going to be a rock star when he grows up... or at least get lots of chicks.

The Cheats were on second, and I actually enjoyed them more this year than I did last year. It's still not entirely my cup of tea, but they're good at what they do.

The Lund Brothers were on third, and they once again rocked my socks off. I think these guys are best described as a combo of The Posies and Cheap Trick. It definitely seems like they're informed by 1970s "hard rock," but they're so dang melody and harmony driven that it never ceases being catchy. The picture of their bassist Gwon is perhaps the best photo I took at this year's IPO.

The Green Pajamas were on fourth and were the last band I managed to see before heading home and heading to bed. It's amazing that they're still at it, some 20 years after starting. This was my first chance to see them live and they didn't disappoint. They have a classic psych pop sound that is simultaneously swirly and direct. I dug it.

IPO bands on Setlist podcast

Last week I posted a rant about the Stranger and Seattle Weekly publishing lengthy pieces on Hall and Oates, while neither did anything* about the IPO.

Well, in the give-credit-where-credit-is-due category, it was just brought to my attention that the Stranger did spotlight some IPO bands in their weekly Setlist podcast. So, at least some props to you, Stranger! While I still would have liked to seen something in print, this is definitely creditable.

*this excludes Rachel Shimp's Seattle Weekly shout out.

The debut of The Pranks

I've been tracking The Pranks via their myspace page for almost a year now, and tonight is their debut (is that right??) performance. The Pranks are the band of Erik Foster, younger brother of Evan Foster of The Boss Martians. Evan is also heavily involved with the group... or at least he was with the recordings. You can hear those recordings on their myspace page.

IPO comes to a close

The 2007 IPO has officially drawn to a close now. I saw lots of great bands over four days... okay technically only three, since I couldn't make Sunday night. On the whole it was a quality line up of music. But, here are my nominations for the best sets of the weekend:

Young Sportsmen (Friday), The Broadcast Debut (Saturday), Amateur Lovers (Saturday), and Lund Brothers (Monday).

I'll have some pictures of last night's show up after work today.

I know folks don't tend to post a lot of comments on this blog. But, i'd love to hear about any of your favorite moments, your thoughts on best sets of the weekend or other things on your mind! Comment away!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Shows for week of 8/27

Of course, I've already mentioned the IPO tonight. But, there's even more rock worth checking out for the rest week.

Monday, August 27
IPO at the Sunset Tavern

Tuesday, August 28
The Unlovable, The Femurs, The Pranks and Dateless at the Funhouse

Saturday, September 1
Visqueen at the High Dive -- two shows 6pm and late.

Bumbershoot with a truckload of bands

Sunday, September 2
Bumbershoot with a truckload of bands

Monday, September 3
Bumbershoot with a truckload of bands

IPO: On deck for day 4

Tonight is the last night of the International Pop Overthrow festival at the Sunset Tavern. Here's the schedule for the evening. There may or may not be another band on the bill, as there was originally someone slated for the 7:30pm slot who dropped out. If I learn of an addition, I'll post later.

I'm going to be out shooting photos, but since it's a work night, I'm probably not going to survive to the end. So, apologies in advance to those whose sets I miss.

8:00 Blackout 101
8:30 The Cheats
9:00 Lund Brothers
9:30 The Green Pajamas
10:00 Jimm McIver
10:30 Gary Reynolds and The Brides Of Obscurity
11:00 Ionesco

Sunday, August 26, 2007

IPO: On deck for day 3

Good lord I'm tired! I would really love to go out tonight, but I'm not sure I can muster the energy. But, that doesn't mean YOU shouldn't go. In fact, you should go, and then send me your pictures and thoughts and I'll post them on the blog.

There's an open slot on the schedule, because We Wrote the Book On Connectors dropped out (something about "grooming their mustaches" I think). But, that might just mean that Phamous Phaces plays longer, which wouldn't be a bad thing, as those guys are like The Smithereens incarnate.

Here's the schedule:

7:30 Edmonton Block Heater
8:00 Andrea Wittgens (backed by part of Central Services, I think)
8:30 Bipolar Star
9:00 J Minus
9:30 Before Cars
10:00 Patience Please
10:30 Phamous Phaces
11:00 TBA

Photos: IPO Day 2

Whew... I'm too old to rock this much. My dog woke me up at 8am (in fact, that's "sleeping in" for him), and after two five-hour nights at the Sunset, I'm pooped! But, it's worth it, because last night was another good rockin' affair. Here are some photos and random commentary.

Smile Brigade started the night off. The lighting was different tonight than last night. So, I struggled all evening to get good shots. This one isn't particular good. But, it made me laugh, because I'm pretty sure their singer was flipping me the bird here. :)

Emilio Banda (formerly of Static Radio) came on second with a solid set of acoustic pop. He's got a strong voice and good songs.

The Broadcast Debut was on third. Although I loved their last recording, this was my first chance to see them live. I thought they had the best pre-Amateur Lovers set of the night. Last night I realized that one really can't take a good shot of a drummer at the Sunset. Sorry drummers! But, at least one of these includes the drummer!

Matt Southworth of the Capillaries followed The Broadcast Debut. I thought the full band was going to be playing. But, turns out it was just Matt, which is still pretty dang good. This photo represents what he would look like seven days after watching that video tape in The Ring movies.

Andy Werth was on next, and he and his band crammed onto the Sunset's stage. It was a bit less crowded this time, because they only brought one keyboard. The audience really dug their set. You know how they say that Germans love David Hasselhoff, well the ladies love Andy Werth. See evidence below.

Sixth on the bill was Twink The Wonder Kid, who grabbed everyone by the shoulders, shook us really hard and yelled "suck it" in our faces. Sounds harsh? Well, it was all in good fun. After the initial shock wore off, the crowd was digging what they were burying.

The Snakebites came on next, and a funny thing happened during their set. The Sunset started getting more crowded with people who came only to see the Amateur Lovers reunion. And, let me tell you, some of those folks just didn't know how to process The Snakebites. It was amusing to watch.

Closing out the evening was the aforementioned Amateur Lovers reunion. They were very warmly welcomed with a full Sunset Tavern (see audience shot below), and they did a great set. It was bouncy and poppy and included a medley about trees, as well as a debate as to whether two songs constitutes a medley. It looked like they were having a great time, and they hinted that they may do more shows. I'll dig for more info.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

IPO: Who's on deck for tonight?

Last night was a hoot. Tonight's schedule looks to duplicate the fun. Here's a run down of the schedule. The whole thing kicks off at 7:30pm at the Sunset Tavern.

7:30 Smile Brigade
8:00 Emilio Banda
8:30 The Broadcast Debut
9:00 The Capillaries
9:30 Andy Werth
10:00 Twink The Wonder Kid
10:30 The Snakebites
11:00 Amateur Lovers

Photos: IPO Day 1

The IPO kicked off at the Sunset Tavern last night with its typical early start of 7:30pm with Catfight! and rocked solidly (and efficiently on time) until The Tripwires shut it down about five hours later.

I had a great time (if a little woozy by The Tripwires, thanks to Ryan from the Young Sportsmen buying me two Red Headed Sluts... and I'm an alcohol wimp), and it was a good sized crowd, and they were enthusiastic about the rock emanating from the stage.

Rather than try to write a review about each band, I'm going to let the photos do the talking this year. So, without further ado, here is your photo guide to Day One at the IPO.

Garage pop duo Catfight! started the night off with a bang:

They were followed by Portland's Beyond Veronica:

The Scheme was on third, but there are no photos, because I was on stage playing bass rather than in the crowd taking pictures.

The Young Sportsmen were on fourth, and they put on what I thought was the best set of the night:

The Small Change is such a great band that even when they come close to coming completely off the rails, it's still a great rock show. I know I said I was going to let the photos do the talking, but I have to tell a Small Change story. I was snapping pictures and had a perfectly framed photo of Greg in mid jump. But, due to the delay of my digital camera, he landed by the time the shutter engaged, resulting in a perfectly framed photo of his ass. Sadly, I accidentally deleted the shot.

Stuporhero was the second male/female duo of the night, but their ace in the hole was a mannequin named Bubbles Chuckles (thanks for the correction!) on drums and a laptop computer:

The Sterling Loons followed Stuporhero, and did a number of tunes from their upcoming album, which they described as a "popera."

Closing out the night were the fabulous Tripwires. It took them a while to get on the stage, because Mark seemed particularly annoyed and frustrated by the drum kit. His frustration continued into the first couple of songs. But, once they all settled in, they killed it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

IPO rant

Okay, this turned into something longer than intended. So, I've scrolled back to the top to remind you that the International Pop Overthrow is starting in just over an hour from now. Things do run generally on time at the IPO. So, show up early at the Sunset Tavern and give those early bands some love!

Blogger update: I want to make it clear that I have no official role with the IPO, other than playing bass in The Scheme who is on the bill for tonight. So, the enthusiasm that I have for this event is as a fan, not a promoter.

[begin rant]

I know they serve a very different, much wider, audience than my humble blog. But, I can't help but be a little saddened that the major arts and entertainment papers in town both have healthy articles this week about Hall and Oates (here and here), when the IPO is happening and is not garnering much attention.

To their credit, Seattle Weekly included the IPO in their "short list" section. In fact, it was written by Rachel Shimp, the writer who also gave press to the SPB anniversary show in the Seattle Weekly. Note to self, add Rachel to the xmas card list!

Anyway, back to my point: I suppose I find it generally discouraging that the major print outlets for music in Seattle chose to dedicate ten times the word count to Hall and Oates than the IPO. I say that realizing that I'm as close to a 100% Seattle powerpop fanboy as you can get. I know there's a lot to see and do and hear in this town. So, I understand the concept of competition. But, two full-length articles on Hall and Oates? Really?

I've had a some folks from a few media outlets congratulate me for filling a niche. So, I appreciate that they recognize that there is a niche to fill! But, I also know that my hit counts are a drop in the bucket compared to others' readership, and that's a bummer. Not because I want more hits, but rather because these bands deserve more attention.

[end rant]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Interview with Amateur Lovers

If you've been paying attention to the blog at all this week, you know that the International Pop Overthrow is happening at the Sunset Tavern all weekend. One of the many bright spots on the IPO schedule is the headlining slot on Saturday, which is occupied by the Amateur Lovers reunion.

I had a chance to do a quick interview via myspace with the fellas, and here are the results:

SPB: First, a history lesson. When and how did the Amateur Lovers start playing together?

The Amateur Lovers came together around 1994, but the final lineup – including drummer Jefferson Allen - wasn't in place until 1997. A mutual appreciation of 70's inspired power-pop brought us together, but the easy availability of mixed drinks, combined with the advancing technology of video game play, made us friends. Our first shows were at the Colourbox, the Off Ramp, and of course the Brick Street, our home-away-from-home.

We were lucky enough to get noticed by Loosegroove records, and signed to a modest deal. We held our CD release at the OK Hotel – another fav haunt of ours – and spent the next couple of years intermittently touring around the country in our van, Halen.

2. What are your best memories from those early times?

We played America's great, stinky rock clubs from coast-to-coast with taters and toast - and we had a great time doing it. Chico, California is a great town, if you ever get the chance. Jamming with a didgeridoo player in Montana, backstage at Memorial Stadium, Bondi Beach, getting sued, opening for the Bay City Rollers, tracking dog-shit through our copyright-infringing artist's home - There were so many good times…

Touring Australia with Ben Folds Five was pretty cool, too.

3. What prompted the reunion for this year's International Pop Overthrow?

We created a MySpace page earlier this year, just figuring why not have these songs and pictures available for our friends/fans and anyone who might stumble upon it. So David Bash, the IPO creator saw the space and inquired about our status as a band, and asked if we wouldn't consider reuniting for this show, since we played the 1st IPO in Los Angeles 10 years ago. So it all came together really easily, and since we all love playing these songs, it wasn't a tough decision.

4. What's it been like in prepping for the show?

Prepping for the show has been great - playing these songs and getting reacquainted with one another again has been really enjoyable for all of us. I think it might be the first time Sean has had a beer since 1998... We’ve also been toying with the idea of playing some new tunes - although we recognize that our fans may be as open to that idea as REO Speedwagon fans having to listen to something other than "Can't Fight That Feeling" at their reunion show...

5. So, is this truly a one-off? Last chance ever to see the band?

This may not be the last chance to see the band, but it certainly is the last guaranteed chance to see us play. We have never formally broken up, and may never do so. We consider ourselves "on hiatus," which means we are not actively writing music as a band and are not in hot pursuit of our rock 'n' roll dreams. Some of us are "seeing other people," so to speak, but we're always open to playing a gig if the right offer at the right time comes in. This is one of those occasions.

6. What should IPO attendees expect to experience?

We plan to bring out a bunch of the old hits from Virgin White Lies, and we'll also be playing several "new" tunes (8 year old tunes that would have made our 2nd record). We also plan to stage a fake fight between Scott and Jeff, and Mark might wear eye makeup. It's a game time decision.

1997 Amateur Lovers press photo by Tony Mott

The Cops sign to new label (and an mp3)

Hat tip to Three Imaginary Girls for spreading the word that The Cops have signed to The Control Group label and are slated for a November release for their new disc.

The Cops have an mp3 for the snagging, available >here<.

IPO Seattle begins tomorrow!

First a quick note: If you're in downtown Seattle today, head to the free Visqueen show at the City Hall Plaza at noon.

The rest of your weekend should be based around happenings at the Sunset Tavern, which is hosting the second annual International Pop Overthrow. The IPO, for those that don't know its history, was started eight or nine years ago in Los Angeles, and it has now expanded to eleven different cities. 2006 was the first year it was held in Seattle.

Playing the degrees-of-separation game here... the IPO is named after the classic album by Material Issue, who had a minor hit with "Kim The Waitress," which is actually a song by the great Seattle powerpop band The Green Pajamas. Coming full circle with it, Green Pajamas are playing the Seattle IPO this year!

The IPO schedule has changed a few times since it was first posted. So, here's what we know for now:

Friday, August 24
8:00 Beyond Veronica
8:30 The Scheme
9:00 Young Sportsmen
9:30 The Small Change
10:00 Stuporhero
10:30 The Sterling Loons
11:00 The Tripwires

Saturday, August 25
7:30 Smile Brigade
8:00 Emilio Banda
8:30 The Broadcast Debut
9:00 The Capillaries
9:30 Andy Werth
10:00 Twink The Wonder Kid
10:30 The Snakebites
11:00 Amateur Lovers

Sunday, August 26
7:30 Edmonton Block Heater
8:00 Andrea Wittgens
8:30 Bipolar Star
9:00 J Minus
9:30 Before Cars
10:00 TBA
10:30 Phamous Phaces
11:00 Massive Habit

Monday, August 27
7:30 Sweet Diss And The Comebacks
8:00 Blackout 101
8:30 The Cheats
9:00 Lund Brothers
9:30 The Green Pajamas
10:00 Jimm McIver
10:30 Gary Reynolds & The Brides Of Obscurity
11:00 Ionesco

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Lashes confirmed on Bumbershoot schedule

[blogger update: I changed the blog title to better represent the situation. They've been on the Bumbershoot schedule. I just wasn't sure they were *still* on the schedule, due to Eric's medical situation]

Hat tip to The Stranger's Lineout blog for this:

The Lashes are playing Bumbershoot next weekend, it will be the band’s first show since guitarist Eric Howk was hospitalized and left paralyzed from the sternum down after a tragic accident in May.

Howk will apprently be part of the line up at Bumbershoot.

I know this ain't Eric. It's just a Lashes photo that I like.

Stuporhero CD release & free mp3

The folks in Stuporhero (assuming "folks" is an apt word to describe a guy, a gal and a mannequin) are using the International Pop Overthrow as their official CD release party. So, be sure to head to the Sunset Tavern on Friday to show 'em some love -- and, frankly, Friday night at the IPO is going to rock hard from start to finish.

In the meantime, they've made an mp3 of their song "Wind-Up Dolls" available for download on their website. So, go grab it. It's a cool tune. You can also download a couple of other tunes from their myspace page.

IPO: Some band videos

As I have previously blogged, this weekend is the International Pop Overthrow at the Sunset Tavern. Here is a handful of random videos of bands who are on the schedule (with their time and night noted).

Young Sportsmen (Friday at 9pm), covering Guided By Voices:

The Tripwires (Friday at 11pm), covering Rockpile:

Amateur Lovers (Saturday at 11pm) from back in the day:

Phamous Phaces (Sunday at 10:30pm) live down in Oregon:

Green Pajamas (Monday at 9:30pm), doing their song "Kim The Waitress:"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Curtains For You on Audioasis Saturday

If you're looking for something to listen to before heading down to the IPO at the Sunset Tavern on Saturday (you are going early, right?), tune into KEXP at 6pm and you can hear Curtains For You live in studio.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Free Visqueen show on Thursday

Hat tip to Three Imaginary Girls for this bit of news:

Visqueen will be playing a free show this Thursday (8/23) at noon at the Seattle City Hall Plaza (700 Fifth Avenue, Seattle).

I love Wilco

I know there are those who would argue that they're nowhere near the powerpop genre. Well, they can stick it, because I love Wilco. :) So, I'm posting one of their videos in celebration of their show here this week.

I was hoping to find a video for the song "ELT" off of summerteeth, because I love that song. But, there was none to be found. So, "I'm always in love" will have to do.

Shows for week of 8/20

It's a big week for powerpop, as the International Pop Overthrow begins on Friday and lasts until Monday at the Sunset Tavern. I'll be blogging all week about the schedule and the bands. But, here are some other shows of note:

Monday, August 20
Sean & Jeff (Harvey Danger), The Capillaries and Eastern Grip at the Crocodile

Tuesday, August 21
Wilco at Marymoor Park

Thursday, August 23
The Sterling Loons and The Troublefakers at the Skylark Cafe (West Seattle)

Friday, August 24
International Pop Overthrow at the Sunset Tavern featuring, Catfight, Beyond Veronica The Scheme, Young Sportsmen, The Small Change, The Sterling Loons and the Tripwires. 7:30pm start time.

Saturday, August 25
International Pop Overthrow at the Sunset Tavern featuring, Smile Brigade, Emilio Banda, The Broadcast Debut, The Capillaries, Andy Werth, Twink the Wonder Kid, The Snakebites, Amateur Lovers. 7:30pm start time.

Geezerfest is happening at The Crocodile and will allow you to relive bands from Seattle past.

Sunday, August 26
International Pop Overthrow at the Sunset Tavern featuring, Edmonton Block Heater, Andrea Wittgens, Bipolar Star, J Minus, Before Cars, Phamous Phaces, Massive Habit. 7:30pm start time

H is For Hellgate, The Hot Toddies, The Tea Cozies and more at Chop Suey

Monday, August 27
International Pop Overthrow at the Sunset Tavern featuring Sweet Diss And The Comebacks, Blackout 101, The Cheats, Lund Brothers, The Green Pajamas, Jimm McIver, Gary Reynolds & The Brides Of Obscurity, Ionesco. 7:30pm start time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Photos: Young Sportsmen

It was a busy rock and roll weekend. In addition to the Friday show at the Comet, I went down to the Sunset Tavern to catch the CD release show for Young Sportsmen. Obviously I dedicated a crapload of blog space to these guys this past week (scroll down the page if you missed my three-part interview/cd review). So, I won't say much much, except this:

If there is one word that describes their set last night it's "triumphant." There was a great turnout, and they played their usual great set set. They played the entire album in-order (save for the final song of the set, which isn't on the album), and the audience just gave them more and more love with each passing song. I hope this album explodes.

Wesley and Ryan - Young Sportsmen

Richard and Wesley - Young Sportsmen

Jeff (and Richard's hand) - Young Sportsmen

Ryan - Young Sportsmen

Photos: The Purrs and Star Collector

I took in the Bang The Mantra/The Scheme/Star Collector/The Purrs show on Friday (only partially because I play bass in The Scheme) down at the Comet Tavern. I snapped a few photos, and surprisingly (considering the lighting at the Comet) got a few good ones, especially of Star Collector.

Here ya go:

Vic - Star Collector

Steve - Star Collector

Jima - The Purrs