Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our Favorite EPs, LPs, and Compilations of 2013: Abroad

This post is a luxury. Our decision to start a local music blog was based on a number of motives: the desire to offer a grassroots alternative to The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly, the potential to intimately interact with the musicians and labels we wanted to promote, the opportunity to support quality musicians at the point when they need it the most, etc. However, with the blog-o-sphere being the size that it is, it was also sort of a no-brainer that a national music blog would be pointless. So, we specialized, and I think I speak for Nik when I say that we couldn’t be happier about the results, or more grateful for all the support we've received.

With all that said, I’d hardly be a fanatic if I didn't have a list of my favorites to share from the world abroad. So, for the second time since we began (the first time was our 2013.5 post) I am going to break the rules and post about the greater musical community. Personally, I think this list beats the hell out of most of the “Best Of” lists, but at the very least I can promise that Kanye West is no where to be found here. 

The above picture is from the My Bloody Valentine show at the Showbox SoDo back in August.  

The List:
Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe (Domino) -- Electronic, Funk/Soul, Pop
Classix, Hanging Gardens (Innovative Leisure) -- Synthpop, House, Electro
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories (Columbia) -- Disco, Funk, Synth-pop
Deafheaven, Sunbather (Death Wish Inc.) -- Black Metal, Hardcore
DJ CLAP, Best Night Ever (Magical Properties) -- Experimental, Electro, Ghetto
DJ Rashad, Double Cup (Hyperdub) -- Footwork
FKA Twigs, EP2 (Young Turks) -- Downtempo, Ethereal, Pop
Grouper, The Man Who Died In His Boat (Yellow Electric)--Ambient Folk, Experimental, Ethereal
Haim, Days Are Gone (Polydor) -- Pop Rock
The Haxan Cloak, Excavation (Tri Angle) -- Dark Wave, Ambient Electronica
Hyetal, Modern Worship (True Panther Sounds) -- Electronic Dance
Idiot Glee, Life without Jazz (Atelier Ciseaux) -- Electro-Soul
John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts (Bella Union / Partisan) -- Folk Rock, Synth-Pop
Julianna Barwick, Nepenthe (Dead Oceans) -- Ethereal, Ambient, Minimal Choral
Lab Coast, Editioned Houses (Night People) -- Indie Rock
Laurel Halo, Behind The Green Door (Hyperdub) -- Experimental, Dubstep, Ambient
The Lovely Bad Things, The Late Great Whatever (Burger /Volcom) -- Punk, Power Pop, Garage
Magical Cloudz, Impersonator (Mythryl, Matador) -- Minimal Experimental
Mount Kimbie, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth (Warp/Beat) -- Leftfield, House, Breakbeat
My Bloody Valentine, m b v (Pickpocket) -- Shoegaze
Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven (Warp Records) -- Experimental Ambient
Perfect Pussy, I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling (self released) -- Noise Pop
Pete Swanson, Punk Authority (Melting Bot) -- Noise
Porches, Slow Dance in the Cosmos (Exploding in Sound) -- Experimental Folk
Pure X, Crawling Up The Stairs (Acephale) -- Psych-Rock, Indie-Rock
Rhye, Woman (Polydor) -- Electronic Pop
Tim Hecker, Virgins (Kranky) -- Ambient, Modern Classical, Drone
Toro Y Moi, Anything In Return (Carpark) -- Synthpop, House, Hip Hop, Soul
Various Artists, After Dark 2 (Italians Do It Better) -- Disco, Synth-Pop
Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt (Don Giovanni Records) -- Indie Rock, Indie Punk

Sunday, December 29, 2013

*Updated 12/29* Upcoming Seattle Shows

--> Well, I'm happy to report that we have more to offer this week than last. Of course, the biggest question is where you should spend your New Year's Eve, and we've got a few options. Personally, I think Nik and I will end up either at Therapy Lounge in Capitol Hill to see PYT Records co-founder Futurewife spin, or at the High Dive down the street from our apartment in Fremont to see electro-rock duo Ever So Android with The West and Dead Ship Sailing. However, SRTFKR is also playing that night with Teen Daze, so that could be a good option too.

Other good local stuff: the Big Ass Boombox festival looks amazing: 40 bands, two venues, 4 stages and zero dollars. Saturday at the Crocodile looks the best, but every show has something unique and awesome to offer. However, Saturday has two other great looking shows as well. The first is Florida's Surfer Blood, who are making their first of 3 appearances this month at The Sunset in support of their latest record, 'Pythons'. They'll be playing with The Wild Ones, and local favorites Cock & Swans for this show, but catch them with Hibou on the 10th. The other show is Audacity with White Night, The Motivators, and The Lindseys at the Black Lodge. I saw Audacity open for Ty Segall a couple of years ago and these Fullerton punks have a ton of energy. 

All this and more below. Have a great week!


30/31 SRTFKR at Neumos
30 Pesadilla Distropika, Abortion Reels, and Moldy Castle at Black Lodge
31 Pat Lok, Futurewife, and Lights and Music DJs at Therapy Lounge
31 Ever So Android, The West, and Dead Ship Sailing at High Dive
31 The Black Angels with La Luz at the Moore  
31 The Flavr Blue, Nightmare Fortress, Kingdom Crumbs and more at The Crocodile


3 BAB: Special Explosion, Nouela, XVIII Eyes, Feral Children and more at Crocodile and Rendezvous
3 The Spits, Sex Crime, Wimps, DJ Danger, Nun, and MF Cake at Chop Suey
3 Number Station, Gladiators Eat Fire, A Province of Thay, and Where My Bones Rest Easy at El Corazon
4 BAB: Livingston Seagull, Bigfoot Wallace and His Wicked Sons, Tangerine, Gang Cult, Charms, Julia Massey and FFD at more at Crocodile and Rendezvous
4 Surfer Blood, The Wild Ones, and Cock & Swans at Sunset Tavern
4 Audacity, White Night, Bad Motivators, and the Lindseys at Black Lodge
7 Tennis at Barboza
8 DIAL UP: Giraffage, DJ’s Hojo, D’Nelski, DJAO, and Dutty Wilderness at Q Nightclub
9 Reverend Horton Heat with Nekromantix and Old Man Markley at Showbox at the Market
9 Telekinesis at Neumos
9 The Bismark, Seminars, and Mitts at Columbia City Theater
10 EXPO ‘91: Newaxeyes, Youryoungbody, Black Hat, USF, and Nice&AO at Cairo Seattle
11 EXPO ‘91: Health Problems, Childbirth, Stickers, Hornet Let, Wimps, and Weed at Cairo Seattle
12 EXPO ‘91: Corey J. Brewer, Maryhane Dunphe, Dragging An Ox Through Water, Elisa Ball, and Lori Goldston with Dan Sasaki at Cairo Seattle
10 The Posies with Alcohol Funnycar, Rusty Willoughby, and Popsickle at Neumos
10 No Grave and Mo’ at Beats and Bohos
10 Surfer Blood, Hibou at Sunset Tavern
10 Half Kingdom and iji at Chop Suey
10 Local Krautrock Tribute Night: Terminal Fuzz Terror, Low Hums, Tredecimal, and members of Red Martian and Blue Light Curtain performing classic records at Lo-fi
10 Chastity Belt, TacocaT, Atomic Bride and more at Vera Project
10 Ocelot Omelet, Plains, Piano Piano, Lightning Kills Eagle at High Dive
10 Baniszewski-Leblanc and Geological Creep at Cafe Racer
11 Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legends, Mighty Mongo, and The Maxies at Showbox at the Market
11 Princess, Smooth Sailing, Grenades at Blue Moon
14 Childbirth (cassette release), Half Breed and more at Chop Suey
14 Plastic Boner Band, Jacob Sundstrom, Abe King, and Charlie Dickey at the High Dive
15 The Thermals at Neumos
15 Chain and The Gang, Shivas, Monogamy Party, and The Exquisites at Black Lodge
15 Dial Up: Tremel, Soffos, Fugal + Hojo, D’Nelski, and Dutty Wilderness at Q Nightclub
16 Wind Burial (record release), Golden Gardens, and Kylmyys at Sunset Tavern
16 StaG, Kairos, and Lazer Kitty at Columbia City Theater
17 Wooden Shjips and Kinski at the Crocodile
17 Surfer Blood Sunset Tavern
17 Speed of Sound in Seawater, and Postmadonna at Vera Project
17 Black Nite Crash, Trentalange, and Like Lightning at Columbia City Theater
20 Netherfriends, and iji at LoFi
21 Mercy Ties, Cold Blue Mountain, Noise-A-Tron, Audrey Horne at  Highline
22 Disappears, Dreamsalon, Gang Cult at Chop Suey
22 Dial Up: Single White Female, Ash Luk, Teen Girl Dies at Rave and Hojo, DJAO, and Tony Snark at Q Nightclub
22 Darkside at Neumos
23 DTCV, Tangerine, and Charms at Chop Suey
23 Ryan Hemsworth at Neumos
23 Stickers, Universe People, and more at LoFi
24 Patterson Hood at the Crocodile
24 Deadkill (record release), Dust Moth, Rookery, and Into Violence at Chop Suey
24 Yuck at Neumos
25 Posse, Koda Sequoia, Swamp Meat at Blue Moon
29 Dent May, Jack Name (White Fence), and Acapulco Lips at Chop Suey
29 Dial Up: Rap Class and Philip Grass, DJAO, D’Nelski, and Dutty Wilderness at Q Nightclub
31 White Denim at Neumos
31 Washed Out, Kingdom Crumbs, and Kisses at Neptune
31 The Spoils, The Cosmonauts, and more at Waid’s
31 MOTOR X: Airport, Apartment Fox, Patternmaster, and Raica at the Lo-Fi
31 Despise You, Iron Lung, Transient, Body Betrayal, and Endorphins Lost at Black Lodge

1 Chastity Belt, Wishbeard, and Mega Bog at Columbia City Theater
4 Pure Bathing Culture  and La Luz at Neumos
4 Reggie and the Full Effect, Dads, Pentimento, and Honorable Mention at Vera Project
4 Oneohtrix Point Never, The Sight Below, and Nordic Soul at The Crocodile
7 White Lies with Frankie Rose at Showbox at the Market
8 Wind Burial, Levator, and Randy Hicks Band at Blue Moon
10 Quilt at Barboza
11 Delorean at Barboza
15 Marissa Nadler at Fremont Abbey
15 The Presidents of the United States of America at Showbox at the Market
16 Band of Horses at Moore
16 Piano Piano, Chapel Supremesus, and Lazer Kitty at Rendezvous
18 Pixies at Paramount
19 R. Stevie Moore, Chastity Belt, and The Memories at Chop Suey
20 Jetman Jet Team, Blackstone Rangers, Soft Shadows, and Golden Gardens at LoFi
20 Gaytheist, Drunk Dad, and The Great Goddamn at Chop Suey
21 The English Beat at Showbox at the Market
21 Sun Kil Moon at Neptune
22 DJ Spooky at Barboza
24 Xiu Xiu at Barboza
24 Not From Brooklyn, Moose Portrait, and Tiburona at Barboza
25 Com Truise at Chop Suey
28 Master Musicians of Bukkake and Lilac and Champagne at LoFi

1 The Red Elvises at Tractor Tavern
1 Kinski, Bottomless Pit, and Posse at Sunset Tavern
1 Skinny Puppy with Baal at Showbox at the Market
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. with Chad Valley at Neumos
6 J.C. Satan, King Dude, and Grave Babies at Chop Suey
15 Lesbian, Sandrider, and Lords of the North at Columbia City Theater

5 Dum Dum Girls with Blouse at Neumos
17 Godflesh with Special Guests at Neptune (Rescheduled from Oct)

2 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at Paramount

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Album Review: Wind Burial, 'Wind Burial'

I really can’t say enough about Snowdrift. Over the past 6 years the Seattle-based dream-psych outfit has become a local staple--mesmerizing unsuspecting listeners with their sporadic but expertly crafted records, and a live show that borders on metaphysical. 

For those of us who fell head-over-heels for their last full-length, 2010’s ‘Starry All Over’, the wait for a follow-up effort has felt like an eternity. Capitalizing on gorgeously crafted ethereal prog/drone progressions, and Kat Terran's weathered yet tender vibrato, the record delivered a powerful sense of intimacy that defies any derogatory use of the words "local music". "Sugar Queen and The Honey Storm" and "Those Nights" in particular dominated my car stereo for weeks after I got my copy back in April, and at one point I even sketched out a "most anticipated local albums" post with Snowdrift in mind. However, early in October it became clear that a new Snowdrift release would never surface. 

Instead, the band chose to rebirth the project with a new direction and a new name: Wind Burial. The Facebook post simply said, "Snowdrift has been plowed! We are now WIND BURIAL...". Soon after, the band announced the imminent release of their eponymous 5 track debut, and low and behold it appeared on cdbaby early this month. 

Wind Burial (as Snowdrift) at The Josephine on 9/13/13
Recorded at the Church of the Unknown in Anacortes by Nicholas Wilbur (Mt Erie, Lake, Gossamer), the record delivers on the members' promise of a shift toward a heavier, less ethereal sound. Don't worry, everything you want is still here: Kat's voice, the bittersweet guitar work, the weathered bass and heavy drums; even the sense of intimacy that made Snowdrift so lovable all find their way into the EP. 

The most obvious differences are in the band's use of more traditional 70's rock progressions, and in Kat's occasional Grace Slick-esque howl. While the whole EP benefits from a general broadening of the dynamic range, these changes are most obvious on the first and fourth tracks, titled "Seven Stars" and "Height of the Hills", which utilize somewhat austere, blues-based riffs as a springboard for heavy psychedelic and acid rock builds. This is in contrast to "Downstream", and "Caribou" (originally released back in February on the "Frost Giants of the World Unite!" mini-ep), which employ much more of the jangly, dreamy sound that Snowdrift were known for.
"Rainforest" is the first official single to be released from the record and it manages to fall right in the middle of the two extremes (listen and download below). Melding the intensity of Jefferson Airplane with the molten haze of Galaxie 500, the dreamy, ambling melody swells for most of the track before culminating in a shimmering, breathtaking mess. On top of being amazing, it's also a great introduction to the EP.

While some bands might have difficulty maintaining continuity with a sonic palate like this, Wind Burial's personality is so strong that each transition seems almost seamless. The result is that 'Wind Burial' is not just a great bunch of tracks, it's a great album, and it probably goes without saying that I think you should get a copy. Oh yeah, and 'Wind Burial' is officially on our short list of 2013 favorites. 
'Wind Burial' is now available through cdbaby, but an official EP release show is in the works for January 16th at the Sunset with Golden Gardens and Kylmyys.