Blood Red Dancers Imaginary Scoop Katie Kate Lisa Dank Nectar No-Fi Soul Rebellion People Eating People Queerbait Spanish for 100 Sunset Tavern The Blue Moon THEESatisfaction We Wrote the Book on Connectors What What Now

This weekend: Happy Birthday to some fellow Seattle music websites

This weekend, some of Seattle’s best music websites (and even better friends) are celebrating their birthdays and they’ve got your weekend booked with fantastic shows that showcase the talent and diversity of the Northwest. Back Beat Seattle is turning one on Friday and Ear Candy is celebrating it’s birthday with what its founder, editor, chief, etc… Travis Hay calls “Ear Candy’s Weekend of Awesome” and has shows Saturday and Sunday night at different clubs. Also quite thrilling: Dagmar and Amelia from Back Beat and Travis from Ear Candy have all written for TIG before starting their own flourishing websites.

Back Beat’s show is Friday at the Blue Moon and it features Blood Red Dancers, THEESatisfaction and What What Now. It all goes down starting at 10pm and you’ll need $5 and ID proving you’re at or over 21 to get in the door.

Saturday night has the first night of Ear Candy’s “Weekend of Awesome” at the Sunset with Spanish for 100, People Eating People and We Wrote the Book on Connectors. It’ll cost just $8 and start at 9 for drinking age adults.

Sunday (Sunday, Sunday) is Ear Candy’s Birthday Bash is a dance party at Nectar with No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Katie Kate, Queerbait! and Lisa Dank. It’ll just be $6 to get in the door (also 21+), which I think it’s so inexpensive so that you’ll have money left over to buy Travis shots for his birthday.

A sincere congratulations and thank you to both Back Beat and Ear Candy for these milestones, for the excellent shows this weekend, for doing such a fabulous job of documenting what happens in the Northwest and for being amazing friends to both Seattle music in general and me in particular.

17th Chapter David Bazan Friday Mile Goldfinch Hey Marseilles Live Show Review Moondoggies Slender Means Spanish for 100 The Lonely Forest The Long Winters The Maldives Weinland

Doe Bay Festival 2009: Spirit Hike

The Second Annual Doe Bay Festival was a magical experience up on Orcas Island. A music festival like no other, and likely the closest thing to the free-loving style of the 60’s that I’m likely to experience.

The Long Winters at Doe Bay

the Long Winters

As noted in the Doe Bay Bible, festival program, it was 40 years ago that Woodstock introduced the Rock Festival to the World. However, not as widely known, there was a large festival that predates it by a year…and it was right here in the Seattle area. The Sky River Rock Festival, held in Skykomish in 1967 featuring the likes of Santana and an unscheduled appearance by the Grateful Dead.

Joe Bay

Joe Bay

The Doe Bay Festival was put together by Joe Brotherton, also known as “Joe Bay”, and featured the Long Winters, the Lonely Forest, the Maldives, Hey Marseilles, the Moondoggies, Slender Means and many more…in a communal-type setting where the performers and the concert-goers freely mingled.

The Lonely Forest at Doe Bay

the Lonely Forest

Unlike the famous festivals of yore, the skies threatened, but it never rained. Over two days, performer after performer graced the stage with a back drop of green trees, blue skies and white clouds.

17th Chapter at Doe Bay

17th Chapter

Much like those mythic festivals of the past, there was nakedness – only this time it was confined to the clothing optional hot tubs (and likely to the tents and cabins as well).

Hey Marseilles at Doe Bay

Hey Marseilles

I spent much of my non-photographing time hanging out with the performers and found them to all be down to Earth and friendly people – which is exactly the type of people that this festival attracts. I texted one about hiking at Doe Bay and he returned: “Spirit hike…spirit hike…”

David Bazan at Doe Bay

David Bazan

On my return trip home, I stopped by to visit my mother and tell her about the incredible experience I’d just had. She replied that she had in fact been to the Sky River Rock Festival, experienced the rain and the nakedness, and upon returning to her ’56 Buick – found that people had sought refuge from the torrents inside. Who knew my mom was so cool? Thankfully, 41 years later, nobody had to shack up in my car.

The Lonely Forest at Doe Bay

the Lonely Forest




Felice Brothers Imaginary Scoop Jens Lekman Metric Neko Case Spanish for 100 The Wooden Birds

Decisions, decisions… what are you doing tonight?

Justice @ Showbox Sodo 03.24.08

It's astounding how many things are going on tonight! ChrisB will be at Metric at Showbox (read his interview with them), Keenan will be with Jens Lekman (Oh sweet Jens) at the Crocodile, imaginary victoria is headed to see Neko Case (at the Paramount), and imaginary hyme is all about the Desolation Wilderness show. Even our imaginary gal in LA, CA has chimed in with a recommendation to see recently Barsuk-signed artist Wooden Birds at Chop Suey tonight.

And then there's these other shows we'd be freaking out about if the above didn't have us scattered everywhere:

  • Spanish for 100 will be at the Sunset with At-The-Spine and Autolite Strike — Word has it that the Spanish for 100 show is going to be especially killer as they have a special reason to cover both old and new songs tonight
  • Y'alternative crooners The Felice Brothers will be taking over the Tractor
  • Even Caffe Vita is in the action with a performance tonight to raise funds for the Vera Project: Say Hi, Grant Olsen (Arthur and Yu), Mount Eerie, and Shawn Smith

  • Jason Lytle of Grandaddy is going to be at the Mars Bar tonight (not a joke! He's heading over there after he opens for Neko at the Paramount)

And then there's SIFF!

Where are you headed tonight?


(Photo by Jeanine Anderson)

Live Show Review Spanish for 100

Georgetown Music Fest 2008: Spanish for 100

Spanish for 100 is nice little outfit from Seattle that have a unique country-style take on the mid-nineties incarnation of indie/emo rock, a sound that reminds me of my younger days when emotions were less guarded and seemingly more intense and desperate.

Their site indeed describes them as “Fugazi tackling the Merle Haggard songbook” and while I didn’t hear much of Iam MacKaye and company coming from the their amps I certainly picked up on their distinct southwestern and country twang. Their slower jams make nice use of harmony and pleasing guitar passages that facilitated the feelings of ennui that I associate with the music of that genre. Their upbeat songs were more akin the great bands like Samiam, Texas is the Reason, or Sunny Day Real Estate.

Photo by Mike Mess

Overall I liked these guys. They were fun and the sun had just really come out for the entire weekend right before they played.

Fish the Cat Records Record Review Spanish for 100

Say What You Want to Say to Me

There is something about Spanish for 100, be it the band by this name or the curriculum of my freshman year in college, that gets me all warm and tingly. The latter is probably because of the saucy senorita of a teacher who taught me how to roll my Rs, but it’s harder to place the source of this feeling when dealing with the Seattle-group Spanish for 100.

Say What You Want to Say to Me isn’t exactly groundbreaking work, but its straightforwardedness and simplicity keeps it enjoyable. It could also be that overdriven guitars just sound better when the weather is nice.

Spanish for 100’s sound is definitely a Megazord comprised of very distinct influences. Slow slinking guitars that explode into sonic chaos are reminiscent of Built to Spill, while guitarist/vocalist Corey Passons’ somewhat teetering voice sounds like an updated version of Tom Verlaine.

From the disc’s opener “Attack!,” the albums most popular song (I’ve heard it on KEXP – that makes it popular, right?), SF100 set the stage for the rest of the album. Passons’ voice is the perfect accompaniment to the punchy guitars that light up this album. A perfect example is “Limerance Be,” a song that drips back and forth between thundering nightmarish verses and lofty dreamlike choruses. “Sangria” is full of Muse-like (the band not the entity) vocal theatrics that aren’t ever overdone, while tracks such as “See Now” slow the flow down, albeit temporary, before the suspense-riddled “Red” ambushes the listener and pushes them back into a I’m-gonna-punch-the-air mood. The lyrics on Say What You Want to Say to Me are thoughtful and well-delivered, but the musicianship of this album keeps them for becoming saccharine and melodramatic.

Spanish for 100 are a testament the diversity of Seattle’s music scene. They’re a band that can shoe gaze with the best of them, but they are also quite capable of kicking the amps up to 11 and giving the kids what they really want.

Argo Bre Loughlin Imaginary Scoop Ms. Led Spanish for 100 Sunset Tavern

Tonight's Recommend Show: Ms. Led/Spanish For 100/Argo/Bre Loughlin, Sunset Tavern

Fish the Cat showcaseThis show is a showcase for Fish the Cat records, a label started by the folks in Ms. Led years ago as a way to put out their own music and the music of their friends. The label has stayed true to this mission, promoting local Seattle bands and helping them get distribution and all that other not-so-fun but necessary stuff that most band peeps don't want to worry about.

Tonight's event highlights same of the Fish the Cat bands with recent or soon-to-be-released records: Argo, Spanish for 100, Bre Loughlin (ex-Daylight Basement and Kuma) and of course, Ms. Led themselves, who have a new full-length due out in June called Shake Yourself Awake. Ms. Led perfectly blend pop-punk music with political earnestness to create tunes that help you rock and shake out your indignations with the world, and as a live act they never fail to please.

Ms. Led will celebrate the release of Shake Yourself Awake officially on June 22nd at the Sunset (and will be touring around the western half of the country between now and then, tour dates here), so why not come tonght to be among the first to hear their latest and greatest first?

Record Review Spanish for 100 SPF


The local band Spanish for 100 was recently chosen by John Richards of KEXP as "Your New Favorite Band", and it's sort of easy to see why. Their new six-track release Metric has whispers of uber-popular Modest Mouse and Built to Spill running through it…and that's no surprise, since they all share the same producer/engineer, Phil Ek.

When I first listened to this album, nothing in particular struck me about it, and I found myself getting distracted while it was on — which isn't usually a good sign. Then I went through it again and listened closer. And I began to hear little gems within the songs. I can't go all out and say that this is one of the best CDs I've heard, but I can say with some conviction that there's something here worth paying attention to.

Spanish for 100 vacillates between faster-paced rock and slower, sweeter ballads, often within the same song. "Go Away, Come Home" and "Fell a Bird" are two that are on the faster side, and I felt like the pace was a bit contrived. I didn't realize that until I'd heard a slower song called "Jungle with Lions", a gorgeous, Neil Young-esque, laid-back indie rock feast of a track. The two-part harmonies overlaid on a consistent but never boring melody are sincere and forthright, whereas the other two tracks seemed like they were trying just a little too hard.

"Golden Days (part 1 & 2)" provides a good example of their two distinct styles. "Part 1" is only 1 minute and 50 seconds long, but its beautiful, haunting guitar made me wish it went on longer. "Part 2" is longer, and the transition is instantly identifiable, as it kicks off with a strong guitar wall. Afterwards, the song sways between tense, pulsating rock and mellow, lapping guitar melodies. The latter (in my humble opinion) is the stronger of the two for this band — and I'm the sort who nearly always goes for the louder, more rockin' stuff. But Spanish for 100's real strength seems to lie in their ability to craft sweet, almost-folk songs that enrapture the listener. When they rock out, it feels like they are pushing to create something. When they slow down, it comes naturally.

The final track on Metric, "See Now", was recorded live at the Crocodile in Seattle in 2004. There's almost a psych-pop element to this one; it's reminiscent of Modest Mouse too, but in a more relaxed way. This song seems to be a testament to what I believe about this band: even as it begins to rev up through its cycles of speeding up and slowing down, you can sense its reluctance to gain energy, and it comfortably falls back to a more shuffling gait….which feels just right.

If Spanish for 100 can find a happy balance between fast and slow, and between rock and folk, and stick to it, good things will come to these obviously talented musicians. They have a bunch of live shows coming up in the Seattle area, so check them out (and holler out for "Jungle with Lions" — you won't be sorry).

31 Knots 54º40' or Fight! ATO Audio Barsuk Belle & Sebastian Chocho Control Group Death Cab for Cutie Elvis Costello Imaginary Scoop Iron and Wine My Morning Jacket Pattern 25 Plum St. Rhino Spanish for 100 Sub Pop Sushirobo The Fitness The Senate Arcade Touchdown Eagle

AstroPOP! for October-November 2003

Libra {September 23-October 22}
Death Cab for Cutie truly are indie rock's Hall and Oates: not only do DCfC possess both rock and soul, vocalist/guitarist Ben Gibbard's dreamy tenor is so unabashedly romantic that it literally spells out the M-E-T-H-O-D of modern love. Please listen closely, Libra: your usual balance is upset by love troubles this month, so having Death Cab spell it out for you can only help. On just-released Transatlanticism (Barsuk), the band understands your dilemma. The spaciousness of the songs betrays a hyper-awareness of the forces that keep lovers apart: time, distance, and longing—"where disappointment and regret collide/lying awake at night." Still, the music is heartening, not hopeless, and the instinctive, eye-for-detail charm of "Lightness" proves that Gibbard knows how to create the mood for a little one-on-one. And that's exactly what would make Daryl and John proud.
Your astrological Halloween costume: Attach half a blonde wig to half a curly brown one. Tape on half a moustache. You are simultaneously Hall AND Oates!

Scorpio {October 23-November 21}
You keep catching something out of the corner of your eye but you can never see it straight on. Your ears prick up at strange, disembodied sounds but when you turn your head toward the noises, there's nothing there. Your sixth sense is acting all crazy, Scorpio, and it's got you spooked. Give the otherworldly spirits a taste of their own medicine this month. Blast It Still Moves (ATOP), the new cd by My Morning Jacket to stop the haunting. The Louisville, Kentucky five-piece spikes its high-lonesome alt-country with a not-of-this-earth creepiness: guitars drip with reverb, ghostly vocals are multi-tracked to oblivion. When singer Jim James wails, "none of this is physical/at least not to me," he'll not only call out your demons—he'll send them packing. So don't be afraid, Scorpio… but do keep an eye on your liquor cabinet: the members of My Morning Jacket are so good at driving away spirits that they might also exorcise your bottles!
Your astrological Halloween costume: Take an old white bed sheet. Cut two eye-holes. Boo!

Sagittarius {November 22-December 21}
Your imminent career change might temporarily set you back in terms of status and income, but in the long run you're going to be a lot happier following your heart instead of doing what's expected of you. Indie darlings Belle & Sebastian sympathize with your job woes, Sag. Having taken chamber-pop as far as it can go, B&S confounds fan expectations on new release Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade). Veteran producer Trevor Horn (ABC, the Pet Shop Boys) seasons each song with a generous helping of 80's kitsch (check those handclaps and processed vocals on "Stay Loose"), and on occasion the new sounds prove hard to balance—the record teeters like a tray full of Denver Omelets in the hands of a knock-kneed newcomer at Applebee's. But B&S never drop that heavy platter: "Asleep on a Sunbeam" recalls the band's early co-op days, and in fact the vocal melody on "Stay Loose" is one of the strongest on the album. This month, Sag, let your heart lead the way, and soon enough your new employer will be telling you, "I want to give you the job/a chance of better pay/can you start today?"
Your astrological Halloween costume: Orange jumpsuit. Strap-on keyboard. Reflector sunglasses. Sure, video killed the radio star, but your Buggles get-up will kill the competition at the costume party.

Capricorn {December 22-January 19}
Your friend who refers to every fleeting fling as a "potential soul-mate." That co-worker who's constantly repeating "that does not compute." Your roommate's humorless analysis of "Newlyweds." Why is it that everyone—everyone!—is bugging the crap out of you this month, Capricorn? It's time for you to get some perspective so you can simmer down. Listen to the reissue of Trust (Rhino) by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. By the time this watershed 5th album was released in 1981, no one had bugged, bitter, and bothered nailed more than Elvis. Everyone—everyone!—from posh suburbanites to jealous lovers to Margaret Thatcher was skewered mercilessly on "Trust"—Elvis took bile to a level of professionalism never before seen in postpunk. Cutting lines like, "you'll never be a man/no matter how many foreign bodies you can take" kinda makes your aggravation at your roommate's Hilary Duff obsession seem like child's play, hmm? Doesn't it? Cap? Doesn't it though? Oh, wait. Am I bugging you now? You better give "Trust" another spin, Capricorn.
Your astrological Halloween costume: Wear a gray wig. Walk with a cane. Shake your fist at anyone having fun. Use your anger to release the "grumpy old man" within. "Get off my lawn, you no-good kids!"

Aquarius {January 20-February 18}
Fall is here, Aquarius, and your autumnal wish-list sure makes a whole lot of sense: spend evenings indoors, drink hot cocoa overflowing with marshmallows, curl up with a good book and a great cd. That cd? Newborn Driving, the self-released debut from Seattle four-piece Spanish For 100. With a sound that blends Built To Spill's twin guitar fireworks (as well as their Idaho fixation) with Crosby, Stills & Nash's vocal harmonies, the chiming guitars and soaring vocals here are both intelligent and emotionally expressive. With its heartland-rock outlook and countryish twang, "Newborn Driving" is as autumn as pumpkin pie and the reemergence of sweaters. Plus, the cd is versatile: turn it up while you're staring out the window at the leaves swirling in the wind. Turn down the volume to background-music levels when you want to finish the last chapter in your book before bed. Either way, "Newborn Driving" has got you covered like your favorite thick wool blanket.
Your astrological Halloween costume Wear green and brown clothes, then cover yourself liberally in multi-colored leaves. You're either: a) the physical manifestation of the Harvest Spirit of Autumn or b) Marjorie the Trash Heap from "Fraggle Rock." Take your pick.

Pisces {February 19-March 20}
I'm an astrologer, Pisces. People come to me for advice, guidance, and my ability—as an outside observer—to see what can't always be seen from within. I'm recapping, in all honesty, because I'm not sure why you're here.
Look at you: last month's problems resolved, next month's problems already assessed and averted—it's clear that you have no use for astrology in the trouble-free microcosm you've constructed for yourself. That said, can I still make a prediction? I'll bet your life would be even easier if you were listening to It Was High Time To Escape (54-40 Or Fight), the impressive debut from Portland, OR trio 31 Knots. Showy but not overly dramatic, complicated but somehow effortless, 31 Knots manage to mesh arty prog rock and catchy pop choruses so successfully that "wow, this sounds exactly like "Fragile"-era Yes without the fruity keyboards" becomes both a high-order compliment and a pale assessment of 31 Knots' achievements. Listen for yourself, Pisces—you're not the only one getting things right.
Your astrological Halloween costume: You're riding high this month just being you, Pisces. What's hiding behind a costume going to do for you? Wear your favorite t-shirt and go to the costume party 'as yourself.' No one would dare challenge you. How could they?

Aries {March 21-April 19}
Earnestness gets you laughed at. Cynicism makes you depressed. Instead of diving back and forth between the two extremes, Aries, try a new approach this month: walk that line. For guidance, steady yourself on the balance beam right behind Seattle four-piece Sushirobo. Overlaying Spoon-style minor-key indie pop with bubbly, organ-engineered surf-noir loops, the band has concocted a slick, spry sound that sustains itself throughout the 12 taut songs on The Light-Fingered Feeling Of Sushirobo (Pattern 25). Neither overly earnest nor deathly cynical, the band's secret is that they're in on the joke. Listen to singer Arthur Roberts' sneer over the Primus-flecked office fable "Zuckerman's Favorite Joke," or the lyrical jabs at the "milquetoast hipster" in "Heart, Lungs, Etc." The all-too-real details make it clear that the band is not above including itself among its targets, and their touch of self-effacement keeps the band buoyant. With two deep mood-chasms threatening you on either side, Aries, it really helps to have that light-fingered feeling.
Your astrological Halloween costume: What was your worst job ever? Dress up as your boss from that employment disaster, and spare no detail. Tell everyone that if they don't give you candy, you're going to eat their soul instead. You are going to have FUN tonight!

Taurus {April 20-May 20}
Despite your bullish, smarty-pants exterior, Taurus, you're a softy at heart. After all, when you're moved by the sad beauty of the first drops of rain on a Sunday morning, is it your brain that makes you want to cry? Hell no! It's your heart: your big, swollen, always-just-about-to-break valve of love. Quit ignoring it: your heart has important things to say. Touchdown Eagle, a lovelorn quartet from Seattle (by way of Iowa and Utah) definitely listens to their hearts. Their homemade debut ep Redesign Your Living Room, Redesign Your Life, is in fact all heart: lo-fi Beat Happening strum and Yo La Tengo sleepy drone create lonely, lovesick moods. The lyrics reveal a knack for the particulars of heartbreak. In "Stumblingly," a guy falls asleep with his glasses on, then he wakes up and can't quite see straight. The female narrator of "No Good Love" describes getting out of a difficult relationship, then wonders whether the person she left behind is actually happy now that she's gone. Heed your sentimental side this month, Taurus. Even if you don't find the love you've been searching for, the crying will be cathartic.
Your astrological Halloween costume: What's more sentimental than the Mom from "E.T."—a single mom struggling with three kids and hiding an alien from the U.S. government? Dress as Dee Wallace, and run like hell from anyone dressed as Peter Coyote.

Gemini {May 21-June 21}
I'll admit that I keep my counsel a little close to the chest and dole it out only sparingly. But I still tell you what you need to know, and the fact is, I really have so much advice that I'd overwhelm you if I let you know EVERYTHING that the stars tell me. And I'm not alone. Listen to Iron & Wine's new ep The Sea & The Rhythm (Sub Pop). Sam Beam surely knows much, much more than he lets on: his world-weary tenor and old-soul lyrics run circles around my constellation shop-talk. Beam chooses his words carefully, painting a careful picture that leaves out as much as it takes in. "Jesus the Mexican Boy" has more plot than a Faulkner novel—the song describes a child's birth, a carnival crashing, an elopement, and a lost wager—but it never sags with detail. Instead, Beam's clear, double-tracked harmonies and lonesome-strummed guitar tell as much of the story as the lyrics do. So while we may never find out what happens to Jesus' sister after the Vegas wedding, Iron & Wine never make us feel like something's been left out. And if you've been listening carefully to what I've been telling you, then I trust that you understand my advice for you this month, Gemini.
Your astrological Halloween costume: Your literary bent this month makes Faulkner a natural starting point for your costume: Caddy Compson in her later years? The simple Vardaman Bundren? The luckless Temple Drake? Come on, Gemini, go crazy!

Cancer {June 22-July 22}
Sometimes it's not so bad to be the type that can be brought home to mom and dad, Cancer. First of all, it shows that your sweetie thinks you have staying power. Second, it means the two of you can borrow the old man's car for ski trips—no questions asked. Third, better presents this holiday season. Just look at Plum St.. They've got that 'cross-generational appeal' working in their favor as well: you like them because they kinda sound like Elliott Smith or Michael Penn; your mom likes them because they kinda sound like the Beatles. But this is not a band of bland squares: the Seattle trio has the melody, smarts, and chops to validate these lofty comparisons. And singer/guitarist Reed Hutchinson even sings about family! Ok, it's a dysfunctional one—an older aunt leaves her husband, a helpful uncle delivers advice but brandishes a gun—but like yourself, Cancer, Plum St. realizes that playing to the family is important. So when your honey brings you home to mom and dad this month, Cancer, bring the Plum St. cd along. When everybody is in agreement over the gorgeous chorus to "Beauty and Dreams," you'll at least be getting a break from marriage talk.
Your astrological Halloween costume: Wear the most garishly colored sweater you can find, and you're all set to appear as everybody's favorite tv dad, Cliff Huxtable. Then, wrap up the sweater and give it to your sweetheart's dad this holiday season. He'll love you for it.

Leo {July 23-August 22}
It's the dilemma of every
rising star, Leo. Everyone wants a stalker until they actually get one. The loss of privacy, the feeling of invasion, the constant changing of phone numbers: stalkers are scary and tiresome, and should hardly be the concern of a superstar-in-training who's got a collection of trucker hats to build and a Friendster network to grow. Then again, listen to new sensations the Fitness. First single "Gianni V" actually implores "I wish that you were stalking me"–and makes a convincing case that having an obsessive fan is, in fact, part of the package: an actual accessory that complements the trucker hats and the Friendster hits. Ok. I'm with you so far. Sonically, the Fitness' cd debut Call Me For Together (The Control Group) picks up where "The Metro" by Berlin left off: analog synths, gated drums, and robotically-intoned boy-girl vocals. I heart the 80's, so I'm still with you. The kicker? Instead of talking down, Diana Ross-style, to the hired help, closing song "Chauffeur" exalts its titular hero for knowing where to go and where to score the best drugs. It sounds like the Fitness really does have the whole package. Now, if we started sleeping outside their bedroom windows, Leo, how long do you think it'll take before they notice us?
Your astrological Halloween costume: Who are you kidding, Leo? The skinny ties, the jagged bangs, the jet-black eyeliner, the silvery shirts, the Seven jeans… you already wear a costume every day. If you really want to frighten people, show up at the party in a UW sweatshirt and khakis. Now that's scary!

Virgo {August 23-September 22}
On the left side of the chalkboard, we have the 'problem:' a dense, multi-factored scramble of terms, conditionals, and assumptions. On the right side, we have the 'answer:' a single digit, solved, reduced, exposed. My question to you: which side of the board has more power? Your urge to figure everything out can cause you to miss out on the brain-busting complexities of reality. It's like trying to determine what makes the songs on the Senate Arcade's new ep Vitamins Taste Like Dying (Chocho) sound so good. Yah, we can trot out 'answers:' the swirling math-rock intricacies; the pulverizing rhythm section; bassist/singer Todd Schlosser's powerful, MTV2-ready vocal bellow. But when that stuff gets written down on paper, it doesn't seem like it could really add up to the visceral intensity that these five songs deliver. In other words, when there's a guy lying fetal desperately shouting "I'm on the floor/I'm on the floor," the application of logic can only get you so far. This month, don't search for the answers, Virgo. See the unsolved expressions for what they are: expressions. Turn the volume up, and just listen.
Your astrological Halloween costume: Wear a button-down shirt, smear chalk dust on your hands, and find a pair of coke-bottle glasses. Oh, and carry a carving knife. You're a high school algebra teacher—out for blood!

Graceland Live Show Review Spanish for 100

Spanish for 100

Finally: an alt-country sound with a bit more country than alt. Kinda like a de-Rhetted Old 97's. It's Spanish for 100.

They were almost 70's rock arena sounding…? No, that's not quite it. But somehow when I heard them play, it evoked some sorta Neil Young-esque outdoor festival show, a peaceful easy feeling. But in a good way… I thought, there should be sun, and grass, and, well… grass… and Bud, and cheering chicks in halter tops. And guys with Greg Allman moustaches. But somehow, I felt content, and I liked it. Which makes no sense, really. It's incongruous, and it's all good. I think they should be open up at a Phish show.

I felt as thought the place has taken on an Elk-Lodge-esque power as Spanish for 100 swaggered from song to song. A taste of Clem Snide without the quirk but with double the earnestness. BUT if a hippy place is where you wanted to be, ig Dana…

They're crunchy alt-rock with nice distortion on the guitars. Lead singer Corey Passons has a drawly, sexy voice. And I bet he plays hackeysack.

Nearing their final alloted minutes on the stage, Corey kindly asked the soundman, "How much time do we have?" How thoughtful. Again, with the nice boys at Graceland. Am I making too much of the whole "checking how much time they have left" thing?

No, not at all. Corey even thanked us all for coming out on a Tuesday night. And he was wearing this adorable "Hot Stuff" t-shirt, and had the coolest tattoo of a musical note with a tail on his forearm. Leave it to me to notice the incidentals. Per guitarist Aaron Starkey, they're gonna be recording a full-length album in February with producer Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Pretty Girls Make Graves… and Le Savy Fav… and 764-HERO… and Yeek Yak Airforce, and Automaton… et al) soon.

{I almost hestitated to write this, as a little bird told me Phil thinks I'm "weird" because I write about him so often on the site. But then, he produces approximately 67.341% of all the great music that comes out of this town. So how can we NOT write about him? It's not like I write about him because he's tall and gorgeous and has great hair…}


It's not!

Good for them, recording with Phil. They should be appearing in the Northwest Top 20 soon!

We both got a demo CD at the show, and you can listen to four tracks from it on their web site now. But I would advise waiting… as the recorded stuff we heard doesn't do justice to the energy of their live performance.

And hey, if they're smart enough to get Phil to record them, you should be smart enough to wait to buy that version of the album, right? Aaron also told us the band plans for an east coast tour and back this summer. So maybe we'll get to see that stadium show in the grass after all…