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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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Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Danger’

Harvey Danger calls it quits, to play last show at the Crocodile Aug. 29

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Local rockers Harvey Danger have decided to call it a career according to a post on the band’s official Web site. The decision was “totally mutual and utterly amicable.”

The band formed in the offices of The Daily of the University of Washington. Sean Nelson, the group’s vocalist, guitarist Jeff Lin, bassist Aaron Huffman and drummer Evan Sult all met in the mid-1990s while working on The Daily staff. When they decided to form a band, the group’s namesake came from a comic strip that used to appear in The Daily during the 1980s. In fact, on the graffiti-filled orange walls of The Daily’s office a portrait of Harvey Danger — the comic strip character, not the band — is highly visible next to the clock.

The band’s debut album, 1998′s “Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?,” sold more than 500,000 copies and opened doors for the group including landing opening slots at shows for Green Day, Metallica, Barenaked Ladies and other big-name groups. From there the band’s sophomore record, “King James Version,” didn’t sell well due to record label issues and after the touring cycle behind that record the band members decided to go their separate ways. The group played a few reunion shows in 2004 which lead to the 2004 album “Little By Little” and remained a part of the local scene playing the occasional show around town before the announcement of the band’s break up was made last week.

Like many music fans, Ear Candy has fond memories of the band best known for “Flagpole Sitta.” Back in 2004 I was lucky enough to sit down over the course of two evenings with Nelson while he talked about what was then Harvey Danger’s comeback, which celebrated the group’s 10-year anniversary. I ended up writing this story for the P-I and this story for the University of Washington Daily.

I also once reviewed Harvey Danger for the P-I. The review was of a benefit show for Hurricane Katrina victims at the Showbox and Harvey Danger opened up for Death Cab For Cutie. I will likely forever remember Harvey Danger’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927,” which is the song they opened their set with that night. Hearing such a meaningful, beautiful cover of that song under the show’s circumstances is something that always stand out in my mind when I think of Harvey Danger. It was a somber and emotional moment where music meant more than just notes and instruments.

Death Cab and Harvey Danger are two somewhat intertwined local indie rock bands. Harvey Danger gave Death Cab its first exposure in Seattle by picking the band to open for them during a show at the Crocodile in 1998.

It’s fitting the band will play its final show at the Crocodile Aug. 29 (ticket prices TBA) not just because of the club’s previously mentioned Death Cab connection but also because back in 2004 Nelson told me this:

“To think, when we first started out our dream was to play a show at the Crocodile. Looking back at all we’ve accomplished is amazing.”

Yes Harvey Danger you did accomplish some amazing things. Thanks for the musical memories.


VIDEO: Harvey Danger covering “Very Ape”

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Here is some video from the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee’s Lounge Acts 2008


VIDEO: Harvey Danger covering “Aneurysm”

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Here is some video from the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee’s Lounge Acts 2008


What you missed at the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee’s Lounge Acts 2008

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Last weekend the unplugged Endfest, featuring Bad Religion, PUSA and others, as well as the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee’s Lounge Acts concert featuring Schoolyard Heroes, Harvey Danger and others, were happening at the same time on the same day. Two great shows happening at conflicting times on the same day happens a lot in Seattle because the music scene is just so rich and abundant with awesomeness in the Emerald City. It’s one of the only bad byproducts of living in such a cool place.

Anyway, a friend of mine had an extra ticket to Endfest and I was almost compelled to trek over the hill to check out the unplugged event. However, instead of making the five hour round trip drive to Seattle and back, I chose to stay home for the weekend (which is a rare choice for me). And since I decided again driving five hours to Seattle you know there was no way I was going to make the eight hour trip to the Aberdeen area.

But just because I wasn’t out and about doesn’t mean I am not able to report what went down in Hoquiam at Lounge Acts 2008.

So if you weren’t there, here’s what you (and I) missed:

* Aberdeen band Black Top Demon covered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” but it wasn’t your typical “Teen Spirit” cover. KISW (99.9 FM) radio personality The Ricker joined the band on stage and sang the song while the Aberdeen High School cheer squad did their pom pom thing as the band performed, recreating a scene straight out of the iconic music video.

* Harvey Danger kicked off their set with “Aneurysm” during which singer Sean Nelson was wearing a red mask over his eyes. After the song, in a very Cobainian move, the band abruptly left the stage and came back five minutes later to finish their headliner. The set also included a great cover of “Very Ape.” Check back in about 10 minutes for videos of both performances.

* Nelson and Schoolyard Heroes’ Ryann Donnelly performed a duet of “All Apologies” during sound check. However, that is not the song they performed together during the concert. Donnelly joined Nelson and the rest of Harvey Danger on stage for “Heart Shaped Box.”

* Schoolyard Heroes covered “Territorial Pissings” and “Drain You.” Again, come back in a few minute for the video.

Also, expect to see a photo gallery from the show soon. And a massive hat tip goes to my good buddy Steven Friederich for the rundown of the show and for the pics and videos.


Harvey Danger, Schoolyard Heroes to cover Nirvana at Kurt Cobain tribute

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

As mentioned earlier this summer the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee is holding its second annual Lounge Acts concert. The concert is a benefit for the committee with proceeds going toward building a youth center in Cobain’s name as well as other Cobain-related community projects.

The concert is happening Saturday at the 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam and it is well worth the drive south down I-5. Headliners include my buddies in Schoolyard Heroes and the always excellent Harvey Danger. Each band will perform at least one Nirvana cover, and a little bird told me that one of the aforementioned bands will play “Tourette’s” or “Drain You” or possibly both.

Aside from hearing some great Nirvana covers, you’ll also get to see two bands with some of the best hair in Seattle. Put Sean Nelson, Jonah Bergman and Steve Bonnelll in a room with the dudes from SHIM (who are not on Saturday’s bill) and you’ve almost got more hair than human.

All hair jokes aside (I’m just jealous because I can’t grow rock star hair), tickets for the all-ages show cost $20 and can be purchased by clicking here. The concert, which also features openers Black Top Demon (from Aberdeen) and Gebular (also from Aberdeen), starts at 7 p.m.

I zipped an e-mail over to Jeff Burlingame, one of the organizers of the event, and asked a few questions about Kurt, Aberdeen, the committee and the concert. Here is what he had to say:

Tell me a little bit about the committee. How did it get started, what are its goals, how close is the committee close to achieving them, who are the members and how can people help or donate if they are interested?

The committee was formed in 2004, after myself and my co-founder, Aberdeen City Councilman Paul Fritts, decided to finally do something to honor Kurt in his hometown of Aberdeen. We were prompted by a newspaper article written by three Aberdeen High School students who wondered, on the 10th anniversary of Kurt’s death, why nothing had been done to honor him. So our goals, in general, are to memorialize Kurt. Specifically, we are now working on the goal of building an artistic youth center.

Our committee is made up of community members who also believe Kurt needs to be memorialized in Aberdeen. Most prominent among them is Kurt’s grandfather, Leland Cobain, who has built quite a cult following for himself by interacting with Kurt’s fans across the world. He is proud of his grandson and one of our more active members. He even went to England to fundraise. The rest of our committee are professionals in the community. You can see their names on our myspace or kurtcobainmemorial.org. How someone can donate is also there. Everything is tax deductible.

How did the idea for Lounge Acts come about?

The idea to hold a concert to honor Kurt was a natural fit with what we are trying accomplish and what Kurt did for a living. Countless fans of Nirvana and Kurt constantly come to town looking for a way to pay their respects and a place to gather and mourn. This gives them that once a year. Our youth center will give them that on a daily basis. I created the name Lounge Acts as a play off Nirvana’s song, “Lounge Act.” I think it fits perfectly, although the name will continue to grow more ironic as the quality of our acts continues to improve. And, no matter how big Lounge Acts gets, we will always have a spot for a local band, or bands, on the bill. That’s the true spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish.

What were some of your highlights from the first Lounge Acts?

There were several. Those include seeing a large crowd waiting in line to get in; the tears I saw in a woman’s eyes when the first band, local teen group Clouded Minds, opened the show with a very solid rendition of “In Bloom,” and how nervous and excited those kids were prior to the show; the positive comments all the bands had after the concert; seeing the smile on the face of Kurt’s grandfather, who was thrilled that so many people came to honor his grandson. Being a big fan, the whole event was a highlight for me.

I read that a band from Europe traveled to Aberdeen for the opportunity to play at first Lounge Acts last year. Did you think the event would be so well received?

I was hoping it would be, but you never know. The story of the European band was an interesting one. A group from Belgium came to see the show last year. They approached me in the afternoon and said they would be honored if they could play for a few minutes. So we let them use the opening act’s gear and they played prior to the official start of the show. Another highlight.

For readers like myself who have never been to Aberdeen, could you please describe the city?
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Cool show alert: Kurt Cobain memorial concert featuring Schoolyard Heroes and Harvey Danger

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

If you’re up for a little road trip in September, the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee has announced part of the lineup for its second annual Kurt Cobain memorial concert.

This year the concert will feature the scary kids of Schoolyard Heroes and the lovable geeks of Harvey Danger. Both are fixtures in the Seattle music scene and should put on great sets to honor Cobain.

The concert is being used to raise money for a park and youth center in Cobain’s name. Currently the only real acknowledgment of Cobain in the Aberdeen area is the city’s welcome sign, which reads “come as you are.”

The concert is scheduled for Sept. 13 and will take place in Hoquiam at the 7th St. Theatre. Tickets cost $20. You can read more about the show here.


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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.