Have you heard Mexicans at Night from El Paso? Been lucky enough to see them live? I first listened to them yesterday in advance of what I expected to be a pretty good show at Blue Moon and was blown away by how great they were. If I’m not mistaken, last night was their first show in Seattle, and I’ll be first in line when they come back.
Head Like a Kite plays first at Chop Suey on Saturday, opening for Her Space Holiday and City Light. I haven’t seen Dave, Trent and the Head Like a Kite guest parade since January and am really excited for this show. Check back post-show for photos and an interview with HLaK frontman Dave Einmo. I took the photos below at past shows – were you there? If you’ve never seen Head Like a Kite live, do yourself a favor and get to Chop Suey early to catch a guaranteed great set.
Here’s what Dave has to say about this weekend’s show:
Want to see a panda dance with a fog machine? HEAD LIKE A KITE returns to Seattle on Saturday, May 30 at Chop Suey to open for Mush Records labelmates HER SPACE HOLIDAY at Chop Suey. Her Space Holiday recently remixed the HLAK song “No Ordinary Caveman.” Should be a blast to play together in our hometown.
We play EARLY at 9:30 sharp!!
Hope to see you there. Be sure to say hi. I’ll be the sweaty one leaning over a synth with a guitar strapped to my back.
The Horrors played in near complete darkness when they opened for the Kills, which is a nightmare when you’re trying to take photos. I’m guessing they wanted to the focus to be entirely on the staggeringly great music, and I understand this. On the other hand they’re a fine looking group of guys who are great photo subjects, so I am torn on this one. Go ahead and throw your Joy Division or whatever comparisons around, I am going to nail it by saying these new Horrors sound a lot like one of my top ten favorite bands, the Chameleons. I don’t want to say they’re an exact copy, because they’re not, it’s just another reason why I am impressed with this band. The Horrors nearly reinvented themselves with their second CD, Primary Colours, but if you listen closely it’s the same band trying something new, and I like that. They are still a dark band capable of creating a deadly atmosphere – witness the New Ice Age, when singer Faris Badwan storms out with The Agony and the Harm is Critical/Through a Frosted Stopwatch/Time is Ticking. I managed to get some photos – next time I hope to get more.
It was rowdy and violent crowd that took over the front part of the stage for the Kills‘ Seattle show. Fortunately I got to stay up there through the show either on one side or the other, finding a safer pocket towards the stage door. Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart of the Kills sound and look so foxy it was worth braving the storm of their fans. Highlights for me: U.R.A. a Fever, Cheap and Cheerful, Last Day of Magic and Black Balloon of Midnight Boom, No Wow of No Wow, and Fried My Little Brains of Keep on Your Mean Side. I adore this band. Now some of my photos:
You can see more photos here:
Gallery of the Kills @ Neumos
The Crystal Method returned this year with their fourth studio album, Divided by Night, a smashing collection of songs featuring such diverse artists from Matisyahu to Peter Cook. I got the wonderful chance to talk with the Crystal Method’s Ken Jordan, who along with Scott Kirkland, has created significant electronic music that’s maintained its cool factor. The band is scheduled to appear at the WaMu Theater in Seattle on May 30th and I cannot wait for the experience.
Q: What are some of the changes for the new tour?
Ken Jordan: There are a lot of different technical things. On our tour we’re running two synced up MacBook Pros. We’ve got our brand new Axiom controllers and all the lights are new stuff. This company High End Systems out of Austin is letting us use brand new lights that are not even available to anyone else yet. Light and sound is all pretty new.
Q: Emily Haines is on the new album – how did you meet up with her?
K.J.: We knew of Metric but it wasn’t until we saw this video on youtube, where she was singing with someone playing acoustic guitar. Her voice was very prominent and we just really fell in love with her voice and wanted to try to get her on the record.
Q: You also have Justin Warfield and his wife, Stefanie King Warfield on the album?
K.J.: He delivered a great vocal on Kling to the Wreckage. We also had this background vocal part and we asked who it was. He said it was his wife so we got her to do another song, which was Black Rainbows.
Q: They both have cool voices. Are there other people you’d like to collaborate with?
K.J.: Yeah, we’re going to keep finding new people. I don’t want to spoil it by not having it come true.
Q: What about somebody’s voice that you really loved, like when you were growing up?
K.J.: Stevie Wonder stuff from the 70s. Bill Withers. We actually did try to reach out to him [Withers] because I heard he’s still singing really well . . .
Q: Are there any music genres or styles that you’re interested in trying that you haven’t tried yet?
K.J.: We find out what works best for us is trying something that’s totally different. We’re willing to try anything. The things that don’t work out don’t show up on the record but we’re always trying different things.
Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland of the Crystal Method – photo courtesy of thecrystalmethod.com.
Q: You’ve contributed a lot to movies and soundtracks. Are there directors that interest you?
K.J.: We’ve done some scoring. We scored a film called London and I scored a TV movie once – Columbo Likes the Nightlife. We really do like scoring to picture. There’s a lot of directors we do like so hopefully we will get to work with them.
Q: Are you still working on the Doors’ music?
K.J.: We did the one remix a while back for Roadhouse Blues. This year we’re going to do another remix for Break on Through.
Q: When were a little kid did you learn to play piano or did you pick it up later?
K.J.: Much later. I didn’t even take piano lessons until I started going to college. I never wanted to be in a band or anything. I actually started making music because I was running the college radio station and bands that liked my taste in music asked me to come into the studio with them. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a producer/engineer. The little piano that I had learned helped me quite a bit. When I started working with Scott it became more of a band – not so much being a producer or an engineer.
Q: Did you two meet initially in college?
K.J.: We met in Las Vegas – we both grew up in Las Vegas. We had both already started working on some music with other people, Scott more by himself. I was working with a singer. We had the same part-time job and he came in with a drum machine one day and we started talking. We put all of our gear together and eventually the Crystal Method was born.
Q: Was Las Vegas an interesting place to grow up?
K.J.: It’s an interesting because when you’re a kid you don’t realize that other places don’t have slot machines and 7-Elevens. Neither one of our parents worked in the casino industry so it was a little more normal for us.
Q: Are there some types of music you disagree on?
K.J.: Scott likes a lot of the 80s hair metal bands and I don’t like any of them.
Q: Where did you get the title of the new CD from?
K.J.: Divided by Night is kind of a metaphor for our lives. We lead pretty hardworking normal lives during the day but then when we’re going out in the clubs and djing or playing concerts it’s just radically different. The phrase Divided by Night represents that division.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
K.J.: I play a lot of ice hockey.
Q: That’s brutal.
K.J.: No, it’s not.
Q: How did you start doing that?
K.J.: I didn’t learn until really late in life. I didn’t play until I moved to L.A., back when Wayne Gretzky was on the teams. I got really interested. A lot of friends of mine from Vegas had a team and were in L.A., so I joined the team.
Q: You need to have strong ankles for that.
K.J.: Well the boots keep your ankle together pretty good.
Q: How have you and Scott managed to stay friends, for like 10 years?
K.J.: It’s more like 20 years. Besides our immediate family members it’s the longest relationships we’ve been in. You learn to get along. You have to like each other first or it’s probably not going to work anyway.
Q: What’s the songs of yours you’re most proud of?
K.J.: The last song [on Divided by Night], it’s called Falling Hard and I think it’s the most beautiful song we’ve ever done.
Q: If you could have the power of a robot what would it be?
K.J.: That’s a good one because we don’t really know what robots do right now.
Q: There are limitations.
K.J.: I would like the power not to be so emotional sometimes.