Spin the Black Circle

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 August, 2009

VIDEO: Kurt Cobain to be a playable character in Guitar Hero 5

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Like playing Guitar Hero? Like Kurt Cobain? Wish you could play Guitar Hero as Kurt Cobain? Well, you’ll soo be able to do that when Guitar Hero 5 is released Sept. 1.

The game features a playable Kurt Cobain and includes "Lithium" from the band’s 1992 Reading Festival concert and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The vitural Kurt was approved by Courtney Love, Dave Grohl and Universal Publishing, the three owners of Nirvana’s music. The in-game Cobain looks pretty authentic thanks to the involvement of C-Lo. Kurt’s even wearing a Daniel Johnston shirt.

But you’ve got to admit it’s a little odd watching the above video and not seeing Krist Novaselic or Grohl on stage with Kurt, but then again it’s not Band Hero (which is an actual game in production believe it or not), this is Guitar Hero we’re talking about. I’m guessing if Krist played the game he wouldn’t be very good at it unless his skills with a guitar game controller have improved since he wrote this 2008 Seattle Weekly column.

Personally I’m not quite sure how I feel about video game Kurt Cobain. I suppose it’s cool for kids to rock out as the leader of Nirvana, but having lived through the grune era in Seattle, attending the public wake after Kurt’s suicide and having some pretty close, personal memories attached to Nirana’s music, I’m a little torn about such a sacred (to me at least) rock icon being marketed in a video game. However, he’s not the only dead rock star in Guitar Hero 5. Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix are in the game as playable characters along with other living rockers including Muse’s Matt Bellamy and Garbage’s Shirley Manson.

Since I am undecided on my feelings toward virtual KC, I ask you dear readers: What do you think about Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero?


Alice in Chains debuts new album with invite-only acoustic set followed by a laser show

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The boys in Alice In Chains are back at it with new singer William Duvall and Wednsday they treated hometown fans to a sepcial invite-only acoustic performance followed by the debut of their new record “Black Gives Way To Blue” accompanied by a laser show at Pacific Science Center. I didn’t attend the show but reports have been trickling in from Twitter, Facebook and other outlets about the experience. Those who were there had their cell phones, cameras and video devices confiscated but word has it Nik over at Seattle Rock Guy was at the show and is writing about what went down. As of 1:38 a.m. (that’s when I’m typing this) nothing has been posted. So check back later today for the details.

UPDATE: Here’s some of the set list from the acoustic show as provided by a loyal reader:

Brother

Got Me Wrong

Rooster

No Excuses

Down In A Hole


Podcast: Flaming Lips and Dead Weather concert reviews, a review of Pearl Jam’s Backspacer and more

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009


I’ve returned to the podcastophere with the sixth installment ofthe Candy Cast. This time around Ear Candy’s Brent and I talked about some great upcoming local releases in The Maldives and Built To Spill (we even played snippets of songs from both albums), discussed the awesomeness of Jack White, did some wishful thinking about Them Crooked Vultures show and I share my non-Teletubby experience at Marymoor Park for The Flaming Lips.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Candy Cast if we didn’t talk about the upcoming release of Pearl Jam’s "Backspacer," so we’ve got an actual review of Backspacer too.

I’ll be writing some words about the Flaming Lips concert and sharing some great photos from the show soon (pics that are much better than the one to the left and much better than my photo set from the show) but if you want to hear the full story about the emotional craziness that was my day at The Flaming Lips concert (including finding out what made me tear up at the end of the show) click here to give a listen to the latest Candy Cast. You’ll get all the other aformentioned goodies too, but really, as is always the case with most everything involving The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne and Co. steal the show.


How a drunken Teletubby changed my appreciation for music, or why I am going to see The Flaming Lips at Marymoor Park tonight

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Flaming Lips with Travis as a Teletubby at Sasquatch 2008
photo by Sean Pecknold

When was the last time you saw a drunk Teletubby? For me it was Memorial Day weekend of 2008 and the Teletubby in question was dancing right next to me. That was before the stumbling and stammering intoxicated Teletubby did a 10-foot faceplant while attempting the Running Man. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me back up and do some scene setting.

It was the final night of the Sasquatch! Music Festival and I was one of 24 lucky people chosen to dress up as a Teletubby and dance on stage during The Flaming Lips’ set. Dancing while costumed as Dispy (he’s the neon green Teletubby in case you’re curious) was one of the most amazing and exhilarating experiences of my life.

For those unfamiliar, the live Flaming Lips experience includes confetti cannons, fake blood, puppets, balloons the size of Volkswagen bugs, lasers and of course costumed dancers, which is where I come into play. So how does a Teletubby dance? Not gracefully. I was kicking my legs, flailing my arms and jumping up and down like a toddler who spent the morning doing shoots of Red Bull with Mountain Dew chasers.

I thought I had experienced music in just about every way possible. After my time in a Dipsy suit I realized I wrong. However, it wasn’t jumping around acting a fool in front of thousands that changed my perspective on music. The impromptu community formed around the music is what made my time as a Teletubby such a transcendent moment for me.

During breaks between songs the members in my Teletubby troupe hugged and handed out jumping high fives. We linked arms and swayed from side to side, did the can-can and lifted each other off of our feet at times during massive group hugs. Oh, and when that aforementioned Teletubby who had one too many and landed face first in the photo pit we all laughed and then helped him back onto the stage so he could continue dancing. We were a no Teletubby left behind sort of community.

We were all sharing such a unique, positive experience it felt as if we were somehow deeply connected to each other even though we had all just met less than an hour prior. I had never felt such a connection with complete strangers and it was the music of the Lips that brought us together.

When I wasn’t concentrating on dancing I made sure to spend as much time as possible between smoke machine blasts to take in the moment. Everyone in the sea of humanity that was the crowd of 22,000 at the Gorge Amphitheatre was dancing, singing and appeared to be in a state of pure ecstasy. I will forever remember the massive Cheshire grins I saw when I glanced into the eyes of the audience.

So when the Lips perform at Marymoor Park Friday I won’t be on stage dressed as a frog or kitten (those were the costumes used for dancers during the band’s Pitchfork Music Festival headlining set last month). I will be in the crowd covered in confetti wearing one of those Cheshire grins. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll be able touch Wayne Coyne’s giant human hamster bubble while my inner Teletubby dances his ass off, after a few shots of Red bull of course.


Born Anchors interview part 2

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I chatted with Born Anchors frontman Jason Parker while he was taking a break from the Capitol Hill Block Party last month. This is the second part of our conversation. The first part of our conversation is here.

 


More It Might Get Loud clips and there is still time to win the signed poster

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I wanted to share the awesome clips from the upcoming film "It Might Get Loud" which opens in Seattle Aug. 28 at the Harvard Exit and what better way to do so than to remind you that you still have time to enter to win a movie poster autographed by the film’s director Davis Guggenheim. So watch the clips and the enter the contest.  To enter for your chance to win the poster drop me an email with the subject LOUD and your name and mailing address in the body. One entry per person please.  A winning entry will be chose at random and notified Aug. 19. Good luck.


Win Dead Weather tickets

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Did you miss your chance to buy $10 tickets to see the Dead Weather, Jack White’s latest supergroup, at the Paramount on Aug. 20? Hey, don’t get mad at me for bringing it up. I told you it was a one-day-only thing and you had your chance to buy tickets on the cheap last week.

While you probably should’ve snagged yourself a $10 ticket (Hey, 10 bucks to see Jack White ain’t a bad deal), don’t go making any plans for your Thursday night just yet because Ear Candy has another Dead Weather deal for you to consider.

What could be better than a $10 Jack White show? How about a free Jack White show? Yup, you read that right. Ear Candy has Dead Weather tickets to give away. All you have to do to enter is drop me an email with Jack White in the subject line and your email address in the body field. You will be notified Wednesday afternoon if you won the tickets. Good luck.

Don’t want to chance winning tickets? Then go ahead a buy yourself a pair of tickets here. They cost $30 each before service charges and taxed.


PHOTOS and WORDS: Vans Warped Tour at the Gorge

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I spent Saturday at the Gorge hanging out with the Hot Topic crowd during the 15th annual Vans Warped Tour. I caught 21 bands this year and about six of them were noteworthy. Highlights included shenanigans from NoFx, Bayside’s solid set, new material from The Fall of Troy, Less Than Jake’s horn section, some serious metal from Black Tide, POS slapping a dude in the face and Bad Religion breaking out part of a “Tom Sawyer” cover. Here are some photos from the show. Click here to see the full set.

Black Tide

NoFx

Bad Religion

InnerPartySystem

The Fall of Troy

Less Than Jake

Aiden

Bayside


TODAY ONLY !!! $10 Dead Weather tickets

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Have you heard Jack White’s new band Dead Weather? It features Alison Mosshart (of The Kills and Discount) handling vocal duties, Jack White on drums, Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) playing guitar and Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes) on bass.

They released their debut album “Horehound” a few months back and they will be at the Paramount Theatre Aug. 20. Tickets for the show cost $30 before taxes and service charges. But not today.

You can get $10 balcony seats for Dead Weather today by clicking here and entering the password MONQUI.This is a one day only thing so jump on it while you have the chance.

Also, while you have the chance, jump on this contest to enter an autographed poster for the film “It Might Get Loud” that features Jack White, Jimmy Page and The Edge.


It Might Get Loud clips featuring Jack White, plus an autographed poster giveaway

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Have you heard of the film “It Might Get Loud?” It’s a documentary featuring three of the most innovative electric guitar players in rock n roll. The premise is quite simple and actually pretty genius. Talk guitars with Jack White, Jimmy Page and The Edge and then get them all in the same room together to talk shop and jam. The film opens in New York and other select markets Friday and will be coming to Seattle Aug. 28 at the Harvard Exit. For a taste of the film, check out the two clips below the jump that feature Jack White.  To celebrate the film’s release, I am happy to not only share with you these two clips but also give you a chance to win something special. One lucky reader will win a movie poster autographed by the film’s director Davis Guggenheim.

To enter for your chance to win the poster drop me an email with the subject LOUD and your name and mailing address in the body. One entry per person please. A winning entry will be chose at random and notified Aug. 19. Good luck.


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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.