Posts Tagged ‘music’

listen: NPR is streaming the new Mount Eerie record

wind’s poem

The relentlessly productive Phil Elverum has already prepared another new album for your eager listening. Today, National Public Radio presents an exclusive “first listen” for Mount Eerie’s Wind’s Poem , which apparently takes its primary inspirations from David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks and black metal.

My devotion to all-things Mount Eerie is well known and anticipation for this new album high enough as it is, but bringing in the brilliantly creepy television series leaves my fingers all the more twitchy for a listen. [npr]
// Mount Eerie comes back to Seattle on 14 October for a show at the Vera Project with WHY? and NO KIDS. Be there!

photos : exhbitchin saturday

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“Hey, Ho, Weirdo!” [#] painting by ben walker; other photos by josh (me); more in my exhibitchin’ photoset [flickr].

On Saturday night, the EMP|SFM’s Henson exhibit was turned into a full-scale Exhibitchin’. The ladies of the Adventure School donned Waldorf and Statler costumes while hosted a thrilling Animal Drumming contest where many a drummer was chained, drumsticks were destroyed, drum kits brutalized, and a cymbal stands was destroyed only to be replaced by a crouching human. DJ Electro Wolf spun all of the alt/mainstreamest dance hits of the last few years, hilarious Muppetized album covers were projected on screen, rubber duckies were traded for drinks, and Dr. Bunsen whirled cotton candy on the dance floor. Later, costumed funk was blasted by Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme and the Saturday Knights blew out the speakers while sending the crowd into lyrical gyrations. Although I don’t think that the security guards were entirely comfortable with all of the revelry so close to the artifacts, I think that almost everyone had furry good time.

More pictures online [flickr], and a few more picks after the jump.


photos: capitol hill block party, saturday

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sonic youth, from my chbp photoset [flickr]

I’m so glad that the powers that be decided to schedule the Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday and Saturday (instead of Saturday/Sunday), because I needed at least a full day of brunch and mojito sorbet and air conditioned photo sorting to recover from the sweltering weekend of fun, bands, gooey folded Tribunali pizzas, afterparties, beer gardens, and races through crowds and bottlenecks to catch bits and pieces of as much of the stacked Saturday lineup as possible.
The locals more than held their own against the nationals, the new layout helped a bit (though bottlenecks seem to be a fact of life for a festival set among intersections), and although I saw only three sets top-to-bottom — the Pains of Being Pure at Heart [swoon], the Thermals [awesome, now with even more amazing covers], and the Gossip [amazing, block party winners] — I heard a whole lot that’s sending me to my nearest record store this week. I also snapped far too many pictures (day one [flickr], day two [flickr].
If you don’t have time to wade through the photosets, snaps of most of the bands I caught are curated after the jump.

photos: capitol hill block party, friday

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mika miko closing the vera stage on friday. photo by josh [flickr] from the day one photoset [flickr]

More coherent ramblings later, I’m sure, but for now a batch of pictures from a somewhat lazy day at the Capitol Hill Block Party, as the mercury rose so did the thickness of the crowd converging on Pike Street, especially for mainstagers Deerhunter (a few technical difficulties), Built to Spill (jamming into the sunset), and Jesus Lizard (rocking away after 13 years). Inside, Sleepy Eyes of Death killed it with noise and lights. And on the Vera Stage, Micachu and the Shapes made for enthusiastic afternoon listening, kids went justifiably wild for Starfucker (toppling fences and nearly tipping speakers), and Mika Miko closed the stage with a bang. The night ended with a massive dance party at Neumo’s hosted by Sing Sing.

Today looks even sunnier, warmer, and with an even more action-packed line-up. The doors are open and the music starts at two. The popsicles from the Washington Bus are definitely worth the pop quiz, too. See you there!

P.S. people seem to be tweet-crazy; so join the fun or follow along at Follow along at twitter/#chpb;

weekend agenda: block party until you melt

capitol hill block party; scene from last year, photo by me. [flickr].

Lucky us! This weekend is looking sunny, precipitation-free, and we have a big music festival called the Capitol Hill Block Party commandeering one of our city’s best few intersections. What better way to spend a weekend than melting on the surface of the pavement-covered sun while listening to a great mix of local and national bands? To cope with the climate, keep an eye out for free popsicles from the Washington Bus, dunk tanks featuring music personalities, creamsicles, mainstage water canons [wtf?], and innovative new ice cream flavors.


There are two ways to get into the block party. If you already have a ticket that you’re able to hold in your eager little paws, then you can can slide in on Pine & 10th Avenue by passing through the culinary temptations of Rancho Bravo and Molly Moon (their mojito sorbet, btw, just might save your life when the temperature spikes). The rest of you, ticket buyers, will callers, and guestlisted will go to the main entrance on 12th Avenue and Pike Street.

Tickets haven’t sold out yet, but buy in advance, arrive early, or face a sold-out event and fall upon the mercy of scalpers and spareholders. Daily tickets cost $23 and a two-day pass goes for $42. You can get them at the doors, online, or at Urban Outfitters (where you’ll only be charged a $1 service fee) If you’re under 21, be aware in advance that 1/3 of the acts will inaccessible to your underage ears because the Neumo’s stage is 21+. But, hey, two out of three isn’t half bad.

Once you’re inside, you can enter and exit as long as you keep your ticket stub and get your hand stamped on the way out. Good to know if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the teeming mess of humanity, need to lounge in the park, require a caffeinated pick-me-up, or feel the need to slip away for food and drinks not served on plastic.

The block party’s website has many other frequently answered questions about sunscreened dogs carrying weapons; so check it out for all the technicalities of attending. [chbp]

the Block Party itself:

Let’s be honest here and say that you’d be a fool not to consult the Stranger’s guide. They’re presenting the Block Party and have prepped a tabloid book to tell you all about all of the bands in generally glowing terms. [thestranger] Cross-reference that with the official lineup [chbp] and choose wisely or wander aimlessly. If you love spreadsheets, I put the whole thing into a Google Document [xls] for your organizational delight.

Instead, then, a brief overview of the three categories of bands I’m planning to see this weekend. First, are those that I’m spine-tinglingly thrilled to be seeing very soon even though the heat might kill me (it won’t, I made it through Coachella with nary a fainting spell, but you know how pre-complaining about beautifu weather is an essential talisman in these parts.). On Friday, the top of this list is Deerhunter , mainly because I can’t figure out exactly where Bradford Cox is taking the band but I can’t wait to find out and see how it all works live. On Saturday, I’m nearly sick with anticipation for the Pains of Being Pure at Heart , (whose Song of the Spring “Young Adult Friction” has bled over into a Son of the Summer and threatens to stick around well into Autumn) though I worry slightly that they’re so fuzzy and introverted that they’ll melt into puddles when faced with the late afternoon sun. I have no such concerns for Gossip and the Thermals , both of whom seem to exist for the sole purpose of causing you to overheat in different ways. If you’re not having a good time while they’re playing, you must be doing something wrong. In London this spring, it was difficult to find a time of day or magazine rack not celebrating either Kings of Leon or [the] Gossip, their appreciation for the southern-tinged rock scene somehow less unabashed than our own. I haven’t seen them for a few years, but their latest album leans a bit more into pop territory with an energy that never lets up. As for the Thermals, I have yet to leave one of their shows not feeling exhausted, elated, maybe slightly bruised, and carrying a bit of sweat from my neighbors. Both groups make political music where the politics never gets in the way. Seeing them back-to-back might kill you in the best way possible.

Next are the near mandatory mainstage closers. Here, I admit that I’m embarrassingly unexcited about the Jesus Lizard and Sonic Youth. Obviously, these are strong headliners and I take my own under-enthusiasm as personal musical failings and a source of dull nagging shame. During the howling scrotum-baring height of the Jesus Lizard’s reign, I was too young and/or too saturated by mass market commercial radio to even know of their existence, leaving me unable to even conjure an idea of one of their songs from memory. For Saturday’s stars, I’ve always wondered if Sonic Youth missed their chance to get fantastically wealthy by not breaking up briefly instead of working hard, building a career over thirty years, and putting out record after record instead of following the Pixies model of dramatically self-destructing until the clamor for a reunion was so great that they were able to spin a few one-offs into a seeming never-ending arena tour followed by a Doolittle revival. Anyway, I’m planning to take the closing hours of the Block Party’s mainstage as a way to polish some of the tarnish from my music landscape.

Finally, the best part of a festival setting are the vast possibilities for discovering your new favorite bands. On this note, I’m most looking forward to this weekend as a remedy to having missed too often so many of the bands that I’ve heard millions of glowing buzz. At the top of this category on the local side are Hey Marseilles , the Moondoggies , the Maldives , the Pica Beats, and New Faces (all Saturday). On the national side, my curiosity about Micachu & the Shapes is peaking thanks to their clangy and noisy and just so oddly compelling album; Starfucker have such a good band name that they require at least a few songs of attention (both Friday); as do apparently croony rockers Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and screamy emos Japandroids. That said, suggestions for other overlooked unmissables are gladly considered.

the Parties inside the Block Party:
As if the official lineup isn’t enough, the Comet and the Cha Cha are both hosting their own slates of live music, too. Both bars are inside the grounds; so your ticket gets you in to these for free where you can get drinks away from the gloating sun’s ruthless glare.

The Cha Cha has the Get Off (5:45); Toy Soldiers (6:45), Fun Fun Fun (7:45), Loving Thunder (8:45), & Born Anchors (9:45) on FRIDAY and the Absolute Monarchs (3:45), Spinning Wheels (4:45), Thorstone (5:45), Moonrats (6:45), Champagne Champagne (7:45), Constant Lovers (8:45), and Book of Black Earth (9:45) on SATURDAY.

The Comet has the Oswald Effect and the Girls starting at 11 on Friday. (NOTE that “Girls” play the mainstage on Saturday and are a different band from “The Girls” playing on Friday, neither of which have any female members. Both of these bands being in town nearly compels a Girl-Off of some sort). On Saturday at 11 you’ll find Hallways, The Curious Mystery.

the Parties after the Block Party:
If by some feat of superhuman strength you aren’t dead from exhaustion on Saturday night there are afterparties to attend. The biggest one being at Chop Suey, where Mad Rad, Macklemore, DJs Darwin & Recess, and Whiskey Whiskey start their quest to leave you a bubbling pile of happy goo at 9 pm. Advance tickets cost $5, and a block party bracelet at the door gets you in for $3. That is, if they aren’t already at spectacle-craving capacity by that point.

In closing:

With that, some parting advice: wear sunscreen, be nice to your neighbors, eat something fried or on a stick, see a bunch of music, and have fun! If you see something great, snap a picture and send it to our photopool [flickr]. Find your way to a rooftop or VIP party and send us the password! See you there.

get the new throw me the statue today, digitally

Have you been hovering near the far edge of your seat of choice in anticipation of Throw Me the Statue’s latest album? Then you’ll be pleased to read that you can get a digital copy a few weeks ahead of the physical release date. Take it away, twitter: Picture 3.png

Although I would have been fine with sparing a few plastic or vinyl forests and just taking my local pop electronically, I do appreciate the instant download. See for yourself. [secretlycanadian]

weekend agenda : marymoor, if you must

don’t tell zooey, but ben gibbard wants to possess *your* heart this weekend. [flickr]
  • Marymoor is doing its darndest to pull you across the water this weekend with northwesterners gone major in the spotlights. Tonight, the Decemberists are on deck with support from multi-instrumental whistling amazing socked genius Andrew Bird and Portland’s Blind Pilot [stg]. While I long for the days when all of the Decemberists songs weren’t old timey epics wrapped in prog clothing (a brief moment of silence for for the likes of “Grace Cathedral Hill”, “July, July!”, “Song for Myla Goldberg”, “The Sporting Life”, and even “The Soldiering Life”), a lot of people are thrilled that they’re upping the costuming, stage craft, and historiffic, making the lovely park setting ideal for a summer concert. Fans might as well pitch tents and make a festival of it since Seattle’s own Death Cab For Cutie are holding down the next two nights with help from much-beloved Canadian supergroup the New Pornographers and perennial superfavorites with strings and hugs Ra Ra Riot . [stg]
  • Also tonight: the Sea Navy headline at the Comet in advance of next month’s record release with help from Spanish for 100 [myspace] or break out your Friday dancing finest because the Crocodile is holding a “Sweet Dreams Prom” featuring We Wrote the Book on Connectors, M. Bison, and Tennis Pro. $10, 9pm. [crocodile]
  • Saturday finds the Weakerthans in town with Jason Collett [neumos] and Tiny Vipers in Fremont. [mb].
  • Plans and cash burning holes in your pockets after the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Tickets for Arctic Monkeys (September 19, Showbox @ the Market) [tm] and Grizzly Bear at the Paramount on October 16th [tkts] are online now; Pearl Jam’s two shows at Key Arena on September 21st and 22nd [tm], go on sale Saturday morning.

chbp: last call to write built to spill’s setlist

help doug plan his chbp setlist.

Next weekend, the Capitol Hill Block Party takes over Pike Street from Broadway to Twelfth Avenue. The layout has been reconfigured [lineout], with the main entrance moving to 12th Avenue and the mainstage moving closer to Broadway to try to offset some of the crushing human traffic that resulted from people trying to pass through the ticket gate and traverse last year’s Mainstage/Neumo’s/King Cobra (RIP)/Beer Garden intersection of doom.

Built to Spill, playing on the mainstage on Friday night just after Deerhunter and before the Jesus Lizard, are leaving their set list in your trusty hands. You have until tomorrow to let them know which of the songs in their lengthy catalog you just can’t live without. Vote online at KEXP and they’ll crunch the numbers to come up with something really special for your sunset listening.

The lineup is pretty spectacular [chbp] — in addition to all the locals you’ll also find Sonic Youth! the Gossip! The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (at last!) and many many more. Tickets, which are still available, will run you a reasonable $23 per day; save a few bucks and buy a two-day pass for $42. You’ll find them online [ticketswest], at Rudy’s, Moe Bar, or with a mere $1 service charge at your neighborhood Urban Outfitters. They’re apparently selling fewer tickets this time around to limit the crowds; so get your tickets early. And if you have spare invites to your VIP rooftop patio, invitations are gladly accepted.

photos: robin pecknold & throw me the statue, a drink for the kids

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photos from robin pecknold & throw me the statue at neumo’s on saturday.

Saturday night marked the grand finale of Vera Project‘s seventh annual “A Drink for the Kids” fundraiser. Throw Me the Statue mixed-in plenty of sneak peeks of their forthcoming album Creaturesque as encouragement to visit a real live record store and talk to a real person about music next month, related stories about being mistaken for nineteen-year-olds at a basketball court, challenged attendees to rack up massive bar tabs (for the kids, of course, and also a free t-shirt), and generally poured on the usual charm offensive.
Robin Pecknold, performing sometimes solo, and other times with Fleet Foxes bandmates and pals J. Tillman and Skye Skjelset treated an adoring crowd (one woman, in particular, couldn’t contain herself from shouting her elation at the band’s return to ‘the hill’ between almost every song break) to a mix of old time spirituals, Fleet Foxes standbys, and plenty of covers. By now, his take on Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Two Headed Boy” (surprisingly good, and only a few forgotten lyrics) and the Magnetic Fields’s “the Book of Love” must surely be making the rounds on the internets by now (a quick search turns up audio [peenko] from taper Jackson Barnes [megaupload]; others have extracted that mp3 for you [p’fork]); a half-hearted attempt at Belle & Sebastian’s “Stars of Track and Field”, on the other hand, was wisely halted soon enough to fade into much-deserved obscurity; and a request-filled encore concluded with Fleetwood Mac with a bit of help from his sister.
Though he professed that this wasn’t really his event — he doesn’t drink and has no love for children — he drew a large fundraising crowd, with the only crime being that fans may have been too transfixed with the happenings onstage to slip away to order more drinks from the bar.

thursday agenda: happy birthday neumo’s

vintage helio sequence photo by peter l. [flickr]
  • It seems like only a few yesterdays ago that Neumo’s [Crystal Ball Reading Room] returned to the corner of 10th and Pike from a series of endless failed clubs to reclaim the legacy of its former incarnation as Moe’s Mo’Roc’N CafĂ©. Well, those yesterdays have added up to five years of solid booking of great shows on Capitol Hill. Tonight they celebrate with a (free with a drink at Moe’s) show featuring Grand Hallway, Palmer Electric Company, and headlined by Sub Pop’s the Helio Sequence (a consistent Metblogs favorite, both for hilariously awesome drumming antics and for winning albums like last year’s consistenly enjoyable sleeper Keep Your Eyes Ahead). I wonder if they’ll bring out the scary mural, quaint neon sign, or much-missed highly-functional for old time’s sake? [neumos ]
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