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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Charlie Zaillian.

September 5, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Ranked one of the most influential bands ever, The Breeders play the Showbox

breeders

The Breeders (Photo by Andrew Kuykendall)

In a recent reader poll, England’s New Musical Express (NME) named The Breeders the 12th most influential band of all time — higher than The Clash, The Velvet Underground and Led Zeppelin.

Lead guitarist Kelley Deal thinks this is hilarious.

“Damn,” she exclaims over the phone from Dayton, Ohio, where she and her twin sister, bandmate, Kim, grew up and still reside. “Those were heavy hitters who were included in there. Like, real bands!

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Comments | Topics: Kim Deal, Showbox, The Breeders

August 25, 2014 at 6:01 AM

New documentary about legendary teen band Slint | Concert preview

Six months before Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out in 1991, a band called Slint — playing Seattle’s Showbox Wednesday — issued its own one-of-a-kind record. An angular, shadowy six-song suite, “Spiderland” is today considered by many to be the genesis of post-rock, a style emphasizing atmosphere and extreme dynamics over verses and choruses. Without it, there’d be…

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Breadcrumb Trail", "Spiderland", Concert Preview

August 14, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Murder City Devils back together and home | Concert preview

If you’ve ever checked out the jukebox at a Seattle dive bar, The Murder City Devils require little introduction. The reunited locals, back on stage this weekend, provided a jolt of excitement during the lean post-grunge years. Like their forebears The Misfits, MCDs dealt in punkish rock with fright-night flair.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Empty Bottles Broken Hearts", "The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again", Concert Preview

June 17, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins — unplugged? | Concert preview

While most musicians — most people — are dead asleep, Buzz Osborne, who plays Neumos Friday, is already wide awake.

“Most days, I leave before the sun [comes up] and go play 18 holes of golf with the working-class people at the municipal courses around Los Angeles,” he says via telephone from his house in Hollywood. “They just think I’m some weirdo. It’s funny.”

Golf?

Can this be the same musician who taught a young Kurt Cobain his first few guitar chords and introduced Dave Grohl to his eventual Nirvana bandmates? Never mind practically inventing the sludge and stoner metal subgenres on 1991’s seminal “Bullhead” and ’93’s “Houdini” — to name just two of 19 Melvins LPs.

Yes, it is. And on his new solo album, “This Machine Kills Artists,” (an allusion to Woody Guthrie) he plays acoustic guitar.

Has King Buzzo gone soft?

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Buzz Osborne, Concert Preview, Melvins

June 6, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Guided by Voices back in business | Concert preview

Guided by Voices

Guided by Voices: Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Kevin March. Photo by Matt Davis.

Discovering Guided by Voices means diving headfirst into a catalog of more songs than there are years A.D. — a daunting prospect, perhaps, but a rewarding one.

The Dayton, Ohio indie lifers — known for their concise pop craftsmanship, surrealist lyrical slant, lo-fi production tactics, and sheer output — play Seattle’s Showbox club Sunday.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, Ohio, Showbox at the Market

May 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

From Robert Fripp and friends, a different kind of orchestra | Concert preview

OCG

Bill Rieflin, center, speaks with The Times, surrounded by The Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. Photo by Glenn Hughes.

“I’m often asked, ‘what can we expect to hear if we show up at an Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists performance?’” says Bill Rieflin, on a break from rehearsing with Robert Fripp’s ensemble of acoustic guitarists — 60 of them — appearing at Washington Hall Sunday.

“And my answer is always, ‘Well, I kind of have no idea.’”

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Comments | Topics: experimental, progressive, Washington Hall

May 23, 2014 at 6:00 AM

In the presence of Nothing | Concert preview

Nothing

Nothing, from left: Kyle Kimball, Nick Bassett, Brandon Setta, Domenic Palermo. Photo by Shawn Brackbill.

Nothing’s music video for “Bent Nail” — the second single off its debut, “Guilty of Everything” — dramatizes a familiar scenario for any struggling band.

In the three-minute clip, below, the Philadelphians, who play Barboza Friday, give a spirited performance to a half-empty room of denim-vested, tattooed onlookers, all folded arms and vacant stares.

By the time the song hits its slow, dreamy crescendo, the crowd’s apathy has turned to outright hate, and they begin pelting the foursome with rotten fruit and eggs as they play on.

The video “is to be taken literally,” singer-guitarist Domenic Palermo explains via telephone. “I wanted to try and convey the self-abuse that musicians deal with.”

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: alternative, Philadelphia, shoegaze

May 22, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Seaweed, the pride of Tacoma, resurfaces | Concert preview

Seaweed

Seaweed, from left: Clint Werner, Aaron Stauffer, Jesse Fox, Owen Atkins, Wade Neal. Photo by J.H. Wortley.

Tacoma’s lone entry in the next-Nirvana sweepstakes, Seaweed were never the center of attention — but were always nearby, like Waldo if he traded his stripes for flannel.

From 1989 to ‘99, the quintet, headlining Vera Thursday, recorded five LPs — three for Seattle’s Sub Pop, one for North Carolina’s Merge, and one for the Disney-owned Hollywood Records.

They appeared on the soundtrack to the slacker classic “Clerks,” in the grunge documentary “Hype!” and even had a video, “Kid Candy,” below, critiqued by Beavis and Butt-head.

Touring 23 times, they logged over a thousand shows — from small club gigs with peers Superchunk and Quicksand to big-ticket fests with Green Day and Candlebox.

Those golden days are gone — but in meeting bassist Owen Atkins and guitarist Wade Neal for after-work pints in T-Town’s no-frills Hilltop district, it’s clear Seaweed remain local heroes.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Sub Pop, Tacoma, The Vera Project

May 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

At last, Failure a success | Concert preview

Failure

Failure, from left: Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards, Kellii Scott. Photo by Jeff Bender.

It takes a lack of superstition and a sense of sarcasm to call a band Failure in the first place — but around 1996, singer, guitarist and producer Ken Andrews had to be wondering if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy for his star-crossed Los Angeles trio.

For a group to make a career-defining work, only to have it go largely unheard, requires bad luck and bad timing — and Failure had both.

Their label, Warner Bros., had no idea what to do with “Fantastic Planet” — their 68-minute whale of a third album — and gave up promoting it after it failed to chart on Billboard’s Top 200.

“I’ll never fully understand why they got cold feet,” sighs the Seattle native in a phone interview. “I felt like people really just needed a minute to get to know us, to figure out what our sound was about… but they weren’t ready to make that commitment.”

But now, Andrews and his writing partner Greg Edwards — Failure’s bassist and co-founder — are getting their due. Last winter, they announced their first live performance since breaking up, at L.A.’s El Rey Theatre. It sold out instantly. They’ll play The Showbox Sunday.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Los Angeles, post-grunge, Showbox

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