Archive for January, 2011

January 29, 2011

It’s Going To Be A Big Night: Joseph Giant at The Comet


Earlier this week while we were blathering on about the forefathers of Alt-Country, we kept getting distracted by thinking about Joseph Giant’s Saturday evening show. Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge fans of Jeff, Jay, Rhett and the rest of the lot, but there’s something about getting to hear a band on, what we know will be, a steep upward trajectory that’s unlike anything else.

Though we first heard Joseph Giant live as the opener for the (highly enjoyable and surprisingly, not really gimmicky) Neutral Uke Hotel show at the Sunset, the young Seattle band has quickly become one our favorite acts to suggest to friends, coworkers and really anyone else who will listen. Frontman Joe Syverson, formerly of the Final Spins, offers up country-tinged rock songs of heartbreak tempered with hope that would make the aforementioned old-timers proud.

Head to the Comet on the early side as Joseph Giant will be playing second in a line-up that concludes with Portland’s Parson Red Heads.

1/29 at The Comet Tavern: Parson Red Heads :: Wayfinders :: Joseph Giant :: Tango Alpha Tango :: 9 PM :: $7

January 28, 2011

Brit-Influnced Post-Punk with Interpol Tonight at Showbox SoDo


Known for their dark, monotone vocals and four-on-the-floor rythms, Interpol is back in town tonight with songs from their self titled release from last autumn. Seeing as Interpol is one of the most well-known post-punk revival bands of the 2000’s, it should come as no surprise that tonight’s show is completely sold out.

Interpol’s new album is good overall, but being big fans of their earlier work, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they offer a nice mix of new tunes and old singles.

1/28 at Showbox SoDo :: Doors at 8:00 PM :: all ages :: This show is sold out!

January 27, 2011

Get There Early: Pepper Rabbit at Neumos Tonight

For those of you who have been with us from the very beginning, you’ll likely remember that our very first preview pointed to a show by Seattle’s own Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. While a lot may have changed in that huge expanse of time, our love for orchestral pop has only grown stronger. Tell us about a band that feature trumpets, ukulele, pump organ and/or other “weird” instrumentation and you’ve got our attention. 

As you might imagine, we’re big fans of tonight’s Neumos openers Pepper Rabbit. Combining just about everything we like (haunting vocals, diverse instrumentation, unexpected hooks), the band brings to mind some of our favorite bands ranging from Sea Wolf to Beirut to Pale Young Gentlemen.

Head to Neumos tonight to see the band for yourself.

1/27 at Neumos :: Ra Ra Riot :: Givers:: Pepper Rabbit :: 8:30 :: SOLD OUT

January 26, 2011

This Week’s Shows


As we refreshed our calendar this past Sunday, a couple things caught our attention. To start with, Ween was coming to town so it was sure to be a strange week. Of note, the band made it through Tuesday’s Paramount show without any bizarre breaks from reality as experienced up north the night before… So things certainly could have been stranger.

Looking at the week ahead on the whole, however, we were surprised to see such a perfect balance between older and newer bands represented in our recommended show list.

As it worked out, we recommend three favorites from yesteryear (Old 97’s, Ween, Interpol) and three favorites from today and tomorrow (Pepper Rabbit, Joseph Giant, PonyHomie).

Take a look at our calendar to see our day-by-day recommendations for the week.

(Photo by planetschwa)

January 25, 2011

Ween Brings Weirdness and Wonder to the Paramount Theater


With music that literally spans all genres, Ween has been one of the biggest bands on the cult circuit for over 20 years. That said, Ween certainly isn’t for everyone – when a band can credit some of their fame to being featured on Beavis and Butthead, you know they aren’t going to be your run-of-the-mill pop deconstructionists.

With humble beginnings stemming from a middle school typing class, Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) and Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) now have over 10 studio albums available and a huge fanbase. Head to the Paramount Theater tonight to catch their quirky act.

1/25/11 at the Paramount Theater :: doors at 8:00 PM :: Tickets available at the door, $29 – $32 :: all ages

January 24, 2011

Alt-Country Forefathers The Old 97’s To Rock the Showbox Tonight


Nearly 20 years before The Moondoggies, Black Whales, Joseph Giant and countless other buzz-worthy area bands began infusing rock with a country tinge, alternative country, known to friends and casual acquaintances as alt-country, was born.

While rockabilly, honky tonk and other subgenres with names even more absurd existed during Chuck Berry’s heyday, alt-country and the acts that graced the pages of No Depression were a product of the 90’s. Along with pre-Wilco/Son Volt outfit Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks, The Old 97’s are one the genre’s most beloved founders.

Head to the Showbox tonight to catch the frontman Rhett Miller and his band known equally for its place in history and for their high-energy live shows. Noted singer-songwriter and entertaining showman Langhorne Slim will open.

1/24 at Showbox Market :: The Old 97’s with Langhorn Slim :: $20-23 :: 21+

January 23, 2011

Get Folksy with Loudon Wainwright III Tonight at The Triple Door

Looking for a chill show to fight those Sunday Blues tonight? Head over to the Triple Door for some cocktails and dinner from Wild Ginger, all the while enjoying the musical stylings of Loudon Wainwright III. You might know him as Rufus Wainwright‘s father, or recognize his music from the 2007 comedy hit “Knocked Up” (see Daughter or our personal favorite, Grey in LA).


1/23 at The Triple Door :: Doors at 5:30 PM :: Tickets $34 at the door :: all ages

January 22, 2011

Local Showcase: The Young Evils, The Black Whales, The First Times to Brighten the Tractor Tavern

If music were drinks, tonight we’d be craving something warm, refreshing and fun. The ideal drink to fit our craving would be a hot toddy, and the musical equivalent would be seeing The Young Evils at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard tonight. With duel vocals, gentle guitar work and jangling tambourine, Seattle’s own Young Evils are one of our favorite new bubblegum Americana bands. Another local favorite (who sounds like they were spawned from Jeff Tweedy himself), The Black Whales, will share the stage with the Young Evils tonight, as will newcomers The First Times.

If you’re looking for a feel-good, toe-tapping show to recover from the week past, we’ll see you at the Tractor tonight, drinks in hand.

1/22 at the Tractor Tavern :: The Young Evils, The Black Whales, The First Times :: Doors at 9:00 PM :: $8 available at the door :: 21+

January 21, 2011

The Thermals Keeping the Dream of the 90s Alive at Neumos Tonight


Personal experience and/or that video has no doubt taught you the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland. It should come as little surprise then that The Thermals, arguably Portland’s best known trio outside of Everclear, treats keeping the dream alive like a part time job. While the band itself delights fans with their Ted Leo-esque upbeat pop rock, it’s their 90s covers that set the indie-loving masses atwitter.

Head to Neumos tonight and if you’re lucky you’ll get to hear their take on Rivers, Billy Joe, Kurt or any other heroes from the end of last millennium.

1/21 at Neumos: The Thermals / Unnatural Helpers / White Fang :: 8PM :: $12 :: All Ages

January 20, 2011

Interview: The Handsome Family at the Tractor Tonight

If we were to a make a list of “lesser known” musicians we feel all music fans should hear, we’d have enough sheets to re-wallpaper The Sunset. In the upper echelon of said list would be our favorite purveyors of morbidly clever Americana known as The Handsome Family. Hyperbole aside, we highly recommend the band and recommend checking them out when they’re in town, which luckily for you (and us!) is tonight.

The husband and wife duo of 21 years will be headlining the Tractor Tavern with support from Sean Rowe. We were lucky enough to interview the lyrical mastermind Rennie Sparks in advance of show.

Of their working relationship, Rennie tells us “it’s always the same… I write the lyrics then Brett writes music then we argue a lot” but goes on to sweetly sum up in the end “it’s nice to sing harmonies with someone that you love.”

Continue on to read our exchange, become more familiar with their work and head to the Ballard watering hole tonight for the live experience.


If our readers are anything like us, many of them first heard your band through your relationship with Jeff Tweedy and/or Jason Lytle. Through what circumstances did you first meet Jeff and presumably later Jason?

Jeff has been a great friend to us for many years, always trying to help us in so many ways. We played at his wife’s amazing bar, Lounge Ax, many times before it closed. Jeff loaned us the equipment to make our third record and came over to do a lot of harmonies and guitar parts. He’s just a big-hearted, generous person. Jason was just this amazing surprise. One day we got a Grandaddy CD in the mail with a little note saying he liked our music. Lo and behold, what a great band!

As a band noted for your storytelling chops in songs that often focus on historical figures, are there people making headlines today that you’ve considered or would consider immortalizing in song?

Right now I’m trying to write about Stephen Foster, so I guess I tend to look backwards a lot.  Our song “Snow White Diner” is pretty much a retelling of a true story I read about while eating hash browns in a diner.

What should people expect when they come to see you at the Tractor?

To get to know us better and hopefully see the humor and beauty of our songs. Also, to see just how much my husband is starting to look like Colonel Sanders.

Do any memories of Seattle come to mind as you think back on past tours through the area?

My mom once asked me to pick her up some dried flowers at Pike Place. I carefully transported them from Seattle to Chicago by van, then Chicago to New York by plane, and then she frowned and said I’d bought the wrong ones.

Are there any Seattle area bands that make it to your van playlist as you tour the country?

Jesse Sykes

Anything planned for any free time you’ll have while in Seattle?

Trying to not be frightened by all the sentient pine trees.

1/20 at The Tractor Tavern :: The Handsome Family :: Sean Rowe :: 8 PM :: $15

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