Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended Show: The Redwood Plan, Black Swedes and The West at The Sunset {11/30}

You guys! I found the perfect thing to shake you out of your Turkey/Tofurkey coma on Saturday night: a trifecta of awesomeness at The Sunset!

The Redwood Plan, fronted by the always-amazing Lesli Wood, is hitting the stage along with Black Swedes (who I have fallen all over before), and The West (who released a pretty kick-ass video a few months ago). Black Swedes is also releasing their new album, “Phase” that evening: a poppy, moody tangle of lushness that will suck you in and wreck you in all the good ways.

It's only $8! Go, go, go, go (Green Light) Go. 

{The Redwood Plan | The West | Black Swedes | Sunset Tavern | Saturday, November 30 | Doors: 9:30pm, Show: 10pm | $8 | 21+}

Don't miss: Quasi at the Tractor {Friday}

Okay. Seriously, can we talk about this for a minute, imaginary friends? Quasi are playing The Tractor on Friday. QUASI. TRACTOR. FRIDAY. FUCK.

Janet Weiss AND Sam Coomes AND that almost-untouchable, best-pairing-since-chocolate-and-peanut-butter vibe, AND a new album (Mole City), and I think our faces just got rocked off before we could even a parking spot in Ballard.

Here's what the press release has to say about it:

Mole City is not in the tradition or deviating from the tradition -- it is the tradition. After 2 decades of launching drums, guitars and pianos through the shifting interzones between harmony and chaos (moonlighting along the way with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag, Elliott Smith, Built to Spill and a long list of others [Ed. note: LIKE SLANG]), Quasi are a genre of their own -- they write songs in the style of Quasi, and Mole City is the Quasi Song Book: Parlor Sing-alongs for the Last Century.

Now in their 20th year as a band, and a two-piece once again, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss hand-deliver the double album/Liberation Cookbook/Encyclopedia of Kicking Ass, Mole City, to those of us who still care about well-built, homemade objects crafted with integrity, spirit, fire, and skill. In other words, those of us who don’t fit into a world where the empty noise of crass capitalism, slick branding, and high profile hot pants have drowned out nearly all other concerns. Mole City, their ninth album, is a set of anthems for the refuseniks, Molotov tossers, pacifist soldiers and bug-eyed freaks, and Quasi is the band playing as the Titanic of what was once Independent Music goes down.

Amen to that! Get your tickets (if there's any left by now) at The Tractor's (new?) site here. We'll see you in the front row!

{9:30p / 21+ / $15 adv. Hobosexual and Blues Control open.}

Sunlight Jr.

{Sunlight Jr. opens in Seattle on Friday, 11/15, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle}

Director and writer Laurie Collyer’s latest, Sunlight Jr., is an unflinching portrait of poverty.  The two lead characters struggle against a tide of horrible circumstances which test their strength and love for each other, and the little hope they experience is quickly eroded by insurmountable obstacles. 

Melissa (Naomi Watts, who is just frankly amazing in everything, but particularly in this film) lives in a shitty motel with her boyfriend, Richie (Matt Dillon) and works a shitty minimum wage job with a shitty boss in a shitty part of town called Sunlight, Jr.

She also has a shitty, abusive ex-boyfriend named Justin (Norman Reedus. I can’t. I mean. Can you just be Daryl Dixon forever instead of this guy?) that stalks her at work, and also rents a house out to Melissa’s alcoholic momma, who has a passel of neglected foster kids.

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XVIII Eyes releases new album, plays Chop Suey TONIGHT

{XVIII Eyes / by Adrien Leavitt}

I've had the newest release from XVIII Eyes {fka Eighteen Individual Eyes} on repeat since the end of last month, trying to find a way to describe the wash of feelings I get from each start-to-finish listen. As a result, I've got notes about how the sound is delivered through a legit indie rock / alt.electro-synth modernized Cure-esque filter, and how a stunning movie-soundscape of capital-R Relationship flashes through my brain with the meter of heartbeat-synced percussion, and how those clear, clean vocals both mirror and constrast piercing guitar work that hits me right in the center of my person.

While those words do, of course, help frame out the personal experience I'm having with this record, rather than attempt to deliver it all into some concise essay about song-feelings, I'm just going to link I'll Keep You here and let you see / hear for yourself:

Thankfully, the vibe of both the album and the fundamental shift in XVIII Eyes' paradigm has been encapsulated in a most excellent descriptive from the album's official press release, excerpted here:

The transformation to something more accessible and decisive – essentially, the tapping of a pop vein - is mirrored in the band’s sophomore release, I’ll Keep You (self-released November 12, 2013). In a guitar-driven pop adventure through sound and space, XVIII Eyes reveal that the dark, brooding figure, the subject in the band’s 2012 debut Unnovae Nights, emerges from the bog turning out to be perfectly human. A handsome stranger that says “hello,” takes you by the hand and says, “Let’s hit it.”   

Triumph, however, is held in delicate balance. Songs like “I’ll Keep You” and “San Francisco” wear themselves inside out as the haunting, hypnotic pulse of the Wood/King rhythm section pushes Barber’s siren warnings (“Your heart just ain’t cold enough / to get caught up in this”, “Now you know what criminals are made of”), but are pulled just out of foreboding reach by Aaron’s sanguine guitar. The commanding psych drive of “SUN150” shifts pace and carries an urgent message of steadfast romance heard throughout the album.

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Ben Lashes sighting on Sunday Morning

Ben Lashes / Grumpy Cat Manaager

I'm guessing that by Sunday morning, most of us were exhausted from all the non-stop Barsuk celebration fun.  That's to be expected; when some of the nicest people amass some of our favorite bands to play *together* in mini-fest style, beauty sleep goes out the door.

So, in case you were one of the people catching up on your zzzzs Sunday and slept through this week's episode of CBS's Sunday Morning, I wanted to share one of the stories premiered this week. Seattle's own* Ben Lashes** is featured in a segment! There are many reasons you'll love watching it (give it up for Grumpy Cat!), but your 2003 heart will burst at the 1:04 mark.

Is it any surprise that he's the force behind many an internet star cat?


*I know full well that Ben has been living in L.A. for years now, but he'll always be a Seattle boy in our imaginary world.

**Yes, Ben Lashes of The Lashes, featured in many a TIG story from 2002-2008.