Duo Karmin (Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan) headlined Neumos for Valentine’s Day. The musically eclectic pair, with their debut, Pulses, out now, brought a full band. Wonderfully, photographer Steve Campagna shared part of his Valentine’s Day enjoying the group.
I have a real big soft spot for rap or spoken word in a London accent. Any part of London, but London’s iTCH has just the right accent. And iTCH has these great songs with equally great lyrics. His debut, The Deep End, is an album you must get, and it’s one that shows high promise from the singer of now defunct band, the King Blues (in that group he was Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox). Now he’s on his own, sharing his awesome skills. When I realized he’d be at Chop Suey, I was so excited – and his live set was motivating, tough and superb. I liked his focus, the mood he set, and his quite intimidating, yet charming presence. In addition to the set list (I really didn’t want his show to end) he performed the moving King Blues song “5 Bottles of Shampoo” in spoken word. For the end of iTCH’s set, he chose “Best Shot,” an anthemic and wicked tune.
Life Is Poetry
The Deep End
Not My Revolution
Bottom Of The Glass
Diana Krall was in fine form last week during a stop at the Paramount Theater in support of her most recent album Glad Rag Doll, which features songs from the 1920s and 1930s. The Paramount was the perfect setting for her tour – it has that vaudeville era feel that Krall’s album captures. Backed by a five-musician band, the two-time Grammy-winning jazz singer and pianist incorporated silent movies and props into her show, such as her father’s gramophone.
Diana Krall – all photos by Kirk Stauffer
It’s not often that I go into a show knowing little to nothing about a band. This was one of those times. And I’m ashamed to say that, because what I discovered was a fantastic band that is highly underrated – Yellow Ostrich. What drew me to see Yellow Ostrich in the first place? Well the drummer, Michael Tapper used to play in another band I love, and I’d never seen him play so I thought, “hey what the heck I’ll check out their stuff.” And their stuff is great, I’m telling you.
But to start off the show at Barboza was English Sub Poppers Thumpers, who killed it. Think St Lucia with a dash of Local Natives, but with all the British charm. With such a cramped room like Barboza, their energetic sound almost – pardon my cliché – raised the roof. I seriously suggest checking these guys out for your summer playlists, they’re all around fun times.
The next group was such a surprise that by the end of their set that I wasn’t even sure what I’d just experienced. Pattern is Movement, hailing from Pennsylvania, apparently has been around since 2001. Where have I been? This duo of keyboard and drums – not to mention singer’s Andrew Thiboldeaux understated sexy falsetto – made the crowd just stop and listen. If I wasn’t blown away enough – they broke into a cover of D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel).” And it was real good. Real good and real sexy.
After everyone had a chance to cool down, so to speak, Yellow Ostrich took the stage. Playing a good selection of songs off their phenomenal new record Cosmos (which I purchased after the show), they also played some older ones that seemed to get the crowd pretty excited. “Marathon Runner” was a particularly catchy tune, and “Ghost” brought the sultry grooves back. Singer Alex Schaaf’s tenders vocals paired with the multi-talented Michael Tapper on basically every kind of percussion available made for such a dynamic show that I was disappointed when it ended. I wanted them to keep playing. And it was an early show, so I was wide awake and ready for more.
I can say that I’m no longer uninformed in the world of Yellow Ostrich, and really thankful that I accidentally found out about that show when scrolling through Tumblr last month. Thanks Internet.
Android Amaker, a collaboration including Seattle musicians Brent Amaker (Brent Amaker and the Rodeo), Vox Mod and P Smoov (Mad Rad, Fresh Espresso), gives us “I’m the One,” a sharp and slinky tune if there ever was one. They call it music “for fans of robots and westerns,” that’s fair! Mythos behind the band has stories of space bandits and alien overlords, with things we can all relate to such as the lyrics, “I can see you’ve got a problem, we can have that fixed by tomorrow.”
Chicago’s Ace Reporter released “Trouble,” a track off their debut, Yearling, which sounds as if it will be a hot hot hot record. They’re touring parts of the East Coast, and I so wish they were headed to Seattle. They’re melodic and moving. You can also listen to “Saints & Angels” below. Look for and extended version of Yearling, Yearling XL available on April 22nd!
I’ve made no secret that I am massively in love with Pillar Point, and you can see why when he plays Sasquatch Festival, Neumos, and heads out on a May tour. I got to see Pillar Point at Neumos recently and can recommend that you see him. The album is perfect.