Tonight in Seattle:  

Rock Torch

Rock Torch: Volume One

If you haven’t yet discovered Rock Torch and are an over-the-moon audiophile or bibliophile, read on -- because this is one of the best ideas we’ve heard of since chocolate and peanut butter came together in an unholy union: Rock Torch founder Randy Abramson came up with the brilliant idea to ask musicians we love about which artists inspired/influenced them and why, and then put all the answers in a great big wonderful book.

Not only do they discuss in-depth what makes the music so off the charts, but also give album/listening suggestions by their recommended artist as a guide for new listeners. So that means you get the straight dope from Mike Doughty about Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, Wanda Jackson writes about Elvis (is that simply perfect, or what?), and Ritzy Bryan from the Joy Formidable extolls the virtues of The Smiths. The list just goes on and on. Our own girl crush and local goddess, Rachel Flotard, contributed a piece on Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters. Way to represent, PNW! Did we mention that this first volume of Rock Torch contains over one hundred essays? That is some serious brain candy for all the music lovers out there. The full color illustrations by Nicolas Nocera that accompany each piece make this compilation extra sweet.


Brian Briggs of Stornoway = hooked on harmonies

Rock Torch - Brian Briggs of Stornoway and Teenage Fanclub

Let's face it folks: it's wintertime, and you're gonna need all the sun-drenched pop that your ears can handle to make it through the next few months. Our current suggestion is the UK band Stornoway, a group that is tearing up the overseas charts but just starting to get traction on this side of the pond.

If you haven't heard the band's "Zorbing" single, point your computer at iTunes and pay the cost. And if you need more warmth in your life, follow up on this music suggestion from Brian Briggs, lead singer of Stornoway: "Teenage Fanclub make some of the warmest, most unaffected pop songs about unashamedly heartfelt emotions," Briggs told in this original post. "With their close harmonies and gently distorted chiming electric guitars they instantly transport me to the highlands in the sunshine everytime."

Be sure to warm up with Stornoway at The Crocodile on December 9 {and enter to win tickets to the show from TIG!}.

Two Cow Garage rock World Cafe, talk Ghost Shirt {at the Sunset this Friday}

Rock Torch - Two Cow Garage

Columbus, Ohio has been quietly been building a killer music scene for years. At the forefront are alt-country rockers, Two Cow Garage, who recently tore it up on NPR's World Cafe Next. Earlier in the year, asked Two Cow front-man Michah Schnabel who he follows from the local Columbus scene and it was then that we learned about the pop powers of Ghost Shirt. "I cannot recommend this band enough," said Schnabel. "I’m a sucker for a great hook and this record (Domestique) is full of them. They are also currently doing 52 singles in 52 weeks. One single a week for a year. Pretty impressive for such a young band."

Don't miss Two Cow Garage at The Sunset Tavern this Friday (11/12) with I Can Lick Any SOB In The House and Kasey Anderson and be sure to read the rest of Micah's original post about Ghost Shirt on


Rachel Flotard recommends Foo's first

Rachel Flotard of Visqueen and Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters

If you are going to Reykjavik Calling this Friday night at the Crocodile, you are going to see a softer side of Rachel Flotard as she partners up with Rusty Willoughby in their Cobirds Unite collective.  But those who know Flotard from her main band, Visqueen, knows that she has also has a pure pop side that rocks... and it rocks hard.

But who does Rachel look to for inspiration? Here's what she had to say about Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters first album: “There’s nothing like the urgency of the first Foo's record. The ray gun basically shot me in the face, and I’ve always had a spot in my heart for it... plus, any jovial brother that wallops the skins and cranks is good by me.”

You can check out Rachel and Rusty this Friday, and between now and then be sure to check out the rest of Rachel's post on Dave Grohl at!