December 23, 2009

Abbey’s Favorite Local Songs of 2009


The Moondoggies ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

These are the local songs I loved most during 2009. I can’t ennumerate the list, believe me I tried. My absolute favorites are at the top of the list, but once you get beyond the top five–I can’t really say what my 9th and 17th favorite songs are with a straight face.

What I can tell you is that these are all songs I played on repeat. That I know every word to. That I sang along to at shows. That mean something to me. That made me dance. That got stuck in my head. That I couldn’t wait to share with my friends and those of you that read the blog. If my 2009 was a mixtape, these would be the tracks.

* “What Took So Long” by The Moondoggies | download track courtesy of Luxury Wafers | * “Alamagordo” and “Step to the Sea” by The Ironclads | download track courtesy of The Ironclads | * “We Sing In Time” by The Lonely Forest | watch video from their sold out CD release show | * “Technicolor” and “Lita” by Nurses | download Technicolor | download Lita | * “Certainly Tonight” by Widower | watch video | * “Otherside” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis | download Vs. EP | * “Hard to Be” and “In Stitches” by David Bazan |watch video of In Stitches | * “Scorpio” by Dutchess and The Duke  | download Daytrotter session of Scorpio | * “Coast of Carolina” by Telekinesis | download track courtesy of Stereogum | * “For Now” by People Eating People | listen to the debut album in its entirety on Myspace | * “Lazer Beams” by Fresh Espresso | watch video | * “Young Hearts Spark Fire” by Japandroids download track courtesy of Spinner | * “Raindrops” by Grand Hallway | download track courtesy of KEXP | * “I Have Found (Redux)” and “Goodbye” by The Maldives | watch video of I Have Found | * “All Things To All People” and “Going Home Soon” by M. Bison | download track courtesy of Obscure Sound | * “The Running Kind” by Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers | download my other favorite Zoe song courtesy of KEXP | * “Go Easy On Me” by Goldfinch * “At the Cut” by The Cave Singers | download track courtesy of Matador Records | * “Magic Mountain” by Arthur & Yu (with The Moondoggies) | watch video | * “The Town” by Macklemore | watch video | * “This Happens Every Time” by What What Now * “I Was A River” by Pearly Gate Music | listen to a live KEXP session of I Was A River | * “Down The Road” and “Let Me Fall” by Final Spins | download tracks courtesy of LHB | * “Never Turnin’ Back” by Shane Tutmarc | watch video | * “My Volvo” by Grynch | watch video |

December 14, 2009

Our Favorite Photos of 2009: M. Bison



M. Bison ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Oh short sleeves, sunshine, and sunglasses you are but a distant memory. Thankfully, M. Bison is not. The band has just released their debut full length and are headlining a show this Thursday at The Sunset Tavern.

September 18, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches and Difficult Decisions — This Weekend in Seattle Shows


They Live! at Fremont Oktoberfest ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

This weekend provides an embarassment of riches and difficult decisions when it comes to musical choices. On the average weekend night in Seattle there are usually a couple shows tugging us in different directions, but Saturday’s musical options alone could make for a solid week of amazing shows. It’s further proof why I wouldn’t trade the Seattle music scene for anywhere else in the country. It’s a fucking conundrum which show to choose, for sure, but what a wonderful conundrum to have.

Here’s why there’s absolutely no excuse not to catch at least a couple shows this weekend:

The Black Whales at The Tractor Tavern ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Friday – September 18th

Dirty Three, Chris Brokaw — The Crocodile

Bobby Bare Jr., The Black Whales (CD Release Show) – The Tractor Tavern

Mad Rad  – Nectar

Monotonix at Neumos ::: photo by Abbbey Simmons 

Saturday September 19th

Monotonix, Black Eyes & Neckties (Last Seattle Show Ever) – Neumo’s

Local Natives, Final Spins – High Dive

Whore Moans, Police Teeth, High Class Wreckage – Sunset Tavern

They Live!, Champagne Champagne, & More – Fremont Oktoberfest

The Soft Pack – The Crocodile

Arctic Monkeys – The Showbox

Cosmic Panther Land Band  at The Sunset ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Sunday September 20th

M. Bison, Skeletons with Flesh on Them – Fremont Oktoberfest

Cosmic Panther Land Band (members of the Moondoggies & Maldives), Curious Mystery – Sunset Tavern (late show)

Beach House – Neumo’s

History for Sale – Sunset Tavern (early show)

July 15, 2009

Win Tickets To This Friday’s WE Prom at the Crocodile



Josh and Abbey at Prom (1999)

My 10 year high school reunion is upon me, and as I recall and as you can see, I didn’t care much for formal events. Prom though, even for the most resistant and anti-social among us, was an event few seniors decide to miss.  Unlike our prom in 1999, Abbey won’t have to drag me to this Friday’s WE Prom at the Crocodile. That the peeps of  WE Wrote the Book On Connectors haven’t quite left their adolescent years behind and want to host formal dances, should come as no surprise to anyone who is famliar with; so they seem the perfect hosts for what has become an annual Prom.

Happening this Friday at the Crocodile, the prom committee (the WE women) has plans aplenty to keep the fun going all night long. In addition to a balloon arch, portraits and voting on a prom queen and king, each band will be doing classic covers to fit the school dance mood and making sure there is plenty of opportunity for slow-dancing. WE says: “This show promises to get you laid, even if we have to do it ourselves.” Based on that statement alone the Prom’s theme: “Sweet Dreams,” only seems natural.

Courtesy of WE Wrote the Book on Connectors, we’ve got two tickets to give away to the prom. The first person to drop a comment that says they want this pair of tickets will get them.

So dress to the nines, get your lady a corsage, and rent a limo… you don’t want to arrive in your parent’s old beat-up Chevy Citation do you?

July 13, 2009

Night After Night: July 13th to the 19th


Black Eyes & Neckties Play The Comet July 19th ::: Photo by Abbey

Remember when I said not every week would have seven nights of recommended shows…? This is one of those weeks.

However, for most of the night’s that have recommendations, there are numerous pleasing possibilities. Looks like another week for some heated internal debates on which shows to attend.

Monday 7/13:

Who – So Many Dynamos, Police Teeth, Cast Spells Where – VERA Project How (Much) – 8$/7$ with Club Card Why- So Many Dynamos mathematic, energetic, angular, and infinitely danceable approach to indie rock is a perfect way to start the week with momentum.


Tuesday 7/14:

Who – The Girls Guide To Rocking Where – VERA Project, 7:30pm How (Much) – Free Why – Because in 2009, rock’n'roll is still a boys club. Books like The Girls Guide to Rocking and places like the VERA Project help encourage and teach girls to find their rightful place in rock.

Equally Awesome Alternatives: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone at HTFC Team Gina at Chop Suey


Wednesday 7/15:

Who - Jack Wilson and the Wife Stealers  Where - The Comet, 6pm   How (Much) – ? Why – If you like what bands like The Maldives and Widower are doing, it’s time for you to check out Jack Wilson and the Wife Stealers. Wilson is a pleasant addition to the burgeoning bearded Seattle-Twang song-writer sound.

Equally Awesome Alternatives: GMK at Nectar Lounge Tea Cozies, Devices at Tractor Tavern


Friday 7/17:

Who - WE Prom Featuring: We Wrote The Book On Connectors, M. Bison, Tennis Pro Where - The Crocodile How (Much) – 10$ Why – Because this is what Sweet Dreams are made of. Or at least, that’s the theme of this prom, which is guaranteed to suck 100x less than your actual Prom. There will be photos, formal wear, a balloon arch, and  few great local bands playing from their own catchy catalogs, as well as the promise of some classic Prom songs. Slow dance, anyone?

Equally Awesome Alternatives: The Metal Shakespeare Company at The Blue Moon The Sea Navy at The Comet Tavern The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, Blind Pilot at Marymoor Park


Saturday 7/18:

Who - Laura Veirs, Cataldo Where - The Crocodile How (Much) -  15$ Why – To spend a night with one of the Pacific Northwest’s most gifted lyricists and song-writers, Laura Veirs.  2007′s Saltbreakers is a quintessential Pacific Northwest album, so evocative of the surroundings that inspired the album, you can almost smell the damp salty cedar air.

Equally Awesome Alternatives: What What Now at Cafe Racer Death Cab for Cutie, the New Pornographers, Ra Ra Riot at Marymoor Park


Sunday 7/19:

Who - Helms Alee, Black Eyes & Neckties, Red Fang Where - The Comet Tavern, 9pm How (Much) – 8$ Why – You’d be hard pressed to find a stronger all-local hard rock bill. In spite of being on a Sunday, the sheer weight of rock and spectacle of this line up may actually leave The Comet in ruins.

Equally Awesome Alternative: Death Cab for Cutie, the New Pornographers, Ra Ra Riot at Marymoor Park


May 12, 2009

The What What Now 7″ Release Par-tay at Cafe Racer


What What Now ::: Portrait by Josh Lovseth

We headed down to the somewhat unconventional venue of Cafe Racer in the U-District last Friday to unwind and give a nod the release of What What Now‘s debut recording, a Limited Edition 7″ vinyl record, featuring what are probably four of my favorite punk dance jams this year so far, “Tired Head” foremost on that list. Before the first band had even begun the place was buzzing and the wait at the bar was a steady fifteen minutes (whether it should have been is another story). Multi-colored party hats were being passed around to the celebratory. Of those there were many. I got yellow.

Despite the simple PA setup of Cafe Racer, the Ironclads sounded about as good as I’ve heard yet. A house full of friends will bring up a band’s performance level a notch, and this was definitely the case considering What What Now’s intense display of devotion going on in the front row; over their recent tour I’m told some strong friendships were forged. “Alamagordo” was probably stuck in my head for three days straight afterward.

By What What Now’s set time, they had overwhelmed Cafe Racer with friends, being able to get physical glass of beer from the bar, much less even up to the bar, was a matter of luck and timing. Backed by a framed visage of Jesus made of Peeps, the band setup their gear, but also made sure the fans had their own equipment, handing out more hats and some party poppers to activate when a happy moment strikes.

Singer/guitarist Brittain provides the lyrics for What What Now’s songs, his raspy delivery the voice of a punk romantic just trying to make his way in this crazy world. Backed by close friends, his somewhat ADD personality has been tamed into a package of what I’ve come to think is intentionally dance music, and accompanied by a PBR tall-boy it’s a recipe for a bit of unbridled fun. The two tracks off side A of their debut 7 inch “Things I Can’t See” and “My Prayer” achieve that goal quite well, with side B track “Tired Head” coming off as the song of the night for me. Look for a digital copy of the EP to emerge sometime soon.

M Bison closed out the night with a late set of originals that included a number of new songs which they are committing to tape as I write. Speaking to guitarist Jeff before the set, he wanted to get across that they’ve grown as a band, and he hopes that new the material showed that they’ve been more expansive in their sonic goals for the new stuff, and probably won’t simply come off as “pop” (which I think we can all safely say they have down pat at this point). My new favorite of the bunch was a song that had a chorus referencing Couer d’Alene of all places.

What What Now plays Seattle next at the Comet on May 30 supporting One Million Teeth, Mythological Horses and Saucy Yoda

What What Now ::: Photo by Abbey

The Ironclads ::: Photo by Josh

The Ironclads (assisted by What What Now) ::: Photo by Abbey

M Bison :::: Photo by Josh

Flickr: The What What Now 7″ Release Party at Cafe Racer with M Bison and the Ironclads, May 9, 2009

April 30, 2009

This is gonna be a fun Friday night



Three Sound on the Sound favorites on one all-ages bill! And a new 7-inch! Oh snap!

(P.S. I love Tara‘s cut and paste posters!)

April 17, 2009

M BISON live from the bow, at the High Dive tonight


M Bison: Take 1 from Seattle Weekly on Vimeo.

M BISON did a ferry session with the Weekly to promote their show tonight, and I thought the song turned out pretty well. It’s called “Take 1″ and features keyboardist Brian Kinsella really rocking out the Melodica.

High Dive Presents

M. Bison Scarlet Room Man Rockwell The Raggedy Anns

Charge: $7 Time: 9pm

February 27, 2009

Prom is Cancelled!


No fair–they totally cancelled prom! And We didn’t do anything wrong, it’s totally the economies fault.

Next week’s WE Prom featuring M. Bison and Tennis Pro had to be cancelled because the venue (King Cobra) shut down abruptly. Sound on the Sound was planning on donning their very best formal wear, a rare site indeed, and these are three great local bands and it was certain to be a wonderful, weird night–so we’re pretty bummed. No one throws a party like WE, so we hope Prom is able to find another venue.

If so, economy be damned–we’re buying corsages!

November 18, 2008

M. Bison


Since the first time I heard them, I’ve been trying to figure out who M. Bison sounds like. I finally figured it out at their show on Saturday.




M. Bison photo by Abbey

The equation is: Weezer Blue Album + Ben Folds Five = M. Bison

That’s my deduction and I am sticking to it.