A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
December 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Few late 1990s acts captured the feeling of a scene in flux as effectively as The Dismemberment Plan, a Washington, D.C. outfit that filtered underground-rock traditions — post-collegiate ennui, the do-it-yourself ethos — through music-conservatory chops, disco-funk sass and an unironic love of Top 40 radio.
The recently-reunited foursome plays Saturday at The Neptune Theatre in Seattle. (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 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…)
October 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM
The Dismemberment Plan
The early 2000s were a nebulous time for independent music, and The Dismemberment Plan reflected that, spastically drawing upon a hodgepodge of styles ranging from noise-rock and disco-punk to white-boy funk and late-night jazz.
Parenthetically, the Washington, D.C. combo shared some traits with other groups — Talking Heads’ dancefloor-readiness, Fugazi’s tension-and-release — yet it also had a distinct voice, specifically that of singer-guitarist Travis Morrison. (more…)
September 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM
Vancouver foursome Weed’s 2012 EP “Gun Control” sounded like it was recorded on a rain-soaked boom box in a drafty suburban garage in 1992. But even that couldn’t dampen or disguise singer-guitarist Will Anderson’s off-the-charts melodic instincts. And for all its grungy bluster, the Canadians’ first full-length “Deserve” — out Tuesday on Seattle’s Couple Skate label — is a pop record at heart. (more…)
August 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM
With the grunge era in its rear-view, early-2000s Seattle quietly fostered a close-knit community of hard-working, über-sincere indie-rock outfits like The Murder City Devils, Juno, a then-fledgling band called Death Cab for Cutie — and the recently-reformed Waxwing, who play Saturday at the Vera Project. (more…)
August 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Clearly, the title of Superchunk’s tenth album, “I Hate Music,” out Tuesday, is pure sarcasm. The way the Chapel Hill, North Carolina indie rockers have parlayed their joyously fast tempos, deft chord changes, gutsy solos and irrepressible hooks into a 25-year career isn’t just improbable. It’s incredible. And their influence is far-reaching — just ask the Northwest’s Thermals or Canada’s Weakerthans.
If there’s one knock on Superchunk, however, it’s that while each of its records guarantees roughly a half-dozen standouts — which makes for great setlists — many are essentially great EPs stretched too far. Exceptions exist — 1994’s “Foolish,” 1999’s “Come Pick Me Up” — but “Hate” isn’t one, encumbered by middling material like “Out of the Sun” and overlong closer “What Can We Do.”
When they’re on, though, they’re superb. Frontman Mac McCaughan’s nasally, androgynous vocals will always be an acquired taste, but he’s youthful and excitable as ever on music-nerd paean “Me and You and Jackie Mittoo.” “Staying Home,” meanwhile, encapsulates everything Superchunk does well in a single minute. As McCaughan fights to be heard over the go-for-broke riffs and rhythms, the band’s sheer exuberance cuts right through.
Trending with readers