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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: indie-rock

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December 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Pop eccentrics The Dismemberment Plan at The Neptune | Concert preview

The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan in 2001. Photo by David Halloway.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie-rock, The Neptune, Washington D.C.

November 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The late Jason Molina’s full-band breakthrough still ‘Electric’ | New recordings

Jason Molina

Jason Molina, center, recorded “The Magnolia Electric Co.” in 2002. He passed away in 2013. Picture by Dylan Long.

Songs: Ohia
“The Magnolia Electric Co.” reissue
(Secretly Canadian)

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.


Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie-rock, Jason Molina, New Recordings

November 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Phantogram and Cymbals Eat Guitars keep Barsuk fest rolling | Concert review

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars, pictured, played Saturday as part of Barsuk Records’ 15th anniversary weekend. Photo by Josh Goleman.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barsuk Records, indie-rock, Neumos

November 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Death Cab For Cutie turns back the clock for Barsuk’s 15th | Concert review

Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie in its early years. Photo by Peter Ellenby.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Barsuk Records, Death Cab for Cutie, indie-rock

October 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

New Dismemberment Plan LP a mixed bag | Album review

The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan, from left: Jason Caddell, Travis Morrison, Eric Axelson, Joe Easley. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

The Dismemberment Plan
“Uncanney Valley”

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie-rock, Washington D.C.

September 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM

‘Deserve’ by B.C.’s Weed a high-grade debut | Album review


Vancouver, B.C. band Weed, from left: Kevin Doherty, Will Anderson, Bobby Siadat, Hugo Noriega. Photo by Andrew Volk.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie-rock, lo-fi, Vancouver

August 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Reunited Waxwing to take flight Saturday at Vera Project | Concert preview


Waxwing’s show Saturday is its first since 2005. Photo by Peren Votolato.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: emo, indie-rock, post-grunge

August 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Superchunk’s latest: “I Hate Music”

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…


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Chapel Hill, indie-rock, punk-pop