Categories
Imaginary Scoop Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear: MTV Artist of the Week

Woot woot! Finally MTV has done something awesome and given local homies Minus the Bear some serious props. They're the "Artist of the Week," which means their songs get featured on promos between MTV shows, including little spots shot on a Super-8 at the Laser Dome and Clever Dunnes. You can check out all the spots here..

Minus the Bear.

Well done!

Categories
Easy Street Records Imaginary Scoop Minus the Bear Suicide Squeeze

Photos from the Minus the Bear in-store at Easy Street Records on Monday night

I've heard the midnight in-store at Easy Street to celebrate the release of the brand spankin' new Minus the Bear record was "off the hook," as the kids like to say. According to Jesse from Easy Street, it was their biggest in-store since the Shins played a few months back (and I was there for that one, and it was pretty darn packed).

Get a vicarious indie-rock thrill by checking out these photos from the show…

Minus the Bear. Photos by Rustee Pace.

Minus the Bear. Photo by Rustee Pace.

Minus the Bear. Photo by Rustee Pace.

Minus the Bear. Photo by Rustee Pace.

And if you were there, tell us all about it!

Thanks to Rustee Pace for sharing photos of the event with us!

Categories
Minus the Bear Record Review Suicide Squeeze

Planet of Ice

The intricacy of rhythm and melody on Planet of Ice, the latest from Minus the Bear, amazes me to the point of distraction. Case in point: I often read while listening to music, or listen to music while I read – the more captivating medium being the recipient of my attention. In this case, I couldn’t even get through a paragraph of my book without stopping to stare at the speakers: Just what is going on under all of those layers of sound, in tracks like “Double Vision Quest”? Then I realized (and was thankful) that Planet does what I hoped it would, and does not do what I feared it might; that is, Planet of Ice returns the Bear to their sound—a welcome change following the odd “remixes” of the last release, Intepretaciones del Oso. I’ve been antsy ever since reviewing that last one, but I think MTB are back on track.

The first single, “Knights,” is a sure winner. It’s perfectly accessible for radio, yet still employees Minus the Bear’s signature off-kilter math-rock rhythms and blistering guitar hot-licks, buoying Jake Snider’s monotone/laissez-faire vox alongside a kicking dance beat. The sound on this single is so much bigger, fuller than previous tracks by the Bear. A creepy ghost-train keyboard sound bookends “Dr. L’Ling,” another boomer and surefire fan favorite. I always knew that guitarist Dave Knudson and drummer Erin Tate were masters of their craft; on this record, and especially this track, they’ve taken it up another step.

“L’Ling” bleeds effortlessly into the quiet ballad “Part 2,” giving us our first taste of the 1970s guitar-rock fetish the Bear is currently jamming on. Planet of Ice is the first release with Alex Rose on keyboards (ex-keyboardist Matt Bayles is now behind the production-window instead of the keys). Rose’s talent and apparent ear for elaborate instrumentation is a change in a great direction for the five-piece. “Throwin’ Shapes” is classic MTB: driving tempos, soaring vocals, woozy guitars, pretty melodies.

The magnum opus of Planet is the brooding, nearly nine-minute closer, “Lotus.” It’s a departure for the Bear, employing more layers, more detail, and more wily guitar licks atop a very prog-rock premise. It’s almost Pink Floydian (which could explain the band’s choice to host their CD release party at the LaserDome). If it weren’t for this track, I’d be giving this record a 7 (the same rating awarded to Menos El Oso); but the sheer fact that they had the balls to concoct this stoner/arena-rock piece and use it to close-out the record has bumped up the rating at least a half notch.

The truth is, I wanted to like this release a lot more than its predecessors. But for all the moments of greatness and exploring new territory, it’s also pretty darn familiar. While there’s definitely development on this record, there’s also redundancy and room to grow even more. I’m wishing the Bear would break out of their comfort zone, challenging themselves to release a full-record’s worth of more developed tracks like “Lotus,” “Part 2,” and the gorgeously cacophonous conclusion of “White Mystery.”

I’m also tiring of the start-stop tactic employed so heavily on Menos, Interpretaciones, and now Planet. It’s cool to play with the controls, pausing and remixing a warbling guitar or keyboard note into a staccato, electronic beep pattern; but it’s becoming over-used in Minus the Bear’s repertoire. And take Snider’s vocals: A little harmony, rather than overlaid vocal tracks of the same note, could really bring some vigor into these works.

The fact that this is Minus the Bear’s third official full-length (excluding the remixed Intepretaciones) shocks me, in the sense that they still have not broken mainstream in the way I still believe they can. This is a band that has sold out shows in major markets like NYC, San Francisco, and of course the town we’re so proud to call their home. But how their record sales haven’t hit even the quarter-million mark surprises me. Maybe the third time will indeed be their charm.

 

Categories
Easy Street Records Imaginary Scoop MIA Minus the Bear The Blakes The Flaming Lips

New releases for the week, from Easy Street Records

SO MUCH GOOD MUSIC THIS WEEK!

The Blakes have out an new EP called Streets. I saw them this weekend at the KEXP BBQ and was reminded that you just can't compete with The Blakes live show! They seem to have added a tambourine guy?!?!? But still, I love em!

The Flaming Lips are coming to town soon, until then, get your fix with "UFO's and The Zoo" which is one of the early runners for the new MVI format. What Is MVI? MVI stands for Music Video Interactive. It's a new, DVD-based format loaded with a full album's worth of music, compelling video content, plus a variety of exciting interactive features that you can activate with your computer.

MIA is back with a hot new record called Kala. I just wish she got it out a bit earlier for all summer long play!

We have upcoming in stores with 3 bands that have new records today! Minus the Bear was here last night for a midnight release in store and they were AMAZING! The new material sounds great live and it was one of the biggest crowds we have had since The Shins. Don't forget their Laser Light Show party tonight at the Pacific Science Center (8PM).

Here are all the great new releases this week…

AIDEN, Conviction
AKIMBO, Navigating The Bronze
THE BLAKES, Streets (EP)
CARIBOU, Andora
DAX RIGGS, We Sing Only Of Blood Or Love
EARLIMART, Mentor Tormentor
EPOXIES, My New World
EVERYBODYFIELDS, Nothing Is Okay
FLAMING LIPS, UFO's and the Zoo (MVI)
IMPERIAL TEEN, The Hair, The TV, The Baby and the Band
JASON ANDERSON, Tonight
JEREMY ENIGK, Missing Link
JOE NICHOLS, Real Things
JOSH RITTER, The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter
KINSKI, Down Below It's Chaos
MEKONS, Natural
MIA, Kala
NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, Challengers (Matador)
NUMBERS, Now You Are This
OVER THE RHINE, The Trumpet Child
PATRICK PARK, Everyone's In Everyone
PETER HIMMELMAN, The Pigeons Couldn't Sleep
RILO KILEY, Under The Blacklight
STEREO TOTAL, Paris, Berlin
STERLING HARRISON, South Of The Snooty Fox
TRAVIS TRITT, The Storm
V/A, Live @ KEXP Volume Three

Categories
Imaginary Scoop Minus the Bear Suicide Squeeze

Bringing on the lasers!

Minus the Bear, whose new album Planet of Ice comes out in just under two weeks, will join the ranks of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin on August 21. That's right, their CD release party will be held at Seatle's Pacific Science Center Laser Dome! Bring on the reefer madness.

Categories
Chin Up Chin Up Honorary Title Imaginary Scoop Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear share track from forthcoming record, tour like madmen

Minus the Bear photo by  Ryan Russell  Seattle band Minus the Bear are busy! They're in the throes of recording their forthcoming full-length release Planet of Ice (due out 8/21/07 on Suicide Squeeze Records), and they're about to kick off a month-long tour with labelmates Chin Up Chin Up and Brooklyn-based band Honorary Title that will hopefully bring them to a town near you.

Have a sneak peek listen to a brand spankin' new song from Planet of Ice, called "Dr. L'Ling"

From the press release:

Planet of Ice, is the definitive statement and a major step forward for Minus the Bear, showcasing both their growth as songwriting unit and their prowess as a live act. The band has been chronicling their development of the record with regular blog posts via the "Minus the Bear My Space page" and have made plans to release footage via You Tube page in coming weeks. The aim is to provide fans an in depth look at the recording process as well as a sneak peak at songs from their forthcoming record. Planet of Ice was co-produced by Minus the Bear and longtime collaborator/former member Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis), with additional production duties from Chris Common.

Sounds promising, especially since their last record of remixes was kinda disappointing for the diehard Minus the Bear fans here at TIG.

And of course, here are those tour dates. Those Minus the Bears sure do get around!

4/26 — Seattle, WA — The Vera Project

4/27 — Portland, OR — Hawthorne Theatre

4/28 — Eugene, OR — Indigo District

4/29 — Reno, NV — The New Oasis

5/1 — Orangevale, CA — The Boardwalk

5/2 — Santa Cruz, CA — The Catalyst

5/3 — San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall

5/4 — San Luis Obispo, CA — Downtown Brew

5/5 — Los Angeles, CA — Ex Plex

5/6 — Solana Beach, CA — Bely Up Tavern

5/8 — Las Vegas, NV — House of Blues

5/10 –Colorado Springs, CO — The Black Sheep

5/11 — Lawrence, KS — Granada Theatre

5/12 — Iowa City, IA — Picador

5/13 — Champaign, IL — High Dive

5/14 — Sauget, MO — Pops

5/15 — Chicago, IL — Beat Kitchen* AA show

5/15 — Chicago, IL — Beat Kitchen** 18+

5/16 — Milwaukee, WI — Pabst Theatre*** w/ HT, CUCU, Maritime

5/17 — Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock Social Club

5/18 — Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock Social Club #

5/19 — Fargo, ND — The Aquarium

5/21 — Omaha, NE — Sokol Underground

5/23 — Denver, CO — Bluebird

5/24 — Aspen, CO — Belly Up

5/25 — Salt Lake City, UT — Club Sound

5/27 — Qunicy, WA — Gorge Ampitheatre (Sasquatch)

* Honorary Tile only

** Chin Up Chin Up only

# w/ Honorary Tile, Chin Up Chin Up and POS

 

Categories
Minus the Bear Record Review Suicide Squeeze

Interpretaciones Del Oso

Minus the Bear have gone the remix route. Their latest, Interpretaciones Del Oso, collects the works of 2005's Menos el Oso, as respun by 11 artists as diverse as local eclectronic (like that one?) outfit IQU and Minneapolis rapper P.O.S..

While the result is pleasing — quiet, introspective, jazzy at points — I can't help but ask, simply, why? Why would MTB, the indie darlings so known and loved for their creative melding of catchy dance beats and guitar licks, go this route? Interpretaciones feels like the kind of record a band does to fulfill a record contract: one more release, rehashing old material but taking a new enough turn so that the record company can't complain about recycled material — to say nothing of the fact that this release comes on the heels of Menos, a stout record stacked with good tunes, sure, but not exactly a pop classic that would yet warrant remixing.

Let me step back a bit. I'm not sure "remix" is the right word to use. The press onesheet album calls it that, yet the band themselves have titled this "interpretations," not "remixes." Whatever the label, the fact remains that we've heard these songs before — and in much more pristine, tight form. The 'interpretations' follow closely behind the originals in some cases ("Drilling" by P.O.S.) and are 'loose' to say the least; on others, some tracks remixed so far they're almost unrecognizable to their original state ("This Ain't A Surfin' Movie" by IQU and "El Torrente" by J. Clark of Pretty Girls Make Graves).
<
The release is an experiment in sound. There are beautiful, ambient moments such as the already gorgeous "Pachuca Sunrise," now done up downtempo and sexy, and the groovy "Hooray" (remixed by Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls). But there are also inexplicable moments, remixed and repetitive bits that carry on too long ("Fulfill the Dream" by Tyondai Braxton of Battles).

The Bear are definitely exploring the dance side of their sound (think Daft Punk, Ratatat) rather than bringing forth Dave Knudson's creative, angular guitar work. This is an even stranger move, considering longtime keyboardist Matt Bayles departed last spring to concentrate on the other side of the recording business: producing (he produced Menos). Jake Snider's plaintive vocals are a surprisingly strong match to the electronic beats. But the traditional guitar tones — not this effects peddle-fest — were part of what gave the Bear their charm. With the focus on the electronic, the release sounds more like a computer-geek home studio album, lacking the edgy, warmer, human angle of past records.

Bottom line: Why mess with a good thing?

(The good news is that Minus the Bear are already recording their studio follow-up, Planet of Ice, set to release later this summer.)

Categories
Don't Stop Believin' Imaginary Scoop In Praise of Folly Kringle Lujo Luke Temple M. Ward Merge Mill Pond Minus the Bear Mono In VCF Some By Sea Speaker Speaker Suicide Squeeze The Elephants The Pharmacy The Withholders

Three Imaginary Girls Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll Results {30-21}

M. Ward#30 M. Ward — Transistor Radio
(Merge Records)

{official website} * {buy it}

 

Minus the Bear, Menos El Oso#29 Minus the Bear — Menos El Oso
(Suicide Squeeze)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

The Elephants#28 The Elephants — The Elephants
(Self-released)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

The Pharmacy, B.F.F.#27 The Pharmacy — B.F.F
(Don't Stop Believin' Records)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

The Withholders, Stay In My Corner#26 The Withholders — Stay In My Corner
(Lit Rag)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

Mono In VCF, The Voltage Control EP#25 Mono in VCF — The Voltage Control EP
(Self-released)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review} * {interview}

 

Speaker Speaker, Again & Again & Again#24 Speaker Speaker — Again & Again & Again
(Self-released)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

Some By Sea, The Saddest Christmas#23 Some By Sea — The Saddest Christmas
(Kringle)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

Luke Temple, Hold a Match for a Gasoline World#22 Luke Temple — Hold a Match for a Gasoline World
(Mill Pond Records)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

In Praise of Folly, Means/Ends#21 In Praise of Folly — Means/Ends
(Lujo Records)

{official website} * {buy it} * {review}

 

 

Categories
Minus the Bear Record Review Suicide Squeeze

Menos El Oso

Minus the Bear are growing up. Their latest release, Menos el Oso shows more depth and insight than past releases, requiring more thought, more mental and emotional cognition and response. Where their past release Highly Refined Pirates was boyish and innocent (songs about driving, red wine, pretty girls), Menos is sexy and pensive, with a new sophisticated subtlely.

It's ironic — or, some might say, about time — that the Bear delivers more maturity. After all, this is a band whose members are all approaching (or into) their 30s, but who up until now consistently proffered song names and off-stage antics of teenagers. ("I'm Totally Not Down With Rob's Alien" and "Thanks For the Killer Game of Crisco Twister" are typical of their signature wacky, wordy titles.)

Maybe that's what is giving me pause about this record: they're growing up. As a long-time Bear fan, this naturally forces the realization that I'm growing up. What Menos El Oso provides is a soundtrack to the Saturn Return phase in life; growing older and supposedly wiser while all the while longing to return to the roots of who we were as naïve, un-tainted kids. Minus the Bear still, as they did from their first release, tangle their groovy dance beats (Erin Tate on drums, Cory Murchy on bass) with guitar licks (Dave Knudson and Jake Snider) and poignant, wistful vocals (Snider). Now they're doing all that but with a wiser, more worldly view behind them.

Opening track "The Game Needed Me" is the epitome of that aging sentiment. "What does it cost for/ this life of excess?/ Would you ever miss your desk's caress?" Coupled with its brooding, spacey guitars and feedback screeches, it's clear we're in more serious waters. The dark, minor chord mood continues into track two, "Memphis & 53rd."

"Pachuca Sunrise" is, perhaps, the strongest track. A tour-weary love letter from across the Atlantic, it tugs at the heart strings in lyrical content but nudges your feet to move, your body to sway to its undeniably tight and dancey rhythm that kills. With Matt Bayles behind the control room window (and behind the keyboards), the album's sound is pristine.

No worries, even with the more seasoned, more around-the-block slant on Menos, I suspect there's still a heavy dash of mayhem on the side. You can't grow up all at once, after all.

Categories
American School of Warsaw Argo Chop Suey Dear John Letters Dorkweed Jon Auer Kuma Live Show Review Minus the Bear Ripley The Catch The Divorce The Lawnmowers United State of Electronica Vendetta Red Visqueen Yeek Yak Airforce

TIG's Rockstar Buttrock Karaoke Contest!!

Holy Aquanet, who would've thought that a buttrock event on a holiday weekend could have become such a smashing success?? With surprise rockstar performances, hottie rockstars in black liquid eyeliner, and TIG-endorsed drink specials a-flowin', we had the imaginary times of our lives, and we can't wait to tell you all about it…

But first, special thanks to Unsung: the karaoke indie film, for co-sponsoring this event; to Megan Seling, Matt Nicols, Nabil Ayers, imaginary boy embracey, and Lee Hullender (Unsung) for judging; and to all our FANTASTIC participants for hitting those high notes in such fine style.

A few imaginary moments we'll never forget…

Holy shite, let's jump right in with our grand prize winner: Jenny Jimenez from the Catch. Her dazzling combination of fan kicks, gymnastic-routine splits, wigs, shoe changes, on-the-job-torn fishnets, Lita Ford and Samantha Fox simply rocked everyone's mullets off and earned her top honors. Turns out that Naughty Girls *Do* Need Love Too. Who knew?

If we could bottle the evening's performances of Mz. Jenny, well, not only would we all be very rich… but the world would also be a better, sexier, sassier place.

Thankfully she graced the stage three times throughout the evening. Twice Lita-style and once doing the Miss. Fox song.

Jenny Jimenez. Photo by Ryan Schierling.We ran into Jenny a few weeks before the contest and she told us about how she had been practicing and had her outfit planned out already. It was then we knew that we were in for something big. But again, who knew that she would actually put Lita Ford to shame with her dance routine? It was like some outrageously sexy aerobics class gone very, very wrong in all the right ways.

Many in attendance still haven't recovered. Especially Steve the KJ, who after Jenny's performance, could only stammer the words, "Um, could she do that again, please?"

Whoo-eee. That girl can KICK!

Kuma. Photo by Ryan Schierling.As much as I love the guys in eyeliner (we're getting to that — be patient!), the women owned buttrock. Case in point: Bre Loughlin from Kuma belting Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil" like she was born with fishnets in hand {hmm, strange mixed metaphor there}.

Bre remarked how strange it was that the front row actually looked scared when she sang. And no wonder: have you seen the lyrics to this song? "He'll be the love in your eyes. / He'll be the blood between your thighs. / And then have you cry for more. / He'll put your strength to the test. / He'll put the thrill back in bed. / Sure you've heard it all before." Eep. I'm shuddering just reading it. Why don't indie rockers write lyrics like that?

But music, schmusic — really, isn't buttrock about the clothes? Bre knew that rule — look at that outfit. She told us she'd been propositioned at 23rd and Jackson on her way to the club.

We're not surprised. HOT!

U.S.E. Photo by Ryan Schierling.And how about Carly and Amanda (The Catch, United State of Electronica) singing, gyrating, living Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me?" Hot and sticky sweet, indeed.

I was most excited to see who was going to choose this song as it is quite close to my heart; I think it is the only song in my record collection that is of the "buttrock" persuasion. I remember the special day I purchased it on 7" at my local mall record store. After years of practicing it in my bedroom mirror, I still wouldn't have been able to top their performance.

Yes, you're right, igDana. The women understood the importance of dance moves for the ultimate buttrock experience.

Ripley. Photo by Ryan Schierling.And let's not forget Jessie S.K of Ripley with her buttrock-tacular rendition of the Cult's "Firewoman." Jessie not only did the dance move, but also tied her scarves to the microphone stand AND brought her own air guitarist!! If that doesn't say buttrock, why, I just don't know what does.

What about the wonder-woman who pinch-hit for The Lawnmowers boys! While we had a hard time believing that the incredibly Lawnmower boys might have been — dare we say — intimidated by a karaoke mic, we totally understood why they voted to send in Lawnmowers bassist Tanner's 'ringer' wife, Holly to face the glorious karaoke stage to sing on their behalf. And you know what? She not only earned their free drink tickets, but she made it to the finals! She Axl'd it up with "Welcome to the Jungle" and made the team proud.

GO GO Girl Power!

Right, right. Now let's start the discussion of boys in buttrock attire. The eyeliner. The tight pants. The posturing. It was all the dancefloor could do to NOT split their pants in David Lee Roth air splits.

Ollie Byrd. Photo by Ryan Schierling.What a champ Ollie Byrd from Yeek Yak Aiforce was. He was the first black-eyeliner-donning fellow in the door and then proceeded to overcome adversity: namely, we didn't have the song he'd been practicing over over a month Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home."

If there's one thing we should have learned from buttrock, it's that you can't stop rock and roll. You've gotta rock and roll all night.

Ollie clearly understood these principles. He didn't pack it in and settle for just singing some fast jangly shoe-in. He belted out a spot-on a capella "Home Sweet Home" and then launched into a smashing rendition of his second-choice song, Poison's classic power rock ballad, "Every Rose Has it's Thorn." He earned our honorary imaginary best in show prize! Congrats Ollie!

Robb Benson. Photo by Ryan Schierling.I think igLiz's fuchsia taffeta prom dress nearly fell down to her beige pumps when Robb Benson (of Dear John Letters) revealed onstage that he lost his virginity back in the day to Def Leppard's "Love Bites."

Did I mention Robb was wearing a doo-rag bandana-thingy? He was. While we didn't have the soundtrack to his de-flowering, he settled instead for the tender love ballad "Rock of Ages." Luscious.

The Divorce. Photo by Ryan Schierling.How could any buttrock cover performance rival the the Divorce show at the Crocodile last June?

Somehow Shane and Jimmy summoned their inner Kip Winger and belted out a rendition Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" that still has me mumbling something about, "I'm goin' down… a road… I go! again! on my own!"

{ed note: igLiz, David Coverdale was the lead singer of Whitesnake, not Kip Winger. Kip Winger was like, totally the lead singer of like, Winger. Duh. ~igDana}

Is this is the song with that Tanya Cataine in the white flowy dress rubbing herself all over the car?

{ed note: igLiz, it's Tawny Kitaen. ~igDana}

Hmm… that was in 1987, right? Sorry, I was a big Crowded House fan then.

{ed note: You might remember Tawny as being in Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks? Or that she was also married to athlete Chuck Finley? ~igDana}

Divorce and Vendetta Red. Photo by Ryan Schierling.And just when we thought things couldn't get any sexier, what with that Divorce boys singing, what happens then? Goddamn Zach "my God what product does he use in that gorgeous hair" Davidson from Vendetta Red) crashed the party and grabbed the mic to duet "Wanted Dead or Alive" with Jimmy from the Divorce. How lucky were we all to witness that, and more importantly, what product does he use in that incredible hair?

Holy hell. At some point it occurred to me: we're throwing a party and Zach and Jimmy are singing Jon Bon Jovi!! Someone get me another TIG {and thanks to Frank and Adrian at Chop Suey for making our imaginary dream come true by naming a drink special after us}!

Zach Davidson. Photo by Ryan Schilering.Did anyone else hear Zach regretfully tell me that he couldn't marry his cousin igChar because we're kinfolk? I told him that I'm from Michigan — we encourage that sort of behavior there!

Lucky me!

Perhaps that was when I was momentarily stunned / terribly entertained when I caught my hugely-haired reflection in the glint of Brent from Dorkweed's awesome shiny cop reflective sunglasses. He rocked the place with his buttrock'd Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker."

Dorkweek. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Oh, plus Dorkweed gets super extra bonus points for the red Loverboy pants. Word.

Sean Moe from American School of Warsaw not only sported a faux mullet, but he did "Lick It Up" by… um, er… Def Lepard?

{ed note: NO… and Def Leppard as two "P"s ~igDana}

um… it was… the Scorpions?

{ed note: NO… actually strangely no one sang any Scorpions songs that night. ~igDana}

um… something with Kip Winger in it?

{ed note: NO! It was by Kiss. ~igDana}

KISS! No way, I can't be stupid on Kiss!

{ed note: Don't worry about it… it was late-era Kiss. Sans make-up Kiss. There is no shame in not knowing late-era Kiss… except maybe for "Lick It Up." ~igDana}

{ed note: Oh, I know that song… except I thought they were singing "Live It Up" ~igChar}

{ed note: A-ha… finally, the MTV-obsessiveness of my youth has worked to my advantage. For this issue, I rule! ~igDana}

Grr… damn, it doesn't ring a bell… but I DO know the other song that Sean performed as one of our top-five finalists. "Jump" by VAN HALEN. The vision of Eddie VH staring directly into the camera for the video of that song while he plucked that dunk dunk dunk dunk, dunk dunk dunk dunk part and smiled that "Dude, Party On" smile that he does so well is seared into my head. I remember how my older sister was going to marry him and her best friend was going to marry his brother…. what was his brother's name it was… um…

{ed note: Alex. ~igDana}

How very sweet and humble (not to mention, newly shorn and rather gorgeous) was Jon Auer when he came backstage and stated that he, "…usually plays with the band called the Posies," and requested to sing a karaoke tune.

How could this have happened, Jon Auer imploring me??

I bet he felt strangely compelled by forces he didn't understand, forces that I like to call the "Aussie effect." Namely, the scent of Aussie Scrunch spray intrigues all men. Try wearing it one night — you'll see! If they're in their late twenties or older, then you smell like every girl they ever dated in high school… if they're younger, then you smell like their babysitters. No young man can resist the allure of the Aussie!!

But I digress, there I was with JON AUER asking ME if he could sing!!! Good heavens! A happy coincidence, as just that moment I had the slip for Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" in my hand, and no one took responsibility for submitting it. Jon grabbed the mic and kicked all kinds of Robin Zandler ass, so much so that judge Matt Nichols awarded him the "Best impersonation of a rockstar" award.

Darn, why don't we have any pictures of Jon Auer singing!??

{photographer's ed note: I think I was belly up to the bar at this point. Perhaps getting SOMEONE another TIG? ~Ryan Schierling}

That was such a sweet rendition of one of my favorite "Knock-the-drainage-pipe-off-the-house-at-2am-while-dancing" songs.

Oh, wait… I have the Cheap Trick boxset in my music library. Score for me! I do have more buttrock in my collection than just the "Pour Some Sugar On Me" 7" record. Whew. I was beginning to question my upbringing.

That guy Dex Manley, the star of the Unsung movie, was awesome!! He totally took off his shirt while singing "Ice Cream Man."

{ed note: hey igChar — I'll give you five bucks if you can tell me who sings "Ice Cream Man." ~igDana}

Ooh! It's that one guy with all the hair and he always wears that half shirt and in his videos he had all those costumes!! What's his name??!?

{ed note: David Lee Roth? ~igDana}

Yes, that's him!

{ed note: OK, close enough. Five dollars for you. ~igDana}

Minus the Bear and Visqueen. Photo by Ryan Schierling.I knew that Ben Hooker of Visqueen had it in 'em. It began with his exchange with emcee igDana.

igDana: "What are you singing??"
Buttrock Ben: "Maiden… the best band EVER!"

From there he proceeded to belt out a bitchen' rendition of Iron Maiden's "Aces High" with dance-routine assistance from Cory Murchy AKA "Rico" of Minus the Bear. His wails left us screaming for more and his ferocity left us inspired. The combined effect earned Ben the judges' award for "Best Falsetto."

Now we know what can happen when you let a drummer out from behind his kit…

Ingo. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Ingrid "Ingo" Wurl — Steve the KJ regular, friend to all those imaginary, and cast member for Unsung — it's about time someone awarded that girl a prize for her pipes and sexy fashion sense! Ingo rocked the mic with a karaoke fav, Guns and Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" which won her a spot in the judges top five. Her finalist performance was controversial — was Journey really buttrock? — but after Ingo had her way with "Don't Stop Believin'", well, we believed.

Ingo went on to win the "best looking in a ripped shirt award." I don't think we need to explain why…

Photo by Ryan Schierling.Speaking of controversial buttrock songs, could "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls ever be consider as buttrock? Justin Benson from Argo raised the question with his remarkably- early- in- the- night- for- so- torrid- a- song-choice performance, but before we could answer it, he belted a buttrock favorite: the good ol' "You Shook Me All Night Long." And no one would dare question AC/DC.

Randy Wood. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Only TIG-artist extraordinaire Randy "Cold as Ice" Wood could make a blue stretchy jumpsuit look so natural. And yes, we mean that as a compliment!

Randy's outfit was to die for! I wonder if this is the first time he has worn it… or if he wears it around the house… I wonder if he originally got it for a Thanksgiving dinner celebration, or to jump out of a cake… the possibilities of what one could do in that suit are endless. It was fabulous. The judges agreed, awarding Randy a special "best jumpsuit" award — not a category we anticipated for the event, but apt and deserved nonetheless.

He looked like Evil Knievel.

But he was as Cold as Ice.

I know!

Water Kill the Sun. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Speaking of costuming, Theo Craig from Water Kill the Sun went all artsy-craftsy and constructed a faux metal mask that made me want to whip out the candy corn. He and fellow WKTS-ster Gavin Gregory presented a rousing rendition of Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize" worthy of the song title's Us and Zs.

Theo's PBR shirt… Gavin's authentic demin-ware and the moves on both boys screamed, "Cruising the strip mall for chicks."

They inspired girls rocking boys. We all got wild, wild, wild.

{ed note: Wow… Liz you're getting good at this sing-along thing! ~igDana}

Photo by Ryan Schierling.And in true Buttrock 'n Roll fashion, the night ended when the place had to turn off the sound system and mics before our final winners could be picked and our last song sung.

Just Tommy Lee would say, "Darn those pesky noise ordinances!"

Didn't the same thing happen to Pretty Girls Make Graves at SxSW??

Oh… I feel their pain!