Dinosaur Jr frontman J Mascis will be releasing a mostly
acoustic solo album titled Several Shades of Why on Sub
Pop Records March 15.
The album will feature several notable guests including Kurt
Vile, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of
Horses) and Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession) to name a few.
His tour supporting the album comes to the Tractor Tavern April 29.
Opening for Mascis will be The Black Heart Procession.
A mostly acoustic record is an extreme shift away from the
loudness of Dinosaur Jr. You can get a taste of what to expect from
the album by downloading “Not Enough” off Several Shades of
Why below. And check out the album’s artwork below too.
Continue reading →
Looks like the days will be numbered six, six, six again.
If you get that reference, or if you read the headline, you know
I must be talking about local scream-punks Vendetta Red. The
band, which broke up in 2006 after an eight-year run that
included two albums released by Sony, is getting back together
March 5 to perform its swansong album Sisters of the Red
Death in full at El Corazon.
Vendetta Red gained local prominence in the punk scene in the
early 2000s when it became known for passionate and energetic live
shows. The band also became known for the charisma of its singer
Zach Davidson, a Roger Daltrey doppelganger, and the combination of
his brutally vivid and dark lyrics and wailing-scream of a vocal
For those of you unfamiliar with the band think Finch, Glassjaw
and My Chemical Romance and you’ll get a good idea for what
Vendetta Red sounds like. Yes, I suppose Vendetta Red could
technically be considered emo, or more approriately screamo, but
they were a damn good band with lots of catchy tunes and it’s great
to see them back together again even if it is just for one show.
Continue reading →
When it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, nowadays it feels like retro is
the new modern. Or at least it seems like that is the case
bands like Fitz and the Tantrums, the Black Keys and the Heavy are
making with their soul/blues/funk/rock revival sounds.
Another band that should always be mentioned in the current
batch of retro-revivalists is Black Joe Lewis and the
Honeybears. The band’s brand of funk-blues boogie rock is
guaranteed to make you dance and their 2009 record Tell ‘Em
What Your Name Is has constantly been in heavy rotation on my
stereo since its release.
The last time the group rolled through town was Labor Day
weekend of 2009 for Bumbershoot where they played an early
afternoon set and a brief radio set for KEXP (video above). The
festival-length set was a short and sweet affair, clocking in at
around 45 minutes, and was on of the highlights of my Bumbershoot
experience that year. The band has been on a few national tours
since that Bumbershoot set but has oddly skipped Seattle on its
tour itineraries. Fortunately the band’s spring tour
will see the group make its return to Seattle April 9 at the
Crocodile. Tickets cost $15 and can
be purchased here.
Pearl Jam finally revealed the details of the reissues of two of
its classic records, Vs and Vitalogy, this morning
and the details are enough to make any fanboy yell out “Holy
Yellowledbetter” with glee.
The reissues will hit stores March 29 in various formats,
similar to what the band did with the reissue of its seminal
The limited-edition boxed set, which is what every respectful
Pearl Jam fan should be purchasing, will set you back $150. It
contains five LPs, including a double-LP of Vitalogy, single
LP of Vs and a double LP of the band’s 1994 concert at
the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. Four CDs
–including remastered versions of Vs, Vitalogy and
two-disc set of the Orpheum concert — a cassette tape of the band’s
1995 Monkeywrench Radio show, a composition notebook of drawings
and other materials from Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder, lithographs
of the band and an envelope of memorabilia are also included
in the limited-edition boxed set.
Pre-orders of the limited-edition boxed set are being done over
at pearljam.com and the
preorders include a digital download of six songs from the Orpheum
Theatre show that aren’t available on the LP or CD versions of the
show. The Orpheum concert is one of my favorite live Pearl Jam
recordings (I’m listening to a boot of it right now) because it has
such a varied setlist and it’s one of those great shows that
captures the band in its prime. Here’s the setlist from Pearl Jam’s
website: Continue reading →
Seattle’s favorite bearded folkies (are there any other kind?), the
Fleet Foxes, recently announced the release date and title of their
highly anticipated sophomore full-length record.
The album, titled Helplessness Blues, will be released
May 3 on Sub Pop Records. The band is staging a U.S. and U.K. tour
to support the 12-track album which was mixed by Phil Ek (known for
his work with Modest Mouse, Death Cab and dozens of other Seattle
music staples) and co-produced by Ek and the Fleet Foxes. You can
stream the album’s title track below.
The tour includes a May 3 hometown date at the Moore Theatre.
Tickets for the local show go on sale Friday an can be purchased here.
The artwork on the album cover, pictured above, was illustrated by
Seattle artist Toby Liebowitz and painted by Chris Alderson. You
the record here.
Pearl Jam’s Live on Ten Legs, an 18-track compilation of
live recordings from the band’s 2003-2010 tours, is a mixed bag of
triumphs and missed opportunities.
One one hand it succeeds in showcasing some of the strongest
material from the band’s second decade of existence. On the
other hand the collection doesn’t add much to the band’s catalog
and some of the versions of the songs for the setlist are
Live on Ten Legs release marks a busy year of activity for
the band which will see Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam
Twenty documentary hit theaters, the reissues
of Vs and Vitalogy, a multi-day festival curated by
the band and the promise of several surprise appearances. It’s a
good start for the band’s twentieth year and its message seems to
be that Pearl Jam has no intention whatsoever to slow down as it
heads towards its third decade.
The record is the successor to 1998’s Live on Two Legs,
which captured the band’s 1998 tour. However, those expecting to
get the1998 version of Pearl Jam from this album should look
elsewhere. Live on Two Legs, which is by far the superior
album, features a tracklisting of aggressive and angsty material
from Pearl Jam’s prime. The songs featured on this album show a
more mellowed and mature Pearl Jam, which isn’t a bad thing, and
gives the lesser-educated fan a sense of the direction the decided
to take during the 2000s. There isn’t a single song
that appears on both live compilations, which means if you put them
both together you get a pretty solid sampling of live recordings
without having to go all fanboy and dig through the band’s
exhaustive selection of official bootlegs. Continue reading →
The White Stripes announced their breakup yesterday morning.
This is something most diehard Stripes fans probably saw coming
since the group has been on hiatus for several years and Jack White
has been busy playing with the Raconteurs and Dead Weather as well
as heading his own record label.
I was lucky enough to see the White Stripes perform a few times
prior to their huge successes so I have a couple of fond memories
of the band. The first thing that always comes to mind when I think
of Jack and Meg White’s band is when I won passes to see them
perform for a crowd of 50 or so people at Glenn Sound Recording
Studios back in 2001 when White Blood Cells was first
Camber pop can be a tricky genre to master. If you go all-in
with elaborate instrumentation and production you could be viewed
as excessive and get results that sound cluttered and unfocused. If
you go the minimalist route you might be viewed as just another
band of indie buskers trying to give off a false image of
sophistication by including a glockenspiel on a few
songs. Local chamber poppers Campfire OK don’t fall into
either of those traps on their debut album Strange Like We
The band blends banjo, piano, guitar, horn, drums and more to
create an album filled with a wide variety of
instrumentation, lush soundscapes and rewarding song
structures. Opening track “We Lay in Caves” immediately grabs you
with syncopated piano notes that sound like Radiohead scoring a
film. Elsewhere on the album “Not Young Not Old” provides a bit of
a punch, “Brass” is a beautiful, delicate ballad
and “Mexico N-O” brings the record to a perfect close with
a crescendo of drums, horns and guitar.
The album does flounder a bit by not offering much of a variety
in its sound — having a piano-heavy backbone for most every song
can get a bit repetitive — but to the band’s credit the chamber pop
genre can be a bit limiting when it comes to trying to forge a
unique identity. It’s clear Campfire OK has a lot to offer and it
is going to fun watching this young band develop.
Campfire OK performs its CD release party at
Columbia City Theatre Saturday, Feb. 5.
Tres Mts. — the band consisting of Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament,
Richard Stuverud from the Fastbacks and dUg Pinnick of
King’s X — will release its debut album titled “Three Mountains” on
A few days after its release the band will embark on a brief
tour that includes a March 16 date at Showbox at the Market.
Ament’s Pearl Jam bandmate Mike McCready will be touring with the
band. Tickets for the show go on presale Thursday (Feb. 3) at 10
a.m. over at ticketmaster.com.
The band announced its plans to release a record and
week and opted to give away a song for free download
instead of giving details of said album or tour. Since it’s
release the song, “My Baby,” has been downloaded 10,000 times. In
case you haven’t given the song a listen you can download it here.
A lot of great things happened in local music this year, but you
won’t be reading about them in this post. Don’t worry all you peppy
optimistic scene supporters, there will be a year-in-review post
recapping all that was good in Seattle music in 2010. And lucky for
all of us in Seattle, there was a lot more good than bad in the
Emerald City’s music scene.
Unfortunately, you have to take the good with the bad so in this
space we’ll be taking a light-hearted look at some of the lamer
events of 2010.
reunites OMG! Soundgarden is reuniting! Wait,
they’re only playing three shows this year and only one of those is
in Seattle? And it’s at the Showbox, which has a capacity of around
1,000? And tickets are only available through a fanclub email
system that’s going to screw thousands out of a chance to see the
band by sending them an email to buy tickets hours after the show
has already sold out ? Man, I guess I should consider myself
Mad Rad behaves Okay, so it’s not a bad
thing that P Smoov, Terry Radjaw, Buffalo Madonna and DJ Darwin
behaved themselves this year. I imagine avoiding trouble with the
law helped the foursome produce the great party album with killer
beats that is
The Youth Die Young. But seriously guys, we expect to
hear of something along the lines of Buffalo Madonna
starting a brawl at a frat house or P Smoov smacktalking a bathroom
attendant at the Westin in 2011. The local music media needs you to
stay in the headlines for all the wrong reasons so they can try to
maintain relevancy while still getting their
valuable page views. So get your shit together guys and
start getting arrested or something already.
Ear Candy shut down
Disappointment was about the twentieth stage of grief for me when I
got a cease and desist order from a major corporation
demanding I shut down the blog and website I used to operate called
Ear Candy due to possible trademark infringement. It came right
after the angry “I’m getting a lawyer and fighting those bastards”
stage and right before the accepting “Oh shit, I’m totally going to
lose this fight” stage. Fortunately the death of Ear Candy
gave birth to Guerrilla Candy, so at least there’s that.
Go! Machine cancelled Last year was a banner year
for local hip hop and it was capped off by the fantastic
two-night party that was Go! Machine at the Crocodile. Just
about every big name in 206 hip hop this side of Blue Scholars was
a part of the festivities. But organizers weren’t able to pull a
repeat this year, which may or may not have been a result of the
scene reaching its peak in 2009. However, it’s looking like
that’s not the case if you consider the anticipation for
Shabazz Palaces’ Sub Pop debut in 2011 and the rise of Macklemore
One Reel layoffs One
Reel, the company that produces Bumbershoot, laid off
eight of its 14 festival staff in October. What does all of
this mean for 2011 and the 41st installment of Bumbershoot? Guess
we’ll have to wait for Labor Day weekend to find out.