! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Okay, guys. Here’s the thing: I am writing this recommendation based solely on my love for The Brunettes. We’ve mentioned Throw Me the Statue here on TIG a few times before and I’m sure they’re a mighty fine band, and uh, Nurses sound great too, but my point is – GO. SEE. THE. BRUNETTES. They’re an adorable band from New Zealand and they are chock-full of great lyrics and fun, poppy goodness.
Seriously. Exhibit A:
Rip: A Remix Manifesto is a new-ish documentary film about the legality of remixes and mashups and features Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk as the poster child for open source licensing. Heading to Girl Talk's second Seattle show later tonight? Be an informed wild child and get a handle on the remix/mashup debate. There's some pretty good Girl Talk show footage, too.
Although the narrator has a strident tone at times, the documentary brings forward valuable insights and varying viewpoints on reuse and appropriation. Reuse and appropriation are not new nor the exclusive domain of music: Walt Disney appropriated the Buster Keaton character Steamboat Bill when creating his first Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie. In contemporary art, Yasumasa Morimura reinvents iconic art paintings and photographic images using subtle modification and not so subtle self-portrait elements.
Also appearing in the Rip documentary is one of my favorite authors and the technology culturist Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing). Doctorow is a strong supporter of creative commons licensing and many of his published books and short stories are freely available in various e-reader libraries.
17 years + 1 day ago, I started loving live music shows. September 21, 1992: Pearl Jam, Drop in the Park. Warren G. Magnuson Park, Seattle. Pearl Jam made me love real bands, smaller venues, and being part of a flash group loving on the music together.
That 1992 Pearl Jam show was the first time I felt part of the music and a participant in the event. Stage front, jostling and being jostled, passing crowd surfers, getting stinky dirty. I swear he looked right at me. I held my breathe as Eddie Vedder climbed the light scaffolding and swung like a monkey for what seemed like forever.
Until Pearl Jam, all my prior music shows were of the rock-arena variety. You know: hard-ass seats, eye strain- headache-inducing distance, and muddy sound. Alone in a crowd of thousands. Just for the priveledge of saying you were there. (Think Rolling Stones, The Police, Billy Joel, Van Halen.) I haven't been to an arena show in years and very possibly may never go to one again.
The Drop in the Park show was a date with I guy I had been wanting to go out with. He asked if I liked Pearl Jam and would I like to go with him. ("Who?" I thought, "Yes!" I said. ) Between the asking and the date, I did hasty recon so I would be able to carry a conversation and know something about the band before I showed up. (Um, maybe I haven't changed much since then.) I haven't been in touch with the Pearl Jam date guy in 16 years. Not because he wore a baja shirt / mexican hoodie to the show. (Don't mock, it was the fashion at the time.) I'll always have general affection for date guy -- and for Eddie Vedder -- for being the catalyst of change in my music perception and experience.
You won't see me at the Key Arena show tonight, although word on the interwebs is the new Backspace is worth checking out. If you go, get close, get in, let go. Watch for the PJ magic to be at work again creating new music lovers and live music supporters.
A very necessary, but no less sincere happy birthday should be extended to Hannah Levin, author of the must-read "Rocket Queen" column in the Seattle Weekly every week, co-owner of Gainsbourg and host of KEXP's Audioasis program - and all-told, she was my favorite music writer in Seattle long before we ever met several years ago and, of course, still is. Tonight, Levin is celebrating her birthday with a kick-ass show at the Sunset. Rock writers' birthday shows are always a great time (see here and, uhh, here) and this one is certainly no exception. Levin has booked a great night that promises to be "ear-bruising" with loud rock bands Helms Alee, The Ruby Doe and The Keeper. My favorite local hip hop group Dyme Def was recently added to the lineup as well, which makes perfect sense because they always know where the party's at.
...I recommend getting there a little early for the opening band, Nico Vega - which is a garage band from LA with a lead singer in Aja Volkman, who channels Janis Joplin with every syllable. The trio (guitar, drums, vocals) has a messy, punk-ish sound that meshes well with Volkman's intense - but deliberate - lyrics. They had recently released their debut, self-titled album (on MySpace Records, which shouldn't be held against them) earlier in the year, with production help from Linda Perry (of 4 Non Blondes fame, but also an in-demand producer and songwriter). My favorite of the Perry-produced songs is "Gravity", which has showcases Volkman at her most melodic. Nico Vega was supposed to play here last weekend, opening for Placebo, but that tour was canceled and found themselves on tour for part of the rare Manic Street Preachers tour, which kicks off tonight at Neumo's.
If you're going to either of the Girl Talk shows tonight or Monday night, might I suggest getting there a little early to catch opener Junk Culture? Taking their name from an Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark album, the project comes from Deepak Mantena and his laptop (live it features his brother Nitin on drums) and the project is not disimilar to Girl Talk, their tourmates and their Illegal Art labelmates. Deepak combines his songs with samples of random bits of noise here and there and combines them with electronics from his laptop and some instrumentation, all ran through a handheld recorder. Illegal Art be releasing the debut Junk Culture album, West Coast, late next month.
Kid Koala is one of the giants in turntablism and is one of the most skilled DJs around.
Next week, he's bringing his ambitious project The Slew to Nectar for a show next Thursday, September 24 that should be one of the best parties of the week. The idea behind The Slew is that Koala is spinning records from six turntables while being backed by the former rhythm section from the rock band Wolfmother. Even if with it being on a work night, I'm intrigued to check it out. I've enjoyed what I've heard from the album The Slew: 100%, which you can download from Kid Koala's website.
Even better, we have a pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, you just need to be over 21 and send an e-mail with "TheSlew" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday morning (Sept. 21) at 9am. The winner will be notified shortly after that.
Photo by SekondHandProjects from Kid Koala's MySpace page.
Hey Marseilles is my new favorite band. Sallie Ford is my new favorite awkwardly gorgeous young songstress. And Evan & Virginia Easthope are a force to be reckoned with. If any of them are playing anywhere, any time, go see the set. Period. End rant. I've heard of Hey Marseilles, of course, and I've also heard a lot about them. I've given the album a drive-by and I've paid attention to the reports that came back from Doe Bay, the Capitol Hill Block Party, and Bumbershoot. In fact, I've even had occasion to meet various members of the band, and I've seen video performances on the internets. But before last night, I had yet to physically see and hear a live Hey Marseilles show. And I can't believe I waited so long to soak up the amazingness of witnessing this band perform in the flesh.
This Wednesday is the opening for a photography show Featuring the Rock Photography of Amy and Dan Halligan -- really great people you've probably been with at shows who also have made magazines like Tablet and blogs like 10things the richest, most rewarding visual musical coverage in Seattle. If there's a prime moving punk or great garage or excellent local metal band worth shooting, Dan and Amy has shot them. And their photos also include lots of other cool subjects. I have always been a huge fan of theirs and think that the 10things blog is one of the very best out there.
The opening party is September 16th, 8-11pm at Tigertail in Ballard.
Tonight is the night to get your loud as hell indie pop on with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Bring your 1" badges and your cardigans and prepare to dance your ass off. Doors at Neumo's are at 8pm, and they've added an all-ages balcony because everyone deserves to hear the wonderfulness that is The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.
If you still need more convincing, check out this video of POBPAH playing a giant festival in Poland. Watch them command the stage. Watch them on the big screen. Know that if you miss this show, the next time they come back the venue will be twice as big.
See you tonight!