Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Month In Photos: February 2013

Calvin Johnson of the Hive Dwellers makes use of the dance floor [Heartland, 2/23]

 In line for the Sasquatch! Launch Party ticket giveaway at the Neptune Theater (2/2). 

Sasquatch! Launch Party surprise guests: Macklemore x Ryan Lewis! 

Built to Spill [Sasquatch! Launch Party, 2/2] 

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down play a free in-store at Sonic Boom [2/8]. 

Chastity Belt drummer Gretchen Grimm's mom sings her daughter "Born to be Wild" on the ukulele. [Heartland Valentine's Day Prom, 2/14]  

 Chastity Belt got the crowd going at Heartland's V-day Prom [2/14].

Neighbors covering The Velvet Underground (not pictured: Erin of Mega Bog as Nico) [2/14]. 

La Luz ended the night with an energetic set that had those in attendance doing "soul train" down the middle of the room [2/14].

Stalebirth. [Heartland, 2/16]

Richie Dagger's Crime had a small floor party...[Heartland, 2/23]

...which grew into a wall-to-wall floor party! [2/23]

The Hive Dwellers want to look you in the eye when they play for you [2/23].

 Chung Antinque. [Heartland, 2/24]

Sunday, February 24, 2013

*Updated 2/24* Upcoming Seattle Shows

Hey everyone! Newly added national acts include Passion Pit, Ducktails with Mark McGuire (formerly of Emeralds), Billy Brag, Jessie Ware, Purity Ring, and Crystal Castles. I've also added more local dates for Dude York, WIMPS, and Chastity Belt. Personal favorites for this week: Sir Richard Bishop on the 27 (also, the Toro Y Moi show is sold out), TacocaT on the 28, and XXYYXX or Blues Control on the 2nd. Really really awesome selections this week; choose wisely.

February 2013
27 Toro Y Moi at Crocodile
27 Rangda ft. The Holy Pagan Union of Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) + Chris (Bjork)
+ Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) + Master Musicians of Bukkake at Barboza
28 TacocaT, Pacific Pride and Matilda at Heartland

March 2013
1 WHY? With Dream Tiger at Neumos
1 Reverend Horton Heat with Jello Biafra at El Corazon
1 Alessandra Rose with the Dearhearts, Nouela, and Ali Marcus at Columbia City Theater
1 Bare 4: an entirely a'capella evening with Daniel Blue (Motopony), Kendra Cox (Lemolo) and more at Fremont Abbey
2 XXYYXX and Teen Daze at RE-BAR
2 Blues Control at The Comet
2 USF, Etbonz, Acidfarm and Temples at Cairo Seattle
3 Boat CD release with Aqueduct at Barboza
4 Psychic Ills at Crocodile
5 Passion Pit at Paramount
The Hush Sound at El Corazon
5 The Pharmacy, Pony Time, and Stickers at Chop Suey
6 Morrissey at Moore…maybe
7 Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at Neumos
8 Autre Ne Veut with Majical Cloudz at Barboza
8 La Luz, Dude York, Detective Agency and Weird Bug at Black Lodge
10 Trust with ERAAS at Barboza
15 Pretty Lights at WaMu Theater
21 Veronica Falls, Brilliant Colors, Golden Grrrrls at Tractor
22 White Lung with Monogamy Party at Chop Suey
23 Charms, the Echo Echo Echos, the Dads at Blue Moon
26 Grave Babies at Chop Suey
26 Doldrums with Blue Hawaii and Sean Nicholas Savage at Barboza
26 Fuzz (Ty Segall), Night Beats, Unnatural Helpers, Wimps at Black Lodge
27 Widowspeak at Chop Suey
27 Ducktails with Mark McGuire at Barboza
29 Phoenix at Paramount
30 Merchandise with Wet Hair + Naomi Punk at Barboza

April 2013
3 Billy Brag at Neptune
5 Johnny Marr at Neumos
6 Alt-J at Neptune
6 Sky Ferreira with How to Dress Well at Barboza
6 Wimps, Dude York and Chastity Belt at Blue Moon
7 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Paramount Theater
8 Spiritualized at Neptune
9 Jessie Ware at The Crocodile
15 Bad Religion at Showbox at SODO
16 Bat for Lashes at the Showbox at the Market
18 The Revival Tour 2013 with Rocky Votolato, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) and more at Showbox at The Market
20 The Men and Dude York at Vera Project
23 James Blake at The Neptune 
24 Purity Ring at Neptune
26 Space Needles, Universe People and the Gallow Swings at Blue Moon
30 Crystal Castles at Moore

1 Bleached, EX-COPS and Guests at Chop Suey
1 New Build with NO CEREMONY/// at Neumos
3, 4, 5: Debacle Fest 2013! at Various Venues
2 Marina and the Diamonds with Charli XCX at Showbox at the Market
4 Metz at Neumos
12 The Appleseed Cast, Hospital Ships and Guests at Chop Suey
17 Yo La Tengo at Showbox at the Market
19 Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death at El Corazon
25 Thermals and WIMPS at Neumos

June 2013
6 They Might Be Giants at Showbox at SODO

Tonight at Heartland: Chung Antique (2/24)

  Chung Antique performing "Baking Brad" at Seattle's own Hollow Earth Radio last year 

It's not easy to find good instrumental music. Maybe it's because it's easier to hit an emotive target when it's quite literally spelled out for the listener (insert analogy about how the standard, 3 min and 40 second, auto-tuned love song is like bowling with the bumpers up), or because our cultural love of multi-tasking has atrophied our ability to pay attention to anything more than clever one-liners. Whatever the reason, when an artist is able to connect, to write songs whose arrangements stand strong without any crutches, it's a marvelous thing.

Chung Antique is one of those bands. The threesome, consisting of Mike Bernatovicz (bass), Charlie Zaillian (guitar) and Whitney Bingham (Drums), formed at Evergreen State in 2009. Strangely, after following up their early demos and singles with a proper LP, 2011's GO POETRY!, they seem to have remained quiet for the past year. However, the last thing they did post on their bandcamp site was this wonderful live EP at Olympia's Blue House (stream below). With regard to their sound, they've tagged this release as "progressive" "instrumental" "punk", and I think that's pretty fair. I also hear some math rock and post-rock/post-hardcore influences.

Take a listen, and if you like what you hear you can see them tonight (2/24) at the Heartland Gallery along with Chemical Clock and SSRIS.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Four Show Choices for Tonight (2/23)

Four awesome shows tonight at four awesome spaces. I really wish I could be in multiple places at once...

1. The Narx, Feel Young, So Pitted and Pleasure Beauties at Cairo Seattle
 An interesting mix of punk, "post-grunge" mayhem, and slow burning, cloud-9 lo-fi rock.

2. Secret Colors, the Hive Dwellers, Slashed Tires and Richie Dagger’s Crime at Heartland
Secret Colors' Matt Lawson (also of Stephanie) is always worth paying a ticket to see, especially when coupled with the prolific Calvin Johnson (of Beat Happening and a bunch of other stuff) and co. Slashed Tires and Richie Dagger's Crime are great additions. Sort of a lot of sounds going on here, it'll be interesting to see how it all works out. 

3. Lou-lou Hernadez and Golden Gardens at The Josephine
If I wasn't committed elsewhere this is probably where I would be tonight. Golden Gardens and Lou-Lou Hernandez are definitely an interesting pairing as one (GG) plays ambient, almost Slowdive-esque showgaze, and Lou-Lou plays what I would describe as extraterrestrial dance music.


4. Broken Water, Dreamdecay, Monogamy Party, Mega Bog and Negative Press at Black Lodge
Broken Water play what might be called riot grrrl-gaze with interjections of ambient and psych. This evening they're joined by local noise-rockers Dreamdecay, as well as Monogamy Party, Mega Bog, and Tahoma's Negative Press.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Artist Review: Chastity Belt


First, the requisite introduction: Chastity Belt is an awesome Seattle band that formed in 2009 at Whitman College in Walla Walla. The foursome is comprised of Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Annie Truscott (bass), Lydia Lund (guitar), and Gretchen Grimm (drums), and for the past few months now it seems like they've been on a mission to bring their riotous brand of punk vigor to every independent venue in Seattle.

But in a city filled with vegan bakeries and half-shaved heads, guitar-centric punk isn't exactly a rarity, so why am I excited about this particular band? Well, I'll tell you. From their first ep I was struck by the depth of their seeming simple sound, the energy they exude, and the pure fucking moxie with which they do it--belting lines like "This is sex, this is war, this is me fucking you on the dance floor" without even an ounce of insincerity.

As if this weren't enough, they've only gotten better with time, especially following their collaborations with Peter Richards and Andrew Hall of Dude York (also from Whitman) on last year's Dude EP, and their work with sound engineer José Díaz Rohena of World Record. To be sure, their songs have not lost their melodic or humorous lyrical flair, like on "Ponytail", where vocalist Shapiro tells a fictional guy she won't date him because his ponytail makes him look like Thomas Jefferson, but they have definitely matured. Their single "Seattle Party", which was written to capture the "immediate post-graduate feeling" is a great example. It prominently features all of their trademark contrasts: dreamy clean leads over lightly-distorted rhythm guitar, and Shapiro's impassioned howl against steadfast bass and drum lines when she asks "are we having fun?" To me this song has the same feel of some of the later Buzzcock's gems.

On a lighter note, I recently emailed Julia to ask her about her strong feelings about male ponytails.
Q: What exactly is your problem with the male ponytail and under what conditions should he cut it off? In other words, are all ponytail styles equally unacceptable to Chastity Belt?
A: I'm not sure if the other ladies have anything to add, but these are my feelings regarding ponytails: When the male ponytail becomes more than just a bundle of hair, and instead, an extension of his ego, that is when he should cut it off. All ponytail styles of this nature are unacceptable. Buns are okay.

They've released two EPs (2012's Fuck Chastity Belt and Dude) and the single "Seattle Party" so far, and all of it is available on their bandcamp page as a name your price download. You can see them live this Friday (the 21st) at Columbia City Theater, and Saturday (the 22nd) at Black Lodge for the Pony Time record release.