Marz Time on Back Beat Seattle is an outlet for emerging artists and musicians to share their new projects. There are no rules in self-expression, and there will always be love for the underground.
The energy flow of a bustling arts district swiftly transitions every few months now on the hill. For the art or music provocateurs curiosity kills as to what memories are in store for reconstruction. CHBP, a key contributor, originally a do-it-yourself gathering turned multimedia experience, launches its initial lineup for its 20th annual day party!
The CHBP squad states they have secured a lineup including “CHVRCHES, experimental electro-pop group Crystal Castles, and local electronic duo ODESZA.” Jason Lajeunesse, Capitol Hill Block Party’s owner and producer reflects on the series: “Reaching a 20 year milestone really speaks to Capitol Hill’s commitment and support of music and art. The city is growing at an alarming rate, so the fact that we are able to continue championing national and local music talent in the middle of the streets, on this scale, is pretty remarkable.”
2016 PARTIAL LINEUP
ODESZA // CHVRCHES // Crystal Castles // STRFKR // Mø // Goldlink // Thundercat // The Joy Formidable // The Cave Singers // Sango // Nao // Tourist // Car Seat Headrest // DJDS // Israel Nash // WAND // Pure Bathing Culture // Thunderpussy // Benjamin Francis Leftwich // Phoebe Ryan // Ultimate Painting // Porter Ray // The Dip // Great Good Fine OK // Dilly Dally // Mild High Club
CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY 2015 TICKET INFORMATION
- 3-Day Pass On sale: Tuesday Feb 16th, 9AM at the following prices:
- Tier 1: three-day pass price will be $135, while supplies last
- Tier 2: three-day pass price will be $150
- Tier 3: three-day pass price will be $165
- VIP Packages are available for $300, while supplies last
CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY WOULD LIKE TO THANK THEIR SPONSORS:
Jameson, Red Bull Sound Select, The Stranger, 90.3 KEXP, Porter Novelli, 107.7 The End, EMP, Caffe Vita
MORE ABOUT CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY:
For the past 20 years Capitol Hill Block Party has proven its reputation for bringing some of the greatest Northwest and national performers playing host to legendary artists including Macklemore, Arcade Fire and Dead Weather. CHBP has evolved from a one-day event with just one stage to an annual three-day music festival with an expected turnout of upwards to 30,000 attendees for 2016. Named by USA Today’s “Pop Candy” as one of the “Twelve Reasons to Visit Seattle,” CHBP offers exceptional musical performances in addition to defining Seattle as a cultural hub by showcasing resident art galleries, independent craft booths, restaurants and stores while also bring awareness to local pro-music politicians The Vera Project (www.theveraproject.org), KEXP (www.kexp.org) and non-profit The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.
On the last day of Capitol Hill Block Party it rained. No one seemed fazed. Instead people, danced, laughed, posed, sang, and drank. I ran to Bartells, and bought the last rain poncho. I rushed back to hit the streets along with every photo pit I could get to. Here are those moments. See you next year.
Timothy Rysdyke outside Bimbos
Industrial Revelation on the Vera Stage
So Pitted at Neumos Seattle.
Great Spiders at Cha Cha Seattle
DIIV on the Main Stage
Rachel Palangio Kramer with friend in the VIP area
The Julie Ruin on the Main Stage
Lower Dens on the Vera Stage
Chastity Belt on the Vera Stage
Brain Drain at Cha Cha Seattle
Father John Misty on the Main Stage
Shannon and the Clams on the Vera Stage
RATATAT on the Main Stage
Photo and words by Marz
Everyday you immerse yourself in the local music scene, and you know a witty filmmaker. You both love music videos. You are best friends. You laugh together, play, dance, and gab about whatever. Then you create an event that’s all about your favorite music videos. You fuse both your passions into one thing. Such is the tale of HLY SHT event VJs Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP and Bobby McHugh, World Famous. Every few months they throw a party… Videoasis at the Northwest Film Forum. This month’s theme? Their birthday celebration. Not just any though because they enticed their audience with an advertisement, “FREE CANDY.” Sean Morrow deejayed on the balcony. The place was packed and was probably even sold out. Wow! Top that.
words by Marz
Image of flyer courtesy of the Videoasis event coordinators.
It was so much fun at Capitol Hill Block Party. Check out these memories. I love the Hill.
Jenni Ravetz & cuties
Ivan & Alyosha at the Main Stage
Nicole Howard & Noah
Giraffage on the Main Stage
Girlpool at the Vera Stage
Meatbodies at the Vera Stage
Kodak To Graph at the Vera Stage
Toro y Moi on the Main Stage
The Coathangers at the Vera Stage
The Kills on the Main Stage
Com Truise at the Vera Stage
Photos & words by Marz Elisa
Capitol Hill Block Party is mostly about the music and the neighborhood. Here are some shots of some music people, those who live on the hill, and some who work on Pike/Pine all year long…
The Kite String Tangle, The Vera Stage
Attendee Isabel Von Der Ahe
DEEP CREEP, Cha Cha Seattle
Attendee Cameron Irwin
Protomartyr, The Vera Stage
Julia Lindeman with friend.
Built to Spill, The Main Stage
BADBADNOTGOOD, The Vera Stage
Grave Babies, The Cha Cha
Got some shots from the Pride Afterparty Benefit Show feat. Nightspace, Aeon Fux, Seaside Tryst, Celibacy Now at Vera Project to share with you!
Group Gathering at Vera
Capitol Hill Block Party Announces Full 2015 Lineup
The 2015 Capitol Hill Block Party reveals a boundless final lineup spotlighting Father John Misty’s heartfelt album, I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop). What a lovely neighborly offering to slow dance in the sun to while intermingling to the sounds of uptown pop-makers, Ivan and Alyosha, producer Kodak to Graph, and the local seductive beats of the Physics. Scope out a full listing alongside a number of ticket deals for CHBP that include the $50 single-day, or $90 two-day pass offerings just right for you.
What to Expect this Year: Capitol Hill Block Party 2015
The Pike/Pine corridor may be rapidly shape-shifting, but in the spirit of this acclaimed locale, Capitol Hill remains a target of revelry. So why not throw tribute to an evolving neighborhood at the CHBP? The partial line-up just got dropped with bands who cultivated owner/producer Jason Lajeunnesse’s grassroots beginning. You know you love Built to Spill, Shabazz Palaces, Chastity Belt, and Slow Bird right? What about RATATAT, Kinski, TV On The Radio, Julie Ruin or The Kills! Here is the deal: Get your tickets ASAP because 3-day passes are only $99 through April 2. More ticket info available here.
Also, check out these never before seen snaps of last year.
all photos by Marz
Videoasis 2/18 at the Northwest Film Forum
Review by Marz
Several months ago Videoasis premiered at Northwest Film Forum. It was a huge hit thanks to World Famous and KEXP. This month, best friend duo-curator’s Sharlese Metcalf and Bobby McHugh (HLY-SHT) nailed it again for all the music vid-lovers. This round’s theme was pizza plus hard party vibes. My best friend, of Drake Jurado Films, and I decided to get down to the core in an interactive kinda way to dissect each particle of what makes Videoasis tick. Check out this enticing interview and video recap of the live event courtesy of Drake Jurado right now. Also, be sure to scope out the next episode of a real life Capitol Hill dream team sharing their obsession for the cream of the crop music videos for your eyes and ears only.
Videos Premiered @ Videoasis 2/18
Directed by Vince Ream
Directed by Wes Johnson and Jerry Howard
Bridge to Hawaii
Directed by Stacy Peck
Directed by Christopher Harrell
Directed by Aashish Gadani of Coldbrew Collective
Directed by dream hampton
Sophisticated Side Ponytail
Brite Futures (NPSH)
Directed by Noel Paul and Stefan Moore of thatgo
Possessed 2 Party
Directed by Brett Roberts
I Like It Small
Directed by Carlos Lopez
Blood Like Cream
Directed by Whitey McConnaughy
Directed by Sean Downey
Directed by Matt Nyce
Directed by Harry Clean
Time to Go Home
Directed by Bobby McHugh
Co-presented by Northwest Film Forum, KEXP 90.3 and World Famous
Sponsored by City Arts
Special thanks to Big Mario’s
The Spider Ferns with Modern Ruins + Screens @ Barboza, 1/29/15
Preview & Interview by Marz
The Spider Ferns are Kelly and Alton Fleek, a wife-husband pair who create neo-psych chill-tronic melodies. They have dropped some lovely new tunes, and will showcase their debut album, Soon Enough next Thursday, 1/29/15 at Barboza. All tracks are written, produced and recorded independently. I was excited to get a chance to discover how these lovebirds conceptualize their musical and artistic endeavors into their passionate reality.
How did you get your start?
Spider Ferns: We both grew up in the Seattle music scene of the ’80s & early ’90s. We were both musicians & had various music projects, but had never had a serious project together. About six years ago, we were up in the middle of the night, discussing our mutual desire to create together. . . we were forever shelving this idea for other pursuits. I think we were a bit nervous about moving forward because we loathe conflict between us & we knew how emotional it can be to create as a couple. Oddly enough, we bickered for an hour about how we should proceed. It got quite heated; then Alton grabbed an acoustic guitar and we wrote a song right then and there. . . a lofi track called “We Resolve.” We recorded it in our friend’s kitchen on GarageBand, but have never released it. We ‘resolved’ that very night, that music was of paramount importance to us as a couple, and that all of our electronic music would forever be grounded in lofi roots so we could strip down & play anywhere. Also, so our music would maintain an organic feel.
How would you describe your sound? What do you and your partner like to surround yourselves with to inspire you when making music?
SP: We call our music ‘Electronic Trip-Rock’. We have elements of Trip-Hop in our work and our beats are all individually crafted. Our beats combine loops, samples, keyboards, synths, and organic instruments in their creation. We don’t use standard drum machine presets, preferring to create something that has a more unique and organic vibe. We combine these beats with our live instrumentation, which gives our work a presence, and crosses it over into other genres with elements of jazz, rock, european classical & trip-hop.
We are what we call ‘Pan Dimensional’ in our living situation. Twelve years ago, we made the decision to purchase a barn on six acres, an hour north of Seattle in Skagit County. We live most of the week here and have a second place in Seattle for 2-3 days a week. We just couldn’t give up our city entirely. We prefer to surround ourselves with quiet to create. We are both working artists & musicians. . . our place is basically a home studio, filled with art & musical equipment. We look out at a horse pasture, a large expanse of forest. We are nestled at the base of the Cascade Foothills. Our music is infused with discussions of the weather. We live at 500 ft of elevation. There is nothing more magical than a roaring wood stove and an eagle sitting in our tree to get us inspired. That, and we simply enjoy solitude. It’s a perfect balance for us.
What can show-goers look forward to at the 1/29/15 show at Barboza?
SP: We’ve expanded our visual show for the event and we have two fabulous local bands (Modern Ruins & Screens) that will be supporting us for our CD release. We’re going to be playing our live show to fully remastered beats for the album release. . . something we’ve wanted to do all of last year and is finally come to fruition. It’s going to be an absolutely gorgeous night of sound and one hell of a celebration.
Does visual art come into play with the live component of the band?
SP: Absolutely. Kelly is a textile artist and loves to create interactive installations. We have small festivals at our northern dwelling and we create unique installations for each event. Light installations follow us for nearly every event. . . we love integrating mobile works into our shows. They create a dreamlike vibe that compliments our music wonderfully.
What else do you have planned this year with visual art and music?
SP: Kelly will continue to show her visual art. She creates handknit, wearable sculptures, paintings & installations. Together, we have decided to begin casting silver art jewelry. . . it was time to do something new. We love creating together on many levels. Jewelry has been something we’ve long hoped to do. It’s great to make time this year for it to happen. The Spider Ferns will be touring the U.S. and we will take a trip across the pond finally. We are currently booking a European tour. Our plan is to tour for at least a month there. We collaborate with several folks in NYC, Philadelphia, London & Italy. We also have friends in Belgium & France we’d love to see.
The plan is to tour the U.S. with an extended stay in NYC to hang out & make music with Audiosapian & our Philly collaborator, Tethys. Then, we’ll hit Europe. We’ve also begun work on our next album. We’ll be releasing an album of collaborations and remixes in the spring titled Lo Flux Radio, a title we have decided to give Spider Ferns remix albums.
We will also have limited addition vinyl in the spring, when we release our album of remixes.
Kelly Fleek: Also, I am currently in a group show at the WA State Convention Center. I have two sculptures in a traveling exhibition, “The Meaning of Wood”, about the fate of our forests.
Check out The Spider Ferns’ Debut Album Release with Modern Ruins + Screens
Thursday 1.29.14 at Barboza
$6 ADV | 8pm | 21+
Image provided via the artist’s website
The Tempers, Metal Mother, Pastel Ghost & Ozma Otacava @ LoFi, 11/22/14
Review by Marz
The Tempers show at LoFi was everything to hope for and more. Not only did the evening provide magical forest enchantment, but Corina Bakker had a special surprise for the crowd. She had designed the set of the venue and stage area with the most impeccable décor. There were two huge metallic silver vases at the edge of each side of the stage, olive branches scattered about, a small tree fortress surrounding the stage, electronic torch lights, and a mystical ceramic plaque of Bacchus, the God of Wine on the wall behind the stage. The crowd mingled shyly as Pastel Ghost and Metal Mother lured us to shake our tail feathers – just a little. From the balcony perch Deejay Ozma Otacava coaxed the crowd into a dance party. As the Tempers got on stage, a disco revival occurred within all who were ready to get down on the dance floor and let the new moon into our souls with intent of a new beginning. So we danced as the fog machine engulfed the new winds into our breath. The sounds resonated through the cosmos in hope of what was in store for the future. For that moment the music community felt alive.
Please also check out this killer interview and recap video.
Video by Drake Jurado Films
Do you enjoy the net? Let me stop you right there then. What if you had the opportunity to check out some local faves and Bay Area musicians you love on the net, but this time in real life? What I mean is, in this scenario it would be in the flesh. You can get dressed up too, and there will be dancing.
On 11/22 you can get on that action live! The Tempers, Metal Mother, Pastel Ghost, and Ozma Otacava are all coming together for one nite at LoFi. In spirit of the seasons changing, event organizer and lead singer of the Tempers, Corina Bakker says this: “Think disco in the woods. . . Dress in the spirit of Nature. Let the moon and the stars inspire you, the color of the leaves and the rain guide you, and the shimmer of the disco ball reflect in your style.”
The Tempers, Metal Mother, Pastel Ghost & DJ Ozma Otacava at LoFi Performance Gallery – Saturday November 22nd | 9pm | $8
All photos & flyer design provided by Corina, The Tempers
Show Review: Audioasis @ Northwest Film Forum
Walking in the doors of the Northwest Film Forum at a few past 7 p.m., the lobby felt eerily ambient. The hosts, Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP and Bobby McHugh, World Famous were entertaining a fully packed crowd alongside white-lit candles, a table full of complimentary buttons, and plastic spider rings. Deejay Larry Rose was spotted at the top of a staircase playing a mix of dance tunes as colorful projections appeared alongside the wall near him.
While in line for a drink I found out that the event was sold-out by attendee, Adam Way. He told me that he was one of the last ticket-holders, and was very happy to make it inside. I also spoke with Danny Wahlfeldt of Grave Babies who said he had only been to the NWFF once before, and was excited they would be showing one of his band’s videos, but was not too sure which one. I was getting anxious to find out too, so I headed in to grab one of the last seats as an announcer mentioned that they would try to squeeze a few more viewers. On the big screen it felt like the perfect rotation of varying degrees of emotion as each music vid transitioned. It was fun seeing these two best friends put together a Wednesday night showcase in a friendly and chill environment that embraces what filmmakers, musicians, and curious attendees love. I too brought along one of my best friends, Drake Jurado to take some snaps, and make a video of Videoasis.
As I watched I wrote a few words on how the visuals made me react emotionally. Art is subjective though, so I hope to see you at the next Videoasis to experience it for yourself.
Here is the list of music videos they played:
“Servant” by Haunted Horses
“Monster Song” by Ubu Roi
“Skulls” by Grave Babies
“#CAKE” by Shabazz Palaces
“FEAR IS ALL YOU KNOW” by King Dude
“Bossa” by UGLYFRANK
“Singularity” by Psychic Rites
“Amazon Trickle” by Constant Lovers
“Hesitate” by Dude York (this video has not officially premiered but all I can say is. . . them jeans)
Check out the video Drake Jurado made of Videoasis (the event):
All words written by Marz.
Video & photos by Drake Jurado.
This Wednesday, October 22nd, come check out the Northwest Film Forum’s Videoasis. The eve will feature a multimedia showcase of music videos from local rock royalty, including the likes of King Dude, Chastity Belt, Grave Babies, Constant Lovers, Psychic Rites, Haunted Horses and many more. KEXP’s Larry Rose will offer some tunes too. For the first installment, swing through as best buds and curators Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP and Bobby McHugh, World Famous share their hand-picked collection of their super fave videos to sing along and dance to.
Here’s a mini scoop from Sharlese of what Videoasis is all about. Can’t wait to get a bigger scoop Wednesday night!
Why are music videos relevant to underground music?
Sharlese Metcalf: Music videos, especially for underground bands, are a point where collaboration happens with underground filmmakers. They’re mutually beneficial and really cool. This is a tool to help promo everyone.
It builds an audience not only for the filmmaker, but gives a chance for the band to be presented in a visual fashion, therefore taking their music to a different artistic level.
You two have been quite the BFF duo for a while now. Can you share with us your adventure aesthetic and how it ties in with Videoasis?
SM: Bobby and I are an adventure. We’re great friends and Videoasis is an example of our creative minds! We’re quite honored to be able to do something like this!
What’s in store for us at Videoasis?
SM: Videoasis is a visually explorative insider’s look into the Pacific Northwest. Expect a lot of fun and great surprises. It’ll be like watching a really fucking cool music video movie.
Videoasis is on October 22, 2014 at 7pm
Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave, Seattle WA 98122)
image courtesy of World Famous
The Blood Brothers @ Showbox at the Market, 8/22/14
Show Review by Marz
The Blood Brothers are back from the dead thanks to a much-anticipated show at the Showbox on August 22nd. For me, I couldn’t help but think back to how my lone wolf tendencies lured me to Seattle in the late ’90s in search of new things to get into. Going to see live music was a way to be social, but not really have it be too forced. I nurtured my youth by hitting up dance parties, house shows, dive bars or DIY places. Adventures led me to kick around at spots like the Velvet Elvis, the Breakroom, I-Spy, Sit n Spin, Old Firehouse, Ground Zero, the Graceland, the Paradox or the RCKCNDY. My memory is foggy, but I am pretty sure I first saw the Blood Brothers with Botch at the Velvet Elvis. I immediately had a major crush on their outfits that included some army navy surplus gear like pea coats, or Converse kicks, ’70s cap sleeve cropped tees, and perfectly swoopy mod hairdos. Their sound felt shockingly loud, but also like they were letting out a heavy weight of emotions to pacify moody listeners like myself. The lyrics were excruciatingly deep, emotionally direct, but filled with historical references and parables. They were technically precise, but extremely mind shattering. I guess I presumed it was bit of art rock and hardcore, but not anything I had heard before. Anyways, I was excited to see they reunified.
Openers Naomi Punk got the eve off with some reprising drone driven meditative sounds that were subtle, but sedated. Their tones were matched with minimal harmonies and sincerely real lyrical inflections. It was a sweet selection to get these guys to induce the show.
Then there was a short intermission as more people piled in for the sold out gig. I noticed old flames and friends reuniting while rap, hip hop, R & B from the late ’90s/early ’00s played in the background. Thinking back, I liked how the Blood Brothers would always rock the family affair vibes with most of the bandmembers’ lovers and BFFs joining them on stage for dancing and sing-a-longs during their sets. This time it was really cool to see frontman Blilie’s wife Zoe running the stage set up as fans squeezed to the front before their live action. Then they all came out radiating a bounty of energies that transmutated the room. The whole dynamic was a feeling of chaotic chemistry.
I had my shitty iPhone ready in hand and had sandwiched myself between two attendees and the front stage to ensure that I remain in upright position to get some snaps of the show. The Blood Brothers were doing power stance rocker moves and high kick jumps that I never had the pleasure to witness before. There were lots other bodies from the audience floating through on the crowd, swaying side to side, or jumping to the stage. Also, lots of new and old school faces were screaming to lyrics. Later on Blilie shared with the crowd how much he appreciated everyone there, and aside from his friends and family, he loved his bandmates with whom he has spent most of his life. From witnessing past to present I do believe that the Blood Brothers tremendously influenced the Seattle music scene to its present existence. If not for the Blood Brothers and countless other musicians it would just not be what it is today. So I am thankful.
It’s been almost four weeks since the show, and people are still hyperly chatting about their “back-in-the-day” memories and the show. Last weekend, I was at a Display show when I met Hollie Wilcox, a local photographer who has a healthy archive of band photos. I thought it would be fun if she would like to share with everyone some of her pics. So here are the never-before-seen photos of the Blood Brothers show in 2003 at the HUB courtesy of Hollie Wilcox. As you can see their shows were just as vibrant then as they are in present day.
all photos from 8/22/14 BB’s show by Marz
all photos, ticket stub and poster clipping from 11/14/03 BB’s show courtesy of Hollie Wilcox
Neighbors Interview for Capitol Hill Block Party 2014
This year I daydreamed of all the possibilities of a magnetic local music showcase at Capitol Hill Block Party. The fest managed to sprinkle in a few local gems like the poppy-punk band, Neighbors. They are Nathan Anderson, Evan Easthope, Claire Buss and José Diaz Rohena. The band’s live action got new listeners turned on to positive dance vibes inside Barboza’s cold basement atmosphere. They played vibrantly with songs from the album, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, and two new ones. It was really good to see Neighbors on at the CHBP. I recall meeting José in 2011 at the Funny Button in the U District through a mutual friend at the time. After the show I was able kick it with Neighbors for a sec and chat with José.
What made you want to play Capitol Hill Block Party?
José Díaz Rohena: It seemed like one of the more fun things in the summer to hang out at.
How did Neighbors start?
JDR: Shortly after 2009 I met Nathan. When I moved here, I found out that a friend I had made in India now lived blocks away from me. We hung out and I met her cousin who played drums. That’s when I bugged Nathan to start practicing.
What is your perspective of the changing demographic of the local music scene?
JDR: Bigger DIY venues have gone away, like Healthy Times Fun Club. It went away in 2011.
I am getting older and don’t do much and may be missing out. Bands are getting more serious and going on longer tours. Some people are hanging out at home working on music.
There has always been this impression that a lot of really amazing bands, particularly ones who live in the U District, shy away from playing on the Hill. Can you maybe give me your perspective on that?
JDR: I felt like the Hill was dominated by heavy, art/noise, and electronic music.
What I was doing was a little naive given what was going on in the city, but I don’t know. I want to say that we weren’t received well, but that isn’t exactly true. I met a lot of cool friends through my engagement as a player.
Besides, I had insane expectations, especially given that I had never really played in a rock band before this one.
What do you like about performing at home versus playing live?
JDR: I love recording and enjoy that aspect of the process. Playing live is weird and it can be scary and dark until you learn how to perform. You can control energy more when you are recording. When playing live people are there to see you and they can see what mood the band is in, what the sound is in the room. You only get one chance.
What drives your passion?
JDR: I feel like I am meant to do this. I don’t feel like a fully realized human unless I am fully working on the process and unless I am engaged. To simplify, I don’t feel really here unless playing in Neighbors, writing songs and recording.
I write produce, band arranges. . . done most of the recording and mixing work.
That will change. . . mostly been like a home deal.
There are so many amazing bands, including Neighbors, who primarily play in the U District. I am just curious why you don’t play up here on the hill as much.
JDR: It’s weird because I feel like I see Neighbors as 8 months old. The first 5 years of being in this band I was heavily invested in alcohol. Being a full-scale alcoholic I would have had chances to be accepted on the hill. I stopped drinking and we are a completely different band now.
What are your future aspirations?
JDR: We are going on a national tour this autumn. We plan to put another record this year. We hope people listen to it and like it. I hope to transition into recording and be more useful to the community that way.
all photos by Marz
all photos Marz
So Pitted Interview for Capitol Hill Block Party 2014
So Pitted played in the afternoon on Sunday at the Capitol Hill Block Party inside the Cha Cha. The performance was vibrantly earthy and raw. Earlier that morning I met up with the group at St. John’s for brunch. I wanted to get an update on what they had been up to. Since 2010, this neo-rock band has reeled a lot of people in with sounds displaying magnetic friend energy, and a new age philosophy. As you hit up shows, you will see an evolving pack that seem kinetically linked playing live. Sometimes people are just meant to be around each other – something you may notice by their psychic flow, such as finishing each other’s sentences, and always wearing corresponding outfits – without even knowing it – before they get together in person. So Pitted hit this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party festival and showed attendees what’s up, but I was curious to figure out how it all began. . .
When did So Pitted start & how did you come up with the name?
Nathan: So Pitted started four years ago. It was me, Tyler Everett, and our friend Hannah Peterson. The name came from the surfer YouTube video, but it has meant more recently. Hannah was only in the band for one show. Liam showed up one day. . .
Jeannine adds: I just got back from staying at Tyler’s house. (She was just in SF at her sister’s wedding.)
Liam: The name has had evolving meanings throughout the years. I first met them when I was exchanging gear at Cesar and Anna’s house, and I was like, what are you guys doing?
You guys have a rad friendship dynamic – tell me about that.
N: Well, I asked Jeannine to be in So Pitted based off our friendship. Jeannine and I worked together at Redlight. One night we were all drinking and playing music. We had various co-workers sign on for karaoke when they used to have it at Cha Cha. Then Jeannine got up, and her voice reminded me of Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, and I was blown away.
J: It does not.
N: Well that’s what I can remember it reminding me of. Two years ago, Tyler Everett, Michael Abeyta, Spike Taylor and I went over to Jeannine’s house (in the U-District).
J: We all got super cross-faded, listened to music, watched videos, played video games, ate food.
N: And stayed for 3 days, and didn’t want to leave.
J: That lasted all summer.
N: Tyler would say to me that we would listen to certain types of music and it would remind us of Jeannine.
J: We have a friendly dynamic. Everyone was so nice and we got along so easily and I see other bands and it seems so stressful. For me it’s not taxing to my mind. I was coming to all their shows, and they had to put me on the guest list so it made sense I became part of the band.
N: I was just going to add Jeannine to the band to play bass, but Tyler fell in love with a girl named Danielle and left for SF. It changed things of what I was going to have Jeannine do. I knew that she was not a bass player though.
J: At the show at Vermillion the first song I learned was, “He Lied,” an old So Pitted song we don’t play anymore. My friend Micheal tried to teach me a lot of real songs. Like “Adam’s Song” by Blink-182.
What signs are you?
J: Pisces with Aquarian tendencies.
L: The band came together because of the galaxy. . . because Jeannine learned the songs too fast. And also it’s been a coincidence and the way we dress and we always seem to match. Like the other day for example Jeannine and I wore the same thing and Nathan was the perfect contrast. Sometimes the universe just does things itself without too much pressure. Like it has something to do with planets, and the more we play music the more we become connected mentally. It’s like we can talk telepathically.
N: Jeannine has a heightened sense of time and so many musicians don’t get it the way you do. Like Liam will wear a thermal with shorts, and somedays like we choose the same colors that we don’t normally share.
J: We don’t need words we just know.
all photos by Marz
Show Preview & Interview: The Tempers w/Hard Ton, Ononos @ Chop Suey, Thursday July 31st
This Thursday you can ride the wicked dragon train on the dance floor with The Tempers, Hard Ton, Ononos, Two Dudes in Love, and Nark. This boundary-breaking lineup was carefully crafted by Mo’Wave and Nark Magazine. So come through to see what happens when visionary event curators and electro punk provocateurs fuse to provide you an explosive party experience.
Corina, front lady of Tempers, gave me some inside info on what to expect…
Corina: The 31st is going to be all freaky art electronic acts. Ononos, Hard Ton from Italy and The Tempers. It’s going to be a dance party for sure. The night’s going to open with DJs Two Dudes in Love and Nark. There’s gonna be a lot of glitter and sweat and freaking out!
Rad, what have you guys been up to?
C: We have been writing a lot the last six months and are planning on releasing a string of singles over the next few months. . .but if you come to the show you won’t have to wait because we’re playing a bunch of new trax live.
I will see you all July 25-27th.
I’m curious to see what surprises are in store this year!
Get your tickets early right here.
all photos by Marz
Show Review & Photos: Coreena @ Barboza, 6/24
When I scope out live music it’s always a magnetic feeling for me to see the uninhibited excitement that up-and-comers tend to possess. I met one artist recently who sings from her soul. Her name is Coreena. She’s a lady who adds a refreshing element to Seattle’s most fundamentally evolving sounds. Her music is tonally beautiful, uplifting, viscerally smooth, and technically precise. I caught a glimpse of Coreena at her pre-release show for the new album, The Haunt, at Barboza on June 24th.
I was introduced to her a year prior at an electronic music event she put on at Vermillion. I was excited to find out that she plays all her own instruments, writes all the lyrics, and produces everything.
Coreena’s sound can reel you through a voyaged trek, as though you are roaming through ancient canyons while temple bells chime in the distance. All the while her sultry vocals will submerse you in airiness through a daydreamer’s passage.
Before the event I ran into opening act Richie Dagger’s Crime from CTPAK records just outside of the venue. He told me he wanted to be a part of the show to support Coreena in any way he could, and to showcase the single “Someday”, a collaboration between Coreena and himself. He says, “. . . an aspect of my music has beats and hip hop influences. It’s nice to be on a bill with others who embrace that. I like Dropping Gems: DJ AO and Jaboi Hobbess. I feel like their music is very compatible with my music.”
I also met collaborator Amy, founder of The Logan Foundation, a Suicide Prevention outlet. Coreena invited her to participate in the evening and donated a portion of the profits from the show to the organization. Please feel free to reach out to them and get involved.
The show was inspirational and compassionate. It was full of caring fun people, and good music. Coreena mentioned during her set that she wanted to sing and dedicate the song, “I Never Loved A Man” by Aretha Franklin to her mother who could not make it. The evening was deeply passionate and down-to-earth. I hope you all check out Coreena at The Haunt CD Release Show at the Sunset on July 27th.
all photos by Marz
Capitol Hill Block Party Announcement
The Capitol Hill Block Party announces its full 2014 schedule and single day tickets for the three-day festival. The event’s owner and producer, Jason Lajeunesse lays out the game plan for the fest stating, “We wanted to balance this year’s schedule so attendees could move from stage to stage and find a mix of genres playing at the same time.”
In addition, this year’s party will expand its all ages Vera stage action by adding an extra stage with acts including include Dum Dum Girls, Robert Delong, EMA and Man or Astro-man? I am sure this will entail lots of various kinds fun and many surprises.
Interview & Show Review: Strange Talk @ Barboza
Last Monday a synthpop boy band called Strange Talk, out of Australia, loomed into town from their latest show in Portland in the midst of a mostly sold out American tour. This has been Strange Talk’s first tour since their album Cast Away dropped. The band members are Stephen Docker and Gerard Sidhu (who both write the lyrics), Travis Constable, and Gillian Gregory.
I was able to sneak in a quick chat with the group before their show at Barboza. What I found out is that the band, best known for the song they made for a Snapchat commercial, is super chill. They also love to connect with their fans one on one, sound even better live, and drew a heavy crowd for a Monday evening on Capitol Hill. I was also surprised to discover, when meeting the band in person, it felt strangely down to Earth. . .
What do you like most about touring?
Gerard: Meeting fans.
Stephen: Playing shows is the best part about it.
Oh, and food. Like Mexican food, a good steak house. . . Japanese. We allow ourselves enough time to find nice places to eat as opposed to a truck stop.
Gill: I like red wine.
On tour where do you like to get coffee?
So how did you get connected with the Snapchat commercial, and how do you feel about it?
Stephen: It was the right timing with Snapchat. We played a show in LA. And prior to it the founder wanted to meet us. They wanted to discuss using the song for an ad to get some hype back into the project.
Gerard: Any publicity is good publicity. The Snapchat guys are supportive.
Gill: And now ex-girlfriends want to get back with us.
What do you like most about Seattle so far?
Travis: It’s refreshing, green and nice and seems clean.
What’s one of the weirdest things you experienced on tour?
Gerard: Last night I met a boxer that wouldn’t stop punching me.
Travis: Having to add tax and tip to everything.
What kinds of bands are you all into?
The whole band adds:
In the US it’s Red Hot Chili Peppers, Passion Pit, Foster the People.
What else do you want people to know?
Stephen: Please connect on Facebook. Anytime a fan makes an effort to connect on FB and Twitter it’s one of us who will respond because we really like to connect with fans.
Gill: Check out GillyG youtube channel.
interview & photos by Marz
Interview with Dave Segal
The raddest writer that northwesterners have ever read on a weekly basis is Dave Segal. He is the go-to for underground music knowledge in Seattle. Around the neighborhood you can spot him from time to time as he walks or runs past you or at various shows or parties, and in those moments it may feel like you transmuted into some suavely raw ’60s film, especially if you get a chance to say, “Hey.” What I find most intriguing about Dave Segal is his cunning sense of humor, extensive knowledge in music and worldly facts, and if you go to one of his deejay gigs you are guaranteed to hear something cool or learn something new about music. He deejays a lot with DJ Explorateur at various spots around the city, but seems to be always on an adventure, is obsessed with records, and builds up many bands, producers, and deejays in the community. What drives such massive passion? His work is so vital for the underground music front on Capitol Hill, which may be on treacherous uphill trek right now with a new condo coming up every five seconds. As old venues and diy places close their doors, new stuff opens up, and we get to see a lot of transition. Rest assured that Dave will be there scoping it out for us, and turning you on to the right sounds.
What’s a day in the life of Dave Segal like?
Dave Segal: I try to get in a 2-3-mile run first thing in the morning. It’s a great time to think and ponder all of the poor decisions you’ve made in your life. If it’s a weekday, I’ll start reading emails (I get about 5 per minute; no boast, that’s simply the harsh reality of my job) in the morning and conceiving blog posts for The Stranger. Later, I’ll head in to The Stranger’s office, where I work with some of the smartest, funniest, and messiest people in Seattle. At The Stranger, I mostly write about music and music-oriented events. I also edit other people’s writing.
On many evenings, I’ll do more writing, working on freelance projects for various record labels (Medical, RVNG Int., Light In The Attic, Further, Nuearth Kitchen, Innerflight), for whom I do liner notes and press sheets. Many nights I’ll go see live music or DJs, because it’s my job to keep tabs on the scene. Some nights I’ll be the one DJing, often with my partner Explorateur (Valerie Calano, one of the best in the city, if not the country; she’s in that Dust & Grooves book by Eilon Paz). It’s fun to subject people to your weird-ass record collection. Somehow, I’ve never been thrown in jail for doing this. I try to listen to music every second of the day, because it is pretty much my oxygen. . . and I have a lot of DJ gigs to prepare for.
Tell me about where you grew up and what fun experiences you used to get into back in the day.
DS: I grew up in the medium-sized city of Southfield, just north of Detroit, Michigan – yet I hate cars. I was a goddamn jock up through high school (wanna see my letter jacket?). I played all the team sports except hockey. I played tennis and racquetball, ran track, cross-country, and road races. I threw a no-hitter in Little League at age 12. My life has been all downhill since then.
I taught myself how to spin a basketball on all 10 digits of my hands. I ran a lot of marathons in my teens and twenties. I never smoked a cigarette as a kid, and to this I day I’ve never taken a puff. I didn’t take drugs or drink, because I was too busy trying to qualify for the Olympic marathon. You’ll be crestfallen to hear that I didn’t make it. And I read a lot of books and magazines — for fun, damn it.
I was a very driven youth – maybe because I am a first-born/Arab-Jew/Aries-Taurus cusp person. Whatever the case, I was always working on my game (whatever that happened to be at the time), so I guess the fun came in improving at whatever skill obsessed me back then. While my peers were engaging in frivolous activities like “partying,” I was getting faster and smarter (theoretically).
I know you are big on record collecting. When did that start and what drives that passion?
DS: My younger brother Michael was crucial in getting me interested in non-mainstream music around 1979-80 when we were in high school. He’s the one who turned me on to the British weekly mags NME and Melody Maker, which opened up new worlds of great, unconventional music that most US media outlets and radio weren’t covering/broadcasting. We began to hit the Detroit/Ann Arbor-area record stores every week, scooping up British imports of post-punk bands that those papers were hyping.
From then on, I’ve been on a voracious quest to discover as much amazing new and old music as I can cram into my mind. I want to know about as many different musical styles from as many different countries as possible. Surely every genre and nation has something to offer – even Albanian ska.
As a child, I listened to commercial radio back when it was pretty good (’60s/’70s) and I would obsess on certain songs (Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today,” Smokey Robinson’s “Tears Of A Clown,” Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft,” Edgar Winter Group’s “Free Ride,” the Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar,” etc.), but I never bought records as a lad. I made up for it once I got in my 20s, though, and the urge to accumulate great quantities of music has intensified like crazy with every successive decade. It’s tied up in my occupation (music critic) and my avocation (DJing), but even if I weren’t involved with those pursuits, I’d probably be just as neurotically acquisitive about recorded music. Music upholsters your mind; you don’t want to adorn it with junky gewgaws. Somehow, music has become my religion, but it also works on the pleasure centers (when it’s great) like drugs and sex. And this is why I break my back every time I have to move residences.
How did you begin your writing career?
DS: I began writing for Wayne State University’s paper, The South End, in 1983. I was obsessed with music (see above) and I was a print journalism major and I figured why not combine my obsessions – music and writing —and see where it takes me? Plus, I was useless at everything else, so it was either writing or working retail or some other godforsaken task.
From The South End, I went to Creem while still attending college. I worked there as a copy editor for a few months before that legendary music mag moved to LA and nosedived. I also worked for the Cleveland-based magazine Alternative Press as a freelance writer and editor from 1990-2002, before I moved to Seattle and began my association with The Stranger. I’m proof that you can sling words at very bizarre music in an attempt to make readers care about it and somehow make a living doing so. It’s kind of crazy.
What are your favorite things to do in Seattle?
DS: Digging for records and DJing with said records and bringing people pleasure through said DJing. I also like to go to the Space Needle with a cup of Starbucks coffee and listen to Nirvana on my Zune.
What do you think has changed in the arts and music scene since you arrived in Seattle?
DS: I moved to Seattle in the fall of 2002. There was no Decibel, no Debacle, no Substrata, no Hypnotikon — all great festivals that have substantially improved this city’s musical health. Hip-hop has really exploded in both mainstream and underground circles. Seattle right now is home to both one of the world’s most popular hip-hop artists (Macklemore) and one of the most adventurous (Shabazz Palaces). Electronic music has remained strong; we’ve lost some great people (Bruno Pronsato, Jeff Samuel, Kris Moon, Son of Rose, Big Spider’s Back, etc.), but some amazing producers have surfaced, too (Jon McMillion, Big Phone, Lusine, etc.). KEXP has increased its influence and Hollow Earth Radio has emerged as a superb counterculture incubator. I hope they both continue to thrive – especially HER, because I love underdogs.
The club scene always has been precarious and volatile, with many spaces folding and opening over the last dozen years. That’s just the nature of the beast. Recently, we’ve lost some key venues for adventurous music (Comet, Electric Tea Garden, Heartland), but the appearance of Kremwerk and its supremely open-minded owner Austin Stone, is fantastic news for the electronic music scene.
On the down side, Capitol Hill is becoming intolerable on the weekends with droves of mainstream tools and cultural fools infiltrating the neighborhood. The boom of high-end condos and apartment buildings doesn’t bode well for the future of edgy cultural happenings in Capitol Hill, but, damn it, let’s not give up without a fight. Support Vermillion, Wall Of Sound, Elliott Bay Book Co., Everyday Music, and other bastions/repositories of forward-thinking artistic expression. I really don’t want to have to move my record collection to Beacon Hill.
You are a big advocate for exposing underground music. Tell me about why you focus on exposing that in your writing.
DS: It’s partially because I have a strong aversion to most commercial music and my tastes skew toward the weirder end of the sonic spectrum. Call me a freak, but I’d rather champion music I think is worthwhile than tear apart music I loathe. Once in a while it’s fun to slam a record or a band, but ultimately that depresses me. Another thing: There’s always a clusterfuck of critics swarming toward popular music; I don’t need to add my voice to the unwieldy chorus. I simply find it more gratifying to shine a light on the music world’s margins, where I think the most interesting things are happening. It’s supremely rewarding to be the first writer to cover a great, obscure musician/band and then witness that musician/band go on to wider exposure and renown. Never underestimate the satisfaction of telling people, “I told you so.”
You seem to really love everything about writing, wearing vintage clothes, and spinning records. Can you give advice to people to aspire to go down that path?
DS: Well, I wear vintage clothes because I’m a poor journalist. I’m not really a fashion-oriented person; I usually just go for comfort and earth tones and black. I’m in no position to give anyone advice on that front.
As for spinning records, you ought to be insanely curious about all styles of music, learn as much as you can about them, and develop a refined sense of aesthetics. Read thoughtful music criticism and find out as much as you can about new and old music. You should observe great DJs in action and talk to them about music. Then you should scour record stores and online retailers (Dusty Groove, Experimedia, Other Music, Bent Crayon, etc.) in search of what you think you want to play out.
The amount of music coming out now is overwhelming, as is the amount of information about this music – same goes for the vast archive of old music. You pretty much have to become a part-time music scholar if you want to rise above the mediocre morass of DJs. Never be satisfied with your level of knowledge; always keep digging for more. You could live for hundreds of years and never learn about or hear everything that’s been released. (Another thousand hours of music just came into being as I typed this paragraph. Sigh . . .)
Writing? It depends on what kind of writing you want to do. But, generally speaking, you have to feel a biological need to express yourself. You have to write every damn day. You should read great writers, maybe even emulate some of them, until you find your own voice. You should master the basics of language and learn the rules, so you can break them with more authority. (Did you realize that being knowledgeable about grammar is sexy? That knowing how to deploy semicolons can get you laid? True story.)
Where was I? You don’t have to write for your school paper or take journalism courses in college to succeed as a writer, but they could help. Basically, you have to be curious about many things and possess the creativity to document/express them in an accurate and distinctive manner. Unless you want to write fiction or poetry (the world has enough plays; don’t even think about doing those). Then you just need to know how to tell flagrant lies and convince readers of their inherent truthfulness – while drunk and/or high as a motherfucker. No good fiction ever has come from sobriety. I almost forgot: ESCHEW OBFUSCATION… unless you’re writing speeches for politicians.
Tell me about an epic life experience that you have had. It can be anything.
DS: It was 1983. I was 21. My friend Paul and I drove to Washington DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon. My hairstyle at the time was shaved on the sides and longer on top, because that was how some of my favorite musicians were doing it in Manchester, England. I didn’t realize that this cut resembled so closely that of the Marines. So when those Marines who were handing out water along the course saw me, they thought I was one of them. Ergo, they gave me their special shout of encouragement whenever I ran by them (something like “AROO AROO”).
I was floundering around the 15-mile mark, but somehow I rebounded, aided by the Marines’ unwitting camaraderie, and I ran my second-best time ever: 2 hours, 43 minutes. However, I couldn’t bask in my accomplishment, as Paul and I had to check out of our hotel room ASAP. We had no time to shower, even though we’d just run 26.2 miles. All we could do was retrieve our belongings and get in his car. We proceeded to drive from DC to Detroit (520 miles), reeking of marathon sweat, still in our racing gear, and our poor, overworked leg muscles stiffening like crazy in his unspacious automobile. It took about 8 hours to get home. Then I took a shower and ate something. You still awake?
all photos by Marz
LEATHERMOMMY & Hedersleben @ Machine House Brewery, 4/12/14
I was in a mood to venture off the hill on Saturday evening, and so Jim and Eric of Display, Male/Female picked me up in their van in order to catch the last two bands of this gathering, one being Hedersleben, a Krautrock outfit on a West Coast tour from San Francisco.
In passing I met Jason Willer, drummer of Hedersleben a neo-prog band from San Francisco consisting of Nicky Garratt, Jason Willer, Kephera Moon, and Bryce Shelton. I asked him to tell me more about the band’s drive to play.
Jason Willer: I guess we take our influence from the progressive and Krautrock traditions of the early ’70s. Our guitarist, Nicky Garratt was influenced by all that stuff growing up, and he just now pulled this together to kind of live out his dreams in a way. He was one of the founding members of the band the U.K. SUBS in 1976. I was also in the U.K. SUBS with him for 5 years from 2001-2006. Now he is playing the music of his youth, which is his passion.
It’s been from punk to prog for me. For him. . . well he was playing in prog bands in 1970 already. Way before punk. So he went from prog to punk back to prog. . .haha.
What are you up to back in San Francisco?
I also had a chance to have a quick chat with Nicky Garrat, who stated:
We are look forward to playing some planetariums and museums in the future. We also plan on coming back to Seattle in August with Nik Turner.
I was also super curious about the show in general. The name LEATHERMOMMY made my imagination go all over the place. Then I was even more intrigued to find out that this project includes Emily Pothast, David Golighty, Garret Moore, and Jon Carr (members of Midday Veil and Brainfruit).
At the show David Golightly of LEATHERMOMMY, with mischievous nervous overtones, described excitedly the band’s main focal point.
So what is LEATHERMOMMY all about?
David Golightly: It’s about punishment of a disciplinary mother figure on the hubristic child of civilization. It’s like when you are being cocky.
When’s your next show?
DG: There’s nothing booked yet but we will play again, and as the need arises. . .Leathermommy will be there.
During LM’s set frontwoman Emily Pothast served the crowd some discipline, punishment, domination, and a power drill. Later she added that the drill used on set was found on the street earlier that day.
Machine House Brewery left the impression of a cool low lit brick warehouse on Airport Way in Georgetown in the midst of a haunting mystery. Please go there if you want to listen to some good music, and drink beer. It’s like a real hidden chill haven.
Photos: The Coathangers @ Neumos
The music was fast and hard, there was crowd surfing, and a ton of instrument rotation between the the adrenaline infused group. The energetically danceable crowd complimented the set unlike the usual stand-and-post show goer.
Interview: Jason Lajeunesse
So many people are curious about the new re-opening of the Comet. In all the fast-paced occurrences in life I had a chance to meet with Jason Lajeunesse, who shared a few key thoughts about its rebirth.
Where are the bands going to play?
Lajeunesse: We are not sure yet, maybe in the front upper window area. The band’s backs will be facing the window or maybe we will set them up in the middle. We will see as we go.
What is the most exciting thing about re-opening the Comet?
Lajeunesse: On a personal level it is that we have been able to rebuild, and restore this place. Like ripping out the bathrooms, and seeing that come into fruition. It will be nice to see how people enjoy it, and take it in. Some people will love it, and some people may hate it.
How do you deal with any negative feedback?
Lajeunesse: It’s hard. You have to be okay with that, and ultimately you have to be prepared to be rejected by putting your ideas on public display.
It’s similar to making music. I have been doing that for many years, and I have been both criticized and adored.
What is your favorite memorabilia in the Comet?
Lajeunesse: All the Coco Fotos. It’s Connie’s [Connie Aramaki] art. She recently had an art show at Sole Repair. I love the photos she took.
Also, there’s an important artifact I found tucked behind the bar that an old customer made when Ethel [former Comet owner] died. I framed it and hung it up at the bar.