A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
December 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM
In the late 1970s, with the world’s eyes focused on New York and London, Cleveland’s Pere Ubu was raising its own transgressive racket — a reaction, perhaps, to the relative simplicity of The Ramones and Sex Pistols — below the pop-cultural radar.
On seminal work like 1978’s “The Modern Dance” and 1979’s “Dub Housing,” the band, which performs live at Neumos in Seattle Friday, mixed garage-rock and free jazz to bewilderingly anthemic effect — post-punk, while punk itself was still brand-new. (more…)
December 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Fans of the popular Radiolab podcast — particularly, attendees of last month’s “Radiolab Live” at The Paramount — might recognize Sarah Lipstate as guitarist for the traveling show’s musical crack team, alongside upright bassist Darin Gray and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.
Lipstate, who releases records and tours under the alias Noveller, returns to Seattle Friday to play a solo show at The Vera Project — though, with her Fender Jaguar and phalanx of effects pedals, she won’t be alone. (more…)
December 12, 2013 at 12:45 PM
It’s been a heady week for Mudhoney. Last Friday, they played to a packed house of 16,000 when they opened for Pearl Jam at Key Arena. Wednesday night, they played to an equally packed house — though at 100 attendees, the numbers were a bit smaller — at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center.
The special in store appearance was set up to celebrate the release of Full Tilt’s newest flavor, “Mudhoney,” a pleasant mix of fudge, cinnamon, and honey. A line of Mudhoney fans braving the cold snaked down the street as they waited patiently for the doors to open at 7 for the 8 p.m. show. Though the store’s capacity was said to be around 50, a store employee counted nearly a hundred who managed to jam themselves inside. With the band strategically set up in Full Tilt’s front corner, by the window, they were also visible to crowd filling the street outside. (more…)
December 12, 2013 at 5:33 AM
Seattle nightclubs stay jumping all year with quality local and international music. And that constant flow, like any frequent thing, can be taken for granted. But sometimes an exceptional cluster of shows makes you step back and consider how lucky we are to live here. This is one of those weeks. Here are three upcoming concerts less fortunate music fans in more obscure cities would kill to see.
Warning: these concerts are very hip.
The wildest young voice out of the London underground is the low-tenor belonging to Archy Marshall — a yelling, crooning, versatile weapon. The teenage rapper and hip-hop producer is fast gaining fame as a guitarist and singer, in a trio as King Krule. Debut album “6 Feet Beneath the Moon” dips into ska, singer-songwriter pop, and several indefinite, groovy genres. Live reviews have been uniformly positive.
King Krule performs with Willis Earl Beal at 8 p.m. Saturday at Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $12 (206-709-9442 or thethebarboza.com).
December 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM
By Todd Hamm
Special to The Seattle Times
Oakland stoner metal trio High on Fire’s psychedelic distortion fest rattled ear drums and bones Sunday at El Corazón, as hundreds of metal-loving masochists packed the venue shoulder-to-shoulder and created a fervent mosh pit in the center of the room.
Stoner metal could be called the California cousin of grunge, and it evolved around the same time (late ’80s/early ’90s). A lyric-light, riff-heavy sub-strain of hard rock, it is often marked by tangential progressions and technical rhythmic breakdowns. The style enjoys the same intense energy and aggression that made grunge so appealing, but swaps out the trebly anthems woven into grunge’s DNA for the dark notions of Black Sabbath. High on Fire, along with Atlanta’s Mastodon, have become the sub genre’s torch-bearing practitioners.
December 10, 2013 at 5:30 AM
Neil Young’s latest is a new slab of something old. “Live at the Cellar Door” is culled from six concerts near the end of 1970 at a small Washington, D.C. club. Capturing Young at his acoustic best, the sound quality is stellar, and the album exposes Young at a turning point. He had just released his classic “After the Gold Rush” album a few months before, and was poised for stardom.
On “Gold Rush” chestnuts Young’s voice is fresh and clear. “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “Tell Me Why” are, well, heartbreaking. But it is the unusual songs that make this set so interesting. Included is a rare “Cinnamon Girl” performed solo on piano. “The Bad Fog of Loneliness” isn’t one of Young’s best songs, but hearing him play a new song in concert, even 43 years later, makes a listener feel riveted.
Some fans of the rocking Young may not find this disc electric enough, but there is plenty to like about “Live at the Cellar Door.” And if you truly want to create the seventies experience today, Young is also releasing it on 180-gram vinyl.
December 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM
If you read my review of 106.1 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2013 show in Everett Sunday night, you might get the impression that the whole thing was kind of a bust. Musically, you’d be right. No one sounded particularly good and there were plenty of acts that fell short (Paramore, Fall Out Boy and Austin Mahone in particular were dismal).
So what made the event interesting? For one, there was a “red carpet” portion of the night. Why the Jingle Ball felt the need to have a red carpet crammed in the bowels of the Comcast Arena is beyond comprehension but it provided a chance to snap a few pics and talk with some of top-40 radio’s biggest stars.
Despite the fact that I spent a total of five minutes with the three acts I interviewed, it was a humanizing experience. Celebrities, they’re just like us! Hit the jump for the best snippets.
December 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM
Sponsored by radio station 106.1 KISS FM, the Jingle Ball at Comcast Arena in Everett Sunday night played very much like mainstream top-40 radio: The music ran the gamut of pop nonsense and there were commercials every 15 minutes.
Still, that’s not to say there weren’t some fun moments. Performers ranged from the up-and-coming (Travie McCoy, Austin Mahone and New Politics), girl-group pop (Fifth Harmony and Icona Pop), to huge names like Flo Rida, Fall Out Boy and Selena Gomez.
Perhaps the worst of it was Fall Out Boy, who headlined and proved why they broke up in 2010. Their set was an uninspired mess of thudding bass and dull vocals and the band seemed to labor from the moment it trotted out its two biggest hits, “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” from the 2005 album “From Under the Cork Tree.”
December 8, 2013 at 2:13 PM
Some shows you mark on your calendar months out, like the epic Pearl Jam show Friday night that was undoubtedly the hottest ticket in town this week.
Brandi Carlile’s thrilling set at the Tractor Saturday was not planned. She stepped in at the last minute for The Lone Bellow, but despite the late notice tickets sold out in a flash, with locals cognizant of the rare opportunity to see Carlile in such an intimate setting.
It didn’t used to be that way for Carlile and her fans. There was a time, Carlile recalled, before the days of social media when she struggled to fill just part of the Tractor, but that was before she was recognized as one of the best singer-songwriters of her generation. (more…)
December 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM
The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Georgetown was packed full last night, with well-wishers eager to celebrate the publication of “Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989,” by Sub Pop records co-founder Bruce Pavitt.
Business was so brisk that sales of the book, a photo-journal of Sub Pop bands Nirvana, Mudhoney and Tad on tour, were limited to one per person. “So there will be enough to go around,” bookstore manager Larry Reid explained. (more…)
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