“Monsters” – Angus Stone – “Broken Brights” (2012)

Aug 4
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Singer Songwriter

I pulled off the Venue Double last night. First, we hit the show at the Mural Amphitheater (Shovels and Ropes, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside), breaking for grub at Zayda Buddy’s (a Minnesota-style pizzeria in the heart of Ballard… I never knew), and timing it perfectly so that we walked in the door of The Tractor right as Langhorne Slim took the stage.

I’ve got to admit, I was that annoying fan who talked too much while at the Mural show. We had about eight friend show up all at the same time, and everyone was kind of pre-funced and ready to yak about whatever so we weren’t the courteous music fans that we usually are. Shovels and Rope sounded great though and a couple of songs in, I commented to Yo-E that we need to catch their return engagement, whenever it is.

Langhorne Slim blew up The Tractor. OM(f’n’)G that sum bitch can rock it. Thrasher country, I said to Trudy at one point. This is a man and his band feeling, living, and breathing their music. This is a cat that I will go see every time that he graces Seattle with an appearance. Hard rockin’ grungy blues band – if The Tractor ever wanted to adopt sort of a poster child band that sums up the feel and texture of this fantastically, epic, divey venue, I would suggest Langhorne Slim & The Law.

I’ve got a imperfect storm of conflicting live music acts to deal with on Saturday, Septemper 15th. We already have tix to see fave, The Head and the Heart for the sixth time. Causing internal conflict, I realized that hippie troupe, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes will be invading Marymoor on the same day. Hmmm, round six of Head and the Heart or the opportunity to fore go deodorant and not feel scorn from my fellow concert goers for a night. That’s a tough one. Then my dear friend Ms. Spokanistan tells me last night, “oh yeah, did you know that Angus and Julia Stone are playing the Showbox on the same night.” She didn’t get it totally right, it’s Angus solo, but she got an acceptable amount of the details correct considering that she had just shotgunned a half carafe of Sangria. So, now I’ve got all kinds of motivation to clone myself, like the world really did anything to deserve that. If Sister Stone were taking the stage on that day, my decision would be a two handed jam. Stay tuned!!!

“Get Us Home” – The Panics – “Cruel Guards” (2008)

Jul 20
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Rock Bands

I’m pretty dang pleased with my Grace Potter and the Nocturnals concert experience from last night. We saw about half of opening act ZZ Ward’s set. She played this kind of lied to, cheated on, I might just put a cap in your sorry ass bluesy, spunky rock and roll. Pretty fun set, or half set for me since I was late. I liked it enough to buy the single that she was selling at the merch table.

The headliner was great and delivered a multitempo, sometimes frenzied, often times soft 1 and 1/2 hour set. The covers always get a lot of cheers no matter if it’s Bruce Sprinsteen or your favorite local punk band and Grace Potter’s two covers were both nice. She played to the Seattle crowd with a cover of Heart’s “Crazy On You,” complete with the acoustic solo intro by Benny Yurco, as part of her encore. Mid-set they pumped out a very old school vibed version of “White Rabbit.” The vocal build up culminating with “Feed Your Head, FEED YOUR HEAD” fits Ms. Potter to a tie dyed tee. Potter takes you places great and small, epic, and internal with that big, crazy voice. It’s a massive, vertiginous instrument capable of making and keeping her as one of rock’s mainstay divas for as long as she wants.

She played everything that I wanted to hear off of the new album and more. I had never heard the bonus track “Ragged Company” before last night and now that I’ve heard it, man am I grab that I bought a CD last night as that song is not on the version of the album that I grabbed with my Zune Pass. On a five star scale, I’ll give this show a four with the fifth star staying in my pocket because they didn’t play my favorite song of theirs. No “Low Road?” Kind of sad but minor quibble.

I’ll take a bunch more four star shows over the next two weeks. See what a team player I am? I’ll sacrifice my favorite songs by Neko Case, The Lumineers, Cake, Shovels and Rope, and Langhorne Slim (actually, maybe not for this one, if they don’t play my favorite tune, I’ll be pissed and it will probably be approaching closing time so I won’t be able to drown my sorrows) as long as they play the heck out of everything else and leave the masses happy.

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I’ve been listening to The Panics all night, who I’ve never heard before, and find it to my liking so far. Jae Laffer’s voice reminds me a little of Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics.

– DAVE

“Rabbit Hole” – The Temper Trap – “The Temper Trap” (2012)

Jun 5
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Rock Bands

Upon first listen, I’m only giving the album something like a C+ but I kind of like this tune. Any Temper Trap creation is strictly a vehicle for Dougy Mandagi’s vibrant, melodic voice. He shows it off throughout and for good reason. Without Mandagi’s instrument, I think that Temper Trap is just another band making middle of the road, rock and roll but with him there’s something to turn a couple more heads/ears and give people reason to pull up a chair and listen for a few minutes. That’s about as critical as I ever get on here, especially for a band that I like, so I’ll leave it that and go dig around and look for some ice cream.

– DAVE

“Sin City” – AC/DC – “Powerage” (1978)

May 23
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Rock and Roll Heaven, T-Top Tunes

That itch is always there. Most of the time I can ignore it and let it just sit there unattended until it recedes back into my pours, into dormancy, but it never truly goes away. And it shouldn’t go away. This is the loud, combustible rock and roll that I grew up on, and was probably the soundtrack for every incidence of trouble I ever got in. We should never forget who we are, or where we come from. I came from a time and place where anything and everything by AC/DC was music to rally by and party to every Friday night. Especially when I hear Bon Scott’s part of the catalog, I think of roaming around West Seattle as a teenager with my brother, Dennis, Heim, and whoever else was in the car looking for I don’t know what… trouble, parties, girls, food. We were mostly looking for stuff that we never found and it seems like we were always cranking the AC/DC. That itch will never truly go away.

– DAVE

“Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” – Gotye – “Making Mirrors” (2011)

Apr 15
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Indie

If you ever get sick of listening to that other Gotye song (I haven’t gotten sick of it yet, and it could be awhile so you’re not alone), there are 11 other songs on “Making Mirrors.” It’s not like their vocal style are anything alike but from an evolutionary stand point, I can kind of see Gotye having a career similar to that of Beck. Constant invention and re-invention and an inclination to always have at least one leg outside the box has kept Beck relevant and influential over the years. Who knows if Gotye can tap into the kind of longevity that Beck has created for himself but he’s off to an intriguing start.

Minimal beats and sparse back drops are given then taken away, the space alternately flooded with busy bursts to keep the listener on their toes. This is sort of ala The xx as well. The moodiness and voids give the listener the opportunity to think and immerse. Buy some good headphones (not talking sporty little earbud things but old school studio muffs) and check it out… take your time though, I don’t want to take you away from your regularly scheduled 20+ listenings per day of that other Gotye song.

– DAVE

“Somebody That I USed to Know” – Gotye – “Making Mirrors” (2011)

Mar 17
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies

Love it!!!

My brain thinks LCD Soundsystem as this song winds up and builds RPMs heading towards full tilt, downhill abandon. This is great pop music; the kind that’s too rich and juicy for most pop music lovers to embrace. The minimal instrumentation coupled with inside-your-head neurotic, measured, turned bat shit desperate neurotic vocal performance is a beautiful contrast. LCD Soundsystem meets The XX with Gotye upgrading the singing parts, that’s what I’m getting here. I love the phasing used around the word “somebody” in the chorus at the end of the song. And then, there are the verses:

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad it was over

– DAVE

“You’re The One That I Want” – Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane EP (2011)

Jan 28
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Duos

I’m a day late on my cover post once again – man, I’ve really been falling down on the job lately. I’ve got lots of stuff rattling around in my congested head though, and there aren’t enough days to post all of the music that I hear and fall in love with on a multiple times per day basis. If you’ve got your listening ears on, and are paying attention there is new, old, re-invented, long forgotten, and innovative music practically seeping out of the pores of mother earth and ready to be heard and appreciated by anyone who is lucky enough to cast an inviting ear.

I got this one from the unlikely setting of riding in our sleeper car from Udapuir to Delhi via Kelly’s iPhone (Kelly’s that little sister from Spokanistan that I never really wanted but one day she magically appeared and has been assaulting me with Old Guy jabs and pointy little fists ever since. She’s that kind of sweet and sour, little pain in the butt that little sisters from Spokanistan have a reputation for being. I never really wanted one, or thought I needed one but I love my little sister from Spokanistan and pity all of you poor blokes that don’t have one of you own.). Kelly definitely has that knack for pushing play on fun and interesting music, and I am pretty sure that she has a thing for stones as she also happens to be a big Allen Stone fan.

This is a nice, tender version of the Grease original. I just so happen to live with someone who counts the movie “Grease” as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World so I spend a lot of time rolling eyes when this movie comes up in conversation but I’ve got to admit, I’ve seen it a couple of dozen times and enjoyed it every time. This rendition by The Stones is perfect in the way that it takes the song into a new genre, and time period. I’m looking forward to seeing a Stone (touring in support of solo projects) or in tandem, sometime this year.

“Take A Long Line” – Angel City – “Face to Face” (1978)

Sep 25
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Rock Bands, T-Top Tunes

My blog has been the victim of heaps of inattention and neglect over the last several days because of the Aussie wild bunch that invaded our house. It was a great weekend to be out and about soaking up every second of a beautiful Indian summer, Seattle weekend. The only problem is…. did I mention that those blokes are a wild bunch. There will be finger pointing, of course, as to who made who drink, what, when, and was it really necessary to consume the volumes that we did. One of the crew said yesterday morning that it’s a marathon and not a sprint in response to someone else saying that there was some beverage nursing going on. He was right of course, it was a marathon. Marathons are grueling and I lived to say that I ran a drinking marathon with the Melbourne trio, and lived to blog about it.

I’ve been waiting for the right time to post a song by this awesome rock and roll band from down under, and I think that today’s the day. Sort of a poor man’s AC/DC, Angel City were a staple of rock and roll radio in early 80’s. Fast and hard, equipped with a very able front man in Doc Neeson, these guys were one of those hard rock bands that found and retained big enough bases to head line the mid-level venues bue never pushed through to the next level. A couple of other bands that I liked back in my KISW years that had similar sized and minded followings were: UFO, Rainbox, and Marillion. Play it loud, crack another, and make the most of the opportunities to be with friends, and make new ones. The blog will be there when the marathon is over.

– DAVE

“Lentil” – Sia – “Some People Have Real Problems” (2008)

Dec 22
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Girls Rule

The sad things that we do to ourselves, or each other, or to ourselves by way of what we do to each other. Second chances are often granted though, and it’s sounding like Ms. Sia would really appreciate one.

Sia’s 2010 album “We Are Born” has been summed up by reviewers as decidedly more upbeat than her previous efforts. I’ll get around to it eventually but I rather like “Some People Have Real Problems” and am still busy listening to it. The softly sung verses, and pleading chorus in this song, to my ear are similar to Tori Amos. Sia is interesting and honest from the Joe Cockeresque contortions and extremity movements to her openness about her bisexuality. Madonna composed the new album but don’t let the star power sway you towards Sia’s newest work if you aren’t familiar with her. The jazzy, funky Aussie from Adelaide has been making good music for the most part of a decade. Do yourself a favor and listen to some of her older stuff.

– DAVE