“Avatar” by Dead Can Dance

Feb 26
Posted by Kala Filed in 80's, Indie, UK, World Pop

Some of my favorite memories and best times were the years I spent as a bike messenger in Seattle and then Honolulu. I rode my bike around downtown all day, drank and smoked all night and got up to do it again the next day, it was awesome. My brother however was much more responsible, he went to college got a real job, and today is much better off for it.

My best friend (15) and I worked for the same messenger company and when one of us switched companies the other would follow. He always said that on his last day as a messenger he was gonna ride down 2nd Avenue, (a heavily traveled, 4 lane, one way that runs all the way through downtown Seattle and out the other side) “butt naked”. He never got to make that ride. Life got too heavy for him and he took himself out. We worked for a company that had 6 riders and we were a very close group, so 23 took it upon himself to make that ride for him. Word spread pretty quickly and by the time the BVD’s dropped it was like a parade. Not only did the messenger community turn out but many of our clients, aka suits, also showed their support (or maybe they just wanted to see a spectacle).

15 also introduced me to a lot of new music. Dead Can Dance has 2 primary voices. The male, Brendan Perry, has been compared to a combination of Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra, the female, Lisa Gerrard, sings in made up words and sounds. Here’s one from Lisa.

RIP Sean “15” Clarke.

“Tell Me Something Good” – Dave Matthews Band

Feb 22
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

This afternoon, I heard an inteview of Jefrrey Osborne conducted by Tavis Smiley which mostly pivoted around Osborne’s new album full of his versions of jazz standards. Smiley asked Osborne to speak on what it was like to work with Chaka Khan and I just started thinking “‘Tell Me Something Good’ is about as bad ass of a song as has ever been created.” It’s not on my short list. I have no idea when I heard it last. I didn’t love it when I was a kid in the 70’s and it was on the radio all of the time. It’s a really cool song though, fairly unique with its groove, and includes that moaning rhythm section heading into the chorus.

I ran a short lived “Friday Covers” theme on this here blog that my brother tried to revive recently. I posted DMB’s version of this song today because it was the coolest cover version of the ones that I could find. It’s not that I don’t love the original as should be obvious by Paragraph # 1 but one of the things that is so cool about this song is that I can imagine it getting cool treatments from pretty much any genre or sub-genre that I can think of. I often hear songs and play this game with myself where I try to imagine who would make a cool cover of it and I always try to think of someone to do it in a different genre. For instance, I love the Zac Brown song “Cold Hearted” and although I know that no one will do it as well as Brown, I would love to hear a Mumford and Sons rendition. So who would knock “Tell Me Something Good” out of the park?

How about The Alabama Shakes? That seems like it should be a done deal. That seems like I should get a broker’s fee for marrying up song and cover artists. How about The Kills? Those two would come up with something funked up, rocked out, and distorted for us to chew on. There are so many possibilites with this song.


Ari Hest with opening act Carrie Rodriguez was an excellent show last night. One of the things about both artists that I really loved was the amount of color that they provided between songs. Even if you know an artist’s catalog really well (I don’t know Hest or Rodriguez), you’ve heard all their songs a million times, and think that you know them, most of the time unless you’re a total fanboy/girl, you may not really know what the inspiration was for any given song. Hest and Rodriguez spent a lot of time letting us into their worlds and personally it really got me invested and connected to their music. I would really like to thank them for sharing.


“Concrete Sky” – Ari Hest – “The Fire Plays” (2012)

Feb 21
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

Tonight at the Triple Door.


“Have to Pretend” – The Cave Singers – “Naomi” (2013)

Feb 21
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest

Don’t mistake my scarcity of words for a lack of enthusiasm (I’m just kind of wishing I was in bed an hour ago). Anyways, I’m as excited for the new Cave Singers album (due in two weeks) as I am for any new record due this year.

Night all…


“Fire Escape” – Diane Birch – “Bible Belt” (2009)

Feb 19
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

I should be mainlining Ari Hest since I’m going to see him in two days and am still not super familiar with his work. It’s not that I don’t like him; I’ve got a couple days to try to get a good grasp of what he’ll be bringing to the Triple Door. Today, I was all over the map trying to get all of that “Harlem Shake” stankiness out of my system. I listened to a little Maxwell, some Nicole Atkins (in town tonight but I’m booked), The Clash, Cee Lo, Ben Harper, Bomba Estereo, and I’m wrapping it up for now with Diane Birch.


“Harlem Shake” – Baauer (2013)

Feb 18
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

So let me make sure that I’ve got the timing straight, a week or two after, seemingly, the whole planet goes bat feces crazy, gyratin’, upside out and inside down, slam dancin’, hip thrustin’, flash mobbish, dance sensation gonzo, wacko…. a week or two later, some offended Youtube watcher from deep space throws a big ass rock at us? I think we’ve been warned people. Continue with the de-evolution as you please but don’t say you weren’t warned when the next inter-galactic salvo turns us all into 87 octane.

Okay, so that was a little over dramatic but I’ve got a doctor’s note; I just watched about 25 minutes straight of Best of “Harlem Shake” vids. So which will end up having more shelf life, Harlem or Gangnam?

And by the way, if you really love this Baauer dude, he’s going to be at Sasquatch. If you want to go, you better already have the $350 magic wristband because I heard that the whole weekend sold out before it even went on sale to the public.


“Grammy” – Purity Ring (2013)

Feb 17
Posted by admin Filed in Duos

I’m not yet ready to claim that I’m a big Purity Ring fan but I really dig this cover of a Soulja Boy original.


“Disparate Youth” – Santigold – “Master of My Make-Believe” (2012)

Feb 16
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I went on a deep search tonight looking for new entry music for my alma mater’s football team. About this time every year – one of the messages boards that I frequent that is dedicated to University of Washington football – a thread invariably ensues with some fan asking the question: “what should our new entry song be?” It has been Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” for the last few years and a bunch of message board dudes hate it and want it replaced.

A little history for anyone without basic Husky football knolwedge: The UW is in Seattle, and the school colors are purple and gold. There was a certain iconic rock guitarist from Seatle by the name of Jimi Hendrix. Mr. Hendrix had a big hit with a little ditty going by the name of “Purple Haze.” A bunch of the message board guys think: Purple reference in song made by a guy from Seattle equals perfect entry music for the Huskies. I say no, vehemently no.

The song begins with a clunky guitar-centric intro that does not build any kind of momentum and barely includes any driving bass line or rhythm section. That is not marching music. You need a soaring, agressive beast of a song like “Enter Sandman” or “Thundestruck” to get the building jumpin’ (I am not suggesting either of those songs because they’re cliche by now). So I went searching for entry songs. I’ve already got a few (“N.W.O” by Ministry, and “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire by Queens of the Stone Age) that I’ve suggested but I’m looking for more. Santigold didn’t yield anything but I was just cruising around my library and got stuck on this album. I’ll keep googling playlists from athletes in hopes of finding gladiator music to appease the masses while playing Santigold in the background to keep me company.


“Stars” – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – “The Lion The Beast and The Beat” (2012)

Feb 15
Posted by admin Filed in Girls Rule

I love it when they provide good, non-Top 40 radio songs for contestants to sing on American Idol. I spotted this Grace Potter song when they showed a close up of a list of 20 songs for perfomers to pick from last week and a gal from Oklahome sang it tonight. It was a very nice performance and blew the judges away. I’m glad that I heard this performance tonight because I was all ready and set to play a cynical Valentine Day post for all of the lonely and confirmed singles out there but I wasn’t really feeling that, and I’m definitely not living it so this selection fits better.


“Forrest Gump” – Frank Ocean – “Channel Orange” (2012)

Feb 12
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I did not get Ocean’s performance of this song the other night during the Grammys. I had heard the song before but probably only once or twice. So I decided to go back and listen to the album version today just to see if I’m missing something.

There were a lot of good performances during the Grammys. I saw about 2/3 of the show and of the portion that I saw, I thought that the “very good” included: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, and Ziggy paying tribute to Papa Marley, and Justin Timberlake. “Ridiculously good” for the heart soul and a reaffirmation of everything righteous and uplifting about rock and roll, soul, music and life in general? Elton John, Zac Brown, Mavis Staples, T Bone Burnett, Mumford and Sons, and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes rockin’ the house to The Band’s classic “The Weight” (if you haven’t seen it yet go look on Youtube or something and watch it RIGHT NOW!!!). The “not so good?” Hunter Hayes (luckily it was a truncated version). The “somewhat good, somewhat bad, undeniably noisy?” Chuck D, Cool J, Travis Barker, and Tom Morello closing out the show. But in the middle of that, what was up with that Frank Ocean performance.

So after listening to the album version of the song, I have to say I really like it. After reading the big feature piece about Ocean in last Sunday’s NYT, I find him a little to self assured or as some people might interpret him, full of integrity. He’s totally bent on crafting his art and presenting it, the way that is right to his ear and heart. I ain’t got a problem with that. So there he was, in simple form, at the keys croonin’ about a simpleton and his approach and effect on the world. Maybe this was actually the perfect performance. Not that Ocean would have chosen this particular arrangement of his song just to appease the show’s producers but with all of the back up singers and dancers, collaborations, and hair spray that went into the rest of that show, Ocean stripped down was the perfect chance for everyone to catch their breath.