Dead Fucking Moon to play Bumbershoot????!!!!

Dead Moon, one of the most storied punk bands from Portland, OR, which features a frontman who had emergency heart surgery in 2014, will be playing Sunday September 6 at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at the Seattle Center.

Did I mention that the band broke up in 2006, after 20 years in the underground/indie scene?

They got back together on Halloween 2014 and the Sunday lineup looks good.  Also on the bill are Social Distortion, Cave Singers and The Melvins.  $65 might be too steep for me, but when am I going to have another chance to see Dead Moon??!!


Pay attention masses

Courtney Barnett will be a major songwriter for the coming decade

Below is a track from her latest album, Sometimes I sit and think ,and sometimes I just sit.

And the song which first garnered her attention, Avant Gardner:

It was 20 years ago today…April 1995

Unwound: The Future of What

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m possibly the only person on the internets who is observing this anniversary. Unwound was an indie band hailing form Tumwater, WA in the early to mid 1990s. They spent most of their recording careers on Olympia’s seminal Kill Rock Stars record label, which is where I first heard of them. Interestingly, Unwound were the first non-spoken word act on the Kill Rock Stars label.

At the time, I voraciously consumed several bands from Kill Rock Stars, Up Records, K Records, Up Records and later Barsuk. One of the best and most fondly remembered from those years was Unwound. The Future of What is the fifth studio album by Unwound, and was praised for tunefulness, but derided for lack of consistency. For my money though, New Energy is one of my favorite tracks by the band (more on that later).

The album starts off with “Re-Enact the Crime”, a track which immediately evokes the familiar unwound sound of drums, alternately winding and direct guitar stabs, and lyrics buried in the mix.

Track four, “Discension” is about the cycle several people get into when they go out drinking, get way too drunk, have a miserable time, and do it all over again. With lyrics like “it never occured to you when always looking up that when it gets to you, nausea will resume”. Not exactly direct lyrics, but when coupled with the instrumentation, they create a story of somebody who is looking in on the scene with disgust that people could keep themselves in such a vicious cycle.

“Disappoint” is the first of three consecutive songs extending over the five minute mark. The track itself seems to be about the point in a relationship when the parties realize they are into the idea of the person more than the person themselves. The title of the song references being disappointed in each other, going on to say that “disillusion wouldn’t be the end”, perhaps suggesting that the couple have had this conversation or battle several times before.

Tracks 12 through 14, “Excuse Me”, “…But Pardon…” and “…My French” collectively flow together to make a 13+ minute song. The three tracks are all instrumental and feature identical instrumentation of an organ, a drum beat and a bell of some sort. I have a theory that these tracks act as a palate cleanser in order to prepare the listener for track 15….

Which is “New Energy”, one of the most energetic sounding tracks on the album. The song lends itself more to Unwound’s punk background than the rest of the album would suggest. The vocals are noticibly more upbeat and urgent than we have heard up to this point in the album. While remaining enigmatic, the lyrics themselves repeat the question “’Where’s your energy”, perhaps an affront to other bands from around the region who had started around the grunge explosion and did so to get famous instead of for the love of the craft. The phrasing is odd, though, with so many of the tracks on this album featuring a laid back vocal delivery. While other tracks feature raucous guitar swirls and a couple of those feature shouted vocals, but this track has an urgency that tracks like “Petals Like Bricks” do not.

Unwound continued making music through the 1990s, but ultimately broke up on, of all days, April 1, 2002. This lead several of their fans to take their break up letter for an April Fool’s Day prank. Two of the members went on to form Survival Knife, who are still active, and have recently released music in Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace record label. Bass player Vern Rumsey went on to perform in Fitz of Depression, Karp and Witchy Poo, all of whom are well respected in the Seattle hardcore scene.

A story which made it hard to hold back tears during my commute

I think I’d heard this story before, but I was reminded of it today while reading the Rolling Stone cover story of Ringo Starr.

In November of 2001, George Harrison was in the hospital dying of lung cancer, Ringo went to visit his friend one last time.  He wasn’t able to stay because his daughter was scheduled to have surgery for a brain tumor.  Since they tell it better than me, I’m just going to quote the story.

“When Harrison was near death in 2001, Ringo went to visit him in a Swiss hospital.  He apologized that he couldn’t stay long because he had to fly to America where his daughter Lee was having surgery for a brain tumor (She fully recovered)…

Says Ringo, “that was one of the most beautiful things.  He couldn’t move, he was riddled with cancer, laying down.  And i said ‘Look, I’ve got to leave.  I’ve got to go to Boston to be with Lee’.  And (Harrison) said, “Do you want me to come with you?”

George, you fabulous Beatle, I underestimate your songwriting ability, but this quote came on the heels of hearing tentative good news regarding the cancer of a family member.  I couldn’t take it.  Bless you.

Welcome Back: Refused

Refused are a punk band who have had a troubled past for the last 15 years.  They’re currently on tour, in fact I just decided to pass on buying a ticket to their upcoming show in Seattle.  They have two great albums under their belts, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent and The Shape of Punk to Come.

the latter album, their last was a fusion of jazz and punk (yes those two things mixed on this album) which is utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever heard.  The album has a place on my 100 favorite albums of all time list.

In the above link you can hear a new track, and below is “New Noise” from Shape of Punk to Come.

I’m really glad that these guys decided to grace us with a new album, out June 30 on Epitaph records.

From the vaults: The Surfing Brides

When I was 15, my family took a trip to San Diego/Los Angeles/Disneyland.  By this age, I had discovered alternative music and spend one of the first nights in our hotel room searching for a station similar to Seattle’s KNDD.  What I found was KROQ during their nightly countdown.  I knew many of the songs from Seattle radio, was a little surprised that “Immortality” by Pearl Jam was on the radio down there, but not up here, and heard one song on their countdown I’d never heard before.

The name of the band was The Surfing Brides, with their song “Everything’s Fine”.  I never really learned much about the band, and they don’t even seem to have a Wikipedia page, but this song was so catchy to my teenage mind that I’ve got a copy of the song on my ipod.  Recently, the lines which have been stuck in my head are:

“If the world was gonna end in an hour and a half/would you want to get dirty/would you wanna take a bath”

“Would you call up your mother/would you call up your ex/would you walk up to strangers and ask them for sex”

No idea why this came in to my head, but I felt this was a perfect occasion to share a song.

Real quick post

I’ve had this concert as a bootleg since the day it was recorded, but I’ve never seen the video…

Weezer doing an unplugged concert at Shorecrest High School just after the release of Pinkerton.

John Lennon vinyl boxed set coming

John Lennon’s full post-Beatles discography is getting the audiophile vinyl box set treatment and will see release on June 9.

The single albums will be released on August 21.  I myself intend to pick up at the very least Plastic Ono Band and Imagine.

John Lennon would have been 75 years old this October.

Vinyl Review: Violent Femmes “Happy New Year”

I only picked this album up yesterday at Record Store Day, but the first new Violent Femmes  music in 17 years is worth listening to in an expedient fashion.

The EP was recorded live in one take on New Year’s Day, is on 12″ Champagne colored vinyl and is played at 45RPM.  Side A features two tracks “Happy New Year Next Year” and “Love Love Love Love Love”.  The second track was posted earlier on my site when the EP was announced, but I think the soundcloud link has expired.  Anyway, these two tracks are the better of the four songs, with track one most probably going to be ending up placing high on my Top 50 of 2015 list.  Even though there’s now a saxophone player in the band now, The Violent Femmes don’t sound all that different 33 years after their first record.  And believe me, that’s a good thing.

The record itself sounds great, really crisp and clear.  The EP came with a digital download, which when i originally went to download it, the site said my code had been used.  I sent an email to the company, and even without a response from them, several hours later, I was able to download the tracks.

So….this happened last night

April 18th was the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  Among others, Ringo Starr and Green Day were inducted into the Hall.

And so it may seem like an odd pairing anywhere else, but for one performance only…Ringo Starr sat in on drums and lead vocals with Green Day on the early Beatles song “Boys”.

Holy shit…