Beth Orton delivers some ’70’s Funk on new release

Beth Orton 1973

Beth Orton photo

When I was a DJ at The Mountain here in Seattle we were one of the first, if not the first, to break a young talented Beth Orton.  I was able to see her live as part of our Holiday concert that same year.  Great to see she is still putting out challenging music and touring the US, including a stop in Seattle.

Following on from “Moon,” Beth’s first release in four years, “1973” is both forward-thinking and insanely catchy. Framing Beth’s unique voice against her heavy, low-slung mechanized synth riff, “1973” is a gorgeously panoramic summer road trip of a song that immediately transports the listener into a sunshine state. The song features George Lewis Jr. on guitars and Guillermo E. Brown on drums.

“1973” is taken from Kidsticks (released on Anti- on May 27th, 2016), Beth Orton’s seventh album. Kidsticks is the first record Beth has written on synthesizers instead of acoustic guitar. The album started with 10 days of Beth and co-producer Andrew Hung making loops in a garage in LA. Over the next 18 months, Beth built the tracks up from basic four-bar loops into beautiful multi-layered electronic songs augmented by live musicians, in her first official foray into production.

The album was mixed by David Wrench (the man responsible for recent hits by Hot Chip and Caribou) and features work from a cast of guest musicians assembled by Beth including Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr and Dustin O’Halloran from Winged Victory for the Sullen.

Beth will be touring the US.  I hope she brings this band from the album with her.

6/07 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
6/09 – Pittsburgh, PA – Three Rivers Arts Festival
6/11 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
6/12 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry
6/14 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
6/15 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
6/19 –  Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
6/20 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
6/21 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall  
6/23 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door

 

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Identical Twin Brothers Danny and Daniel Create the Sound of The Veldt

I have been listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins lately so when I was introduced to The Veldt it segued right into my playlist nicely.  They break all preconceived notions you could have about them.  You can not know the sound by looking at the band.  They take your mind on a musical adventure but also appeal to your warm heart. Genres do not define their music.  They are adventure-takers with sound and they have soul.  That’s really all you need to know.

This is the story of The Veldt.

Identical twins Daniel and Danny Chavis may originally hail from Raleigh/ Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but they have been East Village residents for the past 28 years. They are also co-founders of thegroundbreaking band The Veldt, who lifted their band’s name from a Ray Bradbury science fiction story. Musically reared in the church and juke-joints of their native southern state, the twins have been performing since they were children, listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. They now make music, together with bassist/programmer Hayato Nakao, returning to their roots with the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.  The album releases on April 8 and to celebrate, the band is doing a whirlwindl tour of Central Canada (see tour dates below)

The first single is the emotionally wrought Sanctified, a ballad that perfectly captures the lush sound of Danny’s screeching guitars and decibel-breaking distortion, along with Daniel’s soulful wail and Hayato Nakao’s deep bass grooves and guitar feedback, the track serves as theperfect re-introduction to this dynamic band. The title The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur was borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem. Its raging sound was influenced equally by the emotional soul of Marvin Gaye, free jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders, various Drake hip-hop tracks, and their own fertile electric imagination.
In their early days, the Chavis brothers making a name for themselves playing throughout the south at a time when fellow southerners REM and Superchunk were securing major label deals. As more black rock bands (Living Colour, 24/7 Spyz) began selling records and gigging throughout the world, The Veldt was courted by various labels, including IRS Records and Capitol.

Initially signed to Capitol Records in 1989, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. Soon, they were in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie working on their initial recordings, playing American concert halls with Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and recording Marigolds with Linco ln Fong (Moose).

theveldtphoto

The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
They switched labels and Mercury Records released Afrodisiac in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes). Their single Soul in a Jar was an underground hit.
As the brothers moved to expand their musical language, fusing more electronics into their soundscape, they retired the “Veldt” name and, for various reasons, began recording and touring under under the name Apollo Heights. In 1999, the Chavis brothers met bassist Hayato Nakao, who would become their permanent partner. Their music was loud, exploring color, space, sensuality and beat driven melodies with rhythmic and dynamic tension. Daniel’s falsetto vocals cast a contrast upon the wall of sound created by Danny’s heavy rock dreamscape guitar and Hayato’s pounding and licentious beats.

Although The Veldt had signed to two major labels after leaving Mercury Records in 1995, the brothers decided to remain indie and self-released their 2008 album White Music for Black People. “The major labels were always trying to get us to change our sound, our look or both,” Daniel laughs. “But, we had no interest in being the next Lenny Kravitz or Tony! Toni! Toné! Unfortunately, not everyone shared our vision. We weren’t trying to be rock stars, we just want to play our music and pay our rent.”
Apart from Robin Guthrie and A.R. Kane, who produced ‘And It’s You’ from this EP, they have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have shared the stage with My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Echo & TheBunnymen, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour and TV on the Radio, among others.
They eventually changed their name back to The Veldt. The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur serves to mark the band’s re-emergence and will be followed by another full album of material on their Resurrection Hymns LP later this year (via SonaBLAST! Records). Indeed, for these veteran musicians and passionate noise technicians, this newest EP marks a new beginning.

PRE-ORDER The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur will be released via UK label Leonard Skully Records on April 8, 2016.
The Veldt will be touring central Canada and North Carolina in early to mid-April and also will be opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre for various east coast dates during their forthcoming U.S. tour in May.

TRACK LIST:

  1. Sanctified
  2. In a Quiet Room
  3. Token
  4. One Day Out of Life
  5. And It’s You

 

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Hipster Bands Bring The Dead Back To Life

Talked about for years, an album of Grateful Dead covers by some of today’s hottest Hipster bands would be some day be released.  There is now a release date of May 20th and some song samples to share.  5 -CD’s for only $29.99

Various - Day of the Dead (Red Hot Compilation)

This has been an act of passion by the band The National.  They found many other like-minded bands and have put a collection together like no other for a cause.  I also became passionate about this band of misfits, The Grateful Dead.   I had just come out of the 80’s, enjoying life to the fullest with non-stop parties and good times.  Then we hit a very dark period in music, the 1990’s.   During this period of time I decided not to take my own life like so many of the artist of that day were doing but instead got caught up in a traveling group of music-loving, life-loving gypsies.   The deadheads brought me in and what a long strange trip it has been.   I saw many Grateful Dead concerts, Jerry Garcia Band shows, then A.J. (after Jerry), attended shows by Furthur,  The Dead, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir’s Ratdog.  Many of these wonderful songs have been reinterpreted by a wide range of artist on this new benefit compilation.

“Morning Dew” by The National

Day of the Dead was created and curated by brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National.  The compilation is a wide-ranging tribute to the songwriting and experimentalism of the Dead which took four years to record, features over 60 artists from varied musical backgrounds, 59 tracks and is almost 6 hours long.

Day of the Dead will be released digitally, on a 5 X CD, and as a limited edition vinyl boxed set.

All profits will help fight for AIDS/ HIV and related health issues around the world through the Red Hot Organization, a 501(c)3. This is the 20th album of original music produced by Red Hot to further its mission. Day of the Dead is the follow up to 2009’s Dark Was The Night(4AD), a 32-track, multi-artist compilation also produced by Aaron and Bryce for Red Hot. Dark Was The Night has raised over $1.5 million for the organizations fighting AIDS to date.

Some highlights from the tracklist are:

  • The War on Drugs – Touch of Grey
  • Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends – Sugaree
  • Jim James & Friends – Candyman
  • Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison Black – Muddy River
  • The National – Peggy-O
  • Courtney Barnett – New Speedway Boogie
  • Mumford & Sons – Friend of the Devil
  • Lucius – Uncle John’s Band
  • The Lone Bellow & Friends – Me and My Uncle
  • Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends – Mountains of the Moon
  • Anohni and yMusic – Black Peter
  • Angel Olsen – Attics of My Life
  • Wilco with Bob Weir – St. Stephen (live)
  • The National – Morning Dew
  • Lucinda Williams & Friends – Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad
  • Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends – Playing in the Band
  • Local Natives – Stella Blue
  • Tal National – Eyes of the World
  • Bela Fleck – Help on the Way
  • Orchestra Baobab – Franklin’s Tower
  • Luluc with Xylouris White – Till the Morning Comes
  • The Walkmen – Ripple
  • Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream (featuring Garth Hudson) – Brokedown Palace
  • Real Estate – Here Comes Sunshine
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Shakedown Street
  • Hiss Golden Messenger – Brown-Eyed Women
  • The Lone Bellow & Friends – Dire Wolf
  • The Flaming Lips – Dark Star
  • Sam Amidon – And We Bid You Goodnight
  • The National with Bob Weir – I Know You Rider (live)

Here is The War on Drugs doing “Touch of Gray”

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Sad Lovers and Giants First Ever US Tour

I know it is easy to see what crazy times we live in.  Donald Trump, really? Maybe that is why we need this more than ever.  But whenever I am feeling that way I reflect back on being so lucky to have lived in these musical times.  We had Mtv and we grew up loving music.  Saving up allowance money and birthday wishes to get the latest releases.  We had passion for music.  It wasn’t disposable or free and we never thought it should be. There may never be the musical output that was the 1970’s and 1980’s.

I have seen over a 1000 concerts in my life.  I made a point of seeing all the greats.  A few slipped through and those will always be regrets but some just never came.  So is the case with Sad Lovers and Giants.  They never had the large devoted base of Joy Division or The Cure.  They were never lucky enough to end up in a John Hughes film but they were none the less great, and still are.  They have decided to bring their greatness to the US for the first time and I think it is great!

sadlovers_fp11x17WEB

SLAG are reported to be working on new material and should gain some inspiration from new bands in this movement.  Along with some great local bands keeping this sound alive in 2016, this will be a great night of music here in Seattle on March 17th.   If they are playing near you I would strongly suggest a night out with the lads.

What’s the subtext here?

Sad Lovers & Giants are a rock band from Watford, England who formed in 1980. Their sound blends post-punk, atmospheric keyboards and psychedelia which has been described as ‘pastoral Pink Floyd’ and to many they are the best kept secret of the 1980’s.
Following their debut EP ‘Cle’ and the ‘Colourless Dream’ single, both issued in 1981, they released two studio albums, Epic Garden Music (1982) and Feeding the Flame (1983) before splitting in 1983. During this initial period they recorded a John Peel Session for the BBC and a live concert for the Dutch Radio Hilversum station in 1983 which was subsequently released as the album Total Sound in 1986. After the split they returned in 1987 with a new line up and released ‘The Mirror Test’ album that year. As interest abroad grew the band performed extensively in the Netherlands, Spain and France and headlined regularly at the old Marquee Club in London’s Soho.

In 1990 they released their fourth studio album, ‘Headland’ followed swiftly by the often overlooked album, Treehouse Poetry in 1991, before splitting once again. 1996 saw the release of a best-of compilation called ‘E Mail from Eternity’ then things went quiet until the release of their last album ‘Melting in The Fullness of Time’ in 2002 with two gigs in Italy a year later. The current era began in 2010 with gigs in Italy and Greece and has continued with a handful of performances every year extending into Berlin and Spain.

For the US Tour they will play warm up gigs in Lisbon and Porto with a rare London appearance on 5th March headlining at The Garage in Highbury & Islington. Their atmospheric and beautifully crafted set comprises songs from their extensive back catalogue but also from recording sessions for the new album.


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The Greatest Band to Come from this Country

I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that Cheap Trick will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Sure I am a Chicago kid and these boys came together on the same fertile land of my youth.  They have incredible songs and energy and have stayed together except for some minor tooling with the rhythm section.  Robin Zander is the greatest rock vocalist and unlike most of the bands we supported in the past 4 decades, Robin’s voice has actually gotten better.  It is like a fine wine (whine) getting better with age.

The band will put out their new release right before this monumental induction.  This is the first video “When I Wake up Tomorrow” They are bad-ass in this musical tip of the hat to David Bowie, whom we all wish would still be here when we wake up tomorrow.

http://cache.vevo.com/assets/html/embed.html?video=USCJY1634013&autoplay=0

The new album title Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello is out April 1st.  This will be marked with an in-store autograph session at Reckless Records and a show that night at Metro in Chicago.

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I will be at the White River show on 8/26.  Tickets already purchased.  Get yours

Fri 04/01/16 Chicago, IL Metro / Smart Bar
Appearing at “Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony”
Fri 04/08/16 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Fri 04/22/16 Calgary, AB Deerfoot Inn & Casino
Thu 07/14/16 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sat 07/16/16 Maryland Heights, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Sun 07/17/16 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
Tue 07/19/16 Chicago, IL FirstMerit Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island
Thu 07/21/16 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
Fri 07/22/16 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
Sun 07/24/16 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
Mon 07/25/16 Wallingford, CT The Dome At Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre
Wed 07/27/16 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Thu 07/28/16 Wantagh, NY Nikon At Jones Beach Theater
Sat 07/30/16 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
Sun 07/31/16 Camden, NJ BB&T Pavilion
Mon 08/15/16 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre
Thu 08/18/16 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
Fri 08/19/16 The Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sun 08/21/16 Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Tue 08/23/16 Inglewood, CA Forum
Wed 08/24/16 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Fri 08/26/16 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
Sat 08/27/16 Ridgefield, WA Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
Tue 08/30/16 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Thu 09/08/16 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Sat 09/10/16 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sun 09/11/16 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Tue 09/13/16 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater At Virginia Beach
Wed 09/14/16 Raleigh, NC Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Fri 09/16/16 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
Mon 09/19/16 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater
Tue 09/20/16 Pelham, AL Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Fri 09/23/16 West Palm Beach, FL Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
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Yeezus is not the son of God but Richard Ashcroft may be…

He deserves to be heard. They will try to hang him but we must not let them. Buy his music and see him live before we start seeing his likeness in potato chips. He is releasing another miracle for us to listen to called These People out May 20th. (PRE-ORDER)

The first single is “This is how it feels”

These People Blue Vinyl + T-Shirt Bundle+

Read about him in the “good book” NME

NME Magazine Current Issue

Image result for richard ashcroft jesus      Image result for richard ashcroft jesus

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Spool Going Round’s Favorite 11 Albums from 2015

Spool Going Round’s Favorite 11 Albums from 2015

Another year comes to a close. This year had some great moments and I am going to share the releases that I favored this year. I can’t help but think of this year being a year of disappointments. I remember releases that I was very excited to hear, only to be left wondering what has happened to this band? Are bands that have released great albums in the past now just trying to fit into this current musical landscape? How would you even do that? It seems the best advice I could give a band is to find something true to you and be unwavering in delivery and purpose. As terrorists take aim on music, make it something worth fighting for. Copying Adele is not going to cut it. If you want to hear the original Adele go back and check out Alison Moyet.  It becomes harder and harder as the years go by to be original but you can always be honest and true.

Here are the best in my view from 2015.

At number 11 is Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Being completely honest this one came on the radar late.   I receive and have access to SO much music it is crazy sometimes.  With that clutter I will hear a song that I really like and think, I will need to check that album out but then you get caught back up in the clutter.  When I started to reflect back on the year in music then I remembered that I never listened to the whole album.   Now having the time to focus, I purchased Sound & Color and it was well worth the wait.  Alabama Shakes are a band that broke out with their first release.  It was cool for festival organizers to have them on their roster.  They put on a great live performance.  With this second album they could have just did a cut and paste of the last release.  Guess what? They didn’t and that’s why they are interesting and on year-end best-of lists.  I have said this many times before but music that has soul will always resonate.  Really this is why Adele sold millions of records.  Alabama Shakes will always have that soul but this time they put a new landscape to that soul music. The album is much like a well put together mix tape of different genres but still connected by the soul. There are touches of punk, funk, and electronica in this soul music.

I’m going to say something that might sound a little silly but Alabama Shakes is a great record band.  I love putting on their music and listening to it.  It takes you places and you can make up your own music videos between your ears. I don’t have to go see Alabama Shakes live in concert.  I don’t have to watch their videos.  They are not going to be selling a ton of band posters.  I know, I am not trying to offend.  I am trying to say that a band shouldn’t have to be all that.  In fact, when a band does focus on that then they often fall way short on the music.  How many bands are worrying way too much on being pretty and suck!

I am glad I got to this record late in the year that way it will remain on my radar well into 2016.

At number 10 is Black Messiah by D’Angelo And The Vanguard

This album was a pleasant surprise.  It took 14 years to get here but boy it took me back farther than that.  Technically the release date was just before the end of 2014 but it is worth mentioning.  At first the name right away hit me and reminded me of going through my parents old record collection when I was little and seeing and album called Black Moses by Isaac Hayes.   Right away to a young person I had to check this out.  I had never been taught about a Black Moses in the weekend trips to summer bible school.  The album cover opened up and there he was.  Listening to the music was just as eye opening as the cover.

In many ways it is sad that so many of the same issues plaguing black culture then, is still alive today.  But we have music to shine a light on these issues and also get caught up in the groove.  D’Angelo is all about the groove.  He has a great band that he makes sure you know the name of.  This is an album that will be interesting enough to keep you satisfied even if it takes D’Angelo another 14 years to make a new one.

Here’s big D performing on SNL

At Number 9 is Gaz Coombes with Matador

Gaz is such a cool guy.  His middle name is Michael and he is a Pisces, so we got that in common. Ladies he is letting you know right on the album cover that he has a ring on it. He also has children.  In fact, Matador includes a wonderful track called “The Girl Who Fell to Earth” a song about his autistic daughter.

Gaz was the vocalist and lead guitarist in Supergrass a phenomenal band that put out nothing but great records.  I was fortunate enough to see Supergrass live and Gaz is a perfect front man. I assume Supergrass will have a reunion at some point but as we wait Gaz Coombes is putting out very interesting solo material.  This album was also nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.

Here is the lovely song “The Girl Who Fell to Earth” with the lyrics

At number 8 is Meliora by Ghost

This band is incredible.  I grew up in a time when Hard Rock and Heavy Metal were very popular.  They have since fell out of style but it doesn’t make the music any less intriguing.  There are certain so called “Hard Rock and Heavy Metal” hosts and shows that don’t even mention this band and that is an injustice.

Ghost as well as most of the interesting metal made in this decade comes from Sweden.  They have a bit of a shtick in that they wear costumes.  The singer and leader is called “Papa” and his band is “Ghouls” but we all need an angle and the music is GOOD! Their music touches on dark subject matter but really it is unbelievably beautiful.  Satan is a fallen angel after all.

They were kind enough to come to Seattle and play an acoustic show at a wonderful record store.  We have to thank Ghost for helping to keep metal and record stores from the graveyard.

There’s nothing scarier than a talent show, as portrayed in this video.

At number 7 is Strangers to Ourselves by Modest Mouse 

There is something very northwest about Modest Mouse.  It sounds like the rain on your Columbia Sportswear.  I travel to Portland often for business and I enjoy riding the MAX the same as this here Coyote.

Inspired by the true story of a coyote that rode Portland’s MAX light rail train in 2002.

At number 6 is Music Complete by New Order

This one hurts me a bit.  I have been a New Order fan from the beginning.  Low Life is one of the most fantastic albums there is.  A main draw for me to New Order was the lead bass lines from Hooky.  Peter Hook is no longer in New Order yet New Order still released a decent album.  I read Hooky’s book and I really enjoyed reading it.  Hooky is no longer in New Order yet New Order still released a decent album.  If they could only work out their difference then I wouldn’t have to say Hooky is no longer in New Order yet New Order still released a decent album.  I could just say this is a good New Order album.   The mighty Iggy Pop is part of this recording as well.

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It’s a Different Kind of Demo for Paul Weller

Paul Weller has a new video for his song Pick it up. It is a different kind of demo for a musician. Demo in music terms usually means a “demonstration” of the artist’s song. In this video starring the lovely Martin Freeman, he gets heavily involved in “demolition.”

Paul Weller’s album Saturns Pattern will easily make my top 10 list this year. I also caught Paul live in Seattle a month ago and that was killer. Paul pulled out many Jam songs and even awesome treats from The Style Council years, as well as his wonderful solo songs. But bravest of all was that Paul played almost his whole new album. For a guy 40 years into one of the most amazing careers ever, just incredible.   It took me over 30 years to finally be in the right place at the right time when Paul visited America and it was well worth the wait.

I don’t think there is any other artist in history that has the resume that Paul has and with so many different genres.  He is a living legend.

Check out the new video for “Pick it up” and below that the setlist from Paul’s show I caught in Seattle.

As I mention on Setlist.fm, Paul also played “Paper Chase” but I couldn’t remember the exact point in the set so I guess it will be forever forgotten. No it will never be forgotten but the correct setlist may never show up.   Also the band dedicated “You do Something to Me” to Lynval Golding who is also a legend and was in attendance. Lynval lives in the Seattle area.

 

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Seattle band Wimps are playing to their Strengths (and you can too!)

Seattle is quietly putting out many good bands.  This has been the case for years.  I think we would rather have it this way than to take over the nation with a silly named new music scene.

Wimps are from Seattle and I loved them from the second I heard them.    I have mentioned being and “old punk” several hundred times (reference? read all my posts).  This music appeals to that part of me that will never leave.  Another thing about punk music is that it inspires people, like myself, to pick up an instrument and possibly start another band.  That is what punk did and that is how a music scene is built too.  The lyrics are not over-thought.  You don’t have to be Yngwie Malmsteen (spelling: ASSHOLE) to crush these chords.  YOU CAN DO THIS, and imagine how fun it will be.  In fact, a band like Wimps might be needed now in 2015 more than ever.   The music scene is really in need of more good bands and Wimps have the music to inspire them.

A song like “Vampire” instantly grabs you in.  Thinking along the lines of the horror movie Candy man, you can imagine how singing along to Vampire and repeating the word more than 3 times in a row would turn those involved into Vampires.  Perfect for your Halloween preparations.

PREORDER NOW Wimps “Suitcase” will be released by Kill Rock Stars on November 13th.  How can you beat that price for Cassette and Download Code?

Wimps are scene veterans Rachel Ratner (Butts) on guitar and lead vocals, Matt Nyce (Meth Teeth) on bass and backing vocals, and Dave Ramm (The Intelligence) on drums. Wimps serve their own brand of rapid-fire punk with a smattering of lo-fi post punk guitar work to create an angular, slightly off-kilter blast. Ratner lyrically twists otherwise common day-to-day woes into relatable tales of struggle shout-sung call and response stabs that champion boredom, laziness and social anxieties with wiry riffs and punchy bass lines, propelled by the measured rhythms of drummer David Ramm.

After gaining local momentum from a self released demo, the band signed with End of Time Records and issued their first LP ‘Repeat’ in 2013. They toured nationwide supporting the album, receiving coverage on This American Life, Pitchfork, SPIN and KEXP. Following their return, they released a 7 inch on micro label Help Yourself Records and a series of self released tapes before releasing a cassette on Kill Rock Stars.

Wimps preparing for the never-ending couch tour.  Please let them crash at your pad.

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Catch the breeze that is Hibou

80’s leaning band Hibou is releasing an album on September 18th. The vocals remind me of the Smith Westerns and Silversun Pickups with poking guitar sounds conjuring up feelings of the delightful Foals and tropical Vampire Weekend.

His sunny sounds come from home which is Seattle.  Not the rainy Seattle of old wives tales but the Seattle of today which is sadly becoming the newest city in California.

“Sunder” is a favorite of mine currently but really if you like one of the songs you will find the whole album an enjoyable listen.

This one will sound good on Vinyl! ORDER IT HERE

Hibou is their own words…

The idea of “home” plays a prominent theme in the short history of Peter Michel and his Seattle-based band Hibou. “I actually recorded half of the new album at my parents’ home,” says the 21-year-old about Hibou’s debut full-length release for Barsuk Records. “There are moments on the record where you hear my dad cooking or hammering,” he adds.

From an early age, Peter was inspired to take classical piano lessons by his parents and older brother. From there, Peter’s foundations expanded to drum and guitar lessons, eventually leading him to develop a strong grasp of songwriting and composition as he took an increasingly hands-on approach to making his own music.

Indeed, Peter rapidly developed a desire to do things his own way. He joined noted San Francisco’s Craft Spells as its drummer while still in high school after ditching the traditional brick and mortar institution for an online education. He ended up spending the better part of a year touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, playing shows at night while finishing his studies during the day. He was 18 when he realized he needed to start focusing more attention on his own songs. “Craft Spells was a great time and I had a great experience touring the world with them, but it was taking up all my time,” says Peter. “And I realized that I needed to be writing my own music. Besides, I don’t love playing the drums.” He wrote a break-up letter, and his time with the band was done.

Shortly after leaving Craft Spells, Peter returned to Seattle and began to experiment with soundscapes and varying musical genres, all of which eventually led to the release of his first recordings as Hibou (Peter named the new project with the French word for owl – pronounced ee-boo – a reference to a baby owl that once sat next to him on a log listening to him play songs outside). Titled Dunes, the EP was recorded in the walk-in closet of his apartment. Peter wrote the music, played every instrument, mixed, and self-released the EP. He then set upon self-booking a west coast tour with a loose band he assembled. “We drove around in a minivan owned by my friend’s mom, lost a lot of money, came back, and wanted to do it again,” says Peter.

More touring followed (including dates in the U.K.), sharing stages along the way with Yelle, Chad Van Gaalen, Surfer Blood, and Slow Club. Slowly, Hibou began to get noticed by media outlets such as NME, Pitchfork and Noisey – all from an EP recorded in a closet and self-supported by a tour in a mother’s minivan. “It was two years of me fueling Hibou by myself,” says Michel. He was only 19 years old but already something of a DIY veteran when he began writing songs for the first full-length Hibou album. “I didn’t really know what I was doing at that point, but it was starting to become much more clear where I wanted to take this project.”

Written, recorded and played by Peter at home in Seattle, the self-titled debut LP features 11 songs (including four new versions of songs from the Dunes EP) and is a lush, driving mix of ’80s inspired pop, fueled by twisting reverbed-out guitar melodies, elegant arrangements, and a love of soda, summertime nostalgia, and trips to Peter’s inspirational point in Seattle: the fittingly-named Discovery Park. “I’ve written a ton of the melodies for the band there,” he says. “It’s my favorite place in the world.”

Peter also cites Seattle’s elusive sunshine as an often-hidden source of inspiration. “It’s very summery music,” he says. “It’s warm. I want people to feel that when they hear it.” 

Touring is a good way to get your music to the people. Blogs too, touring and blogs really.

9/22 – Frolick Kitchen + Cocktails – Seattle, WA

10/20 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA

10/21 – House of Blues – Bronze Peacock – Houston, TX
10/22 – Cambridge Room – Dallas, TX
10/25 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10/26 – Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
10/27 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
10/29 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
10/30 – Irving Plaza – New York City, NY
11/3 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
11/4 – Neumos – Seattle, WA
11/6 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
11/8 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA
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