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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: The Neptune

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April 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks pave their own way | Concert preview

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

The Jicks, from left: Mike Clark, Jake Morris, Joanna Bolme, Stephen Malkmus. Photo by Leah Nash.

When Pavement broke in with 1992’s “Slanted and Enchanted,” critics coined the term “slacker rock” to describe its underproduced, willfully imperfect sound.

Singer-guitarist Stephen Malkmus has released almost a dozen albums since — with Pavement, then the Jicks, who play The Neptune Saturday — cementing his legacy as a vital, unique American songwriter.

Yet the misnomer persists.

“Maybe it’s the tone of my voice,” he speculates via telephone from his Portland home. “It’s a little defeated, a little sarcastic… sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.”

Indeed, Malkmus talks like he sings, meandering from one subject to another with the slow, deadpan drawl and colorful vocabulary that made him a poster boy of indie rock’s golden era.

Most likely, though, it’s because he’s always made it look easy — and still does.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, Portland, The Neptune

March 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The War on Drugs’ retro-futurist rock | Concert preview

The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs — with Adam Granduciel, pictured — plays Seattle Friday. Photo by Dusdin Condren.

From songwriting savants (Kurt Vile) to psych-pop troupes (Dr. Dog), punk stalwarts (Pissed Jeans) and noisy newcomers (Purling Hiss), Philadelphia’s music scene — at least from afar — seems to be having a moment.

With their latest, “Lost in the Dream,” The War on Drugs — headlining The Neptune Theatre Friday — continues this impressive run.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, Philadelphia, The Neptune

February 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Good music, bad vibes at Sun Kil Moon show | Concert review

Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek played Seattle Friday. Photo by Bill Ellison.

“I’m spilling my guts up here and you guys won’t shut up.”

So went one of several tense exchanges between Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek and his audience Friday at The Neptune Theatre.

In contrast to the delicate, vulnerable nature of his songwriting, the San Francisco singer-guitarist’s disposition can be ornery, even caustic.

Friday, however, his ire was warranted.

Before he even played a note, Kozelek was fighting an uphill battle. The venue staff was asleep at the switch, unresponsive to his pleas for more light onstage and more reverb on his nylon-stringed guitar.

Misreading his frustration as contempt, some showgoers started heckling Kozelek, casting a pall of negativity over a night meant to celebrate the 47-year-old artist’s current renaissance.


Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, San Francisco, The Neptune

February 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

A Q&A with Sun Kil Moon songsmith Mark Kozelek | Extras

Sun Kil Moon

Mark Kozelek, pictured, performs live as Sun Kil Moon at The Neptune in Seattle this Friday. Photo by Gabriel Shepard.

“Benji,” the devastating new LP from Sun Kil Moon — the pen name of San Francisco’s Mark Kozelek — is an early album-of-the-year contender, and a bold addition to a first-rate catalog. The singer-guitarist plays Seattle’s Neptune Friday — read Soundposts’ preview here.

Kozelek doesn’t grant interviews often, but graciously spoke via email about subjects including songwriting, concert etiquette and the recording process.


Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, San Francisco, The Neptune

February 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek lays it on the line | Concert preview

Sun Kil Moon

San Franciscan singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek plays Seattle’s Neptune Theatre this Friday. Photo by Gabriel Shepard.

For three decades, Mark Kozelek — who headlines The Neptune Friday — has recorded and performed under his own name, and the aliases Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon.

The Ohio-born, San Francisco-based artist’s catalog is unique, beguiling and deep, from highlights like the Painters’ self-titled 1993 slowcore opus and the classic rock heroics of Sun Kil’s 2003 debut “Ghosts of the Great Highway” to oddities like whole albums of Modest Mouse and AC/DC covers.

In 2013 alone, he released four full-lengths, most notably a mellow, jazzy collaboration with the Bay Area instrumental rock trio Desertshore.

But “Benji,” his newest, trumps them all.


Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, San Francisco, The Neptune

February 4, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Cold War Kids bring the party at Sasquatch! lineup announcement show

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

Even with the Neptune Theatre stuffed full of people, the Sasquatch launch party didn’t feel big enough.

I get it, the launch party is designed to have a more intimate vibe than the musical blowout it’s hyping. Still, something about the bands chosen this year — all rock acts, some with varying degrees of electronica influence — didn’t get the room as psyched as they should have.


Comments | More in Festivals, Rock/Pop | Topics: Cold War Kids, Sasquatch, Sir Sly

January 17, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Damien Jurado’s ‘sounds of euphoric freedom’

(Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times)

(Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times)

Reinvention is the key word for Seattle songwriter Damien Jurado, 41 years old and on a hot streak with a new album, “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” his third in three years with Oregon producer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift.

In 18 years journeying into rock and folk music (Jurado is the godfather of our current folk boom), he has not shied away from weirdness. But this druggy, headphone record is his freakiest move to date.


Comments | More in Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: Damien Jurado, The Neptune

January 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

There’s no “I” in Typhoon | Concert preview


Eleven-piece Portland band Typhoon plays The Neptune Sunday. Photo by Jaclyn Campanaro.

The group performing at The Neptune Sunday consists of 11 people — just like that other team playing CenturyLink Field earlier in the afternoon — plus a “12th Man,” its sound guy.

That’s about where the similarities between Portland’s Typhoon and Seattle’s Seahawks end.

“There are no alpha males in Typhoon,” singer-songwriter-guitarist Kyle Morton says of his many-tentacled orchestral pop ensemble — one of the Rose City’s biggest bands, both in number and stature.


Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Portland, The Neptune, Typhoon

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 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Q&A: Killer Mike on Reagan, Obama, Sasquatch and ‘Rap Church’

KillerMike_3Atlanta’s burly-voiced rap preacher Killer Mike has had an unusual career arc – coming up as part of the Outkast-affiliated Dungeon Family in 2000 before stepping out as an independent solo artist with his severely-underrated “I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind” mixtape series, then experiencing a late-career revival in the last couple years after collaborating with Brooklyn veteran (and former head of definitive indie-rap label Definitive Jux) El-P for his 2012 “R.A.P. Music” and this year’s Run the Jewels self-titled. Soundposts caught up with him via phone right before he had to head out on his last run of shows for the year to talk about politics and, of course, rap music.


Comments | Topics: El-P, Killer Mike, Run the Jewels

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