Archive for the ‘music review’ Category

Is it still a waste?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

I was in a record store Saturday, old school brick and mortar place selling physical representations of sound waves on vinyl, digital representations of plastic.  They share space with a ‘book’ store, quaint physical entities filled with pieces of paper upon which a single subject has been printed.  I was there killing time before a blind-date at the coffee shop around the corner.  As is customary in these establishments, the proprietor has a record going.  There’s a sample, of a cartoonish voice going, “I just found joy, I’m as happy as a baby boy”, and I have to get it.

This morning, I finally am getting around to ripping the disc, and reading the liner notes, find that the artists considered this particular album as a collection of unfinished songs, which seems to imply he’s done finished work as well, so I bring him up in Rhapsody, and wouldn’t ya know it, they have both the album I bought, and some other stuff by him available.

Thinking about it, the album I bought helps out the record store, but does nothing for the artist unless the store buys another copy right away.  He got whatever he was going to get out of that CD when it got picked up by a distributor, IIRC.  If I listen to his stuff online, both what I already have, and the other, he’d be getting something each time I press play.  But what, a tenth of a cent?

An interesting world for an artist.


Oh, yeah, the artist is Jonny Trunk, the album is Scrapbook.  I think it is pretty good.  Little soundscape poems, samples remixed and tweaked sort of thing.

James Coates @ The High Dive

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

There were two bands on the roster, with higher billing, but I get up too early to stay out too late, and James was the reason I came out anyways.

Easily the largest crowd of any opening act I’ve seen at The High Dive, and people were definitely into his music. After his set, the number of people who took off, with two bands yet to go, surprised me. Then again, it’s going to be a weird night, when the headliner isn’t the band who’s CD release party it is.

Bottom line, James Coates sings a good song; if you have the chance, check him out.

Weird Al Yankovic @ Beneroya Hall review

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I arrived early, and started with a light dinner at the Triple Door. They have a smaller version of the 9-flavor beef, during happy hour, 7-flavor beef. I meant to ask which flavor is missing. Next time. When I’m trying out the curry fries with mayo sauce.

I wonder how many Al shows have concessions by Wolfgang Puck. The chocolate gooey torte thingy was tasty. I didn’t have my usual spot, but still managed a decent box seat, and since I bought a single, and the people next to me bought the double at the other end of the row, I had a spare seat that hadn’t been sold, as buffer.

No opening band, no intro announcer, just lights down, and music up. They made judicious use of a big video screen behind the band, sometimes playing along with his videos, and during costume changes between songs, they would play “Al TV” bits, disjointed interviews in the style of space ghost coast to coast, including a great bit with eminem and the ‘lost video’. They played for almost two hours straight, just a short break between songs for costume changes, and a small break before the encore songs. I still wonder who they get to dress up as stormtroopers and Vader, since it seems like way to many people to bring along on a tour for just one bit. But then again, he’s “weird” =p

3 good bands

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

When there are three bands on the bill, and the cover is only $6, expectations are set accordingly, so it was nice to have them blown out of the water.

First band was Faire du Surf, with a nice set of tuneful songs, sung to a crowd that was small, and mostly made up of the second band. It didn’t stop them from putting themselves out there and they entertained me.

Second band was Moose Portrait, a funky electric hip-hop experimental sort of sound, fronted by the traditional super-thin and tall geeky dude. While they made up half the audience for the first band, by the time they were themselves setup on stage, the crowd had tripled in size, and didn’t seem to be members of the next band waiting for their turn, but rather actual intentional fans. The singer was an active stage presence, and the songs worked well.

The third and final band of the evening, Werebearcat!, brought the most people into the club. Sometimes a female singer, sometimes a male, they worked through their set and actually had some CD’s available for name-your-own-price. Like the second band, there were people who had come to hear them, in double digit numbers. They even managed to get one woman in a mood to dance in front of the stage.

All in all, an entertaining evening close to home.

New TenD

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Ever since King Kong, I’ve had a soft spot for Jack Black, and his work on the cartoon episodes of King Fu Panda have only improved my opinion of him. Now he’s back with Kyle Gass, and a new Tenacious D album,

I like it so far. A good mix of rock and comedy, quickly witted yet still full of authentic growling guitars.

Michelle Shocked @ The Triple Door (Seattle)

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Another year of Michelle’s Roadworks touring, this time back at the Triple Door, and she was in fine form as always. She started the evening off with folkaoke; she plays her guitar, and feeds lines as needed, while an audience member came up and song one of four classic folk tunes (Blowing In The Wind, Deportees, This Land Is Your Land, and Do Re Me).

When the ‘real’ show got going, she sang new interpretations of her classic tunes. Given the choice, the audience picked ‘Graffiti Limbo’ over ‘Come Along Way’. Once she’d gotten through those (sadly, no Hopeville this time), she did some of the new songs off the as-yet-unfinished album in progress.

She then took time to bring up a couple of local foreclosure activists (against them, for some reason =P), and then did some speaking of her own on the subject. This really ticked off the slightly loud table over my shoulder, who just wanted her to shut-up and sing. It wasn’t as bad as the Goldthwait woman by any means. When she finished talking and did one last song, they were happy, but still managed to chatter away through the whole thing. I don’t get some people.

If there was anything really wrong with the evening, it was that I had eaten just a few hours earlier, during the SQREAM ride, and just wasn’t hungry enough to order my favorite, 9 Flavor Beef. Unexpectedly, my tablet had wifi access. I didn’t notice this until after the show, or I would have uploaded the pictures I took, as I took them. As is, I’m at work without the cable to unload them now. D’oh.

The Fratellis – Costello Music

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I think the album title caught my eye in a is-this-an-album-of-elvis-costello-covers-i-see sort of way, and on Rhapsody, all the music is ‘free’, so download I did, without bothering to look beyond the track titles enough to see they weren’t Elvis songs. Turns out to be a fairly decent rock album, very peppy and energetic, without a single song skipped so far, and every one a toe-tapper even on first listen.

Recommended – Costello Music

Frank Vignola @ Jazz Alley

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Went and saw Frank and friends at the Jazz Alley last night. He brought rhythm guitar and violin, a sparse setup on stage of three little sound cubes, only the violinist having a pedal to fiddle with. They started out fast and just kept getting faster. He is truly amazing when he gets going. It was a very funny and energetic show, with covers of Led Zepp, ballet, and opera, alongside the expected Django renditions. Every once in a while, they’d thrown in a synchronized physical flourish, like little faux ballet moves during the ballet cover, and guitar-kicks during the rock numbers. Which is not to say it wasn’t a jazz show, with intimate audience interaction and banter with a recognized regular in that oh-so-knowing tone of who-remembers-when-best-oh-weren’t-those-the-days. He had this funky little tuning device on the end of his guitar, looked almost like a prism, and would change colors between red, green, I think yellow, and blank, as he played.

Foodwise, the spaghetti and meatballs was it’s usual tasty, but for whatever reason, our waitress never gave me a chance to order dessert, oh well. I suppose if I’d really had to have some key-limey-ness, I could have stopped by Whole Foods on the way home, but I was hurrying to get my Chocolati fix on.

Connie Evingson with Pearl Django at Jazz Alley

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

I don’t remember how long ago it was that I made the reservation, but when it came up on the calendar, I did what the google told me to do. I did not lead myself wrong. I’m quite fine with recent rise in gypsy-jazz style bands, what the kids are calling “hot club jazz” these days. Connie Evingson has a very jazz singer-y voice, smooth and strong, and a very good match for the material chosen.

Shilelagh Law – Half The Bottle Down (AR)

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Shilelagh Law – Half The Bottle Down

A very nicely boisterous album of celtic folk, it puts me to mind of a mix somewhere between Amadan and Altan.  I’m pretty sure I actually found them because I was looking for other people’s versions of “Big Strong Man”, and while I still prefer the one by Stone Soup Band, their version of “Tell Me Ma” is worth at least 3 listens so far =p

Sally Gardens/Joe Cooley’s – an instrumental number, fast paced drums and flute, a good song for dancing

Muirsheen Durkin/Whiskey in the Jar -Nice and rollicking versions of both

A couple slow songs I skipped.  Overall, well worth the emusic credits I spent.