Author Archives: Megan Toothaker

Weekend Shots!

A good comeback performance is always something that makes ears perk right up for people, and Tractor Tavern is featuring a band this Sunday that hit it big in the late 80s and is releasing a long awaited new album in mid-March of this year.

The Ocean Blue formed in 1987—teenage friends who loved new wave and had the talent to create their own style. Throughout the 90s, the band had indie and mainstream success, opening for Aimee Man and Talking Heads. The band’s members have shifted over the last 20 years but the sound and the spirit are still the same, harking back to a time when MTV and dance clubs alike played good music (and in MTV’s case…actually played music). Yep, those were the days.

The band is set to release Ultramarine, on March 19 of this year; it will be the bands first full-length release in ten years. Catch the first of hopefully many performances from The Ocean Blue, this Sunday at 8PM at The Tractor Tavern. Math and Physics Club and Valley Fair will be opening for the band. Tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door.

On the fence about the show? Well, here’s what else is going on around the Rainy City this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

To all the singles out there, congratulations on surviving the horrendous Hallmark-created holiday, Valentine’s Day. Now get out there and celebrate with some debauchery this weekend, and if you make it to Sunday, check out the swoon-worthy music of female artist, ZZ Ward and female-fronted group, Delta Rae at The Crocodile.

ZZ Ward has proven that she has the ability to use her raspy voice to create music that is at once soulful, bluesy, and with a hip hop edge. Having written the majority of the tracks on her debut album, Til The Casket Drops, Zsuzanna Eva Ward (aka ZZ Ward), is setting herself apart from her contemporaries with her unique genre interplay.

Not only does her sound stand out, but her voice and emotion linger long after you take your headphones off. Just listen to “Put The Gun Down” and you can almost see the barrel staring you down.

If you’re not instantly swooning, the equally talented and buzzed about, Delta Rae will be opening for ZZ. Catch the show at Belltown venue, The Crocodile this Sunday at 7PM. Tickets are $12 advance and doors are at 7PM.

Here’s what else is going on around Seattle to keep you occupied this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

Well hello, tribute bands! This weekend in Seattle, Showbox at The Market is shaking it up a little with not one, but two tribute bands, and I don’t know about you but I could definitely use some old school tunes to get me out of the pre-Spring funk that everyone (myself included) seems to be going through right now!

On Friday, Showbox at The Market will be featuring Led Zepagain…can anyone guess who the band is in honor of? Well, Led Zeppelin, of course. Tickets for the show are $15 and doors open at 8PM. Hairmageddon will be opening for the band.

Now, if you’re looking for something a little mellow-er in the tribute department, well Saturday could possibly do you in! Neil Diamond cover band, Super Diamond will be playing at Showbox at 8PM on Saturday. The equally harmonious U2 will be covered by the tribute band, Under A Blood Red Sky. Tickets for the show are also $18.

If tribute bands aren’t really your thing, here’s what else is going on in Seattle:

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Weekend Shots!

Take advantage of the fact that the weather is supposed to be somewhat dry in Seattle this weekend! We have some good shows around town to start off your February, including local favorites The Maldives.

The Maldives have been referred to as an “institution” in the Pacific Northwest as they’ve been around almost a decade and have played shows all around the PNW, as well as SXSW and various venues along the West Coast. In the last two years, the country band has downsized but kicked-up the tempo on their already powerful live sound.

On their latest album, Muscle For the Wing, the band explored more of their rock side and it suits them well and has allowed the band to capture a larger audience. Seeing as the Tractor Tavern is the perfect venue for anything that can be described as “twangy,” the ambiance should make for a great show from the much-loved Seattle band.

Ken Stringfellow and Star Anna will be opening for The Maldives at the show this Saturday. Show starts at 9:30PM and tickets are $15 advanced/$17 at the door.

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Weekend Shots!

Around this time of the year many of us are still in the giving back and helping others mood (which should be year round, but let’s be honest here…) If you remain generous, you’re in luck as it’s time again for Starbucks’ Little Big Show!

First Aid Kit played to a sold-out crowd at the last Little Big Show in November. There’s no doubt that the same won’t happen this Sunday when The Walkmen and Father John Misty bring their unique sounds to the stage to raise money for the Seattle-based non-profit, Youth in Focus. Youth in Focus is an afterschool program that teaches photography and videography to disadvantaged teens, enabling them to find their unique voice and forge a positive teenage experience.

The Walkmen have been making music for the last 10 years, first introduced as rowdy, young musicians, whose sound put them on the indie rock map. When the Walkmen released their latest album, Heaven in May of last year, fans and critics alike were both surprised and pleased with the newest record from the New York-based band.

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Weekend Shots!

January is racing by, and with the recently announced Seattle tour dates for Bat For Lashes and a new album out in April by Phoenix, Seattle music fans are gearing up for a busy Spring 2013! In the meantime, have some good stuff to round out the second half of January, including a much-buzzed about performance at Barboza tonight (1/18) by the eccentric folk duo, Two Gallants.

Two Gallants is a duo made up of Adam Stephen and Tyson Vogel, San Francisco musicians who came together to form the indie-folk band in 2002. In September, the band released The Bloom and the Blight. The album was the band’s first release in five years and continues to showcase Stephen’s ability to shape his metal-sounding voice around the Gallant’s folk-inspired melodies.

Known for their ominous lyrics that conjure images of alcoholics, the dying, and the slums of America, you would think that the band might have a small, specific fan base. However, their style has resonated with music lovers and crowds at shows have been known to get rowdy right along with the band raging theatrics. Check out the band for yourself at the show tonight at Barboza on Capitol Hill. Tickets are $15 advanced for the 21+ show. Doors open at 7:30PM.

If Two Gallants aren’t up your alley, here’s what else is going on this weekend around the Rainy City:

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Weekend Shots!

As we watch the ominous clouds circle overhead and fear (or welcome) the forecast of snow this weekend Seattle, let’s not forget that the best way to stay warm in the city is by watching a great band with a foaming, icy pint of Mannys in your hand. Sunday will bring you just the right band for this, as Geographer headlines a show at Barboza.

Beautiful things often come out of tragic experiences oddly enough, and that is the case with the formation of Geographer. After reeling from the pain of losing family members, Geographer front man Michael Deni left New Jersey and ended up in San Francisco with his guitar and synthesizer along for the ride. During this adventure he picked up Nathan Blaz and Brian Osteicher and essentially formed Geographer.

Their music is mainly carefree pop, but more often than not, an ambient sound shines through. The band just released Myth, the follow-up to 2010’s Animal Shapes. Both albums received fine reviews, so expect their live performance to be no different. On An On will be opening up for the band at the 21+ show at Barboza on Sunday the 13th. Doors open at 8PM and tickets are $10 advance.

If Geographer isn’t your cup o’ tea, here’s what else is going on in Seattle this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

Just when it seemed like Seattle was having a hard time pulling itself out of the holiday funk like the rest of us, the city is giving us a killer blast from the past this weekend. Deeming itself the “Dance Party of 80s Proportions,” comes Atomic Pop and Platinum Spandex at the Crocodile TONIGHT, Friday, 1/4.

Atomic Pop have come together to cover songs to remind you that we’re really just dancing with ourselves and to take you back to a time when big hair was a mandate and spandex wasn’t just a trend. The band covers everything from Young MC’s “Bust A Move” to Modern English’s “I Melt With You.” You’ll be reminded of your lust for Molly Ringwald circa Pretty in Pink for certain.

Now, if 80s pop isn’t your thing…fear not. Platinum Spandex will be headlining the show along with Atomic Pop on Friday. The 80s hair metal tribute band promises to throw down the bitchin’ rock that reverberated through the 80s. Covering everyone from Ozzy, Night Ranger, and Iron Maiden, the band is sure to lay the hammer down. The band pledge to play everything live (just like it should be) so expects lots of sweaty hair, leather, and high kicks. It’s not to be missed! Doors open at 8PM for the 21+ show. Tickets are $10 advanced.

If neon colors don’t fire you up, here’s what else is going on around town this weekend:

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Weekend Shots!

December is in full force, Seattle! If you haven’t exhausted all of your funds on Christmas presents for undeserving family members or ugly sweaters for company Christmas’ parties that your hoping will lead to a naughty moment or two under the mistletoe, here’s what you should check out this weekend!

Friday, 12/7 – Allen Stone at The Paramount | The self-described “hippie with a soul,” Allen Stone, will be gracing Seattle with his musical talents and his adorably dorky and modest personality. A little pop, a little R&B, and a lot of soul, Stone has perfected the equation of  upbeat pop without becoming too mainstream. He’s even caught the hearts and grabbed the ears of even the most-critical music lovers.

Stone has plenty of hooks and tons of grooves to allow for a crowd to let a little loose. Lemolo and Choklate will be opening for Stone at the historical Paramount Theater on Friday. Doors open at 7PM for the all-ages show. Tickets are $21.50 advanced.

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TVD Live: Deep Sea Diver at Neumos, 11/30

As I was navigating around people on Friday amid dripping rain on my venture toward Neumos, I was thinking to myself that the house was probably going to be pretty full tonight. Everyone in Seattle loves their local musicians, especially the ones we’ve gotten to know over the years through their musical escapades with other well-known bands, such as one of Seattle’s finest up-and-coming acts and a recent Weekend Shots contender, Deep Sea Diver.

Deep Sea Diver first made waves through my headphones back in July when I was researching the line-up for this year’s Bumbershoot, and to say I was musically smitten is a bit of an understatement. I was totally hooked.

Deep Sea Diver is composed of Jessica Dobson, husband Peter Mansen, and Michael Duggan. Dobson, who has toured with local favorites, The Shins, and the ultimate hipster, Beck, formed the band a few years ago after leaving behind a solo project with Atlantic Records. Finally having the ability to take total control of her musical path, Dobson with Masen and Duggan, self-released History Speaks in February of this year. Beautifully emotional and influential, the album received positive reviews and a following arose.

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Weekend Shots!

This weekend, we here at TVD Seattle are wishing you a very happy “Local Seattle Musician Christmas Weekend!” For many people this was the first week of Christmas and this weekend will explode with holiday shoppers, peppermint mochas, and fake Santas who promise things they can’t deliver! But what’s better than ringing in the beginning of the holidays with some good ol’ lovely Seattle’s Best (I mean musicians, not the coffee.) Enjoy!

Friday, 11/30 – Deep Sea Diver at Neumos | Deep Sea Diver is the project of Seattle singer and multi-instrumental musician, Jessica Dobson. Before forming the band, Dobson toured and supported several bands, including Beck, The Shins, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and at one time was signed to Atlantic records. She has been in the music business since her teens and, oh man, does it show.

The band formed in 2011 with husband, Peter Mansen on drums and Michael Duggan on bass. Deep Sea Diver’s first release, History Speaks is an indie-rock, soul-searching album so powerful that it cannot be listened to just once and the band is easily a contender for a best new artist of 2012. They are making their final stop in Seattle this Friday at Neumos—and as a band I respect, I will be there in full-form, so look for a review of the show by yours truly next week.

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Weekend Shots!

We’re feeling the Canadian love this weekend, Seattle! I’m featuring two Canadians who are visiting our beautiful little city to shower us with glorious tunes. So show some support for our friends up North and make it out to a show this weekend!

11/16, Patrick Watson at the Crocodile | Patrick Watson is a singer-songwriter from Hudson, Quebec who may just have the most musical tricks up his sleeves. His voice is profound, while also soft and delicate, and to top it off he is a multi-talented musician, with the ability to move easily between piano, guitar, organ, and accordion. Watson, supported by a band which at times feels like an entire orchestra backing, are currently on tour to promote his newest album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard. The album was recorded in Watson’s Montreal apartment, which adds to the intimacy of the record.

These traits particularly shine on the opening track “Lighthouse,” where Watson’s high tenor is displayed lightly over piano. The song is a perfect opener for an album that entrances the listener and creates a world they cannot, even if they wanted to, leave until the last horn blares on the closing song “The Things We Do.” Watson, who won a Polar Music Prize in 2007, hasn’t quite had the success in the States as he has in Canada, but with records like Backyard, it’s only a matter of time until he is able to hold his own against the likes of Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, and Antony & the Johnsons. He will be performing at Crocodile this Friday at an all-ages show. Tickets are $15 advanced and the show starts at 8PM. Half Moon Run will be opening.

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Weekend Shots!

T-G-I-F! I know Seattle, but don’t argue, no one is more exhausted from partying hard in celebration of the kick-ass results of this years’ elections than me. Instead of lying around trying to figure out how Washington made out so glorious this year (Yay, gay marriage! Oh, hey legalization of pot! Can you say Obama-rama for four more years?!) pull yourself together and make it to these shows this weekend. It’s cool….you can thank me later.

11/9 – Generationals with Races + Brite Lines at the Tractor Tavern | Bringing indie-pop to the forefront with their catchy lyrics and equally-hooky keyboard backing is the New Orleans duo, Generationals. The duo of Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, Gererationals are on tour to promote their latest EP, “Lucky Numbers.” This EP is a preview of where the band is heading after the strong release of their last full-length album, Actor-Caster, which displayed traces of Spoon and MGMT influences. On “Lucky Numbers,” the title track reveals the band moving confidently into a more electro-pop arena.

The latest EP is only three tracks long, but each is enjoyable. On “Sale City,” the guitar riffs that initially caught peoples’ attention on Actor-Caster are present and now with a new wave twist, seemingly to remind listeners that musically they’re moving forward with their sound. No doubt the show will be enjoyable to watch. California natives, Races and local favorites, Brite Lines will be opening for Generationals at the 21+ show. Performances start at 9:00PM and tickets are $10 advance and $12 at the door.

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Weekend Shots!

When did the holidays begin, Seattle? Along with election season (is it over yet?), turkey trots (the only time of the year it’s acceptable for a run to happen in preparation of a 24-hour food binge) and “No-Shave” November (yay, let’s fight prostate cancer together!)—here are the shows that are starting off the spirited season right!

Friday, 11/2 –The Lonely Forest with Aqueduct + Yuni in Taxco at Neumos | Hailing from the lush woodland that is Anacortes, Washington comes the appropriately named, The Lonely Forest. The band is fronted by John Van Deusen, whose sleek voice can hit the higher pitch needed to keep up with the alt-rock band’s instrumentals. The band just released their third album, Arrows, on Warner Music’s Independent Label Group, Trans.

Arrows is filled with catchy, alt-pop lyrics and rhythm. While The Lonely Forests’ sound is hardly anything innovative, the band is able to carry and create a sound that appeals to both hipsters and the effortlessly receptive teenager looking for a new sound to love. No doubt they will put on a good show when they play in support of Jay Inslee, Democratic candidate for Washington State Governor at the free show at Nuemos this Friday. Gripping Seattle-based Aqueduct and up-and-comers Yuni in Taxco will perform at the event as well. Doors are at 8PM for the all-ages show.

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Weekend Shots!

Halloween is here and Seattle is ready to celebrate! Hopefully if you’re celebrating, you were smart enough to have gotten comfy shoes to go with the bunny ears or banana suit I’m sure you’ll all be rockin’ this pre-holiday weekend…because you know you won’t be doing any sitting! However, if you find yourself dissatisfied with the standard Halloween pub crawls and costume contests that litter the city every year this weekend, here are the picks for the best shows to catch instead.

Friday, 10/26 – Cadence Weapon at Barboza | After being nominated for a Polar Music Prize for his albums, Breaking Kayfabe and Afterparty Babies, Candance Weapon (Rollie Pemberton) is learning how to be a true rap artist. His beats are fresh and his lyrics are well-written and at the age 25, his maturity shines through his newest album, Hope in Dirt City.

He’s in a evolution phase with this album. Pemberton has ditched some of the electronic backing he used on previous records and leans on different genres of music for his backboard through Hope in the Dirt City. Witnessing Pembertons’ musical evolution is worthy of the $10 ticket for this early show at Capitol Hill’s Barboza. Secret Weapons will be opening for Candance Weapon at the 21+ show. Doors open at 7PM.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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