Thursday, July 31, 2008

Music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

Last night at a sold out and ridiculously hot Neumo's I was fortunate enough to see Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band.

How hot was Neumo's? My friend Megan left about halfway through the show because she felt like she was going to pass out at any moment. During the encore I had sweat literally running down my face as I thought, "If this was anyone else, I would leave about now."

I have been inside some really sweltering hot music venues in my life, but last night was just ridiculous. Even more so when you factor in that last night's temperature in Seattle was below 70 degrees. Seriously people, have your security crack open an exit door every now and then!

Indie heartthrob Conor Oberst was in high spirits last night. He looked much less emaciated than he had on the last couple of Bright Eyes tours. I joked to my friends that he appears to have been eating since the last time I saw him.

The girls screaming, "I love you Conor!" were more quiet than at your typical Bright Eyes show, and, as per usual, Conor no sold those catcalls all night refusing to even look up when they occurred. He only responded to things yelled from the audience on two occasions. Once during the encore when someone yelled out if he could sign their album, "I can do that," he said. And throughout the next song, which he only lang backup on, he scouted the front of the stage thanking fans for being there and signing additional copies of albums.

His other interaction happened when someone screamed out, "Do you want a cigarette?" "I do," he said, "but you can't smoke in here. I'm playing by the rules tonight."

Jason Boesel(Rilo Kiley, The Elected, various Bright Eyes incarnations) was behind the drums last night, and aside from The Faint's Clark Baechle, is probably the most exciting live drummer working today. He sings backup, he rocks out, and unlike many drummers he has the charisma and stage presence to draw your attention to him.

The Conor Oberst album doesn't actually come out until next week, so I was not familiar with most of the songs. I have a few of the songs from last year's gigs at Minneapolis' 400 Club. Those two shows were the public debut of Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. There is a song from there called, "Breezy" which is not included on the album, but they used that as the encore closer last night. It's a quiet tune about wanting to feel at home, wanting to be home. You know, some of those reoccurring themes from a 28 year old musician who has spent most of the past 10 years on the road.

All in all the band played 16 songs and played for over an hour and a half(subtracting the encore break). Which is all pretty awesome considering that the album only contains 12 tracks.

You can preorder the Conor Oberst self titled release direct from MERGE here.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band continue to tour the world through November. You should definitely check them out on one of these dates:

07-31 Bend, OR - Midtown Ballroom *
08-01 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
08-02 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
08-03 Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre *
08-05 West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour *
08-08 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge !
08-09 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle !
08-10 Norfolk, VA - The NorVa !
08-11 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero !
08-12 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom !
08-17 Saratoga, NY - Saratoga Music Festival
08-22 Leeds, England - Leeds Festival
08-23 Birmingham, England - Academy 2
08-24 Reading, England - Reading Festival
08-26 Portsmouth, England - Wedgewood Rooms
08-27 London, England - Electric Ballroom
08-28 Manchester, England -Academy 2
08-29 Argyll, Scotland - Hydro Connect Music Festival
08-30 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Spring and Airbrake
08-31 Stradbally, Ireland - Electric Picnic Festival
09-02 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
09-03 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
09-04 Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Den Atelier
09-05 Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik
09-07 Munich, Germany - Backstage Werk
09-08 Zagreb, Croatia - Studenski
09-09 Vienna, Austria - Arena
09-10 Prague, Czech Republic - Roxy
09-11 Cologne, Germany - Gloria
09-12 Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
09-13 Paris, France - Nouveau Casino
09-14 Mannheim, Germany - Alte Feuerwache
09-15 Berlin, Germany - Columbia Club
09-20 Omaha, NE - Anchor Inn
09-21 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium %
09-22 Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre %
09-23 Fayetteville, AR - George's Majestic Lounge %
09-24 Oxford, MS - The Lyric %
09-25 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom %
09-27 Austin, TX - Zilker Park (Austin City Limits Festival)
10-02 Melbourne, Australia - The Palace
10-03 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli
10-04 Sydney, Australia - Enmore
10-05 Sydney, Australia - Great Escape
10-21 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box @ Fonda
10-22 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box @ Fonda
10-24 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
11-08 New York, NY - Terminal 5
11-09 New York, NY - Terminal 5

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MMA: More on Rampage

The day after the car chase Quinton Jackson was with friends and he was apparently rambling about various aspects of the Bible and claiming that he himself was God. This is why his friends flagged down a cop car, and then he was admitted for a psychological evaluation. In the state of California a person can be held for up to 72 hours on a psychological evaluation. Jackson's stay in the hospital was extended beyond those 72 hours. Information beyond this is very hard to come by due to the legalities of HIPPA.

He is no longer in the hospital.

At the end of 2003 and then again in 2004 Rampage was knocked out in two fights against then PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlai Silva. After these fights Jackson was said to have been acting strange and he went into a deep depression. Then he announced that he had found God, and was now a born again Christian.

It appears that we are watching some sort of repeat of this situation, except of course this time he has felony charges to deal with from his accident riddled car chase.

Right now there are no plans, or talks underway, for his next fight. Right now Rampage just needs to deal with his personal stuff, and when, or if, he gets it all worked out then the UFC can think about an opponent and a date for his next fight.

If he is actually convicted of the felony charge then it will be difficult for him to fight again. The California State Athletic Commission would not allow a felon to fight, and it's unlikely that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would allow him to fight either.

We have yet to hear the end of this mess.

Pro Wrestling: Freddie Prinze Jr. joins WWE creative team

Actor and devoted WWE fan Freddie Prinze Jr. is the newest member of the WWE creative team which is responsible for writing the wrestling shows.

I am not making this up.

Prinze is a wrestling fan. At Wrestlemania 24 in Orlando this year he was shown on the big screen at least once. The WWE does not like to hire writers that are wrestling fans, but I guess the pro wrestling mentality of wanting to be around celebrities wins out in this instance.

Last night's episode of RAW was the first show that Prinze was involved in, and it was a failure of epic proportions. The WWE had spent the last several weeks of television building to the introduction of the new on air general manager of RAW. When the announcement was made that the new GM was Mike Adamle(!) the crowd was deadly silent. RAW will be lucky to get a 2.9 rating next week for the follow up.

All of this of course makes me ask a few questions:

1) How can I become a member of WWE creative?
and of course the question that we all want answered,
2) What does Sarah Michelle Gellar think about all of this?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

Not a ton of new releases this week.

Sonic Youth- SYR8, It is a single 57 minute plus track. The SYR releases are much more experimental than your average Sonic Youth album. This is for the big SY fans.

Alice Cooper!! I will not be reviewing this one.

Takka Takka- Migration is my pick of the week before hearing anything. I'll be back with more on this one later in the week.

Arbouretum/Pontiak- Kale This is a split vinyl only release which is put out by Thrill Jockey, I hope to pick this up tonight also.

Music: Capitol Hill Block Party Day 2

The first band that I saw on day 2 was Seattle's own Man Plus! That's the uber-charismatic Jared pictured performing in the crowd.

Watching Man Plus perform is a high energy affair. By the end of the show it's difficult to remember things such as, "How many people are in that band?" The current answer is 6. It's hard to remember not because there are so many people on stage, but because one man dominates your attention for the entire performance. That one man is lead vocalist Jared Mills. He danced, he crooned, he screamed, he lost pints of sweat, and he even bled for the Man Plus faithful who had gathered to witness their performance at the Vera Project stage.

Man Plus live video
The highlight of the show can be seen in the above video link as Jared jumps down into the crowd to perform, "Not For All the Cocaine In the World" from the album The Hungarian Suicide Handbook.

You can catch Man Plus next on August 16th at the High Dive in Seattle. It's a show that you won't want to miss.

When I arrived at the Block Party on Saturday I walked in to see Kimya Dawson finishing up her set on the main stage. I stood there for a moment and wondered if this is one of the largest crowds that she has ever performed in front of. The one time that I saw the Moldy Peaches in 2002 they played to a crowd of about 400. Since I have moved to Seattle Kimya has played solo shows at the Dearborn on Woodland which is a tiny TINY space which can not hold much more than 50 people. And 50 would be absolutely packing that place. She also played a gig at a house venue, The Green House at the end of last year in a small basement place of similar capacity. It was a little mind boggling to see her in such intimate spaces to playing for a few thousand in the middle of Seattle.

I spent a lot of the early evening inside King Cobra drinking strongbow and eating sweet potato fries. I highly recommend the sweet potato fries.

At this point in the day I went around to check out all of the groups who were tabling. I made my way to theBabeland table. They had a ringtoss game where you had to get the rings to stay on strap-on dildos that were strapped to Star Wars character standees. I won a silver bullet vibrator, thanks babeland!

From there I walked by the Democrats table (the republicans were nowhere to be seen) and I glanced over at the buttons that they had laid out. "Oh my god!" I exclaimed, "What do I have to do to get that one!" "It's a dollar." "SOLD!" And I walked away giggling at my new "For those about to BARACK, we salute you!" button. "BARACK" is written in the ACDC font.

After the tables I met up with Jessica who manages Man Plus. I told her about the performance earlier. She was stuck behind the merch table and did not have much of a vantage point to actually see them play. Her and I almost randomly wandered back over towards the Vera Project stage. Neither one of us had bothered to check out the schedule to see what band was playing. We just decided to see what was going on over there. I am so glad that we did.

As we approached San Diego band Grand Ole Party was already playing to a good sized crowd. A song into being there Jessica and I were saying to each other, "Hey, they are really good," and she made the first Pretenders reference to the band.

Lead singer/drummer Kristin Gundred had us captivated with her amazing voice that she was really letting loose on this night. Two songs in we said, "They are really fucking good!" And three songs in Jessica and I retreated to the merch table to buy their album while I talked about how I am now in love with Gundred.

As we continued to watch the live show Jessica and I also perused the liner notes. While I was overly excited to learn that Blake Sennett(Rilo Kiley, The Elected) produced the album Jessica pointed out that Gundred has a wedding ring on in one of the photos. "So? People don't stay married forever!" I retorted.

I also sent a text message to several friends at the Block Party that they needed to stop what they were doing and head over to see this band. I asked Jessica if I could have her all access wristband. "Why, so you can go ruin a marriage?" "Absolutely!" She declined, and I was left with only an album to remember the experience.

After my new favorite band
finished up I was able to get about 4 people deep from the front of the mainstage to see Devotchka close out the entire weekend. DeVotchka continues to put on one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. Despite Nick Urata being without a bottle of wine the band was in top form. Watching Tom Hagerman play the violin live is a spiritual experience, and something that I will never get tired of seeing. Their set included covers of Frank Sinatra, Ted Thacker, and the Velvet Underground(Devotchka does one of the best covers of "Venus In Furs" around).

The biggest crowd pop of the night was when the opening synth of "How It Ends" hit. During the chorus Nick turned the mic around to face the audience and seemingly all of Seattle sang along.

Devotchka closed their set with, "Such a Lovely Thing" which is very fitting. The song's lyrics include:

you only love me when I’m leaving,
you only love me ‘cause I’m leaving,
you only love me when I’m leaving,
you only love me ‘cause I’m leaving tonight

The crowd wanted to see an encore so bad, but it was 12:00AM on the dot and the show was over. Devotchka played for almost a full hour and a half, and it was an amazing, and fitting, end to the weekend.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Music: Capitol Hill Block Party Day 1

Day 1:

In the beginning, there was Menomena...

This weekend was Seattle's annual Capitol Hill Block Party. It was a rockin' good time, and I sort of feel like I need to sleep for an entire day to recover from the weekend.

One of the best parts of this festival, above all others that I have ever been to, was the actual "block party" feel to it. Both days I was running into people that I knew left and right. I would split up with a friend who wanted to see a band at one stage while I headed to another stage to watch a different band, and it wouldn't be long before I was enjoying music with friends again.

The band that I was most excited to see on Day 1 was Menomena from Portland, OR. Unfortunately the main stage schedule was off for a bit of the afternoon, and it was when Menomena was on stage that the organizers decided to stick to the schedule. They started a while later than the listed set time, but they only played until the listed end time. I had never seen them before, and I left their set feeling slighted. It's obviously not the band's fault. They were really great for about 5 or 6 songs, and then they were over. I will definitely try to check them out the next time they come through town.

Menomena puts out really cool interactive album art work. Don't download their music, you will want to hold it in your hands. Trust me on this one.

Next came Girl Talk, who had a much larger following then I could have imagined. This is when the pushing, shoving, punching, and beer spilling was at it's absolute worst. I guess everyone wants their 15 minutes on stage. Girl Talk live is the most fun that anyone can have watching a guy play his album tracks verbatim on a laptop.
While it started off super high energy and fun, after a while I felt like I was getting beer spilled on me so that I could listen to "Night Ripper". I was disappointed when he threw in a random Toadies sample never to come back to it again. He should have gone back to it, and maybe thrown in a little Spacehog for good measure.

From there I disappeared into the dungeon that was Neumo's and this one experience kept me out of there for the rest of the weekend.

The crowd inside Neumos would have enraged the fire marshal to no end. The stairs leading from the floor to the upstairs was even jampacked with people. I found myself in the middle of, what appeared to be, the designated couples make-out section. You know how there is always that couple at a show? Well I was completely surrounded by them.

I had never heard the Dodos before seeing them live. My friends Brian and Lyndsey were both very excited for them, so I decided to check them out. They did not disappoint in the slightest! The crowd was super hot and just in love with this band. You could literally feel the floor shake with so many people stomping and dancing. Eventually I had had enough of the heat and being packed like a sardine and I felt like I was going to pass out at any moment, so I bailed on the last part of their set to seek cooler air and water.

I caught part of Les Savy Fav's ridiculously high energy rock spectacle from way in the back, sipping on water. I was so dehydrated at this point that I went to order food and my brain froze. I said, "I'm sorry, I forgot what I wanted. I'm just so," "Drunk?" Said the food vendor, "No, dehydrated! I haven't had any alcohol today." I'm not sure if he believed me, but it was absolutely true.

Local all ages favorite, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head were up next on the Vera Project stage. Volunteering at Vera I have heard lots of rave reviews about this band from the younger volunteers.

I was rather unimpressed. The band members were all so excited to be there, and the crowd for them was the largest that I saw on one of the smaller stages all weekend. This was a mostly under aged crowd and they were absolutely madly in love with this band! The music wasn't bad, but it didn't do anything for me. I have to say though, watching their crowd was one of the highlights of the entire block party.

I caught a song of indie rock flavor of the month Vampire Weekend before fellow KEXP volunteer Susan was kind enough to give me a ride home. It was fun, and I saw them earlier this year at Neumos and didn't feel like dealing with the main stage crowd to watch them on this night.

I returned home ears ringing, dehydrated, exhausted, and covered in beer that was not my own.

Friday, July 25, 2008

MMA: Affliction news

Kevin Iole at Yahoo! has reported that the next Affliction show will be 10/11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski. Tom Atencio of Affliction said that match announcement is premature.

That is the fight that makes the most sense. Especially with Randy Couture's non compete clause with UFC running through at least October.

Couture didn't do his legal case any favors by appearing on the Affliction pay per view. Affliction didn't do themselves any favors by having Couture enter the ring for an interview and ask him about the possibility of a Fedor-Couture match. That's right, Affliction planted the seeds for a future Couture-Fedor match which will not be Fedor's next fight. Perhaps they should have had Arlovski do a run in and hit Couture with a chair and say that he's the true #1 contender for Fedor's title. Hey, I'd pay to see that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Music: A preliminary Black Kids follow up

I will delve more into this album later, but I wanted to give you my initial thoughts.

I've listened to 3 songs so far, and they are all very bad.

There was one point during, "I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You," where I audibly said, "Oh!" and I completely did not mean it in a good way.

Find the self released Black Kids, it's really good. This major label debut is an abomination.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Music: How to Build Someone Up Just to Tear Them Down, The Pitchfork Way!

Some of you have already seen this.

But how many of you have seen this?

Not even a year ago, Black Kids self-released their first EP and offered it for free on their MySpace page. I read the second review linked above, thought to myself, "Hey, free music!" and went and downloaded it. My favorite aspect of Black Kids at that point was that they chose to list their genre as "indie crunk." I mean, how can you go wrong with a description like that?

As more Black Kids news began being posted on Pitchfork, tour dates etc., they always included an mp3 download of, "I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You."

Eventually KEXP in Seattle caught on, and on November 13th(the day I arrived in Seattle) they too offered I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You as a free mp3 download as their song of the day.

This is the first band to create a name for themselves based only on internet buzz since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! pulled it off, who also came to the forefront of indie music due to an excellent review and publicity from Pitchfork. Black Kids were being universally praised all over the internet that they(unlike Clap Your Hands) skipped over the indie labels all together and signed with a major label.

I have yet to pick up a copy of the full length that was released yesterday. When I picked up the Brendan Canning album I inquired about the availability of Black Kids on vinyl, and I was informed that there was not a vinyl release of it this week. Being that I already have the EP, I decided that I will just wait until Black Kids are in town again in October and pick up the vinyl(hopefully) version at their show.

Around the time that I was having this conversation at Easy Street Records, Pitchfork first posted a review of the Black Kids album. They gave it a score of 0.0 out of 10. Within hours that review was replaced with the one linked above. Now, I understand that Pitchfork has different writers, and that we should all take reviews with a grain of salt, but what is the deal here?

All of the songs on the EP are present on the LP. Yes, they were re-recorded, and remixed. Were these songs destroyed in the process? I absolutely have no idea, but I've never been so eager to listen to an album with such a terrible terrible review.

Pitchfork absolutely played a huge part in Black Kids rise to prominence, and they should have gotten a thank you card when Black Kids signed a contract.

I just don't understand how Pitchfork went from drooling all over these indie darlings to burning them at the stake, all in a 9 month span. Did I mention that the songs from the EP are on the LP? Pitchfork doesn't have a message board, or online community so there has been no official explanation of the review, or even an explanation of why the review was changed after it went up. Pitchfork's lackluster review keeps Black Kids in the news on music sites all over the web. By panning it in such a dramatic way Pitchfork is giving Black Kids plenty of publicity, and there is no such thing as bad publicity in the music industry. People are talking about it, and people are defending the album. All the while, Pitchfork loses credibility.

Where the Silence Is reader ApeRock posted this awesome commentary about yesterday's Pitchfork review:

I take Pitchfork reviews with a grain of salt, but apparently they do not like the new Black Kids album, and instead of a review they posted a photo of a couple of pugs with a note saying “Sorry :-/”. No review just the photo. Since Pitchfork is one of the ones who hyped the Black Kids in the first place, maybe they are just regretting the fact now. Interesting choice that they chose pugs to represent the photo. Maybe it is because a few years ago pugs where the “it” dog for a while, but really pugs are not healthy dogs. This breed is grossly deformed. The unnaturally short face and upturned nose means breathing difficulties and the potential for heatstroke in hot humid weather. Their compromised respiratory system makes it risky to anesthetize them. Most of these dogs can't even whelp their puppies without veterinary intervention. The large shallow-set eyes are extremely vulnerable to injury and infection. Pugs are also prone to a serious brain disease, joint problems, and skin and allergy problems. So in short Black Kids = Pugs = Problems.

Looks like I need to pick up a copy of this album earlier than I was planning to.
I'll compare the EP and the LP later this week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Music: First Impressions with Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning, "Something For All of Us..."

Arts & Crafts puts a lot of effort into their packaging, and their releases really stand out on the record store shelves. This album is no exception.

The cover is a drawing of the Broken Social Scene crew and various other musicians with Brendan Canning standing in the center with his hands in his pockets staring out at the listener. I think that Leslie Feist may be over his left shoulder.

It's a gatefold CD case with some really nice watercolor artwork on the inside. If Arts & Crafts releases this as a gatefold vinyl then that would be a really nice addition to your record collection.

The contributing musicians is a long list which includes your usual suspects from BSS, and a few other Canadians- like Amy Millan(swoon!).

This is not an album where all of the songs sound the same. The album title, "Something For Everyone" is a rather apt description.

The opening title track, "Something For Everyone" opens with some serious guitar fuzz that recalls Sonic Youth at their pop best(ie- Rather Ripped).

The second track, "Chameleon" includes the first Amy Millan sighting. This song is almost an indie rock waltz. This is the song that performed live will make the couples hold eachother and sway.

"Snowballs and Icicles" is a slower acoustic number with a synth and violin backing that draws inspiration from the best of Eliott Smith.

Other songs even delve into the indie dance genre.

On first inspection, this is a really good album that shows that Brendan Canning has a large part in the direction and success of Broken Social Scene. If you like BSS then I would highly recommend picking this one up.

My pick for best song title- "Antique Bull" which I just find to be very clever.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

I have two recommended releases for this week. Well, I guess "recommended" is not the right word since I have not heard the first album that I am going to mention.

A year ago Broken Social Scene member Kevin Drew released one of my favorite albums of 2007, and it was the first solo album from a BSS member that was branded as a BSS release. It was titled, Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew.

Tomorrow we will get the second BSS branded release when BSS collective member Brendan Canning releases his first solo album.
Broken Social Scene Presents: Brendan Canning- Something for All of Us. I will be picking this one up tomorrow, and it will be the featured music review sometime later this week. This one comes out on the Arts&Crafts imprint, which is one of my favorite labels. I mean just look at their magical indie Candian lineup: BSS, Kevin Drew, Stars, Amy Millan, Feist(who doesn't need a BSS presents on her albums), Los Campesinos!, American Analog Set, and well I could pretty much drool over their entire roster.

Your second recommendation this week is none other than Black Kids. I was fortunate enough to download their EP for free on their MySpace page before they started negotiating with the major labels to put out their first full length. I also saw them in April open for Cut Copy, which overall was a fucking fantastic indie dance show!

Well they aren't so indie these days as Columbia will be releasing their full length
Partie Traumatic.

The song that made Black Kids is "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You", which is a feel good, upbeat, dance number that makes it impossible to sit still. One of my favorite parts of the song is when lead crooner Reggie Youngblood sings, "You are the girl, that I've been dreaming of, ever since I was a little girl." You should track down this song, and I guarantee it will make you a believer. The highlight of the live show that I attended was their performance of, "Listen to Your Body Tonight" a sexy ditty about flirting, hooking up, lust, future love and what it all means. "Do you want my body? I went to feel somebody, on me, Listen to your body tonight, it's gonna treat you right," and then it all came to a crescendo at the end with the line, "don't be afraid to fall in love, cuz you don't like heights." I think that this is an excellent choice for the final song on the album, but alas it's 7th of 10.

This week you should definitely get Black Kids. If you like Broken Social Scene as much as I do then you should pick up the Brendan Canning as well.

You can check out Brendan Canning on his upcoming tour:

07/27/08 Guelph, ON @ Hillside Festival
08/02/08 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/02/08 Chicago, IL @ Metro
08/04/08 Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music and Arts Festival
08/08/08 Regina, SK @ Regina Folk Festival
08/10/08 Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Folk Music Festival
08/15/08 Ottawa, ON @ Ottawa Folk Festival
08/21/08 Salt Lake City, UT@ Twilight Concert Series
08/24/08 San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
8/27/08 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Canecao
8/28/08 Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Citibank Hall
8/31/08 Buenos Aires, Argentina @ La Trastienda Club

Black Kids are seemingly taking over the world with their list of upcoming tour dates which you can find on that link(click their name!).

Music: TV On the Radio Returns!

TV On the Radio have their own website, and it hadn't been updated for almost a year. Hadn't been- that is until yesterday.

This is all it says:

TV On The Radio's new album Dear Science, is set to release on September 23rd!

Upcoming tour dates:

5 Musicfest NW, Roseland Theater Portland, OR*
6 Showbox, Seattle WA*
7 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC*
9 Macewan Ballroom, Calgary AB*
10 Starlite Room, Edmonton AB*
12 Knitting Factory Boise ID*
13 In the Venue, Salt Lake City UT*
14 Monolith Festival, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison CO
19 Street Scene, San Diego, CA
20 Treasure Island Festival, San Francisco CA

*Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson will be the opener.

I just looked up tickets on the Showbox website for the September 6th show. It is not at the Showbox at the Market(the Showbox that people outside of Seattle are aware of). No, it is instead at the worst venue in town: the Showbox SODO. The Showbox SODO is in the warehouse area of "South Downtown" and it's actually in a renovated warehouse of sorts. It has a poor sound set up and a slab concrete floor that does a number on all the joints in your body as you move to the music. Did I mention that the sound sucks?

Oh yah, and if it's an all ages show then you can't have alcohol anywhere remotely close to the stage. My friend Jimmer goes to a lot of shows and he absolutely refuses to go to the Showbox SODO- I can't say that I blame him. I'll probably skip this show due to the horrid warehouse concert hall.

There is a slight chance that I will make it out to the Monolith festival at Red Rocks, but it's not set in stone(pardon the pun) just yet.

Anyway, news of a new TV On the Radio album makes me ridiculously happy! This has become the album on the release schedule that I am most excited about.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

MMA News: Anderson Silva and Fedor dominate, Tim Sylvia sucks

I tried to go to Piecora's in Seattle last night to watch the free UFC show. I was arriving late, because I only really wanted to see the Anderson Silva-James Irvin fight. When I got to the restaurant they had the Mariners game on the TV, but their website said they were going to have the UFC show on. Boo!

I thought about driving 25 minutes to the Magnolia Pub, the other place I know that shows UFC fights, but I wasn't really up to it after working all day. If Silva was actually defending the middleweight title then I would have gone the extra mile(s) to see the fight live.

Instead, I just watched it online.

Silva wins in dominant fashion via knockout in 1:01. James Irvin doesn't hit him. Well he doesn't hit Silva until he throws a kick to the body which Anderson Silva catches. Silva catches the leg and throws a heavy right that lands right in the middle of the face. Irvin goes down from there and Silva pounces on him and throws some more shots to the head until the ref has finally seen enough. An easy day at the office for the UFC middleweight champion fighting up in weight at 205.

In his post-match promo Silva says that his first priority is to defend the title at 185, but he wants to have the best matchups regardless of weight class. I look forward to the impending middleweight champ Anderson Silva vs welterweight champ Georges St.Pierre fight. Seriously, book this now!

I was also able to track down the main event of last night's inaugural Affliction pay per view, which Donald Trump is still claiming was sold out. Prior to this fight I had never seen Fedor Emelianenko fight. He absolutely dominated Tim Sylvia. The fight lasts 36 seconds, but this is a murder. Sylvia grabs a muay thai clinch early, and Fedor lands an uppercut and punches his way out of it(!) and down goes Sylvia, covering his head. Fedor jumps on him and starts swinging away at the head. Sylvia rolls over and gives up his back. Then Fedor shows just how massively strong he is: Sylvia has his arms up covering his head- I would have actually stopped the fight at this point if I was the ref, because covering your head does not constitute intelligently defending your self- then Fedor just thrusts his arm in between Sylvia's arm and his neck. Instantly, Sylvia grabs a hold of Fedor's arm so that he doesn't get choked out. But Fedor locks in the choke with no struggle, clasps his hands, and Sylvia is tapping out. Fight over in 36 seconds. Holy fuck is Fedor strong! I mean, Tim Sylvia is a big dude and Fedor just had his way with him landing punches while Sylvia held him in the clinch and then getting the rear naked choke without even having to try hard.

Fedor is your WAMMA(World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts) Heavyweight Champion!

After the fight Fedor said he wants Randy Couture. Randy Couture entered the ring and said that he wants the fight as well. A pro wrestling angle just broke out! You see, Randy Couture is the UFC Heavyweight Champion and he has a no-compete clause in his UFC contract until at least October. Also, the UFC is currently suing Couture for refusing to fight. I don't think this appearance on a competitor's PPV is going to help Couture's legal defense at all.

Andrei Arlovski beat Ben Rothwell via KO in the third round of their fight, which the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer called a great fight. I like Arlovski, and I think it's a good bet that we will see Fedor defend his new title against Arlovski at the next Affliction show. The Affliction website currently has no mention of when the next event will take place.

So, WAMMA is this group of people who do a "global ranking" of fighters by weight class. It's stupid, and unnecessary. They think they are awesome though, and I think it's a complete joke that they crowned a champion in the first main event that they are involved in. At least set up a tournament of sorts. Maybe on this show have a couple of "semifinal" matches and next shows have the "finals" and crown the champion then.

It's safe to say that Affliction lost millions of dollars putting on their show tonight. They threw a lot of money at people in order to put together the card that they did. They did get plenty of media exposure. had Fedor on the main page all day yesterday with an article about him. That's right, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson lost his UFC title to Forrest Griffin and nothing mentioned on Quinton Jackson goes on a rampage and no mention of it on Fedor Emelianenko fights in the first Affliction pay per view and it's front page news!

Friday, July 18, 2008

MMA News: Your daily dose of Rampage

Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson's hearing for felony evading, reckless driving and hit and run has been set for August 15. The Costa Mesa police have stated that drugs nor alcohol were involved in the incident.

On Wednesday afternoon Rampage was in fact detained at a hospital for a mental health evaluation. Right now I can not find any information on when, or if, he was released. If he has not yet been released then he will probably be let go this afternoon as we are slowly approaching the 48 hour mark of when he was taken in for an evaluation.

One of the few quotes available comes from someone who works at the same training facility as Rampge, “I think he just snapped. He had a nervous breakdown,” said Paul Foster, a friend and fellow trainer at Huntington Beach’s Ultimate Training Center. “Normally, he’s 99.9% under control. Everybody loses control at one time or another. But not everybody’s around to see it.”

In other MMA news: This Saturday is the debut Affliction show live on pay per view from Los Angeles. There are a ton of tickets available and TicketMaster just slashed the prices. Tickets priced at $1000 are now priced at $585. Despite all of this Donald Trump, who has money in the promotion, continues to do media interviews claiming that the show is sold out. Shouldn't the point of his interviews this week be to drum up interest and ticket sales?

The Affliction show has Fedor vs Tim Sylvia as the main event. Skip it. Watch the free show on UFC instead with the main event of Anderson Silva vs James Irvin. I'm taking Anderson Silva via submission in the 2nd round with a triangle choke.

I hope that Fedor wins by knockout.

In WWE news: This Sunday's Great American Bash is headlined by CM Punk's first ever pay per view title defense when he takes on Batista. Punk should win, if only to appease me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Music: Seeing bands on back to back days

I have never been into jam bands. I remember a time when I was an intern at the Boulder Theater where some jam band, String Cheese maybe?, who played five straight nights at the venue. We sold tickets for each night as well as a 5 night pass. The majority of the tickets sold(and all shows were sold out) were of the 5 night pass variety. That just blows my mind, and as I attempt to comprehend it I understand why drugs are a large part of that culture.

This past week I had the pleasure of seeing Wolf Parade on back to back days. It was great, and they did the little things that make it possible to see a muti-night stand from a band. On Sunday at Sub Pop they continually put over the record label and the festival. It made their performance feel like a very special moment, which it was.
On Monday they varied the set list just enough to keep things interesting. In most cases, I never want to see the exact same show back to back.

It also got me wondering what bands I have seen on back to back days. Here is the shortlist:

1998: I saw Pearl for the first and second time on the Yield tour. The first show was in St. Louis and the second was in Kansas City. The St. Louis show was infinitely better. Again, these shows had vastly different set lists which was great- especially for a band that I was so excited to see.

2005: Bright Eyes. The second of these shows was a radio show taping for E-Town Live. I was so glad that I was there for that. Conor Oberst was so hilarious during the interview portions and it was edited to all hell for the actual broadcast. The E-Town people were not as impressed with his humor as I was. This is my favorite band, my longest tenured friend Mike Vallely came out to Colorado for these shows, and we hung out with the "Trees" girls. It's one of my favorite concert experiences just because Mike was there.

2006: Built to Spill. They opened both shows with, "Car" and I hope they play that song every time that I see them. They didn't vary the set list too much, and Radio 1190's Jonny Trash complained afterwards that he felt the shows were too similar. I was just excited to finally be seeing Built to Spill live!

Also in 2006: Sonic Youth. Sonic Youth didn't go on until after midnight, so technically this was two shows on back to back days. Earlier in the day was Lollapalooza and I was fortunate enough to be in the wings for their performance(I have a couple awesome pictures from this that I will try to find). Then around 1am they took the stage at a small venue in Chicago. Feist actually opened for them. After the late show is the first and (so far)only time that I have attempted to party like a rock star. From there we headed to a Lolla post show party, and my friend Dan Gaytan and I were driving east towards the Sears Tower as the sun rose behind it. Then we passed out for the rest of the day.

A few months ago I had attempted to see local Seattle band, Hey Marseilles, on back to back nights, but the second night I was going alone to a place I had never been. I got horribly lost and never arrived.

What bands have you seen on back to back days?

MMA News: Rampage! Redux

TMZ is reporting that Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson was picked up by police a second time this week.

Yesterday afternoon he was apparently hanging out with some friends, and his friends flagged down a cop car and said that Rampage was acting odd. The police officers at the scene deemed him a danger to self and/or others, so he was taken to a hospital for observation.

It's also being reported that he was very cooperative with police.

After the July 5th title fight loss Rampage said in his post fight interview that he would never have 9 months between fights again.

The top 4 draws in the UFC light heavyweight division are champion Forest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlai Silva, and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson. Liddell is fighting Rashad Evans in September, and if Chuck wins that fight he would be the obvious choice for the next title match.
If Chuck loses then you could go to an immediate rematch between Griffin and Rampage.

That last idea has probably been tossed out the window this week.

Something is odd in Irvine, CA.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson was arrested yesterday after police were responding to reports of a hit and run involving his vehicle. As you can see from the AP picture, his truck is easy to find since it has a huge picture of himself on it. Awesome.

Once the police caught up with him he continued to drive on a flat tire and led the police on a short chase before he finally stopped. Police officers had their guns drawn as he was taken into custody.


Rampage lost the Light Heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin on July 5th. It was a very close and an extremely awesome fight. The UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is the premier title belt in the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world.
Quinton Jackson was the 12-5 favorite in Vegas for this fight, and chances are he will be the odds makers favorite for a potential rematch. He is one of the top fighters in the world at the premier weight class in the UFC.

The only reason why this story isn't being reported everywhere is because it's going to take the media sources a while to figure out who this guy is and what it means. The sports writers in this country are an old boys club, and they are slow to learn no things. They didn't spend anytime learning about MMA as a sport growing up, so as it becomes more popular they have no idea how to report on it. So instead they look down upon it and publish lies. The weekend of the last UFC pay per view where Rampage lost the title ESPN gave something like 12 times the amount of coverage to the competitive hotdog eating contest in Long Island. Let me rephrase that- The premier sporting news network in the world spent 12 times as long covering an eating contest than they did on a title change in the UFC.

The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported that UFC President Dana White went to Orange County to post bail. I hope that someday n I get into trouble a very powerful rich man will come to my aid.

He was booked on suspicion of felony evading, hit and run and reckless driving.
There were no injuries, so I would not be surprised to see absolutely no jail time handed down. Then again this is the United States and Quinton Jackson is a black man, so you never know. With the PPV buyrate percentage that is negotiated into his contract it's estimated that he made right around 7 figures for his fight on July 5, so he should be able to afford to get himself some excellent lawyers.

It has been a full 24 hours since the incident and no one is reporting that there were drugs or alcohol involved. It does seem like erratic behavior of sorts from the former champion.

In other MMA news the UFC is running a free a show on Spike TV this weekend with a main event of current middleweight champion Anderson Silva vs James Irvin. This will not be for the Middleweight Championship as Silva will be fighting up a weight class. He is hoping to defend the Middleweight title at 185 lbs and also fight at 205 lbs. I hope he holds two belts in two weight classes at the same time.

This free Spike TV special is going head to head with the first pay per view from the Affliction group which has a main event of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia and Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor has long been considered the top heavyweight in the world, but since he's never fought in the UFC my question is, then who has he really beaten? I hope Fedor wins, because I sure hate Tim Sylvia. Regardless I'm only watching this match if it shows up on youtube.

Save your money, watch the free show on Spike.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The albums of my life vs the albums of Jamie's life

The Onion AV Club, and then my friend Jamie, did a feature where the writer chose their favorite album for each year since they were born. Jamie included the Indigo Girls, and I just can't really get my head around that. Here's my attempt, and this post is going to take me like 2 hours to compose and it will take you 30 seconds to read.

I was born in 1981: ChangesTwoBowie by David Bowie.
So far so good, Jamie and I agree. Well, she's older than me, but 1981 is the same.

1982- Thriller - Michael Jackson. This is of course, the best selling album of all time. Jamie picked Peter Gabriel. I would be shocked to learn that she actually owns any Peter Gabriel.

1983- Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes. Violent Femmes are a band that I have loved for a long time, and I have yet to add them to my list of bands that I have seen live. I love this album, and I still listen to it regularly. "Kiss Off" and "Add It Up" are two of my all time favorite songs. Jamie went with U2 here. I think that's acceptable. She just made my friend Jose "super U2 fan!" Araguz very happy.

1984- In many ways I want to give 1984 to Prince and Purple Rain In reality though my choice is U2 with The Unforgettable Fire which is easily my favorite U2 album. One time in high school I was in my room listening to this album when a girl I was sort of into called. I answered and she said, "Are you listening to U2?" "Uhh, yah, A Sort of Homecoming," I responded. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that was the deepest connection we ever made.

Jamie went with Depeche Mode. Now that's a sexy pick!

1985- Dare to Be Stupid- "Weird" Al Yankovic. I've met the man, I've watched UHF with him, and up until about 2000 I owned his entire catalog. This one is my favorite.
Jamie went with Jethro Tull, I am not making this up.

1986- They Might Be Giants- They Might Be Giants. I have seen TMBG twice and the shows were 12 years apart. I made a mixtape recently and I included the opening track from this album, "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" Jamie on the other hand gave 1986 to Bon Jovi, I guess she's just livin' on a prayer or something.

Last week I went to a volunteer meeting at the Vera Project. The ice breaker question was, "What's the most embarrassing song on your mp3 player?" The age of the volunteers ranges from high school aged to 50+ year olds and one of the younger volunteers said, "I have some They Might Be Giants. They are really weird, I don't know how to explain them." My answer to this question? Sublime.

1987- REM and U2 both put out classic albums this year. Jamie's choice was The Joshua Tree, and I think that's an excellent choice. Of all of the albums released this year there is one that I still listen to on a regular basis and it's Sonic Youth's Sister which also might be my favorite Sonic Youth release ever. Opening track, "Schizophrenia" is easily my favorite Sonic Youth song.
Props to Rick Ramos for giving me my first copy of Sister!

1988- What a year! Honorable mentions to: Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, REM's Green, and Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking- which was in fact Jamie's pick for this year. My choice for this year is of course, The Pixies' Surfer Rosa which is one of my favorite albums of all time.

1989- This is the year where Jamie went with the Indigo Girls, but she also chose The Cure. That's right, she cheated and made two picks. Tsk tsk. Indigo Girls? Why didn't she just go with Electric Youth then?
My pick, after considering giving it to The Pixies' Doolittle(which is the first Pixies album I ever bought) is none other than The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique which has something like 105 samples on it. You can not afford to make an album like this today. This release is an enigma unto itself.

1990- Who would have guessed that They Might Be Giants would be the first band to take two spots on this blog? Earlier this year I was listening to Flood and I was shocked, shocked I say!, that the opening track said, "A brand new album, for 1990," I remember playing pool in Brett Martin's basement and listening to it on cassette. Easily the best They Might Be Giants album, everyone should have this, and it should be added to Rock Band immediately.

Jamie picked The Soup Dragons who I think made one song that I have ever heard of. It's a good song though.

1991- If I could paraphrase Gza, the Genius for a moment: This is the year that everything changed. Jamie and I agree on this year, Pearl Jam's Ten runs away with this year. In May Smashing Pumpkins Gish came out, Pearl Jam came out in August, and then in September Nirvana's Nevermind was released. Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands of all time.

1992- Alice in Chains' Dirt There was a period of several years in the '90's when I was really into Alice in Chains. I probably listened to "Rooster" everyday for this entire period.

Jamie picked Tori Amos, which I think is fine. I've always liked Tori, but I've never gotten into her. With the exception of the song, "Cornflake Girl" which my future band will certainly cover.

1993- This was my toughest choice yet. Siamese Dream of course has the song, "Today" which is a song that really marked a change in what, and how, I listened to. Then of course there is In Utero, but I am quite certain that the one album released in 1993 that I have listened to the most, and still continue to listen to today, is Bjork's Debut.

Jamie picked the first Counting Crows album. Which I do not really listen to anymore, but historically I have listened to it a metric fuckton of times. Jamie is still living in the past, and it's evident by this choice.

Just kidding Jamie, I love you.

1994- Weezer's Blue Album. Weezer means so much to me. This album means so much to me. The first time I went to a show without adult supervision was on the tour for this album. My older brother let me tag along. I'm going to write more about this in the future as I attempt to review their latest release, aka- The Red Album. Jamie and I agree again on this year! Which is good, because it's a goddamned fantastic album people!

1995- Jamie and I met because of Jewel. Jamie went ahead and picked, Pieces of You and made a sidebar about how she hates Jewel now but how she loved her then. It's adorable really. I don't know the last time I listened to POY, so I can not choose the album that sold almost 12 million copies. It was also hard not to pick Radiohead's The Bends. My choice for 1995 is none other than Oasis- (What's the Story)Morning Glory? I still listen to this regularly and I still play, "Don't Look Back in Anger" whenever I notice it on a jukebox.

1996- A year that brought both my favorite Modest Mouse album and my favorite Pearl Jam. Neither one gets the top spot though, and Jamie and I agree again with Weezer's Pinkerton. Another concert that I saw with my brother. It's also the best concert I have ever been to. Look for more on this in the upcoming Weezer article.

1997- Built to Spill- Perfect From Now On In an effort of full disclosure I should inform you that I have this album title tattooed on my chest. This September Built to Spill is playing this album in it's entirety here in Seattle. I already have my ticket.

Jamie picked Radiohead's OK Computer She then added, "god, music is AWESOME." It sure is Jamie, it sure is.

1998- Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Jamie picked Patty Griffin, which is a choice that I just find bland. Honorable mention to Bright Eyes' Letting Off the Happiness

1999- The Flamin Lips' The Soft Bulletin narrowly beats out Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's I See a Darkness who's title track was covered by Johnny Cash.

Jamie went with Fiona Apple's Long Ass Title which is an album which I have honestly never really listened to even though I have her albums that were released before and after this one.

2000- We agree again! The Weakerthans- Left and Leaving This is an album so great that it beats out Bright Eyes' Fevers and Mirrors which is a fucking fantastic album in itself. I introduced Jamie to both of those bands, she's forever in debt to me now.

2001- I was slowly narrowing down my choices from Gorillaz, Weezer, and the White Stripes when I realized that Rilo Kiley's Take-Offs and Landings came out this year. A couple nights ago my friend Lauren and I were drinking Strongbow and singing Rilo Kiley songs. She turned to me and asked which of their songs is my favorite, and without missing a beat I said, "Pictures of Success."

Jamie's choice is a Jason Mraz live album, then she mentioned something about it being before he "sold out." I have listened to two Jason Mraz songs in my life, that I am aware of. Color me not impressed.

2002- For this year I have to give a special shout out to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot The last time I was in Chicago I took a picture of Marina City and called it, "The Yankee Hotel Foxtrot buildings!"

Jamie and I agree again. The summer of 2002 I preordered the Bright Eyes album Lifted, or the Story's In the Soil Keep Your Ear to the Ground. It arrived just a few days before my birthday. I remember the first time I listened to it, I was in my car and it was raining. I was driving to a party at the Crackside apartments in Boulder, CO. This is the best album from my favorite band.

2003- Dearest Jamie, Thank you so much for not picking the Shins. Love always, Jon

Jamie picked Deathcab for Cutie's Transatlanticism. I would one up her and rank The Postal Service- Give Up ahead of that. The real question for this year though:

Who do I love more Karen O or Jack White? Well today it's Jack White,
The White Stripes- Elephant Jack White sidebar- I bought the first Raconteurs album without hearing a track or reading a review. I saw an ad that informed me that Jack White was in a full band. I bought the album an hour or so later. Maybe 12 hours later I bought tickets to see them play in Denver. Jack White makes me go all crazy like.

2004- The Arcade Fire's Funeral is the obvious number 1 for 2004. It continues to be an album that I listen to regularly, and I always mention it to people whenever I get asked for a recommendation on "newer music," which happens often.

Jamie went with More Adventurous from Rilo Kiley. Which is excellent, and it kind of hurts my head to think that it's already 4 years old.

2005- Jamie and I are in agreement yet again. This time Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning Honorable mentions to - Wolf Parade and Sufjian Stevens. And maybe also to The New Pornographers and the Mountain Goats.

2006- TV On the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain is the runaway winner. This is another recommendation that I dole out to anyone who is looking for newer music. Jamie went all super obscure on us here and chose The Format's Dog Problems which is an album with an awesome title track and great packaging, but I still couldn't bring myself to pay $7 for it in the used bin at Sonic Boom last month.

2007- Jamie is one after my heart by picking yet another Bright Eyes album, this time it's Cassadaga which would probably be second, or third at worst on my list for 2007. The obvious choice for me is Spoon with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Honorable mentions to Animal Collective and the Arcade Fire.

2008- Jamie already picked one. I don't think that I am going to. She went with In Rainbows which will not be my pick.

So far this year I really like She&Him, Wolf Parade, Vampire Weekend, the Mountain Goats, and my favorite release so far this year just may be Tokyo Police Club's Saddle Creek debut, Elephant Shell.

So there you have it. This took even longer than I thought it would. Perhaps it will take you longer than 30 seconds to read it now.

Let me know if you think I left anything out that needs to be mentioned.

Fun with Wolf Parade continues, Foals are stunning

Yesterday morning Neumo's sent out an e-mail officially announcing that the Super Secret Guest was indeed Wolf Parade, and that English band Foals had also been added to the lineup.

At 7pm(an hour before doors)there were still tickets available for the show. When I actually entered the venue around 10:20pm it was sold out.

It appears that the recent police reinterpretation of the capacity of Neumo's has ceased. This was the first sold out show at Neumo's in months that actually felt like a sold out show. Packed floor, full balcony.

I arrived just in time to see Foals take the stage. They also played the Sub Pop 20 this weekend, and I of course did not see them. The band set up on stage almost in a circle, facing each other most of the time and not the audience. It was like a punk/indie dance drum circle. Bands members leaned on each other and slammed into one another at various times. They put on a hell of a show and the Seattle crowd was, as usual, super hot and just ate up everything the band threw their way.

The highlight of their set was during their next to last song lead singer Yannis Philippakis disappeared into the crowd. At this point I wandered over to the bar and next to me was Yannis Philippakis! He downed a drink and then headed back to the stage. It was quite simply, amazing.

Foals had no merch at the tables. This saddened me to no end.

Wolf Parade then came on for the main event. I was slightly disappointed to realize that the sound girl who I was silently swooning over at Sub Pop 20 was not a local. She actually was the sound tech(or some similar title) for Wolf Parade.

I remember when it seemed that bands played 90 minutes plus standard. In recent years I've been lucky if I see a band play a full hour before the encore break. Wolf Parade played over 3 hours the last two nights combined.

Last night's set, like their set at Sub Pop, closed with At Mount Zoomer "Kissing the Beehive" which clocks in with a runtime of 10:46. It's a song that highlights everything that Wolf Parade brings to the table, and it's epic nature is a great live experience.

I got an e-mail from a friend in Portland mentioning that Wolf Parade is playing there tonight and that I should go down to see it. I'm not. I figure two days in a row is probably plenty Wold Parade for me right now.

Props to Wolf Parade for having vinyl priced at below the CDs on the merch table.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sub Pop is no longer a teenager continues and Birdwatchers United (maybe) play a show

The band that I really wanted to see at Sub Pop was festival closer, Wolf Parade. I have a ticket in hand to see them at Neumo's for tonight, so that was what I kept telling myself over and over again as I analyzed the lineup for Sunday.

I made plans to meet up with a friend, Jimmer, to see an early show at the Comet. The band, Seattle locals, Birdwatchers United! first came into our lives when we saw them open up for Tilly & the Wall a week or so earlier. Birdwatchers were a lot of fun, a high energy feel good pop band, and Jimmer and I each attempted to pick up their CD at the merch table.

Well, Birdwatchers United! were so awesome that they unloaded their CDs before my friend and I made our way to the merch. I became their MySpace friend the next day, and I sent them a message asking if they would have more CDs for sale at the early show, 7pm, yesterday. They responded saying that they weren't planning on it, but they would bring one just for me! I was more than excited.

While I was at work yesterday I received a text from Brian saying that he had another ticket for Sunday's Sub Pop if I wanted to head out to Marymoor. I asked when the headliner went on last night, he responded by saying that, "Wolf Parade goes on at 8:20." I went back and forth on this decision for a while before I decided, Fuck it! I really want to be part of the Sub Pop 20 celebration. Sub Pop is the first independent record label that was part of my consciousness. I had to be there.

At this point I decided that I was going to go home and change after work, go to the Comet to see Birdwatchers United, and then drive out to see Wolf Parade end the festival.

When I got to the Comet, Jimmer had a table and I ordered a drink. The bartenders are very heavy handed, which is a definite plus. Suddenly it was 7:45 and no one was playing, and in fact the band wasn't even set up yet.

Jimmer had plans at 8 as well, so we went outside and introduced ourselves to Emily and (I think) Tim of the Birdwatchers. We received our CDs and discussed their wedding plans before I informed them that we had to go, but we will be sure to see them again!

I hope that they played last night, and I bet it was a super kickass show.

At that point I took off for Sub Pop with, faulty, directions from Brian. On the way there I broke Washington state law and contacted Brian while I was driving to verify part of said directions. He said, "Oh crap!" and thus I got off the highway to turn around.

When I got to the festival grounds the sign said, "No parking after 2pm" and there was a cop at the entrance, I drove past him and parked. He didn't even look at me. There was no parking attendant for me to pay $5 to park either. As I got out of the car I could hear the opening notes of At Mount Zoom opener "Soldier's Grin". I met Brian at the gate and he handed me a ticket(he had actually won tickets while I was trying to win them). The employees didn't scan my ticket or anything, they just waived me in.

I spun around to gage the crowd and I said to Brian, "There's nobody here!" He said that Sunday was less packed then Saturday and that about halfway through yesterday people started to head home. I actually contacted a friend to tell her that I was going there to see Wolf Parade, she had tickets for both days and she told me that she didn't go the second day. I responded saying that she still had a chance. I mean, it's fucking Wolf Parade!
The show was awesome. Wolf Parade played for almost a full 90 minutes. They mentioned before their encore that they were told to only play for 40 minutes and that they were already pushing it. Then they encored with, "I'll Believe In Anything" from Apologies to the Queen Mary.

At this point much of the crowd in front of us had cleared out and I ran forward about 20 feet jumping up and down when I realized what song it was.

"I'll Believe In Anything" is, hands down, my absolutely favorite Wolf Parade song.
The sun was starting to set, the moon was already visible, it was Sub Pop's 20th birthday and I got swept away in the live crowd as we screamed along in unison, "Nobody knows you, and nobody gives a damn!"

So maybe I didn't see the Vaselines, or even Green River, but I did make it out to Sub Pop's birthday party, and I got to see my major music crush of 2008. I'll update tomorrow with a write up of tonight's show, which I am equally excited for.

Here is a link to the Birdwatchers United! myspace page:
Birdwatchers United

Sub Pop is no longer a teenager

I spent the second half of last week trying to, unsuccessfully, win tickets to the Sub Pop 20 festival that happened in Redmond, WA this weekend.

I failed, but I did win tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party at the end of the month.

Saturday came and the Vaselines played their first ever show in the US while I was at work- wishing that I was there.

By 5pm on Saturday I was composing a list of reasons in my head that made it OK to not be at the festival. Reasons like, "The Fleet Foxes are playing the Block Party, so I'll just see them there," or "I saw Flight of the Conchords at Sasquatch just 2 months ago," and of course "I've already seen Iron and Wine!" These few mentions at least distracted me, albeit temporarily, from the fact that Mudhoney and the Vaselines were playing. You will have to excuse me for a moment while I cry at this realization....