Search Results For: The Blue Moon

June 25, 2013

PREMIERE: The Flavr Blue – “Hideaway” [video]



Seattle summer’s are a fickle beast. One day you’re swearing its time to invest in air conditioning and the next you’re digging your sweaters out of storage. (Okay, so you never got a chance to put them in storage, but you folded them real nice in the corner for a few days.)  And if we waited for the weather to comply with our whims, with our want to swim, to drink with friends under starlight and to chase the open road, we’d never leave our apartments. The quintessential Northwest skinny dip starts in a sweater.

Seattle synth-pop trio The Flavr Blue‘s latest, “Hideaway”, matches the mood of the city that made them. Its a song stuck between seasons and emotions. A dreamy down-tempo dance hit, with a hypnotic heartbeat, it is the moon pulling the tide to sea and a lover pushing you away when you want them most.

“Baby I don’t wanna wait” … in Seattle, we say it to the summer sun, we say it to our object of desire … and then we tear off our layers and run to them.

You can see The Flavr Blue at Capitol Hill Block Party on July 27th or at Bumbershoot on August 31st. 

March 20, 2013

Sound on the Sound: Then & Now


“Seattle Music” (date unknown) ::: courtesy of an Edmonds thrift store bin

For as long as Sound on the Sound has been around, seven years this August, we have described ourselves as some variation of your daily source for features, news and exclusive content about Seattle music. “Daily” has lead the charge in our description, but something has changed in the last year or so at SOTS, the least of which is: we don’t post daily.

In fact, most things have changed around SOTS in the last year. Part of it is, yes, we got a little burnt out, because six years is a long time to write something every day. Anything. Even the things you love the most. And part of it is, there was less of a need (or none at all) to post the same news that at least ten other locally focused blogs race to post every day. Covering the same thing as everyone else and serving as a copy & paste clearing house for locally relevant press releases was never our desire or intention for the site. Though from time to time, we’ve done that to try to keep our promise of daily coverage for you. But we understand now, that that’s as much a waste of your time as it is ours.

So, who are we now in 2013? Since our ideas and lives and tastes and city are changing?

Here’s what’s not the same:

We’re not 20-somethings any more. We’ve created lives… there are SOTS babies. (Okay, there’s only one, but he is adorable.) We’re planning weddings and getting married. We’re going back to school and trying to get jobs that do more than pay for bills and booze. We’ve left Seattle and started lives in other cities. We’ve got responsibilities that we can’t limp into, ears ringing, every other morning. We’re not at shows every night anymore and sometimes not even every week. We’re not trying to be the source for everyone about everything. We know that taste is subjective, that this is ours and yours is different. We think there are other local blogs you can read and many of them might have line-ups up before us. We don’t care about who’s first.

Here’s what is the same:

We’re still moved by local music and musicians. We still think one of the most vibrant and exciting music communities in the world exists right here in our damp corner of the country. We think there are bands and voices and genres to be discovered, some who are making music today and some who have made it in the past. We think you can be proud of the bands that have succeeded from Seattle; we are. We think they, and plenty of bands you haven’t heard of yet, are worth spending your hard earned cash on–that’s still how we spend our money. We think you can engage in conversation about local music without getting involved in the latest Twitter brawl. We think its okay to not live tweet a festival line-up. In fact, we think its okay to miss Block Party or Sasquatch or Doe Bay … or whatever the “big concert of the week” is. We still want to talk about what we love most, whether we talk about it twice or twenty times. Or whether we talk about it once, and never mention it again.

Above all, even if it is not every day, we still think local music and bands are worth talking about. We think some of them are the “next big thing” and some of them will never play a bigger stage than the Blue Moon on a Thursday night. We think as long as we love them, they are equally worth writing about … and that if we don’t, no matter what the buzz is or if everyone else is talking about them, that they’re not.

What Sound on the Sound is about is sharing stories from and about Seattle. About what the songs and the singers mean to us in the context of life in this city as we live it.

We hope that despite how we change and how we stay the same, you’ll check back regularly to see if we’ve discovered something we love. We hope you listen and love it or loathe it. We hope you share with us and others what you can’t get enough of, because we hope you still think Seattle has stories and songs to share.

March 19, 2013

Premiere: Solvents – Ghetto Moon



Six years ago a hand-bound book and CD showed up in our mailbox postmarked Port Townsend, WA. The return address penned in shaky Sharpie:  Solvents.

The submission was unique not only for the hand-illustrated ghost story that came with it, but the songs themselves. We wrote about bands playing arena rock and sweaty punk at the Blue Moon and basements back then, but Jarrod Bramson must’ve known something about us that we didn’t yet, Solvents were the first local folk band we wrote about. And come the end of 2007, that bare bones folk album was nestled among our loud local favorite releases. I said then,  ”it’s albums like these that last for me… I’ll be listening to Manresa Castle years down the road.”

And I’m glad to say its not just Manresa Castle I’m listening to years later (though I do), but new songs from Solvents too. Since our introduction in 2007 the band’s sound has fluxuated, expanding and contracting in members and amplification, but for their latest release, Ghetto Moon, they have returned to the core duo of Emily Madden and Jarrod Bramson that so enamored us. At the crux of our crush is the intimacy of the music Madden and Bramson make together. Now married and the parents of twin girls, Ghetto Moon is a partnership at play and on display, Madden’s mood-making fiddle and sweet harmonies echo Bramson’s wordy whispers and straight-forward-strumming.

At his best on Ghetto Moon, Bramson sounds positively Moz-esque. “Are You Going to Wait for Love to Leave”, would not be out of place beside songs about girlfriends in comas or charming men. The chorus is a plaintive plea, but one you can’t help but bop your head along to: “I can’t imagine the days that you’ve wasted away. / But are you gonna wait for love to leave? / You’re tired of life and living on your knees. / And I don’t know why you don’t want to try, try. / Said, are you going to wait for love to leave?”  

Ghetto Moon is filled from start to finish with with satisfyingly sad, simple songs that ache in every note, like a fading bruise. And like Manresa Castle and Forgive Yr. Blood, and every other Solvents record we’ve been lucky enough to have listened to, these are songs that last, that cling to your memory like moss.

Ghetto Moon is out today, but you can listen to the album in its entirety right here first.

January 4, 2013

The Daily Choice: Wooden Wand – Supermoon


Wooden Wand – ‘Supermoon’ from fire records on Vimeo.

James Jackson Toth is the sort of prolific genius that you can get lost in. Just as soon you find yourself devouring his most recent record, he’s released another, and then another and then another, each and all worthy of repeated listens. Don’t even get me started on trying to dig deeper in to the libraries of music this man has penned – it’s a fulltime endeavor. That said, the release of a new album, a new song, a new hint at what opus he might be releasing in to the wild next is always a highpoint of any day and “Supermoon” the first video/single off his new album Blood Oaths of the New Blues is no different. The track throbs with a sort of road-weary sadness, Toth’s voice a whiskey-honeyed guide down some dark, sad dirt path with no foreseeable end in sight. Just carve another notch on the bedpost of James Jackson Toth’s musical successes – if you can find a space.

Blood Oaths of the New Blues will be released on January 8th on Fire Records.

September 20, 2012

Happy 20th Birthday, “Singles”: What Would You Sound Like Today?


Today I woke to a foggy Seattle skyline, the kind of morning when the city’s brick buildings are tightly wound in sea breeze chill and the hills rise like the softly breathing chest of some sleeping giant. She was beautiful and peaceful, and I was hesitant to get to work with my back to the windows.

But when I opened my glaring computer, Facebook let me know something fantastic. It’s the 20th anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s oft-forgot but extremely great 1992 romantic comedy, Singles. A movie that took place in Seattle’s grunge era, full of ripped jeans and coffee brained dreamers, and Bridget Fonda mooning over Matt Dillon from underneath the brims of 300 quirky hats. And most importantly, the soundtrack. A soundtrack that brought Paul Westerberg out of hiding, and compiled all the Northwest grunge heavy hitters into one punchy hour.

Today, Spin attempted to surmise what that classic soundtrack would look like if it was made today. And it was…good? Check it out here.

But, pardon me Spin, you don’t live here, do you? Because dude…I love Kurt Vile, but the guy is from Philly. No. So, yes, you went the route of modern youthful anthems, but I have some Northwest pride bubbling up from my chilly toes all the way to my rainy heart, and it must be SHARED.

If Singles was made in Seattle today, I can guarantee you’d want music inspired by all this wild green and blue bursting from every corner. Music that has rooted here (or in Portland, because Seattle and Portland seem to trade musicians on a daily basis, and I have no complaints), and has been informed by the gray spell of the Sound.

Grunge isn’t the sound on the Sound (yes, I finally did it) anymore. And when I imagine if Singles was shot in today’s Seattle, it wouldn’t be a duplicate. It’d be visiting those age-old themes of stumbling around, figuring out how exactly to be a grown up when you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. How dating works, what dating is, when it’s OK to call, not call, stalk, show up at their door when you’re nowhere near the neighborhood. And those themes are timeless, and deserve a soundtrack in every generation.

So here is my re-imagining. I encourage you to do the same. I kept “Drown” by Smashing Pumpkins because that song should never be separated from Singles. Also, Matt Dillon would cut his hair, Campbell Scott would have skinny jeans, Kyra Sedgwick would get bangs, but Bridget Fonda would stay exactly and perfectly the same.


Here is the original soundtrack:


1. “Would?,” Alice in Chains

2. “Breath,” Pearl Jam

3. “Seasons,” Chris Cornell

4. “Dyslexic Heart,” Paul Westerberg

5. “The Battle of Evermore,” The Lovemongers

6. “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns,” Mother Love Bone

7. “Birth Ritual,” Soundgarden

8. “State of Love and Trust,” Pearl Jam

9. “Overblown,” Mudhoney

10. “Waiting for Somebody,” Paul Westerberg

11. “May This Be Love,” Jimi Hendrix

12. “Nearly Lost You,” Screaming Trees

13. “Drown,” The Smashing Pumpkins


And here is my new one, hosted on Spotify:


Who would you put on your Singles in 2012 soundtrack? Tell us in the comment section!

August 30, 2012

My Most Anticipated Acts of Bumbershoot


Don't Talk to the CopsPhoto: Josh Lovseth
Don't Talk to the Cops

Lots of good things happening at Bumbershoot this year. When was the last time Jane’s Addiction played in Seattle? Does anyone remember that Porno for Pyros song “Tahitian Moon”? Were you there? Did they play “Mountain Song”?


Don’t Talk to the Cops (1pm on Fisher Green Stage) – A few weeks ago a reader berated me saying that Don’t Talk To The Cops are trash terrible. I disagree. For those out there who still aren’t sold on this charismatic group, you have to see them at least three times minimum. I promise by the third time you’ll finally understand what you failed to comprehend the previous two performances. Yeah, I drink coffee, so back up off me, bitch. You can send all thank you notes and haikus paying tribute to the song “Big Ass Head” to the following address:

Polecat (1:30pm The Promenade) - I saw Polecat at the High Dive this spring and I thought they put on one hell of a show. A friend of mine begged to differ. He had to leave because, “This band is playing reggae shit that is my kryptonite.” I didn’t want to be responsible for the death of Superman so I trusted his words. Later that night a stranger asked me if I knew what clogging was. It was a weird night. Polecat aren’t reggae and they aren’t the kind of music that one would clog to. They are an amalgam of all things groove oriented in Bellingham. Are you into bluegrasscelticfolkreggaeamericanacountryjams? If that’s the case, I think this band is going to blow your mind.

Unnatural Helpers (1:45pm Sub Pop Stage) – A couple of years ago this band wrote my favorite song of the year. I’ll always be grateful to them for penning a tune that represents 98% of my brain activity. Sunshine and pretty girls.

Missy Higgins (1:45 Bumbershoot Main Stage) – I think we should all give this Australian singer/songwriter our undivided attention for the suffering she has endured opening up for Gotye on a recent. Can you imagine hearing “Somebody I Use to Know” on an every single night? Brutal. If I see anyone I know at Gotye I am going to capture them in a giant burlap sack normally meant for potatoes and throw them in the back of my trunk.

Black Breath (2:45 Exhibition Hall Stage) – I have been in Black Breath detox all year. I saw this band so much in 2010 and 2011 that something had to be done. If I am exposed to a band too often I begin to resent their music. Clearly something is wrong with me. I haven’t even heard Black Breath’s  ”new” album yet. Honesty, I am frightened it won’t be as good as Heavy Breathing and my affections for this group will wane dramatically. I can be a coward in more ways than you can possibly imagine.

Sera Cahoone (3:30 Sub Pop Stage) – Arguably the most calming voice in Seattle. This isn’t a snide remark, I am being serious.

Eyehategod (6:15pm Exhibition Hall) – Sludge metal from the Big Easy. Not to be confused with Virginia’s Lamb of God. Out of all the acts performing this weekend, I am looking forward to this and Tony Bennett the most. Maybe they’ll perform together? At Bumbershoot anything can happen….

Jane’s Addiction (9:30pm Main Stage) – Duh.


Why? (1pm Exhibition Hall Stage) – A couple of years ago when I was a young man, eager to don an apron at Pasta and Company in the U-Village when I use to work at Pasta and Company, my co-worker would always play Alopecia on repeat throughout the morning. At the time I can’t say I had heard anything like it. I don’t say that because the music was incredibly innovative (although it was). I make that remark because if you stepped outside of the kitchen and into the front of the store, you were bombarded with adult contemporary crap and “rich people” jams. “Oh, is that Joni Mitchell playing somewhat audibly? I use to protest Vietnam before you were born, now I protest poor people. I’ll take 20 pounds of that $32.95 per/lb petite filet. My retired racing greyhound is hungry.” I haven’t heard Alopecia since. Why do I do this to myself? What pleasure can I possibly derive from failing to buy albums I already know I like? I did that for almost the entirety of high school to Lifetime’s Jersey’s Best Dancers. I need a shrink.  

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (1:45pm Main Stage) – One of the premiere acts of this contemporary “soul revival” that everyone is really into these days.

Tony Bennett (3:15pm Main Stage) – For all you young folks out there that aren’t familiar with this legend, let me contemporize his greatness for you in a jejune language that you can understand. Tony Bennett* was in a movie with Gwenyth Paltrow in which he sang a duet with her. The name of that movie was called “Duets.” Gwenyth Paltrow is married to Chris Martin. Chris Martin is friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Mr. Martin is also the frontman in Coldplay. How many of you remember Coldplay? Many blank faces.

In other words, Tony Bennett is a member of the illuminati by six degrees of separation in relation to Jay-Z and Beyonce.

Yelawolf (4pm Fisher Green Stage) – I don’t much about this cat except that he’s from Alabama and I get hyped to this song. I’m wondering if he’ll be the “Jay Electronica” of this year’s Bumbershoot (read: slightly under the radar, shows up and crushes all other mic grippers that perform this weekend).

Fruit Bats (5pm Sub Pop Stage) –  I haven’t heard tracks from the album Tripper but I am looking forward to hearing them this weekend. I’ve never seen a sub-par Fruit Bats performance. Never.

The Promise Ring (6:15pm Exhibition Hall Stage) – I can write millions thousands hundreds of trillions of words about this band. Some would be positive. Some would be negative. As of right now, I am only going to say one thing. If they’re too cool to play “E. Texas Ave” I am going to throw a multitude of footwear at their visages. I’m taking my size 12′s and they are going to land right between the eyes of Davey von Boehlen. Then I am taking your flip flops and I am tossing them at the drummer whose name I don’t recall. If any of you are planning on wearing heels (To a music festival? Do you masochist much?), please let me know so that I can make proper use of them.

Mudhoney (6:45pm Sub Pop Stage) – Duh.

Big Sean (8:15pm Main Stage) – 313 in the house! Straight from the D! Not Dallas, that’s Big D That’s all I have to say about that.

Mac Miller (9:45pm Main Stage) – This guy was born in 1992! How ancient are you feeling right now!?! Steel City’s finest if you ask me (in comparison to the young man who was at Bumbershoot last year, Wiz Khalifa).


July 17, 2012

Capitol Hill Block Party Run-Down


Fresh Espresso ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Plebeian Paradise, it’s so good to see you again. It’s been about a year but every July you come to Seattle, sashshaying your way into the conscious of local residents who then proceed to complain to me about how awesome it used to be before I moved here who then in turn show up in droves to populate the aforementioned metropolitan arcadia despite their reservations. It’s a vicious cycle of self-hatred, sunburn and inebriation. I suppose I should include the concept of “fun” or “enjoyment” in there, but we all know that simply does not occur.  Patrons of summer festivals, would you have it any other way? Block Party, what will you be wearing this year? I’d bet a sixpence on a can of PBR that has been sitting in the trunk of a 1993 Honda Accord all day that it will be the following:

Dudes – Tight blue jorts that your kid sister would have worn when she was nine years old and imitating Clarissa Explains It All, a graphic t-shirt with a picture of a “fierce” animal on the front (Grizzly Bear, Grey Wolf or Golden Retriever all accepted) and white Keds (no laces, duh). You can substitute the animal shirt for something that Pee Wee Herman might wear, that is allowed.

Ladies – Thrift store Jordache jorts that make your butt look like you gave yourself a wedgie for a good 40 minutes before you left your house (you can’t spell “summertime figure” without “sheeplike faux modesty”), a brightly colored blouse that looks like it was attacked by moths and boots that Burt Reynolds wore on the day of his famous Cosmopolitan shoot. Yes, you can substitute the blouse for a bevy well placed cigarette burns. That’s totally cool with me.

Oh my god, don’t forget your sunglasses.

As far artists and recommendations go, you can either look at the official lineup/schedule here or you can heed the advice of Sound on the Sound’s own Kathleen Tarrant and follow her recommendations.

As for what I’m looking forward to, continue reading at your own peril.


June 10, 2012

“I will try and know whatever I try, I will be gone but not forever”



Cumulus ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The real truth about it is no one gets it right The real truth about it is we’re all supposed to try

- “Farewell Transmission”

For those who gathered on stage and off Tuesday night at The Barboza to honor the contributions that Jason Molina has made to all of our lives, the feeling in the room was distinctly different from nearly every benefit show I’ve attended. Those that I spoke with almost all had a personal story to relate about what Molina’s music meant to them, or having met the man himself in past years. He and his bands have provided inspiration for so many, and for many others at a critical time in our lives his songs were an indication that we were not alone in our deepest of miseries.

I walked in on Bellingham’s Keaton Collective tearing through a set of Magnolia Electric Company jams, the three electric guitars ably matching the density of the original songs. Someone remarked that the covers up to this point had been pretty straight. I responded that though that might be so, and as much as we’re drawn to his lyrical output, for over a decade Molina has been also cultivating a muscular guitar-driven aesthetic that at least to my mind wasn’t simply a retread of the previous three decades. That the Keaton Collective were reverently flexing their own muscles in this way felt right. As the night went on though, bands who weren’t equipped with all those axes began taking more liberties to customize their covers while still meeting the substance of the songs head on.

Prior to Cataldo’s set, benefit organizer Mark Baumgarten related that he’d received a call the day before, and that none other than Molina himself was on the end of the line wanting to send his appreciation for everyone’s concern and efforts. Then the reading of a message of assurance and thanks that Molina had later posted to Facebook marked a public acknowledgement of our concern that amounted to a strange moment of triumph and a lifting of the spirits in the room that I’ve never experienced at a benefit show like this. I think everyone just wanted to know Jason was okay, and now we do.

The generally acoustic Cataldo appropriately seized the energy of the moment, lead singer Eric Anderson at times bouncing around on stage and singing with more grit than we ever see from his mellow acoustic pop outfit. Their chosen four songs represented a batch of what I think are some of Molina’s most iconic in both sound and state of mind. The opening duo of “The Dark Don’t Hide It” into “Doing Something Wrong” are two of my all-time favorites, and when sung by Anderson it seemed like they could’ve been written by him and come from the same cycle of songs as his most recent record Prison Boxing (Sound on the Sound’s #4 Best Northwest Record of 2011). Closing with “Farewell Transmission” Cataldo delivered the song of the night, in that moment fully transforming from a subtle pop band into psych experimentalists.

Headliner Pickwick’s two songs were both deep cuts they’d reworked, and by their treatment you’d never know they were a soul band. Still present was the dark cloud, but they’d taken liberties and were going full on psych, a lot like they did for a Damien Jurado cover earlier this year. Their first song saw almost the entire band in a percussion role and getting weird, working on a throbbing rhythm with wood block and cowbell for the entire length. After telling a nice story about how Molina’s music brought this band closer together, the night’s closer of “Pyramid Electric Company” saw the six going on a full on acid trip (see the video of the story and the song below) channeling something like a Fear of Music era David Byrne and Co doing “Memories Can’t Wait.” They keep warning me that their new record won’t be quite like what anyone expects. Their approach to this song is the strongest indicator of that impending change yet.

A huge thanks goes to Mark Baumgarten for making this happen. It was a night for the ages. A full setlist of songs is below the fold.




Cumulus ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Mark Baumgarten reads a message from Jason Molina himself ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Cataldo ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Jason Dodson ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Ben Fisher ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Cumulus and Ben Fisher ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Pickwick ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


Pickwick ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth


April 4, 2012

The Blue Moon Celebrates 78 Years with Five Nights of Shows


We Wrote the Book on Connectors at The Blue Moon ::: photo by Abbey

We’ve had some of the most memorable nights of our show going lives at The Blue Moon. And certainly some nights we wished we remembered more of too. And with 78 years under their belt, the same must be true for countless folks and Seattle’s beloved Blue Moon.

As they do every April, The Moon is celebrating their anniversary with a string of shows and we highly suggest you check out Seattle’s best dive bar and raise a glass to toast its continued existence. In an industry and city where surviving 10 years is a milestone, inching up on a century is unheard of. While all five nights have their own unique spin and celebrate different aspects of the Moon’s history, we suggest getting there early on Saturday April 14th for secret headliners “The Everett Shitkickers,” who we first saw at The Blue Moon many moons ago and who we’ve seen play some of their most memorable sets on the stage, under a variety of names.

Here’s the full rundown of the anniversary celebrations:

APRIL 12 : Diminished Men, Corespondents, Prom Queen – $6 APRIL 13 : We Wrote The Book On Connectors, The Fabulous Downey Brothers, Shitty Dudes – $6 APRIL 14 : The Everett Shitkickers, Mystery Ship, Deception Past – $8 APRIL 15 : Grateful Dead Tribute Show with Kuli Loach – $5 APRIL 16 : Opera On Tap – Live Opera By Professional Singers! – $5

Happy Anniversary Blue Moon and here’s to 78 more!

January 23, 2012

Fleet Foxes and The Head and the Heart visited Austin City Limits



With the Fleet Foxes wrapping up their final shows in Japan last week and having fulfilled their contract for Sub Pop, their future as an entity for the short term and long term is uncertain. The gentlemen of Fleet Foxes will hardly go missing though. Josh Tillman is now FATHER JOHN MISTY with a soon be announced record on Pop Bus Records. (Think about it.) Poor Moon is the new project of Foxes’ Christian Wargo and Casey Westcott who are similarly signed to Sub Pop and sounding a whole lot like the second coming of Crystal Skulls. Yes please!

Though we in the Northwest seem to be woefully out of the scheduling loop and have to wait until late February for actual TV airtimes on PBS of Austin City Limits, the internet provides us a way to keep the love going as PBS has made available online both Fleet Foxes and the Head and the Heart’s half-hour performances. Though too short for my liking, the prestigious 25 minutes above might be the best video document yet of the Foxes’ performance of Helplessness Blues, which we voted the strongest Northwest record of 2011. Headbanging at an upright? Oh yeah!

Check below the fold for an appearance by fellow Sub Pop band The Head and the Heart who apparently made their own splash at the adjunct Austin City Limits Festival in 2011.