Tonight in Seattle:  

New Releases

Feeling some Murder Vibes - and liking it

If you are one of those people who secretly spend the summer longing for the return of cloudy skies and drizzly rain, you want to know about the self-titled debut album from local duo Murder Vibes. Vocalist Peter Hanks and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Evans have created a dark, moody soundtrack equally suited to solitary strolls through soggy fallen leaves or dancing with strangers in darkened basements.

Like many debuts, this one wears its influences proudly on its sleeve, and Murder Vibes have drawn from some of the best. Imagine the dark spirit of Depeche Mode combined with M83’s beats and Nick Cave’s drama, all built on a solid foundation of post-millennium U2 and you’ll have a pretty near idea of what Murder Vibes are up to. (And really, it is striking how effectively Hanks evokes Bono - which is about the highest compliment I can give.)

The trick with dark and moody bedroom projects is that they don’t always translate well to the stage. We’ll have a chance to find out how well Murder Vibes does it at their album release show at Fred Wildlife Refuge on November 13 (NOTE: we originally had it as 11/11 - it is actually, for real, on 11/13 - huge apologies). That will be your first chance to buy the album as well, although the single “Not Alone Tonight” is available on bandcamp now.

You can watch the creepy teaser for that song after the cut below, or head over to their web page where the rest of their teasers are pretty funny. 

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Latest comment by: Gregory Price: "Lovely music. it just impressed me with the good quality lyrics with lots of emotion coming out of it. free pokie bonus "

Tusk

Michael Parks as Howard Howe in Kevin Smith's Tusk

{TUSK officially opens in Seattle on Friday, 9/19 – but there are some Thursday night showings starting at 8pm! Screening at Regal Meridian 16 and Oak Tree Cinemas}

A horror movie from Kevin Smith? Based on one of his smodcasts? About a guy who lures unsuspecting victims to his home in order to turn them into … walruses? 

Yup. Tusk is all of those things. And while the premise IS ridiculous, the first two-thirds are actually pretty terrifying, and then it all falls apart thanks to a cameo by a high-profile star who really, really, really loves to wear fake noses and adopt funny accents.

At the start, we meet podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long). Wallace is kind of a douche; his “Not-see Party” podcasts are built around making fun of unfortunate souls on the internet—like a boy who cuts his own leg off with a sword—in which he travels to meet them in person and then comes back home, describing his adventures to his podcasting buddy, Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment).

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Recommended shows TONIGHT and TOMORROW: the premiere of NEW Ken Stringfellow music with FM Collective!

FM Collective

Did I tell you guys about how this has been the best summer EVER? And the fall is looking pretty boss too. There are several reasons that my summer has been so rockin', but a lot of it has been the music -- in large part due to my beloved Posies returning to the PNW and giving me a ton of oppotunuties to see them play live {in various incarnations}. 

And so, my imaginary friends, it is with great pleasure that I gift you the first listen to this lush new tune from Mr. Ken Stringfellow in collaboration with FM Collective, "The One That Matters." This is the kind of song that sighs are meant for. I'm probably being a little dramatic -- but I swear to you, this track is simply beautiful.

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God’s Pocket

Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro on God's Pocket

{God’s Pocket opens in Seattle on Friday, 5/16, and is screening at Landmark Varsity Theatre}  

Oof. I didn’t expect watching one of the last films Phillip Seymour Hoffman was in would be so … awkward, but it was. And for more than just the obvious reasons.

God’s Pocket is the first feature from Actor and Director John Slattery (aka Roger Sterling on Mad Men), and while the movie features some strong performances, the execution is definitely flawed. The story, set in a working class neighborhood in Philly in the 1980s, is based on a novel by Peter Dexter.

Main character Mickey Scarpato is something of a small-time crook; selling meat from the back of his truck that he gets from sketchy sources, stealing other trucks, and predictably, losing all his earnings at the horse track. His wife, Jeanie (played by Slattery’s MM co-star, Christina Hendricks) is gorgeous, and predictably, dissatisfied. She also has a 22-year-old-going-on-13 son named Leon, who, predictably, the entire neighborhood hates because he’s a racist, drug-addicted jerk.

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Tennis Pro — Small Basement Encore

Hey, Seattle. Got a minute? We need to talk to you about something. Pull up a seat.

Here's the thing: you do a lot of stuff right. Those are great shoes, and we saw you out at that show last week. You're real cool! You listen to good records. You support small businesses. You like that weird shit that nobody else likes but you, and you've got all those rad posters to prove it. You're doing good work! But we're not sure if you're down with Tennis Pro yet. Are you? Because there's no excuse for you not to be. They've been putting albums out for the better part of a decade, and if you're not totally hooked, you're kinda doing it wrong.

Thankfully for you, this is an easy fix: Small Basement Encore was released last week, and it's a great place to start building out this corner of your wheelhouse. SBE is the very best of Tennis Pro's intelligent, infectious releases to date, and it's available as a digital-only release through iTunes (and cdbaby). It's kind of like your BFF made you an all-Tennis-Pro-hits side A to your new favorite mixtape.

What starts off as an intelligent, hilarious trip through some killer chord choices quickly turns the corner into a veritable symphony of awesomeness. If you don't catch the depth these guys dive to on the first listen, plug in your headphones and give it a second play. Then a third. Soon you'll be hollering "Rock Over Tokyo" in the shower before work, and tapping your pencil in a daydream to the tune of "Caught The Wrong Wave" without even realizing it. Scratch your symphony itch with "Rounding Up The Frightened Pets," find a new smart-kid fuck-you power jam in "We Put The Punk In Punctuation" -- whatever you do, just buy this album today and let it be your gateway drug to the band's catalog.

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "I LOVE this review so much! Just as much as I LOVE Tennis Pro. xoxoxoxoxo "

Record Store Day 2014 is here! {this Saturday}

{Record Store Day 2014}

It's time for Christmas in April, you guys! Yup, Record Store Day 2014 is here, and with it, no less than a few thousand RSD-only exclusive releases that you can't get anywhere else, on any other day. To try and help you wade through it all, here's a few helpful links for you to print / sort / map out as you see fit so you can have the best plan of attack possible on Saturday.

First things first: here's the main site for Record Store Day 2014, and here's the link for RSD-only releases and limited editions.

And while this is by no means exhaustive, here's some our favorite certified RSD-participating shops, in no particular order, with addresses, opening times, and any specials we've found advertised so far.

Easy Street
4559 California Ave SW, West Seattle
{website} // 206.938.EASY
They'll be open Saturday at 7am. Keep an eye out for in-store performance announcements here, and check out their blog for RSD recommendations!

Sonic Boom
2209 NW Market St, Ballard
{website} // 206.297.BOOM
Shopping starts at the regular opening bell (10am). Expect raffles, discounts, and even a live performance later in the day (St. Paul & The Broken Bones at 6pm).

Everyday Music
1520 10th Ave E, Capitol Hill
{website} // 206.568.3321
Everyday will be opening an hour early -- 8am -- with performances going strong from noon til 8:30pm, poster and more details here.

Light In The Attic Records
913 NW 50th St, Ballard
{website}
Per a recent blog post, the shop will be expanding their Saturday hours (usually 12-4p) to 9a - 5p on Saturday. LITA also will have tons of other hand-picked goodies available and a hefty 25% discount on non-RSD merch.

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Don't miss: Tom Brosseau at the Fremont Abbey {2/26}

{Tom Brosseau / by Nathaniel Wood}

No surprises here: I've been looking forward to this show since it hit my radar almost two months ago, when I was making my best-of-2013 lists and had to throw in an honorable mention for this guy's pending release. Yes, I'm talking about Tom Brosseau and yes, the final cut of the record is as good as I'd hoped. He'll be at the Fremont Abbey this Wednesday night with Shelby Earl, and if you know what's good for you, you won't miss it.

To speak to the album for a moment, Grass Punks is hands-down my favorite release since 2005's what I mean to say is goodbye, and as I type this I can't believe that nearly ten years have passed between them. While a beautiful body of work has been birthed in that decade, Grass Punks rings my bells so specifically because it's just very... well, Tom: a perfect fusing of traditional roots sound with a razor-sharp edge; a hybrid of North Dakota wheatfields and blistering days on the streets of Los Angeles. His dense, multi-faceted prowess shines through in separate-but-equal ways in standout tracks "Love High John The Conqueror Root" and "Today Is A Bright New Day," both of which are yours for the listening and purchasing here (and below).

The Northwest leg of the tour kicks off tonight at Mississippi Studios, with a handful of left-coast dates that dip down into California and an appearance at SXSW before Tom heads off to Europe:

2.25 // Mississippi Studios, Portland OR
2.26 // Fremont Abbey, Seattle WA
2.27 // Axe and Fiddle, Cottage Grove OR
2.28
// Veterans Memorial Theatre, Davis CA
3.01 // House concert, Sacramento CA
3.03 //
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley CA
3.04 // House concert, San Francisco CA
3.06 // North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe, San Diego CA
3.07 // Sanctuary, Santa Monica CA
3.08
// House Concert, Lompoc CA
3.11 // Javelina, Riot Act Media SXSW Showcase, Austin TX

Tickets for the Fremont Abbey show are right around nine dollars with fees, and are available through Brown Paper Tickets here (first two rows reserved are sold out). 7p doors / 8p show, all ages welcome. We'll see you there!

{Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Wood / Mary Jones Management.}

The Wolf of Wall Street

{The Wolf of Wall Street opens in Seattle on December 25, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle, Thornton Place, and the Regal Meridian}

At one point last eve, amidst the rum balls and hot buttered rum and glasses of cava, I declared that I had to write this review and my love suggested that I could just claim my drunken state was “research” into the excess shown in The Wolf of Wall Street. Brilliant, right? And then, I totally forgot and fell asleep.

Brushing the sleep out of my eyes early this morning instead, I’m here to tell you that Wolf is my favorite Scorsese movie since Goodfellas. It’s funny, no, I mean, REALLY funny, and Leo. Mygod. I didn’t even notice it was Leonardo DiCaprio up there on the screen. It WAS Jordan Belfort.

The “wolf”, if you don’t know, is a guy who started on Wall Street as a stockbroker’s intern, got laid off on Black Friday, and then lucked into selling penny stocks and got really great at it, opened his own boiler room turned firm, and proceeded to screw his clients while making millions and millions and millions of dollars for himself ... but of course you can only do that for so long before someone catches you. 

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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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New Damien Jurado album available for preorder

Jesus is out of his goddamn mind, and I want to live in Damien’s America.

So states Father John Misty today over at Spin.com, as part of an essay on Damien Jurado's forthcoming (read: January 2014) release, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. From what the trailer implies, this is the next step in the Saint Bartlett > Maraqopa trajectory, and it's a damn good one.

What do you do with all this incredulousness? Preorder the album, and sit tight for a few months. The album proper is out on the 21st, and your digital download will arrive a few weeks prior.

Damien heads to Europe in early December, with a show at the Neptune on January 17th to celebrate.