October 21, 2008

In-Store Update: Just the Whigs tonight…

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the whigs at bumbershoot

The Whigs ::: Photo by Abbey

According to the Easy Street Blog the Kooks are still planning on playing their set tonight at Showbox SODO, but had to cancel their in-store appearance due to illness. A couple of Kooks may show up to sign some records and meet fans though.The Whigs are still on though at 6pm at Easy Street Queen Anne.

October 20, 2008

The Whigs Keep Rollin’ On

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julian dorian - the whigs at bumbershoot

Julian Dorian of the Whigs at Bumbershoot ::: Photo by Josh

During late August, just prior to their appearance at Bumbershoot and in anticipation of their upcoming three month tour supporting the Kings of Leon as well as the Kooks, Julian Dorian, drummer for Athens, Georgia three-piece the Whigs was excited to get on the road again. “We like it,” he says of touring without hesitation while over the phone with me from his hometown. “It’s normal to us.”

Dorian’s not exaggerating one bit when he says three months is normal. A look at their calendar for the last few years has found the band on average about three months on the road at a time, a couple of times a year. In the struggle to retain any notion of continuity he confesses, “we eat in waffle house more than you might imagine.”

In 2006 the Whigs were called out as the best unsigned band in America after Rolling Stone’s David Fricke got a whiff of their DIY debut full-length Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip. Dorian himself was named as Esquire’s drummer of the year in 2007. Eventually the band signed to ATO Records and released their second full-length Mission Control in January of this year, a record I personally think outdoes their first and stands as one of the year’s best albums overall. Ever since then, the momentum has been palpable.

The week of the album’s release they visited the Late Show with David Letterman. “That day was so surreal, so bizarre, and awesome!” Dorian remembers. “And then it’s over. In a flash. Even right now talking to you it’s odd saying it happened. You spend your whole life not being on that show…” It was just the first of numerous late night appearances and the kind of jump start to a just released album most bands can only dream of. The summer of 2008 found them at most of the major music festivals in the country, among them our own Bumbershoot and Sasquatch Music festivals.

Now following a spat of dates riding the coattails of southern rock royalty Kings of Leon, Tuesday at the Showbox SODO finds the Whigs playing the second leg of their tour opening for rapscallion heartthrobs the Kooks. Earlier in the evening at 6pm apparently both bands will be singing some songs acoustic at Easy Street Records on lower Queen Anne. Both sets will be very worth catching.

Get Tickets for The Kooks with the Whigs at Showbox SODO.

May 5, 2007

A Few Photos From My Week: Illinois, The Kooks, Cursive

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Illinois at The Crocodile – 5/3/07

Illinois at The Crocodile 5/3

 

The Kooks at The Crocodile 5/3/07

The Kooks The Kooks Front man Kooks Crowd Shot

 

Cursive In-Store at Sonic Boom in Ballard - 5/5/07

 Tim Kasher vertical

Tim Kasher of Cursive

all photos by abbey

May 3, 2007

Brit’s on Parade

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Tonight marks an unusual event: two of the biggest British bands right now (possibly the two biggest right now) playing at different venues in Seattle. Seems like something more likely to happen in New York, but I won’t argue with fate. Firstly, the Arctic Monkeys, who recently broke sales records in the UK for their recent album, will be playing with Be Your Own Pet tonight at the Showbox. Everyone is giving them love today and recomending their show. I don’t feel like I’ve been properly introduced to the Monkey’s at this point (my own fault I know), other than to say I’ve liked the two songs I’ve heard but haven’t been moved to get the album yet. I’m sure it will be good, but I won’t be there. So others can talk about that one.

The other UK band in town tonight playing at the Croc, are the Kooks. 107.7 The End seems to play their song “Naive” once every hour, but I’m happy to say I got hip to these Brighton rockers a while ago, before their album hit the US, for a cover of a song by Mason Jennings not even on their album, and a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” that I couldn’t not like. After listening to their album a little while later this was what I concluded:

Let’s not dilly-dally and cut straight to the chase of what this album is and what it isn’t. This album is most assuredly a collection of unabashed love-babble-pop-songs, and I am not saying that to be mean. It really is nothing more than song after song of psuedo-teenage lovey-dovey crooning. If you looking for sad bastard music, this ain’t it. If you’re out for even remotely thoughtful or deep songs, maybe this album isn’t for you. But if you itching for a positive, energy filled, uncomplicated and embarassingly catchy album of low-life british rockers who are the talk of the town this year (and who doesn’t want that really?), than this is the album for you.

While I am admittedly conflicted about whether this is guilty pleasure music never to be mentioned among music snobs due to it’s content, the varied nature of the album’s songs and the unprentious nature of the band in general made this a must see show for me. When they announced a limited set of shows for the US I jumped on a ticket. They’ll be playing with recent blogger “it” band Illinois as well, who I am also very interested in catching.

Suprisingly it seems there are still tickets for this one, so if you can’t get in to Arctic Monkeys, you might still be able to get in at the Croc. I doubt they’ll be back anytime soon, so this might be your best chance to catch these guys for a while.

Update: My Bad. This is sold out and has been for a long time. As it should be.

March 8, 2007

today’s local music news

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The Kooks at the Croc – Sold Out! From the always invaluable Music Slut we learn that the Kooks show on May 3rd is sold out and the opening band will be Illinois.

The Stranger is all about musicians… This week’s Stranger features the “2007 Musicians Resource Directory” which they subhead “The Bible of Music-Making in Seattle.” It has all sorts of helpful columns and insight about what an up and coming band needs to do to succeed. I espically like the hilarious groupie guidlines written by Tilson of The Saturday Knights:

I only want the best caliber of groupies. The upper echelon. I need the innocent groupie, the buck-wild groupie, the ’80s rock groupie, the comedic groupie, and the old-lady groupie, because I’m not into leaving anyone out. I also need a groupie who knows how to read. I need a diverse pool of groupies, which is why I’m taking my time.

I can handle the conversations of about seven to eight women at once. Any more than that and it gets weird. That’s where the etiquette comes in—I don’t know if you shake hands first or ask them to get naked first. I’m not saying the woman needs to get naked for sexual reasons. I don’t know if we are going to have sex. I want naked women around for comfort reasons.

But really, it all comes back to knowing where to get something to eat. I don’t care if you get naked­­—if I’m getting a stomach cramp, it doesn’t matter. First and foremost, Tilson is hungry. I wonder if groupies always knew where to take Marvin Gaye to get something to eat.

Colin likes books… The Decemberists front man Colin Meloy will be a judge at this year’s ‘Tournament of Books.’

Local In-Store performances… El Perro del Mar is having an in-store this Friday at Sonic Boom Capitol Hill at 7pm. You can check her out later that night at KEXP’s John in the Morning at Night bash at Neumos with The Shackletons, The Blakes and The Saturday Knights. Speaking (again) of the Saturday Knights, if you can’t make it to Friday night’s show, you can see an in-store with these gentlemen Sunday at 2pm at Easy Street (it doesn’t say whether it is the Queen Anne or West Seattle location though). Come be a groupie (and bring food for Tilson). Finally, local notables Dept. of Energy will be at Sonic Boom Ballard on Thursday March 15 at 6pm. Free music is good.

January 25, 2007

midweek news

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Austinist Updates its SXSW list. Now 340 bands confirmed. Among the new confirmations are Catfish Haven, Midlake, The Rosebuds, and Bishop allen  

British sensations the Kooks have announced a small North American tour and, wonder of wonders, they are stopping by our own Crocodile Cafe. May 3rd is the date for those interested.

The Shins are said to have sold around 60,000 albums so far in the initial week. Daughtry (of American Idol fame) pulled off a #1 chart spot last week with only 65,000 sold. Pretty Ricky is pulling in 110,000 already this week, putting a damper on the Shins parade. LEt me just say: Who the fuck is Pretty Ricky? Nonetheless, this is still the biggest Sub Pop debut in history which is great.

Did you get your endmail today telling you about a Coachella presale starting tommorow morning?

October 20, 2006

The Kooks: Inside In/Inside Out

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The Kooks Inside In/Inside Out Released in the States: 10/3, Released in Britain: February 2006Let’s not dilly-dally and cut straight to the chase of what this album is and what it isn’t. This album is most assuredly a collection of unabashed love-babble-pop-songs, and I am not saying that to be mean. It really is nothing more than song after song of psuedo-teenage lovey-dovey crooning. If you looking for sad bastard music, this ain’t it. If you’re out for even remotely thoughtful or deep songs, maybe this album isn’t for you. But if you itching for a positive, energy filled, uncomplicated and embarassingly catchy album of low-life british rockers who are the talk of the town this year (and who doesn’t want that really?), than this is the album for you.

After exploding on the charts in Britain in February of this year, the Kooks have been riding high, pending the release of their album in the states, which just dropped October 3. While I don’t think the success of this band will translate nearly as well as it did on the other side of the pond, without a doubt these gentlemen have a style that will get them noticed. There has been a void in high energy music lately, especially the kind music that just makes you want to bounce around without even realizing what you are doing, and this album fills that void nicely.

The strongest cuts off of this disc are in the middle of the play order with the consecutive songs of “Ooh La,” “You Don’t Love Me” and infectious pop diddy “She Moves in Her Own Way.” The most immeditately likeable track it probably “Naive.” With artfully executed background vocals and tight rhythm guitar this song hints at what a more mature album might sound like while sticking to a simple formula.

Beginning Monday they will start their short American tour, beginning in New York at the Bowery Ballroom. Then they are off to LA and San Fran for a few days and before heading back to Europe, stop back in Brooklyn for a final show. This will most definitely be a show that you want to hit up if they do a larger tour in the states next year.

SOTS rating: 6/10

October 2, 2006

Oct. 3 – New Music Tuesday

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Largehearted Boy has the full list.

Our most antcipated album of the week? Canadian band Tokyo Police Club’s A Lesson in Crime.  It is fun, energy-filled music with lyrics about robot’s taking over the world. What more can you ask for? (Yes I do have an irrational obsession with all things robot.) SOTS also recommends:Beck – The Information

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife

The US release of the Kooks album – Inside In/Inside Out

 

August 30, 2006

The Kooks – The Summer of “Crazy” Covers

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Via Brooklyn-Vegan we learn The Kooks are touring for a few days in the US in anticipation of their US premier release full length Inside In/Inside Out on Oct 3. This release has been panned by Pitchfork which kind of makes me like it even more. I has had much success in the UK where it has been available for a while now. I am disappointed they are only going to LA and NY but that is life I guess.

I was just recently introduced to them via my favorite radio station, KEXP. They produce the best independent radio and stream their broadcast live. They have a huge following world wide. Getting a live in studio performance is getting noticed in a big way. Listen to it sometime. Anyway back to the story.

I was listening to KEXP and I was listening to a song that sounded strangely familiar. I realized it was a cover of one of my favorite artists, his name is Mason Jennings, one of his songs California. The cover was totally different but still acheived being a good song. I was shocked and had to listen to find out who this artist was. I got distracted and had to look up in the KEXP archive what the song that played at XX:XX time was and it was by this British band The Kooks. After doing some looking around I found the Song. I highly recommend listening to the Kooks and Mason Jennings.

On another note this band has participated in what some would term “the summer battle of Crazy covers.” It seems that everyones favorite song this summer is Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. Even Gnarls Barkley themself seem to modify the sound of the song each time they play it live. This is the first a series of Crazy covers we will be previewing. I give this one high marks.

The Kooks – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover) The Kooks – California (Mason Jennings Cover)