Interview & Show Preview: Kitten @ the Vera Project, Tues. 7/22

Interview & Show Preview: Kitten @ the Vera Project, Tuesday 7/22
by Dagmar

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Chloe Chaidez of Kitten

I love Kitten. I love cats, and I thought I might like the band just because of the name, and sure they got my attention first because they’re called Kitten. So I checked them out, and Chloe Chaidez’ band is extraordinary pop musical goodness. Chaidez, co-wrote four releases with Chad Anderson: Sunday School (2010), Cut It Out (2011), Like a Stranger (EP, 2013), and this year’s debut full-length, Kitten. The first three releases offered some really sexy tunes such as “Kitten With a Whip,” “Like a Stranger,” and “Japanese Eyes.” Kitten, well, it whips you right in the face with more of an electronic sound, and every single song is awesome.

Chaidez had an early introduction to music; her father, Mike Chaidez, was the drummer in Los Angeles’ Thee Undertakers. Her first instrument was bass guitar. Well known for her songwriting ability, Chaidez is also known as a singer and performer. Turns out studying gymnastics may have influenced her live performances. “There’s a lot of rhythm involved in gymnastics, especially the floor routines. I sort of incorporate it into the stage performance.” I also wondered what kinds of things she thinks about while performing. Does she just black out? Chaidez tells me “I can’t help but lose myself. It’s really weird. It’s spiritual, and a sacred thing to me. I’m not thinking of anything except for what I want to do in that moment, and of course, the band.” With bands Joy Division, the Psychedelic Furs, and the Smiths as influences, Chaidez seems drawn to unusual lead singers: “Ian Curtis was a captivating performer. I love non-traditional rock stars. I never want to be that performer’s that’s like, “Clap your hands!”

After playing shows in Los Angeles, many at a place called the Smell, Chaidez recalls “I played there a lot. That was one of my first shows with Kitten. I had this silly, glittery pink guitar that I thought was cool at the time. I had a portable amp and asked the owner if I could play.” Chaidez recorded the first Kitten EP when she was fifteen years old, and has toured with some very big names, including Charli XCX and Paramore. I ask her if people often just call her Kitten, like how they would with Blondie. She tells me: “Not as much as you’d think. Maybe it’s because it’s not what I want. I haven’t gotten that too much.”

For Cut It Out, Chaidez got painted all in gold makeup. I don’t recognize her, and ask her, “Is that you?” “That’s me. For that group of songs, I wanted to be painted gold. I had no reason for it. I just wanted to do it and see what happened,” Chaidez says. That works for me. Along the lines of gold, I want to know if she feels as if “Money” is a departure from her other songs? Where did it come from? “It was very much in the moment. My brother (Julian Chaidez) was home for Christmas from college, and he was making beats. We were listening to a lot of the same music. We made these tracks, and we thought, if we want people to hear them, we’d need to do them as Kitten.”

Another strong thing about Kitten is the band’s lyrics, always fitting with the music, whether it’s a dance song or not (I tried to kill you in my dreams, “Sugar”). It turns out Chaidez is a big reader: “I love Bukowski. F Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac. There’s a writer called Zadie Smith – she wrote White Teeth – one of my favorites of all time. Oh, and Kurt Vonnegut.”
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Kitten headlines the Vera Project on Tuesday, July 22nd. Show is $12, all ages and doors are at 7 PM.

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Show Preview: Capitol Hill Block Party – Day 3, Sun. 7/27

Capitol Hill Block Party Sunday schedule brings me to focus even more on local acts in this year’s lineup. Seattle bands such as Kithkin, Haunted Horses and Sisters have my attention – do they ever.

Have fun during the final day of CHBP. Whether you plan ahead or just arrive and be surprised, there’s a lot of great music to hear.

3:45-4:15
Ever-so-android @ Barboza

Popular Seattle electro-rock duo Ever-so-android released a fabulous self-titled EP last year. I recommend catching them at Barboza, as not only do they sound awesome, (hi, Hope Simpson’s rad vocals) they look intriguing, too!

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Ever-so-android


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3:45-4:30
XXYYXX @ the Main Stage

XXYYXX makes a stop in Seattle before leaving the country for several European shows. The project, (Florida’s Marcel Everett,) makes some pretty sweet electronic sounds.

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XXYYXX


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4:00-4:30
Kithkin @ the Vera Stage

Sunday’s Kithkin show, the unique and fiery band’s first Seattle show since returning from tour, will be packed. Don’t let that scare you off, just be warned that there will be many happy Kithkin fans. I don’t think they’ll bite.

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Kithkin – photo by Dagmar


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5:45-6:45
Haunted Horses @ the Cha Cha Stage

Their biography says it all. Or does it? “A woman who died in 1976 after unsuccessful attempts to perform an exorcism upon her with psychotropic drugs” reads Haunted Horses’ bio on Facebook. The duo of Colin Dawson and Myke Pelly plays excellent hard goth.

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Haunted Horses


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8:00-9:00
Sisters @ the Barboza Stage

Sisters, a duo of Seattle’s Andrew Vait and Emily Westman, released a really, really good single called “Back 2 U,” and based on that alone I suggest this is a show very worthy of your time. Smooth, electronic, kind of soul. . . nice.

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Sisters

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9:00-10:00
Dum Dum Girls @ the Vera Stage

Right after Sisters finishes its show, I recommend you see Dum Dum Girls. The New York quintet is another popular act sure to have a crowd of fans.

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Dum Dum Girls – photo by Kirk Stauffer


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Sunday’s Complete Capitol Hill Block Party Lineup/Schedule
Capitol Hill Block Party on Facebook
Capitol Hill Block Party on Twitter
Capitol Hill Block Party on Instagram

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Photos: Tori Amos @ the Paramount Theatre

Tori Amos played at the Paramount Theatre last week, the first US show in her 80-city tour supporting Unrepentant Geraldines, her 14th studio album. Opening with “Parasol” and closing with “Hey Jupiter,” Amos thrilled the audience from start-to-finish. Husband and wife duo from England, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, opened.

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Tori Amos

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Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou

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Music: Futurecop!, Davidian & VANIISH

Manchester, England-based duo Futurecop!, just released their new album, Fairytales of Summer and Shoegazers in June. There are several guests, including Lyon and Mereki, on the album, and here’s the first single, “Lost Love,” featuring DWNTWN. Just beautiful.

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Futurecop!

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Continuing along the lines of excellent English electronic dance music, here’s the title track from Davidian‘s EP, What I Want. The Nottingham producer brought in singer Tiffani Juno; a good combination! You can also listen to the entire EP online here.

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Davidian – photo by Aaron Hira

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VANIISH, part of what seems, to me, a large number of great bands from San Francisco, share two songs off their debut album. Memory Work, available now, sounds wonderfully goth.

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VANIISH – photo by Damon Way

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Show Preview: Capitol Hill Block Party, Day 2 – Sat. 7/26

Day two of the Capitol Hill Block Party happens on Saturday, July 26th: start preserving your energy. From the Chain Gang of 1974 to Chromeo, Saturday – even with its spread of artists – seems especially strong in the electronic genre.

3:00-3:30
The Chain Gang of 1974 @ the Vera Stage

The Chain Gang of 1974 is an act I’ve followed for some time. Kamtin Mohager, the inventor of all this great music, is wonderful to witness. I’d expect many songs off the new album, Daydream Forever (first with Warner Bros.), but older ones will probably make an appearance, too.

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The Chain Gang of 1974 – photo by Jared Kocka


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3:30-4:15
Poolside @ the Main Stage

Los Angeles’ Poolside, made up of the duo Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise, have a plum Main Stage spot this year. Talented on their own, this combination has created the smooth disco soul song “Slow Down.” It just needs to roar through the streets of Seattle.

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Poolside


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4:45-5:15
Future Shock @ the Barboza Stage

Maybe this band happened to have plague masks lying around. And if they did, why not use them? Although a plague mask is pretty high up there in scary things (along with some types of birds) that appear in my dreams, I checked out the band’s music. It’s very cool music, at that, bringing together glam, electroclash and ’80s RnB.

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Future Shock

Hear “DownSideUp” on soundcloud.
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5:00-5:30
Katie Kate @ the Vera Stage

Whenever Katie Kate is involved, I’ll recommend seeing her set. She continues to perform fantastic live shows, and to release just as fantastic music. Katie Kate has a new album, Nation, coming out on August 5th; there should be some sneak peeks on her set list.

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Katie Kate – photo by Zoe Rain


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5:15-6:00
The Audacity @ Neumos

The Audacity, a Fullerton, California outfit, plays an awesome-sounding ’60s-garage type music. They do it very well, and though I have only seen them once, their opening slot for Ty Segall was really fun.

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The Audacity – photo by Bryan Crowe


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7:45-8:15
High Ends @ Barboza

High Ends, the solo project of Yukon Blonde’s Jeffrey Innes, is on Dine Alone Records, along with artists including the Wytches, Kate Nash and Cerebral Ballzy. I swear that’s one of the more unique labels. I recommend this show; I don’t see any other dates for High Ends, so this could be your chance of the summer. High Ends’ “The Weight” gets an appropriate review from this guy on soundcloud: “This song is from another, far cooler world.”

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High Ends
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7:45-8:30
Fox and the Law @ Neumos

I saw Seattle’s Fox and the Law last weekend at the Tractor. It had been awhile since I had seen them last, and yes, although songs were new to me, they’re still hard rock awesomeness. Hear what I mean, with “Cheap Talk.” See?

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Fox and the Law – photo by Eleanor Petry


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8:30-9:15
Pillar Point @ the Vera Stage

Seattle’s Pillar Point is back from a huge tour with of Montreal! I want to be Pillar Point’s music – I love their songs that much. The self-titled debut keeps getting at me, no matter how many times I listen to it.

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Pillar Point – photo by Dagmar


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11:00-12:00
Chromeo @ the Main Stage

Chromeo’s most recent appearance was a show at Showbox at the Market in April. This is one of the biggest shows of the festival, so if you want to see Chromeo, get your spot early. I’m telling you now.

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Chromeo – photo by Tim Saccenti
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Saturday’s Complete Capitol Block Party Lineup/Schedule
Capitol Hill Block Party on Facebook
Capitol Hill Block Party on Twitter
Capitol Hill Block Party on Instagram

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