Tonight in Seattle:  


The Decemberists — The King Is Dead

As most semi-popular music fans know, the two oldest stories in the history of the rock album as "art" is actually the same one from different ends. The grand, ornate, rococo resurrection - and the stripped down, for serious or fun reinvention. Dylan invented all this with his trilogy of amphetamine-fueled apocalypse pop in the mid-60s, and then followed it with LPs where he wore cowboy hats on the cover and tenderly rasped about throwing it all away.

As you may have heard, The Decemberists have kind of done that, too, on recent release The King Is Dead, after one or two double-LP length leviathans of noodly odysseys and noisy oracles, now coming down with some sunny, bittersweet folk-pop, but without leader Colin Meloy having to get all mashed up on a motorbike to do it.


Friday's recommended show: Dandy Warhols playing the hits at the Showbox {12/3}

Given my love of all things Pacific Northwest and Britpop, it's no surprise that I have a soft spot for The Dandy Warhols. The band expertly blends the brashness and hook-laden landscapes of their UK influences with Portlander moxie. I had forgotten how much I dig on them until I their 2010 retrospective of their Capitol years (1995-2007) crossed my path. It doesn't have all of my favorite Dandy's songs but that's to be expected when they only have 14 spaces for classic tracks.

This Friday, December 3, 2010, The Dandy Warhols will be at the Showbox Market in support of this celebration of their fine Capitol catalog with Blue Giant opening. It's going to be a spectacular scene listening to them cut through the lesser hook'd album tracks and hitting all points "Not If Your Were The Last Junkie On Earth," "We Used To Be Friends," "The Last High" and playing a new recording, "This is The Tide."

Would it be to much to ask that they encore with some tracks from their debut album Dandys Rule: OK {one of my favorite albums of all time} even though it was released on indie label Tim/Kerr {in their pre-Capitol days}? The band is devoting a Portland show to their first two albums where Peter, Zia and Courtney will join up with original Dandy's drummer Eric Hedford for a one-time only performance of select tracks from the first 2 Dandy Warhols albums. This gig will be at the soon-to-be out of business all ages club Satyricon, where the band got their start back in 1994.

Let's all hope for {and request} "TV Theme Song" from Dandys Rule: OK!


OK Go — Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

So here’s the story: OK Go won my heart at the (old) Crocodile one night when Damian Kulash awkwardly positioned himself center stage with one leg in a full cast, and proceeded to sing the sweet & funny "It’s Tough to Have a Crush When the Boy Doesn’t Feel the Same Way You Do" at the exact moment I knew that I was going to get dumped by the boy I attended the show with.

After that kismet (and rocking out to the rest of their songs), I made it a point to see them whenever they came to Seattle, which fortunately for me is pretty frequent. I am thrilled I got to see them perform their carefully choreographed "A Million Ways" dance live, even more thrilled when they came up with the "Here It Goes Again" treadmill dance—and have been loving each and every video and song they’ve released since.

The last Chop Suey show ended up with me out of breath and on the floor, clutching an orange tambourine and picking confetti out of my hair. All of this is a long-winded way of telling you that if you think all OK Go does is put out cute videos and make teenage girls swoon, you should reconsider, because not only are their live shows some of the BEST I’ve ever seen, their 2002 self-titled release OK Go and 2005’s Oh No will rock the hell out of you (no lie: every single time I play an OK Go song for someone they say; "Who is this? It’s really good!"), and their newest, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, is even better.


Latest comment by: imaginary lori: "Yes, definitely! :) I need to meet everyone!"

Streaming previews of The Decemberists new Hazards of Love album

As I was browsing ChrisB's list of releases today, I saw that The Decemberists' new album was out today. The band drew me into their fold with their last release, The Crane Wife, so I was curious to see how the two albums compared.

There are two streams of the album that I can find, on Entertainment Weekly (must sign up to listen) and on their Myspace (no login necessary).

What do you think of the band's latest material?


Latest comment by: Morgan: "Disclaimer: I don't dislike anything by the Decemberists, and I think I like Picaresque the best. I also loved the Tain. Needless to say, I think this album is a monster, but I also recognize people's criticisms of pretentiousness. I guess any pretentiousness they ...

The Decemberists are -- well, they're everywhere.

Listening parties and NPR and new shows, oh my!


Lily Allen — It's Not Me, It's You

What makes Britney’s Blackout album and, her British equivalent, Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You albums so compelling is that they are pop stars cognizant of the bubble they live in and written from that perspective.


Stream Lily Allen's new record on MySpace

It's Not Me, It's You is going to be released next Tuesday - and, as a reminder, Easy Street Records is open until midnight on Mondays.


Latest comment by: reese: "this album is fantastic."

More details on Lily Allen's new record (!!!!!!!!)

Lily Allen's second record, It's Not You, It's Me, is scheduled for release on February 10, 2009 on Capitol Records.


Latest comment by: ChrisB: "That's very possible Sean and I definitely thought about that. I hope it is the case but couldn't find anything online to confirm it one way or the other."

Toxic Tuesday

I have the feeling this song might become a guilty pleasure on many snob's iPod rotation in the following months...


Latest comment by: crass patches: "i ended up buying "i want to see the bright lights tonight" thanks to you. it's the best record i own. ..the food stamps bought us plenty of mountain dew and potato chips. remember? where are you? home made crass patches "

Sondre Lerche — Dan In Real Life soundtrack

Sondre Lerche — Dan In Real Life soundtrack
With all the talk that Juno has inspired on the topic of film soundtracks overshadowing the film itself, it's refreshing to come across Norwegian pop songwriter Sondre Lerche's collection of tracks for 2007's Dan In Real Life.