Archive for the ‘music’ Category

City Center at the Comet

Fred Thomas and Ryan Howard of Saturday Looks Good to Me have put together a project called City Center, inspired by Thomas’ adventures after leaving Michigan at the end of ten years of touring with SLGTM. No longer having the luxury of soundproofed practice spaces, he had to adjust to keeping things down at a level okay for living in an apartment and from this shift in focus came City Center.

City Center has a quietly-abstract sound that blends a variety of aural textures, found sounds, and gentle psychedelia. They’re out on the road to support their EP Spring St with a tour that focuses on art spaces and DIY venues. Here in Seattle they’ll be at the Comet Tavern – not quite an “art space” but still one of the most fun places to see a band in town. Show is Friday, April 9, doors at 9.

Win tix 2 Delhi 2 Dublin

One of the greatest moments of last year’s Bumbershoot for me was seeing Delhi 2 Dublin. Intrigued by the description of their music – the band describe themselves as “a group of five musicians who mash up electronica and world music, keeping it heavy on the Bhangra, Celtic and Dub flavours. Fusing tabla, fiddle, dhol, Punjabi vocals, and electric sitar with scorching electronic beats, the crew takes listeners on a wild ride through global sounds and synchronicities” so I figured they’d either be amusingly awful or beautifully brilliant. It’s the latter.

Delhi 2 Dublin‘s music is spirited, inspiring and fun. They seamlessly fuse their disparate influences, taking bits and pieces that were already great on their own and blending them together to make something even stronger. Both their musicianship and their showmanship is top notch and I would wholeheartedly recommend seeing them to anyone, which makes it convenient for you that they’re playing at the Nectar Lounge on Sunday, March 28, doors at 8. Even better for you: Metblogs is giving one lucky reader a chance to win two tickets to the show. What makes an awesome show even more awesome? That’s right, free tickets. To take a shot at winning, e-mail with the subject line “Delhi 2 Dublin” no later than Friday, March 18 at 5pm. Winner will be notified by e-mail.

Rather than take a chance of not getting in, why not buy tickets in advance?

EMP’s Pop Conference registration open now

The EMP‘s ninth annual Pop Conference offers academics, critics, performers, and dedicated fans a chance to get together and talk about all kinds of musical issues with a series of expert-led panels.

The 2010 Pop Conference begins on April 15 with an opening reception followed by “Making Technology Bounce: An Artist-Producer Roundtable with Nile Rodgers, Joe Henry, and Janelle Monae”. Panels continue April 16 – 18 focused on a theme of sounds and the machines that make them. Topics of discussion include the player piano, Autotune software, cell phones, recording studios, and presentations on everything from vinyl/cassette fetishism and post-punk reverb to Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad and Andy Warhol’s tape recorder.

Some of the panel titles include: Hip-Hop Layerings, The Machine Speaks: Oliver Wang Interviews Dave Tompkins on the History of the Vocoder, Roundtable: Freddie Mercury Deconstructed, Instruments of Change in Jazz, Analog-Digital Divides, Plagiarhythm Nation: Appropriation in Electric Dance Music, and Past.Text.Race.Sounds: The Black Voice Remix, among many others.

Best of all, the Pop Conference is free to attend. Space IS limited, however, so you’ll need to register in advance at their website.

Great Waves: 2010 Sound Off! champions

Every year the EMP/SFM sponsors an exciting “battle of the bands” called Sound Off! to support the local underage music scene by giving young musicians a chance to come together and play their music in front of a supportive audience. Judges like music critic Gene Stout, Megan Selig from The Stranger and The End, Spencer Manio from The Saturday Knights, John Roderick from The Long Winters, Andy Roe from AEG and James Keblar of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music, this year’s jury, review all of the submissions – there were a record breaking 130 this year – and select the winning artists.

This year’s champions are Sammamish’s own Great Waves. “Led by the dreamy and enchanting vocal styling of troubadour Ashley Bullock, Great Waves captivate with narratives that evoke all senses ranging from sadness, despair and hope.” Their prize package includes a slot at Bumbershoot 2010, a live on-air performance on The End, studio time, production, equipment, industry consulting from the Recording Academy, and one of their songs being featured for sale in Rock Band’s Rock Band Network.

Second place went to Hooves and Beak [Myspace], the project of self-taught harpist Whitney Flinn who earned a performance at Northwest Folklife (appropriate!), studio time, equipment, industry consultation and a Rock Band 2 bundle.

The third place winner got a performance at the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle, opening for an as-yet unselected national touring act, studio time, equipment, industry consultation and a Rock Band 2 bundle – this award went to Bellingham/Burlington guitar/drum duo Candysound [Myspace].

Fourth place winners Seacats, from Kelso, don’t get a performance prize but they get all the other cool stuff. Check them out on their Myspace page.

Congratulations to all the winners and, hey, music fans, be sure to check these acts out. Previous Sound Off! winners include Dyno Jamz, Schoolyard Heroes, The Lonely H, Dyme Def, The Lonely Forest, Idiot Pilot, Mon Frere, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head and New Faces – you never know which of these youngs acts will become the next hot thing.

Singer Songwriter Studio at EMPSFM with Carrie Akre

Carrie Akre is a local music legend and for good reason. Throughout her lengthy and well-respected career, she’s performed as a member of Hammerbox and of Goodness and also as an independent singer/songwriter. She’s cofounded a record label. She’s looked out for the best interests of NW artists within the Recording Academy (best known to the general public as the people who give out the Grammys) and, as anyone who has ever spent time with her knows, she is one of the most all-around excellent people one could ever meet.

Her musical knowledge and ability are vast and now she’s sharing them with anyone who is interested in developing their own. Starting February 24, Carrie’s offering a six-week singer/songswriter studio at EMP/SFM where students of all skill levels will learn to write and perform their own songs. No previous songwriting or notation experience required and you definitely don’t need to be a music pro yourself to take the class; just have an interest in learning and be willing to sing a little bit in front of a class.

For more details, check out the class listing on EMP/SFM’s site.

Win tix to Kool Keith or DJ Krush

Kool Keith isn’t just a performer; these days he’s become a hip hop legend. Like all legends, tales swirl around him: while it’s not true that he spent some time locked up at Bellevue (the famous psychiatric hospital in New York, not our surburban neighbor to the east), it is true that he’s produced some brilliantly abnormal work as a member of Ultramagnetic MCs, as Kool Keith, as Dr. Octagon, as Dr. Doom and with Ultra (his co-op with Tim Dogg) and with Ice-T as the Analog Brothers. This isn’t just more recitation of the merits of drugs, cars, and brand name logoed clothing – this is off the cuff stream of conciousness that’s just as likely to be about what he had for breakfast or chopping up bodies or how the rap genre stagnates when practiced by artists who are more concerned with their cash flow than their lyrical. Kool Keith brings his stellar madness to Neumos on Friday, January 29, and you can win a pair of tickets simply by e-mailing your name (first and last) to no later than noon on Wednesday January 27. Please include “Kool Keith tickets” in your subject line.

DJ Krush sounds nothing at all like Kool Keith but he’s no less creative. One of the pioneers of Japanese hip hop, DJ Krush lays down instrumental tracks lush with layers of sound from nature, jazz, r&b, and what they used to call “soul”. People call his work ambient or trip hop, but Krush himself avoids labels for good reason – it’s impossible to pin him down to a single category. His multi-layered songs are individual works of art. DJ Krush makes it out to Neumos on Sunday, January 31, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to his show, too. Again, e-mail your full name to no later than noon on Wednesday January 27 and make sure your subject line includes “DJ Krush tickets” somewhere.

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine @ Neumos


Tomorrow night (Tuesday, Dec 29th) you can catch Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine at Neumos. Doors are at 8 and entry will cost you at least $17. If you don’t know, Jello Biafra was the frontman of punk legends The Dead Kennedys. Rumor has it he still plays some of the old material along with his new stuff. Regardless, you can be sure the show will be filled with politically charged punk rock. How can you say no to that?

wednesday agenda: dent may, fiery furnaces

dent may, with ukulele.

Tonight, if the chatting, laughing, drinking, eating, and other assorted revelry of Blogsgiving hasn’t worn you to shreds, you might want to drop by Chop Suey on your way home. There, Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele(s) can show you that contrary to conventional wisdom, if you try hard enough, you can force a dance party. They open for sibling songwriting the Fiery Furnaces, an odd couple of boundary-stretching rockers who have taken inspiration from sources ranging as far and wide as Devo to their grandmother’s choir. $15, 8pm. With Cryptacize. [chopsuey]

Tribute to the Spirit Friday

Little Big Band, photo courtesy Storms PhotoGraphic.
See Little Big Band and others in concert on November 20, 2009.

There have been a number of excellent events this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition but the concert sponsored by the Burke Museum this Friday, November 20, may be the best of them. Tribute to the Spirit: Little Big Band is an evening of Native American music, story telling and dance at Meany Hall that blends contemporary rock, rap, and jazz with traditional Native culture. This is going to be an exciting show that neatly illustrates how cultural traditions are continued and progressed by contemporary artists whose work will go on to influence future generations.

Representatives from seven different First Nations hit the stage for this unique event that features a number of dynamic performers including Grammy Award winning singer Star Nayea, Tlingit storyteller, actor and musician Gene Tagaban, Preston Singletary, Tlingit glass artist and electric bassist, and Swil Kanim, Native American violinist and comic.

Tickets are available at the door and in advance at Brown Paper Tickets. The concert is tied to the Burke’s excellent exhibit Indigenous Voice Reply, an exhibit that takes a look back at the representation of indigenous people at the original A-Y-P fair, how the fair shaped the history of the Burke, and gives a chance for modern people to respond to the past.

The concert is followed Saturday by a free one-day symposium at UW’s Kane Hall featuring World’s Fair historian Dr. Robert Rydall as the keynote speaker that examines the portrayal of indigenous peoples at the A-Y-P and other world’s fairs of the time.

Upcoming Shows: Jupiter Crash & Hills Of Elysium

Hey, all! I’m super-excited to go see the “Farewell Seattle” show of Jupiter Crash (who are leaving town for brighter climes). Among other bands opening the show is a local metal/prog rockers Hills Of Elysium, who I’ve caught before and love (and I’m not all that in to metal).

Should be a good show, so I hope to see you there!

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