Slacking off on Record Store Day

My first stop on my favorite holiday was Cellophane Square on the Ave where I plucked a few CDs from the dollar bins.

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After lunch, I headed to Ballard, where Sonic Boom’s sidewalk was full of enterprising young rockers from the School of Rock Music who silk-screened a t-shirt for me with half a heart charm-style. If you visited both Sonic Boom locations, you could complete the image. Check out School of Rock’s schedule of shows.

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Sonic Boom was bustling inside and out. I was completely unsurprised when chronic music devourer Matt Brown suddenly appeared at my side. He made an excellent purchase for a lucky teenager and disappeared into the warm spring day.

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One of the CDs I bought was Say Hi’s Oohs & Aahs. They played a great in-store set – are a treat to see live.

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Last year I caught four in-stores, but this Record Store Day, Say Hi was all I could manage. As much as I wanted to stroll the aisles at Easy Street Records’ Queen Anne store and catch Moondoggies’ set, I needed to rest at home and prepare for the show at the Blue Moon, from which I’m still recovering.

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Blue Moon 75th Anniversary Photos: We Wrote the Book on Connectors, A Gun That Shoots Knives & junkface

We Wrote the Book on Connectors, A Gun That Shoots Knives and junkface played spectacular sets last night at the Blue Moon for the bar’s 75th Anniversary. I had heard of Portland’s junkface but this was my first time seeing them – they’re a band to keep a close eye on.

And the guys from AGTSK proved some people can look good dressed in garbage. Who knew? I’m feeling a little on the woozy side after seeing two bands in a row pump out so much fog from the fog machine but it feels worth it.

Thank you to the Blue Moon & Sound on the Sound for hosting the party.


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Amelia


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Dagmar


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Amelia


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Dagmar


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Dagmar


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Amelia


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Dagmar


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Amelia


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Amelia


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Dagmar


We Wrote the Book on Connectors – photo by Amelia


Junkface – photo by Amelia


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Dagmar


A Gun That Shoots Knives – photo by Dagmar


Junkface – photo by Amelia


Junkface – photo by Dagmar


Junkface – photo by Amelia


Junkface – photo by Dagmar


Guess Who? – photo by Amelia


Birthday at the Bar – photo by Dagmar

Amelia has photos up in our flickr pool & her flickr. As always I am still working on mine.

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Photos: Portugal. The Man, H is for Hellgate and Alligators @ The Crocodile

The new Croc felt downright cozy Thursday night – people sat and chatted at the tables scattered around the main floor between the stage and the bar or stood in small groups chatting with friends. With Via Tribunali now open, you can order pizza (my companion’s looked and smelled delicious) and enjoy while watching the show.

Speaking of the show… Local rockers H is for Hellgate opened the night and warmed the crowd, coaxing people from the tables to the stage. I’m fascinated by multi-instrumentalists and multi-bandists – Hellgate’s Jamie Henkensiefken (aka Jamie Hellgate) is a frighteningly good guitarist and powerful vocalist, and in The Redwood Plan, she’s a bass player with talent to rival Hellgate’s Ben Baier, who also plays in We Wrote The Book On Connectors and is arguably one of the most gifted and dedicated bassists in Seattle. Drummer Jon Jacobson rounds out H is for Hellgate’s sound. I’ll never tire of seeing them live.

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There were Alligators at The Crocodile last night and they rocked! I was not prepared to enjoy them nearly as much as I did – the music was heavier than myspace led me to expect and their vocals were truly impressive.

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So much ado has been made of The Croc’s sparkling restrooms that I had to snap a photo as proof that nearly a month into the reopening, they still shine as they did opening night.

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Portugal. The Man is a wonderful force and an incredible live experience. They mixed new songs with established favorites and powered through a set that was over far too quickly for me. Originally from Wasilla, Alaska, I hear a northern-ness in their music, almost tribal at times, that draws me so strongly to our regional sound. I’ve not yet made the leap from live shows to listening to Portugal. The Man’s recordings, but last night might have pushed me over the edge.

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Hmmm… with Indie Record Store Day taking place all over town today, I might have the perfect excuse to pick up a few CDs from their impressive catalog.

See more photos or add your own – our flickr pool is here.

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Photos: Dr. Dog and the Cave Singers at the Crocodile

Dr. Dog and the Cave Singers played the Crocodile on Tuesday night. Photographer Julie Harmsen got some extremely beautiful photos – I like that patchwork design in the background:

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Album Review: Death Cab For Cutie – The Open Door EP

Death Cab For Cutie
The Open Door EP

* * *

The Open Door EP

The Open Door EP

A welcome treat to tide fans over until their next full length album, The Open Door EP is a collection of songs that didn’t quite make the cut for the runaway success that was Narrow Stairs. Described by bassist Nick Harmer as “part of the Narrow Stairs experience”, the EP holds its ground and manages to avoid sounding like the kind of castoffs usually reserved for rereleases and bonus CDs.

The EP opens with ‘Little Bribes’, an account of seedy casino culture.  Even an open door can harbour shadows:  “Pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello, the people stare into their eyes, and they feed them little bribes”.  Despite such subject matter, the melody is remarkably light and upbeat, demonstrating the slight lack of sync with Narrow Stairs.

‘My Mirror Speaks’ could well have been at home on Plans, the band’s 2005 release.  The most layered track, frontman Ben Gibbard sings of “A tangled thread inside his head, with nothing on either end”.  His trademark warbling is given depth by the steady percussion and looping guitar riffs that unfold.

The final track is a demo of ‘Talking Bird’ that features Gibbard with only his ukelele as accompaniment.  An intimate melody, it’s hard to imagine Gibbard playing this to any more than a handful of people, but could frame a perfect moment in your life, given the chance.

The Bellingham boys have booked sell-out shows in both Bellingham and Redmond, making Spokane your last chance to see them in Washington for a while.  For those of you not lucky enough to catch them this time around, I leave you with a studio recording of ‘Talking Bird’:

Death Cab For Cutie – Talking Bird (Live From Seattle)

The Open Door EP is out now on Atlantic records.
www.deathcabforcutie.com

Nicky Andrews

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