Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hey all! Check out this free album download

 If you live in Capitol Hill then you may already know about Porchlight Records, a coffee shop/record label located on 14th ave. between Pine and Pike (they're moving to a new location early next month around the corner). However, being a U. District resident and relative n00b to Washington in general, I just found out about it while researching shops for my “Neighborhood Guide to Buying Music in Seattle” series. Being a sap for a free download, I gravitated to the free section and came  across an awesome split record.

Salt Flat is the first band to appear, and definitely the rawer of the two with a sound deeply rooted in 90’s indie pop. The label describes this female-fronted Cali act as “summer grunge”, which is accurate, but I’d add that there’s also something deeply personal about these songs that defies explanation.

The second half features 4 songs by Pretty Old, a Seattle outfit that contains Zach Bolotin, who currently co-runs the label. Their bio describes their sound as “a mix of The Weakerthans and The National with vocals having been compared to Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields”. Also very chill and definitely a band that I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Download the whole thing, for free, here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Month in Photos - 2013/01

Bushwick Book Club performance inspired by Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States
2013/01/18 at The Fremont Abbey

A good night of music, literature, and well-rounded entertainment. Lots of funny parts. The Abbey never fails to pull off really cool, offbeat events like this.

Tempted to purchase furs at this thrift shop after learning that Macklemore x Ryan Lewis have the #1 song in the nation. Poppin' tags.
The day after East Street had it's epic goodbye party for the Queen Anne shop, we consoled ourselves at the ever-lively East Street - West Seattle store. Viva la Easy Street!

Water Felon's performance during Joshua Jensen's Release Party for his debut album, "Unravel the Wire"
2013/01/26 at Cafe Racer

We couldn't stick around very long for Josh and Water Felon, but we really really wish we could have! Check out Josh's work at

2013/01/26 at Black Lodge

One of many great acts of this night. Stickers seems like that crazy friend you don't get rid of because they make your life exciting.Check out their work at

 The Trashies
2013/01/26 at Black Lodge

Cut-off shorts. A wig. Scotch tape made into an accessory, or fashion statement, or fetish...hard to say. Empty cans bouncing off of the band member's heads. And a riotous good time of berzerk dancing. Proving you don't need to have all the keyboard keys to have a good time. Check out their work on Facebook and here:

This photo does not convey the happiness this guy was experiencing with The Trashies. Also introduced the crowd to a killer dance move: the no-no finger wag.

 The Wimps
2013/01/26 at Black Lodge

The Wimps brought the energy for sure (this was the release party for their new album, "Repeat", after all). If you weren't dancing with The Trashies, you were definitely moving to The Wimps. Also, Rachel Ratner did mention potentially taking a poop on stage, *hee hee*.

Check them out on Facebook or here:

Checking out the Bloom Market on 1/27 inside the Heartland Gallery...

...keep an eye out for events at Heartland Gallery!

Monday, January 28, 2013

This Friday at El Corazon...The Toasters!


 “Great music that won't be soon forgotten by anyone who's heard them”. Do you remember when Pitchfork critic, James P. Wisdom, said that about Save Ferris in his review of their 1997 album, “It Means Everything”? No, of course you don’t, because the 9.5 (out of 10) review for that record was long ago wiped off the site. Pitchfork maintains that it needs to periodically delete items to make room for the new records they are constantly reviewing (and reviewing pretty well), but I smell a rat and P4K isn’t the only corner of the internet that seems to have forgotten about the awesome ska revival of the 90’s.

I feel sort of like the intro to Portlandia’s first episode describing it, but do you remember when kids wore dirty, patch-covered suit-jackets, plaid suspenders, and Doc Martens? When Reggae’s ska stroke style guitars and horns blended with distortion and punk ethos to create a genre of music that was not only unpretentious and danceable, but anti-homophobic, anti-racist, and anti-sexist as well? It wasn’t just Save Ferris, it was The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, The PiETASTERS, Operation Ivy, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and that’s without even mentioning the so-called 2 Tone bands that influenced them.

The Toasters were one of those awesome bands and they are coming to El Corazon on Friday night. If the name doesn’t sound familiar then maybe this will help: their song “Two Tone Army” was used in the intro to the 90’s Nickelodeon show, Kablam! (listen below). Other than that, they have remained fairly obscure, releasing record after record on singer/guitarist Robert “Bucket” Hingley’s Moon Ska and Megalith record labels since ’81 (making them one of the longest running third wave ska acts still touring) and this weekend marks their return to The Emerald City.

Q: How many ska kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Three. Two to drop it, and one to pick it up, pick it up, pick it UP!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

*Updated 1/27* Upcoming Seattle Shows