ROCKTOBER: Half-way thru review
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
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?
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):
YUNI IN TAXCO
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.
Full sets from all these shows (and more) can be found on both photogs amazing Flickr pages: