Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Month in Releases: June 2013


Hausu, Total (Bridgetown, Hardly Art)
This record is staggering in scope—assimilating the melodic introspection of the late 80’s D.C. post-hardcore scene (e.g. Rites of Spring, Fugazi) with the biting urgency of west-coast emotive hardcore (see Gravity Records) and patches of highly proficient math and indie-rock style arrangements. 

Neighbors, I Love Neighbors (Lost Sound Tapes)
Admittedly, the terms “slacker” and “lo-fi” don’t inspire much hope in me for more than nostalgia-mining, but Neighbors channel freakbeat/mod, garage, and protopunk influences in a way that feels both familiar and fresh. On what is by far their most cohesive work to date the band demonstrates their penchant for producing pop music that's as dancable as it is relatable.

Golden Gardens, Narcissus (Neon Sigh)
Despite Narcissus' brevity it is fairly epic in scope. The four tracks, each strongly differing both sonically and lyrically from one another, make up a concept piece chronicling the cycle of infatuation, from the high of the initial crush to the depths of the aftermath. New fans will fall for the gorgeous dream-pop ambiance, and old fans will find that both members have grown increasingly confident in their abilities.

Sibling Rivalry, Only Child (self-released)
Arising from the ashes of The Family Band, Sibling Rivalry is an alt/indie rock band from Seattle and Redmond, WA. On the first official non-single offering from the band, the 6 piece delivers with a collection of endearing, post-rock flavored tracks that harbor just enough kick to keep your summer days mellow but danceable. 

Hibou, Dunes (self-released)
Former Craft Spells drummer Peter Michel returns with his highly anticipated second EP. On songs like "Sunder" Michel demonstrates that the indie pop acumen he demonstrated on his Glow/Hollow single was just the tip of the iceberg. Dude is only 19; really interested to see where he goes next!

Secret Colors, Days Off (Group Tightener) 
On his latest release, and first for Brooklyn's Group Tightener label, Matt Lawson expands the scope of his Secret Colors moniker to include an approach more akin to traditional dance music. Although we thoroughly appreciated his improvisational catalog, it's obvious from his recently work with the now defunct Stephanie and collaborations with Jeff Johnson of the Numbs that Lawson has much more than that up his sleeve. "Days off" is his biggest step yet into that bold new direction and we dig it.

Widesky, Flotsam (Bridgetown)
Seth Chrisman is a multi-instrumentalist from New Mexico that records ambient drone-scapes under the moniker of Widesky. On Flotsam, Chrisman ruminates on the concepts of oceanic turbulence and debris as they pertain to the physical and emotional world, and the results are staggering. So staggering, in fact, that Bridgetown has already had to run a second pressing of the cassette.

Pitschouse, Pitschouse (self-released)
Without a doubt, the first EP from dream/indie-pop band Pitschouse is one of our favorites to come out of Seattle this year. By melding wistful guitar work with playful piano melodies and a unique sense of warmth, the trio has managed to created a highly distinctive sound that more than stands up to repeat listening. Finger's crossed that the next few months will yield a physical copy of this record. 7/8 update: I am a complete tool; you can buy the physical CS or CD through Jigsaw Records here.

Mutant Video, Missing Fingers (Iron Lung)
Iron Lung describes MUTANT VIDEO as "The penultimate hash-mark in the workbench of John Carpenter meets American punk soundtrack-core" and we couldn't agree more. Though Missing Fingers is somewhat darker than their previous work, largely by virtue of its austerity and growing hardcore undercurrent, these songs find the band as evocative as ever.

Teams, One World 開発 (Fin Records)
I've been a fan of teams since I first heard their collaboration with Personal La Ave, "Freak Licker", on their 2011 debut full-length. However, on their latest for Seattle's Fin Records, they show off a somewhat more bare approach to dance music than in previous releases--ultimately trading their former chill-wave leanings for an approach more indebted to the Chicago house scene. Great for a lazy afternoon.

Warm Static, Static Session 1 (self-released)
This is not an official release per se, it's a loosely structured live session that was recorded by Alex Miller at Warm Static's first Seattle show at the Josephine on June 8th. However, as improvisational musings go this is really phenomenal. For this set, the project, which remains the experimental playground of JetMan Jet Team drummer Quin Dickinson, was expanded to include synthesizers and samples from Alex Nagy (also of JJT). Find a quiet spot and listen. It's just a shame you can't see Randall Skrášek's gorgeous visuals too.

Anacortes Unknown Music Series Vol 3 sampler (assembled by The Business Records)
The Anacoretes Unknown Music Series Vol 3 is taking place this July 19th, 20th, and 21st at The Unknown in Anacortes; however, Anacortes' The Business Records put together a really nice preview mix featuring Karl Blau, The Hive Dwellers, LAKE, Genders and many more. 

Twitch and Gloam: Dark Sounds from the Pacific Northwest (Flat Field Records)
Named CityArt's album of the month, this compilation from the folks at Flat Field Records is gorgeous, dark, and available now for consumption. 

SWL #29: MUTANT VIDEO, "The Drive"

Iron Lung records describe MUTANT VIDEO as “The penultimate hash-mark in the workbench of John Carpenter meets American punk soundtrack-core”, and I really don’t think there’s a better way to say it. The Seattle-based duo of John Lukeman (also Drowner) and Nic Schmidt (also Feeding) quietly dropped their 3rd release as a project on the 25th of this month (June), and it’s essential listening for anyone who has ever ruminated on the role that film music plays in forging our lasting impressions of movies like Halloween or Jaws. The EP, appropriately titled Missing Fingers, is somewhat darker than their previous work--largely by virtue of its austerity, but also due to a growing undercurrent of hardcore/powerviolence in some songs. “The Drive” is the second track off the cassette, and even though it’s more structured than much of their catalog, it’s a good place to find your footing in their sound. The massive and unrelenting drums are complemented by synth work that sounds almost militant and alien; closing your eyes while listening, it’s not difficult to envision the world through the dirty windshield of some blood-smirtched female protagonist as she makes her way up winding mountain roads to some unimaginable climax. “Missing Fingers” is out now via Iron Lung. No word on the next show, but they usually play about once a month somewhere in town, so keep an eye on our upcoming shows list.

*Updated 6/30* Upcoming Seattle Shows

Hey all. Lots of good local stuff this week--especially for those of us that harbor a love for all things loud and/or weird. The Coke Bust, Big Eyes show on Monday, as well as the Brotherations, Grave Matters (love their demo), Communist Eyes show on Wednesday are your best options for straight up hardcore punk, but if you really crave cacophonous mayhem you should head over to Black Lodge on Wednesday to see The Body, Subservient Fuck and Cold Lake. Don't like the hard stuff? That's OK too, NY new-age psych-dance duo Prince Rama is still touring behind Top Ten Hits of the End of the World and is coming to the Rendezvous (somewhat randomly) on Wednesday. For the electro-goth inclined we have two Friday shows: Crypts with BLVCK CEILING at Chop Suey and Gothic Topic at Black Lodge with Haunted Horses. Indie Kids should check out the Mitts, Koda Sequoia (new record!) show at Blue Moon; or the Filardo, Ashley Eriksson show at Heartland--both on Saturday. And last but not least...this Thursday you have another chance to see Airport--Jayson Kochan's mutant house project that Brittnie Fuller at the Stranger described as "an alien abduction for your ears". More Below. Have a great week!
June 2013
Wildrose Pride, Wildrose in Seattle, June 28-30
Paradiso Festival, The Gorge, June 28-29
Olympia Experimental Music Festival, Olympia, WA, June 28-30
30 King Dude, Into Violence, and Vacation at Barboza
30 Fancy Lads with Chastity Belt and Stickers at Cha Cha Lounge

Jambase, The Gorge, July 5-6
West Seattle Summerfest, The Junction in West Seattle (neighborhood), July 12-14
Anacortes Unknown Music Series, The Unknown in Anacortes, July 19-21
Capitol Hill Block Party, Seattle, July 26-28 
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival, Carnation, WA, July 26-27

1 Hibou and Import|Export at Hard Rock Café
1 Coke Bust, Big Eyes, Flesh Lights, Growing Stronger, Drug Culture at Black Lodge
3 Moral Crux, The Brotherations, Grave Matters and Communist Eyes at Chop Suey
3 The Body, Subservient Fuck, Cold Lake at Black Lodge
3 The Botherations, Grave Matters and Communist Eyes at Chop Suey
3 Prince Rama at Rendezvous
4 Airport, YOURYOUNGBODY, Leatherdaddy at Comet
4 A Tribute to Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil with Golden Gardens, DJ Coldheart, and Guests at The Highline
5 Gothic Topic, Haunted Horses, and Childbirth at Black Lodge
5 Crypts, BLVCK CEILING, Keyboard Kid and Ozma Otzzcava at Chop Suey
6 Mitts, Koda Sequoia, Craig Salt Peters and Heavy Petting at Blue Moon
6  DJ Veins, DJ Explorateur, Jermaine and ton of deals on records and clothing at Beats 
and Bohos 
6 Steven Steinbrink, Ashley Eriksson, and Filardo at Heartland
6 Boat, John Atkins and the Woolen Men at Comet Tavern 
6 SpaceWaster, Postmadonna, Un, Alex's Hand at Josephine
7 ArtAche Market with performances by Pentaglam, and DJ’s ktel and EA$Y IRI$ at Chop Suey
7 Bob Log III at the Crocodile
7 Jaill, Cosmonauts, Dude York and Chastity Belt at Heartland
11/12 Rancid at Showbox SoDo
12 Future Bible Heroes (Minus Stephin Merritt) at Tractor
13 Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee, Georgetown Neighborhood. Free!
14 Children of Kids, Bardo:Basho, Justin Timbreline and Love Cop at Electric Tea Garden
14 Lures with Scarves at Barboza
16 Iron Lung, Needles, Manipulation, Stoic Violence at Black Lodge
14 Thunderbird Atlanta, Children of Kids, Wes Sp8, and Werebearcats at Hi-Dive
17 The Postal Service at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, OR
17 Portugal. The Man. Showbox at the Market
18 Reighnbeau, Kevin Greenspon and Widesky at Hollow Earth Radio
18 Trash Talk and Nacho Picasso with Key Nyata and Keyboard Kid at Neumos
18 The Postal Service at Key Arena
18 Hibou, The Soft Hills and Snowdrift at Columbia City Theater
18 Master Musicians of Bukkake, Midday Veil, Panabrite and DJ Explorateur at Chop Suey
19 Peter Murphy performing only Bauhaus material with Ours at Showbox at the Market
21 Benson Beach, Eugene Fauntleroy, Matt P, Shane Shumate at Therapy Lounge
24 Places We Slept, Sandy City, Gossimer, I’ile Pica, Love in Mind at Heartland
25 Reighnbeau, Kevin Greenspon and TBA at Gallery 1412
25 Darto, Freak Heat Waves and Winnebago at Black Lodge
25 Groundislava with Beat Connection at Barboza
26 Cairo Pythian, Airport, Vex, and Wet at Therapy Lounge
26-28 Capitol Hill Block Party
28 Around the Block Party: Wimps, Hot Victory, Haunted Horses, Dreamsalon, Childbirth, Agatha, MTNS at Chop Suey
30 Feral Fauna, Children of Kids and Karmedic at Nectar Lounge

Watershed Festival, The Gorge, August 2-4
Doe Bay Fest, Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island, August 8-11
Summer Meltdown, Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, Darrington, WA, August 9-11, 2013
Catapult Music Festival, Anacortes, August 16-17
VanFest, Royal Arch Park, Renton, WA, August 17
Slack Fest, Stanwood, WA, August 23-24
Bumbershoot, Seattle Center, August 31-September 2

2 Foxygen at Neumos
2 Shenandoah Davis, Lotte Kestner and more at Columbia City Theater
5 Rhye at Neumos
5 Kurt Vile and the Violators at Showbox at the Market
9 Dreamdecay, Useless Children, Stickers and Naomi Punk at Black Lodge
9-8 Gogol Bordello at Neptune
11 Best Coast at Neumos
12 Yeah Yeah Yeahs at King County’s Marymoor Park
15 Polyphonic Spree at Neumos
16 Smith Westerns at Crocodile
16/17 Melvins at Neumos
18 Neko Case at Paramount Theatre
20 Majical Cloudz at Barboza
21 My Bloody Valentine at WaMu Theater
24 The Red Elvises at The Tractor
24 Stones Throw Soul Tour with Dam-funk, The Stepkids, and Myron & E at The Crocodile
4 Austra with Diana at Neumos
5 Godspeed You Black Emperor at Showbox SoDo
5 The Psychedelic Furs at Showbox at the Market
6 Bleeding Rainbow at Barboza
6 Youth Lagoon with Pure X at Neumos
7 Ty Segall with Mike Donovan (Sic Alps) at Black Lodge
17 Blondie at King County’s Marymoor Park
19 Porcelain Raft at Barboza
19-20 The National at Paramount
22 Youryoungbody with Kelli Frances Corrado, Hibou and DJ Ea$y Iri$ at Barboza
23 Savages at Neumos
25 Dirty Beaches, SISU and Chasms at Barboza
28 Gold Panda with ODesza and Abbott at Neumos

2 Pet Shop Boys at Paramount
10 Godflesh with Prurient and Nails at Neumos
10 Karl Blau at The Tractor
23 Walk the Moon at Showbox SoDo

12 Toro Y Moi and Classixx at Showbox at the Market
20 James Blake at Showbox at the Market
20 Vienna Teng at Neptune

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SWL# 28: Hausu, "Vasari Joust"


Hausu is a phenomenal new post-hardcore band from Portland, OR and I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been waiting for weeks to write about them--ever since I got my early copy of Total after their show at Black Lodge on the 6th. The record is staggering in scope—assimilating the melodic introspection of the late 80’s D.C. post-hardcore scene (e.g. Rites of Spring, Fugazi) with the biting urgency of west-coast emotive hardcore (see Gravity Records) and patches of highly proficient math and indie-rock style arrangements. However, now that the record has been officially released and posted to BC by the folks at Bridgetown Records, I can finally tell you about my favorite song: “Vasari Joust”. Like all of the songs that I pick for these posts, I think that this track is a perfect picture of the group at large—not an easy thing to find in a record whose title is a nod to the sum of different stylistic contributions of “four people in a band following four different paths to their singular vision”. Indeed, even “Vasari Joust” itself alternates between dissonant breakdowns filled with post-punk influenced bass work and a blistering hardcore chorus, but ultimately these somewhat disparate influences coalesce to create a highly textured sound that just oozes vitality. Highly recommended. You can get the Total cassette from Bridgetown and the LP/CD from Hardly Art.  They don't have any Seattle dates on their schedule at the moment, but if we all get really excited maybe we can change that. Update 6/30: "Vasari Joust" is no longer available on BC...I would guess at Hardly Arts request...sigh. Enjoy "Leaning Mess" instead. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SWL# 27: Pitschouse, "Devil Golems"

A word of caution to the throngs of bloggers making their way out of the woodwork for the 2013.5 “best of” lists: don’t post early.  I made that mistake for our This Month in Releases post for May and completely missed out on the killer debut EP from Seattle’s Pitschouse. The trio of Kyle Burnett (guitar and vocals), Amanda Pitsch (piano and synth), and Nick Shively (drums, bass, and vocals) has been playing in and around the Seattle area for more than 6 months, but to tell the truth, I hadn’t paid much attention to them until I clicked play on their eponymously titled EP. The record really lies at the crossection of their collective strengths—imagine the wistful guitar work of bands like DIIV or Real Estate, paired with the playful melodies of Youth Lagoon, and this might sound crazy, but maybe even a touch of Fleetwood Mac-eque warmth in some of the progressions, and you’re pretty close to Pitschouse. In any case, I think “Devil Golems” is probably the best place to start. I love how the whimsical piano work melds with the impish vocal and guitar melodies to create an atmosphere that, paradoxically, is at once both passionate and carefree. Your next chance to see Pitschouse is at this Friday evening at the Henry Art Gallery's Bike Friday Kick Off event alongside William Stratler’s PUNISHMENT project. Their EP is current available as a "name your price" download on BC.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Anacortes Unknown Music Series #3

The Unknown in Anacortes, WA is putting on yet another music series and we wanted to make sure you knew about it! The space has really outdone themselves this time: not only have the creators stocked the line-up with a range of stellar local artists, but they've also expanded the line-up to include still more musical acts than the second show in the series (which happened back at the end of March). Check out the line-up below and listen to a really great soundcloud playlist from the venerable audio-purveyors at The Business records.

The line-up includes: 
Shelter, Food and Occupation: Puget Sound Utopian Colonies by Dirk Kinsey

The event will take place July 19th, 20th, and 21st at the UNKNOWN, The Croatian Club, and Causland Park--all of which are situated proximal to one another. Tickets are $50 (early bird price) and they include admission to all events and as always, dinner. More info here and here, and buy your tickets here.