Monthly Archives: February 2010

Win tickets to EMPSFM’s Sound Off!

EMP|SFM’s annual all-ages battle of the bands, Sound Off!, kicks off Saturday and Ear Candy has a pair of passes to give away to one lucky reader.

During Sound Off! 12 bands will battle it out over a four-week period. The winner gets recording time, a spot at this year’s Bumbershoot and other nifty prizes. (In full disclosure, yours truly is honored to be a judge for the Feb. 27 Sound Off! round, which is something I am extremely excited to be doing.)

I haven’t been able to attend a Sound Off! because I used to live on the other side of the mountains the past few years which made it tough to get to Seattle in the winter, so I am very much looking forward to checking out this year’s event. It’s a great way to catch some of the best youthful local talent and Sound Off! has a history of helping usher some pretty killer bands into the local music scene. Past Sound Off! participants include Schoolyard Heroes, The Lonely H, Dyme Def, The Lonely Forest, Mon Frere, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head and New Faces just to name a few.

The bands competing this week include experimental rockers (Sui-Generis) from Kennewick, Tacoma garage punks Apache Chief, and indie rockers Candysound from Burlington and Sea Fever from Seattle. Doors open for Saturday’s Sound Off! at 7 p.m. and the event is all ages (duh).

The to enter to win a pair of passes to Saturday’s Sound Off! drop me an email with “Sound Off” in the subject line and your name in the body. A winner will be chosen and notified Friday.

Point and shoot: New photo exhibit opens at EMPSFM

A new photography exhibit opened at the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum last weekend.

Titled "Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs," the exhibit features 98 photos from 40 photographers, each capturing a  moment in time with pop music icons. I had the opportunity to catch a preview showing of the exhibit and it is one of the more visually striking installations involving music that the museum has hosted in recent memory.

The exhibit is not just something that will appeal to professional shutterbugs. Some of the images are outtakes from classic album covers, some show iconic musicians having candid moments while others capture the action from the stage. I’ll be writing more about "Taking Aim" in the coming days so look forward to seeing some words about the exhibit on Ear Candy and Crosscut soon.

What’s happening with the Soundgarden reunion?

It’s been more than a month since Chris Cornell let the world know he is getting his old band back together via Twitter, and since nary a word has been spoken of the reunion plans.

On Jan. 22 a brief e-mail was sent out to those who signed up for the latest Soundgarden news over at It reads as follows:

“Thanks to all for signing up. Stay tuned for more details! Loudest of Love – Ben, Chris, Kim and Matt.”

The band was rumored to be headlining a night of the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, Calif. but when the festival’s lineup was dropped Soundgarden was missing. So what are Ben, Kim, Matt and Chris up to, and when will they make their reunion show debut?  I haven’t the foggiest idea, but here are a few guesses about what could be in the works for the Soundgarden camp.

The rumor has been that the band will likely tour the summer festival circuit instead of plot out a countrywide trek due to Matt Cameron’s commitments to Pearl Jam. This seems most likely what will happen, but don’t expect to see too many U.S. festival dates. I’m guessing the band will play lots of European festivals this summer and perhaps come back to the states next year.

Speaking of stateside festivals, while Coachella is out out the mix for potential festival appearances this year, don’t rule out other American festivals. Lollapalooza seems like a no-brainer given the band’s association with the 90s alt-rock roadshow. Also, Sasquatch! has yet to reveal its lineup and there’s Bumbershoot too. Yes, Soundgarden definitely is not your typical Sasquatch! fare but it would be a coup for the festival to nab a Soundgarden set and the festival is sort of on the band’s home turf. Also, a Bumbershoot with Soundgarden as a headliner could be massive.

Another interesting thing to think about is how many reunion shows the band will play. They could pull a Pixies and only perform select dates and then reunite for a full tour a few years later. Or they could pull an Eagles and reunite “when Hell freezes over” and have a reunion tour that lasts almost an entire decade. My money is on the former happening.

All of this is pure speculation of course, but since mums the word from the band speculation is all fans are left with for the time being.

From Crosscut: A review of Alice in Chains at the Paramount 02.04.10

Below is an excerpt of a review I wrote for Crosscut. You can read the entire review by clicking on the jump.

Alice in Chains is one of the more interesting cases of a major grunge group experiencing post-90s success.

They don’t carry a catalog of anthems like Pearl Jam or Soundgarden. They’re nowhere near Nirvana’s poppy punk-metal hybrid style, and they don’t define their genre in the way a band like Mudhoney does. Oh, and their original lead singer died suddenly, replaced by a relative unknown four years ago. All of this points to Alice in Chains being one of the least likely comeback bands from the era of flannel fashion and Neanderthal hairstyles. But they’re not only making a comeback, they’re cranking out a batch of quality new tunes to boot.

There they were Thursday night (Feb. 4) at the Paramount Theatre, nearly two decades after the g-word was in Vogue, playing to a capacity crowd of rabid fans while supporting a new Grammy-nominated album — last year’s exceptional Black Gives Way to Blue. The album, which lost to AC/DC for Best Hard Rock Performance, was released 14 years after the band’s last studio recording.

continue reading

Music Monday: Wu-tang vs. the Beatles

Mashups have been quite the rage ever since Dangermouse got a little Jay-Z in his Beatles with the wonderful Grey Album (The White Album mixed with Jay-Z’s Black Album) back in 2004. Actually, they were en vogue quite a while before that with artists like Z Trip mixing together artists and genres, but the Grey Album was definitely a landmark for the genre.

Today for Music Monday I  recommend listening to another mashup involving the Beatles. This time it’s the Beatles and Wu-Tang Clan that are jumbled together and the results are a bit mixed. Check out the mixing of the ODB classic “Got Your Money” with “You Never Give Me Your Money.” You can download the entire Wu Tang vs The Beatles album, which is titled Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers, for free  by clicking here. And while you’re at it, go download the Grey album too. It’s free and it’s a masterpiece. Also, it’s far superior to Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers.

Got-Your-Money by ear_candy

Sasquatch! lineup to be annoucned at launch party

The lineup for the 2010 Sasquatch! Music Festival will be announced one week from today at the Crocodile during the Sasquatch! Launch Party which will feature Surfer Blood, Atlas Sound and Seattle’s own Fresh Espresso.

Tickets for the event are free and can be picked up at Easy Street Records beginning Friday with a limit of two per person, or you can win tickets by listening to 107.7 The End. The launch party will be hosted by Luke Burbank and it marks the first time the festival’s lineup will be announced live. I would’ve gone to the Crocodile to see Surfer Blood simply based off the band’s recent show at Chop Suey and the excellence of their newly released record Astro Coast. The Sasquatch! lineup announcement is a bonus.

Not much is known about the lineup for this year’s festival. Last week it was revealed that Wale and Miike Snow will be at Sasquatch! 2010. They join Pavement, Neon Indian, Vetiver, Morning Teleportation and Why? as the only confirmed acts to date. You can probably expect to see Surfer Blood, Fresh Espresso and Atlas Sound there too considering they are playing Monday’s launch party.

Destination festivals like Sasquatch! have evolved a bit in the promotions and marketing department in the past few years. Now that bigger bands are touring the festival circuits, festivals can’t depend solely on their lineups to create a buzz. Tickets for Sasquatch! went on presale months ago and when the presale was announced the big bomb of Pavement acting as a headliner was dropped. At the time Sasquatch! was set to be one of Pavement’s few U.S. reunion shows. Now that they are going to be at Coachella, their Sasquatch! set doesn’t seem too special.

Also in the marketing department, last week the organizers of Bonnaroo announced they would be dropping names of festival performers throughout the day tomorrow (which is one week before the Sasquatch! lineup was scheduled to be announced). The idea is to allow fans to talk about the lineup as it is revealed and to create a bit of daylong Internet buzz in the process. This Sasquatch! launch party is another way Sassy is trying to distinguish itself from its counterparts (location and the focus on local talent being two others) and it’s cool to see Sasquatch! stepping up its game a bit considering it is one of the smaller big U.S. festivals behind Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella.

If you can’t wait to hear the lineup for Sasquatch!, a few weeks back Ear Candy posted some speculation about who might be playing the Gorge this Memorial Day weekend. You can read that post here and you can expect at least one more post in the coming days speculating about who else might be at Sasquatch! 2010 (the National, Broken Social Scene, etc.)

Set list: Alice in Chains @ The Paramount Theatre 02.04.10

Members of the old grunge guard triumphantly took over the Paramount Theatre Thursday night when Alice in Chains played a 90-minute set of its trademark dark and muddy metal to a sold-out crowd. Here’s the set list. A review with pics will be posted soon.

All Secrets Known
It Ain’t Like That
Check my Brain
Them Bones
Dam That River
Rain When I Die
Your Decision
Got Me Wrong
No Excuses
Last Of My Kind
Down In A Hole
God Am
Lesson Learned
Acid Bubble
Angry Chair
Man in the Box