Monthly Archives: November 2009

Keith Nelson of Buckcherry on making records, opening for KISS and fighting child abuse

Buckcherry is a band that makes rock records for people who like rock music. They blend Motley Crue with Guns N Roses and thrown in a bit of “Toys In The Attic”-era Aerosmith for good measure. You likely know the band from its cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” that has become a staple of NASCAR coverage, or because of the band’s stripper anthem for the ’00s “Crazy B*tch.”

Earlier today I talked with Keith Nelson, the band’s guitarist and co-founder. During our 10-minute conversation we talked about the band’s influences, the band’s efforts to help fight child abuse, plans for the group’s next record and more. Listen to the interview below and check out Buckcherry Sunday night when the band plays KeyArena opening for KISS. You can purchase tickets to the show here.

Buckcherry interview by ear_candy

It Might Get Loud: Dinosaur Jr. @ Showbox at the Market 11.08.09

J. Mascis :: by Brittney Bush Bollay

Click here for more photos of Sunday’s Dinosaur Jr. show and a slideshow of the concert.

The last time I saw Dinosaur Jr. in concert was during their initial 2005 reunion tour at the Showbox. It was one of the loudest concerts I’ve attended. So I walked into Sunday’s Dino J show at the same venue with a hankering to hear songs from Farm, the band’s excellent new album, while wondering whether it’s possible for J, Lou and Murph to get any louder.

After the band was through with its 75-minute set I definitely got a healthy dose of Farm material however, I really couldn’t tell you if Sunday was any louder than it was four years ago. But it will say it was pretty damn loud. How loud? The roadie was handing out earplugs to people in the front row before the band took the stage. Murph, the drummer, also handed out earplugs telling people “it’s going to get loud.” You know it’s going to get loud when the drummer says so.

J Mascis played in front of a massive stack of amps (11 amplifiers total) that towered over him and although Lou Barlow’s bass stack (which was a mere four amps) didn’t match Mascis’ in sound output, it did match Mascis’ gigantic tower of power in height. Dinosaur Jr. didn’t merely turn things up to 11; they cranked it up to 99 creating a pleasurably ear-assaulting wall of sound. I make it sound like a miserably loud experience, but it was actually quite the opposite. I left the Showbox with ringing ears (despite wearing earplugs and standing at the back of the room) and massive grin because I watched three reunited rockers tear it up like they never left the scene they helped mold in the 1990s.

The reunion thing is popular nowadays but the bands that make music after reuniting tend to do so poorly in an attempt to recapture their old glory. Does The Pixies’ “Bam Thwok” or Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zeitgeist” mean much to anyone? I didn’t think so. You see, Dinosaur Jr. is one of the few reunited 90s alt-rock bands that is making music of equal caliber of what they produced back in the day and Farm is easily one of the band’s best records, which is what made Sunday’s show so enjoyable. Songs like “I Want You To Know,” “Over It,” “Pieces” and “Plans” fit nicely alongside older songs like “Raisins” and “Freak Scene.”

Mascis, one of Generation X’s most underrated guitar gods, wasn’t much of a talker during the show. Instead he let his guitar speak for him. He seamlessly shifted from crunchy to squeally to squawky to fuzzy with Lou and Murph creating the rhythmic cage to contain the mammoth beast that was his highly-amplified ax.

Barlow did double duty Sunday with his new project Lou Barlow and the Missingmen playing a 45-minute set before the night’s headliners. While Dinosaur Jr. created a Jurassic-sized sound, Barlow and the Missingmen were more harmonious and less loud. They had more of a pop sound as opposed to a hard rock feel and my photographer friend Britteny Bush Bollay put it best when she said they sounded a little like Matthew Sweet. It was definitely unexpected.

Australian band Violent Soho was also on the bill. The headbanging three-piece tried hard but didn’t leave much of an impression.

Of note was the size of the crowd. I was disappointed to see half of the Showbox closed off due to what I assumed was poor attendance. The bar on the right side of the venue was blocked off and there were likely fewer than 500people in attendance. That is still a sizable crowd, but for a venue that fits more than 1,000 the show was noticeably empty.  To be fair, it was a 21+ show on Sunday so that might account for the small crowd size.

The Mother Hips at the Tractor 11.05.09: Sunny SoCal warmth on a rainy night

It was a cool and rainy day Thursday which created a perfect atmosphere for the sunny SoCal psych-pop rock of The Mother Hips at the Tractor Tavern.

The music of the California four-piece was the perfect soundtrack for the Tractor and it wasn’t just because of the steady drizzle outdoors. The Mother Hips make tavern-type music for tavern-type people who prefer PBR over MGD and prefer their jukeboxes to be filled with stacks of Skynyrd, The Eagles and maybe even some Hank Williams. It’s the type of music you’d expect to hear after blowing the dust off your parents’ old crates of vinyl from the 1970s.

Some of the band’s songs sounded like borderline psychedelic rock numbers while others were filled with heavy doses of sunshine-flavored SoCal boogie. There was great guitar interplay between singer Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono and lots of loosely structured jams that made for fun tavern-style dance music. Most of the set consisted of material from the group’s new record Pacific Dust. The record contains 11 songs that are perfect for sitting on the front porch while clutching a cold one and remembering the good old days (if you can’t tell, The Mother Hips play beer-drinking music).

While The Mother Hips’ music was perfect for the Tractor, what wasn’t perfect was that the band opened for former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell. It definitely should have been the other way around. Isbell is a competent guitarist (some of his work on Southern Rock Opera is amazing) and decent singer but he was off his game Thursday. His set fell flat on matching the energy and excitement from the crowd that was created by The Mother Hips. It’s unfortunate  the roles weren’t reversed for the evening as The Hips are a band that deserves some time in the spotlight.

Stream the entire Them Crooked Vultures record now

Them Crooked Vultures (aka perhaps the greatest rock supergroup ever) will release its self-titled debut album Nov. 17 but you don’t have to wait until next Tuesday to give it a listen. Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Josh Homme have released the entire album in track-by-track form on YouTube. You can stream the entire album below.  You can see Them Crooked Vultures play the below songs live at the Paramount Theatre Nov. 21.

Muse set to headline 107.7 The End’s Deck The Hall Ball Dec. 15 @ WaMu Theatre

Muse at Coachella 2004 :: by Travis Hay

Local alt-rock institution 107.7 The End announced the lineup for Deck The Hall Ball, its annual holiday concert, earlier today and it’s quite impressive. Headlining the night is Muse, one of the biggest bands in the U.K. that hasn’t quite achieved superstar status here in the U.S. They will be accompanied by Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars, Bumbershoot 2009 standouts Metric, rising indie stars Pheonix and last year’s Capitol Hill Block Party headliers Vampire Weekend. The show takes place Dec. 15 at WaMu Theatre. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Blakes round up cast of local bands for new video

The Blakes’ released the video for "Ramshackle Hearse," a cut from their sophomore full-length album Souvenir, earlier today. The video includes cameos by quite a few Seattle bands including none other than my rootin’ tooton’ cowboy friends Brent Amaker and the Rodeo. You can read my review of The Blakes’ latest album over here at the Seattle Weekly. The video for "Ramshackle Hearse" is below.

Pixies offer free Doolittle live EP for download

The Pixies are coming to town Nov. 12 & 13 to play Doolittle in full. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album, and to commemorate the live shows, the band has released a live EP of songs from the record for FREE. The EP includes “Dancing the Manta Ray,” “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Crackity Jones” and “Gouge Away.” Click below to get your copy.

An Ear Candy h/t goes out to twentyfourbit for the news.