Monthly Archives: July 2008

Spinning the Black Circle at the Capitol Hill Block Party

It is Thursday, so you know what that means. I’ve got another relatively busy weekend of music ahead of me.

Fortunately for me (and for my car), this weekend marks my last trip west for a few weeks (my next scheduled trip west is Aug. 20 for Radiohead). This weekend I will be rocking out with my notebook out while enjoying plenty of sunshine and beer at the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Here’s the schedule I hope to keep while at the Block Party, although I’ll likely end up off schedule and miss a few bands because that’s just the way things happen when you attend a summer music festival


4:00 Black Eyes and Neckties
4:30 Common Market
5:00 The Pharmacy
5:30 U.S.E.
6:30 Menomena
7:15 Airborne Toxic Event
7:45 Girl Talk
8:15 Thee Emergency
8:45 Champagne Champagne
10:30 Jay Retard
10:45 Vampire Weekend
11:15 The Heavy Hearts


2:00 Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground
3:00 The Hands
3:30 New Faces
4:00 The Whore Moans
4:30 Kimya Dawson
6:00 Fleet Foxes
6:45 Jaguar Love
7:15 Voyager One
7:45 Throw Me The Statue
9:00 The Hold Steady
10:15 Schoolyard Heroes
11:15 Devothcka
12:15 Zeke

Lil Wayne + Ringo = Another busy weekend for me

As you’ll recall, last weekend I was pretty slammed. I spent a total of 24 hours watching 31 bands and I drove 750 miles over three days to do it all.

Well, this weekend I am continuing to keep myself busy. While I won’t be seeing as many bands as I did last weekend, or driving as many miles (thankfully), I will likely have one of the more musically diverse weekends of my career as a critic. Here’s what’s on tap for me:


Ringo Starr and his All Star Band

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

When you have a chance to see a Beatle perform you do it, even if it is lowly old Ringo. The 68-year-old drummer is taking his All Star band on tour and stopping at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery this weekend. His band includes Billy , Edgar Winter, Colin Hay (no relation to yours truly, btw), Hamish Stuart, Gary Wright and Greg Bissonette.


KUBE 93 Summer Jam

White River Amphitheatre

I am going to this show for one reason only: Weezy.

For those not in the know, Weezy isn’t a lame Weezer cover band. Weezy is Lil Wayne, the soon-to-be multi-platinum hip-hop artist. His release of Tha Carter III last month was the first record in 39 months to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week of sales. I’ll write more on III later. Aside for Lil Wayne, also on the Summer Jam bill are T-Pain, Bow Wow, Ray J and The Game.

I’ll check back in soon and let you all know how the weekend went.

Pics from last weekend’s SP 20 at Marymoor Park

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a Flickr page that is filled to the brim with tons of photos of rock shows. I usually bring my point-and-shoot camera with me whenever I go to a show and I try to get a photo credential so I can spend some time in the photo pit and get my Charles Peterson on.

On my Flickr page you will find pics of Green River, Kinski, Comets on Fire, Wolf Parade and other bands that performed at last weekend’s SP 20 (which was awesome btw). You’ll also find pics of Flogging Molly, Radiohead, The Pixies, Beastie Boys and more. There are two sets of Sp 20 pics, one is here and the other is here.

So if you want to scope out some amateur rock photography, or if you are just looking to waste some time at work on a Thursday, click on over and check it out.

VIDEO: Pearl Jam “The Real Me” on VH1 Rock Honors: The Who

One of my favorite bands of all time, Peal Jam (as if you didn’t already know I am a PJ fan, given the name of this blog), paid tribute to one of its favorite bands of all time, The Who, for a VH1 special.

The entire tribute program, which includes performances by Incubus, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, The Flaming Lips (another one of my favs) and, of course, The Who, can be seen tonight on VH1.

Here’s a senak look at Pearl Jam’s cover of “The Real Me”


VIDEO: Rush on the Colbert Report

Canadian prog-rockers Rush made their first American television appearance in 33 years last night on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.

I’m not a huge Rush fan but I do appreciate their music and I’ve reviewed them live a couple of times. Bt, for those aspiring music critics out there on  the Internets, be careful with what you say about Rush because their fans can be vicious.

Here’s the Colbert Report video with Colbert’s interview with the band. I recommend watching it soon-ish before the YouTube Gods discover it has been posted and take it down.

Bumbershoot 2008 full lineup announced

Early Saturday morning (around 3 a.m.) Bumbershoot announced its full lineup for this year.

The big announcement was that Death Cab For Cutie (whose singer, Ben Gibbard, used to live in Bremerton, I’m told) will be headlining one night of the festival. I think the last time Death Cab performed at BShoot was in 2004 when the band was part of the “Hometown Throwdown!” which also included the Presidents of the USA and U.S.E.

It was during that performance that I fell for Death Cab. I had seen the band three times prior to that Bumbershoot set (once at Coachella, once at Sasquatch! and once at a club) and I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about. They just seemed like a regular indie rock band to me. After seeing them captivate the Memorial Stadium crowd and hearing “The New Year” and other DCFC classics in such a large setting, I was sold.

Death Cab will join T.I., Black Keys, Beck, Band of Horses, Stone Temple Pilots, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, the Offspring, Paramore and others on the main stage during the three-day event.

Here’s the full music lineup:

Death Cab For Cutie / Superchunk / Tapes ‘n Tapes / The Weakerthans / Two Gallants / Sweet Water / Cheb I Sabbah & 1002 Nights featuring Riffat Sultana / Vicci Martinez / Black Eyes and Neckties / Tiptons Sax Quartet / Mono in VCF / Thee Emergency / Vince Mira / Manooghi Hi / Feral Children / Speaker Speaker / The Physics / The Tripwires / Sage / Grieves / Choklate / Das Vibenbass / The Valley / Velella Velella / The Maldives / Shim / Shane Tutmarc & The Traveling Mercies / Mariee Sioux / The Round (featuring Damien Jurado, Jen Wood, Buddy Wakefield and others) / The Lonely H / Nick Vigarino / The Staxx Brothers / Lushy / New Faces / School of Rock: Northwest All-Stars / Jazz Northwest: WSU Faculty Ensemble/ Beck / Stone Temple Pilots / T.I. / The Offspring / Keyshia Cole / Lucinda Williams / Neko Case / Paramore / Band of Horses / The Black Keys / Nada Surf / Ingrid Michaelson / Del Tha Funky Homosapien / Jakob Dylan / !!! / Mike Doughty / Old 97’s / Xavier Rudd / Anti-Flag / Minus the Bear / M. Ward / Lee “Scratch” Perry / Man Man / Joe Bonamassa / Saul Williams / Brother Ali / Battles / Aiden / Kid Sister / The Walkmen / Sons and Daughters / Asylum Street Spankers / Unearth / Estelle / Dan Deacon / Blitzen Trapper / Sondre Lerche / Bedouin Soundclash / Scary Kids Scaring Kids / Tim Finn / The Whigs / Dale Watson / John Vanderslice / Flobots / Thao with the Get Down Stay Down / Final Fantasy / Adele / The Fall of Troy / Orgone / Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles / Forro in the Dark / These Arms Are Snakes / The Blakes / Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby / Pacifika / Arthur & Yu / Darondo & Nino Moschella / Ian Moore / Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands / Throw Me The Statue / Barcelona / Kinski / Tyrone Wells / Monotonix / J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science / Howlin Rain / The Shackeltons / West Indian Girl / Ravens & Chimes / Hadley Caliman Quintet featuring Thomas Marriott / Star Anna / Grynch / The Hands / Joshua Morrison / Matt Jorgensen +451 / PWRFL Power / Chester French / The Girls / Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden / Beehive / Ashleigh Flynn

VIDEO: Krist Novoselic filming Mudhoney circa 1990 with help from Fisher-Price

Over at Seattle Weekly’s excellent Reverb blog there is a video shot by Krist Novolselic of Mudhoney performing in 1990. The video was shot using a Fisher-Price camera. Click here to read the original post. The video is below.

You can find a link to Reverb and plenty of other awesome music sites, both local and national, on Spin the Black Circle’s blog roll located on the right of this page.

A busy, busy weekend schedule

I’ve got a busy, busy weekend schedule planned filled to the brim with tons of music. Here is what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be doing it this weekend:

Stevie Wonder
White River Amphitheatre

When you have a chance to see a legend perform live you do it. So when I was given the chance to see Stevie Wonder I just said “yes please.” I expect to be dancing in my seat for the entire performance.

SP 20
Marymoor Park
Gutter Twins and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (feat. Tad Doyle of TAD)
Showbox at the Market

I’ll be spending the day in the sun (hopefully) soaking up rays while rocking out to Mudhoney, Flight of the Conchords, Seaweed, Pissed Jeans, Helio Sequence and a slew of other great Sub Pop bands in celebration of my favorite record label’s 20th birthday. Then after a long day in the sun I will be spending some time indoors having my ears blown off by Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and then being darkly soothed by the sounds of the Gutter Twins.

SP 20
Marymoor Park

More birthday festivities in the park. This time Green River, Wolf Eyes, The Ruby Suns, Beachwood Sparks and others will be on hand. It’s going to be a great capper to a music-filled weekend.

So that’s where you can find me this weekend. If you’ll be at any of those show be sure to say hello if you spot me. I enjoy meeting readers. You can expect to read all about my musical exploits from the weekend here at Spin the Black Circle on Wednesday of next week.

If you keep your browsers peeled here throughout the summer you’ll also get to read about more of my musical adventures, including trips to the Cap. Hill Block Party, Radiohead, Bumbershoot, Warped Tour and quite a few more shows that are on my horizon.

My most recent trip to the record store

I was in Seattle yesterday and whenever I make a trip west of the mountains I always try to drop in to an indie record store. You wouldn’t believe how frustrating it is being a music journalist living in a city where there aren’t any decent record stores within 100 miles or so. All I can say is thank goodness for iTune and Amazon. But for every Amazon or iTunes purchase I try to balance out the negative effect it may have on local record shops by picking up music from a Sonic Boom, Easy Street, Everyday Music or other brick and mortar indie shop.

Anyway, I dropped into Sonic Boom in Ballard Monday and snagged myself some tunes. Here’s what I picked up:

Green River “Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll”
I am a pretty big Pearl Jam fan and I enjoy Mudhoney, but surprisingly I had never heard Green River prior to picking up this album. I bought in celebration of Sub Pop’s 20th birthday, but I would have likely bought this one some time down the road regardless. After giving this album about a half a dozen spins all I can say is that if my future child ever asks me “Daddy, what was grunge?” I will play this album cranked to 11. I won’t go as far to say that this is the best Sub Pop release ever or anything like that, but I will say I think “Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll” embodies all that is grunge a whole lot better than any other Seattle band has released.

Mudhoney “The Lucky Ones”
Yep, another grunge band. Perhaps the last grunge band standing really, considering Pearl Jam fell out of the grunge genre after releasing “Vitalogy.” This is the fourth Mudhoney record in my collection (March to Fuzz, Touch Me I’m Sick and Every Boy Deserves Fudge are the other three). I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but from what I’ve heard this record is typical Mudhoney with loud guitars and kickin grooves.

Stevie Wonder “Inner Visions”
I’m going to see Stevie Friday night and I don’t own this album so I jumped at the chance to add this classic to my collection. Even though I know all the songs and I have heard the album dozens of times during my childhood, it just seemed like a record I needed to have in my collection.

Common Market “Black Patch War”
A seven-song EP that is a concept record by one of my favorite Seattle hip hop groups. The duo of MC Ra Scion ad DJ Sabzi won me over at Sasquatch! 2006 during the hailstorm when thier set was canceled. Instead of not performing, Sabzi pulled his car up to the exit of the Gorge and bumped a CD of beats while Ra Scion rapped over them without a microphone IN THE HAIL. It was awesome. This EP is ambitious and is a good gap filler before the duo’s second full-length “Tobacco Road” is released in September.

Grynch “My Second Wind”
I caught this young rapper’s set at ReverbFEST last year and thought there was lots of potential in his rhyme-slinging abilities. I met him a few weeks back during Dyme Def’s mixtape release show and got to talk with him for a bit. He’s a very bright fellow and I think that when (this is not an “if” situation) Seattle hip hop blows up, or at least makes it to the proverbial next level, Grynch will be one of the MCs on top of the game. This record, his second, puts his potential on display and has plenty of great guest appearances by local hip hop fixtures, making it a great example of just how cool it is to be experiencing local hip hop right now.

So that was my trip to the record store. I try to make one at least every other trip to Seattle that I take. I feel like I bought some great albums and I’ll fill you in on my future purchases when they are made.

Now that you know how satisfied I am with my record-shopping experience, I want to know about your last visit to the record store. What was the last good album you bought?

Guitar Hero Aerosmith: Equal parts boring and entertaining

Since this is a relatively new blog, I might as well let you know now that I am a big dork. You were eventually going to find out if you kept reading Spin The Black Circle anyway, so I figured it would be best if you heard it from me instead of just stumbling upon the discovery of my dorkiness by yourself.

Now that my confession is out of the way, I wanted to let you know about my experience with the XBox 360 game “Guitar Hero Aerosmith.” See, I told ya you would have eventually figured out my dorkiness if you kept reading.
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