Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended show: The Besnard Lakes {Crocodile, 11/12}

There are so many great bands that have come out of Montreal in the past decade, you have to wonder what it is about the French Canadian city that spawns such a diversity of great acts like Wolf Parade, Stars, Grimes, Purity Ring, and Arcade Fire -- just to name a few. The Besnard Lakes founders, husband and wife duo of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, are no stranger to the prolific Montreal music scene -- as the owner of Breakglass Studios in Montreal, Lasek has produced and engineered albums for Wolf Parade, The Dears, and Stars among others.

It was this immediate access to a recording studio that helped the duo when it came time to make their own music as The Besnard Lakes, beginning with their 2003 debut album Volume 1. They really found their stride, however, on their 2007 release The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, the first release for their current label Jagjaguwar. The album found them honing their dynamic sound of crashy, explosive guitar riffs with gentle melodic instrumentation, laid over Lasek's falsetto vocals. They further expounded on that sound with their 2010 release The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, and again earlier this year with their fourth full length Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO. Each of their last three releases have all been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, which goes to the best album released by a Canadian artist.

Check out the video for their song "Albatross", featuring vocals from Goreas:

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Barsuk takeover of Audioasis = basically the best thing ever

If you were near your radio and tuned in to KEXP this past Saturday night, you likely caught a bit of the Barsuk takeover of Audioasis. Label co-founder Josh Rosenfeld and Long Winters frontman John Roderick assaulted the airwaves for three hours with choice tunes, smart banter, and an in-studio performance and interview with The Revolutionary Hydra. (Not kidding!!)

This is all in advance of Barsuk's anniversary celebration shows, starting this week with Nada Surf at the Showbox on Thursday, and continuing through the weekend with performances all over town by The Long Winters, Phantogram, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Ra Ra Riot and more. Everything is sold out (boo / yay!), full lineups here for you to either lament or get giddy with anticipation over.

Back to the Audioasis show: the archive will be available at KEXP's site for about a week and a half, you can listen to it live by clicking here {that link should work through next weekend}. In the absence of the live feed for Future Imaginaries, or, if you want to go build a killer playlist, here's a cut-and-paste of the playlist:

Death Cab for Cutie - "Company Calls"
Quasi - "It's Hard To Turn Me On"
Telekinesis - "Dirty Thing"
This Busy Monster - "Belated"
Little Champions - "Pillow Ass"
Hutch and Kathy - "In Brilliance"
Pete Krebs & the Gossamer Wings - "Sweet Ona Rose"
Laura Veirs - "Snow Camping"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Barton Sharp",
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Bomb Squad"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Oxygen=Death"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Queen of the Gravity Urge"
Destroyer - "City of Daughters"
Modest Mouse - "Sleepwalking"
Sunset Valley - "Solid Goldmine"
Harvey Danger - "Loyalty Bldg."
The Halo Benders - "Don't Touch My Bikini"
Andy Fitts - "My Axe"
Leisure World - "All In Preparation"
Fleet Foxes - "In The Hot Hot Rays"

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Latest comment by: Jody: "Anyone turn this into a Spotify playlist yet?"

Recommended event: SLIDELUCK Seattle 10 {11/9}

Mark your calendars, imaginary friends. SLIDELUCK Seattle 10 is coming up.

“What is it?” you ask? Well, SLIDELUCK is a digitally-projected slideshow, concert and potluck dinner taking place at a new 6,000 square foot space, AXIS Studios, in Pioneer Square (formerly Elliott Bay Books). The fun all starts around 6pm on Saturday, November 9th.

There are three bands playing whom you will not want to miss: in addition to Miss Miniver Rose and Sam Miller, you'll be exposed to Postcard From The Badlands and their atmospheric and gorgeous instrumental post-rock. They merge Ennio Morricone, Lee Hazlewood, Godspeed You Black Emperor and The Cinematic Orchestra with wide-open Southwest sunset inspired Jazz-fusion bliss. Postcard from the Badlands is not to be missed and, perhaps, is Seattle’s best-kept secret. Surely, a multiple record deal with an esteemed independent label is just around the corner for them.

This is a themed event entitled One Hundred and Fifty Miles, the goal of which is that each and every element that it takes to produce the evening must come from, or utilize resources from, within 150 miles of Seattle. These elements include the art, the ingredients for the food, the sponsors, and even the place settings.

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Latest comment by: Blizzet: "Wow, what is that all about? I never have an idea that it is still with you. - Roger Stanton St. Mary's College "

Mike Doughty plays Soul Coughing hits at the Neptune {Saturday, 11/2}

{Mike Doughty / photo courtesy of Jambase}

If you've paid attention to the career of Mike Doughty (you know, 'that guy from Soul Coughing') over the years, you're aware of his disposition against playing even one song from the Soul Coughing catalog. So much so, in fact, that he's been known to walk up to people in the audience who yell out requests, take money out of his wallet, hand it to them to refund their ticket purchase, and bluntly ask them to leave the show.

Well, listen up, fans: Mike Doughty is just about halfway through a tour in which he does nothing *but* Soul Coughing songs, perhaps in an effort to exorcise some internal demons, or, maybe he's gotten together with a really excellent therapist! In any case, if you've ever hankered to hear "Super Bon Bon" or "Circles" right from the horse's mouth, now's your chance: he'll be playing tomorrow night {Saturday, 11/2} at our very own Neptune Theater, with a preview set at Sonic Boom in Ballard at 2pm. Be there!

{Tickets and more information about the show at STG's site here. All ages / Moon Hooch opens. Photo of Mike and Scrap courtesy of the ever-wondrous internet.}

Latest comment by: Blizzet: "Wow, they are ticked off with it. I guess we all need to get aware of this one. - Kris Krohn "

Lou Reed: 2nd March, 1942 – 27th October, 2013

As you are probably well aware, Lou Reed passed away on Sunday. He had undergone a liver transplant earlier this year, from which he never fully recovered. The devastating news spread far and wide that day with tributes and accolades surfacing virtually everywhere. Instead of highlighting his career with The Velvet Underground or his better known solo works such as Transformer or Berlin, I would like to pay my respects by elaborating on some of his strongest lesser known albums that should be investigated, purchased and digested by imaginary readers out there.

Street Hassle (1978) was Reed’s eighth solo record, with an intense epicenter focusing on the raw underbelly of New York street life. Its dark imagery of drugs and sex are stark verbalizations, penned by someone who was imbedded in the murky scene. A reworking of the old Velvet Undeground song “Real Good Time Together” is amongst the track listing, but the three part opus, “Street Hassle” is the centerpiece and highlight. It is real, disturbing, and beautiful -- all at the same time. Another standout is “Dirt,” an angry, slightly bluesy dirge, worthy as a follow up to “White Light White Heat.”

The Bells (1979). One year after Street Hassle, Reed released The Bells, which was a complete change of direction. It combined jazz, funk and even disco elements -- but before you stop reading, this approach actually works in his favor. Of this record, Lester Bangs said that Reed had “become a great writer, in the literary sense.” This statement is true, and the songs are fantastic as well. As with the previous album, the title track is an epic foray into an abyss of unchartered territory. It is a purely experimental track, verging on free jazz that remains affecting (and sonically interesting) to this day.

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