Gold Wolf Galaxy is crazy. Their sound is unconventional to say the least: a mix of 80’s hair metal and disco, layered with an outrageous amount of synths that results in something reminiscent of a sci-fi movie soundtrack. With their self-titled album released in April of this year, this talented duo Spencer and Roger harkens back to an age of electronic music that I thought disappeared while MTV was still a station devoted to music television. “Freja” has to be my favorite song on the album, and it sounds like it came straight out of a Tron basement rave. The buildups are great and when the synths cut out for a split second before blasting off with renewed fury provided by Roger’s guitar, I can’t get enough. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’
July 29, 2013 by Tristin
July 25, 2013 by Tristin
If you go to the Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend and miss Theoretics, you should be ashamed of yourself. A seven piece group from Seattle that has labeled themselves an “alternative hip hop” band, Theoretics combines MC’s with a live band to create a sound that is silky smooth and unmistakably unique. The issue I have with most hip-hop/rap artists today is that they are seldom memorable live, as their music is usually produced first with a computer and on a mixing board. Leave it to a group from Seattle to shatter this mold, using drums, keyboard, and guitar to provide a base for the two MC’s to rap over. Mix this with some jazz saxophone and a badass upright double bass and you have a funky, fresh new sound that will make anyone move. It’s the type of music that you know has been practiced for countless hours and hammered to perfection, made by serious musicians with a passion for what they do. (more…)
July 24, 2013 by Cam
I have to confess, if I were lucky enough to be attending the Capitol Hill Block Party and The Grizzled Mighty came out and said something like, “We’re The Grizzled Mighty, have a good night!” and just walked right back off stage, I’d be astounded. I mean, it’s a helluva name and one I’m not even entirely sure makes sense, making the unconceivable conception of the name that much more mythical*. But, as you’d expect, with great band naming comes great songs. So, even if you’re less impressed with the band name than I, the encore of music they’ll (almost) assuredly play after announcing themselves should leave you with more or less the same sense of astonishment.
The guitarist, Whitney, is a former member of Deerhunter, a fact that is only apparent if you trace The Grizzled Mighty’s warbling, Southern-twanged sound to the geographical roots of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s roots of Athens, Georgia. The southern region of our contingent 48 states has churned these classic rockers with modern influence out over the past couple years from the likes of Kings of Leon (circa 2007 standout pre-sellout Because of the Times), Alabama Shakes or Gary Clark Jr.. The Grizzled Mighty borrow the fuzz-rock of Gary Clark Jr., but the terrible-twosome inject it with a fearsome infatuation of guitar solos that the band describes as ones that “[bring] the erotic riffs of Hades to the trembling surface.” So, yeah, as you can see, the band is masterful at descriptions and it’s easy to see this knack bleed over into a formidable sound that’s sure to compose a show based a lot less on their kick-ass name and a lot more on the music’s ability to rile you up to kick some ass.*Having spent enough time on the name, this was best left as a footnote: How did they come up with the name? Were they shouting out adjectives to describe bears and they just chose those two? Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that brainstorming session…
July 23, 2013 by Steph
It’s bands like Land of Pines that remind me not to judge a band by their photo. It’s clear that this Seattle quintet spends little time worrying about their social media presence or band photos and instead just focuses on kicking ass. Which, in my book, is more than acceptable.
Their 2013 EP The Long Defeat harkens not to the increasingly overplayed and over-saturated dream pop of the 50s and 60s, but to the nostalgia of the era that saw indie rock at its peak – the late 90s and early 2000s. Yet, their sound isn’t outdated or a formulaic repeat of some of the greats by which they are influenced–Superchunk, The Anniversary, Manchester Orchestra, and even a little Built to Spill. The propulsive, groovy guitar licks straddle the line between intricate indie rock and pop sensibilities combined with earnest male and female vocals reminiscent of a personal favorite, 1997.
They balance the dark and light, complete with tempo changes, unexpected riffs, and weaving melodies most beautifully in the final track of the EP, “What Dust We Dote On” (streaming below). As KEXP so aptly described, they are “Rilo Kiley with razor blades.”
When paired with someone who can use a camera and someone who has some music business sense, this tiny local Seattle band has the potential to be find its way into the national consciousness.
They are a MUST SEE at this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle.
July 20, 2013 by Dave
Tonight’s show at the Crocodile is just filled to the brim with incredible diverse and explosive talent. It’s one of those shows where the openers could be headliners and the headliner transcends.
Dessa is in no uncertain terms; a wordsmith. She has been described as a combination of Mos Def and Dorothy Parker due to her mastery of the written and spoken word and the dry wit with which it is delivered. She began in the world of poetry slam while earning both her BA and MA in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota before her incredible live performances brought her into the Doomtree hip hop collective where she quickly established a name for herself with the release of her solo EP False Hopes in 2005. Doomtree’s artists work together frequently and on track 3 (Press On) of False hopes you’ll find SiMs who we will be touring in support of her this time around. Dessa spent years appearing on many tracks in support of other Doomtree artists before releasing her first full length album “A Badly Broken Code” which was received incredibly well and cemented her as a voice in the indie hip hop world. (more…)
July 8, 2013 by Dave
Said the Whale joined Seattle at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle recently touring in support of the recently dropped EP I Love You. It’s a three-track window into their most recent album effort still taking shape with a release due this fall. It’s a little more indie pop than before and it’s just as damn good. Said the Whale describes the tracks as “the most upbeat songs from a collection of 17 tracks that we’ve recorded since we began work on the album in January”.
Take a listen here:
June 26, 2013 by Dave
Free Energy absolutely killed it on stage while in Seattle throwing down an incredibly energetic set. These guys are an unreal amount of fun on stage. They got the crowd going at what I’ve usually seen as a kinda calm joint. They played a bunch of tracks off their new album Love Sign as well as their older equally dance-infectious tracks from Stuck on Nothing. Definitely not a band to be missed if they’re in your town.
Another thing I have to call out from the show was The West, the opening opening act of the night. The crowd interaction for a group that early in the night was insane. Insane and also completely understandable with the driving dance beats and the fantastic vocals laid down by Darnell and Adrienne. It was very reminiscent to the energy of LCD Soundsystem. They were incredible! Take a listen below.
Photo Credit: Dave Endicott and AJ Dent
June 7, 2013 by Dave
One thing was clear with Saturday’s show that had been added at the last moment after Friday’s sold out immediately after going on sale; Yannis Philippakis and his Foals band mates were not fucking around. From guitars smashed on stage to singers descending from second story balcony’s into the hands of the crowd that was pumped on each heavy guitar hit and soaring vocal line Foals established quickly that they are damn good live. Fellow photographer AJ Dent and I had plenty of things to capture the attention of our lenses during the show with theatrical lighting displays during a very high energy performance. (click the gear in the upper right hand corner to see the second photo in it’s full resolution glory. Credit: AJ Dent)
July 6, 2011 by Dave
Jimmy Eat World, what a show to begin my Seattle based rock journalism efforts with. It has been almost precisely ten years since I’ve seen them live (their Bleed American tour in 2001) and the decade has certainly treated them well. It started a little tumultuously with the departure of Mike Trombino from the “Futures” project in 2004, as he had produced/recorded with/ or engineered every major release of theirs since 96 when he produced their first studio album Static Prevails. It was said that this was due to the band not having enough material to feel comfortable recording a full cohesive album and then later having scheduling conflicts with Trombino. While this was indeed traumatic as far as the production of the album was concerned it gave the band a chance to break away and construct something completely different. They took a little time to get back into the creation phase and after building out a few of the key tracks of Futures they teamed up with Gil Norton who was known widely for his work with the Pixies and Dashboard Confessional and put out an album that was a far reach from anything that they had done before. I found the album to be a testament to the many layers of the group that was continually being displayed through the evolution of each album. The band then toured with Taking back Sunday and Greenday before returning to the studio to record their next album “Chase This Light”
Chase This Light came at an interesting time for me because I was heavily involved in the creation of tour apparel for major label bands for a merch company in Los Angeles and was constantly immersed in the music world. While I didn’t have the pleasure of working on any Jimmy t-shirts they were definitely played through my headphones while I worked away in adobe. When Chase This Light came out I couldn’t stop listening. It felt like an incredible call back to the days of Bleed American where every track could be a single. It was one of those albums where there was no wasted space, every song was worth listening to every time. This time they decided to self produce the album, which involved getting a bunch of talented producers working together with them to create something amazing. (Chris Testa and John Fields as co-producers and Butch Vig as exec producer)
After announcing that they were going to start working on their next album in 2008 Atkins began work in a bit of an unconventional method for “Invented”. He would spend time studying the works of photographers like Cindy Sherman and Hannah Starkey before putting pen and ink to paper and because of this method a lot of the songs have their own distinct message. Each track communicates an individual idea but is woven together to form a fully cohesive set of thoughts communicated through the band’s music.
While putting together the material for Invented, Jimmy Eat World traveled for a tenth anniversary tour of the release of their first studio album Clarity in which they performed ten sold out shows across the US in which they played the album Clarity in its entirety. It was on this tour that the band regained connections to Trombino while playing in San Diego. They then decided to work with him again to produce their most recent work. One of the reasons they worked so well together on this production was Trombino’s willingness to produce in an unconventional method. The band would record their tracks in their home studio space “Unit 2” in Arizona and then send the tracks off to Trombino who was located in Los Angeles. It was an interesting long distance relationship but no one can deny the results. “Invented” very clearly follows the path of greatness that has been made standard by this band. With Atkins new approach to the lyrics and the return to Trombino’s production style (you can hear elements of Clarity and Bleed American pulse through this album) I was again amazed by their work. It should also be noted that another flavor was added to the recording in singer/song writer Courtney Marie Andrews who provided an integral part to the sound of the album and again in the show I just witnessed.
I will admit that Jimmy has seen a little less face time on my playlists over the last few years but this show reminded me of why I’ve been a fan for so damn long. When you run into bands throwing down shows after establishing a pretty extensive catalogue of music there is no telling what can come up, Atkins and crew played almost everything I wanted to hear from the more obscure to the classics to some tracks off of their most recent album “Invented”. I can liken it best to having just had exactly what I wanted from a meal. I walked away from that music feast satisfied and since the show they’ve definitely seen resurgence in my library.