Show Preview: Motorhead @ Showbox Sodo (SOLD OUT!)

•February 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

preview by Suzi Pratt

Show Details: Friday, February 4th | Showbox Sodo | Doors @ 7 PM | Motörhead, Clutch, Valient Thorr

Iconic rock ‘n’ roll band Motörhead are set to release their 20th studio album, The World is Yours, on February 8th, but not before a stop in Seattle.

On February 4th, Lemmy Kilmister and his crew will be taking over the Showbox SoDo, cranking out metal-tinged rock jams that they’ve been making for over 35 years. Besides a brand new album and worldwide tour, Motörhead has been a hot topic as Kilmister was recently the subject of the documentary “Lemmy,” which examines his long-standing impact on the music community. The British rockers also stopped by Conan O’Brien’s show last week to play “Get Back in Line,” the opening track off their new album.

Motörhead’s North American tour kicked off in late January, and they will finish up in Los Angeles before taking on Australia, South America, and Europe in the spring.  Don’t miss Motörhead live in Seattle on February 4th! The Deadly Viper Photo Squad will be there to cover all the action. In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek at the trailer for their upcoming Documentary “Lemmy”

Live Review: Tame Impala @ Neumo’s 12/10

•December 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Review by Jason Kinnard | Last second impromptu photos provided by Shelly Corbett

Being raised on a steady diet of Beatles and Byrds albums growing up, it’s no wonder I was naturally drawn to a band like Tame Impala. This Australian band first hit my radar in a post I did over a year ago entitled: The Year Down Under and 16 Bands ready to take over 2009. Tame Impala was one of 4 bands we were listening to at the time, and although we may have been a year early, this band has literally exploded onto the scene with little to no warning. Their new album Innerspeaker wasn’t as much a shock to my system as it must have been for others, but there’s little doubt this will end up at the top of a lot of music critic’s lists. When I heard the show announced in Seattle, I immediately circled the date on my Calendar for what I hoped would be an epic show.

Flash forward to last Friday night (12/10) at Neumos. While I don’t typically enjoy “All Ages” as much as I used to (GET OFF MY LAWN!), I was actually more encouraged than frustrated by all the Under 21’ers in attendance for Tame Impala. In the day and age of instant-gratification singles and crappy mainstream radio pop hits, it’s refreshing to see so many young people listening to good music for a change. But first of all, I’d feel re-missed if I didn’t mention the surprising opening band of the night: Brainstorm. Sometimes I find these are the best discoveries of all; bands you have absolutely no knowledge of going into them. The Portland duo certainly did an impressive job filling in for the scheduled opener Stardeath and White Dwarf, with a minimal set-up of just drums and guitar, and both members filling in on keyboard and Tuba duties respectively. As a former percussionist, the stellar drumming was immediately evident to me (and everyone else in attendance), as was their ability to harmonize and produce such a rich and diverse sound with just two fellows. Hat’s off boys, really nice job! I’ll definitely explore more (Check them out HERE)

And then Aussie headliners Tame Impala.

Set off to the left of the stage with a full complement of pedals, keyboards, and laptops, Kevin Parker (vocals/guitar) was like a maestro commanding a psychedelic orchestra on-stage. Using an “O” Scope and a huge backdrop screen projection, Parker set-up each song not only sonically, but visually, which created an original and psychedelic effect. At one point I heard someone in the crowd yell “Wake up Seattle!” and I couldn’t have said it better myself, when this band got on it, they really got on it. Sure the band is young, but by the time they had reached their amazing cover of Massive Attack’s “Angel”, it was clear this band has set lofty heights for themselves. Only because I had spent so much time critically listening to the full-length was I able to point out some of the finer flaws of their Seattle performance, but when I think of the tightness and skill of the band, it’s minor picking really. While favorites like “Luicidity” certainly didn’t hit as I had hoped, their live variations of other songs like “Expectations” and “Solitude is Bliss” were fantastic and complex. They way they were able to build their sound, mix it all up, and then seemingly stop it on a dime? That takes skill I can’t even begin to explain to you in a few sentences. This was their very first Seattle performance (which we seem to eat up in this town), but I don’t presume it will be their last. As with their album, not an easy point of entry for everyone, but for many, this was a great introduction.

Now I’m going to sit down, reminisce about their show, put on some good headphones, and listen to Innerspeaker as it was intended to be listened to; loud and on vinyl…

Mayhem in Seattle: Les Savy Fav @ Neumo’s 12/5 – Live Review

•December 8, 2010 • 2 Comments

details: Les Savy Fav | Steel Tigers of Death | The Absolute Monarchs @ Neumo’s in Seattle 12/5

review: Jason Kinnard | photos: Alex Crick

Where do I even start to begin describing this one? Hell, I’m not even sure I could script something as utterly insane and fun as a Les Savy Fav show. In fact, I’ll go on the record and say that Tim Harrington might be commanding one of the  best live shows in America right now. We’ve seen unbelievable performances from Les Savy Fav in the past at festivals like Sasquatch and the Capitol Hill Block Party, but nowhere is Harrington more in his element than a small sweaty club like Neumo’s. Whoever put this bill together should be commended, these were 3 fantastic bands in one night. The Absolute Monarchs were a fantastically loud and local opener that I enjoyed watching for the first time at the Cha Cha earlier in the year, they sounded even better in the much bigger room at Neumo’s. I’m pretty sure that guy serves me drinks somewhere….

THE ABSOLUTE MONARCHS

Next up was another much loved local band: Steel Tigers of Death. Taking just about every Punk Rock influence you can imagine and making a mockery of it, the band uses hilarious outfits, stage names, and ridiculous stage banter to keep the crowd smiling and the energy high. The show started oddly enough with a woman putting fake fluffy cotton snow all over the front of the stage monitors, the crowd, microphones, and various other pieces of band equipment. This was quickly followed up with White Christmas lights strung along the front of the stage and various cords that seemed to have no other real purpose. The band came on stage dressed in white sheets, angel wings, and matching halo’s, with white LED Christmas lights strung underneath their flowing white sheets. They played a blistering set of quick punk songs before stripping down and finishing off in skin tight solid gold booty shorts. Punk Rock, Seattle style…

STEEL TIGERS OF DEATH

And now the awkward switch to “solid gold booty shorts”…..

And finally, we were ready for the highlight of the evening: Les Savy Fav. First of all, I really hope there were some people in the crowd who have never seen Tim Harrington in action before. I especially hope those same people were right up front to see it up close. What had seemed like an almost alarmingly sparse crowd when the doors first opened quickly filled to capacity, and there was no way you were getting close to the front if you weren’t there already (we were in our usual front right spot against the stage). What had started as a tame evening quickly turned into a semi messy mosh-pit affair. Click & Dagger and the Deadly Viper Photo Squad were up close in the danger zone to cover all the action.

Harrington’s band (the rest of which look remarkably normal and competent) took the stage just after 11, followed shortly by the bearded wild-man himself. Entering the stage with a huge plastic horse’s head, a bag of apples, and various other props, he immediately puts all the apples into his horse’s mouth, chews, and proceeds to spitting the chunks out at the first few rows. Someone in the crowd shakes a beer and sprays the entire front crowd, and from that moment on, it was pure insanity. It takes a lot to move a Seattle crowd on a Sunday night but Les Savy Fav made it look effortless. I’m not sure I’ve smiled and laughed so hard at a show in a while, and at the end of the day isn’t that what it’s all about? Within 1 song, Harrington had jumped into the packed crowd, wrapped his microphone cord around just about everyone, made people sing, jumped up into the mezzanine area above the right of the stage, and climbed back down the big red curtains and into the crowd again; microphone still in hand and never missing a beat. With Harrington on stage and Crick and I pushed up against the stage, he casually hands his microphone to Alex, takes off his shirt, and then begins to unleash more mayhem. Apples are whipped into the crowd (some half-eaten), chunks are spit back at him, and the first of more than a few beer bottles and empty beer cans start landing on the stage. It’s a slightly dangerous unpredictability that starts taking over the crowd and we are eating up every second of it. I think we spent just as much time facing away from the stage as we did towards the stage. I can’t even begin to describe the hilarious in between song banter other than to tell you Harrington was in rare form.

LES SAVY FAV

And he was just getting started with apples in the crotch (subsequently crammed in people’s mouths and eaten)

He picked through these people’s hair like a monkey:

Someone threw a “too small” bra on stage, of course Harrington had to wear it. With a little help of course:

p.s. We loved this woman’s spirit, but I sure hope you didn’t make out with her…

Here’s Harrington starting to eat the fake cotton snow and cram it down his pants. This is after he stole the lovely white knitted hat of the girl standing behind us. You might want to get that Dry Cleaned…

And a decorative scarf that landed on the stage. He wore it for a song and then promptly returned it to it’s owner.

Here he is playing the microphone as a flute:

Here’s that band we were telling you about. Normal looking chaps.

Here he is drinking water from a dirty glove that landed on stage. He just threw the rest at us…

Les Savy Fav played a ridiculous encore set that finished with crowd favorite “Sweat Descends”. At this point of the night, that seemed pretty appropriate. The place starts to fill with smoke as Harrington lays on the fog machine button dressed in some sort of satanic cow outfit as he whips the crowd into one last frenzy before stripping down to his trademark underwear and ending the show…

Next time Les Savy Fav comes to your city, take an unsuspecting friend and put him right up front. Tim Harrington will take care of the rest. Please enjoy the entire photo set on the Viper Squad Flickr page HERE.

Click & Dagger: Top 10 Albums of 2010

•December 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

List submitted by: Jason Kinnard

I’ve been looking at and creating “Top 10″ and “Best Of” Music lists for the better part of a decade (OK, it’s a little longer but damn that makes me feel surprisingly old…). I have something to admit after all these years; I’ve never been a huge fan of putting numbered rankings on albums (I’m looking at you Pitchfork). With music being so personal to each individual who listens to it, this exercise seems increasingly difficult every single year; 2010 in particular. I also understand it goes with the territory. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines here and you’ll always have a group of people who feel like they have to “out list” the other guy, to have more “obscure” bands on their list than the next; it’s the same drill every single year with the usual cast of characters. With literally thousands of new releases a month, it’s becoming increasingly important to know where to go and who to trust when it comes to finding new music.

Fortunately for you, there’s quite a few people out there with good ears who consume music on a monumental scale; people in the “musical trenches” if you will (I’d like to consider myself one of them…). From Vinyl to CD’s, MP3’s to Myspace, Soundcloud Drop Boxes to Cassette Tapes, there’s never been an easier time for musicians to get their music into your hands and in your ears. Everyone has their own “trusted sources” and I suppose I’m no different, but how will you know who to trust for your music? Well, that’s something you’ll just have to discover for yourself. Personally, I think you’re off to a pretty good start…

10. Wavves – King of the Beach


Comments: Say what you want about these stoner/slackers and their previous efforts, but I found myself playing this album quite a bit over the Summer and I know you did too. I love music that transforms you somewhere else, and this album immediately sailed me to the sun-drenched Malibu beaches I remember from my youth (the rest is a bit hazy…). Their live show only confirmed what I had already thought; good bands don’t have to try very hard…

9. Warpaint – The Fool

Comments: These girls from L.A. have produced one of the better (and arguably more-hyped) debut albums of recent memory. One listen to the song “undertow” and I immediately had to give this another listen. I’m certainly glad I did. Do you have “that friend” who always complains there aren’t any good new bands out anymore? Have them listen to this…

8. Beach House – Teen Dream

Comments: Wow. Talk about a band that transformed themselves over the span of 3 albums. Hands down, this has got to be one of the better (and sadder) “pop” albums of recent memory. Do I feel a little less “manly” liking this album so much? Maybe, but Victoria Legrand’s voice sure as hell didn’t hurt. More music that paints a distinct picture and does it well. I won’t go into where this one transported me…

7. No Age – Everything In Between

Comments: Another band that seems to have found their mark with the release of a great new album. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of this two-piece’s previous fuzzed-out work, but this sounds almost like a completely different band. Just as loud as before, only this time with much more calculated restraint. Broken bones and old age will do that to you…

6. The Drums – The Drums


Comments: This Brooklyn band might best be known for it’s mockery of the beach scene with their song “Let’s Go Surfing”, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a band successfully paving their own way. The more I read about the production and recording process of this album, the more impressed I am. C86 fans should give this a listen; it’s about time we gave the Brits a taste of their own medicine.

5. Caribou – Swim

Comments: Canadian and Instrumental. Not 2 things I would normally put together (much less listen to), but one spin of this on the turntable and I was blown away. Four Tet, Junior Boys, and Born Ruffians on the assist. Can we please give this guy another Polaris Prize?

4. Foals – Total Life Forever

Comments: 2010 is the year of “re-invention”… Another album that caught me by complete surprise. The sophomore release from this Oxford 3-piece is sure to raise few eyebrows and land on more than a few “Top 10″ lists, most likely at #1. “Spanish Sahara” got in my craw early and never left. This is really brilliant stuff.

3. These New Puritans – Hidden

Comments: A daring and pure unrelenting sophomore release from this exciting UK band. Maybe a difficult entry point for some, but trust me when I say this is an unbelievably powerful album with plenty of little nuances to uncover. Give this a long critical listen on vinyl with some good speakers/headphones and get back to me. Groundbreaking stuff; the bar has been set very high with this one.

2. Tame ImpalaInnerspeaker

Comments: The next kick-ass band from Australia.  I had these guys on an old discovery list of mine and I’m floored by this release. 60’s Psych with a refreshingly modern twist. I almost hate mentioning more as this album is something you really need to listen to without any pre-conceptions. There’s a reason this album won the coveted J Award in Australia for Album of the Year. Why do I love this album so much? Hmm, well I do have every single Byrds album on vinyl. I cannot wait to see this band live next week!

1. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Comments: This probably wasn’t the best year for James Murphy and company to unleash such an epic album, but damned if they didn’t go ahead and do it anyway. What does Disco-Rock sound like?  I guess this is it. And for people who think they’re still from England? No, they’re not…

*2010 Honorable Mentions: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest, The National - High Violet, Best Coast - Crazy For You, Arcade FireSuburbs, WeekendSports, Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard, Sleigh BellsTreat, Twin ShadowForget, Forest Swords – Dagger Paths

Rise of the Two-Piece: The Hundred in the Hands

•November 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment


Review by Jason Kinnard | Photos by Alex Crick

Standing on the big(ish) stage at The Crocodile in Seattle, New York’s latest boy/girl Avant-Pop band The Hundred in the Hands seemed miles apart. On the far left, manning an impressive bank of foot pedals, keyboards, and electronic doodads, was Jason Friedman. To his far right was the beautiful Eleanore Everdell on vocals and keyboards. In the sea of music I normally consume, this band immediately stood out to me as something a little different. Turns out, I was right. The show also got me to thinking, why is that so many of the new “hot” “it” bands nowadays seem to be two-piece’s? Then I started doing some research and looking back at some shows from the past year or so. Ohio band Bad Veins just rolled thru town with their own spin on the two-piece (employing some unique technological trickery), Phantogram have certainly done pretty well for themselves (see KEXP/Cutting Room). The list goes on an on with recent bands of memory like Japandroids, No Age, The Kills, Helio Sequence, to name just a few (what are some of your favorite two-piece bands?)

One thing that’s immediately evident from watching any good sounding two-piece up-close is that it looks like a lot of damn work. Sure, the good ones might make it look easy (like Jason Friedman below), but watching The Hundred in the Hands (HITH) last month also made me appreciate what a true artisan can do with his equipment. Yes, the argument could be made that HITH could benefit from the use of live drums or bass, but if minimalism is part of the sound, what’s the point really? Hell, the technology exists to the point nowadays where you almost don’t even need a band anymore, but there are still certain things a computer just can’t do by itself. Luckily, HITH can do the digital to analog schtick better than most I’ve heard.

Despite their on-stage distance, the interplay between the two actually worked for me. it was almost like a strange sexual tension between the two; maybe this was intentional (probably not), or maybe it was just something I was dreaming up in my own mind (more likely). As Jason frantically blazed away on his guitar, Eleanore slithered graciously on her side of the stage and added her slippery smooth vocals to a near flawless electro-wave backdrop, rich with those non-existent bass and drums we talked about. The band played a short but sweet set of just about all of their new material including local favorite “Lovesick (Once Again)”

Lovesick once again
I get slapstick when you walk in
I get so nervous I stutter and flail
Troubled sleep,
I don’t eat,
I’ve gone pale.



*Given all my research on the subject and years of experience, what’s the single best piece of advice I can give to any young aspiring two-piece band? Both of you can’t be ugly.

Please read more about this great band on their website HERE or listen to music from the band on their MYSPACE page. You can also see more photos from the amazing Alex Crick HERE.


ROCKTOBER: Half-way thru review

•October 17, 2010 • 1 Comment


Pokey, Gumby, and Michael Benjamin LernerTelekinesis

All photos by Alex Crick and Lori Paulson | review by Jason Kinnard

We’re half-way through what has already been a pretty amazing month of Music in Seattle, the month we all affectionally call “Rocktober”. What is about the Fall concert season that gets us all so excited? It’s partly the change in weather (no more hot muggy clubs) but mostly it’s the plethora of amazing shows we tend to have up here late in the year. There are few cities that can boast a good show almost every night of the week, Seattle is pretty damn close to being there.

Even though we’ve been busy with the many changes afoot at Click & Dagger HQ, we did manage to leave the bunker and see some amazing shows. We also invited some of the best photogs in the city to help us capture all the action. Here’s some of what we’ve seen so far:

BAD VEINS/PLANTS & ANIMALS/FRIGHTENED RABBIT - Showbox| October 7th


Scott HutchisonFrightened Rabbit

The month started off with a few great smaller shows of the UK variety (Boxer Rebellion/Amusement Parks on Fire @ Crocodile) and (Klaxons @ Chop Suey) but our first real excitement was for one of the most anticipated shows of the month and a C&D favorite: Frightened Rabbit. Opening for the band was a really cool 2-piece from Cincinnati Ohio – Bad Veins. I had been talking to drummer Sebastien Schultz about the show apparently while they were still driving to Seattle; boy, as a two-piece you really have to multi-task! Luckily the band made it to the venue in one piece and put on one hell of a show. We especially loved the analog tape machine (was this thing recording the whole time?), the home-made telephone microphone box, and the pretty flowers adorning that and the drums. Despite a minor glitch or two, I thought for a two-piece they sounded amazingly complex and translated their recorded work well on the big stage at The Showbox. Benjamin and Sebastien are some genuine nice fellows and I imagine we’ll hear more about them during this tour. Plant & Animals (who for some damn reason we were not allowed to shoot!) also sounded fantastic. Of course this Montreal Canadian band was no surprise to many in the audience who saw them at the KEXP Music Lounge this year at Bumbershoot and you could immediately notice the tightness of their delivery. They definitely stepped things up a notch. And of course last but not least, what can you say about one of our favorite Scottish bands – Frightened Rabbit. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, Scott Hutchison is one of the most endearing (and talented) frontmen in music right now, and this has to be one of the better live UK acts out there as well. If you have not yet seen this band live in the states (or gasp! even heard them…), what on earth are you waiting for?

BAD VEINS

FRIGHTENED RABBIT

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OK let’s see, what was next? REVERB Festival. The Annual Ballard drunk-fest/local band extravaganza. Think of it as a mini-Capitol Hill Block Party without any of the big headliners. It was pouring down rain (aka torrential downpour), we were half-drunk early, and worried about ruining gear walking the blocks and blocks between venues. It was good to see everyone together at The Sunset for the first real start of the evening band – Kinski. After that, everyone quickly went in different directions to cover the various shows scattered throughout a small section of Ballard. We say that with one exception: the 2 Bit Saloon. Let’s just learn from that lesson and move on Reverb. Loved the Venue and the bands playing there, we just hated the long walks in the rain. Maybe we should have just camped in one spot instead. Oh well, here’s a few shots we did managed to capture (REVERB photos courtesy of Lori Paulson):

KINSKI


HOBOSEXUAL


YUNI IN TAXCO

MASSY FURGUSON


—————————————————————————————————–

Let’s see, what happened next in town? Manu Chao was at The Paramount, Sky Larkin unfortunately had to cancel due to travel complications (I was especially looking forward to that one) Holy Fuck played at Neumos, and then one of our other most anticipated shows of the month came up on the radar: Telekinesis with Teenage Fanclub and Superchunk. Uh, seriously? Another killer 3-act bill at The Showbox. Michael Benjamin Lerner and I go back a few years, well before Telekinesis when he worked at one of my favorite local spots, the small Sonic Boom Records store in Capitol Hill on 15th Ave. Michael and I used to chat it up about UK music and trade bands back and forth, long before I knew anything about his current or prior music background. It was just genuine talk between two dudes about UK music and it’s maybe why I’ll always have a special bond with this band and why we still manage to say “Hey” after all these years. The first time I remember seeing his new band Telekinesis was right before they went on their first tour with Ra Ra Riot. It was then only fitting then of course that I was at The Showbox this past week seeing Michael playing with Telekinesis before a tour again, only this time with a couple even bigger bands at the helm. This was also my first time seeing his brand new bass player (Jason Narducy) and guitarist (Cody Votolato). To say this sounds like a completely different band may be a bit of an understatement considering the amazing skill of this new line-up. It’s obvious the bass skills of Jason are light years ahead of anything this band has had before and I couldn’t help but be blown away by their energetic set. In fact, I’d say outside of Ra Ra Riot’s bass player (Mathieu Santos), this was probably the 2nd best live bass performance I’ve heard this year. Even at the detriment of his own merchandise, Lerner gushed about both bands new amazing albums after long lay-offs. Hell, he even thanked The Showbox when he talked about how excited he was to have a laminate from the famous venue with his band’s name on it. There’s something so genuine about a guy like MBL, how can you not love this band? Good talent seems to find each other and this line-up is ready to shock some unsuspecting people on tour.

TELEKINESIS

Full sets from all these shows (and more) can be found on both photogs amazing Flickr pages:

Alex CrickDeadly Viper Photo Squad

Lori Paulson

Click & Dagger previews: Frightened Rabbit/Bad Veins @ Showbox (Market)

•October 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

preview: Jason Kinnard | photos: Alex Crick

Thursday, October 7th | Showbox @ The Market | Frightened Rabbit, Plants & Animals, Bad Veins

It was just a little over a year ago that we were writing about and sharing some amazing photos from our great night out in Glasgow; in Seattle (read about it HERE). Seems everyone we knew was at Neumo’s to see 3 great emerging Scottish bands play their hearts out: Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and Frightened Rabbit. Thursday night will see the return of one of our favorites of that group to a bigger stage: Frightened Rabbit. If you thought they sounded amazing at Neumo’s, I can’t wait to hear what they sound like on the bigger stage at The Showbox/Market (outside of the Triple Door I consider it the best sounding live room in Seattle). Lead vocalist Scott Hutchison is sure to put his heart into the performance once again and you’ll be hard-pressed to hear a more amazing drummer out there than his brother Grant. They are a fantastic live band and a long way from home. If you saw their previous Neumo’s performance, I’m confident we’ll see you there this time too. If you still haven’t seen them live, do yourself a favor and come check out this show. Opening are a group we’re excited about seeing for the first time: Bad Veins - a band you’ll never in a million years think is from Cincinnati Ohio. They also happen to be on one of our favorite labels: Dangerbird Records. They sound like every favorite band of mine wrapped into one nice little package. They should get the place jumping.

In the meantime, here’s a little taste of what to expect from Frightened Rabbit on Thrsday night:

 
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