! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Japanther shows are pure fist-pumping fun. The Brooklyn duo, consisting of Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly, ripped through a spicy set at the Comet, New Year's Day, with Champagne, Champagne, They Live! and Hair Envelope. If you missed it or couldn't snag a ticket because it was very sold out, check out the fuzzed-out photos I snapped while dodging a variety of flying human appendages. Mental!
As I was picking out my favorite shots from this past year, it quickly became apparent that I couldn't just leave it at ten. I've posted my top picks below (in no particular order), but you can check out the rest here.
Huge thanks to the TIG crew, especially Chris and Keenan, for giving me the opportunity to share these amazing moments with all you lovely people! And thanks to all my fellow photographers, both in Seattle and elsewhere, for giving me inspiration every day. Hope you all have a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year! Here's to an even bigger and better 2010!
Social networking sites are extremely powerful marketing tools these days, and no one can agree more than Marié Digby. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter garnered YouTube fame back in 2007 after posting a cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella," which has almost 15 million views to date. Fast forward two years and she's now on her very own headlining tour to support her third studio album, Breathing Underwater.
The Triple Door's intimate setting was the perfect venue to showcase Marié's progression from open mic shows and YouTube stardom to becoming a full-fledged musician. Austin, TX rockers Alpha Rev, lead by former Endochine frontman Casey McPherson, performed as a special acoustic quartet for this leg of the tour and it suited the atmosphere of the night perfectly.
I'm still sportin' a warm glow from Saturday night's Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show at Neumos (and with the twenty-two degree freeze out we are currently experiencing - it's a welcomed sensation!). Led by Alex Ebert and backed by a ten piece band, the set included everything that has come to define Edward Sharpe's live shows: warm loving lyrics, intense singalongs, lengthy breakdowns, over the top theatrics and a sense that you should probably quit your job, grab your favorite friends, buy a bus and travel the world (oh wait, that's what they did!)
As stated, much was underfoot in town last Saturday night -- but if you didn't dodge the raindrops to make your way out to the Vera Project for this show, you missed quite the treat. For what seemed like hours, the boys from Fences and Hey Marseilles took the stage amidst constant cheers from the all-ages crowd and served up song after song of swoon-worthy delight. We were spending this particular imaginary Saturday on an all-access photo pass, and made good use of it from the first twangs of soundcheck to the very last encore:
Somewhere in the midst of plush seating, complete and utter emotional annihilation, and a sea of gorgeous cartoon owl-laced merchandise lies this fall's Swell Season tour. Showcasing to many a seated theater across the states behind last month's release of Strict Joy, Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, and ninety-nine percent of the Frames swept last Sunday's crowd at the Paramount through one of the most compelling sets I've seen in recent years. Moving seamlessly from duo opener to full band to solo-singer-in-a-spotlight and back again, the show that these honest, earnest musicians put on was nothing short of true genius.
Glen and Marketa took the lead for the bulk of the opening songs (hence the sea of Glen photos), and proceeded to filter in the rest of the Frames for another half-dozen songs before Glen took solo center-stage rights mid-set. And this, as they say, is where the proverbial magic happened. What happened during Glen's solo piece of the performance rivaled even his mindbending set in Austin this past summer -- complete with a series of broken strings, a raging Van Morrison cover, and a rendition of "Say it to Me Now" microphone-free from the very front edge of the stage. Unlike some recent seated performances we've attended lately, this crowd was rapt -- absolutely and utterly rapt -- with attention for every moment of every song. And in-between fighting off a full-on sob festival and losing my lens cap, I took note (and very much appreciated) the lockdown that the Paramount staff imposed on seating, ushering in a few people every three songs or so and only during breaks in the performance.
"Watching The Globes at the Showbox. Holy crow and OMG."
Chris Walla's Twitter post during The Globes' set was just a sign of things to come. Not only was the Death Cab for Cutie guitarist in attendance to show support for three of his favorite (local) bands, but he later joined Telekinesis on stage as their second guitarist. In a way, it was a bittersweet set as frontman Michael Benjamin Lerner announced that it was David and Jonie Broecker's last show with the band.
Coming off their electric Bumbershoot performance back in September, The Lonely Forest took the stage just before 11 PM to a nearly sold out crowd, some of which had been waiting in line outside since 5. It was amazing to see such a huge turnout, especially on Black Friday where everyone was either still in a food coma or exhausted from a full day of shopping. This was the first time that any of the bands had played at The Showbox and it certainly will not be their last. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.