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

Topic: Barboza

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May 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Unwinding with Survival Knife | Concert preview

Survival Knife

Survival Knife, from left: Meg and Kris Cunningham, Justin Trosper, Brandt Sandeno. Photo by Sarah Cass.

If you’re from Olympia — a place where you can throw a rock and hit a punk — it’s tough to have much of an ego about your band.

And over dinner and drinks at downtown Oly’s hippie-Mexican dive Quality Burrito, a few weeks before their Barboza show this Saturday, Survival Knife singer-guitarist Justin Trosper, guitarist Brandt Sandeno and bassist Meg Cunningham — whose drummer husband Kris completes the lineup — present themselves as ordinary friends making music together.

But that’s not entirely true. Not every group has an icon — albeit a reluctant one like Trosper, former frontman for Unwound — in its midst.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, Olympia, Sub Pop

May 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Lo-Fang seduces at Barboza | Concert review

Lo-Fang played Barboza Tuesday.

Lo-Fang played Barboza Tuesday.

Electronic artist Lo-Fang just finished a run opening for Lorde and has popped up on the national radar with a Q&A in The New York Times and a performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, making his intimate show Tuesday night at Barboza all the more fascinating.

Lo-Fang is the stage name of Matthew Hemerlein, who at age 30 is seeing his career come into focus. His debut album, “Blue Film,” released last month, is an eclectic mix of familiar, chilled-out electronic sounds that are augmented nicely by various string instruments and Hemerlein’s rich falsetto.


Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, erik walters, lo-fang

May 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Lots to love about The Courtneys | Concert preview

The Courtneys

Vancouver’s The Courtneys, from left: Courtney Loove, Sydney Koke, Jen Twynn Payne. Photo by Andrew Volk.

The eponymous 2013 debut from The Courtneys, who headline Barboza Thursday, was an archetypal indie success story — made on a shoestring budget and released on a tiny label (Hockey Dad), reaching an audience through good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

“It’s taken on a total life of its own,” says singer-drummer Jen Twynn Payne, speaking via Skype from her Vancouver apartment.

As with any great pop record, the best track on “The Courtneys” tends to be whichever one is playing at the moment — tight musicianship matched with tough-but-sweet hooks.

“We have this idea of perfection of a song,” Payne says. “We throw a lot away.”

“All the components have to fit together,” adds bassist Sydney Koke, “and if they don’t, we’ll ditch it.”


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, Canada, indie

April 7, 2014 at 2:12 PM

NO highlights Canadian indie label showcase at Barboza | Concert review

NO headlined the Arts & Crafts showcase at Barboza Saturday.

NO headlined the Arts & Crafts showcase at Barboza Saturday.

Maybe it was the blackberry cider from Capitol Cider across the street, or simply a momentary disorientation from the usual crush of Capitol Hill revelers, but it took a moment to get into Reuben and the Dark’s set Saturday night at Barboza.

The band, fronted by Calgary singer-songwriter Reuben Bullock, finally seemed to get going with “Standing Still,” hard-boiled and buzzing with thick bass, then elegant and redemptive.

Building on that success, “Rolling Stone” turned a cliche title and concept into an earworm you might catch on a TV show montage. Floor toms and a rocking banjo helped the song snarl, and Bullock’s surprisingly elastic voice assured that it eventually soared. Other songs, like “Shoulderblade,” allowed the band to catch its breath and even work in a fun R&B hook. 


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, no, reuben and the dark

April 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Arts & Crafts invades Barboza tonight | Concert preview

The Darcys play Barboza Friday night.

The Darcys play Barboza Friday night.

Three intriguing acts from Canadian record label Arts & Crafts will cram themselves onto the stage at Barboza tonight in a lineup that should please a wide range of indie rock fans.

NO, Reuben and the Dark and The Darcys are all rising indie bands that fans should keep their eyes on, but it might be The Darcys’ brand of accessible, smart art rock that could end up being the highlight. Their third album, “Warring,” garnered a Juno award nomination for best alternative album, and that comes on the heels of “Aja,” a complete cover of Steely Dan’s jazz rock album. 


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: arts & crafts, Barboza, no

March 26, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Gloom-punks Weekend keep it cryptic | Concert preview


Weekend — from Brooklyn, via California — plays Barboza in Seattle Thursday. Photo by Eli Marias.

When Weekend first emerged from San Francisco five years ago, its somber, reverb-heavy sound clashed with its West Coast origins.

The trio’s 2010 debut “Sports” didn’t conjure images of lush, green expanses or pastel-hued houses so much as desolate industrial yards, far-flung train stops and dimly-lit backrooms.

It’s appropriate, then, that bassist-vocalist Shaun Durkan, guitarist Kevin Johnson and drummer Abe Pedroza have since relocated to New York. They’ll headline Barboza Thursday in support of their recent second LP, amusingly dubbed “Jinx.”


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, Brooklyn, Post-punk

February 10, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Delorean back to the present | Concert preview


The Barcelona-based group Delorean, pictured, headlines Seattle’s Barboza club Tuesday. Photo by Nacho Alegre.

Touring bands have a lot to worry about — temperamental equipment, deadbeat promoters, the risk the van crashes or the plane goes down. The list goes on, but seldom does it include:

“Do what we say or you’re dead.”


Comments | More in Dance, Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, Concert Preview, Delorean

December 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Sonic Youth’s unsung hero Lee Ranaldo begins anew | Concert preview

Lee Ranaldo

Sonic Youth co-founder Lee Ranaldo plays Seattle this Sunday with his new band, The Dust. Photo by Jake Netter.

Singer-songwriters don’t usually start careers in their mid-50s.

But Lee Ranaldo — a founding member of the late alternative-rock vanguard Sonic Youth — is no typical troubadour.

Often overshadowed by his iconic bandmates Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, the enigmatic Ranaldo was Sonic Youth’s George Harrison — as much a catalyst for open-hearted balladry as aggressive noise freakouts.

The double LP “Last Night on Earth” — his first with his new group, The Dust, which plays Seattle’s Barboza club Sunday — reconciles these split personalities.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, New York, Sonic Youth

August 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Chastity Belt far from chaste at record-release show

Chastity Belt, at their record-release party

Chastity Belt, at their record-release party at Barboza, August 27, 2013. (Photo by Joseph Sutton-Holcomb)

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

I first saw Chastity Belt two years ago, at The Josephine in Ballard. They played a short, semi-sloppy set, opening for Dude York. Both bands have their origins at Whitman College in Walla Walla, so the pairing seemed natural.

It’s funny how much can change in 24 months.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barboza, Chastity Belt, Dude York