Saturday, March 14, 2009, 08:17 PM ( 763 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by dagmarsieglindeI love eclectic bills and putting Pop Levi in-between Project Jenny, Project Jan and Fujiya & Miyagi definitely falls in that category. Pop Levi’s an amazing guitarist and his set pumped along like blood in the veins. It’s not every night you see a guy really look like he’s mating with his guitar and his Sugar Assault Me Now is still an awesome track.
Project Jenny, Project Jan played songs such as Zoobar and Negative accompanied by a very entertaining choice of videos they’ve created. Negative, a song about losing a particular kind of photos taken of a girlfriend, has enough humor in it to make it fun but these are good songs too. Singer Jeremy Haines is officially now one of my favorite dancers.
Fujiya & Miyagi headlined in a droolworthy way. They’ve just released their second album, Lightbulbs, and their songs are so intense, so danceable and evocative. The way singers Steve Lewis and David Best balance their vocals is beautiful. Note to bassist Matt Hainsby: you are a super bassist. F&M have a wacky fan base judging by the pack of women and men clutching the speakers of the stage and screaming Fujiya Miyagi Fujiya Miyagi over and over again. Show included the sexy, sexy Uh, In One Ear & Out the Other and Knickerbocker – plus a performance of Pins & Needles with Project Jenny, Project Jan.
David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi
Matt Hainsby of Fujiya & Miyagi
Steve Lewis and David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi
Jeremy Haines of Project Jenny, Project Jan
Sammy Rubin of Project Jenny, Project Jan
Jeremy Haines of Project Jenny, Project Jan
And as always, full galleries on their way of these bands.
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 07:44 PM ( 937 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by dagmarsieglindeYou many not know about Russia’s Mumiy Troll yet - but that is sure to change in 2009 if their American tour has anything to do with it.
If you don’t understand Russian at first listen you might be annoyed that you don’t know what singer Ilya Lagutenko is singing about. It’s easy though to appreciate Lagutenko’s vocals as another instrument of the band. Their newest CD Comrade Ambassador has a lyric book included with an English translation by Lagutenko himself.
Ilya Lagutenko & Eugene Zvidionny
The show at Chop Suey was sold-out and the crowd was overwhelmingly Russian. Not just people of Russian descent but Russians, from Russia, speaking Russian. It was like being in a different country for one night. Mumiy Troll’s fans were possessive of their spots in the crowd – no one milled around down in front and no one gave an inch – if you did, you’d lose your ground. They knew the lyrics and proved it by singing along. They danced and shouted and I was impressed by how dressed up the women were. Even the men were dressed up. And drinking hard liquor – not the usual beer of Seattle crowds. Two women down in front got into a fight.
Mumiy Troll as a live band is something you really need to witness. By the end of the show they had launched into a non-stop five strong song swell of something that was like a Led Zeppelin crossed with Nirvana crossed with Black Sabbath breakdown. It was, to put it mildly, awesome. Singer Ilya Lagutenko is a shocking showman – he uses every single atom to get across his emotion.
Koroleva Roka was brilliant - as were Vladivostok 2000, Utekai and Oh, Paradiso. My text editor mangles the Cyrillic alphabet but you can see the set list here. Mumiy Troll will return to the States with shows in Los Angeles and an appearance at SXSW.
You can also get a taste of their albums by visiting their page on last.fm and myspace profile. I will also have my interview with Lagutenko ready very soon and check out more photos I took at the show here & here.
Friday, October 31, 2008, 05:40 PM ( 4135 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by dagmarsieglindeThe Kooks played a sold out show recently in Seattle and even though they were missing under the weather drummer Paul Garred, they were alarmingly vigorous. This was my first time seeing them live and this band has the charisma to continue on their major way.
Pritchard, with his brown wavy locks and rock star figure, has a voice and talent that set him well apart from his contemporaries. Harris, the red-haired guitarist, is equally a standout. Their new bassist, Denton, joined just this year. And to be fair I never saw former bassist Max Rafferty live, I was quite hypnotized by Denton’s playing. Hypnotized, even though I was dancing to the music.
The history of the band starts in 2003. Consider that singer/songwriter Pritchard and drummer Garred are now 23, guitarist Hugh Harris is 21, and I am putting their new bassist Peter Denton near the same age. They’re following a line of classic British rock bands that did get a young start and made it big at young ages – I am thinking of bands like the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Kinks. I want to point out You Don’t Love Me and Ooh La in particular. You Don’t Love Me is petulance at its best, with Pritchard screaming if you don't love me you don't care and Ooh La, one of the strongest pop rock songs to come out in ages, melts you with its sweetness and cynicism: And ooh la, she was such a good girl to me/ And ooh la, the world just chewed her up and spat her out. With songs like these, Sofa Song, Mr. Maker, Jackie Big Tits and See the World I am of high hopes the band will continue this line of rock well into the next decade. Beyond? Judging by the audience, who knew the songs and were happily appreciative, the Kooks have a committed fan base.
Luke Pritchard and Peter Denton
--- For more photos I took at their show click here.
These extremely busy guys next head to the U.K. and Europe for a string of sold out dates. Then they head to Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They are rightly in demand.
Saturday, October 25, 2008, 10:18 PM ( 1616 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorWe Are Scientists formed in 2000. They’re from Brooklyn and I am pretty sure they’ve been to Seattle several times (at least once or twice). So why did it take me until 2008 to see this band? Okay one reason is I don’t live in Brooklyn and the other reason is . . . I am not sure what my other reason is. Every so often it takes me a while to check a band out. I remedied this terrible accident the other night when the band opened for Kings of Leon at the Paramount and I am very sad I have missed them all this time. On the other hand I finally saw We Are Scientists – a band whose music punches you in the face with its impressive pop sounds.
Keith Murray - photo by Dagmar
During Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt the stage lights were nearly extinguished but for a few dim white lights. So picture a band singing: My body is your body/ I won't tell anybody/ If you wanna use my body/ Go for it, yeah, in basically the dark. It’s striking. On a side note, the girl seated next to me actually was stretching during part of the set. She impressively stretched one of her legs behind her head. I am not making this up and I wondered if the band saw this, and whether they had ever seen this while putting on a show before.
From It’s a Hit and Great Escape from their first album, With Love and Squalor to Chick Lit off their latest, Brain Thrust Mastery they have the most wonderful songs. Keith Murray (guitarist and lead singer) and bassist Chris Cain are like frenzied hurricanes onstage - we should all see much more of this band with such presence. They said they had programs and beer at the merch table - I would hold them to this next time.
Chris Cain - photo by Dagmar
For more photos, click here.
A full set list for the show can be found here.
Thursday, October 16, 2008, 04:18 PM ( 457 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorI’ve mentioned dream triple bills before but this one really took the cake – you’ve got Heartbreak opening, the Presets in between and Cut Copy headlining and you’ve also got a crowd of seriously crazed fans I don’t think I have ever seen matched at the Showbox.
Heartbreak, a British duo made up of Argentinian singer Sebastian Muravchix and Ali Renault, nailed their performance with truly hot synth pop pieces such as Regret and We’re Back. This band should be big – Muravchix’s theatrics and dancing are totally fun to watch. Muravchix’s voice reminds me a bit of Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters – something that endears me to this band more than I can say.
Sebastian Muravchix - photo by Dagmar
The Presets are immaculate. You could say I would think this because I grew up listening to synth music like Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Visage, New Order. The fact is the Presets capture all that is great with these rhythms and singer Julian Hamilton has a miraculous voice – at times it’s dirty, cruel and then at other times it’s just touching. If you don’t think Are You the One? and This Boy’s in Love are perfect examples of what modern music should be, well, you’re wrong. If you don’t recognize that drummer Kim Moyes is part of the same gene pool that produced Keith Moon, you’re wrong again. They just have too many great songs for their own good.
Julian Hamilton - photo by Dagmar
Kim Moyes - photo by Dagmar
I saw Cut Copy open for Franz Ferdinand three years ago, so they’re not exactly that new an international band but they are now frankly too large a band for this venue. They’ve become so in not a sudden way but rather in an explosive way. There honestly was a near-chaotic frenzy among the audience but the crowd eventually hopped up and down as one. Singer Dan Whitford’s keyboards seemed at one point to come close to falling off stage during all the excitement. I’m still stuck on the song Hearts on Fire – it’s so lovely, and with Whitford’s soothing voice it too is as classic as they come.
Dan Whitford - photo by Dagmar
Cut Copy - photo by Dagmar
Heartbreak at the Showbox
the Presets at the Showbox
Cut Copy at the Showbox
Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 04:44 PM ( 1455 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorI have said it before and I will say it again, Alison Goldfrapp is a goddess. For the Seattle show she was a goddess in the most adorable and sexy little harlequin outfit. She wore a dress or perhaps it was a long top with a black and white diamond pattern on it, complete with fuzzy little pompoms down the front. Her blonde hair was wild as it should have been and her feet were bare to go with the naturalistic feel of the stage set and new album, Seventh Tree. The stage had stuffed birds on it, including ravens and owls. The drum kit featured a stag's antlers across the front and what I thought may have been just a prop harp, turned out to be an actual harp and was a beautiful part of the show.
Seventh Tree's songs recall, to me, the music from Goldfrapp's Felt Mountain. It made complete aesthetic sense to have Utopia and Paper Bag on the set list – both smooth and sensual live as they are recorded. Utopia's eerie lyrics Fascist Baby/Utopia, Utopia and their high notes got perfectly matched with the beautiful Little Bird, Some People and Caravan Girl. My favorites off Seventh Tree are Monster Love and Happiness – gorgeous and positive songs.
Ooh La La off Supernature and Black Cherry's Train and Strict Machine brought the disco and dirty synth back – Goldfrapp balances the soft and the hard so well that every moment is something to savor.
Click here to check out my photos from the show!
Alison Goldfrapp, photo by Dagmar
Friday, September 12, 2008, 06:49 PM ( 809 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorI think this was the fifth time I have seen Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and they really were better than they’ve ever been. Few bands are this consistent in putting out great cds - I am going to come right out and say that I love this band.
There’s an equality between Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been. It shows in their splitting songs and it’s cool to see artists share a stage in this way. Been and Hayes each had their solo moments, including Been doing a cover of Bob Dylan’s Visions of Johanna. They each have these amazing voices that you’d be lucky just to have one in a band. I was also struck by Been’s unique way of playing a bass by part of the time holding the instrument without a guitar strap – and struck by the forceful sounds.
BRMC - Photo by Dagmar
The set list was especially heavy on songs from their most recent release, Baby 81, including the beautiful Killing the Light and cracking American X and Berlin. They also did the downright racy Six Barrel Shotgun and Spread Your Love from Take Them, On Your Own and B.R.M.C., respectively. A few songs from Howl made an appearance – I particularly liked the bluesy Shuffle Your Feet and Ain’t No Easy Way.
Drummer Nick Jago has left the band, but they’ve now got Leah Shapiro from Denmark – she’s toured recently with the Raveonettes and is an explosive presence. The Showbox was a perfect venue for their deviant rock. It’s got a sultry vibe to it that fits the way BRMC combines their acoustic and electric songs. The show ended with an encore including the always exquisite Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll (Punk Song) from B.R.M.C.
To see more photos from the show click here: BRMC at the Showbox, 2008.
Friday, August 29, 2008, 01:43 AM ( 473 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorCertain things are slightly illegal depending on what parts of the world you live in. Some places you can only have one spouse, some places you can't be a topless woman walking around the beaches . . . to these kinds of blurred and vague illegalities I am going to add just how much I love Switches.
These guys have been working overtime the last couple of years and don't show any signs of fatigue - indeed, the Showbox appearance was the third time I have seen them and they attack all songs with a limber ferocity every time. Lay Down the Law is as brash as ever, Drama Queen is halcyon glam, and Coming Down is the kind of song you just know immediately in the best way. They're a foxy group of Brits led by Matt Bishop, who has the provocative allure to be a huge star. But then you'd be equally smitten with the fierce rhythm section of Steve Godfrey and Thom Kirkpatrick, or the sweltering guitar work of Ollie Thomas.
The bad news is Switches won't be coming back here for a bit, the good news is they're going to work on the next album. To go by their new song Lady for a Rainy Day it's on a promise to be a perfect follow up to Lay Down the Law. It's a more gentle piece that should go well with The Need to Be Needed - that's my only complaint from the show - where was that song?
See my pix of Switches here.
Friday, August 29, 2008, 01:26 AM ( 1185 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorMy first exposure to She Wants Revenge took the form of my alarm clock waking me up to one of their songs, Tear You Apart. It was of course the radio edit so a certain part of it was missing. I still thought it was beautiful and sort of evil at the same time.
I mention this because it's come to define a bit how I feel about She Wants Revenge's music. It's got a dreamlike quality to it that can be both soothing and jarring depending on when you listen to it. You think you're listening to what should be a love song, then singer Justin Warfield coos something really horrible and then you realize you're still listening to a love song - of sorts.
Live, Warfield and Adam Bravin kept a smooth momentum going with a menacing These Things, a danceable What I Want, a trembling Written in Blood, and a perfect Tear You Apart. Save Your Soul, a song off their new EP is gorgeous too. I had a couple favorite moments. Don't get me wrong, Warfield's got a velvety voice and good dance moves. But my first favorite moment was when the entire audience sang along with a key part in Out of Control it seemed like everyone knew exactly when to sing the line Oh My God It's My Favorite Song. My second was a solo Bravin on the keys, playing Disconnect. It's a truly beautiful and evocative piano piece.
The Showbox, lit in mostly red lights, was a good venue for them. Many people think of She Wants Revenge's music as dark, but I think of it as more red than dark - it's bloody, it's written in blood.
Click here for my photos from the show.
Friday, August 29, 2008, 12:52 AM ( 518 views ) - Show Reviews & Photos - Posted by AdministratorThe Fratellis have a seriously fierce fan base. Made up of three Glaswegians going by the names of Jon Fratelli, Mince Fratelli, and (my favorite) Barry Fratelli, the band created a special kind of frenzy.
Yes their show at Neumo's was all ages. Still, I was shocked by the large number of teenagers at the show. Yes school is out and I guess I sound like a real geezer mentioning how young the crowd was – but I wasn't the only one to notice it, singer/guitarist Jon Fratelli commented to the audience something along the lines of "you get younger and younger." Not only was the crowd young, but they were little moshers. I hadn't really thought of the Fratellis as a band one would mosh to. It's not that they don't play great rock, it's just they seem to have more of a 60s vibe to them and I just don't equate moshing with 60s music. A few of them even moshed - especially strangely I might add – to Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline as it was piped through the speakers at the end of the show.
The Fratellis released their first album, Costello Music, in 2006 and the band won Best British Breakthrough Act at the BRIT Awards the following year. Their second album, Here We Stand, came out just this month. Costello Music is a great album, but Here We Stand is greater. Of the highlights from the show for me the bulk of them were songs off the newer album: My Friend John, Look Out Sunshine, Mistress Mabel, and Tell Me a Lie. Costello Music's Chelsea Dagger and Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night rung true as well. All were vibrant and show they have more in them than just one or two albums. In concert Jon Fratelli has this excellent and attractive presence, drummer Mince Fratelli is a center of gravity, and Barry Fratelli plays an exciting bass.
And, proving that rock boys from Glasgow actually do have a tender side, I saw Barry Fratelli do something really sweet at the end of the show. Through the entire show a very young fan – perhaps 11-years-old – stood by the stage and soaked up the experience. As the band readied to leave the stage, Barry grabbed a set list and ever so gently tapped the girl on the top of her head with it. He then handed her the set list – it was so very chivalric.
See more of my pix from the show here.