Live Show Review Past Lives Sonic Boom Records

Past Lives play new Sonic Boom!

I present to you, dear TIG reader, a selection of photos from the Past Lives, Tapestry of Webs, album release show at the new Sonic Boom on Capitol Hill. Although it was a brief show (lasting maybe 25 minutes long), Past Lives were precise, fast and fun. AND they made light of the strange setup that Sonic Boom has concocted in their killer new store. Check ’em.


Past Lives

{Not your style? There are 10,393+ sweet photos in the TIG Flickr pool}

Imaginary Scoop Past Lives

Bumbershoot preview: Past Lives

Past Lives photo by Chona Kasinger

In the past lives of Past Lives, the geneology includes four former members of the notable post-hardcore band The Blood Brothers.

What Past Lives does musically, is to forget the lineage from Blood Brothers and create a new sound that is built especially around the art-rock guitar parts from Devin Welch (who also was in Chromatics and Shoplifting) and Morgan Henderson. The vocals are almost secondary to the instrumentation that blends math rock precision with a level of punk noise and some occasional chaos for good measure. The band has played several high-profile shows since the first time they took a stage in early 2008. The most recent show I caught was when they opened for Murder City Devils and the intensity and noise made for a perfect compliment to the legendary Northwest rock band.

Here’s a video of Past Lives playing their song “Beyond Gone” at their second show ever, opening for No Age and Liars at the Showbox:


Past Lives play Bumbershoot at EMP’s Sky Church on Saturday, September 5 at 3:30pm.

{Past Lives photo by Chona Kasinger from TIG’s Flickr Pool.}

Imaginary Scoop Past Lives

Photo of the day: Past Lives {taking the Vera Stage at the CHBP this Friday}

Past Lives at the Showbox (Greenroom) 12.08.2008 (6)

Only three more days until the Capitol Hill Block Party!

To prep, I’ve been perusing the Sparkly Indie Pop Flickr Photo Pool to see what I have in store. Here’s a photo of the Past Lives who will be taking the Vera Stage at 8p on Friday (July 24). If you haven’t seen them already, this photo should convince you to head to the Vera Stage in time to catch their set.

And for those putting together their “what to see at CHBP” spreadsheet, check out Chelsea’s Capitol Hill Block Party preview.

(Photo by Matt Koroulis)

Live Show Review Minus the Bear Past Lives Rocky Votolato Showbox at the Market The Cave Singers Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death

John Spalding Benefit Concert with Minus the Bear, Rocky Votolato, Cave Singers and more…

On Friday night the Showbox hosted one of the many series of benefit shows for local Seattle legend John Spalding who passed away from cancer last November. All proceeds from the show including merch benefit the John D. Spalding Medical Fund. This was an all-ages show featuring Minus the Bear, Rocky Votolato, Cave Singers, Past Lives (members of Blood Brothers) and Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive To Death.

All the bands turned in great performances and spoke their appreciation for John in front of a supportive all ages crowd.

As local writer Chris Estey writes, “John Spalding… a truly astonishing underground Seattle musician and incredibly incandescent creative spirit… Former guitar player for late 90's punk band Ninety Pound Wuss and performance art/hard rock picadors Raft Of Dead Monkeys, John passed away from the cancer he was diagnosed with four years ago, shortly after marrying a lovely young woman named Jody… John was only thirty-three years old and leaves behind his wife, a deeply loving and proud mother, father, brother and sister, and loyal pooch Scooter. But he also leaves behind a legacy, both relational and musical, in the deep heart of Seattle.”

Imaginary Scoop Past Lives Suicide Squeeze Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death

Past Lives/Triumph of Lethargy tonight at Showbox Green Room

Sometimes we take things for granted because they happen so fast and then we suddenly realize really great stuff is going on and we have to catch up. Thus it is with me and Past Lives, which combines the charisma of Devin from Shoplifting with a sweeter side of Morgan, Mark, and Jordan from the Blood Brothers. Their EP is produced by the ferociously talented Dann Gallucci (Modest Mouse, Murder City Devils) and has been a fetish item to own since it was announced back in September. I suspect it will make many Best Of Lists in the mini-album category, with bigger plans ahead next year for longer versions of their musical sound.

Tonight (a Monday night! How lucky can we get?) Past Lives plays the Showbox at the Market's Green Room, a nicely intimate way to get to know this new challenging, more melodic material from these brother punks.

Opening is the tenacious, terrific, talent-filled Triumph of Lethary Skinned Alive to Death, whose new material is more hook-laden song based but still blissfully droney and discordant whenever it damn well wants to be. Spencer Moody, Andrea Zollo, Joel Cuplin and their long-time collaborators are making some of my very favorite music of this year and this is a two-band bill not to miss.

Live Show Review Past Lives

Capitol Hill Block Party 2008: Past Lives

Before any announcements or rumors were made, I could read all over The Blood Brothers’ Capitol Hill Block Party 2007 performance that the end was near; six months later it was official. One thing the decade-long band did right was seamlessly blend the best elements of pop and punk, and not in a cheesy pop-punk sort of way.

Imagine if you took that ability and extracted it, concentrating it down to speaker pumping serum: Past Lives is born. I checked out BB’s new lineup — deeper, and in my opinion better, singer Jordan Billie, bassist Morgan Henderson, and drummer Mark Gajadhar with new guitarist David Welch — when they foirst popped up, opening for HEALTH, one of their first handful of shows. Freshly minted, the performance felt like they hadn’t quite found their footing, yet a promising act was on the horizon.

Past Lives have more than gelled together in the past few months, gaining attention and practice by playing in nearly every small stage of the area. Now at their mass audience debut at CHBP, the musicians looked more confident and comfortable than ever. The punk end bumps your head, the pop end jumps your feet.

By the middle of the set, they had ramped up past all the foot thumping pop and were headed towards a full on blow out. Up in the front, we forgot where we were, our minds set on dancing. The last song was a full force head thrasher. With my hand on the edge of Neumo’s stage, I could feel the speakers pushing the air.

Past Lives Photo by Nathan Howard

Past Lives Photo by Nathan Howard

Chop Suey HEALTH Live Show Review Past Lives

This is good for your HEALTH

Faces down into keyboards placed on the floor. More pedals combined than contained in your specialty guitar shop. Stop and start orchestration which would put I-5 during rush hour to shame. Sparse floating vocals slashed up with sudden bursts of screams.

This was HEALTH. This was the sort of show where you step back and say, "What the hell am I listening to and witnessing?" (Case in point: Listen to "Zoothorns" from latest s/t.) From the edge of the stage at Chop Suey I was at the feet of the guitarist, no, nearly falling over onto the feet of the guitarist, an enthusiastic fan shoving me from behind, bewildered or shocked individuals on my other side, and me in the middle, actually and figuratively.

My interest drew to tall, lanky, hair-in-face John Famiglietti, who seemingly had no purpose but to kneel before an altar of pedals, pushing buttons and twisting knobs at perfect moments, creating the HEALTH sound you really cannot find much elsewhere. He then picked up a bass I did not register as one at first, due to the way he was shredding it like a lead guitarist. The end of "Tabloid Sores" came, and he stood statue-esquely in the front of the stage, strumming the outro's pulse while the other members of the band caught their breath. Suddenly he was screaming into the mic like a little girl.

For a blur of a half hour, maybe shorter, HEALTH assaulted us, though I say that in admiring use. I watched two young teen girls who couldn't take it any longer and left. But for the rest of us it was pretty rapturous. They know precisely when to cut-out and then hit us upside the head, without noticeably paying attention to each other. I wish their set were longer, but by the looks of drummer BJ Miller, whom igShrie described wonderfully as, "Rock 'n' roll all over the place", the physical undertaking to play such music is a grueling workout.

Comparisons are inevitable when one band breaks and half the members form another. Yet, Past Lives, the new group for Blood Brothers' members Jordan Blilie, Mark Gajadhar, and Morgan Henderson, is trying to work from the ground up. Starting out small at house shows and opening slots, they do not even have tunes to check out online as of yet. Which is part of the reason I will admit to not dancing when the played–I wanted to feel this new band out, decide what the direction is.

I really enjoyed hearing Jordan sing and work the stage alone. While taking all the better elements of their previous band into consideration, this is definitely a more approachable, less in-your-face sound than the Blood Brothers had.

Evaluating my own thoughts on the fresh band, I couldn't fully read the rest of the crowd. Obvious fans of their older works were there expecting the same as before, thrashing mindlessly no matter the beat. The young girls were won over by Jordan as always, two who had to be barely 15 (were they the same ones who later left during HEALTH?) yelling, "How old you are?!" His snarky response: "I'm 12–I've just learned how to dry hump!" Youngin's aside, the rest of the audience seemed on the same page as me, checking the band out, heads lightly bobbing trying to figure the tempo changes and chorus hooks. David Bazan was spotted in the crowd. It was, however, a rather small show, barely half of the Chop Suey dance-floor filled.

Past Lives will be playing later this month, coincidentally on my birthday, in a much smaller setting at underground art-space Healthy Times Fun Club. I'll be interested to see their set in a more intimate setting, as it felt that that was what they needed on this Thursday night.