April 24, 2013

Timber! Adds Seven New Bands to Their First Fest


A couple months ago, we introduced you to Timber! the new festival from our friends at Artist Home, the hosts of Slack Fest and Doe Bay Fest. The new outdoor jamboree, will be held in Carnation, Washington on a sprawling 574 acre river-side park July 26th and 27th. (Yes, sadly, it will be held the same weekend as Capitol Hill Block Party … but we know someone will be excited to use our parking space on the Hill as we head to the country.)

Since we told you about Timber’s intention, they’ve began to announcing the big bands, who will be taking their small stages: Helio Sequence, Fruit Bats, Quasi, Hobosexual, Lemolo, Bryan John Appleby, River Giant …

Today, we’re thrilled to share seven new additions to the Timber! line-up. While Quasi, River Giant, Hobosexual and Kithkin will be making the tall trees shake, many of this week’s additions will ask festival goers to embrace the quiet of Carnation. Seattle singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen will be backed by the sweet sounds of the Passenger String Quartet, busker Ben Fisher returning to his roots, the beautiful bummer of S (Jenn Ghetto of Carissa’s Wierd), the awe-inspiring ache of Avians Alight and a name that might be new to you: Vikesh Kapoor. Kapoor’s protest poetry is so potent, he was asked to perform at Howard Zinn’s memorial. But it won’t be all singer-songwriters or shredding at Timber!, there’ll be some honky-tonk too. Also joining the line-up today is the return of Zoe Muth and Her Lost High Rollers and Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners, who’ll be burning down the barn … though, hopefully not literally, as they’ll be hosting a late night dance party in an old hayloft on the festival grounds.

We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with Timber! during their first year and to watch a new festival build from the ground up. There will a few more line-up announcements, so we’ll be sharing with them here and hoping your tents are close to ours this summer.

January 16, 2012

Bargain Bin Beauties: My Favorite Finds of 2011



2011 was the year of the record for me. Not a single collection of songs, but rather a physical entity and a format. When 2011 started, my record collection fit in a corner of a bookshelf. As 2011 ends my collection fills three full shelves, three empty boxes of cat food for 45s, organized by loose genres and alphabatized within collections: Pacific Northwest, Pre-War Blues & Jazz, Country and Folk, Post-Genre (New), Dance Party and my “Most Played” section so I didn’t have to debate what a “classic” was (and if a bad Ringo Starr record was a classic, because he’d been a Beatle). Last time I tried to count the records, I stopped near 400, having not even begun to touch my crammed 45s, and I realize this is just the beginning.

These are ten of my favorite finds over the last year of crate digging. What was your favorite find of 2011?

10. Dillard and Clark – Through The Morning, Through The Night Found: Sonic Boom – Ballard

Here’s why taking the time to comb through your local record stores is better than the instant satisfaction of buying your holy grail record online, beyond the whole supporting a local business. This out of print Dillard and Clark record goes for over $40 on sites like discogs and ebay, if you can find it, but if you patiently thumb through used bins, you might find an impeccable copy for $8. You also might yelp in excitement and frighten Sonic Boom browsers around you … but for this little known classic, it’s totally worth the embarrassment.

If it weren’t such an obscure record, I’d think it was seminal listening for anyone playing Ballard Avenue twang today. Featuring the duo of bluegrass banjo virtuoso Doug Dillard and original Byrd and country rock forefather, Gene Clark. At the forefront of what we now call “Americana”, Through The Morning, Through the Night is full of great original songs, traditionals like “I Bowed My Head and Cried Holy” and “Rocky Top” and perhaps my favorite Beatles cover ever, a down-tempo twang rendition of “Don’t Let Me Down.”


09. Numero Group #17: Eccentric Soul – The Deep City Label Found: Mississippi Records – Portland, Oregon

I’m kind of cheating on this inclusion, as I bought it brand new … but it is cover-to-cover all-killer, no-filler and if you ever see it at a record store forsake all other purchases and pick this one up. The price tag may seem a little steep, as most Numero Group releases do, but remember it is a double LP and it is worth every penny spent. Put this record on when you’re alone and its an instant, soul and booty shaking party. Put this record on when you’re not alone and its a make out soundtrack extraordinaire.

08. Arthur & Yu – Don’t Piss in the Fire Found: Everyday Music

With Grant Olsen’s latest project Gold Leaves being one of my most listened to albums of 2011, I was giddy to find this dreamy creamsicle colored Sub Pop single from his last project Arthur & Yu in the used bins. My find was confirmed as victorious by the nodding approval of the guy behind the counter, followed by a grumbling, “Damn, I wish I’d seen that first.”


07. Gene Clark – White Light Found: Twist and Shout Records – Denver, Colorado

After Greg Vandy recommended picking up this record on his excellent blog American Standard Time, I wasn’t the only vinyl lover who went looking for it in Seattle. Store after store, a perplexed clerk would tell me that I was the third or fourth person coming in to look for Gene Clark’s stellar second solo album and that no, they didn’t have it. So I was delighted when a gorgeous copy stared back at me in Denver’s cavernous Twist and Shout Records. White Light is a hidden classic and on it Clark helps invent what is known and loved now as “Americana” and cosmic country. It rambles at all the right places, like the cover of Dylan and The Bands “Tears of Rage” and the original songs that have inspired local bands like The Moondoggies and Sons of Warren Oates leave you wondering why Clark isn’t recognized as one of his generations finest songwriters. An album like White Light is ripe for a reissue and however you get your hands on it, even if it takes leaving the state, I recommend you do.

06. S – I’m Not As Good As You Found: Sonic Boom Records

Coming in at #7 on our 25 Favorite Northwest Records of 2010 and #4 on my personal list, finding a copy of the import only I’m Not As Good As You was a bit like discovering unicorns exist by stumbling on one in the wild. I had no idea this beautiful bummer was ever pressed to wax and while $18.99 was a bit steep for the reality of my bank account, there was no way this record wasn’t coming home with me. Because I’m Not As Good As You has only gotten better with time, more devastating in its honesty, more lovely in its loneliness. And were I writing that Best of 2010 list today, I would fight for it to be ranked much higher. Since her days with Carissa’s Wierd Jen Ghetto has been writing the best sad songs in all of Seattle, if not the country. She continues to do so solo as “S” and I’m Not As Good As You is equal parts heartbreak and stunner.

See my top five vinyl finds of 2011 (more…)

October 3, 2011

Jenn Ghetto Covers Ke$ha


Jenn Ghetto :: photo by Abbey Simmons

In addition to fronting Seattle’s finest Blink 182 cover band, Jenn Ghetto has recorded a rendition of Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok.” Yes, you read that correctly. No, no one slipped anything in to your morning coffee.

Best known as the whispery ache in Carissa’s Wierd and sad bastard solo artist “S”, it would seem Ghetto is also an unabashed lover of pop and probably an awesome karaoke buddy. At its best, Ghetto’s version of “Tik Tok” sounds like an “S” tune. When she quivers “you build me up, you break me down” it really does sound like one of her own tunes, but then she’s right back into that which is unmistakably Ke$ha, rapping softly “don’t stop make it pop, DJ blow my speakers up … ”

that ke$ha song by jenn ghetto

You can own Jenn Ghetto’s Ke$ha cover as it was just released as part of a small-press 7” split with exes, who covers a T.I. tune.

And this Thursday you can see Jenn sing her own songs. She’s opening for Betsy Olson on Thursday at Columbia City Theater. And maybe, she’ll play Tik-Tok or a Blink 182 cover amidst those sad songs we love so much.

September 29, 2011

My Most Played: September 2011


As for the first two tunes, my niece is due any day now, in fact she was due on Tuesday and in the weeks leading to her arrival, I’ve listened to these songs so many times BMI is going to start charging me. Tom Petty was right, the waiting IS the hardest part.

Tom Petty – “The Waiting” Justin Townes Earle – “Can’t Hardly Wait” Kelli Schaefer’s Doe Bay Session Been Here All My Days Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost Gem Club – Breakers Dan Mangan – “Leaves, Tree, Forest” Canon Bros – “Out of Here” Robin Bacior – Rest Our Wings Numero Group Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues Quiet Life – San Luis Opisbo Damien Jurado – “The Loneliest Place I’ve Ever Been is In Your Arms” Champagne Champagne’s Doe Bay Session Richard Swift – “Lady Luck” S – I’m Not As Good As You Avians Alight – s/t Apricot & the Beginners Sera Cahoone’s Doe Bay Session

The Lonliest Place I’ve Ever Been (Is In Your Arms) by saintbartlett

September 21, 2011

Bargain Bin Beauties: My Four Best Vinyl Finds Of August



In August, I admitted budgetary defeat and greatly limited my purchasing. So there are only four vinyl finds this month. A roadtrip south to Mississippi Records this month and a special column coming soon, I hope, make up for that.

1. Le Sang Song – s /t Where: Sonic Boom (Capitol Hill) How Much: $7.99 (and 25% off)

Since being introduced to Le Sang Song almost exactly a year ago, I’ve looked diligently for this vinyl only release every time I’ve combed the used bins or hit up a new local record store. Every record store clerk I’ve come into contact with over the last year has been asked about this record and all of them always told me they’d sold out of their copies and there was no plan on getting more in. So imagine my glee when a used copy in wonderful condition was staring back at me in the “New Used Arrivals” during my last visit to Sonic Boom’s Capitol Hill location.

A solo project of Craig Chambers formerly of The Lights, this self-titled release was recorded in 2007 but only released in 2010, it’s a record that’s hard to pinpoint with words. Finest Kiss describes the album well by saying it is “sparse and claustrophobic at the same time.” It does feel a bit like climbing the walls of an empty room, the same chord maddeningly struck on repeat in your brain — both hypnotically soothing and crazy tic-inducing. Folksy at times, sometimes soulfully sparse, it is always fucked up and more often than not, in a very good way. The record is worth buying for stand out track “War” alone, which sounds like some long lost classic … astounding in its perfection, but the rest of the record is no slouch either. If you ever see it in a used bin or if you see Le Sang Song on a bill, pony up the cash and check them out.

See the rest of my favorite vinyl finds (more…)

January 31, 2011

Sound on the Sound’s Top 25 Northwest Albums of 2010





We’ll be the first to admit this list is arriving, oh, at least a month late. On the other hand, 2010 was an expansive year for Northwest music in many regards and worthy of chronicling one last time with thoughtful and focused intention. So we hope you will see that the extra time we’ve given this piece has led to more in-depth reviews of each release in a way that a December 31st publish date didn’t allow. Hopefully you’ll read one of them and discover a great local record that you missed in 2010 proper.

Unlike some other lists who will cite being on a Northwest label as being a candidate for a “Best of the Northwest” list, ours only includes bands from and making music in the Northwest right now. We’ve expanded to include Vancouver to the north, south to Cottage Grove, west to Forks and east to (at least) Billings, however there’s no denying, our list is heavily Puget Sound area-centered, and mostly Seattle at that. We didn’t pay as close attention to Portland and Vancouver as we should have in 2010, something we plan on remedying in 2011.

With that please enjoy our take on the 25 most significant records we heard from the Pacific Northwest in 2010.




25. Fencess/t

“Clocking in just over 30 minutes, the long-awaited debut establishes it was worth the wait with the first strums of “Girls With Accents,” whose chorus of “I’m fucking up, I’m fucking up everything” is destined to become a teenage anthem. But this album isn’t just for moody teenagers. Fences sings sad songs filled with snide sweetness, self-deprecation and a confessional honesty that hits home to anyone whose been brave enough to admit they fucked up and flawed enough to do the same thing all over again.” [abbey]


24. Wild Orchid ChildrenAre Alexander Supertramp

Were you ever young? Nod your head “yes.” What did you do when you were young? I’m not talking elementary school age, that’s real kids stuff. Let’s focus on the beast that is adolescence. What did you do when you were young? Did you do what your parents told you? If so, you probably listen to (insert conventional musician using complex social analysis matrix here). Were you a bookworm or liked to secretly play with action figures even though you were probably too old for it? If so, you probably listened to Hum. (editor’s note: Hum totally rules…I swear I left the GI Joe’s alone.) Did you get inebriated in the woods behind a strangers house on the beer you kept buried in the ground, then had Roman Candle fights in a neighboring cul-da-sac? Did you go skating at night and drink beer out of your own Vans sneaker? Did you do acid and see thousands of David the Gnomes come parading out of your bathroom as you tried to sleep? If so, you probably listen to Wild Orchid Children.

That’s exactly what this album is like. It’s like lighting your friends’ parents roof on fire by accident then instead of calling 9-1-1, you decide to make Smores on the ashes. The insurance company has its eyebrows raised. Are you an arsonist? You tell them to fuck off go kick rocks. You are Alexander Supertramp. [Phil]



23. LesbianStratospheria Cubensis

Lesbian enjoys buttering up the listener with unassuming riffs at the beginning of their songs. Take the beginning Raging Arcania or Black Stygian for instance. The former being otherwordly while the latter is an obtuse delight. Eventually Lesbian decides your peace of mind is a bad joke and they’re not laughing. Insert weird metal breakdown here. Lesbian does something a lot of metal bands don’t but should. The band will throw in thrashy parts out of nowhere, creating quite the tempo shift. During these “brutal” fits, you would expect conventional usage of blast beats but Lesbian will not cave in to the needs of mundane metalheads across the globe. They stay true to their original outlandish form. After a few minutes of putting your mind in a blender, Lesbian decides that your pain bores them. The magical mushrooms that the band ingested before they decided to fuck-with-you-for-the-fun-of-it have worn off. They decide against taking you to Harborview because you don’t have insurance. They suture your skull back together with rusty, mostly heavier gauged guitar strings. That’s exactly what listening to this band is like. A prime example of this occasionally interrupted mayhem is the album’s title track. [Phil]


22. Language Arts & Def DeeGravity

Though it was a tough choice (a really tough choice) between the two full length albums LA put out this year (the other being Roll With The Winners with producer Blu-Ray), it may have been the warm feeling of nostalgia that surfaced while listening to Gravity that kept it on repeat for such a large part of the year. LA is arguably the most lyrically sound MC in the area code, from street-side cyphers to formidable entries on wax, and Def Dee’s classic east coast style, lowest-fi production, the sixteen tracks feel timeless. [Todd]



21. Baltic Cousinss/t EP

“I’m the same as I was that day…” – Break Bread

It’s like they were there, but they weren’t.

All of us can reach back into our past and select a day. Depending on which day we take hold, the meaning and the outcome of those moments would be different. Close your eyes and think for a second. What day did you choose and would you change anything about it? Did you say the right things? Did you make the right decision? Has anything about you changed from the brief moment you selected? Is regret a shadow that follows you constantly even though we never see the sun around here?

The self-titled demo released by Baltic Cousins resonates heavily with those who hear it. There is not much to their bare approach to songwriting. No bass. No keys. No additional percussionist. This Bellingham supergroup doesn’t need the bells and whistles of the current dog and pony show that is indie rock. What Baltic Cousins lacks in number of members or presentation they make up for with remarkable honesty that is manifested in both lyrical and musical form. [Phil]


20. Frog EyesPaul’s Tomb: A Triumph

My husband suggested the following review for this album: “Weird, but worth it.”

Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph is an intricate concerto of noise, Bach for the rock and roll era. Seemingly influenced by everything from Dinosaur Jr. to Baptist preaching, this record is a master class in bringing together a slew of disparate influences into a harmonious – if not particularly melodic – whole. Sometimes delicate, sometimes rushing and rattling like a runaway train, Paul’s Tomb is a howling journey through frontman Carey Mercer’s brain. [Brittney]


Read the rest of our Top 25 Northwest Albums of 2010 after the jump (more…)

January 16, 2011

Abbey’s 20 Favorite Local Records of 2010


Damien Jurado ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Our big, written properly, not just a list of The Top 25 Northwest Albums of 2010 is coming soon, really, WE PROMISE. But today I wanted to share my personal favorites of 2010. Also, my number one most listened to local album of 2010 was basically a “Best Of” compilation, so I decided not to include it. If I had though, Carissa’s Wierd’s They’ll Only Miss You When You Leave would be perched near the very top.

1. Damien JuradoSaint Bartlett 2. The MoondoggiesTidelands and You’ll Find No Answers Here 3. The Head and The Hearts/t 4. SI’m Not As Good At It As You 5. Dan ManganNice Nice Very Nice 6. Avians Alights/t 7. Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wivess/t 8. Hoquiams/t 9. Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam BandWhere the Messengers Meet 10. Ravenna WoodsDemons and Lakes

Ravenna Woods ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

11. LemoloSingles EP 12. The Lonely Forests/t EP 13. The LightsFailed Graves 14. What What NowFingers and Toes 15. Baltic Cousinss/t EP 16. Joseph Giants/t 17. Salmon ThrasherWhat Gives and Thrashin’ USA 18. Macklemore and Ryan LewisThe Vs. Remixes 19. Hobosexuals/t 20. Shannon Stephenss/t

Four albums I love that I haven’t had enough time with to make a judgment … my best guess though? Had they come out earlier in the year, they’d be in that Top 20:

The SolventsForgive Yr. Blood Drew Grow – The Comfort Feel EP Le Sang Songs/t Cobirds Unites/t

December 23, 2010

Our Year in Photos 2010: Jen Ghetto



Carissa’s Wierd ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

Sometimes, maybe especially in Seattle, you just need a sad song. Sometimes, you need a lot of them. Sometimes you need albums’ worth. And when that time came for me in 2010, the person I trusted to match my mood was Jen Ghetto, both as the singer for Carissa’s Wierd or her solo project S.


Jen Ghetto ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

December 16, 2010

Abbey’s Favorite Songs of 2010


Sharon Van Etten “Love More” ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

If my 2010 was a mix tape (or a couple mix tapes as it were), these would be the tracks. These were the songs that were my most frequent and adored companions of 2010. They’re the songs I’ll know the words to for the rest of my life. They’re largely local, though my favorite song of 2010 hands down, no questions asked, comes courtesy of Sharon Van Etten. I’ve listened “Love More” at least a hundred times more than any other track. I still think in just over 5 minutes, Sharon Van Etten manages to accomplish what most artists spend a lifetime trying to attain: perfection.

This list only covers my favorite songs released in 2010, though many of my most cherished discoveries and companions weren’t born of 2010. (A list not specified by date of release would include a lot of Carissa’s Wierd, Baptist Generals and early Damien Jurado.) Speaking of Damien Jurado, he’s noticeably missing from this list, despite releasing one of my favorite records of 2010. Why? Because Saint Bartlett is an album, in full and despite a hundred listens, I couldn’t single out one song as a favorite and saying “all of them” seemed like a cop out. Also, you won’t see “Airplanes” by Local Natives, “What Took So Long” by The Moondoggies or “Vanderlyle Cry Baby” by The National on this list, though they were doubtlessly favorites. That’s because they made my lists for 2009 … that’s what you get for being ahead of the curve.

p.s. I say “favorite” because I can’t say these are the best songs of 2010, my listening isn’t broad enough to make such a statement, but I hope you find something you love all the same.

My Favorite Songs of 2010

* “Love More” by Sharon Van Etten | download song| * “Down in the Valley” and “The Sea Beside Me” by The Head and The Heart |watch video | download song| * “It Just Makes Sense to Me” and “It’s a Shame, It’s A Pity” by The Moondoggies | download the song | * “Ghost of the Beast” by Kelli Schaefer | watch video | * “Go Back to Virgina” by The Maldives | watch video| * “Song for November” by Chris Pureka | Download the Daytrotter Session| * “War” by Le Sang Song | listen to song | * “King on the Throne” by Drew Grow | stream the song | * “Live There” by The Lonely Forest | download the song | * “Unico” by Avians Alight | stream the entire debut album | * “It All Comes Right” and “Spider” by Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives | watch video | * “Finish With Starting” and “Neck Bones” by Hoquiam | watch the video | * “Not a Problem” by S

* “New New” by The Lights |download the song| * “Road Regrets” and “Pine for Cedars” by Dan Mangan | watch the video| * “Otherside” (Remix) by Macklemore and Fences | stream the song | * “Excuses” by The Morning Benders | watch video | * “My Silver Hands” by Case Studies | listen to the song| * “Fara” by Baltic Cousins | listen to the song| * “Albatross” by The Besnard Lakes | download the song| * “Night Might” by The Strange Boys | download the song | * “Never Wanted You” by Dave Bazan | watch video| * “Right Angle” by What What Now * “Mr Peterson” by Perfume Genius | download the song| * “Grey Wizard” by The Sandwitches | download the song|

* “Who Loves” by Lemolo * “Days in my Room” by Nick Jaina | watch the video | * “Penthouse Lover” by Hobosexual | listen to the song| * “Grow” by Land of Pines | stream their debut EP| * “Shades of Blue” by Luke Stevens |stream the song| * “Nothing But Our Love” and “Simple Girl” by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | watch the video | * “Ex” by The Mallard| download the song | * Stumbling 22nd St.” by Moon Duo | download the song | * “Love is All” by The Tallest Man on Earth | watch the video | * “Crows” by Cousin Dud | download the song | * “Girls With Accents” by Fences

December 7, 2010

Abbey’s Favorite Concerts of 2010




If you hadn’t gathered, we go to a lot of shows here at Sound on the Sound. For the past four years, I’ve been at shows more nights than not and with the surge of amazing music happening in Seattle, I could truthfully go to two or three shows a night and still miss something great. Reflecting on all the phenomenal performances I’ve been treated to in 2010, I feel spoiled and humbled. Knowing there’s still a few weeks left in 2010 and that there’ll surely be at least one more show that would qualify for this list, makes me feel excited.

Knowing that and that I will surely fidget with the order of the list after I hit publish, here are my 20 Favorite shows of 2010. They span festivals and venues big and small and the list, while not enumerated, is in a ranked order with my very favorite at the top. I tried not to include every single Drew Grow & The Pastors’ Wives show I saw in 2010, but it was hard. This list, since its a photographic representation, only includes shows where I was allowed to have my camera, which means hands down one of the best shows of the year is not on it: Shabazz Palaces at Neumos back in January. With those disclaimers, I’m happy to share my favorite shows of 2010. And, of course, I want to know: what was your favorite show of 2010?

See you in the front row in 2011!


The Head and The Heart at The High Dive


Justin Townes Earle at Birds on a Wire – Pullman, WA


Doe Bay Fest


BARE at The Fremont Abbey


Columbia City Theater’s Grand Re-Opening Weekends


Goldfinch and Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives at The Comet


The Maldives and Zoe Muth at The Blue Moon for Our Birthday


The Moondoggies Surprise Acoustic Set at Bumbershoot


Hoquiam at Cairo


Every Sound on the Sound Presents Show at Columbia City Theater

After the jump the rest of my favorites and a few videos from them: (more…)