We have a song premiere from Seattle’s Vicious Petals! The track, “C. Burns,” is straight off the Ryan Hadlock-produced (ahem, the Lumineers) debut LP, Main Street Lights, and it does indeed recall Billy Joel. I mention this because the group’s presser mentioned Joel, and, while sometimes comparisons in press releases just don’t vibe with what you hear, in this case, you can hear some fine Joel inspiration. There’s the effective vocals of Cooper Smith, plus horns and piano. And an incredibly infectious melody. Smith, who shares songwriting duties with the other half (but not lesser) of Vicious Petals, Ayako Okano, moved to Seattle from Memphis. Okano has likewise become a Seattleite; in her case, she made that trip from Japan. The song, which Ayako aptly describes as “a piano party,” is a tribute to a late friend of Cooper’s.
Main Street Lights comes out on August 26th, with a release party set for August 27th at the Sunset. Join them.
Vicious Petals – photo by Steve Korn
Americana singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz headlined at the Neptune Theatre in support of her fourth studio album, Undercurrent, which was released in June. Equally excellent on guitar, banjo and mandolin, Jarosz was backed by Jedd Hughes (guitar) and Jeff Picker (bass). The intimate seated show at the packed theater was very well received – and her performance ended with a well-deserved standing ovation. Hip Hatchet, fronted by Portland-based Philippe Bronchtein, opened and was a huge hit as well.
The weather for Day 3 of the Watershed country music festival was even more pleasant than the preceding days – and the crowd was a bit drunker. Six artists performed on the Next From Nashville stage and six more on the Main stage. Keith Urban closed the festival and his set culminated with fireworks above the stage. Like the previous days’ photos, they are in reverse chronological order. Sign me up to cover Watershed again next year!
Tennis‘ Alaina Moore & Patrick Riley
Song:“Ladies Don’t Play Guitar”
Why You Want to Listen: Denver, Colorado’s duo Tennis (Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley) has released a brand new track. The song, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” kicks major ass. Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Moore says:
“Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” was the first line I wrote after finishing Ritual In Repeat. It reflects all the times I was told to ‘get out from behind the keyboard and be a front person’–as though my instrument was a prop rather than sonically integral–to smile more, to make eye contact with my bandmates during a show, to look more like I’m ‘having a good time,’ or the many instances in which my writing credits were mistakenly attributed to my husband. I took a very intentional break from songwriting until I felt like I had something to say. Finally, I do.”
Swedish rock trio Monolord performed at Seattle’s Barboza last week. When asked in There’s Something Hard in There about Monolord, guitarist/singer Thomas V Jäger replied, “We are just three guys that like to play heavy music, drink coffee and touring.” Cool! I’m not sure if there’s going to be another Monolord album or EP this year, but they did just release, as in yesterday, “Lord of Suffering/Die in Haze.” All Seattle (which happened to be the start of the North American tour) photos by Jonathan Leung: