Portland. A place so pretentious, that people come to Seattle for authenticity.
Portland used to be cool. Then, as the wage gap widened over the past decade, the offspring of the wealthy moved in, kicked the cool out, and before you knew it, the town was flooded with vinegar and water.
Now, you can’t walk down a Portland street without being beaten over the head by manufactured quirkiness.
“Look everyone, that guy is riding a unicycle, isn’t he quirky?”
“Look everyone, that girl has a donut-sized ear piercing, isn’t she quirky?”
Call me crazy, but Portland was way more quirky
Continue reading That Quirky Portland
From a musical perspective, I’ve lived through interesting times. Although I was but a child during some of them, I’ve been alive to witness the birth, or early years at the very least, of such diverse genres as heavy metal, progressive rock, funk, glam, disco, punk, hardcore punk, hip-hop, new wave, electronic, house, dubstep, trip-hop, noise/grunge/alternative, and whatever the fuck the last 15 years have given us (shit?).
I’ve witnessed the rise of a few of these genres first-hand, most notably hip-hop, hardcore punk, alt/”grunge”, and a regional music genre known as “Go-Go”. The latter is a genre which
Continue reading Breakin’, Boogaloo Shrimp, White People, and Hip-Hop History at EMP
I just stumbled onto my phone shots from the Walking Papers gig at the Croc last Friday.
Hell of a band. If you have the chance to see them, I recommend doing so. Opening band “The Mothership” was pretty badass too.
Continue reading Walking Papers
Last night was Mike McCready’s annual benefit concert at the Showbox. This was the 12th Annual benefit show for the CCFA (Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America) and my 2nd in a row.
So far, these shows have been fairly consistent, and always excellent. After an opening act, followed by an always-excellent jam session with local musicians, Flight to Mars takes the stage for a 90-ish minute set.
For those who may not know, Flight to Mars is a local band which mostly plays covers from classic English metal band “UFO”. While this may not sound terribly compelling on paper, believe me
Continue reading Flight to Mars 2014
Like most people, I’m often conflicted over how to spend President’s Day Weekend each year.
Part of me feels like I should spend the day doing what our government intended … learning about and celebrating the life of our first president, George Washington, but that can be difficult at times.
For instance, did you know that when George Washington was twelve years old, he inherited ten slaves, and by the time of his death, 316 slaves lived at Mount Vernon, including 123 owned by Washington, 40 leased from a neighbor, and an additional 153 “dower slaves” … servants for
Continue reading PUSAfest 2014
It’s that time of the 4-year.
Once every four years, we get a new mayor (or recycled old mayor as the case may be), and once every 4 years, Pearl Jam plays Seattle. Seeing as the world strives to achieve balance, I like to think that the latter compensates for the former.
Anyway, it seems like only yesterday that the Mother Love Bone-spinoff known as Mookie Blaylock was playing the Off-Ramp. Who could imagine that, 23 years later, the band would still be together, playing the Coliseum, only now, instead of a basketball player, they’d be named after a
Continue reading Night of the Living Grunge
Melvins at Neumos – Dale Crover Hula Hooping
“Where’s the rest of Crover and why is he hula-hooping onstage?”
These questions and more were left unanswered after last night’s Melvins show at Neumos.
On second thought, those were really the only two questions. Apparently, Dale cut his hair and started hitting the gym, and now looks downright human. And, as mentioned, during the final 10 minutes of the show, he stood front and center, and hula-hooped along to the rest of the band’s rousing cover of “Facists Eat Donuts”. If I had to take a complete stab in the
Continue reading Make Those Donuts With Extra Grease
Sub Pop Silver Jubilee – Mudhoney
“Had Sub Pop never darkened Seattle’s doorstep, how much would a 3-bedroom house on Queen Anne cost right now?”
This was the query I posed to a friend of mine yesterday.
“Twenty, maybe thirty percent less than what they cost right now”, she replied.
I thought her estimate was in the right ballpark. While Microsoft, Amazon, etc. would have fueled a housing bubble with or without the music scene, Sub Pop certainly didn’t help matters by putting Seattle on the mainstream media’s map.
This being the case, you can argue all day whether
Continue reading The Sub Pop Silver Jubilee
Mike McCready once ruined a friendship of mine.
This was a shame, because the friend in question was an interesting guy. He wrote a book about his experiences teaching in inner-city LA high schools, worked as a writer/producer on several television shows, and he even won the game show Jeopardy several times in a row. On most Sundays, he and I would grab breakfast at a random eatery while arguing about the news of the day.
Convinced that he was a hardcore cynic, he enjoyed dining with me because as he put it, “you’re the only person I
Continue reading McCready & Friends
I have a well-established track record of staking out wildly-unpopular-at-the-time positions, which, sometimes years later … become far more popular positions.
When I first started “blogging”, I took a lot of flak for using four-letter words. I was called classless, compared to trailer trash, and people rushed to distance themselves from me. Three years later, everyone was liberally using profanity … even my harshest critics. Now, you can’t pick up a so-called “alternative” rag in this town without a painfully-contrived “fuck” or “shit” thrown in.
This being the case, none of the following should come as a surprise …
Continue reading They All Come Around … Eventually
When I first read the proclamation above, I rolled my eyes.
“Overshadowed by male-dominated bands”, I said, “oooh, sounds sinister.”
I couldn’t help but wonder, though … what exactly is a male-DOMINATED band? Were the Beatles a male-dominated band? How about Simon & Garfunkel? Were the Go-Gos a female-dominated band? How about Destiny’s Child? They seemed pretty dominating to me. I once saw a video where they were wearing short-shorts and walking these big doberman pinschers, and I gotta admit, I was a little intimidated. My wiener moved, but I was still kinda scared. So scared that I
Continue reading These Streets
This was the marquee at the Show Box last night:
Here are my tickets, so far, for February’s shows.
What year is it again????
A few months ago, Love Battery’s Ron Nine was interviewed by The Stranger, and in the article, he was asked for his thoughts on the “g” word.
“Speaking for myself, I always kind of rebelled against the word ‘grunge.’ Now I embrace it. It comes to mean that scene at that particular time, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”, said Ron.
You know, perhaps Ron has a point. Perhaps it’s
Continue reading Grunge Lives
University District – The Neptune Theatre
Last night, I saw Sunn O))) and Earth at the Neptune, along with opening bands Lioncloth and Dead in the Dirt.
I went primarily to see Dylan’s band … and they didn’t disappoint. I just wish they’d been able to play for a little longer.
Shortly after Earth’s set, Sunn O))) took the stage, and I instantly had my scalp peeled back by bone-crushing Drop-A-or-possibly-lower chords. For the next 20 minutes, I literally felt like I was getting a hummer from God himself. It was my first time seeing this group, and I
Continue reading The Neptune
Love Battery at The Comet
“Do you need your cane?”
I wanted to kill myself when my wife posed this question to me.
Sometimes, I think Kurt had this one pegged. Maybe it is better to burn out than fade away. On this night, I was seriously wishing that I had. This past Saturday, my back went out again. This made it the third … fourth time this year. I’ve stopped counting.
I spent most of the day either in bed or in front of the computer, but when a buddy of mine texted and asked “Are you going
Continue reading Fading Away
I doubt anyone will get the title reference, and actually, I think there may be a few tickets left.
Tonight at the Showbox.
Hipsters welcome. I guess.
I’m hanging out at the Crocodile last night, when a band takes the stage and launches into a set of Soundgarden covers, the previous band having just finished up a set of Pearl Jam covers.
The night is billed as a Tribute to Layne Staley, and the crowd is an interesting mix of Belltown yuppies, UW fratboys, pretentious blonde women in high heels, borderline-homeless people, 40-something grungemonkeys, and the odd smattering of 50+ year-old couples wearing Alice in Chains shirts.
About a minute into Good Eye Closed, some guy with a shaved head taps me on the shoulder
Continue reading Saturday Night
Love Battery at Lo-Fi
Love Battery played Lo-Fi last night, and of course, yours truly was in attendance. Now that the ringing in my ears has finally begun to subside, I’ll try to pen a few paragraphs about the show.
The festivities kicked off shortly after 10pm, and first up was Summer Babes. This band had kind of a pop thing going on, complete with matching white uniforms for all band members and an attractive girl on keyboards. The latter sort of reminded me of Veronica from the Archies.
When they first took the stage, I had no idea
Continue reading A Night at the Lo-Fi
One of the best bands ever to come out of Seattle, and one of my top 10 favorites to come out of anywhere, is playing tonight at Lo-Fi, and I consider it a civic duty to make as many people aware of it as possible. LB does not play very often, so don’t miss out.
Tonight, they play with Atomic Bride and Summer Babes, and tickets are most likely in the $10 range.
Lo-Fi is at 429 Eastlake Ave., at Republican & Eastlake, about 4 blocks east of the Amazon campus in South(east) Lake Union.
I recorded the video
Continue reading Reminder: Love Battery Tonight
2012 Seattle Glee Flash Mob – Marriage Proposal
Remember when life didn’t suck?
Yeah, me either.
I try, though, oh how I try, and lately, I’ve found that there’s something contagious about the boundless optimism that is exhibited within the context of a flash mob. Especially the flash mob I witnessed today.
Last year, I recorded the 2011 Glee Flash Mob as it made its way form Capitol Hill, to Seattle Center, to Westlake Park, and back to Capitol Hill. It was fun, and it was cool to see how the machine ran from start to finish.
Continue reading The 2012 Seattle “Glee” Flash Mob
Many years ago, I was born in a small town called Washington, D.C. During those years, I was quite the Foreskin fan, seeing the team play in RFK Stadium on many occasions.
Over the last couple of decades, however, I lost touch with football altogether. The chaotic demands of life coupled with a deep-seated cynicism toward corporate sports meant that nearly 20 years would elapse before I would darken the doorstep of another NFL Stadium.
Yesterday, that doorstep went dim.
A couple of friends offered me tickets to the Seahawks game, and who was our home team playing?
Continue reading A Seahawk Sunday
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … Love Battery is the most underrated band in the history of music. Over the years, I’ve mentioned this group in my various articles a few dozen times, and in the process, I’ve turned a lot of people on to the band. Not once has anyone been disappointed.
Love Battery was one of the best bands in Seattle during Sub Pop’s meteoric rise, and I (as well as a lot of other people) were convinced that they were going to be huge. Had you told me 20 years ago that
Continue reading Love Battery, Live at The Mix
Love Battery Ad on Capitol Hill Pole
I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I’m posted here on Capitol Hill.
Thank God you were, otherwise I would have missed tomorrow night’s Love Battery gig at The Mix.
Love Battery is one of the greatest Seattle bands ever. Hell, they’re one of the greatest bands ever, period.
There are no advanced ticket sales, which means that posting this could result in my not getting a ticket, so consider this post self-sacrifice for the greater good.
Continue reading Love Battery, Saturday October 22nd
About a month ago, when the Cinerama began selling tickets for the premiere of the Pearl Jam 20 movie, I looked at my late September calendar and realized that my schedule would be chaotic. I might be available to see the show, and then again, I might not.
Because of this, I decided against purchasing tickets. Not so much for financial reasons (two tickets would have been $18), but because I could have been taking tickets from people who would definitely attend. In addition, it would leave a two-seat hole in an otherwise full house.
Yesterday, when 7:00pm rolled around,
Continue reading The Kindness of Pearl Jam Strangers
I know that this news has been out since last month, but I’m just now getting somewhat excited about it.
Every now and then, a band comes along that blows your mind, and as you are listening to their albums or watching them live, you wonder “How is this not the biggest band on the planet? Is the world collectively deaf? What the hell is wrong with people?”
Of course, you secretly don’t want them to become huge because you know the music will probably go to shit if they do, but you can’t help but be shocked that they
Continue reading The Trees! They Scream!
10th Avenue Entrance
The Capitol Hill Block Party kicked off one hour ago, and I walked up the hill to check it out.
So far, the only thing going on is security folks being kind of obnoxious. No music, no vendors, just guys in black shirts running around saying “you can’t walk here!” and “you can’t walk there!” while glaring at you in their most humorous, trying-to-be-intimidating pose.
Given its $30/day price tag, I think I’m going to skip going inside the fences Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, The Posies play, and I plan on seeing them. I was
Continue reading The Capitol Hill Block Party: Hour One
Sound Wave Performing at Pro Shop Opening
Sound Wave Performing at Pro Shop Opening
Yesterday during the Pro Shop opening, Sound Wave, the Seattle Sounders band performed a few songs.
I recorded one of them.
Summer Concert Stage
I just had lunch in Pioneer Square where I discovered the “Out to Lunch – Summer in the City” concert series.
What are the Out to Lunch concerts?
I’m glad you asked.
Twice each week, there will be free concerts held throughout the city in a variety of locations and genres from Cuban Salsa to Ragtime. Yes, Ragtime. I wasn’t aware that Ragtime was still being played, but I will be able to hear it for myself on July 20th at the Federal Courthouse.
Summer Concert Schedule
Enjoying the Concert
Continue reading Out to Lunch
Yesterday, while hanging out in Lake Union Park, I observed a flotilla heading south toward Downtown Seattle. I watched as the fleet got closer and closer, and just before they made landfall, I was able to identify their origin.
Sure enough, they were Canadian.
Oh no! I knew this day was coming, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. I thought we had another 5, maybe 10 years before the Canadians tired of our shitty hipster music and decided to invade, but I guess that last Fleet Foxes CD was the last straw. It was clearly a
Continue reading Breaking News: Canadians Invade Seattle
Calvin Johnson at Folklife
I just pulled some video from Folklife ’11 from my camera, and I put together a short piece from Calvin’s performance on Saturday.
He starts off the set by answering the question “What do you think of Seattle Rex”, and then segues into a couple of songs. Enjoy.
Good Turnout at the Folklife Festival
Yesterday, I headed over to the Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center.
To be honest, I didn’t head over for the festival as much as I did to catch a specific artist. You see, Olympia’s favorite son, Calvin Johnson was playing a set at the “Folklife Cafe” (which was inexplicably not a cafe at all). This is the same Calvin Johnson who is the primary namesake for the large park on Capitol Hill. How could I possibly miss it?
I walked down to Westlake Park, hopped on the Monorail, and 3 minutes later,
Continue reading 40th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival 2011