August 9, 2011

So, Most of You Are Not Going to Doe Bay Fest …


Gold Leaves ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

… and you’ve still got an awesome weekend of music waiting for you.

Here’s what I’d be seeing if I was gonna be in town this weekend. Including two shows it physically pains me to miss Friday: Gold Leaves at the Mural Amphitheater in the shadow of the Space Needle for FREE, and our show of the week See Me River, Blood Red Dancers and Le Sang Song at the Rendezvous, which promises to be a lecherous night of sweaty rock’n'roll and a line-up with nothing but excellent bands. Please get trashed there for me, but not so drunk that you can’t report back and tell me how awesome it was.

Thursday August 11th:

Moya, Blyss, Tavana – Skylark Frank Fairfield, Water Tower Bucket Boys, Red Dog – Columbia City Theater Seattle Tattoo Expo After Party feat. The Fucking Eagles, Steel Tigers of Death – Neumo’s

Moya by nimbus510

Friday August 12th:

Seapony, Gold Leaves, Math & Physics Club – KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural (FREE, 6pm) See Me River, Blood Red Dancers, Le Sang Song – The Rendezvous The American Girls, Andrew Vait, John Craig & the Weekend – Comet Tavern Jon Pontrello – Conor Byrne Blvd Park, Ashia Grzesik, Eliza Rickman, Bat Country – Columbia City Theater Seattle Tattoo Expo After Party feat. The Sword, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Curse Of The North – Neumos

Saturday August 13th:

The Pharmacy, Heavy Hawaii, Plateaus – The Comet Seattle Tattoo Expo After Party feat. High On Fire, Lesbian, Deadkill – Neumos

Monday August 15th:

Land of Pines, Pollens – Chop Suey

July 24, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure: Capitol Hill Block Party Day 2


Blood Red Dancers ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

“We’ve come a long way together…through the hard times and the good…”

You begin your day with three other people sardined into your twin-size bed and a Fatboy Slim song blasting on your alarm clock radio. Who knew the Fruit Bats would be Seattle’s best aphrodisiac? I’m not saying anything happened with you and the other actors from last night’s dramatic play, but I’m not saying nothing happened either.  Someone from a small mid-western town might call you “godless” and that’s fine. Let them think what they want to think. Do you want to know what I call you? The first person on my Evite list…

You throw on your 3rd favorite pair of jeans and get ready for Day 2 of Block Party. It starts earlier than yesterday so you’re going to have to pace yourself. You grab a sharpie and scrawl “pace yourself” into the palm of your hand, forgetting that you’ll probably wash your hands about 90 times over the course of the day. This is not a good omen as far as your liver and kidneys are concerned.  That’s ok, vital organs take a backseat to Block Party, that’s a given. You make your way to Block Party…

What isn’t a given is how you’ll begin Block Party.  Do you want to dance with the Redwood Plan at the Main Stage? Or do your eyes and ears want to feast on Seattle’s latest darlings, the Head and the Heart, at the Vera Stage? Booty shaking, sweaty rhythmic fun or you hugging yourself and tapping your foot for 40 minutes? Tough decision on a Saturday afternoon. You spend a couple minutes frozen in place and unable to decide. Just then you come up with the unique tiebreaker of “Which group might have less annoying fans enjoying their performance?”

You find yourself enjoying the Head and the Heart for the first time. This isn’t the ideal setting for a band like the Head and the Heart to make their first impression but they are blowing you away nonetheless. The Vera Stage has been quite kind to you thus far during the festival. You smile the entire duration of the Head and the Heart’s set while the sun kisses your skin. Is this heaven or is this Iowa? You see no signs of Moonlight Graham or “Shoeless” Joe Jackson; you conclude that you are in heaven…at least for the time being.

The Head and the Heart end their set and you’re left with yet another decision to make. Do you want to stick around the Vera Stage and see the energetic rock n’ roll of Cold Lake? You’ve seen them before at the Black Lodge and they were an entertaining bunch. You could continue on your mellow journey and voyage to Neumo’s to see Beach Fossils.  You’re unsure whether or not to make a commitment to Beach Fossils because they are from Brooklyn. You’re currently boycotting all musical acts from that part of the universe. Your grandfather has also never forgiven Brooklyn for letting the Dodgers leave in 1958. He’s convinced that if the Dodgers never left for Los Angeles, people who currently live in L.A. wouldn’t be so annoying. You beg to differ but sometimes the grudges of your father’s father are too hard to overcome…

Even though you hate the Main Stage audience with absolute passion, you decide to go see Obits instead of Cold Lake and Beach Fossils. Upon your arrival you realize that you broke your boycott of Brooklyn but you make excuses for your hypocrisy. Rick Froberg was in Drive Like Jehu, which is not just one of the best bands to ever come out of San Diego; they were one of the best bands ever. There you go, your loophole is now big enough for an elephant to fit through. The only bad thing about rocking out to Obits at the Main Stage is that you’re missing out on My Goodness at Cha Cha. My Goodness churns out sweaty blues in a big way and would be perfect to see at Cha Cha. However, they gig in Seattle more often than Obits, you’ll just have to suffer through this blown opportunity. You vow to see My Goodness in a few weeks at Chop Suey.

Obits was enjoyable but in order to avoid the point when the Main Stage audience turns into a herd of cattle, you leave Obits when they are about to play their last song. You make your way to Neumo’s to try to catch the last few songs of the Drowning Men

You arrive in Neumo’s utterly flabbergasted and disappointed. It’s not that the Drowning Men are bad; it’s just that you confused their moniker with legendary Burlington, Vermont hardcore band, Drowningman. You were hoping to lose face to “Condoning the Use of Inhalants” and “When People Become Numbers” but instead you got digestible indie rock. You conclude there’s enough indie rock on this earth that is easy on the ears and you don’t want anymore. You leave Neumo’s and watch scores of people enjoy the Drowning Men as you exit…

Still bitter from your indie rock let down, you decide to go to the Cha Cha to try and catch a few songs of the Blood Red Dancers. On your way over you buy a hip-hop CD from some stranger at a negotiable price. You don’t ever plan on listening to the CD but you feel good knowing that you’ve supported local music…

The Blood Red Dancers are good and seem to thrive in the close quarters of the Cha Cha.  This band reminds of you of the bands Firewater and Morphine even though they sound don’t sound like either. Blood Red Dancers play the song “Sweetie’s Getting Robbed” and you think to yourself what an awesome tramp stamp that would make for that one girl at work that you don’t like. The Blood Red Dancers have turned the Cha Cha into afternoon sweat-fest. You get tired of the gym locker room vibe and decide to leave Block Party for a short period of time…

As you make your way to Cal Anderson Park you run into some old friends walking towards the entrance of Block Party. You convince them that it would be a good idea to go to Molly Moon’s for some ice cream. You crack a smile as you are reminded of that special moment in Fugazi’s “Instrument” when Ian Mackeye chastises an audience member for getting too rowdy. “Ice cream eating motherfucker…” You think of it as being one of the greatest moments in western civilization. The gods in the sky just think of it as foreshadowing…

After waiting in line for “a goddamn long time” (direct quote from one of your friends), you purchase some Maple Walnut in a cone and lick away. Delicious. Everything is right in the world. You’re with friends on a pristine summer day in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying music and being hedonistic. You would like to capture this moment in a time capsule and open it up some time in the distant future. Licking your ice cream, walking on the sidewalk, enjoying conversation, minding your business…

Fight breaks out and you’re caught in the middle. Just like that awful U2 song, you’re stuck in a moment and can’t get out of it. Strangers unexpectedly decide to come to blows. Your ice cream ends up all over your clothes as you seek shelter from the melee. The fight doesn’t last that long because cops are stationed right around the corner. You make your way to the entrance of Block Party as the police officers arrest the two men. You’re pissed about your ice cream. You keep in mind not to punch anyone in the face while inside; if you do you’ll soon share the fate of those two men…

The only thing you want to hear right now is Black Breath at the Vera Stage. They bring the kind of heavy aggression that will make one forget that they have ice cream all over them. As you make your way to the Vera Stage you keep your fingers crossed and hope they play “I Am Beyond” or “Unholy Virgin.” Without question this will be the most crushing set of the entire weekend…maybe even the entire summer. Throughout the set you make sure to give the “devil horns” sign as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio who just passed recently.

After your dessert catharsis courtesy of Black Breath, you take a look at your Block Party schedule and are unsure of what to do next. You think about giving Neumo’s another shot but you’re not even sure who is playing there. As your eyes make their way across the schedule, you notice !!! just got started not too long ago on the Main Stage. They’ve been a band a long time, you’re kind of surprised that they are still around and wouldn’t mind going to see them. Suddenly you remember what a pain in the ass it is to Google their name and decide against it.  This is the age we live in, where we hand down judgments based on search engine results. Besides you haven’t gotten your fix of hip-hop today (remember those bumper stickers from Day One?).  You decide to stick around for the Hip-Hop showcase at the Vera Stage featuring Grynch, Spaceman and State of the Artist

After the Hip-Hop Showcase at the Vera Stage is over with, you decide that hip-hop can’t fail in a festival setting. You’ve never seen Grynch perform live before but he killed it as expected. You were completely unfamiliar with State of the Artist before this night but you’ll keeping an eye out for their future dates as well…

Now you’re faced with a great problem, a blessing of sonic proportions. There’s potentially four or five acts you want to catch by the end of the night and if you are fleet of foot, you’ll be able to see every last one of them…

You leave the Vera Stage and make your way to Neumo’s to see Past Lives. They play the kind of weird shit that you are in to. Plus they have this really cool t-shirt that you’ve been thinking about buying. While Past Lives are between songs you peek your head out of the side door of Neumo’s to catch a glimpse of Blonde Redhead on the Main Stage.  Every time you peer out, you think to yourself “Is that really Blonde Redhead playing the Main Stage at Capitol Hill Block Party?” Believe it mammal, it most certainly is. What other stage would they play? Exactly…

Before Past Lives can finish their set at Neumo’s, you make your way back to the Vera Stage to see Seattle’s favorite pocket sized orchestra, Grand Hallway. The last time you saw them was at Neumo’s with the Moondoggies and you thought they were amazing. The Vera Stage will prove to be kind to both Grand Hallway and all its spectators…

After Grand Hallway plays four songs (no more, no less) you will decide that this beautiful music is causing you to be too introspective. You conclude that your life is like an airplane stuck on the runway filled with a bunch of bitchy passengers. It’s not a good feeling. You need a different distraction.  You head to Cha Cha to see Feral Children

The sounds coming from downstairs at Bimbo’s make the descent down the stairwell to Cha Cha feel like House of Leaves. It’s not the sound of the music; you’ve had too much to drink and not enough to eat. You reach the bottom of the stairs just as Feral Children begin to play “Kid Origami.” This means a lot to you because that song has been stuck in your head for the last six months. Now that you’ve witnessed the song once again in person, you can sleep without the night terrors that have haunted you for so long. A good pop song can do that to you…

Feeling free of your night terrors, you leave Cha Cha and head back to the Main Stage to catch Atmosphere, a true veteran of the indie rap game. At one point in your life God Loves Ugly was a favorite album of yours. Considering your love of that album, your surprised you never saw Atmosphere before or since it came out…

July 8, 2010

Like it Local and Loud? You’ll Love The Cha Cha’s CHBP Line-Up


Wild Orchid Children at the Cha Cha – CHBP 2008 ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Just when you thought you didn’t have that many scheduling dilemmas for this years Capitol Hill Block Party, comes the Cha Cha’s CHBP line-up and it certainly complicates my plans. For me, it’s not really Capitol Hill Block Party without a set in the underground sauna that is the Cha Cha, a place that all but guarantees a hedonistic, sweaty time with an awesome local soundtrack.

In terms of up and coming local talent, the Cha Cha is as stacked as any other stage during this years Block Party. There are only a few sets all weekend at the Cha Cha that I wouldn’t be eager to check out. The line-up is a well-balanced mix of bands I know are great live (Blood Red Dancers, My Goodness, Feral Children, Helms Alee) and bands that I’ve yet to see but have only heard good things about from people I trust (The Young Evils, Spurm, and Absolute Monarchs). If you like it local and loud, it definitely looks like the Cha Cha is the place to be for this year’s CHBP. Here’s the complete Cha Cha Capitol Hill Block Party Schedule:

Friday July 23rd:

5:45 – The Young Evils 6:45 – Modern Athletics 7:45 – The Absolute Monarchs 8:45 – Hairvest 9:45 – Helms Alee

Saturday July 24th:

3:45 – My Goodness 4:45 – Spurm 5:45 – Blood Red Dancers 6:45 – Born Anchors 7:45 – Virgin 8:45 – SK 9:45 – Feral Children

Sunday July 25th:

2:45 – Wet Paint DMM 3:45 – MK speed dial 4:45 – A Million Years Ago 5:45 – Constant Lovers 6:45 – Nazca Lines 7:45 – Aveo

March 11, 2010

Celebrate Birthdays and Blog-a-Versaries with Ear Candy and Back Beat Seattle this Weekend


It’s a weekend of celebration for fellow music bloggers and friends: Ear Candy and Back Beat Seattle. Both blogs are celebrating milestones with some kick ass local bills and you could make a full weekend of their shows alone.


First up on Friday night is Back Beat Seattle. Back Beat is celebrating the site’s one year anniversary with a genre bending banner bill at The Blue Moon with Blood Red Dancers, THEESatisfaction and What What Now.

Meanwhile, Ear Candy has a double header of sponsored shows this weekend. Saturday they’ll be celebrating at The Sunset with a great bill featuring People Eating People, We Wrote The Book on Connectors and Spanish for 100. Not only will you be enchanted by Nouela Johnston, you should hear the Ear Candy Theme Song, as We Wrote the Book on Connectors were commissioned to write it.


Ear Candy’s celebrations continue on Sunday night with the official Ear Candy Birthday party at The Nectar for a weekend ending dance party. Imploring to shake your ass for Ear Candy will be No Fi Soul Rebellion, Katie Kate, Lisa Dank and Queerbait!.


Happiest Anniversary to Back Beat and happiest birthday to Travis Hay of Ear Candy. Here’s to many more years of blogging and supporting local music!

November 16, 2009

Blood Red Dancers At The Blue Moon


Blood Red Dancers ::: all photos by Abbey Simmons

Saturday night Blood Red Dancers celebrated the release of their EP Bikini Island with a gritty, brooding set of their brand of the blues at The Blue Moon. Blood Red Dancers specialize in dark, raw drinking songs delivered with powerful performances from each member of the trio. Singer and bassist Aaron Poppick growls and spits his words like a curse, while drummer Kevin T. Lord looks like he knows a hundred ways to kill a man with his sticks. It’s all bridged by the piano playing of Julian Thomas, who skillfully molds the mood from spooky psychedelic to dirty delta blues to Depression-era Southern gospel.

Blood Red Dancers by no means put on a flashy performance, but it is very much in your face. It’s rock’n'roll that still feels dangerous. It’s tunes you’re drinking whiskey to, but if the world was fair, and it never is, you would be drinking moonshine. It’s leering at you and is just as ready to fight you, as it is  ready to sling an arm around you and whistle at passing pretty girls.   It’s tormented and taut, and if you haven’t seen them yet — you should really remedy that. But do it at a dive, do it at a place like the Blue Moon or the Comet or the Funhouse, where you can stand toe-to-toe with the band and look the devil in the eye.

Julian of Blood Red Dancers ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Blood Red Dancers ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Blood Red Dancers With Blue Moon Percussion Accompaniment ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

See More Photos from: Blood Red Dancers EP Release Show at The Blue Moon – November 14, 2009

November 13, 2008

The Daily Choice: Pale Young Gentlemen @ The Comet


I stumbled upon Pale Young Gentlemen a long while back thanks to a fairly negative review from Pitchfork, and was convinced for a short period of time that these swaggering hooligans would be the next big thing.  I even convinced my record label friends to listen to them, but they shook their hipster heads and claimed that it wasn’t “bearded” enough … or something.  But, I promise you this, if you can sit through their self-titled release without breaking in to a grin, or being able to fight off the urge to grab a bosomy barmaid and swing her too and fro, you’re a better person than I.

Luckily for everyone, these balls of energy are playing tonight at one of my favorite booze-soaked venues, The Comet.  Not only are these guys great, though I’ve never heard anything of their live show, but they’re playing with Blood Red Dancers who are getting some serious local press as of late.

If anything you can drink yourself in to a blind stupor, throw up on the “pool table”, pass out in the pee trench in the pee-smelling bathroom and no one will even blink.  Gooooooooo The Comet.

Pale Young Gentlemen – Clap Your Hands