Friday, September 26, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

What a week. Sorry for the delay, I've been drinking in Key West!

Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue. I will be listening to this one before I buy to make sure it is not like the last Rilo Kiley album which was bad bad bad.

TV On the Radio- Bad Science

Cold War Kids- Loyalty to Loyalty

Peter Bjorn and John- Seaside Rock

All of these artists previous albums were phenomenal, and I can not wait to hear these. Hopefully I can pick up one or two of these this weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer?
Fujiya & Miyagi - Lightbulbs
James - Hey Ma
Simian Mobile Disco - FABRICLIVE 41

Yes, that's James, the same band that had a hit with Laid, which is a karaoke favorite of mine. Fortunately I know all of the words to that song, because occasionally the karaoke lyrics are clean and they replace, "She only cums when she's on top," to something less racey. But I mean, come on, everyone loves orgasms!

The pick of the week is Live at KEXP Volume 4. This year's edition has a solid lineup that includes !!!, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Yeasayer, and more.
It's available at Seattle area indie record stores, PCC, and through that insound link above. Hurry, it's only available through the end of the year.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MMA: Affliction Cancels October Show

Affliction's second show was scheduled for October 11 in Las Vegas. Last week the company informed the Nevada State Athletic Commission that the show was canceled, and then they listed a new date on their website for January 17, 2009 in Anaheim.

UFC president Dana White said at the press conference that announced the new Randy Couture contract that Affliction would be out of business in January. The way that things are looking now you could call him Nostradamus.

Affliction only exists as an MMA company because they thought that they could book the Randy Couture - Fedor Emelianenko match that the UFC was not able to put together when Fedor turned down a huge money offer(He was offered $2.5 million per fight with a $2.5 million win bonus).
With Couture back in the UFC fold, Affliction has no potential big money fight. January's show should do OK business just because it's theoretically enough time to have Fedor fight on the show(he was off of the October show because he broke his hand when he beat the hell out of Tim Sylvia on the debut show).

Though without TV to support the pay per view, no one is going to know about the show or anything about the people that are on it. It's a show for the MMA diehards who want to see Fedor in action regardless of his opponent.

If the year 2008 has taught us anything about the North American MMA market it's that UFC is the brand name, and people will buy the brand name. The last rating for the prime time EliteXC show on CBS showed that very few people will watch a show just because it is an MMA event, and that show was on free tv.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

Calexico: Carried to Dust
Michael Franti and Spearhead: All Rebel Rockers
Mogwai: Batcat(EP)
Okervil River: The Stand Ins

For the vinyl junkies, Tortoise finally releases Standards on vinyl.
Also, Devotchka have made their album How It Ends available on limited edition red vinyl through their website.

The most interesting release this week is probably Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 US Presidents. It's 3 CDs with each song covering a US president. It includes members of Cake, Califone, Low, Red House Painters, Smog, Xiu Xiu, Charalambides, Wooden Wand and more.

If there is a young child in your life, you should probably know that Kimya Dawson has a children's album coming out this week called Alphabutt. I will be purchasing that one as a gift for a 3 year old.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

MMA: UFC 88 Results, Rashad Evans is King

Last night's UFC 88 was a very good pay per view. There were no match of the year candidates on the show, but there were also no boring matches on the broadcast.

The main event saw Rashad Evans become a star when he threw an overhand right haymaker that knocked Chuck Liddell the fuck out! He was unconscious before he hit the ground. Ref Herb Dean did a great job of seeing that and jumping in for the stop before Evans could land any additional shots. This was such a spectacular knockout that I leaped out of my chair and stood there with one hand over my mouth for a couple of minutes in stunned silence.

The replays showed Chuck's jaw move first and then his neck and head followed. He fell like a ton of bricks, and remained out cold on the mat. This was one of the most spectacular knockouts in MMA history. Between this and the fight where Chuck was knocked out by Rampage all I have to say is: When he gets knocked out, it happens in dramatic fashion. You will see this knockout highlight over and over again for an eternity, and it will always be part of Rashad Evans' highlight reel.

Rashad Evans' next fight has already been announced. He will take on UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin on December 27th in Las Vegas.

In the co main event Rich Franklin looked good fighting at 205 lbs. in beating Matt(don't call me Mark)Hamill. Franklin apparently came into the fight with a cut next to his eye, and it was opened up early. In the second round the ref briefly stopped the fight to have the doctor check the cut, and the doctor said it was fine. In the third round Franklin ended it with a vicious body kick that caused Hamill to grab his ribs and crumple in a heap.

The match last night that told the best story was Jason MacDonald vs Jason Lambert. At the end of the first round Jason Lambert locked in a guillotine choke. I mean, it was locked in deep! MacDonald's head was turning red and he was throwing punches to Lambert's head and body, and was able to hold on for the last 10 seconds of the round while in a deep deep choke.

The second round saw MacDonald take down Lambert, get his back, and then after almost being choked out in the previous round he choked out Lambert! It was awesome. In the post match interview he told Joe Rogan that the guillotine in the first round was really deep but he could see the clock on the scoreboard, and he knew that he could hold his breathe for that long.
I loved this match!

Top to bottom this was a very solid show. I want to thank King Cobra in Seattle for showing the pay per view last night. I will keep going back there for UFC events as long as they have them. They had several projection screens set up for our viewing pleasure. They also mix their drinks strong, and the sweet potato fries are excellent. They didn't even charge a cover last night!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Music: Man Plus Remix Album FOR FREE!!!

The fine folks over at Man Plus headquarters have contacted me, and they have asked that I share their remix EP with the fine readers at Where the Silence Is.

It's a zip fileof the remix version of five songs from the album The Hungarian Suicide Songbook. Did I mention that it's free?!?!

Seriously, download this, and then go see Man Plus at one of their upcoming Seattle dates:

9/12 - Britney Spears Cover night @ Mars Bar
9/13 - KEXP Midday Dance Party @ Nectar
10/4 - Reverb in Ballard
10/31 - Halloween Show(!) at the Comet

Friday, September 5, 2008

MMA: UFC 88 Preview!

It seems that a lot of people have forgotten about tomorrow's UFC pay per view after the big news this week of the UFC return of Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture.

The top two fights on UFC 88 are very solid and exciting matchups in the main event of Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans and Rich Franklin vs Matt (Don't call me Mark) Hamill.

Liddell is one of the top draws in MMA history, and I have never seen a boring fight with him involved. He is also a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He has knockout power, and he has that killer instinct that makes all of his fights exciting. If he sees that he has staggered his opponent then he will rush in and try to finish the fight.

Rashad Evans won The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 as a heavyweight. He is unbeaten in his career, but he has never fought anyone of the caliber of Chuck Liddell. I think that Chuck will be victorious by knockout, but this fight is not going to be a cake walk.

Whoever is victorious in the main event will probably get the next shot at Forrest Griffin's Light Heavyweight title at the end of this year or early next year.
Earlier this week Dana White stated that he thinks that November's Randy Couture-Brock Lesner fight will top the one million buys mark on pay per view. I think that a Forrest Griffin-Chuck Liddell fight for the title will be the biggest fight in MMA history.

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rick Franklin makes his debut at Light Heavyweight on this show as he squares off against the much more inexperienced Matt Hamill. Hamill is deaf, so the referee in his fights always has to be ready to jump in to stop him at the end of each round as he can't hear the buzzer. That's always an exciting aspect to his fights, but so far he hasn't landed any big shots after the round has ended. It will be interesting to see what Rich Franklin looks like fighting at 205(Middle weights fight at 185 pounds), but I expect him to finish Hamill and look great doing it.

This should be a really fun show. If you are in Seattle tomorrow, feel free to join me at King Cobra on Capitol Hill to watch the fights. I can not recommend the sweet potato fries there enough!

Music: Built to Spill - Perfect From Now On

Last night at the Showbox in Seattle I was in attendance to see Built to Spill perform their 1997 classic album Perfect From Now On.

The crowd was already riled up in a frenzy and screaming before the first notes hit. Throughout the venue I had overheard people talking about how many times they had listened to the album that day or week(For the record I had listened to it 3 or 4 times this week).

Right before the band began their first song lead singer Doug Martsch said, "This is for Phil Ek." Phil Ek was the, at the time Seattle based, producer of the album.

The hot crowd was so lively that I could actually feel the floor beneath my feet bow as people jumped, danced, and tapped their feet.

As the band neared the end of album closer Untrustable/Part 2 (About Someone Else) they transitioned smoothly right into Goin' Against Your Mind from 2006's You In Reverse.

Built to Spill left the stage to a rousing ovation, and they returned a few moments later to play a two song encore of Big Dipper and a song that once made me absolutely lose it- You Were Right from Keep It Like a Secret.

Built to Spill continues to put on one of the best live performances that you will ever see. Check them out on their current world tour if you can:

9/6/08 McDonald Theatre Eugene, OR

9/8/08 Slim's San Francisco, CA

9/9/08 Slim's San Francisco, CA

9/10/08 Troubadour West Hollywood, CA

9/11/08 Troubadour West Hollywood, CA

9/12/08 Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown, CA

9/16/08 Chameleon Club Lancaster, PA

9/17/08 Toad's Place New Haven, CT

9/18/08 Calvin Theater Northampton, MA

9/19/08 All Tomorrow's Parties Festival Monticello, NY

9/20/08 The Trocadero Philadelphia, PA

9/21/08 The Trocadero Philadelphia, PA

9/22/08 The National Richmond, VA

9/23/08 9:30 Club Washington, DC

9/24/08 Ram's Head Live Baltimore, MD

9/25/08 Terminal 5 New York, NY

9/26/08 Terminal 5 New York, NY

9/27/08 Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA

10/1/08 Doornroosje Nijmegen

10/2/08 Melkweg Amsterdam

10/3/08 Tivoli Utrecht

10/4/08 Take rot Groningen

10/5/08 AB Box Brussels

10/6/08 VoxHall Aarhus

10/7/08 Loppen Copenhagen

10/9/08 Folken Stavanger

10/10/08 USF Bergen

10/11/08 Rockefeller Oslo

10/12/08 Sticky Fingers Goteborg

10/13/08 Debaser Medis Stockholm

10/14/08 KB Malmo

10/15/08 Forum Bielefeld

10/16/08 Bhf Langendeer Bochum

10/17/08 Universum Stuttgart

10/18/08 Karlstorbahnhof Heidelberg

10/19/08 K4 Nurnberg

10/21/08 Flex Wien

10/22/08 Weekender Innsbruck

10/23/08 Palace St. Gallan

10/24/08 Locomotive Bologna

10/25/08 In IT Rome

10/26/08 Interzone Verona

10/28/08 La Cooperative Clermont Ferrand

10/29/08 Apolo Barcelona

10/30/08 Caracol Madrid

10/31/08 Azkena Bilbao

11/1/08 La Nef Angouleme

11/3/08 Maroquinerie Paris

11/4/08 Koko London

11/5/08 Thekla Bristol

11/6/08 Zodiac Oxford

11/7/08 Brudenell Social club Leeds

11/8/08 King Tuts Glasgow

11/9/08 Limelight Belfast

11/10/08 Academy Dublin

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MMA: Randy Couture Returns to UFC

Randy Couture is the current UFC World Heavyweight Champion. Last August he destroyed Gabriel Gonzaga, and then two months later he announced that he was resigning as UFC champion. This happened right after the negotiations between the UFC and heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, which was a fight that Couture had publicly stated he wanted.

Then it came out that Couture was not actually retiring, and he felt his pay level was a sign of disrespect.

In February Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira beat Tim Sylvia in a match for the UFC Interim Heavyweight title. Couture was never stripped, because UFC contracts have an automatic roll over if you are a champion. Your contract won't expire until you lose the belt. Randy Couture being the Heavyweight Champion helped the UFC's legal standing.

He sued to be released from his contract, the UFC counter sued, and then Couture appeared on the Affliction PPV in July. The court date for his contractual dispute was schedule for September/October, and I guess Couture realized that he had no legal standing.

A week ago had reported that Couture was in negotiations for a new 3 fight deal with the UFC. Yesterday the UFC held a press conference where they announced the new contract for the 45 year old Couture.

His first fight back will be at UFC 91 on November 15th against Brock Lesner. It will be a 5 round title fight in Las Vegas. Then winner of the Couture-Lesner fight will face the winner of December's Interim Heavyweight title fight between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir sometime next Spring.

UFC President Dana White, Randy Couture, and Brock Lesner were all present for yesterday's press conference. Many of the questions were about a possible Couture-Fedor fight, which is a fight that would make a ton of money. Dana White said that they were interested in that fight, but Fedor is under contract with Affliction and he is not interested in tampering. The Fedor questions continued, and Brock Lesner had finally heard enough and he responded with the highlight of the press conference:

"Who give a shit about Fedor? I'm sick of hearing about fucking Fedor. He's not with the company, he might not ever be with the company, so who gives a shit?"

This was awesome! If Fedor ever does sign a deal with the UFC then the pre match hype videos will be filled with that quote, and everyone will want to see that fight. Brock Lesner is a former WWE professional wrestling champion, and he knows how to sell a fight.

Also in the press conference Dana White says that the Couture-Lesner fight will top 1 million buys. The UFC has not yet reached the 1 million buys mark, so it's difficult to estimate that high but this is definitely going to be a huge fight.

The next few months of UFC action is going to be very exciting, and the company is about to make a ridiculous amount of money over the next quarter. Affliction on the other hand? Well, Dana White said in the press conference that he would be shocked to see Affliction in business come January, and I can't say that I disagree with him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Music: This Week's New Releases

I only have one for you this week:

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun

If you still listen to the Beach Boys, or you think that Brian Wilson's album SMILE was one of the best albums of the last few years then you will probably want to pick this one up.

As for me? I'm going to give that Hey Marseilles album a proper listen this week. I will have a write up sometime in the next 10 days. I promise.

Music: Bumbershoot turns into Bumbersuck, or I Was Assaulted By Bumbershoot Staff

On Sunday night I was planning on writing about how great The Weakerthans were, and how people think that the song, "Plea From a Cat Named Virtute" is actually, "Virtue" those people are wrong(apparently it's from the Winnipeg motto “Unum Cum Virtute Multorum” (one with the virtues of many). And then follow it up with talk of how just fucking amazing Battles were.

But right now I can't focus on any of that. Yesterday I was physically assaulted by a Bumbershoot staff member, and it was while I was outside of the festival on a city sidewalk.

I bought a poster at flatstock, and I left the festival to go put it in my car for safe keeping. I was walking on the sidewalk, they opened the fence to let in a van or something.

The fence swung open right in my face, so I stepped to the curb and kept walking. A dude in a staff shirt stepped in front of me and said, "Everybody stop" or something similar. At this point, we were like a foot apart so I kept walking and
he pushed me.

I rolled off his push and stepped down with one foot on the street and I was past him at which point he grabbed me, forcibly and hard from behind by my hoodie and yanked and pulled me into the street.

My hoodie was unzipped. If it was zipped I think he would have ripped it, and/or thrown me to the ground in the street. Instead I just stumbled in the street and regained my balance.

I was shocked to be grabbed at all, let alone in such a forceful way. I immediately threw my hands up in the air and screamed, "I am on a public sidewalk, you are not a law enforcement officer!" repeatedly.

One of the other staff people said, "Let him go," and he did finally.

I spun around, still with my hands in the air, and I said, "What are you doing? I am on a public sidewalk!"

He had rage in his eyes and said, "You are/were in in the street impeding traffic." I said, "YOU are NOT a law enforcement officer!" The only reason I was in the street was because that was the direction that I was forcibly thrown in.

He took two steps towards me, at which point other staff people stepped in and got him away from me.

It was frightening, and absolutely ridiculous. I can not believe that this happened to anyone, let alone to me who was just legally walking down the sidewalk, not even inside the festival grounds.

That was the third day of my first bumbershoot experience. It was again oversold and overcrowded. I bailed before the evenings headliners.

A few tips for Bumbershoot 2009:

-Put the food in a court with an entrance to the area. Look at how the Capiol Hill Block Party had their food area set up, learn from them and implement it. It was impossible to walk past the food area for most of the festival.
-Hire staff that won't try to physically restrain pedestrians on sidewalks that are located outside of your festival.
-Sell at least 1,000 fewer tickets per day. Your monetary greed leads to an unsafe and unfun environment for your audience. Also, the overcrowding can cause your staff to go fucking nuts and attack your law abiding concert goers.