Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25, 2015

Refreshed from a week's vacation, we ventured out last night to take advantage of the first of three free shows at the Narwhal, within spitting distance of the Capitol Hill Block Party. We know people in Cumulus and draemhouse, but even if we didn't, I'd pay money to hear them (and Chris Brokaw) again. The Cock Block Party continues tonight and tomorrow with a different lineup every night. Meanwhile, these names stood out from the crowd:

American Nudism
The qualifier "American" suggests something about the nudism -- it's either exceptional or puritanical, I just can't decide which.

The Devil Bores Me
When you're so jaded and cynical that even sin is boring, maybe it's time to go over to the other side.

Freudian Slurp
This one made me laugh out loud. What do you think it means when you accidentally say "slurp" instead of "slip"? Tell me about your mother . . .

High Wired Nonet
I have long delighted in the coincidence that the technical term for a nine-piece ensemble seems to advertise a daring lack of concern for the safety of the performers. The fact that there seem to be only two members of this group only makes it more amusing.

Pink Void 
It sounds like it should be a tribute band but it's not. My next thought is what interdimensional non-space might look like, which seems like a pretty good fit for a noise band. And now I know about something called Noise Yoga, which sounds like a great idea.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Blogging was delayed by a very pleasant weekend in wine country. I'm on vacation this week, so it still feels like the weekend and I therefore resume blogging on a Monday. All the bands whose names stood out have already played their shows, but they still deserve notice.

Memory Tapes
My memory may be imperfect, but I remember tapes. It amuses me no end to see cassettes having their little renaissance among young musicians. They must still be cheap, but can you still buy a decent tape deck? We're lucky to have one from the '70s. The tape stock stank, but the hardware was solid. Ah, memories . . .

Red Alder
Clear the land and stand back! Applies equally to alder and to young musicians -- give them space and they'll pop up and grow.

Vacation is nice, but this is what I really look forward to. If I can stay up past 9 p.m., I might even get out to weeknight shows.

Shaggy Sweet
The five-second rule is voided if the dropped candy collects fuzz.

Much more intrepid than a mere vacationer.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11, 2015

I salute all the musicians who had to perform or rehearse in a hot, stuffy space this past week. The bit of June we're enjoying now is late but most welcome. If you're not that into the whole sweat-lodge experience, now would be the time to get out and hear a band or three. These five stood out for me:

Catapult the DEAD
Well, that's one way to get rid of an inconvenient body.

I always like it when a band embraces their inner science nerd while throwing in a playful drug reference. Also, they posed with cute cats for their cover photo. Awww!

Graig Markel & the 88th St. Band
This feels extremely local: I live on 88th Street! It might not be the same one, but we're still some kind of neighbors.

Jesica's Voices in Her Head
Songwriters and fiction writers have at least this in common: voices in our heads. If we fail to engage with them, they don't go away; it just gets crowded. Better to let them out.

Studebaker John and the Hawks 
The Lark
Always pleased to see a Studebaker reference; my dad owned four of them over the years. (Not sure any of them was a Hawk, but still.) The last one, a red '62 Lark, carried us out to Washington from Illinois. I was three months old, riding in a cardboard box. We kept the car just a couple years more; I have one very early memory of its back end emerging from the garage.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4, 2015

We got to sleep in yesterday, so we decided we could afford to stay out late last night. I didn't have the stamina to endure more than a couple hours in the sweat lodge that is any club this weekend, but it was great to get out to El Corazon to hear our old friends Dead Bars, along with The Botherations (who made the blog about two years ago; read it here) and The Kings. In spite of the heat, people were dancing! In Seattle! Whatever next?

Have a safe and happy 4th, don't set things on fire, and whether you're out in the sun or inside a dark bar, remember to drink plenty of water!

Burlington Coat Felony
I love it when a phrase starts out familiar, then takes a twist at the end. Maybe you could get a really good deal on a coat this weekend, but it would be a crime to wear one.
It's so hot, even the fruit is melting!

Mustard Plug
This is one of those band names that shines a spotlight on a mundane or annoying object, elevating it to the hilarious sublime. It's also a fitting name for a summer weekend of picnics and barbecues. (These guys headlined the show at El Corazon last night. I was really sorry to wimp out, but there were plenty of younger, more energetic people in the audience who I'm sure gave them and Regional Faction an enthusiastic welcome.)

Tinfoil and Tape
Emblems of DIY culture, and the urban equivalents of chewing gum and baling wire. 

Body-part band names are one of my favorite genres. There's something especially appealing about focusing on just one of a set, even more so when it is the humble nether digit.