Posts tagged ‘The Features’

September 23, 2013

Best Seattle Shows of the Week – Phosphorescent, The Helio Sequence, The Features & More

SLM_WeekOf9.23.13

Autumn is in the air. The leaves are ready to turn, the clouds are back from their summer break, the kids are back to tuning out teachers and not just their parents, pumpkin spices have begun their full assault on all our senses and the Seahawks are winning our city admirers (and haters) in a whole new way.

…And best of all, autumn tour season is in full swing for us audiophiles. Check out this week’s best shows in the Emerald City:

August 10, 2012

Outdoor/Indoor Double-Header with Brad, The Features and a Handful of Local Favorites

While there are certainly exceptions, most nights make it quite challenging to take in two great shows in a single evening. Much to our delight, tonight is one of those rare cases when our two top choices don’t have us pining for a Columbia City to Ballard bullet train. As an added bonus, the timing of our top picks tonight mean you’ll likely be able to take in all sets at each venue.

Start the evening off with one of KEXP and Seattle Center’s excellent, free Concerts at the Mural. Show up at the base of the Space Needle right around 5:30pm to hear local purveyors of lo-fi pop Posse – fingers crossed for a Smog cover. At 6:30, the assembled masses will be treated to some of Seattle’s finest she/he vocals and sing-along folk from The Young Evils. The evening’s headliners, Brad, will kick off their headlining set of soulful vocals and grunge-inspired grooves at 7:30pm.

Whenever you’re ready, head down a few blocks to The Crocodile to see what just might be the best pop rock lineup of the summer. Ships, “Seattle’s most refined power pop band,” will kick off the Belltown portion of your evening. Following a lively, yet still “refined” set, frontman Jacob James will turn the stage over to former bandmate Eric Howk of The Lashes and his new excellent power pop band made up of members of Visqueen, The Greatest Hits and Megasapien for Boom City’s album release performance. Last up, SLM favorites The Features will take the stage to crank out a full set of consistently solid, cleverly-worded, keyboard-driven pop rock gems.

8/10 (Friday) – Brad @ KEXP and Seattle Center’s Concerts at the Mural

8/10 (Friday) – The Features with Boom City and Ships @ Crocodile

August 6, 2012

The 5 Best Seattle Shows of the Week [August 6]

Our top picks for the week. As always, check the calendar for the full rundown.

8/6 (Monday) – Phosphorescent @ Tractor

Country-tinged rock from Brooklyn by-way-of Alabama

8/7 (Tuesday) – White Denim @ Tractor

Psychedelic-leaning, sometimes punky, garage rock from Austin

8/8 (Wednesday) – Sigur Rós @ The Paramount Theatre

Sonically-expansive, cinematic rock from Iceland

8/10 (Friday) – Brad @ KEXP and Seattle Center’s Concerts at the Mural

The 20-year-old Seattle four-piece featuring the distinctive, soulful vocals of Satchel’s Shawn Smith and impressive guitar work of Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard

8/10 (Friday) – The Features with Boom City and Ships @ Crocodile

Intricate, keyboard-driven pop rock from Nashville

February 7, 2012

Do Yourself a Favor and Go See The Features at Chop Suey Tonight

For some reason, we often spend time comparing and contrasting the trajectories of our favorite bands and more often than not, are completely at a loss to explain why one band “makes it” while another may spend their whole career in semi- or complete obscurity.

We’re not talking about contrasting the wild success of the Nickelbacks and Kings of Leons of the world with the hardworking, infinitely more talented Damien Jurados and Eef Barzelays that never seem to “break through” (define that as you will).

Instead, the mental Venn diagrams that we often construct involve charting bands that we deem to be of similar skill, song-writing ability and so-called mainstream appeal. It’s in these cases that we’re often unable to figure out why one will end up selling out The Paramount while the other plays to a small but devoted crowd at Chop Suey or whatever the case may be.

In terms of tonight’s SEA live MUSIC picks, that’s exactly the case. As longtime Wilco enthusiasts, we’re thrilled to see Jeff Tweedy and co. get the recognition they deserve – along with the financial incentives that accompany such notoriety. We wholly recommend the band and if you were so lucky to score tickets before they were gone, we know you’ll have a great time at the Paramount tonight.

If you’re looking for another option, we also wholeheartedly recommend another band that also formed in 1994 but has led a very different existence. The Features, headlining Chop Suey tonight, have been cranking out consistently solid, cleverly-worded, rock albums with very little fanfare (in the US anyway – according to Wikipedia, the band has been very well-received in the UK).

Interestingly, some 15 years in, the band’s relative “break” came in being discovered by a very different band, on the other end of the success and arguably talent spectrum, Kings of Leon.

Questionable merit of being endorsed by a band that few will actually publicly endorse aside, The Features truly rank up there as one of the greatest “less-discovered” rock bands of the past two decades.

Do yourself a favor and spend some time with their latest album (and perhaps our last interview with the band) and head over to Chop Suey to take in the live experience for yourself tonight.



The Features, Vanaprasta, The Good Hurt @ Chop Suey. Doors at 8 p.m. All Ages.

September 16, 2011

An Interview with Tonight’s Featured Act, The Features

Over the past year, The Features have become one of our favorite bands outside of the Seattle area. While the band has been doing quite well in Europe, most notably the UK, for years, it’s only been relatively recently that the Tennessee rock band has started getting the same attention and respect stateside. You may have heard The Features on KEXP or perhaps you even heard the band because you happened to tune into PBS’ surprisingly captivating documentary mini-series Circus.

Or maybe this is your first time hearing about the band. Whatever the case may be, continue on to read our interview with drummer Rollum Haas and check out the band in person as they open for Kevin Devine at El Corazon tonight.

For those not yet familiar with your band, what key elements might help them identify what they’re hearing as The Features?

We’re a four piece rock band that has keyboards instead of another guitar, we don’t do a lot of solos/showboating, and our singer doesn’t sound like a fey indie rocker or the guy from Creed.

At what point did you start seeing the reactions to your original songs become positive enough to warrant the jump from being a band heavy on covers to one that plays its own material?

By the time I joined in ’98 we were long past that point. I know that Matt started writing his own songs pretty early on. When we rehearse we always just mess around with new material, so unless it’s a special occasion or we’re asked, we don’t bother. Occasionally we’ll talk about it but it hasn’t happened in years.

Kings of Leon certainly have their legion of fans as well as an equally devoted army of those who decry them as America’s Nickelback (which is a compliment in some circles, less so in others…) Have you found either positive or negative reactions from fans after hearing you’ve signed to KOL’s label?

I haven’t seen anything negative from it but I understand what you’re getting at. There’s very little in between with music fans these days……kind of like politics. The indie world is as fickle as the pop world.

There’s a whole unspoken list of things that bands aren’t allowed to do if they want to be perceived as being cool. I think the Kings had a hard time with that crowd because they didn’t listen to the bands those people think you’re supposed to listen to and look how they think you’re supposed to look. Also if your music appeals to a certain type of person, the elitists will stay away rather than risk association(even if they like it). Whatcha gonna do? There’s plenty of bands heralded by that crowd that are good but a lot more that are total horse-shit. It’s always been that way. Black Sabbath got crummy reviews yet there were bands that based an entire career off of individual songs from them so now they’re respected. Sorry for giving you an essay…

How did your involvement with PBS’s great documentary mini-series Circus come about?

A fan of the band was involved with the project and wanted us to be a part of it. It’s always a nice surprise when stuff like that happens.

If you lived in a parallel universe where all bands in 2011 had to become tribute bands, which band would you choose as your new identity for the year?

If I had to pick a newer band, The Walkmen. If I had to pick an older band, Roxy Music.

Are there any bands from Seattle that make your van’s playlist?

We’ve talked about covering “Rusty Cage”. Just talk….We all like Jimi Hendrix. I always hear that Nirvana’s from Aberdeen, but they’d be on there. Most Seattle bands are too tough for us. Any individual member of any band from Seattle could beat up our entire band.

Anything in particular that you’re looking to do with your time in Seattle?

My wife is coming up to visit me so I get to have a break from what’s sure to be a smelly van for a bit. My memories of Seattle are a little fuzzy. I remember a lot of sake, a lot of hills, hot dogs with cream cheese, and helping a guy push his car out of the road.

9/16 Kevin Devine / The Features / Dane Ueland @ El Corazon / $12 advance, $15 doors / 9:00 pm / All Ages

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