A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
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December 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
“Not to sound conceited,” says El Ten Eleven’s Kristian Dunn, “but there’s no one for us to look up to when it comes to instrumentals and looping. We’re the kings.”
Such swagger may seem surprising coming from a guy who writes cerebral, chilled-out songs with no words — but there’s validity to Dunn’s claims. The Los Angeles duo, which performs live at Neumos Friday, has never followed the fleet. (more…)
November 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Though often remembered as 1990s staples, Helmet never really went away.
The NYC heavies play The Crocodile Friday.
The focus of a big-label bidding war, the band’s 1993 debut “Meantime” boasted some of the most in-your-face guitar work this side of Rage Against the Machine or Seattle’s TAD, but also fist-pumping choruses to balance out the intensity. Frontman Page Hamilton’s jazz training came through in the songs’ atypical constructs and mathematical drop-D workouts. (more…)
November 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Countrified and acid-fried, The Meat Puppets were among the Reagan-era underground’s most unique bands.
And they’re still here.
Thirty-three years strong, the Phoenix natives play Seattle’s Crocodile Thursday.
Co-founded by the Kirkwood brothers – singer-songwriter-guitarist Curt, and bassist Cris — the trio built its name on whimsical, mellowed-out sounds better suited for wide-open expanses than claustrophobic mosh pits. (more…)
November 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM
By now, the 1990s band reunion is so commonplace it’s cliché, but San Diego’s Drive Like Jehu and Olympia’s Unwound are notable holdouts.
Their respective head honchos, Rick Froberg and Justin Trosper (pictured, far right), are too busy looking ahead to romanticize the past, and their newish projects — Froberg’s Obits, and Trosper’s Survival Knife — joined forces Friday at Neumos for a display of aggressive, airtight rock’n’roll, hold the nostalgia. (more…)
November 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM
If Portland is the Northwest’s crust-punk capital, consider Tragedy the mayors.
Unwashed and uncompromising, the group — which plays Seattle’s Highline Bar Saturday — has spent the last decade-plus decrying social, political and environmental ills to a backdrop of militaristic rhythms and supremely dirty guitars.
Though the sun never shines in Tragedy’s Rose City, seasonal gloom has never affected the band’s work ethic. (more…)
November 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Obits guitarist Sohrab Habibion would like to be clear.
“We are not a garage-rock band. That substance-free party music is fake youth culture sponsored by corporations. Eventually Scion will move onto something else, and Pabst Blue Ribbon will find a different youth group to exploit.”
Lest fans of the lo-fi punk subgenre du jour take offense, understand the men of Obits, who headline Neumos Friday, have been in the game long enough to recognize a fad. (more…)
November 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM
“The Magnolia Electric Co.” reissue
Too few people knew the names Songs: Ohia or Magnolia Electric Co., but those who did will remember where they were the morning of March 26, 2013, when word reached them that Jason Molina had died at age 39 from organ failure.
The Ohio-born musician’s 2003 full-length “The Magnolia Electric Co.” would deserve tenth anniversary reissue treatment no matter what — yet in light of Molina’s passing, the double-CD set arrives Tuesday as a bittersweet memento of a career cut short. (more…)
November 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM
A Montréal-based group led by a husband and wife, given to cinematic arrangements and yearning melodies, recently released its fourth album — and it’s a masterpiece.
The Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor,” right? Wrong. (more…)
November 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Saturday at Neumos, Seattle’s mousy masses huddled for a third and penultimate night celebrating 15 years for Barsuk Records, the little local label that could.
Where the first two shows in the weekend-long series honored Barsuk’s veteran acts, Saturday was about up-and-comers, showcasing six groups who each drew their own fans and left with new ones.
Thursday’s stellar Showbox appearance from homegrown superstars Death Cab for Cutie, while reaffirming the label’s importance, emphasized its need for a new flagship band — and in the buzzed-about Phantogram, it may have one. (more…)
November 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM
For indie-rockers in their late 20s and early 30s, it may feel a bit soon for 2000s nostalgia. Yet Thursday’s sold-out Showbox show — the first of a weekend-long, multi-venue festival celebrating Barsuk Records’ 15th anniversary — offered a couple surprises. One — much of this music still holds up. Two — local heroes Death Cab For Cutie played an unannounced acoustic set.
Barsuk didn’t only get in on the ground floor for Seattle’s post-grunge sea change — it was the ground floor. Initially a vehicle to release Death Cab’s early records, the label is now an influential source for sensitive, songwriter-oriented sounds from the Northwest and beyond.
And in the case of at least one group, redeemers. (more…)
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