Category Archives: TVD Seattle

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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Weekend Shots!

Welcome to Friday, fellow music lovers! While Seattle’s’ City Arts Fest is presumably taking over the town this weekend with its many glorious artist and acts, I felt compelled to cover the ones that didn’t make the City Art Fest cut this weekend, but that are more than worthy of your love and attention. Enjoy!

Friday, 10/19 – Hot Bodies in Motion at the Crocodile | Performing an early show to promote Crocodile’s Happy Hour, soul and rock come together to form Hot Bodies in Motion. Laced with funk, the Seattle band, composed of Scott Johnson, Tim Lopresto, and Ben Carson, brings to the city a sound that isn’t easily replicated. In a city full of music, like Seattle, where new bands come and go, HBiM is one that has earned their stay and should become a staple on your IPod, especially for those rainy northwest days.

Lead singer, Carson’s voice is rich and at moments he hits a note just long enough to extend the smoothness of it. On the bands’ most recent album, Old Habits, their sound exemplifies rock around the edges, but is more a mixture of blues and funk with a few tracks that let them tack on the label of soul too. Either way, their songs definitely allude back to the bands’ name and the early show at Crocodile will help you gear up for the rest of your Friday night. Other local acts, Finn Riggins, Learning Team and And And And will be opening for HBiM at the all-ages show at the Crocodile on Friday. Doors for the FREE show (yeah that’s right and you know what free means….extra money for other weekend debaucheries) open at 4PM.

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TVD Recommends: Smokey Brights’ 7″
single release at the High Dive, 10/12

The thoroughly local and thoroughly upbeat Smokey Brights will be releasing the first in a series of four seven-inch singles tonight in what promises to be a head-bobbing, foot-tapping show at the High Dive.

The single features two songs and some dashingly geometric artwork by Seattle’s very own Tessa Hulls. The A Side, “No Sheer Force of Will,” provides a good example of the band’s on-point musical execution and generous folk influence, while “Silhouettes,” the B Side is actually a revamp of an one of Smokey Bright’s first songs and, when compared to the original, reveals how the band has matured their sound to a higher level of precision and energy over the past year.

The addition of Kim West’s keyboard-loving fingers and crystal clear vocals has made a significant and happy impact, leaving the original track feeling almost naked without her.

Strong performers with a cheerful stage presence, Smokey Brights tempt even the most stoic of audience members into rhythmic swaying with their lively tempos and wide smiles, making tonight’s show a perfect remedy for those post-summer/early autumn/pre-winter blues.

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Weekend Shots!

Let me first apologize by saying…I can’t help it Seattle! Maybe it’s the sudden shift in the weather, but something’s making me gravitate towards electronic rock pop beats this weekend. I guess I’m holding on to that last, tiny scrap of energy we were gifted during these previous warm, summer months. Either way I’m definitely suggesting you indulge yourself at some fine Seattle music venues this weekend and reminisce of the season that has unofficially just passed.

Here’s my picks on how you should spend your time hiding out from the rain this weekend.

Friday, 10/12 – Com Truise with Poolside at Chop Suey | Com Truise stepped on the scene in 2011 and has showed promise with his 80s-inspired, synthetically-produced beats. Com Truise (Seth Hailey) is touring in promotion of his newest album, In Decay.

The album consistently makes the listener feel as if they are the driver in Atari’s 1983 video game, “Pole Position” and I’m sure that feeling will stick when he plays at the ever-dark and eerie electronic-loving venue, Chop Suey on Friday. While Truise is a worthy-enough musician to put on your schedule for the weekend, the real winners of the night are his supporting act, Poolside.

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TVD Live Shots:
Decibel Festival,
9/26-9/30

Depending on how you spent 9/26 through 9/30, these amazing photos of Decibel Festival 2012 are either pleasantly reminiscent of an awesome time or an embittering reminder of what you missed.

Either way, you better start counting down to next year’s electric celebration of sound and sight, because it’s going to be some kind of party if the festival big wigs want to top this year’s stellar lineup, such as Kimbra above.

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Weekend Shots

Hot damn October, you are starting off the month right in Seattle! This weekend will bring you the best that music can offer—and then some. We got some oldies but goodies and some newbies on the scene in the Emerald City over the next few days.

Friday, 10/5 – The Good Hurt (EP release) at CrocodileYou Are Here, The Good Hurts’ most recent album swells with the alt-rock sounds that send me back to Weezers’ 2001 Green Album. Light guitar melodies stabilize the swift drums that come through the Seattle natives’ music. The Good Hurts’ single “Only in Your Mind” shows the band’s ability to make music that has joyful upbeat sounds, backed by words that actually serve a purpose.

“Only in your Mind” makes references to time passing and the task of moving through the week. At one point in the song, singer James Lanman sings, “Smile, it’s easier said than done,” lyrics that resonate with anyone who’s worked a 9-5 and attempted to live an extraordinary life, as well. Their set at the Crocodile on Friday is sure to make any Seattle music lover feel right at home. Furniture Girls and City Faire open up for the band at the 21+ show. Doors open at 8PM. $10 for advance tickets.

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Weekend Shots!

Friday is finally here, Seattle. If you find time during your last days of this shockingly long Indian summer, (which you should, for Decibel Festival is here) these are my picks for the shows that shouldn’t be missed!

Bloc Party at Showbox Sodo, 9/28 | Heading off the weekend with a tour to promote their newest album, Four, comes British indie-rock favorites, Bloc Party. Bloc Party goes back to their roots with Four, so expect a little bit of jerky, guitar riffs and softer tracks to mellow their set out when they perform at Showbox Sodo on Friday.

Punk-band Ceremony opens up for the Brit foursome. Doors open at 8PM for the all-ages show. $25 for advance tickets, $28 at the door.

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TVD Live: Alessandra Rose album release at Tractor Tavern, 9/8

While walking to the Tractor on Saturday night, two women ahead of me on the sidewalk were having a loud and lively conversation. One wondered aloud who was playing at the Tractor and, as we approached the front door, they paused to peruse the posters on the window.

“Alexandra Rose,” she announced to her companion. “Is she good?”

Noticing that I and my own companion were headed inside, she turned to me and reiterated, “Is Alexandra Rose good?”

“Her name is Alessandra, I corrected (English degrees don’t make friends, but they do make for complete sentences), “and yes, she’s very talented. She has an exceptional voice.”

Between the crowded venue and my short attention span, I never found out if they decided to take me at my word or, instead, if they found something else to occupy their evening. But, I do know that if they chose to keep walking, they made a mistake.

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TVD Recommends: Decibel Festival

If you were toying with the notion of hitting this year’s Decibel Festival, stop reading and go here now, because tickets, like so many wonderful things (petroleum, Firefly, your mom’s patience) are limited. For those that still need persuading, continue reading, but maybe open up that link in another tab, just in case.

This year’s lineup is an intimidating army of electronic and experimental talent that covers a wide variety of styles and subgenres, from the jazzy vocals of New Zealand-born Kimbra to the ambient loops and crackles of Pacific Northwest-inspired Orcas.

The Optical series schedule is very promising as well, featuring prominent audio-visual and electronic media artists like Maria Minerva, Christian Fennesz and Christina Vantzou.

The only downside is that the schedule only allows for one or maybe two different shows per night, as venues are scattered around the city and most sets begin around 9 P.M. But then again, making tough decisions is something mature, responsible adults do, so perhaps we should be thanking the festival organizers for giving us the opportunity to check off our “Be a Grown-Up” box for the day and thus freeing us to debauch and cavort later, guilt-free.

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Why haven’t you spent money on this yet?

What the hell is wrong with you? Get out your credit card, spit in the face of your student loans (like you could ever pay them off anyway) and dump your dollars in the general direction of David Bazan’s vinyl re-releases via Undertow.

For the Pedro The Lion fan who has nearly everything, fill the gaping hole in your collection with individual re-releases of Achilles Heel, Control, Winners Never Quit, The Only Reason I Feel Secure and It’s Hard To Find A Friend, or, for the Pedro The Lion fan who has absolutely nothing, buy ALL OF THEM AT ONCE.

Also available for pre-order on vinyl is Bazan’s solo breakout  Fewer Moving Parts, which actually makes the universe an entire percent better to live in. Probably. Whatever. Science.

P.S. There are, amazingly, still a few tickets available to David Bazan’s upcoming Living Room Show in Spokane on August 17. Hurry up – supplies are limited, etc., etc.

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TVD Live: Mates of State with The Stepkids at Tractor Tavern, 6/28

Backdrops built of flowers, plug-in clouds and geometric projections took over Ballard’s Tractor Tavern last Thursday and Fright night, as Connecticut’s Mates of State, accompanied by psychedelic funk trio The Stepkids, kicked off their West coast tour with an energetic and spunky performance that quite nearly overcame the strange phobia of movement that Seattle audiences are notorious for.

When I decided to cover this show and cleared my schedule of all the nothing I had planned, I realized I actually hadn’t listened to any of MoS’ new material. And by new material, I mean their last four releases. My first instinct was to catch up, but it occurred to me that seeing them live after a nearly seven year hiatus would be considerably more interesting.

I wondered how much they had deviated from the chipper, synthesizers-having-a-slumber-party-pillow-fight sound that made songs like “Everyone Needs an Editor” and “Ha Ha” so much fun to sing to while tearing ass out of my high school’s parking lot, and was ultimately pleased to find myself nodding along to a very familiar, though more developed, Mates of State.

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TVD Live: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band EP release at Columbia City Theater, 6/1

I showed up at Columbia City Theater, having never been before, somewhat in a huff. My imagined sprint from work to home to show was forced into a limping crawl by the flood of weekend tourism traffic, I was wearing the same clothes I wore wrangling children earlier in the day, had nothing but some OJ and mac-n-cheese on my stomach, and sat down on a stool in the back only to discover that I had left my camera at home and my pen was running out of ink.

As I debated the prudence of complementing my small dinner with a strong drink, I noticed a couple of the members of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band lurking above the stage and suddenly realized I didn’t care if I was hungry and would have to take terrible quality pictures with my terrible phone or if my ability to write this review was inhibited by the illegible scratches of my dying pen, because I was about to see one of my favorite local bands play a live set. Right on.

I went home that evening thoroughly musically blessed. The event, organized by Sound On The Sound, not only served to launch MSHVB’s fantastic new EP, Prehistory, but also introduced me to Olympia-based You Are Plural and confirmed all the good things I had heard about Wintersleep, Juno Award winners from Halifax, Nova Scotia, providing me with two new bands to add to my list of “Things I Like A Lot.”

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When you’re too poor for Sasquatch Festival

Was the $400 four-day pass to this year’s edition of S’quatch a tad too steep for the ol’ bank account?

Well, buck up! Just because you won’t be spending Memorial Day weekend sprawled on the hill in front of the main stage, paying homage to a hirsute cryptid, doesn’t mean your appetite for live music has to go unsated.

Here’s a brief list of recommendations for a few local (and much more affordable) Sasquatch alternatives:

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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