January 20, 2009

The Daily Choice: Tapes ‘n’ Tapes @ Neumos

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First off, maybe we don’t need a show for the night.  Maybe each and every one of us can just float about tonight in their own special haze, free from the burdens of the evil empire, and ready to accept the responsibilities of being an active member, of a new amazing America.

If not, then there’s this:

I’m still a little baffled about the almost crushing backlash aimed against the second album from Minneapolis’ Tapes ‘n’ Tapes.  Sure it wasn’t the artsy power blast brilliance of The Loon, but c’mon, people are telling me that they put this album on and weren’t completely and totally happy to bob their head and rock out to these catchy bursts of rock and roll?  I don’t buy it.

I’m calling fucking hipster, second-album, Pitchfork pushed popular band backlash.

I’ll bet you a dull wooden nickel that this show is more than 3/4 full, and sure, every tight jean wearing prince or princess is going to be praying to the stars that they get to hear “10 Gallon Ascot” but that’s just posturing.  They’re just as excited to hear “Hang Them All” they just don’t want to be shunned by their equally excited friends.

Tapes ‘n’ Tapes – Hang Them All

Tapes ‘n’ Tapes on Myspace

September 16, 2008

Bumbershooting: Tapes n’ Tapes

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tapes 'n tapes at bumbershoot

Tapes n’ Tapes ::: Photo by Josh

It seemed like everyone I talked to who was headed to Bumbershoot was excited about Tapes n’ Tapes. Of course I had a major 2006 flashback. “Tapes ‘n Tapes! Really?!” I would ask. Their first record The Loon was (and is) a great record, one that bursts with personality and energy, but I had forgotten that they had released their second record this year. Apparently it’s pretty good, and everyone has been taking notice. Except me. Hmmm…

And then for a set that was up against that night’s main stage headlining appearance of Stone Temple Pilots (does anyone care?), a healthy crowd filled the lawn at the Broad Street stage. New (to me) songs mixed with old songs, and I found myself unconsciously tapping my foot a number of times, unable to resist the rhythmic tug of lead singer and guitarist Josh Grier’s cherry red Fender or decide why I hadn’t gone out and got this record already.

These guys always look and sound like they are having so much fun performing, and I’ll admit I envy the hell out of ‘em for it. Not so much for the rock star status (although that might be cool), but for the enjoyment they’re able to spread to other people day in and day out and the enjoyment they’re able to get from just doing their job. They’re “living the dream,and being able to do that really is something special.

Flickr: Tapes n’ Tapes at Bumbershoot 2008

May 13, 2008

He Comes! Bearing New Music Even!

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tapes n' tapes

[Editors Note: In our unending quest to provide unequaled coverage of the local music scene and beyond, we've invited Noah Sanders, currently employed by Light in the Attic, to offer his perspective on this here blog. Welcome Noah! -josh and abbey -p.s. Look for a few more new writers in the coming weeks.]

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Noah Sanders and by the grace that is the lovely Abbey Simmons and Josh Lovseth I’ve been selected as a contributor for, what I consider, to be the best blog in Seattle, WA.

I wanted to take this first post to tell you all a little bit about myself and just give a glimpse of the kind of music I enjoy, and what exactly I’m listening to right now. My musical history has been a checkered one. I started as a punk-ska (I’ve atoned for this sin, many many times) kid in my early teens, before diving in to an almost ten year, oft times questionable obsession with rap music. I loved the genre to such a degree that college saw me drunkenly taking the mike once a week to DJ a semi-popular radio show. Rap is a young man’s music though, and as college wore on, my love for beats, rhymes, and skunky malt liquor fell to the wayside.

Now, after a brief, and painful moratorium from music, I’ve immersed myself in, well, music. I’m open-minded (aside from reggae made after say ’82 and new age country) and constantly seeking out the new and unheard. I like music that rocks. I like voices that differ from everything that comes before. I like just a touch of electronic fuzz. I like funk, soul, and pretty much anything born in Detroit. I like big bands and bigger live shows. I like first albums better than their follow-ups (mostly) …

I like music, a whole fucking lot and I’d really like to share that, with you.

With that said, here’s a little EP I’ve put together of what I’m listening to right now. My mental playlist changes, almost by the hour, so don’t make any judgments based on these five songs. No one likes a judger.

Thanks for reading!

The Spinto Band – “Mountains” The final showcase I caught at SXSW this year was the Boston-based label Park The Van. They’ve got a little band on their label you might’ve heard of – Dr. Dog? Dr. Dog was the hands-down-no-questions-asked best concert of the week, but this rag-tag group of youngins’ did a pretty good job of my kicking my ass around. Only recently have I managed to get ahold of the group’s newest release Nice and Nicely Done, and its damn enjoyable, big and weird, even mildly reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper.

Myspace: Spinto Band MP3: Spinto Band – Mountains

RAFTER – “Thunderclap” I’d always assumed Asthmatic Kitty was just a shell that housed Sufjan Stevens. A 500 room hotel with only one guest, and boy was I wrong. I’ve been digging in to their newer stuff lately, and this guy Rafter has most certainly caught my attention. Former producer for Sufjan, Black Heart Procession, The Fiery Furnace (and so many more), Rafter Roberts crafts noisy, poppy little nuggets of sonic bliss. This track caught me completely unaware, a metal-filled oreo with poppy croon instead of cookie has the sandwich material. Sex Death Cassette is filled with tracks as good as this.

Myspace: Rafter MP3: Rafter – Thundeclap

Tapes ‘n Tapes – “Conquest” Man, screw those fools who are chalking up TNT’s second album to another Clap Your Hands Say Yeah fiasco. Sure Dave Fridmann produced both albums, but where CYSH’s follow-up was an obscure, badly put together shitbomb, Walk It Off sees TNT shrugging off some of their new-band luggage and exploding out the gate with a slice of absolute indie-rock ‘n’ roll. Sure, experimentation is fun, but concise, focused rock and roll ain’t so bad either. Hell, it’s pretty amazing if you ask me. I could’ve picked any of the first six tracks off this album and you’d of been happy but I was in a “Conquest” mood, so “Conquest” is what you get.

Myspace: Tapes ‘n Tapes MP3: Tapes ‘n Tapes – Conquest

Dark Meat – “Freedom Ritual” I haven’t had a chance to hear anything by this mammoth 30-some person band from Athens, Georgia besides this crazy little hard-rock-hippy-jam-out but I can say this: do not miss there live show. I went, by myself to The Comet Tavern last Sunday night to see a show that involved an airblower, 19 people on stage, confetti, stripping, crowd members given instruments, moshing violin players, crowd surfing, band-to-crowd “fighting” and the most confusing mixture of audience and band that I’d ever been a part of. If you get the chance, do not miss these guys, you will deeply regret it.

Myspace: Dark Meat MP3: Dark Meat – Freedom Ritual

Man Man – “Mister Jung Stuffed” You can me late to the party on the Man Man tip. I picked up Rabbit Habits as soon as it dropped based on the strength of “Hurly/Burly” but I should’ve been digging these guys from the get-go. This is Tom Waits on meth. It has a taste of dusty funk, and a sinister bass line waiting in the wings. There’s a hint of choral arrangement, and some real mean skin beating to accentuate the gravel-tinged voice of Honus Honus. It is amazing, and probably my favorite album of the year so far.

Myspace: Man Man MP3: Man Man – Mister Jung Stuffed

Well hope I didn’t scare off anyone too early in my endeavors.

We’ll see you soon!

Questions, concerns, love letters, and money can be sent to noah@lightintheattic.net

February 1, 2007

todays local news items

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Seattlest interviews The Trucks. The Trucks will be playing in town this Friday at Easy Street at 6pm and at Jules Maes Saloon at 9pm. These girls just want you to dance and have fun!

A new Decemberists video. O’Valencia! Enjoy.

Tapes n’ Tapes announce tour. They’ll be at Neumos on May 5. Full tour dates are over at fellow local music blogger Kingblind.

The Weekly talks with Menomena. They have a Pitchfork love fest.

December 29, 2006

we regret an oversight

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Just listening to the KEXP countdown, Tapes n’ Tapes album The Loon made it on the list at number 18, in the list right before northwest band, The Thermals. We here at Sound on the Sound regret our oversight in thinking that this album was released last year. Looking on Amazon this album has a release date of July. Stevie Zoom (the DJ) says it was released in January.

My bad. It seems so long ago that this album came out. I do remember talking about it with Abbey and thinking that it came out in December of 2005. Had I been paying attention, this album would have definitely made my top twenty, maybe my top ten. Hopefully I can avoid any more idiot moments this year.

December 19, 2006

Today’s news

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Local Jim Noir had to cancel the rest of his tour in the US because his band wasn’t let back into the US from Canada. I’m dissapointed I missed his show at the Croc for the Holiday Karaoke. Hopefully he’ll be playing again soon. In other passport news, Tapes n’ Tapes got a bunch of stuff stolen right as they were leaving Australia, including passports. A number of bands have been victims of robberies this year, from Grizzly Bear to Dinosaur Jr. Sadly musicians are a poor lot who tend to carry everything important to them with them all the time, and so lose everything when robbed.

Bright Eyes has announced a release date for their next album: April 10. Called Cassadega it will be preceded by a month by an EP called Four Winds on March 6. 

Trey got arrested for drinking and driving. Or should I say Ernest J. got arrested. That mugshot is priceless.

Spinner points to an mp3 from Seattle band “Welcome” who they describe as a “psych-pop quartet” in the style of Grizzly Bear, Broadcast and Mazzy Star.

Another of my favorite DJ’s at KEXP and host of the local music show Audioasis, Lisa Wood has her year end list up. In other KEXP news, I saw DJ Riz at Machiavelli last night. He clearly knows where some good Italian food in this town is. If only we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes to get a table. In other Italian food news, the new La Spiga on 12th and Pike has opened. In a word, amazing.

Pitchfork has stream of Death Cab covering “Rocking Chair”, a song originally done by The Band. Pitchfork also has their 50 best albums of the year up. They also have a bunch of other year end lists up. I just shake my head and move on.

And finally, if yer into the year end lists, largeheartedboy has em’ all, updated daily. Except for ours. It’s not up yet. Tommorow. I doubt too much will be a secret after seeing our songs lists last week.

December 19, 2006

2006 MVP’S or The Velvet Space Helmet Goes To…

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We have appropriated what I am sure is a very personal moment from an Elvis Perkins song and named our MVP awards after them. Since we are small blog we don’t have any cool graphics or actual velvet space helmets to give out. Maybe next year. I prefer it in my imagination for right now anyway. Without further ado, onto the awards. 

Most Valuable Live Act: Cold War Kids I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Cold War Kids three times this year and the boys NEVER dissapointed. When seen lives these guys are fucking incredible, blowing their much lauded record out of the water. Live the sweet rawness of the vocals and the jangly, jarring blues of the song-writing really comes through. To add to the great pleasure:  the (very intense) bassist looks like a T-Rex (the dinosaur, not the band), the guitarist is soaked in sweat by the end of the first song, the lead singer trades back and forth between guitar and piano with ease, the drummer is flawlessly on time and loud, and the entire band makes like Pong on stage–bumping into and off each other.

Most Valuable Opening Act (Show Stealer’s of the Year): It’s an unprecedented three-way-tie. This year I saw a number of live acts who easily stole the show from the “Big Name” on the ticket. I’ve stopped avoiding opening acts and started coming early to shows, thanks to these performers: Cold War Kids, The Figurines who unquantifiably out rocked their headliners Tapes n’ Tapes, and lastly, but not least, Elvis Perkins and Dearland who won my heart, despite playing before the impeccable Cold War Kids and The Pernice Brothers.

Most Valuable Performer (female): Dita Vox of Seattle’s Thee Emergency Holy shit this girl has PIPES!! I saw Dita perform in 90 degree weather, as the very first act in a killer festival-ish line-up. There were literally ten or so of us standing in the front rows, but Dita sang like she was playing Woodstock. I have written before that her performance reminded me of recordings of Janis Joplin concerts.  She growled and cooed, making love to the music, while screaming a battle cry. Though I love the work that other female artists like Neko Case, Regina Spektor, and Jenny Lewis  have done this year; Dita stands alone for rocking out, rocking hard, keeping up with the boys, singing her ass off and looking damn sexy doing it.

Most Valuable Performer (male): Aaron of Ghostland Observatory In a span of two days I saw Mick Jagger (the iconic front man) and Aaron from Ghostland, and the latter was embarrassingly superior. I think I get what people felt like when they saw Elvis shake his hips for the first time. If you haven’t heard- Aaron’s got moves like a dorky, pre-Neverland Michael Jackson with the King’s hips and 1990′s bump’n'grind. Watching him perform, you feel like an voyeur… and yes, the tightness of the acid wash jeans paired with pelvic thrusting, just might have something to do with that. Honorable Mention: John Roderick of The Long Winters The funniest man in rock and roll.

Most Valuable Improved Live Act: Tapes n’ Tapes A year of touring has done these boys good. Now their live performance truly stands up to the amazing feat that The Loon is. And we here couldn’t be more pleased….because they really fucking rock.

Most Valuable Venue (Seattle): The Crocodile Cafe Which has become Sound on the Sound’s second home.

December 2, 2006

Show of the Week Review – Tapes n’ Tapes with The Long Winters and “Awesome”

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Tapes n’ Tapes, The Long Winters, “Awesome” University of Washington HUB Ballroom November 30, 2006

Cut to Hipster Central but set in an 80′s school auditorium. A college auditorium, in fact, that’s strangely reminiscent of where you had your middle school dances. A sign greets you at the door “No Smoking, No Drinking.” A cursory look around suggests that 95% of all the people in the room are under 21. Many of them look 14. Some of them sound ten. It’s all-ages, so I guess they could be ten. They are all in proper uniform dressed up in their Conor Oberst or Billy Jo impression for the guys or quite curiously for the girls, circa 1980′s style Madonna and Tiffany. It is my verdant hope that leggings are a vestige of the 80′s that remains a vestige, a fashion reanimated only for a single year, a style that is tossed aside once the next season rolls around and everyone realizes again how much the eighties sucked.

We arrived around 8:45 to find “Awesome” in the midst of their set. Having not seen them, but heard good things in the Stranger and on the blogs, this local group had a dashing professional look, every one of them wearing a suit of some kind. Altogether they were looking like a 1940′s swing band. Either that or they were members of the mafia hiding tommy guns under their oversize zoot suits. I prefer the swing band. Despite the unconventional banjo and mandolin, this band had no problem looking and sounding like a high energy rock band. At least four of seven or eight members had duties doing singing of some kind and they all sounded accomplished and practiced.The highlight of their set was when throughout their final song the banjo player (and University of Washington Philosophy Professor) did a david-byrne-ish a la “Stop Making Sense” groovy robot dance. Folding his body down to the stage and then folding it back up, he gyrated wildly to the music, looking like Data doing an interpretive dance after he took some android acid. It was awkward and hilarious all at the same time, as well as a good omen for the success of this night.

The Long Winters were up next. I had been hyping John Roderick as a live act to my friends for some time now; so the expectations were high. Much of my hype surrounded Roderick himself as an avid talker on stage, and someone who likes to interact with his audience. Before even beginning his first song he requested to see if anyone in the front rows had a pick, as he didn’t like the one he brought with him, to which a surprising number of fans were at the ready with picks in hand. Later, he righteously complained with a huge dose of sarcasm that the sets were abnormally short (7/8 songs in the case of the long winters) because of “homeland security.” Despite the set being short, Roderick was not short on talk. Covering all sorts of things, like his short stint at UW (where he didn’t graduate), how EP’s are just an indie band thing now, and how kisses with the bassist Eric would only cost $5. When announcing “Tapes n’ Tapes will be up next” he alluded to their recent rise in popularity by chiding that they were probably out in a “white limo” waiting to come on, and a female fan yelled out, “Doing Coke off a hookers ass!” at which point Roderick slyly repeated into the mic for the entire audience to hear with a deadpan voice, “Yes, doing coke off a hookers ass.” Then retorting to the audience member, “You dirty dirty girl.”

While the audience interaction was great, from the get go their set was one small technical disaster after another. A “comedy of errors” if you will. One of the guitars got a broken string in the middle of the first song. Later on in the middle of two different songs Roderick’s guitar cable got disconnected, once causing him to finish his guitar solo by singing the notes until his guitar was reconnected by active dancer and multi instrumentalist Jonathan who had accidentally disconnected it.  Neither case managed to be a song stopper as the band just powered through with grins from ear to ear over their bad luck.  At one moment as Roderick was talking into his mic and while adjusting it, it fell out of its holder and began to hang from the stand. Roderick deadpanned:”And on this next song, I will sing with my bellybutton.” Each event was taken in stride but with a bit of obvious embarrassment over the circumstances and some goofy smiles.

 The Long Winters

While their set was heinously short they managed to put together material that would all go on a “best of” The Long Winters tape. Old favorites “Blue Diamonds” and “Carparts” accompanied new favorites “Fire Island, AK” and “Pushover”. Without a set list Roderick was accepting requests and ”Honest” was the choice song of the girls in front of us. Roderick played “Pushover” on an acoustic guitar without a strap and mused beforehand that he would be reenacting the days before some smart guy invented the guitar strap. The lack of a strap didn’t hinder his ability to play and it ended up being my favorite song of the night. For a number of the more active songs the audience was treated to the spectacle that was Roderick’s glasses slipping down to the end of his nose and him occasionally whipping his head back to reorient them in their rightful position, only to have them slide down his nose again.  

Tapes n’ Tapes, a Minnesota four-piece who received much acclaim for their 2005 release The Loon, have stepped it up since we last saw them this summer. Then, they were touring with Cold War Kids and Figurines, as opening acts, which certainly didn’t do them any favors. Both CWK and The Figurines have amazing natural stage presence and  they handily showed up Tapes n’ Tapes in the performing department. Going after those guys has go to be a headliner’s worst nightmare. This time though, their entire stage vibe was different. It was coursing with the fun, energy, and confidence they previously lacked. Musically their performance was tighter, every loud to quiet transition was perfect and every band member seemed in sync with their amazing drummer. They played only a few from their album, a few older ones pre album, and I think one or two new ones. Dancing all over the stage, sweating their balls off, with big smiles made this performance instantly likable and very memorable for everyone involved. It was clear that they were having a good time and didn’t want to be anywhere else right at that moment.

 Tapes n' Tapes

For my money, Tapes n’ Tapes drummer Jeremy Hanson was the best drummer I saw all year. While sporting a haircut dangerously close to being a mullet and seeming rather small and un-drummer-looking this guy has mad chops and it’s obvious. His kit isn’t big and he doesn’t act flashy, he just has this aura of controlled ferocity that I haven’t ever seen before. His arms aren’t lazy and just hanging next to him, instead he holds them out in front of him and above the drums, always at the ready. His style seems minimalist, sparse, but very punctuated and strong. Even playing the fast songs he never looks frantic or even close to being anything other than in total control. Occasionally breaking out into jazz solos in the middle of songs this nineteen year old has it all. He could lose the fashion mullet though as far as I’m concerned.

“Awesome” impressed me enough that I bought their album and will be interested in seeing a full set sometime soon. Anyone supporting the cause of the banjo in my book is a band worth supporting. If said banjo player dances like a madman on stage purely for my entertainment and joy, and he delivers, I’ll definitely be coming back for more. The Long Winters were enjoyable despite the various blunders and I will of course be looking forward to a longer set sometime soon. Roderick was funny and interactive as usual although my room-mate thought he was on some very good drugs. To me, it looked to like he might have just been high on life and bizarre circumstance. Tapes n’ Tapes lived up to their “headliner” status on the second time around, impressing a couple of my friends who have an aversion to anything new that comes out, by putting on an energy filled performance that kept the audience engaged.

Related

Flickr Photoset: Awesome, Tapes n’ Tapes, The Long Winters November 30, 2006 at the HUB Ballroom

MySpace: Tapes n’ Tapes MySpace: The Long Winters Official: Awesome (Awesome from Austin already has myspace)

Sound on the Sound Album Review: The Long Winters – Putting the Days to Rest

November 30, 2006

Show of the Week: The Long Winters, Tapes n’ Tapes, “Awesome”

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Tonight is our show of the week featuring The Long Winters, Tapes n’ Tapes, and “Awesome.” It’s at the UW HUB (student union) ballroom which I haven’t been to since I was a wee freshman. The Long Winters have the best release of 2006 in SOTS’s humble opinion and they have a live show to match it. Tapes n’ Tapes have one of our favorite releases of 2005 and “Awesome” are local up-and-comers with an energetic live show (so I hear).

Hopefully I can get my new camera figured out and get some sweet pictures for you guys.

On a related note: Damn you fate! Why did you have to choose the Little Ones to play in seattle tonight. I guess I will have to settle for the Live Performance on KEXP at 2pm.

November 27, 2006

Seattle Live Shows – 11/28-12/3

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This week promises to be one of the finest weeks of the year as far as live music goes. Long Winters, The Faint, Cat Power, Tapes n’ Tapes, and the Little Ones all visit our fair city this snowy week. Local boys and one of my favorites Dusty 45′s are at the Tractor for an Animal Rescue Benefit (which means it is obviously a great place to pick up chicks). Something to see everday except, well, today.

Tuesday Nov. 28 – Cat Power – Showbox

Wednesday Nov. 29 – Dusty 45′s – Tractor Tavern

Thursday Nov. 30 – The Long Winters, Tapes n’ Tapes, “Awesome” – HUB Ballroom

Thursday Nov. 30 – The Little Ones, Small Sins – Neumos

Thursday Nov. 30 – Manplus – The Crocodile Cafe

Friday Dec. 1 – Amy Millan, Greg Laswell – the Triple Door

Saturday Dec. 2 – The Faint, Ratatat, DJ Colby B – Showbox

Sunday Dec. 3 – Silversun Pickups, Wolfmother – Moore Theatre – sold out

Next week is also a major week with the Death Cab-Jenny Lewis show, the Deck the Hall Ball with the Shins, Joanna Newsom, and the KEXP Benefit with Cold War Kids and Ted Leo.