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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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Archive for June, 2009

Hear it here: New Alice In Chains “A Looking In View”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Alice In Chains are back. The band is gearing up for the release of its upcoming album “Black Gives Way to Blue” Sept. 29. Today the group slipped out the first single from that album, ist first with new singer William DuVall, titled “A Looking In View.”

It’s a pretty dark, sludgy, heavy song. Lots of Jerry Cantrell vocals. If the rest of the record sounds like this then it’s very good news for fans of vintage Alice In Chains.

As you probably already know, the band briefly reunited in 2005, performing what was believed to be a one-off concert featuring Maynard James Keenan, Chad Kroeger, the Wilson sisters, Pat Lachman and others filling in on vocals. Since that show the Chains gang hooked up with DuVall, played a bunch of shows nationally and internationally and recorded an album. Here is what the results of that collaboration sound like. What do you think?


The top 10 Northwest record of 2009 … so far

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Can you believe that 2009 is more than halfway over with? It’s been a great year so far for local music with so many awesome things happening including TADgarden, Sasquatch!, the Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion and the return of Peal Jam and there is so much more to look forward too (CHBP, Bumbershoot, new Modest Mouse album … ). In case you missed any of the great local releases to hit shelves so far this year, here are my 10 favorite Northwest records of the year to date. Feel free to share yours in the comments section and let me know what I missed because I love being turned on to great local music.

10. “Ten Super Deluxe Edition” Pearl Jam
Yes, it’s not technically a new album this year but between the vinyl, the Unplugged DVD, demo tape replica and the Drop in the Park concert, there’s enough new material on this remastered and remixed reissue to merit inclusion on this list.

Builders and the Butchers

9. “Salvation is a Deep Dark Well” The Builders and the Butchers
Sometimes its creepy. Sometimes its folky. All times its fun. This group of PDX folk rockers definitely avoided the sophomore slump with this album.

8. “Post-Nothing” Japandroids
Loud, fuzzy garage rock from a Vancouver, B.C. duo.

THERMALS.JPG

7. “Now We Can See” The Thermals
This is perhaps the best local pure pop-rock record of the year. Definitely a bit of a departure for these guys.

6. “Sprezzatura” Born Anchors
Some guy named John Richards said this: “Born Anchors’ Sprezzatura is, so far, the local rock record of the year.” I almost agree.

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PHOTOS & SLIDESHOW: Matisyahu and K’NAAN at the Moore

Friday, June 26th, 2009

From Ear Candy the Web site:

 

All photos by Alex Crick.  Read Rachel Dovey’s review by clicking here.

 

 


In honor of Michael Jackson

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

 

Like all music fans worldwide, I am shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Michael Jackson. I have quite a few memories of the King of Pop and I am sure plenty of blog eulogies will be popping up across the Internet in the coming days so I am not going to bother capturing all of my thoughts and feelings with words. Perhaps I will share them at a later date, but for now I am posting the below video of the greatest televised musical performance of all time in honor of the greatest pop star ever.


Vote and help book my Bumbershoot kickoff show

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

I’m putting together a show under the Ear Candy name to help kickoff this year’s Bumbershoot. You can help decide who plays the show by voting in the poll below. Here are the details from Ear Candy the Web site:

Ear Candy loves Bumbershoot.

How much does Ear Candy love Bumbershoot? Well, Ear Candy loves Bumbershoot so much that 1) it causes Ear Candy to refer to itself in third person and 2) and Ear Candy loves Bumbershoot so much that it is throwing an unofficial Bumbershoot kickoff party and Ear Candy wants your help with choosing a band to play the show.

While I’m not a liberty to divulge all of the details of the big soiree just yet, I will let you know that it is happening Sept. 4 at the High Dive and it will feature four of Seattle’s finest up-and-coming acts. Plus, it’s only going to cost you $10 so start saving your ducketts. Ear Candy has already booked three out of the four acts on the bill and my lips are sealed at the moment so I can’t reveal who those acts are (besides, I need something to write about in the coming months), but you, dear Ear Candy reader, can play a role in selecting the fourth act.

I’ve narrowed my list of potential fourth acts down to four bands I would like to play the show. All four of these bands have been written about on Ear Candy previously and I have been in touch with a couple of them to gauge their interest in playing the show. I enjoy each of these acts equally and I think each one would fit perfectly on the bill for Ear Candy’s unofficial Bumbershoot kickoff party so I want your help with choosing who to book. If you’d like to help me choose what band to book, vote in the poll below. I will contact the winning band and attempt to book them for the Bumbershoot party.

One point of clarification, just because a band wins the popular vote doesn’t mean they will play the show. It just means I will contact them and see if they are interested and available. I have no control over whether the band actually plays Ear Candy’s Bumbershoot kickoff show. Here are the four acts. The band names include links to their MySpace page so you can check out their music if you aren’t familiar with a particular group:

THE REDWOOD PLAN

The Redwood Plan

ALLIGATORS

Alligators

THE LONELY H

The Lonely H

H IS FOR HELLGATE

H is For Hellgate


It’s official: Sunny Day Real Estate reunites, playing Seattle Oct. 16

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

SDR

As reported earlier today on Ear Candy the Web site:

Looks like all the rumors are true. Seminal post-grunge Seattle group Sunny Day Real Estate is reuniting. (UPDATE: They will be performing at the Paramount Theatre Oct. 16. Tickets cost $28 and go on sale next week.)

The reunion isn’t just a one-off show as the band looks to be in full touring mode. According to Live Nation’s Web site, SDRE has a show scheduled for The Fillmore in San Francisco on Oct. 13. The news of this show comes after a concert promoting company in Utah called Kollective posted news of a SDRE show in Utah on Twitter.

Rumors of a reunion were started back in April when the band reportedly started rehearsing and planning out a national tour. Reportedly Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk has been coyly talking about a potential reunion but no official statements about the band getting back together have been made.

For those unfamiliar with SDRE the band got together in 1992 and released “Diary” in 1994. Unfortunately, after a few lineup changes and some reported struggles with its label, Sub Pop, the group disbanded in 2001. The original SDRE lineup included Enigk. Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith and Dan Hoerner and they are credited with being one of the grandfathers of emo. Now before you go blaming these guys for AFI, My Chemcial Romance and all those other emo bands, they aren’t responsible for that type of emo. Think more along the lines of “Pinkerton” emo and you’ve got it.

If a few of those names in their lineup sound familiar it’s because Mendel is the bass player in Foo Fighters and Goldsmith used to the drummer for the Foos before he left the group and some guy named Taylor Hawkins stepped in behind the kit. Oh yeah, and Enigk has had a pretty decent solo career too (His latest effort “OK Bear” is by far one of the best local records released this year) but not as noteworthy as the non-SDRE days of Hawkins and Goldsmith.

Since the band is playing at the Paramount in October, it looks like the rumors that they will be at Bumbershoot this year as reported here on Ear Candy and over at The Stranger’s Line Out blog are not true. We’ll see when Bumbershoot’s complete lineup is revealed in the middle of July.


PHOTOS: PJ Harvey and John Parish at the Moore Theatre

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

PJ Harvey and John Parish performed at the Moore Theatre Tuesday night. Local photographer Alex Crick captured some images of the show.  Here’s what the PJ Harvey show was like from behind his lens with more photos after the jump. You can check out more of Alex’s work here.

PJ Harvey by Alex Crick posted by

PJ Harvey by Alex Crick posted by

PJ Harvey by Alex Crick posted by

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Win tickets to see The Wallflowers at Showbox at the Market

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Jakob Dylan by Steven Friederich posted

You guys remember The Wallflowers, don’t you?

You know, the band that is fronted by the son of some guy named Bob Dylan. If I remember correctly they opened for Pearl Jam at Memorial Stadium two nights in a row in 1998 (and they played a great cover of “Baba O’Riley) too) and they even headlined a show at The Gorge in 1997. Nowadays things are a little more low key with The Wallflowers.

How low key? Well, instead of playing to tens of thousands of fans at large amphitheaters and stadiums like they did in the 1990s, they are now playing clubs like Showbox at the Market. In fact, The Wallflowers will be at Showbox at the Market June 21 and I have a few pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, send an email to travis@earcandybeat.com with Wallflowers in the subject and your name in the body field. The contest ends Thursday night and winners will be notified Friday afternoon. Good luck.


Like cowboys? Like whisky? Then you need to be at Brent Amaker and the Rodeo’s Noise for the Needy show Saturday night

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

As mentioned earlier this week, Ear Candy will be spending part of Saturday night at the Comet Tavern to see The Valley, which is one of the loudest bands in Seattle, and Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, which is one of the more badass bands in Seattle. Ear Candy thinks you should be there too and here’s why (aside from the amazing spectacle that is a whiskey baptism and a go-go dancer):

A cowboy costume contest

That’s right, at the show those crazy cowboys dressed in black know collectively as B.A.R. will be having a costume contest. None other than Brent Amaker himself wrote me a note explaining the night’s events. Here’s what’s going down straight from the man himself:

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Night of Musical Madness 2009 featuring Art Brut and Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

You remember the Night of Musical Madness, don’t you?

What’s that? You don’t know what the Night of Musical Madness is. Well, loyal  readers will recall that my annual Night of Musical Madness is the one night a year when I attempt to catch two shows in the same night. It all started back in 2007 when I won tickets to see Art Brut and the Hold Steady at the University of Washington and was invited to catch Rakim and Ghostface Killah at the Showbox on the same night. I’m not one to turn down a good show, so I drove 348 miles round trip to see both concerts. It was such a wild experience that I decided to do it again last year, so on a cold December night I caught Metallica at KeyArena and then drove to Showbox SoDo to see Wu-Tang Clan immediately after the Metallica show.

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.