“There, There” – Radiohead – “Hail to the Thief” (2003)

Nov 29
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands, UK

I’m still not totally diggin’ “The King of Limbs.” Maybe I’m not as tried and true a Radiohead fan as I thought I was… can I take a cue from Thom Yorke himself who was asked by Stephen Colbert something along the lines of “how is that you’ve created such a devoted fan base?” Thom’s answer, “we have no idea.” And then to create a little more distance for me personally, I have checked the band’s website at least weekly, and when I’ve really had too much time on my hands I’ve checked daily, only to find no upcoming tour dates. So, now I’m not totally enamored with their new stuff, and I feel jilted at the fact that they haven’t turned their tour bus in my direction.

Today, upon further googling, there it is a truncated set of dates early next year throughout the southern states from Florida to Arizona. I got really excited for a second and almost (and still might) buy a ticket for the March 15th show in Glendale, Arizona. But, I’m still not totally in love with the new stuff so maybe I should just stay home and rent “Meeting People is Easy.”


“Day By Day By” – Mike Doughty – “Yes and Also Yes” (2011)

Nov 29
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

I saw Mike Doughty about six years ago at Bumbershoot as he was part of an ensemble of an exuberant group of performers. There was Daniel Handler of Lemony Snicket fame and acting as pseudo-MC and lead accordionist. Sara Vowell – my favorite essayist, and genre creator of dark humor culled from historical non-fiction as viewed by a transplant in NYC who in her own words hates to go outside – took the stage for a little spoken word. Ben Gibbard and his Death Cab for Cutie mates took the stage for a mini-set. And, Mike Doughty stepped in for a little couple of songs (solo if I remember correctly).

The show was on the Bumbershoot schedule under cover of some false name which I think was Trans-Siberian Orchestra or something. It was a fundraiser for 826Seattle which provides tutors and workshops with the mission of teaching and developing writing skills for kids from 6 to 18 years old. Vowell and Handler covered a lot of the ground that the 826 organization speaks to as their focus is on creative and expository skills.

The highlight of the show was the final song of the night which brought all of the show’s performers back on stage for a one of a kind rendering of Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Man, did Handler ever put a hurtin’ on that accordion.

Doughty dropped a new album this year. It’s very original, and full of great lines as Doughty is known for. If I’m playing the comparison game, I always get a bunch of Elvis Costello and Dave Matthews elements when I listen to Doughty. If you like this song, be sure to go to NPR Music and check out the live Doughty performance.


“Let’s Do It Again” – J Boog – “Backyard Boogie” (2011)

Nov 28
Posted by admin Filed in Reggae

Hmmmm, two straight plumeria scented posts. What could possibly be on this blogger’s mind? Shaved ice… pineapple and mango, ice cream, azuki beans, and condensed milk eaten in a warm place… that’s what is in the portion of my mind that let’s me fantasize about brain freeze complete with a few hundred empty calories. In the parts of my mind deciphering my current physical environment? This is late November and this is Seattle, Washington, grab an extra layer. At least it’s not late February, that’s when the whining will really kick into high gear as the extra layers will still be needed but there won’t be any football to lessen the misery.


“Kaua’i Beauty” – Gabby Pahinui (1973)

Nov 27
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

I went to the new movie, The Descendants last night and loved it. For starters, I’m a huge George Clooney fan and basically think that he has never made a bad movie. The movie is a family drama set in Hawaii with two major story lines being that: George’s character’s (Matt King) wife has just suffered a traumatic brain injury in a boating accident; and that King is the trustee for a family trust that is about to enjoy a massive pay day as a result of the sale of a huge parcel of pristine land that has been in King’s family for over one hundred years. That’s all I’ll say about the plot as I hate reading much more than what I’ve wrote before seeing a movie, and hopefully some of you who haven’t seen it will check it out soon.

What I will say is that the movie did a good job of portraying present day Hawaii through the places that it showed (undisturbed, green, lush nature; suburbs, squatter’s shacks, golf courses, Hanalei Bay), the diverse mix of people, and sensitivity towards issues that have adversely effected native Hawaiians. The family drama that uneasily unfolds concerning the comatose matriarch of the King family was perfectly played out mostly because of all of the imperfections. The conversations tended towards herky jerky and labored in the kind of way that you would expect from the dysfunctional family that the viewer can quickly ascertain the Kings to be. There never seemed to be a cliche or a moment of eloquence to save Matt King, his daughters, or his in-laws from possibly offending or upsetting each other. In other words, it played out the way that real life difficult conversations happen between normal, everyday people. George Clooney and Hawaii are the selling points to get people to buy a ticket for this movie but when the lights go down, and the show starts, the two stars ditch a lot of the charm and panoramic postcard shots and dive into the real life difficulties that exist behind the veil of even the prettiest of faces and places.

The soundtrack is composed entirely of Hawaiian music with several of the players being legends of the Hawaiian and steel or slack key guitar genre. I got a nice surprise whenI realized tonight in reading the song lists that the final song (Ka Mele Oku U Pu Uwai) was an original song by my late uncle Sol Hoopii who originally reccorded it in 1930. Gabby Pahinui was a Hawaiian steel guitar legend who died more that 30 years ago. Kaua’i is intoxicating in its beauty and simplicity. If you’re looking for a movie this weekend set in a lush, green environment – no, I’m not talking Forks, Washington – give The Descendants a try.


“Wish You Were Here” – Wyclef Jean – “The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book” (2000)

Nov 25
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Wyclef’s version of this Pink Floyd classic is a perfect example of how you put a stamp on a song and really own it. Not own it as in steal it, of course, but to very respectfully take a pure and easily identifiable gem and re-work it so that it still holds all of the soul and inspiration of the original packaged in a way that will make it alluring to a new audience while hopefully retaining those who loved its earlier form.

Happy cover day, and leftovers day. The day old turkey and trimmings are the best.


“I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty – “Full Moon Fever” (1989)

Nov 24
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I heard a nice stripped version of this Tom Petty standard last weekend. I just went and cued this one up and reacquainted myself with the song and album and can’t believe that the album was released more than 20 years ago. I’ve got to make it to a Petty show one of these days (note to bucket list). Sometimes I forget about how great Petty’s catalog is. When I was a kid, we had vinyl of “Hard Promises.” “The Waiting” and “Something Big” got played, on whatever record player we had a functioning needle for, a ton of times.

Things I thankful for today? A roof over my head (it’s nasty out there and I lot of people aren’t as lucky), turkey, football, rock and roll, family and friends, and on line shopping.

Not thankful for? That I have to go to work tomorrow.


“G’Dang Diggy” – Common Market – “Common Market” (2006)

Nov 23
Posted by admin Filed in Hip Hop, Pacific Northwest

Sabzi has moved on to spend all or most of his time as part of Blue Scholars, and to be quiet honest I’m not sure what RA Scion is doing these days, but really loved when they spent more time together as Common Market. The Seattle hip hop scene is broadening its reach and developing artists such as Maclemore and Shabazz Palaces are extending their audiences outside of the Pacific Northwest but I’m still locked into Common Market’s second album being one of my go-to albums when my mood calls for hip hop.

I’ve got to be honest right here – I try on all of the newest stuff by cool cats like: Yelawolf, Rick Ross, Theophilus London, and such but I usually come away feeling kind of let down. I guess that I’m getting told old and feeble to hear the mic master telling me to suck this, F*#$ that, and how I’m only capable of causing a mini rain shower while they can make it rain cats and dogs. I don’t mind a bunch of bombast and foul language, even if it’s directed at me but I at least need to be told in creative ways what a POS I am, otherwise I’m going for the off button, and fall backs such as Common Market.

Social commentary, brass and bass old school loops, and a clear and free flow causes me to leave the switch in the on position. Common Market is solid through and through. I’m hoping that these guys aren’t done as one and will produce another record or two in the not too distant future.


“Train in Vain” – The Clash – “London Calling” (1979)

Nov 21
Posted by admin Filed in Rewind, Rock Legends, UK

I was very impressed with Company of Thieves las night at The Vera Project. I loved this band coming in and was expecting them to sound great and I wasn’t disappointed. I really think that this band has huge potential and all of the pieces to sell a lot of records and play in big buildings. It was great to see them in a small venue last night and for a pretty spartan little room, The Vera Project has really good sound quality. If you’ve never been there for a show, pick one and give it a try. The Cave Singers are there on 12/1 for what should ba great show.

Back to Company of Thieves – very nice guitar work from Marc Walloch, nice songwriting; a powerful, rock and roller, sweet and sensitive, menacing and unrelenting presence from Genevieve Schatz sometimes made me think I was listening to Feist and the next moment PJ Harvey. Those are just guide posts though for those uninitiated to this Chicago band as Genevieve and her band mates are about to get out from the shadows. Checking their upcoming shows, it’s good to see that they are sharing dates with other bands (Grouplove, Flogging Molly, Matt & Kim, The Kooks, Cage the Elephant) getting foot holds and moving up with all of these bands bringing in their followers who will then be exposed to each other. I’m going to guess that they’ll be super busy next spring and summer and making a bunch of appearances at the big outdoor festivals.

One last note before I attempt to talk about a band besides Company of Thieves who it seems like I’ve mentioned every day for the last week, I was bummed that they didn’t play “Never Come Back” so to make up for it, I’ve listened to it about five times since I got home from the show last night. I think this is an epic song (check out my post on Sept, 18th) and is destined for a movie soundtrack or two.


I had the urge for a little session with The Clash yesterday, and am picking up where I left off.


“Oscar Wilde” – Company of Thieves – “Ordinary Riches” (2009)

Nov 20
Posted by admin Filed in Indie, Rock Bands

Company of Thieves and Motopony tonight at The Vera Project. Tickets are still available… $12 is a sweet price for a nice little Sunday night rock and roll show.


“Aberdeen” – Cage the Elephant – “Thank You, Happy Birthday” (2011)

Nov 20
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands

Darn, I’m going to be at a show (Motopony and Company of Thieves) tomorrow night and won’t get to see the spectacle that is The American Music Awards. I’m fairly honest in the self-assessment department – I’m not a total music douche who is instantly disdainful of anything that gets heavy enough rotation to make the AMA’s, I’m just not super into all of the elaborate effects that draw the attention away from the abilities or deficiencies of the performers.

Let’s be honest though, there is some horrible music that gets considered to be award worthy on a primetime network love(thyself)fest. Let’s stay with the honesty thing here for another second, and admit that some of the stuff that indie, hipster, self inflated critic/douches think is the shiznit, is actually kind of bland, or cool just because they say it is. I like to keep this space as a negativity free zone so I try to avoid naming names but I would really like someone to explain to me what it is that acts like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Iron and Wine, and The Pains of Being Pure have made that is so exciting and makes it required listening.

Looking past tomorrow night, Deck the Hall Ball is less than three weeks out, so I’m listening to a lot of stuff by the bands that will be playing that night. I like Cage the Elephant but don’t love ’em. I do love Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys though and since I think that Cage lives in the same kind of menacing, rowdy, and rockin’ neighborhood, maybe my appreciation for Cage the Elephant will grow.