Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended Show: A benefit for The Glamour and the Squalor at EMP with Sean Nelson, The Young Evils & more {10/11}

The Glamour and the Squalor is a project I've been excited about from the beginning: a kick-ass documentary about a kick-ass guy, Marco Collins, covering both his impact on the music world AND its impact on him. Just in case you weren't listening to KNDD 107.7 The End in the 90s, Marco was the DJ who broke a bunch of amazing bands on the air waves, including Beck, Weezer, The Presidents of the United States, Foo Fighters, and some band featuring Ben Gibbard. Oh, and he's also been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! NBD, you guys. 

Anywy! TG&TS is SO close to being done, but they still need to raise a bit more cash to make a release happen. So they are brilliantly throwing a benefit concert at the EMP next Friday, October 11! And the line-up (curated by Marco, of course) is kind of insane, y'all: 

Sean Nelson!
The Young Evils!

(!!! my current lady-crush) Mary Lambert!
Nacho Picasso!
Ra Scion & Daniel Blue (motopony)!

Tilson XO!
DJ Action Jackson (from Fly Moon Royalty)!

So basically you get to rock out to a bunch of amazing Seattle bands, AND you'll get to see clips from the film presented by Director Mark Evans, AND you get to help this rad film get completed. Tickets are $35 and include 1 drink, or you can spend $100 for the VIP treatment, which inludes a meet-and-greet with Marco, the filmmakers, and the artists playing & 3 drinks. 

These things are gonna sell out fast, my friends. So get your tix now! And I'll see you there. 

{The Glamour and the Squalor Benefit Concert | EMP Museum | Friday, October 11 | 7pm Doors | $35 GA, $100 VIP | Tickets available online through EventBrite

Is the comedy album dead?

Nope! The comedy album is not dead. It probably should be, as almost every comedian has a podcast or YouTube channel now, or is appearing on three podcasts and talk shows and in festival line-ups this very week.

But an album -- the format of audio-based long-playing something or other, usually music, but then allowing for a full set of comedy when the 50s went "LP" -- is a certain kind of thing. As I bought these comedy CDs below, I often asked myself why I was bothering. Can't we get our comedy from a bunch of other sources now, some not even involving pestered cats on the Book of Face; much of which is available on that other silver disc, the DVD? 

Yes, memes and sitcom and stand-up collections are taking up a lot of our time both at work and in the after-hours, as diversions and consumables. But your career comedian, your yuck-bucket soldier that can't just snap his fingers and get the Internet to PayPal a million into his personal account, they still need to crank out the equivalent of a 40-minute collection of new material the way bands do.

And like those bands, the albums tend to rotate a bit on a theme, and to highlight a bit or two that makes its way to the before-referenced YouTube or talk shows. These albums may not have the majestic allure of the original, mysterious masters of the format -- Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Albert Brooks -- but they are excellent live sets of the comedian's contemporary repertoire. Now will comedy albums ever get back to the conceptual hijinks of the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python? Maybe. Probably not. But it's kind of strange though.

Think about it this way: It's as if the pop music format hit the apex of Frampton Comes Alive in the 70s, and from then on, every musician was recording everything, everything since, through voice boxes on their guitars in front of a cheering, bong-loaded, Bic-waving mob of wing-hairs. That is, live set BOOM. Done deal. There are exceptions -- Norm MacDonald records studio comedy albums. (They're great, save for the homophobia. Ouch.) And there are always going to be They Might Be Giants-type bands as adept at yucks as they are rolling out the rock. But below are about as imaginative and cool and experientially fulfilling as comedy albums get these days, all of them recorded before a live audience, and all basing their artfulness on the direct appeal of their jokes'n'stories. So with that understood, let's hit 'em:


Score some sweet, smart, stylish graphic novels at Top Shelf Comix's big sale

Top Shelf Productions has roots in the Pacific NW, since its beginning in 1997, sharing offices from Portland, OR to Marietta, GA, and New York City. Perhaps most well know to casual comics fans for the huge successes of the horror classic From Hell issue by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, and the theo-existential teenage blues Blankets from Craig Thompson, they are a super classy company and have tons of back catalogue goodies that give Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly a run for their money.

Right now the company is winding down a huge summer sale on many of their books; the recent ones I'm recommending right now are discounted, and simply irresistible. But for those willing to check out their website, there are piles of great past titles available for up to 50% off, plus lots for only $3 a piece (!). There's a whole lot of sequential narrative nom-nom to be found, but don't miss:

March Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
The first in a series of autobiographies about veteran GA Congressman John Lewis, who was a bellwether in the Civil Rights Movement in America in the 60s, this volume is both artful and edifying. Bill Clinton even blurbs it on the back as an important source of history, and you can't say that about too many books. This first chapter finds Lewis growing up in rough and oppressive rural Alabama, his life sparked by meeting Martin Luther King, Jr., and the two of them opening a can of whup-ass on segregation all over the South together. Nate Powell, who has done more oblique dramas like Any Empire, as well as informative and emotional work on Darfur, is at his best as an illustrator here, his B&W artwork seeming both sophisticated and pleasantly sketchy, showing the excitement and looming noir fears of the times. Highly recommended, as enjoyable as it is energizing.

God Is Disappointed In You by Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler


Recommended Show: Peter Hook & The Light at Neumos {9/25}

Peter Hook and the Light at Neumos Decibel Festival

My New Order fangirl heart is exploding all over the place because the 10th Annual Decibel Fest kicks off tomorrow night, and one of the showcases is Factory Pop, and that means PETER HOOK is playing!!! And not just playing, but playing the whole of Power, Corruption & Lies, along with New Order's debut album, Movement


I can't even. I just. I mean. THIS IS AMAZING. Anyway, incredibly, there are still tickets left. So you better get yours now!  

Also amazing, this video from Jimmy Fallon of Peter Hook playing "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with The Roots! The. Roots. 

Though I'm most excited about New Order nostaglia, check out the rest of the Decibel Fest lineup too, which includes the awesome Sub Pop 25 showcase at the Showbox 9/25, featuring Shabazz Palaces, The Helio Sequence, TheeSatisfaction, and Kingdom Crumbs. And also Moby! And Lorde (who I feel like everybody is talking about right now)! And a whole bunch of other great performers! 

{Peter Hook & The Light (11:15pm-1:25am) with ADULT. (10-11pm) + Nightmare Fortress (9pm-9:45pm) | Neumos | Wednesday September 25 | $30 DAY OFF |  9PM // 21+} 

Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "He is playing BASS and singing, but I heard he hates singing and was trying to get Moby to sing more. :) And yes, Moby was doing a very good Ian Curtis impression, both in dance and tone of voice. "

Don't miss: Father John Misty at the Moore {10/6}

Weed, shows, cruise ships, guns, visits to Santa, long drives, pirouettes, cigarettes, meaningful glances, hotel hallways -- who can provide such an ADD-esque (yet totally cohesive) snapshot of his life into a three minute and fifty-eight second video?

Father John Fucking Misty, that's who.

"This is where I fell over the other night."

The most DIY of FJM's video releases to date, "I'm Writing a Novel" hits our radar oh-so-fittingly, just as a stripped-down solo tour is getting underway. With such a penchant for stage antics, it will be downright fascinating to see what Josh Tillman's one-man act brings -- we have the feeling that his creative power / persona will manifest both through his gorgeous, bell-like vocals and levity-laden delivery, with just enough shaman-tinged-Laurel-Canyon vibe to remain decidedly Father John. (Even without the now-trademark "Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings" full-blast freakout.)

Here's some supporting evidence:

"I don't need any new friends / 'cause I'm the mayor"

In case you've missed our love for FJM since last year's release of Fear Fun, pop on over here to catch up. Local and national dates below:

Oct. 03 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
Oct. 06 - Seattle, WA - The Moore Theatre {info / tickets}
Oct. 07 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre
Oct. 08 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore