Tonight in Seattle:  

Don't miss: Tractor Tavern's 20th anniversary celebration, featuring The Maldives {this weekend!}

If Ballard had a soundtrack, The Maldives would surely be it. Our favorite good old boys have played SeafoodFest, KEXP’s Ballard Hood to Hood party, and the venerable Tractor Tavern over fifty times. OMG, fifty! So fair warning to the new bougie Ballard, they’ll be leading a two night hipster hootenanny this Friday and Saturday to celebrate the Tractor’s 20th Anniversary. It’s time to get dirty.

The Tractor remains a bar for the masses where PBR tallboys are the house specialty and mixed drinks don’t come with more than three ingredients (one of those being the ice). And we love it like that. Dance hall hospitality collides with punk rock enthusiasm to create the best type of dingy beer soaked venue. And while the graffiti covering the bathroom walls provides enough entertainment in itself, the Tractor’s real draw has always been the stellar talent they continue to book. Known for keeping the alt-country / Americana musical flame aglow here in Seattle, everyone from Wanda Jackson, Old 97’s, El Vez, Dale Watson, and Evan Dando have taken the stage. C’mon, where else in Seattle can you square dance every week under a garland of old cowboy boots? We’ve got our very own honky tonk and that’s definitely something to celebrate!

more...

check out the TIG flickr pool

Are you on the Seattle Living Room Shows list yet?

You know how in the movies all the beautiful people go to secret shows in lofts and warehouses where you can only get in if you’re on the list? And it’s always some band you’ve never heard of but when you watch the movie years later you’re like “Oh my god! Those guys are famous now!” Well, it turns out that actually happens in real life, and all you have to do to be one of the beautiful people is sign up for an email list.

Since 2008, sisters Carrie and Kristen Watt have been organizing Seattle Living Room Shows. Every month they put together a show in an unconventional space – often a real living room. You only find out the location and sometimes the final lineup after you buy your tickets. But the coolest thing about the Living Room Shows is that they’re not about being cool. They are about providing the best live listening experience possible.

Okay, that totally sounded like marketing copy, but everything about the shows is designed to get fans up close and personal with really great music. They get artists like Lemolo and Damien Jurado to play in lofts and galleries to a few dozen people. While the Quietus bemoans 2013 as the year the gig-talkers won, SLRS are providing intimate listening room experiences for people who actually want to hear the music. The only talking during the show is between the performers and the audience. I’ve only been to two of them so far, but SLRS are quickly becoming my favorite way to see live music.

more...

Latest comment by: David Leech: "Very excited about this"

Recommended event and game: MovieCat is awesome! {1/21}

You guys, I've been wanting to tell you for awhile that MovieCat is AWESOME. And I’m not just saying this because my team, Requiem for a Dream Team, has won a round of MovieCat trivia at Central Cinema before (and come close to winning a second time).

MovieCat is so many things, but primarily it’s a movie trivia game for your smartphone and a fun live event that happens about once a month at Central Cinema. The local creators (and hosts) of this super-cute cat-themed movie game, Jessica Aceti and Brian Kirk, just launched a sequel to their first game, MovieCat 2, which has some added features including new categories that make it even more boss than the original game, and the ability to have 2 players for a trivia battle. And it’s not easy! (although you can set the difficulty level to easy, or medium, or hard, depending on how confident you are with your movie trivia knowledge). These guys KNOW their stuff, and there are some questions in there that even my most hardcore film-loving friends don’t know the answer to.

The next Central Cinema event actually happens tomorrow night, Tuesday 1/21, at 7pm, and tickets are $6. The prizes range from MovieCat prints to delicious cheesecakes, and always include an amusingly “authentic” movie prop. That rug that my friend Andrew won one time really ties his room together.

Tickets to the trivia night are $6, and I recommend you get there early because it's popular! Plus, arriving before 6:30 means you get a good seat AND happy hour pricing on food and drinks. Don’t forget to download the game for only $1.99 to prep beforehand.

Don't miss: Damien Jurado at the Neptune {1/17}

{Damien Jurado / Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son}

Rejoice, fans of the Saint Bartlett > Maraqopa trajectory: I have heard the new Damien Jurado album, and it is good.

As we reported back in October, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is here (yeah, he's talking about Jesus -- don't worry, it's a rad trip; take a drag on what Father John Misty had to say about it) and with it, a release show at the Neptune this Friday. As the first official show endorsement of 2014, I would highly, highly recommend not missing this performance. Here's why: the first time I heard Brothers and Sisters, I immediately tried to figure out how to get some peyote, so I could go jam out in the desert someplace with "Silver Donna" fed through a transistor radio on infinite repeat, eventually disappearing completely.

Yeah -- it's really accesible, but it's that kind of record.

With the helping hand of Richard Swift, Damien Jurado continues to expand his consciousness -- and seemingly, his alignment with the art he wants to make, not the art that's expected of him -- with his most psych-tinged record yet. And while I'm still very much present, typing at this keyboard without said substance or desert experience coming to pass in real-time, it is crystal clear to me that this is for sure a trip that I want to be on. The very touchable, dimensional reality is that Jurado can go from a song like "Go First" to something like this:

and whoever has that kind of incredible range of work in them also has me at the front of the line, for all performances and record pre-orders, forever and ever. (Amen.)

more...

Imaginary Keenan's navel-gazing 2013 wrap-up

2013 was one of the most challenging years of my adult life. I tackled a ridiculous amount of life and ALL CAPS FEELINGS all at once but somehow came out alive and mostly unscathed thanks to finally learning how to take care of myself. 2013 found me taking solace in music much more than the few years preceding it, mostly because I needed it. 2013 was the year of obsessive repeats and the return of music as therapy to my life. Here are a few things that really shook me to the core and pulled me through even the darkest days.

Fortunately, this year featured new releases by two of my all-time (and seriously imaginary) favorites, BOAT and Tullycraft. I spent the first quarter of the year listening to both on repeat, generally in succession. I owe my sanity in the first few months at a brutal corporate job I have since (thankfully) left mostly to these two records.

BOAT's Pretend to Be Brave is a beautiful, slow burning record. My husband and I have a joke about BOAT songs - "My favorite BOAT song is the one about overcoming difficulties and becoming a better person" {cue rim shot} and that couldn't have been more true on the latest effort nearly a decade into their career. But like with every BOAT record, the songwriting becomes more focused, more honest and the hooks become even stronger. The secret weapon on this record is the absolutely perfect backing vocal performance provided by Portland's Shelley Short, adding just the right amount of sparkle. My only disappointment was that BOAT didn't play more shows in 2013. Hopefully this is something they'll correct in the new year. Please enjoy the lead single, "Hating the Criminal".

more...

Latest comment by: Diana Wegener: "Very rocking and dashing as well. I like you guys, I like the way you present your news. Keep us rocking in 2014! In It Pokies "

check out the TIG flickr pool