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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: New York

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March 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Noise-punk provocateurs imperfect on purpose | Concert preview

Perfect Pussy

Perfect Pussy: Greg Ambler, Garrett Koloski, Meredith Graves, Ray McAndrew, Shaun Sutkus. Photo by Drew Reynolds.

“We recorded a demo, threw it up online and forgot about it. Then, out of the blue, some music media outlets heard it and passed it around. Within days, it was all over the Internet after sitting quietly by itself for months. Things started to get very real.”

Meredith Graves, lead singer for Syracuse, New York’s Perfect Pussy, isn’t kidding.

Listening to the 26-year-old talk about her noisenik quintet’s surprise 2013 hit “I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling,” it’s hard to recall another band, especially one so brazenly non-commercial, enjoying this kind of meteoric rise — much less from a lo-fi cassette EP recorded on a lark.

It’s not just an underground phenomenon, either. Decidedly un-punk publications like Rolling Stone and The New York Times have spilled ink on the group. They’re currently touring behind their debut full-length, “Say Yes to Love” (Soundposts review here), and headline The Vera Project Monday — their first Seattle show. They’ve been together less than a year.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: experimental, hardcore, New York

December 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Noveller’s game of drones at The Vera Project | Concert preview


Noveller, née Sarah Lipstate. Photo by Alexis Fleisig.

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.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: New York, Radiolab, The Vera Project

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

November 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM

New York’s Helmet chugs along | Concert preview


Helmet — with bandleader Page Hamilton, second from left — performs live at The Crocodile Friday. Photo by Tom Hoppa.

Though often remembered as 1990s staples, Helmet never really went away.

The NYC heavies play The Crocodile Friday.

The focus of a big-label bidding war, the band’s 1993 debut “Meantime” boasted some of the most in-your-face guitar work this side of Rage Against the Machine or Seattle’s TAD, but also fist-pumping choruses to balance out the intensity. Frontman Page Hamilton’s jazz training came through in the songs’ atypical constructs and mathematical drop-D workouts.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: alternative, Metal, New York

November 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Don’t call Sub Pop’s Obits garage-rock | Concert preview


Obits — Rick Froberg, Greg Simpson, Sohrab Habibion and Alexis Fleisig, from left — plays Neumos Friday. Photo by Fleisig.

Obits guitarist Sohrab Habibion would like to be clear.

“We are not a garage-rock band. That substance-free party music is fake youth culture sponsored by corporations. Eventually Scion will move onto something else, and Pabst Blue Ribbon will find a different youth group to exploit.”

Lest fans of the lo-fi punk subgenre du jour take offense, understand the men of Obits, who headline Neumos Friday, have been in the game long enough to recognize a fad.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: New York, punk, Sub Pop

September 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Kathleen Hanna’s The Julie Ruin at Neumos a sort of homecoming | Concert review

The Julie Ruin

NYC’s The Julie Ruin — with Kathleen Hanna, at center — played Seattle Sunday. Photo by Aliya Naumoff.

You might guess there’s not a lot of crossover between Seahawks followers and Kathleen Hanna fans — and you’d be right.

“Go Mariners!” the 45-year-old singer teased Sunday, as her new five-person squad, The Julie Ruin, took the stage at Neumos to roars of affirmation minutes after the Seattle footballers closed out an early-season win against San Francisco.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Kathleen Hanna, New York, Olympia

June 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Concert review: They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants — John Flansburgh, left, and John Linnell — played Seattle Wednesday. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

The shortest path to an early end for an artist is to rest on past success. Comforting as it may be, it leads to stagnation and death.

Tireless veterans They Might Be Giants, who played Showbox SoDo Wednesday, are instead very much alive in their very long career.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: New York, pop, rock

June 2, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Concert preview: Mice Parade

Mice Parade

Mice Parade’s Adam Pierce, center, plays Seattle’s Triple Door club Monday. Photo by Oleg Pulemjotov.

Reflective of its name, an anagram of bandleader Adam Pierce’s, New York’s Mice Parade — who play Monday at the Triple Door — artfully re-arranges folk, shoegaze, electronica and worldbeat curiosities into cozy experimental pop.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop, World | Topics: experimental, New York, pop