A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
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December 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
“Not to sound conceited,” says El Ten Eleven’s Kristian Dunn, “but there’s no one for us to look up to when it comes to instrumentals and looping. We’re the kings.”
Such swagger may seem surprising coming from a guy who writes cerebral, chilled-out songs with no words — but there’s validity to Dunn’s claims. The Los Angeles duo, which performs live at Neumos Friday, has never followed the fleet. (more…)
November 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM
By now, the 1990s band reunion is so commonplace it’s cliché, but San Diego’s Drive Like Jehu and Olympia’s Unwound are notable holdouts.
Their respective head honchos, Rick Froberg and Justin Trosper (pictured, far right), are too busy looking ahead to romanticize the past, and their newish projects — Froberg’s Obits, and Trosper’s Survival Knife — joined forces Friday at Neumos for a display of aggressive, airtight rock’n’roll, hold the nostalgia. (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 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Seattle night life moguls Jason Lajeunesse and David Meinert — owners of the Lost Lake Tavern and Neumo’s, among other Capitol Hill spots — have signed a lease to take over Seattle’s beloved dive bar the Comet Tavern. The pair plan to reopen in early 2014.
In a press release issued today, the they outlined their plan for bar. “We plan to continue to have some live music, but not every night of the week. We will revive much of the Comet’s lost charms, from pool tables, to pinball games, to a karaoke night, while introducing a small food menu for the first time in the Comet’s history.” said Lajeunesse.
Lajeunesse and Meinert also co-own Barboza and Big Mario’s Pizza, not to mention the Capitol Hill Block Party.
The Comet Tavern, which closed abrubtly on Oct. 6 after previous owner Brian Balodis ran into financial trouble.
Prior to closing, the Comet Tavern hosted live music almost every night of the week and was a place for up and coming local bands and smaller touring bands to perform.
November 3, 2013 at 5:36 PM
As Sir Mix-a-Lot’s electric set of some of his biggest hits came to a close Saturday at Neumos, the Seattle hip-hop legend reminded the crowd that the night did not belong to him.
Instead, the sold-out show was to celebrate Ayron Jones and the Way’s debut album, “Dream,” released on Oct. 29 and produced by Mix-a-Lot. Jones plays a fiery brand of Seattle rock that does its best to defy definition, even if it’s essentially the blues with some grunge window dressing.
Jones used his 80-minute set to prove that it doesn’t matter what you want to call his music. His raw, soulful voice and his explosive six-string acrobatics kept the crowd transfixed as he ripped through his best album cuts and covers (some obvious, like “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) and others like “Georgia On My Mind,” not so much). (more…)
November 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM
By Chris Kornelis
Granted, we’re all hearing more Lou Reed references this week, but Of Montreal’s latest, “Lousy With Sylvianbriar,” feels particularly indebted to the iconoclast, who died this week. Like Reed, frontman Kevin Barnes bounces between deadpan, euphoria and the occasional snarl punctuated with at least one good fellatio shout-out. Musically, the Athens, Ga., band works within the familiar confines of rock ’n’ roll, but delivers it with a sinister twist and doo-wop accents. The album’s high point is “Belle Glade Missionaries,” a preposterously named nugget with a devastating riff. On stage, Barnes and company are known to parlay their pop into spectacle and even horses have been called in to support in the past. At a minimum, expect to see a group of musicians who put as much thought into their live show as they do their records, which is saying something, and exceptionally rare.
8 p.m. Wednesday at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $18 (206-709-9467 or neumos.com).
October 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Neumos is one of the Emerald City’s bigger rooms. For many artists, headlining there might represent the peak of a career.
But Los Angeles’ Haim, which played to a sellout crowd Wednesday at the Capitol Hill club, is just getting started.
The band — multi-instrumentalist siblings Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, plus drummer Dash Hutton — has charmed mainstream audiences and KEXP types alike with its recent debut, “Days Are Gone.”
“Days” is a big-budget pop production, but anyone who pegs Haim as run-of-the-mill — or, worse, manufactured — isn’t listening hard enough. The album’s habit-forming hooks and top-shelf sonics have garnered most of the attention so far, but the group’s rock-oriented live performance really gets inside the songs, displaying remarkable musicality and presence. (more…)
October 7, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Two of Seattle’s hardest rocking bands celebrated the release of new material Friday at Neumos with a throbbing wall of sound that’s likely still got some ears ringing.
Hobosexual and Fox and the Law both have new albums out. “Hobosexual II” fits the duo’s M.O. perfectly. It’s a concept album set in the year 2071 that tells the story of a BMX biker gang (the Sex Destroyers) but all that is just an excuse for a furious barrage of guitarist and singer Ben Harwood’s slick, overpowering riffs and Jeff Silva’s thundering drums.
On Friday, Hobosexual used the heavy, slow-rolling blues-metal of “The Creep” to get things started. A standout track from “Hobosexual II,” it had just the right kind of menace to set the tone for the band’s set. (more…)
August 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM
Alternative country music is becoming increasingly difficult to define. The amorphous genre now requires use of the infamous saying about pornography: “I know it when I see it.”
But it’s hard to know exactly what alt-country is, even when you see it, with such disparate acts as Wilco and local pop-country singer Dylan Jakobsen all claiming the label.
A few bands that embody the best of what alt-country should be rolled through Neumos on Monday night, led by Texas veterans Reckless Kelly. Before the show, a man sitting at the bar at Moe’s next door to the club summed up the band’s ethos.
“I’ve been on a country kick the last five years,” he told a pretty brunette who sidled up next to him to order a couple of Rainiers. “Not this Toby Keith bull—-. Good country. Rainier and whiskey drinking country.”
Apt, considering that Reckless Kelly, led by brothers Willy and Cody Braun, were in Seattle to kick off their Livers of Steel tour with Micky and the Motorcars, a band fronted by younger brothers Micky and Gary Braun. (more…)
August 12, 2013 at 5:04 PM
By Evan Smith
Summer moved inside for a few hours on Sunday night, as Los Angeles duo Best Coast brought their sun-dappled brand of surf rock to the stage at Neumos.
While touring as a quartet, the band’s trademark sound lies in the eminently singable vocals of Bethany Cosentino and rolling guitar of multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Since teaming up in 2009, the pair has released two full-length albums, scoring their first hit with the song “Boyfriend” off 2010’s decidedly low-fi “Crazy For You.” While the material for 2012’s “The Only Place” remained much the same (think: surf, sand, and love), the duo teamed up with noted producer Jon Brion to create a cleaner sound, and again secured a hit with the album’s title track.
While the band doesn’t feature vocal harmonies, Bruno predictably cites the Beach Boys as a major influence, picking up from the SoCal legends in the nuanced sound o (more…)
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