Capitol Hill record store Spin Cycle celebrated its fourth anniversary on April 19th at the Highline with local bands SSDD, Ubu Roi, Scriptures, and Newaxeyes. Opened on Record Store Day 2011 by Jason Grimes, with Danny Noonan as its longest running store clerk, Spin Cycle has been lauded as the best on the Hill for its eclectic collection and laid-back attitude. It manages to stay intimate, approachable, and personally curated despite the area’s trend towards larger, more expensive options. Grimes and Noonan host monthly in-store performances, giving them an opportunity to promote their favorite local bands and friends. Notable performances have included #tits, FF, and Posse, as well as those on the anniversary bill (except SSDD, but as the Facebook event stated, “Kennedy has spent more money here than anyone else”).
For the first few years of operation, Grimes and Noonan single-handedly populated the store’s inventory by scouring estate sales and friends’ collections up and down Washington. Grimes recently told Seattle Weekly that he feels like they’re “just starting to do it right,” and that the store is where the local “weirdos” can come to “hang out, play shows, and smoke cigarettes out front.” As the area rapidly develops, hopefully the store’s avid supporters can keep it open for years to come.
Local brat-punks SSDD, or “Steal Shit Do Drugs,” don’t mess around. Their short set of fiery songs exploded as singer Kennedy Carda sauntered around stage, spewing phrases with enough disgust and derision to give you whiplash. Despite the intense lyrics, the band had a great time, laughing and joking with the audience, as Carda feigns stripping and feeling himself up, among other gimmicks. In the aforementioned Weekly article, the author included a descriptor of Carda which the latter seems to simultaneously dislike and take pride in. On stage at the Highline, he spat with a syrupy sarcasm, “Well, as the deranged frontman of SSDD, it’s nice to also be the most frequent and best customer of Spin Cycle.” Carda has earned his stripes, and I look forward to seeing the band’s antics again.
If you like dude punk, Ubu Roi are your guys, brimming with testoster-bro energy and enough solos per capita to make one wonder if they even count as solos anymore. With song titles like “Cheezburger,” and “Fuck Colin,” their Nice Dude EP from 2013 is a pizza-and-beer stained party. The opening lines proclaim, “I don’t wanna eat no cheeseburger French fry, I just wanna drink some alcohol. I don’t wanna eat no pepperoni pizza pie, I just wanna drink some alcohol.” These guys will get you dancing and moshing around, but their set might leave you with the drunchies. Good thing the Highline is back in business serving vegan eats!
Scriptures took the night on a deep, reflective turn. In a similar vein as local favorites The Midday Veil and Master Musicians of Bukkake, the five piece slowed things down and spaced their solos out, the expansive drums filling the Highline. Combining musical styles from East and West, Scriptures transported listeners into a very different headspace. Their website states that they find inspiration in “Western soundtracks, post-apocalyptic literature, and the geography of the Pacific Northwest.” Though calmer by contrast, Scriptures brought their own blend of heavy rock, layering a myriad of elements, their songs breaking down into face-numbing progressions.
Scriptures’ textural compositions were the perfect segue to electronic experimental innovators Newaxeyes. The four band members brooded over guitars, basses, and samplers, with wires run amok across the small stage. A few songs in, the aural attack that is their song “Assange” started up with a vengeance. An off-kilter, repetitive electronic thud repeats over and over, sending the listener into a kind of high-intensity trance. Sparse guitar weaves through this landscape, bridging the organic with the industrial. Newaxeyes have echoes of Amon Tobin’s ISAM, as well as the experimental, dystopian soundscapes of Jonny Greenwood. Recently the band was asked to perform a soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s Alienat the Northwest Film Forum. I can only imagine it was a game-changer.