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TIMBER! OUTDOOR MUSIC FESTIVAL 2020!! JULY 16th-18th

March 5, 2020

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival 2020 takes place in the rural splendor of Carnation, Washington, at King County’s Tolt-Macdonald Park. With the setting of a densely forested 574-acre park situated at the confluence of two rivers, Timber! is essentially a neighborhood campout in the woods. Attendees come from all over to camp under the stars, swim in the river, lay out in the sun, and—of course—enjoy music.

This year they are featuring some new activities such as: Timber! Sunday Brunch at Pete’s Club Grill,The Ashley Memorial Seattle to Timber! Bike Ride, Bat Viewing & Listening Party with Bats Northwest and much more to be announced.

During the day, the Main Stage invites campers to enjoy music nestled next to the iconic Tolt Barn. At night, the Campfire Stage is set among a tall forest of fir trees. All throughout Timber!, guests enjoy a number of outdoor adventures presented by REI including kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, outdoor yoga classes, stargazing with astrophysicists, nature painting classes and more.

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival is a family-friendly event. With children 12 and under granted free admission, Timber! is a place for families to connect and make memories while exploring the outdoors and discovering music.

Day passes start at $45. Weekend passes are $115
Ticket prices increase to $125 on June 1.
Children 12 and under are FREE!

 

GREATEST SINGLE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD: “Worthy Girl” by KILLS BIRDS

February 4, 2020
Kills Birds began as a secret project between vocalist Nina Ljeti – an award-winning Bosnian-Canadian filmmaker, now living in L.A. – and guitarist Jacob Loeb but in 2017, evolved into a full-fledged band with the addition of Fielder Thomas (bass) and Bosh Rothman (drums). They immediately drew attention for their electrifying live performances, their jagged guitar-driven melodies and slow-burning dynamics made even more explosive by Ljeti’s urgent lyricism and raw stage presence. Among the band’s earliest fans was producer – and KRO Records founder – Justin Raisen, who not only signed Kills Birds to his growing label roster, but opted to produce their remarkable debut album as well. Recorded nearly live over an intense eight-hour session, KILLS BIRDS expertly captures the band’s on-stage energy, its feral, unfettered power fueled throughout by the extraordinary intensity of Ljeti’s striking songcraft.
The album is very personal,” Ljeti says. “As a whole, it has no concept, but each song is reflective of what I struggled with, and continue to struggle with. Feelings of insecurity, anxiety, inadequacy, and ultimately love. Love is the main driving force behind everything I create.”
Don’t miss them at Chop Suey March 5th, and at Treefort Music Festival March 25th-29th

NEW BAND CRUSH: CARTEL MADRAS/ BARBOZA January 16th 2020.

January 8, 2020

Photo credit: Asim Overstands – Cartel Madras

Cartel Madras | noun | kärˈtel məˈdräs

  1. The powerful juxtaposition of a Western term aimed at ghettoizing other cultures and the English colonial name foisted on Chennai, India; 2. A queer, female, Desi act igniting a revolution because they’re sick of this bullshit

As soon as the people at Sub Pop threw Cartel Madras in our inbox. We immediately became obsessed.

Founded by Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, this is the hottest hip hop duo to come across our inbox in quite awhile. Every track off of Age of the Goonda is fire. So DO NOT miss them at Barboza January 16th! Take a listen, and read about them below.

 

“We really want people who come to our shows to feel like they’ve been punched in the face,” says Contra, one-half of rap provocateurs Cartel Madras, of their FOMO-inducing live shows. “It’s like a riot just passed you, and you’re like, ‘What was that? What did I just experience?’” But also, “‘How do I do that again?’”

Cartel Madras also includes Contra’s sibling, Eboshi—both born in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and raised in Calgary, Canada. Like their upbringing, their music is a cultural syncretism, a heady mix of trap with punk, house, and South Indian aesthetics that they’ve anointed “goonda rap.” Their second EP is Age of the Goonda, (out November 1st, 2019 on Sub Pop Records), a sonically expansive successor to their first EP, Trapistan, which boasted the party-down hit “Pork & Leek. A manifesto for the times, Age of the Goonda is an in-your-face call to arms for—immigrants, women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, Desis (a.k.a. Westernized Indians)—those who must resist being treated as underdogs.

“Goonda Gold” is the EP’s central pulse, its anthem. “When you hear it, it feels big like you’re watching this crazy-ass gangsta movie,” says Contra. “And it does borrow from certain vintage South Indian filminess.” Rapid-fire in delivery—“Gold on my neck I’m a goonda / Got guns in the air like a junta”—and hastened along by shimmery beats from D.C. Desi upstart SkinnyLocal, it pointedly shows off the duo’s legit rapping skills.

The word “goonda” means “thug” and is used across India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Admittedly, India—saddled by tropes of yoga, spicy food, and Bollywood—isn’t generally associated with thug life. “But India has a lot of fear and a lot of energy,” Eboshi says. “That story isn’t told enough anywhere, except for in India.” Here, the duo rethink that angst as concepts of cultural and sexual empowerment. “That is the song to all my brown gurlz out there: blast this in your car and scare everyone around you,” she continues. “It comes in real hot. And we just don’t quit in that song.” That’s an understatement: They actually held a gun in the sound booth while recording the track—because someone in the studio just happened to have one. “Don’t ask me why,” says Eboshi, then jokes: “I’m assuming it was for cosplay.”

The track’s kindred spirit is “Dawood Ibrahim,” named for India’s Pablo Escobar, a gangster-terrorist from Mumbai currently on the lam in Pakistan. They took the idea of Dawood—bold, unbounded, reckless—and filter it through a queer female lens. Backed by Belgian trap producer DJ Yung Vamp, the song features spacious synths and asymmetrical cadences in the form of potent poetry such as, “I fuck with all of my Desi hunnis / Put my other goodies in my other gunny /I’m cooking up some dosa to some Motown / That’s the wave I’m on now.” Ibrahim never lived so well.

The EP came together over in a little under 7 months. They wrote the bulk of their material at their old Calgary apartment (a.k.a. Thot Police Studios) and at a women’s songwriting residency at Whidbey Island in Washington State. Marvels Eboshi: “We were there for 10 days. In the woods. We were like, ‘Holy shit! I didn’t even know I could unlock these levels.” By June 2019, they had recorded Age of the Goonda at Echo Base Studios in Calgary and had signed to Sub Pop.

They grew infamous for their club shows and house parties around Calgary, where they formed a hip-hop collective called Thot Police. “When we started out, we didn’t know how many shows we’d be playing. So right away we treated every show like we might not get another chance,” Eboshi says. “Every time we do house shows, it’s been a massive rager.” Adds Contra, “The cops came through once to try to shut us down. We blew out all the speakers.”

Your warning comes at the very start of Age of the Goonda in the form of “Jumpscare,” an ominous track produced by noise-minimalist Nevik. It captures that chaos that Cartel Madras are so adept at creating, and opens with possibly the most subversive pass-the-mic verse ever: “Take off your top boy / Somebody bring me my gun / Black bag in the back of the jeep / You just a bitch on the run.” Says Eboshi: “The audience taps into it right away. They start moshing and go crazy, and we have a full mental breakdown on stage when we perform it.” If there’s any mystic, Eastern mind-body connection to what Cartel Maras are doing, it’s this thrilling lightning-in-a-bottle way they deftly project activism and libertinism at once.

“There’s a certain thing that hip hop does, that gangster rap does: a narrative of being larger than life, kind of violent but in power,” says Eboshi. “We are paying tribute to that, but also focusing that on women who are queer and brown, telling stories that haven’t been told. We are speaking to, and about, narratives that are not magnified in popular culture, while paying tribute to the subgenres that have continuously influenced our sound. That’s what we want goonda rap to become.”

NEW BAND CRUSH: THE STILL TIDE / The Sunset Tavern, September 16th.

September 5, 2019

Hailing from Olympia, WA, Morsett is influenced as much by growing up in the Pacific Northwest as by her experiences traveling the globe as a guitar tech for artists such as Kaki King, Tallest Man On Earth and Devil Makes Three. Her intricate, immersive performance has landed opening spots with Cat Power, Nathaniel Rateliff + The Night Sweats and Margaret Glaspy and will kick off a fall tour with Charlie Cunningham next week!

A magnetic frontwoman and self-described introspective loner, this duality is a crucial piece of her aptly named new collection. Behemoth vocals, soaring synths, fragile guitars and driving bass provide the canvas for an artist breaking in a new brush and serves as territory for Morsett’s interior and exterior lives to merge.

The seven song collection is her first for Mod y Vi Records, the label responsible for releasing two of Nathaniel Rateliff’s critically acclaimed folk albums. It was mixed by Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens) and produced by Morsett and long time collaborator Joe Richmond. Equal parts love and loss, opportunity and closed doors, the Between Skies EP creates a fitting foundation for the peaks and troughs of what it means to be human.

The Still Tide Tour Dates
* = w/ Charlie Cunningham

9/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo*
9/13: San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord*
9/15: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios*
9/16: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern*
9/17: Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret*
9/20: Fort Collins, CO @ Fort Collins Armory*
9/21: Denver, CO @ Globe Hall*
9/23: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry*
9/24: Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s*
9/26: Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground*
9/27: Montreal, ON @ Phi Centre*
9/28: Boston, MA @ Red Room at Cafe 939*
9/29: Philadelphia, PA @ Boots & Saddle*
10/1: Washington, DC @ DC9 Nightclub*
10/2: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade*

(New Feature)GREATEST SINGLE YOUV’E NEVER HEARD: “HOLLOW THING” By LIFE

July 8, 2019

The band recently embarked on a sold out two-week European tour as main support for IDLES as well as playing one of three sold-out London shows at the Electric Ballroom, and have played packed out sets at likes of The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City, Handmade Festival and more. Similarly, the band are also set to play numerous festivals across the UK & Europe including Glastonbury, The Great Escape, 2000 Trees, Pukkelpop (BE), Les Nuits Secretes (FR), Pohoda (SK), Rock The People (CZ), Wilkestock and local event, Humber Street Sesh – with many more to be announced.

Known for a strong community ethic, clever wordplay and energetic performances, their critically acclaimed debut ‘Popular Music’ made it onto BBC Radio 1’s best albums of the year list and gained multiple playlist adds on BBC6 Music. LIFE were also picked by the likes of DIY, Metro, So Young and Fred Perry Subculture as their ‘Ones to Watch’ at the start of last year and Steve Lamacq praised the band for being “…weirdly uncompromising and addictive” when placing lead single ‘In Your Hands’ in his best of the year list.

‘A Picture Of Good Health’ is due out 20th September 2019 via band’s own label ‘Afghan Moon’ and also sees them partner for the first time with [PIAS].

Pre-Order

Seismic Preview: Beach House at Moore Theatre May 8th-9th, 2019

April 26, 2019

Photo By: Shawn Brackbill

Last time we saw Beach House (Sub Pop Records), they played on the beautiful shores of Alki Beach in West Seattle for Sub Pop’s anniversary show SPF30 last August…. A perfect backdrop, for a stunning set (want to relive the setlist? Listen here)
They’ve been touring relentlessly since April of 2018, about a month before latest album 7 dropped.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Beach House a couple of times, and not once have I NOT sunk into a Beach House trance. Beautiful lights, beautiful set list, and transcendent sounds. I feel at times I’m floating above the crowd, like a cartoon character being picked up by the power of a beautiful smell( show tip: a good hybrid recommended ).
Holy sounds of this incredible duo will sometimes play stand in for what I would think church should be like in a big 700 year old cathedral.
Sometimes Victoria Legrand’s voice melts into the wedding chapel drones that she presses out of her keyboard, while guitarist Alex Scally uses a slide to make his brightest melodies go slack. Drummer James Barone’s playing is typically as crispy as a Washington Fuji Apple.

But guess what? It’s all going to happen again. Not 1 night, but 2 nights at The Moore Theater May 8th and 9th.  If you have a brain in your head your going to grab your tickets asap, before they sell out!
And while you do that, make sure you watch one of my favorite tracks below.

 

NEW BAND CRUSH: YACHT PUNK

March 12, 2019

“Laying on the floor of his unfinished basement studio in Beachwood Canyon, Graham Bockmiller realized it was time to go out on his own. The LA-based band Great White Buffalo had run its course, leaving him unsure what would come next. Graham spent the next year holed up inside his studio by himself; contemplating life, writing, collecting nude calendars of Eastern European women suggestively holding large trophy carp, and experimenting with the raw recording skills he had taught himself. He began exploring new sounds and textures outside of the traditional rock staples of guitar, drums, and bass – testing the limits of his DIY recording chops in search for a more interestng, vibier sound. These songs would later become the beginning of Yacht Punk.

Graham tinkered on demos until a chance meeting with Michael Pozzi (guitar) at Davey Wayne’s on Hollywood Boulevard. Michael was all-in on the project after visiting the studio and hearing where the music was going, and they were soon joined by Graham’s roommate Tricky (drums, no discernible first or last name) and Justin Ricard (bass). They took the demos to producer and indie-rock guru Matt Wignall’s (Cold War Kids, Mando Diao, J. Roddy Walston and the Business) eclectic Tackyland studio in Long Beach. In his converted garage studio (where “Hang Me Out to Dry” was recorded), Wignall took the music to further and weirder places with his unique production black magic. Afterwards, the band brought the tracks back to LA, where they were finished with mixer/engineer Will Brierre (The Killers “Hot Fuss”). Their latest single “Need a Reason” was featured on Spotify’s New Noise and Fresh Finds playlists. 

So here it is. Yacht Punk sounds like Stephen King’s movie Maximum Overdrive took a handful of downers. It has something to do with free-basing weed wax off nice silverware you heated up on an electric stove. It’s drinking daiquiris out of a hollowed-out pineapple at a vampire bar, flying on acid. It’s doing hippie-flips in the desert while eating steak dinner with a roommates’ retired relatives, having a black dumpster cat named Mazzy Star, and destroying another pair of white Converse. No, they don’t ride on yachts and they don’t play punk.”

SEISMIC-SOUND’S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2018

January 17, 2019

This list is quite tardy, but better late than never. Due to family emergencies, I had to postpone formatting and putting my list up here. I did however have my top 10 of 2018 list posted on the KEXP music website.
So here we have my top 10 favorite’s of 2018.

Over the past few years my focus was a broad spectrum of music both mainstream and independent. But this year I wanted to try and keep the focus on the bands who had a smaller presence but had just as big of a impact.
Sure I’m aware of the amazing Mitski album, Low and Robyn albums … they all killed. But I really needed to focus on those smaller bands, and reveal the bands that affected me the most, in a “holy shit, who is this band again?” kind of way.
I’m not going to lie, this could very well be a top 50 albums of the year, cause I’m telling you ….. good quality music is out there, and there is ton of it that’s going unheard.
So I basically wanted to really tip my hat to these bands that are a bit more obscure, but their sound and impact was top notch shit nonetheless.

1. Mammoth Indigo – Wilt

This band put my mouth on the floor, and I was in complete awe, track after track. The depth of their musical talent completely floored me, and I cry big gay tears that this band has not been discovered. But I think this may be just be the beginning. I will do what I can to change that. Check this album out.

 

2. Wild Pink– Yolk In The Fur

This album is Magic right from the jump with incredibly beautiful ethereal sounds, and then morphs into this light, folky-pop, Wilco frosted song called “Lake Erie”, and the album just keeps delivering time after time.

 

3. The Greeting Committee – Is This It

The descriptors for this album are hard to peg. This album takes on many faces of well crafted quirky pop art sounds that burrow under the skin immediately. I was listening to this album on repeat quite a bit while working at my computer, and I’d imagine at any moment I would have been busted for doing some kind of “jig” in my chair. It’s a beautiful and fun album, and I’m obsessed with seeing them live.

 

4. Sloucher– Be True

No surprise within my social media feeds that this one of my absolute favorite bands in Seattle. Their debut album made my top 10 list in 2016.
So much about them resonates with me, whether it be the nostalgic guitar riffs, or the Cobain-esque vocals of lead singer Jay Clancy. But this is no way is a rip off of yesteryear. This shit is tight, and it’s professional. I highly suggest you check them out.

 

5. Shame– Song Of Praise

I mean, where to start with this band out of South London. I remember hearing the song “One Rizla” the first time and I was addicted. They hav this pop appeal that’s universal, but you can hear that angsty shit in the vocals of Charlie Steen that remind you of Sid Vicious. This album has all the elements of making this band the next big thing out of London, right along with Idles.

 

6. Constant Mongrel– “Living In Excellence”

This band out of Melbourne, Australia is the perfect remedy for that beautifully crafted gritty punk sound that I really enjoy. This band has little or no presence online but I would love to see that change. Listen to this album, and then tell me that I didn’t tell you so. I need this VINYL!

 

7. Erika Wennerstrom– Sweet Unknown

You may know this woman from Heartless Bastards, but holy shit! The talent and incredible music this woman just divvied up is extraordinary. I dare you to just hit play on the opening track, then listen to how this all unfolds ….its brilliant!! Typically, I do a little eye-roll when people get out and do their own solo projects cause so much falls flat. But Erika Wennerstrom could destroy the music world with her solo talent. I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

 

8. Haley Heynderickx– I Need To Start A Garden

Not to gloat, but I was hot on the trail of this budding artist, years ago, when I lived in Portland for a year. I reached out to work with her, and we corresponded, but as time went on and all was forgotten. I moved back to Seattle, and all had but faded. Then I recieved a email in my inbox about her new album … and on Mama Bird Records no less (Well played Mama Bird), and I knew once again that I was correct in my findings years back that she had it. And that she has!
Freshman album ‘I Need To Start A Garden’ is sublime. It’s one of the most vocally intricate albums I have heard since fellow Portland crooner Kelli Schaefer’s ‘Ghost Of The Beast’. It’s a beautiful tapestry of gentle plucking on her guitar, aligned with that incredible voice that will leave you in a trance. Stunning…

 

9. The Sea Atlas– Goodbye

Boom! Opening track “Ripped Jeans” is fucking ginormous. It’s so much of what I look for in emotional and heart wrenching track. Just enough gloom, and optimism to make me bury my head in my hands and want more. I will forever be paying attention to this artist, and I can’t wait till he rolls through Seattle.

 

10. Yoshi Flower– American Raver

This came out of left field, and I was on the floor in disbelief while listening to it. Essentially unheard of, Yoshi Flower can not only write, but his voice is money and the beats are fucking fire.
I think he has the potential to do HUGE things in his career. I’m watching this guy with bated breathe. Someone needs to get him some huge opps, cause the kids will eat this shit up!!

 

SEISMIC INTERVIEW W/ YOKE LORE. LIVE @ LO-FI OCTOBER 21st 2018

October 19, 2018

Yoke Lore Ep ‘Good Pains’ ended up on our 2017 top 10 album list, and I’m still obsessed with it. But now he has a new jewel ‘Absolutes’, that has my attention. We got a chance to ask him some questions about the new album, and cities that inspire him the most.

Make sure you get a chance to check him out at the Lo-Fi on October 21st with openers Bay Ledges. Get tix here! Show at 7pm.

How have you grown musically between 2017 EP, and the newest EP, that maybe we wouldn’t notice as a listener?
Hmm.  I think I’m becoming more and more aware of what Yoke Lore is. I started this thing and write songs in my bedroom that turn out to mean something really specific to people halfway across the world for reasons I have no idea about. I think I’m learning better about how that connects me and my listeners. Sonically, I’m not sure there is much of a stark difference between the two releases, but to me, Absolutes is a bit more concentrated in terms of the nature of the sounds and a bit more focused in terms of the lyrics.
Is this the best time of your life musically? If it ended tomorrow, would you be happy with what you’ve done?
It probably is the best time of my life, but I want tomorrow to be better. And if it ends tomorrow, hell yeah, I had a great time. I don’t think I’ve done a whole lot on the grand scale, but I think in general, my music has moved the world in a better direction, if even in the tiniest of ways. This is like grassroots marketing. We start small, on the individual scale and try to change one perspective at a time. I think I’ have helped to shift some peoples focus toward a better consciousness.  That’s good enough for me
What city is most important to you for music?
I make lots of music in Joshua Tree. I make lots of music in New York City. I love playing shows in Toronto and Cleveland. But I would like to think that I can create a space anywhere I am in order to do my work. As long as I can create separate sacred space, as long as I can find quiet, and as long as I can find time I can make music.
 
If you could collaborate with 2 people (alive), who would they be, and why?
Hmmmmmmmm. Jeremih. I think that dude is a hidden genius of our time. So under appreciated. And Caribou. I would love to see how I could live in that world.
Tell me a bit about the song “Concrete”. I have an idea of what I think its about, but in all honesty ….I very well could be wrong.
The lyrics “The wood I sent you won’t believe your lies, but you can try” baffled me a bit. Indulge me in what it’s about.
I live in cities: LA and NYC most of the time. And I feel most myself in the forest, secluded and remote. I’m a bit of a forest monk.
There are different Adrian’s that come out in different places. This song is about learning to balance and negotiate between the different parts of me that come out in different places. So that line “the wood I sent you…” is about feeling the woods to be a place where you can’t tell lies. Trees have no use for lies. The forest wrenches the truth out of me in a way the city doesn’t.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you…
I can’t whistle.
And what are your thoughts about Seattle, if you’ve been here, and if you haven’t what do you expect (besides the rain cliche)?
I have been! Once! I didn’t get to spend that much time because we drove in the day of the shows and then drove out of town that night, but it was beautiful. It’s so lush. I love your rainbow crosswalks, the waterfront. The pretty ferris wheel … Maybe I can ride it this time.

NEW BAND CRUSH: HYPOLUXO / NEW ALBUM SEP. 21st 2018

September 13, 2018

 

Wikipedia dot org– the modern millennials most trusted fact source, defines a collage as “an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.” Brooklyn, New York’s Hypoluxo make music that is, in every sense of the definition, a collage. WIth their signature calm, cool, and collected disposition; the band pulls off a somehow-seamless smattering of shoegaze, indie rock, and dream pop. Vocalist/guitarist Samuel Jacob Cogen and guitarist Cameron Riordan forge distant yet warm melodies that float over a subtly funky and driving rhythm section; comprised of bassist Eric Jaso and drummer Marco Hector Ocampo. Motivated hooks and choruses infiltrate a shimmering and spacey atmosphere, and preclude any notion of apathy. As they construct method out of madness, the band executes repeatedly changing time signatures with grace and poise. All the while, not a single note feels arduous. The quartet’s delivery is so nonchalant it’s almost smug. Like a grand sigh of relief, each moment unfolds with inhibition, encouraging listeners to sink further and further into the deep state of relaxation we all so desperately long for.

Cogen’s vocals are without question one of the most striking and defining features of the band’s unique sound. Said vocals can be characterized by their polished and satiny quality, undoubtedly contributing to Hypoluxo’s captivating, almost hypnotic overall nature. Smooth yet strong, like a high quality alcoholic beverage, his deep-toned voice may catch those unfamiliar with Hypoluxo off guard. Yet he is anything but fazed, as sincere and eloquent lyricism pours out of him with ease.

Their sophomore full length release, Running on a Fence, exemplifies the newfound confidence in Hypoluxo. Following their debut 2016 LP, If Language, the new album illustrates an immense growth within the group. With a sound just idiosyncratic enough to prevent them from being quite like anything else out there, yet unmistakably drawing components from widely appealing aesthetics, the band has clearly caught their stride and come into their own. Songs like “Insecure” and “Midnight Snack” demonstrate their ability to compose an infectiously catchy tune. While standout track “Character Driven” finds the band wandering into unchartered territory, dipping into a borderline-country aesthetic without succumbing to the cliches of the current and ephemeral “alt-country” trend.

Hypoluxo’s eccentric sound may make them hard to place among their fellow indie rock peers. But it leaves a lasting impression; an impression which inevitably results in listeners being left with a craving that only Hypoluxo themselves can satisfy.

 Pre-Order here  / Out Sept 21st.

                                                 

NEW BAND CRUSH: MAMMOTH INDIGO

August 20, 2018

 

Mammoth  Indigo,  the  brainchild  of  lead  singer/guitarist  Cody  Bowers,  was  formed  in  2013  in  Harrisonburg,  VA  with  friends  Dan  McDonough  (guitar/keys/vocals)  and  Eric  Singer  (percussion).  The  band  played  their  first  show  in  their  hometown  in  June,  2013  and  soon  realized  that  they  needed  to  continue  pursuing  the  creative  connection  they  all  had  together.

The  band  released  their  self-titled  debut  a  few  months  later  in  August  of  2013,  with  attention  grabbing  singles  ͞Rapture͟,  ͞God-Made  Satellite͟,  and  ͞No  Mothers͟.  They  hit  the  road  hard  by  booking  their  own  shows  and  traveling  fully  across  the  US  in  support  of  the  album.  Early  2014,  they  were  supported  by  Richmond  native,  Joey  Cook  (American  Idol  finalist)  on  two  different  legs  of  tours  throughout  the  US.  The  band  continued  playing  extensively  after  that  and  ended  up  touring  with  The  Soil  and  The  Sun,  You  Blew  It!,  and  Taking  Back  Sunday.

After  watching  the  band  at  a  live  show  in  Charlotte,  NC,  the  band  finally  found  their  permanent  bass  player  in  Adam  Vaagen.  The  group  now  felt  complete  with  a  full  lineup  and  were  determined  to  make  their  passion  for  their  music  known.  Cody  had  already  begun  to  piece  together  what  would  be  their  sophomore  album  and  the  band  decided  to  take  the  next  year  to  focus  on  writing  and  recording.

In  April  of  2018,  the  band  released  ͞Wilt͟,  which  was  premiered  by  Substream  Magazine.  Showcasing  singles  such  as  ͞Flowers  In  The  Basement͟,  ͞Full  Bloom͟ and  ͞Whiskey  King͟  the  band  traveled  to  Austin,  TX  in  March  of  2018  to  play  the  Feedbands  Showcase  during  SXSW.  They  are  currently  gearing  up  for  a  full  US  tour  in  August  of  2018  as  well  as  continuing  to  hit  the  road  forever.

SEISMIC-SOUND’S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2017

January 2, 2018

Music is relative, and we all have those albums on a yearly basis that get all sorts of rotation for this reason or the next. Well it always makes me squeal with delight to find brand spanking new bands that get me all excited, and this year was no exception.
I seem to have found more fresh green artists, than years gone by.

1. HAPPY ABANDON– FacePaint

Kind of difficult to articulate the profound impact this album had on me. It literally pulled my eyes away from my computer screen, to only stare at my speaker, as if they were performing the most beautiful thing ever in front of me. I was addicted, and there was no way the second track could be as good. But damn it was!
So I was beyond belief excited, when I found out I was going to be able to catch them performing at Vermillion Gallery 2 weeks later. But again my pessimistic attitude took hold, and I was certain they couldn’t replicate that beautiful, articulate, genius, musically wise beyond their years, whimsical, poppy, brilliant sound live.
Well happily, I couldn’t have been more off base. Not only did they, but they brought tears to my eyes and gave me the goose bumps about a dozen times. I didn’t want it to end.
I bought the album, so it never has too. (Click here for a full performance)

2. YOKE LORE– Good Pains Ep

Yoke Lore just has that beautiful equation of pop, electronic and even some elements of folk, that makes people move and yearn for more. This Ep was the first thing I had heard from Adrian Galvin of Brooklyn, and I was completely smitten. I can’t wait to see where this guy goes.

3. SERA CAHOONE– From Where I Started

It’s no secret, Sera Cahoone is a fucking musical giant in my little world … the special way she writes about heartbreak, life and love, make you want to roll down your car windows while driving through the cascade mountains singing about your victory in love, or curl up in a ball of emotions, and just straight up ugly cry about your loss. Either way Sera Cahoone’s new album will see you through. It’s a beautiful album from beginning to end.

4. VAGABON– Infinite Worlds

First time I heard single “The Embers”, I remember just turning it up, and thinking of how much energy this young woman carried in her voice, which kind of reminded me a bit of Bjork, but with a bit more grit.
Not long after, she dropped her vinyl, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. With that said, I have listened to it numerous times over, and it’s delivered in spades. This is another artist, that I can’t wait to see what happens.

5. MIDDLE KIDS– (Self Titled)

Sydney band Middle Kids self-titled EP, has a special place in my heart. I’ve been lost in their album several times, but “Edge of Town” kinda shook me to the core. It’s pop melodic sounds have had me moving in my chair, while doing dishes, laundry and maybe even some impromptu lyp-synching. I am dying for another album!

6. MOUNT EERIE– A Crow Looked at Me

Opening track “Real Death”, rips the scabbing right off the loss of his beloved wife Geneviève Castrée. It’s brutally raw and macabre beauty seems to be embraced in a slow dance of memories and pain.
Albums like this kinda defy all blanket statements of ones perception. It’s kinda like saying “I’m sorry for your loss”, the sentiment is there, but it’s just empty words.
Phil Elverum, is a bit of an anomaly to me, an artist beyond most, and this album is a in depth look of his personal journey through loss, pain and healing. A journal if you will.

7. PERFUME GENIUS– No Shape

Not to say we told you so, but …. we did feature a small project with Mike Hadreas back in 2010, where he participated in our “Rad Libs”  on this very website.
With that said, he has come out with another beautiful album to add to his impressive catalog. The avant garde, yet meticulously arranged music on No Shape, has Perfume Genius on a very solid trajectory to artsy elite status. With celebrity fans like Elton John, Micheal Stipe, John Cameron Mitchell and many others. I have a feeling we are going to see some incredible and creative things for many years to come.

8. JAY SOM– Everybody Works.

I stumbled upon this album this Summer, and by chance checked it out. I was mesmerized to say the least. After opening track “Lipstick Stains” finished, the album had my full attention and I couldn’t stop. It became a favorite album immediately. Her beautiful hushed voice is something to get lost in, and lose track of time. This sophomore album is a home run.

9.CHARLY BLISS– Guppy

Bluntly…this 30 minute album brought out the 13-year old in me to be quite frank (Can I tell a secret? The 13-year old girl in me).
Her voice is familiar and nostalgic. The production is plum full of hooks and riffs. It’s got a bit of that 90’s vibe. But that’s kind of why I love it so much. It’s like one of those old albums, that got you through those tough times as a youth. Listening to this, is like eating a favorite candy bar to completion.
It’s very easy to do.

10. PUMAROSA– The Witch

This 4 piece from London, just kept me guessing, song after song. Their britpop sound was layered with bits of Radiohead, Bjork and Spiritualized, with slivers of grunge smattered throughout, but nevertheless, they still manage to hold their own identity. They created a beautiful tapestry of sound with this album.

NEW BAND CRUSH: THE DARTS (Southeast Tour Now)

November 20, 2017

I bought both albums (EP’s) on a whim at Easy Street Records, and have been obsessed ever since. Nope, never heard of them till that moment, but I loved the font for the band name, coupled with some cutesy suburban mom floral album covers, and it was a no-brainer.
Yeah I know I missed them at the Crocodile, but I’m yearning for The Darts to make a special trip back to Seattle, to entertain my inner Rrriot girl. You must check them the fuck out!….

Barely a year has flown by since Phoenix/LA garage-psych goddesses The Darts (US) wrapped up the final mixes of their phenomenal, self-titled debut EP, which was released on 10″ vinyl at the beginning of October 2016 off the back of a super-hot build-up buzz of local and national radio play, coupled with intense social media flattery and chatter before the band had even played their first gig.

Ever since that first fateful showing in Tucson, Nicole Laurenne (The Love Me Nots, Motobunny, Zero Zero), Rikki Styxx (The Two Tens, The Dollyrots, Thee Outta Sites), Christina Nunez (The Love Me Nots, Casual Encounters, The Madcaps) and Michelle Balderrama (Brainspoon) have blasted off like a guided missile, reaching speeds and heights over a global timeline that most new bands could never manage in the first year.

In summary, The Darts have self released two 10″ vinyl EPs, signed to an international record label, performed multiple tours of the US and Europe and have just completed their first full length album – which is now available and officially released at the end of September 2017. The album will then be showcased via more than a dozen gigs across two tours that month followed by another two weeks of shows in November.

NEW BAND CRUSH. NO THIS IS A OBSESSION!:INTERVIEW WITH HAPPY ABANDON. LIVE AT VERMILLION 9.28.17

September 28, 2017

Typically, it’s just another day of sifting through my ever growing email inbox (6700 and counting). It’s virtually impossible to keep up with the flood’s of requests, whether it be coverage for shows, interviews, previews, reviews, new album releases, shows etc.. all while trying to maintain, and grow the sister company called Cultnoize Media & PR (shameless plug). But Seismic-Sound allows me to find those bands that my soul yearns for, as well to connect with, and as you are reading …. gloat about.

Enter Happy Abandon … very few times, does a album get so far under my skin, that I can’t focus on the task at hand, but it did just that. I could not get things done without looking at the stereo and shaking my head in disbelief. It was so beautiful. Then as soon as I found out they were coming to Seattle, it was a no brainer … I must hear this live.

But first I wanted to find out a little bit about this band from North Carolina, and learn a bit about em.

PV: Peter Vance (vocals, guitar)
JW: Jake Waits (drums)
JE: Justin Ellis (Bass)

SS: So, I have already told the “Higher Ups”, that this new album of yours, is probably one of the 10 most beautiful albums I have heard this year, in the same category  as Mount Eerie, Vagabon, Folk Yore, Perfume Genius etc. Its absolutely the most beautiful complex piece of work I’ve heard in awhile. This album sounds like its coming from a very well seasoned band that’s been together for awhile.

With that said….I don’t think its easy finding musicians, as equally as talented all in the same band, especially younger bands. But I have to be honest, this band sounds like you were all hand picked studio musicians out of L.A. It all just seems perfect. I mean the cohesiveness is beautiful. Was this the first incarnation of Happy Abandon, and if so… was the chemistry amazing right out of the gate?

 

PV: The band initially formed as a two-piece between Jake and me. Our chemistry was absolutely immediate. As we started demoing out songs for our first EP, we knew we wanted soundscaping elements beyond just guitar, drums, and vocals.  Alex (Thompson, studio keyboards/pianos and arrangements) began working with us, initially to flesh out the recordings, but was soon playing live with us.  We added Justin as a full member a year later, right before we released the EP.  He had played a few shows with us in the past, so we thought he would be a good fit.

JE:  Alex doesn’t really play with us live anymore due to him purusing an awesome career in musical theater direction, but “Facepaint” was recorded with the four of us as equal partners.  But when we tour, it’s just Jake, Peter, myself, and some backing tracks.  We’ve all played in bands together and separately in college, so we’ve known how to play with and off of each other for a while, which really helped get the ball rolling. Thanks so much for the kind words – I LOVE that Perfume Genius record.

 

SS: It seems that in the industry now,  smaller bands in particular, need to be pumping out constant material to stay relevant and in the minds of people. How are you traversing the current state of the music industry?

JW: With a machete.

JE: I feel we’re an anomaly in that regard.  We just put out our first album out after 2 years of being “Happy Abandon”, and other than a non-publicized EP and single that we self-released last year, we haven’t really put out anything and instead focused on touring and honing in on the songs so we could make sure they were exactly what we wanted them to be before we recorded.  We have a music video coming out in November and will probably start demoing out some new stuff within the year, but what’s helped us grow more than anything else is touring and keeping ourselves open to any opportunities that come our way.

 

SS: What’s been the favorite part of this whole process of making the album? The final product? The touring? Or just being done.

PV: I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the recording process for “Facepaint” was incredible from start to finish.  If I were to pick a specific moment that touched me the most, it was hearing Alex and Camille’s (Faulkner, violinist and co-arranger on “Facepaint”) string arrangements played for the first time over the recordings. It affected me more than I expected, and made me appreciate the songs that much more.

JW: Busting out my classical percussion chops: gong, timpani, concert bass drum. Percussion is dynamic, and I strive to innovate the traditional techniques I’ve learned. Rhythmic or aesthetic inspiration comes from everywhere; the mountains we drive through–or the storms–the bands we’ve been playing with, their art, their performances, and in person have all been inspirational.

JE: My favorite thing about recording “Facepaint” was how efficient, yet relaxed it was.  We recorded the bulk of it at a house on Lake Gaston and lived there for a week with its’ owner, Jason Merritt, who produced the record, and Jamie Candiloro, who flew in from LA to help us record and later mix the record.  Just the five of us waking up, making eggs and coffee, recording all day and into the night in our pajamas, and sitting on the porch every night just hanging out and drinking.  It just felt really homey, and was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had recording something.

 

SS: So the west coast part of the tour starts here in Seattle (not counting Vancouver). For any of you, who haven’t been to Seattle, what do you think when you hear about Seattle? And is there anything you’d like to see while here, if time allowed?

PV: I hear that there’s a nonagressive drizzle that happens pretty much all the time. I hope I prepared for that. I’m a huge fan of the live session video series that KEXP does, so I would love to visit their studio. And I guess I plan on just following Justin around, who seems to want to live here.

JE:  I visited Seattle for the first time this past April to see Radiohead, and it met and exceeded every one of my expectations.  I’m so excited to see it again.  Totally gonna do KEXP and Discovery Park again.  I’d move there in a heartbeat.

JW: I forgot my raincoat!

 

SS: One thing each of  you must have with you on tour besides the obvious necessities?

PV:  Before every tour, I always get a handful of herbal remedies to keep me in tip-top condition.  I use a wellness tincture, slippery elm lozenges, and herbal throat spray. I also basic vitamins and teas.  I’m always very aware of  my stamina when encounter such constantly changing environments, and I want to make sure I can perform well every night – because that’s the whole point of touring.

JE:  Touring is my favorite thing in the world because it mixes travel, playing music, and hanging out with my friends.  But I bring my sleeping bag every time.  I’m not superstitious or anything, but having that constant – whether I’m in a bed or on a floor or a couch or in a tent – helps me establish whatever I sleep on or in as “home”, no matter where I am.  I’m also really tall, so having something that covers my feet is really great.

JW: Rings of Speed. On tour we sometimes have to run from Orcs, and a +2 to your speed can be crucial for surviving the road and getting to load-in on time.

 

SS: I’m a new fan of Schoolkids Records, can you tell me how this beautiful partnership began. Was it just geography?

JE:  I grew up in Raleigh, so I’ve been shopping at the namesake Schoolkids record stores my entire life as an avid music consumer.  I met Stephen (Judge, owner of the Schoolkids Records label and stores) years ago when I was trying to set up an in-store for my band at the time.  When I joined Happy Abandon and we decided to tour out to SXSW in 2016, we were hunting for any NC connections that could help get us a showcase or two.  Stephen’s friend Peter Blackstock, who championed our Peter’s old band back when he lived in Raleigh, recommended that we reach out to Stephen.  But it wasn’t until we played Stephen’s party twice at SXSW that he actually got to see and hear us.  We started talking about putting out a record with him a few months later, and he’s now as much a part of the nucleus of our band as Alex or our friend and advisor Missy.  The whole Schoolkids Raleigh staff are big fans of the band too, so it really feels like we have an adopted family supporting us and our ambitions.

 

SS: Lastly …. since there is so much bullshit going on in the world of ours today, can you tell me something you find that’s beautiful and puts a smile on your face, as you travel and interact with lot’s of different people?

 

PV: The breathtaking landscapes, coupled with the extreme hospitality of everyone we’ve met reminds me of how great this country is, even if it’s being run by the wrong people.  

JE: My faith in humanity gets restored every time we hit the road.  We’ve been so lucky to make friends of strangers who were willing to put us up for the night, feed us, our buy our music, and we see them every time we come back through their towns.

JW: I smile thinking about the determination that Peter, Justin and I have. Motivation is great. Inspiration is grand. But getting up every day and doing our band thing despite the world’s bullshit is the best.

Vermillion Gallery @ 8PM: Vacationeer/Happy Abandon/Eggshells/I Wish I Was A Punk Band

NEW BAND OBSESSION: VAGABON LIVE AT VERA PROJECT. 9.26.17

September 26, 2017

Within the songs of Laetitia Tamko there are infinite worlds: emotional spaces that grow wider with time, songs within songs that reveal themselves on each listen. Tamko is a multi-instrumentalist and a producer, recording since 2014 as Vagabon. On her Infinite Worlds debut (Father/Daughter Records), she hones her singular voice and vision with an unprecedented clarity.

“I feel so small / my feet can barely touch the floor / on the bus where everybody is tall,” she sings softly and with caution, as she begin the album with “The Embers.” Driving punk drums pry her song open, exploding it into an anthem that pushes back at entitled people who make others feel tiny. “I’m just a small fish / and you’re a shark that hates everything,” she sings, repeating that line and over and over with strength and power. “I’ve been hiding in the smallest space / I am dying to go / this is not my home,” Tamko starts carefully on “Fear & Force,” before her finger-picked guitar playing gives way to slow-building synth claps and ethereal harmonies. “Mal á L’aise” is one of the album’s focal points, a five-minute meditation of ambient dream pop, featuring Tamko’s usage of samples; some are samples from a Steve Sobs song on which Tamko was featured, enticing the one writing collaboration of the album. “Mal á L’aise” means “discomfort” in French, Tamko’s first language, and throughout the song she works through different meanings of that word: social, cultural, physical.

Infinite Worlds builds upon Tamko’s stripped-down demos that have been circulating online and throughout the independent music community for the past two years. Her Persian Garden cassette, released in 2014 via Miscreant Records, was a lo-fi collection where she embraced a first-thought best-thought approach, making songs that began with just her voice and guitar. But here, Tamko is the main performer of synths, keyboard, guitars, and drums, at times enlisting the work of session studio musicians. This had Tamko channeling the thoughtfulness of her lyricism into her arrangement and production as well. The result is a wide-ranging eight-song collection that’s pleasantly unclassifiable: hypnotic electronic collages, acoustic ballads, and bursts of bright punk sit side-by-side cohesively, all tied together by Tamko’s soaring voice.

“I write a lot about places, archiving my memories in spaces that I used to be in, spaces I am currently in, or spaces I will eventually be in” she says. “Archiving different moments that I’ve been thinking about, have gone through. It’s not always autobiographical though. It could be about different situations I’ve seen people I love in. Or people I don’t know in. I think that comes a lot from being in different environments.”

Infinite Worlds was recorded at Salvation Recording Co. in New Paltz, NY with engineer and co-producer Chris Daly. Tamko and Daly worked closely and tirelessly in his upstate NY studio through the winter into the spring of 2016. The album’s title references a book of poetry by Dana Ward called The Crisis of Infinite Worlds, a book Tamko found particularly inspiring during her recording process, but also very challenging to read: “I had to think critically while reading Dana Ward, it was exciting to be challenged in that way. While I was writing the album, it was a lot of me thinking critically about how to actualize my ideas, and the challenge of reaching proficiency in new instruments. It sort of mirrored my experience reading Dana Ward’s book. I found myself combing his writing over and over and over until I grabbed something from it.”

And as she sat with her songs, she found more and more.  “A lot of it is about finding a space for myself, whether it is physical, emotional, social” Tamko says. “It’s about finding that place where I feel most comfortable. And also finding that the confidence within myself can continue to grow. And finding what it takes for me to feel whole through making music.”

 

DO NOT MISS THIS ARTIST. TONIGHT :The Vera Project Presents
Tuesday September 26
Vagabon
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya
Dogbreth
$10 adv / $12 dos
7:30 doors / 8pm show

NEW BAND CRUSH: WHO IS SHE? NEW ALBUM DROPS OCT.6TH.

August 16, 2017

Who Is She? is members of Tacocat, Chastity Belt, and Lisa Prank. Started as a friendship project writing songs based on the missed connection ads from Seattle newspaper the Stranger when Robin Edwards (Lisa Prank) and Bree McKenna (Tacocat) were living in bedrooms next door to each other at legendary Seattle punk house Spruce House, the two Seattle music celebs then enlisted another gal with a lot of free time on her hands, Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, to play the drums.

The songs then expanded from lonely ditties about admiring (but not talking to) strangers on the bus to other hard-hitting topics like the magical chemistry between Courteney Cox and David Arquette in the Scream franchise, 90s internet time traveler John Titor, fictional My So-Called Life dreamboat dud Jordan Catalano, and the brutal ranking system of friendship on Myspace. Inspired by Canadian cuddlecore sensation Cub and the silly inside joke holes you go down when you’re constantly hanging out with your pals, Who is She?’s Seattle Gossip is a star-studded, all-killer no filler addition to the booming Seattle music scene canon.

Tracklist:
01 “Nervous Dufflebag Boy”
02 “Top 8″
03 “Seattle Freeze”
04 “Worst Girl At The 5 Point”
05 “I’m Getting Courtney Cox And David Arquette Back Together If It’s The Last Thing I Do”
06 “John Titor”
07 “Romcom”
08 “Blushin’ On The 44″
09 “Whatever”
10 “Jordan Catalano”
11 “Angry Bitches”

Pre-order here

RAD VIDEO: DIEALPS! – I CAN SEE IT NOW. NEW ALBUM DROPS TODAY AUG.4th.

August 4, 2017

Austrian born and raised Cornelia “Connie” Calcaterra and husband/guitarist, Frank Calcaterra, lead Tampa, FL’s DieAlps! (translated: The Alps!, pronounced dee-alps). Formed in 2012 and quickly becoming one of Central Florida’s more beloved acts, the band’s self-titled debut EP (fall 2014) gave us swaying waltzy baroque-pop with lyrics reflecting Connie’s growing up abroad and her life changes in the States.

Fast forward to 2017. The band, with Connie now splitting lead vocals duties with Frank, brings us their debut full-length Our City. Spending the better part of 2016 in the studio, these new songs show a band leaning heavily on 90’s inspired indie rock and alternative while digging deep, getting personal and moving beyond the twee nature of the three quarter time signature.

Self-recorded, engineered and produced by Frank at Tampa’s Atomic Audio, calling the album ‘more rock’ would simply be an understatement. Our City definitely lands subtle jabs with songs like the surfy hometown homage title track and the punchy murder ballad “Get Yours” while occasionally keeping their waltz-y roots planted with “Battles”. On producing the album, Frank says “We wanted the album to have a 90’s vibe… So when it came down to mixing, I found myself referencing everything from Pavement to Yuck, early Radiohead and The Shins.”

Our City is out Friday, August 4th on CD, digital, and limited yellow vinyl via New Granada Records.

DEJA REVIEW: FENCES AT CHOP SUEY, JULY 2nd 2017.

July 20, 2017

                                                                                                                                    Photo By Erin Lynn
Once the opening band, Ruler, cleared their gear from the stage I realized this was going to be a Chris Mansfield acoustic set. This show was not billed as an acoustic set so it took me by surprise. It was a little misleading to show up ready for my senses to be consumed by the full ensemble of the band, Fences, only to be left as stripped and vulnerable as this front man and his guitar. This was going to be a different kind of show – I was not prepared for just how different it would be.

I’m trying to find the best way to compose my thoughts on what I witnessed from Fences at his curated Chop Suey show. I’m vacillating between disbelief & anger for the behavior I witnessed to sheer pity for a man (that I intuit based on said behavior is) fighting extreme demons in the public eye.

As Fences stood on the desolate stage and tuned his guitar he was commanding everyone in the bar area to, “Shut the fuck up so I can hear myself think.” This was an all-ages show so the not-really-that-loud yet chatty drinkers were confined to the back bar area while the underage crowd was in front ready to pay homage to the musician they find solace in.Before getting started he told everyone how tired he was because he was fresh off a flight from New York. He proceeded to go on a tangent about how he didn’t want to do this show, it was a waste of his time. How he didn’t need the $2500 that he was getting paid for this gig because he spends that in one night (cue collective eye roll). His fans love him for his honest, no bullshit, interactions but this was straight uncomfortable and disrespectful to those who paid their $12 to see him.

I snapped my pictures and recorded a video of his first song, about the time his stepdad shot a deer but let his mom think that she was the one who shot it and let her take all the glory. It was a truly a smart and melodic song about something gruesome yet sweet. Once he stops his anxiety filled diatribes, he’s an ingenious musician who can make the ugly and macabre sound delicate and delightful.This man has been gifted with a musical brilliance, an internal force that compels him to write songs; it’s not what he does it’s who he is. It’s the gift the universe bestowed upon him. Another gift that was bestowed upon him, which is extremely counterintuitive, is some sort of anxiety. Unfortunately, it was the anxiety that took center stage at his acoustic set that night. He became increasingly uncomfortable standing naked in front of a crowd that was clapping after every song. He likened himself to being a clown, “Everyone stare and clap for the clown,” he said at one point.

In between emotive songs, his demons took over and he continually berated everyone who was there supporting him, worshiping him. After his second song, third diatribe, I retreated to the back bar to get out of the line of fire. I approached a friend who had been in the bar area (and is known in the Seattle music industry), we gave each other the side-eye, raised eyebrow look and his words to me were:

“And this is how it ends.”

What we were witnessing is the fall of a musician in real time. Someone who had a high, rode it, allegedly exhausted himself, and now we are collectively witnessing his low – his self-induced rock bottom. The ugly diarrhea diatribes spewing from his mouth were despicable. They slayed any imaginary professional line that is drawn and it was a big fuck you to everyone there. In fact, he may have told the audience to fuck off but I didn’t record that one. I did record the fact that he mentioned his next song was about a friend that committed suicide, and stated, “If you blow your head off, I’ll write a song about it”. Probably not one of the most responsible things to say at an all-ages show.

I was beyond offended. In fact, I liken it to being in an abusive relationship. A classic case of a narcissist acting lovely, smart, and vulnerable to reel you in and then knocking you down for supporting and loving him. It’s confusing, he’s confusing. He continued to threaten to stop the set early because he was, “Over it.” “I just want to be done,” he would say. At one point he said he wanted to bring the meekest girl from the audience on stage so she could stand there mortified and embarrassed so we can all clap for her. I guess this was an effort to describe his level of embarrassment or maybe his deep disdain for his job, or himself? I don’t claim to know what type of demons he’s fighting, but the darkness is front and center and bubbling over.

Never have I ever seen a live show tank with such negativity. It completely overshadowed his brilliance, his years in the industry, his successes, and his natural God-given talents. All I can see now is his decline. It’s unfortunate and extremely disconcerting to watch. Above being a music lover, I’m an artist supporter and a fan first and foremost. Although I was comped a ticket (by his people I might add) and there to write a review, I was also there as a supporter. But I cannot and will not get behind anyone that spews hate to his supporters. This is also a job and it’s a job he continues to choose. It’s a job where ordinary people look up to him as a bigger than life creative being and I watched him shit all over those people.

The remainder of his set was a mix of him continually threatening the bar area to stop talking or he was going to set down his guitar and walk away and the bar bouncer running interference and shutting down any “loud talkers.” “I’m really not a prima-donna,” he said. I made my way to the furthest back seat in the venue in order to continue writing my review while the show droned on. The night ended with Fences stating, “This might be my last song; I feel over it. This is fucking stupid; stupid shit. Ah fuck me. No but don’t.” He announced that he was done before his planned set list was played out. He set down his guitar and left the stage leaving the small remainder of his paid fans out in the cold with zero regards. (YouTube)

I wish he would have given me some semblance of integrity to work with, something that resembles the vulnerability and depth of his songs. I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of shows but nothing has left me feeling this uncomfortable and turned off. I’ve never been able to say that I’ve watched the exact moment a musician imploded. I imagine this was a first for most of us in attendance.

Let’s end with a good thing from that night:
Ruler, the 2nd opener, was the highlight of the night. Matt Batey was dropping poppy Seattle indie rock jam after jam. His eclectic mash-up of bandmates were high energy and incredibly tight even though they’re all part of other focused musical projects. As local fixtures in the Seattle music scene, members include fellow Cataldo bandmate, Eric Anderson, on keys and Portugal the Man’s, Eric Howk, on guitar. Ruler was the saving grace of the evening as Fences was falling from grace. This is what rock professionalism looks like.
Written by: Erin Lynn

Corey Feldman & The Angels “Rock’s Your Face Off” at Studio 7 in Seattle.

June 23, 2017

                                                                                  Photos and video by Erin Lynn

Corey Feldman’s show was, in short, an homage to a child star’s life gone by.

As soon as security taped the set list to the stage, and I snapped a pic, I knew it was going to be a long night. The set list detailed the endless number of songs, costume changes, and each Angel’s solo act. With 5 Angel’s in tow I was wondering how he would fit their 15 minutes of fame into the seemingly endless production.

The stage set up was fraught with issues from the get-go. His last opener of 4, Poeina, had terrible feedback but managed to rock her acoustic set and smile with grace throughout the distractions. As the crew were setting up for Corey’s set they faced issues with the laser and smoke machines. The video that was supposed to sit dead center on a white screen was completely askew to the left. And that, my friends, is the theme of this show.

 

Completely askew and left of center. 

 

I pushed my way up to the front of the stage and camped out next to my photographer friend for the night which allowed me access to insanely close pics and vids of my own (my social media is on fleek rn btw @erinlynnseattle). I was surprised by how into it the crowd was; these were actual diehard music fans of his. After I showed a random drunk girl the set list pic on my phone she said, “Omg I can’t believe I’m going to get to hear blahblahblah song!!” (Not sure of the actual song name she was so excited about).

As the show began I vacillated between a feeling of shock and awe as to what I was witnessing to obsessively taking pics and vids so I could have this experience documented forever. Every now and again my photographer friend would whisper in my ear, “What in the fuck am I watching?!” And then we’d shrug our shoulders, shake our heads, and laugh.

 

Corey Feldman is dead serious about his art. He’s dead serious about supporting his Angel’s and their musical talents.  And he’s dead serious about performing his life history with songs, movie clips, and commentary.  He was there to entertain, and entertain he did. He continually ran from one side of the stage to the other sweating up a storm and shedding clothes. He was interactive with his self-obsessed narcissism and the crowd ate it up. He had a costume change for every “segment” of the show. Anytime he wore something from a movie he was sure to tell us about how famous the article of clothing was and exactly when it was worn. He paid a genuine tribute to his best friend, Corey Haim, with the song Remember 222. He is passionately intense which attracts his plentitude of fans, yet detracts so many others.

The set was long – very very long. I left before it ended because it was just going to be more of the same. I felt I had been there done that. Got the pics and vids and didn’t have the need to stay and see how the entire thing wrapped up. I heard he did a meet and greet, taking pics with the diehard fans that lasted that late into the night. My photographer friend got a pic with him at around 1:30 am after the fans finally dissipated.

 

Although the technical mishaps could have brought him down, he powered through and only made minor mention of them. He kept his show completely professional and for that I give him mad props. Although the entire spectacle left me in shock, I have respect for what he’s doing. He’s doing him – no matter how much shade is thrown his way. It’s like child stars stop evolving after a certain age and need to live in the reminiscent aspect of their glory days. That’s where he’s at and his fans eat it up. “Goonies never say die!”

Written by: Erin Lynn

CHOP SHOP W/ BLONDER: BARBOZA JUNE 2nd 2017.

June 16, 2017
Your tour with Day Wave; How did the East Coast band connect with the West Coast band …Grindr or Tinder?
Haha! you know, I just had my debut single Lean out, and they were like the top related artist on spotify, so I became aware of them and started listening to a few songs. Then like a year later my agent said they would be down with having us on the road with them. That’s how it happened, haha!
Your hair game is on point. Natural? or does it take some work?
Truth be told, au naturale. I do put wax in it to keep it from getting frizzy. I also don’t wash my hair very often at all. I rinse it, and clean it with my hands but I don’t apply shampoo regularly.
People watching is a favorite past time of mine. What are the first 2 things you look at on a person?
Probably their clothes and their face, haha! Boring answer, but yeah.
Yer fashion icon?
Not sure if I have one anymore, or if I ever really did.
Mostly kids on instagram that I think are honest and creative- that’s who is inspiring to me, people with a poetry about them. I don’t even wanna say any one persons name.
Couple of your press photos are with the backdrop of a very geometrical pattern on a couch it seems. Are those selfies? Will you take a selfie of yourself for this “interview” and let us use it?
Those photos were by emmanuel olunkwa and we had a lot of fun taking them. one of them is actually just a photo of me taking a selfie. I’m 100% taking a selfie and attaching it. Not gonna say too much about it but the selfie thing is kind of this one dimension of blonder where i’m ironically/ non ironically playing into the narcissism of everyday culture whether it’s art or music or fashion. I’ve always looked for artists to kind of fill in whatever grey area that might be left over from their music through their person. idk! kind of plays into that
Are gays a more advanced species of a human? Or are the brains of people becoming more advanced?
Haha!!! wellllllllll – hot topic. I mean, I’m just gonna say brains are becoming more advanced. My tendency is to reduce everything to the physicality of the body and see pleasure and pain as absolutely non discriminatory. Leaving it there before I get any deeper.
Who would you rather be a backup dancer for … Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson if your nasty) or  Beyonce? And why?
Janet Jackson on the control tour. Super interesting and incredible time for pop music, I love the story going through that record, how she’s defining herself as a solo artist, breaking away from her family and feeling her own emotions.
If you have been to Seattle before, what do you like best about it?
Never been there!!! Which is crazy.
When you think Seattle, what’s the first thing you think about?
Coffee. Nirvana. Mist. hahah!
After a show, what is your favorite thing to do?
I guess just talk to people who saw the set and have a drink, just hang out. If I’m on tour, it’s the merch table and then more work-y stuff like load out/ accommodations/ and the next city.

 

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