Monthly Archives: February 2009

REVIEW: Say Hi’s “Oohs & Aahs”

I’ve enlisted some help with record reviews and features and the results are looking to be quite awesome if I don’t say so myself.

Below is one of the first fruits of collaborating in the form of a review of the upcoming Say Hi record “Oohs & Aahs,” which is set to be released on Barsuk Records March 3.

The review was written by my colleague Brent Stecker who authors the always excellent Tiny Strings blog. Expect to see more of his work, as well as the work of other music journalists, in this space in the future.

After one listen to Say Hi’s “Oohs & Aahs,” one thing is clear: Eric Elbogen spends a lot time in his bedroom.

It’s the only way to explain the exhaustive layering of keyboards, guitars, drum machines, shakers, and whatever else on the Barsuk debut for the Brooklyn-bred Elbogen’s main project (formerly known as Say Hi To Your Mom).

On Oohs & Aahs, Elbogen shows off his bedroom studio mastery with playful indie pop that has one foot in the electro camp. There’s plenty of toe-tapping beats and melody on the 10 tracks, with the occasional cheesy synth thrown in for good measure.

Prime example is “One, Two … One”, which draws you in with an irresistible hand clap/drum machine combo, only so a synth line straight out of an 80s cop movie can jump out and smack you in the ear. But it’s not long before some layered (and deceptively complex) guitar riffs appear on top of it all, making it all suddenly come together.

There’s plenty of craziness like that to be heard, as Elbogen seems to enjoy the dichotomies he can be create by twiddling the knobs and settings on his amps, pedals, and keyboards. As a result, there’s mixes of odd synths and basic acoustic guitars on “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh” and “Maurine,” plinky keys and spaced-out guitars on “The Stars Just Blink For Us” and countering bass and drum rhythms on album opener “Elouise.”

While a lot can be said of Elbogen’s production skills, he obviously agonizes over his vocals as much as anything. Despite sounding like a combination of Ben Gibbard and Conner Oberst at times, he avoids getting stuck in one vocal style too often.

Though Oohs & Aahs does have some missteps — namely the too-poppy “Hallie and Henry” — they are more than made up for with “The Stars Just Blink For Us” (which is set up nicely by “Audrey,” a modest synthesizer ballad that clocks in at just over a minute and a half), and the spacey “Sallie’s Heart Is Stone,” which takes an ominous turn just as the otherwise wistful Oohs & Aahs comes to a close.

*You can catch Say Hi celebrating the release of “Oohs & Aahs” March 6 at Neumos with fellow local rising star Mt St Helens Vietnam Band. The show is acting as a CD release party for both bands.

Murder City Devils added to Sasquatch!, plus Sasquatch! presale password info

Loyal reader Dustin tipped me via e-mail that The Murder City Devils will be taking to the stage of the Gorge Amphitheatre Sunday May 24 at the Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Also, in case you want to buy your tickets early, the presale for Sasquatch! started today at 10 a.m.

Click here to buy tickets. The password for the Live Nation presale is venue. Tickets go on sale to ordinary non-presale folk Saturday at 10 a.m.

As far as ticket costs are concerned three-day pass will set you back $171.65 after service charges and tax through March 1 at midnight. The three-day passes will not be available beginning March 2.

Single day tickets will cost $56.50 per day before tax and service charge through March 2. After that the cost increases to $66.50 per ticket until May 18. After May 18 single day tickets jump to $76.50.

Blue Scholars to become Barn Scholars tonight in Winthrop

Blue Scholars

I’m going to see Blue Scholars tonight and the show is not in Seattle. Actually the show is in the sleepy Eastern Washington town of Winthrop.

It should be a really interesting show considering the venue they will be performing is a barn (like I said, Winthrop is a sleepy, rural community) so it’s not necessarily a place where you’ll get a real hip-hop vibe and I am guessing Blue Scholars will be a little bit out of their element.

However, I’m not worried about the group underperforming because in the dozen or so times I have seen Blue Scholars Geo and Sabzi always bring it live. I am more interested in seeing the reaction hip-hop gets in this small town of less than 500 where ranch hands and cowboys are more common than bboys and popped collars.

Also, I am going to the show with a crew of 10 Wenatchee-area friends and none of them have seen Blue Scholars live or really spent much time with their music. So it will be fun to get their thoughts on the show.

One more thing to note is Eastern Washington’s lack of any music scene, which makes it sort of a big deal that a decent Seattle group is coming to town (or, in my case near town since I’ll be traveling about two hours from Wenatchee to get to Winthrop).

I plan to write about the show and my experience next week. If I remember to bring my camera I’ll probably shoot some video and take some pictures too and if there is time I might chat up Geo and Sabzi and ask them about their experience too.

VIDEOS: Moondoggies, Black Whale, John Roderick, The Kindness Kind at the new Crocodile

If you’re friends with the Crocodile on Facebook or follow the Crocodile on Twitter or read this post over on Sound on the Sound then you already know about the cool videos the Crocodile has been shooting and posting in its Web site.

If you don’t know, here’s what has been going on.

The Crocodile folks, with the help of One Shot Seattle, have been filming performances by local bands at the new and improved venue as it is undergoing construction. They have also been interviewing artists including Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, John Roderick of the Long Winters and others who have all shared their memories of the Crocodile.

You can view all of the videos on the Crocodile’s Web site. Here are a few of my favorites:

Black Whales “Young Blood” from The Crocodile on Vimeo.

John Roderick “Ultimatum” from The Crocodile on Vimeo.

The Kindness Kind “Suckerpunch” from The Crocodile on Vimeo.

The Moondoggies “Old Hound” from The Crocodile on Vimeo.

Death Cab, PUSA jump on the iPhone app bandwagon

John Cook over on his Venture Blog dropped a post about some business news regarding everyone’s favorite feather-pluckin’ insane trio, Presidents of the Unites States of America.

What’s the news? Well, PUSA has an iPhone app for sale on the Apple App Store.

From Cook’s blog post:

The $2.99 app offers full-tracks from four albums as well as the “lost recordings” from the band’s 10-song demo album FroggyStyle. Will we see more bands following suit with iPhone apps? You can count on it.

“The Presidents of the United States of America, always innovative in their instrumentation, songwriting and DIY business operations, are proud to be the first indie artist to offer their own iPhone app,” says the application description. In addition to songs from albums like “Peaches” and “Kitty,” the app features live tracks and “other oddball stuff.” Users also can take part in the “Presidential Shuffle” in order to mix up the music a bit.

I have yet to check out the PUSA app, but I did recently download the free application from Death Cab For Cutie. The application is a close mirror of the band’s Web site in many ways. It offers more than a dozen videos (including live clips and rehearsal footage), a song from each record, tour dates, band news and more.

As mentioned, the DCFC app is free so I made sure to download it, but I am a little hesitant to spend $3 on the PUSA app. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Presidents but I am not sure if it has anything worthwhile that I can’t get online for free. However, the “Froggystyle” album demo might be worth the purchase price.

Regardless, the DCFC app is pretty nifty (Did I just type call something nifty? Wow, I must be getting old.) and seeing a band without major label support like PUSA release an iPhone app is a promising sign that more bands could release applications in the future.

Sasquatch! 2009 to feature Jane’s Addiction, NIN, Ben Harper, Kings of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fleet Foxes, TVOTR, Gogol Bordello, Monotonix, Bon Iver, Santigold, Of Montreal and more

New Picture

Here’s the most of the press release (emphasis added) with a breakdown of who is playing on what date:


Memorial Day Weekend | May 23, 24, 25, 2009
The Gorge | Quincy, WA

On sale Saturday February 28 at 10AM

Music line-up includes Jane’s Addiction (feat. all four original members), Kings of Leon, Nine Inch Nails, Ben Harper & Relentless7, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Erykah Badu, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, TV On The Radio, Animal Collective, Silversun Pickups, Bon Iver, Santigold, Of Montreal, Explosions In The Sky, Devotchka, Peter Bjorn & John, Gogol Bordello, M. Ward, The Avett Brothers, Doves, Calexico, Grizzly Bear, M83, Girl Talk, The Gaslight Anthem, The Walkmen, Chromeo (dj set), Deadmau5, Mugison, Sun Kil Moon, Airborne Toxic Event, Blitzen Trapper, Shearwater, BLK JKS, The Wrens, Tobacco, Monotonix, King Khan & The Shrines, St. Vincent, Passion Pit, John Vanderslice, Bishop Allen, Blind Pilot, AA Bondy, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Knux, Ra Ra Riot, The Dodos, Beach House, Arthur & Yu, The Submarines, Owl City, Viva Voce, James Pants, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, The Builders & The Butchers, The Dutchess & The Duke, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele, Fences, School of Seven Bells, Death Vessel, Horse Feathers, Hockey, Point Juncture, WA, The Pica Beats, Loch Lomond, Vince Mira & more to come.

Comedy line up includes Zach Galifiankas, Demetri Martin, Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Todd Barry, Jon Benjamin, God’s Pottery, People’s Republic of Komedy & more.

Here is the breakdown by date as per the Sasquatch! Web site:

Saturday, May 23th

Kings of Leon / Yeah Yeah Yeahs / The Decemberists / Animal Collective / Bon Iver / Devotchka / M. Ward / Doves / Sun Kil Moon / The Gaslight Anthem / King Khan & The Shrines / Ra Ra Riot / Shearwater / Passion Pit / Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band / Vince Mira / Blind Pilot / Owl City / Arthur & Yu / Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele / Death Vessel / Hockey

Sunday, May 24th

Jane’s Addiction / Nine Inch Nails / TV On The Radio / Peter Bjorn and John / of Montreal / The Avett Brothers / Calexico / M83 / The Airborne Toxic Event / The Walkmen / The Wrens / St. Vincent / The Dodos / John Vanderslice / The Submarines / Viva Voce / The Builders And The Butchers / AA Bondy / Fences / Point Juncture, WA / Jon Benjamin

Monday, May 25th

Ben Harper and Relentless7 / Erykah Badu / Silversun Pickups / Fleet Foxes / Gogol Bordello / Santigold / Grizzly Bear / Explosions In The Sky / Girl Talk / Blitzen Trapper / The Knux / Monotonix / Bishop Allen / Black Moth Super Rainbow / Beach House / Mugison / The Dutchess And The Duke / School Of Seven Bells / Horse Feathers / The Pica Beats / Loch Lomond / BLK JKS

Ticket Information

Beginning February 28th (on sale weekend only):
A discounted 3 DAY FESTIVAL PASS is available for a very limited time / $154.50
Offer ends Sunday, March 1st at midnight.
Single tickets, per day / $56.50

Beginning March 2nd:
3 day pass / $199.50
Single tickets, per day / $66.50

Beginning May 11:
3 day pass / $229.50
Single tickets, per day / $76.50

V.I.P. package tickets with special amenities also available.
Full details on the festival
(Applicable service charges may apply)

Tickets go on sale Saturday February 28th at 10AM and can be purchased online at,, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone in Seattle (206) 628-0888, in Oregon (503) 224-4400, and in Eastern Washington (509) 735-0500

Camping is available for May 22, 23, 24, 25 and can be purchased online at For more details, directions and further information on camping at The Gorge Amphitheatre go to

Stay tuned to for more announcements and information at

Produced by Live Nation and Adam Zacks

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