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Rock Desk

Welcome to the Rock Desk, where Seattle Times rock critic Patrick MacDonald fills you in on the latest news, upcoming concerts, news releases and insider info on the rock 'n' roll beat. Music critic Tom Scanlon also contributes local music and club news.

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August 31, 2006 2:33 PM

England loves Aiden

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Seattle horror-rock band Aiden was named "best international newcomer" at the Kerrang! Awards in London Kerrang! is the top hard rock/metal magazine not only in England but the world. Aiden beat out such big names as Panic at the Disco and Angels & Airwaves. The awards ceremony was broadcast nationalwide last week in the UK.
Aiden spent the summer on the Warped Tour, and will embark on its own US tour Oct. 13. Victory Records will release a special Aiden EP/DVD on Halloween.

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August 29, 2006 2:54 PM

Next Big Thing?

Posted by Tom Scanlon

How many bands can get away with using a tambourine - a tambourine! - without people snickering? Not many, but tambourine-banging Fleet Foxes not only didn't get laughed off the stage, they were cheered lustily.
. . .At Chop Suey over the weekend, this young five-piece floated somewhere in between Nada Surf and the Shins. Fleet Foxes' gentle, meandering, vaguely nostalgic, occasionally dark songs landed solidly, thanks largely to the voice of Robin Pecknold.
. . . The surf-y "Anyone Who's Anyone," minor gem "Icicle Tusk" and a few other songs can be heard at www.myspace.com/fleetfoxes.
Next show: Fremont's Oktoberfest, Sept. 23.
**Who will sign Fleet Foxes first, Sub Pop or Barsuk?

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August 23, 2006 12:21 PM

Watering hole/club shakeups

Posted by Tom Scanlon

*Doc Maynard's in Pioneer Square will no longer offer live music, after this month. First it had rock bands, then blues, then back to rock . . .Now, nada. .
*Sports fans have a new watering hole to quench the journey to and from the stadiums: the Elysian Brewing Company has renovated a warehouse-sized space at 542 First Ave. S., next to Sluggers and across from the Triangle.
*Christopher Dasef sold Chop Suey to John Villesvik, then turned around and bought Capitol Hill's revered dive the Comet Tavern.
New Chop owner Villesvik "has done well for himself in investments and wanted to get into the music biz he's nice, responsible with money and will let me book the shows I wanna do" says Colin Johnson, the booking agent at Chop Suey.
*Johnson was promoted to head booker when Steven Severin left to join Jason Lajeunesse and Mike Meckling in buying into Neumo's. Jerry Everard and Marcus Charles started Neumo's ...quot; the second coming of Moe's, essentially -- in late 2005. Everard is staying on board, with the new guys buying out Charles.
*In Ballard, Egan's Ballard Jam House has opened at 1707 NW Market St. The jazz-oriented little club's web site is http://www.ballardjamhouse.com.
*Coming soon to the crowded Ballard Avenue Northwest: King's Lounge, from the people that brought you the Baltic Room, Capitol Club and Linda's Tavern. King's, located in the old Ballard Hardware Building, will be squeezed between the Tractor Tavern and Hattie's.

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August 17, 2006 3:57 PM

Aaargh!

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Baby Gramps, the veteran Pike Place Market street singer of old-timey songs, is in great company on "Rogue's Gallery," a two-disc CD, to be released on Tuesday, of "pirate ballads, sea songs & chanteys." The recording is the brain child of Johnny Depp and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" director Gore Verbinski. Among other contributors: Bono, Sting, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry, Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III.
The CD's booklet tells of recording sessions at Bear Creek Studios here involving local musicians Robin Holcomb Bill Frisell, who both have songs on the album.
"Baby Gramps came in, looking like Mr. Natural," writes the CD's producer, Hal Willner. "He had a great version of 'Cape Cod Girls' that he'd been singing for years and also wrote one himself called 'Old Man and the Sea'."
Too bad they couldn't include Mr. Gramps' signature song, "The Teddy Bears' Picnic."
Recording sessions were also held in London, Dublin, New York and L.A. The result is a fascinating collection of strange old sea songs performed by a wide variety of singers and musicians, who all seem to be having a blast. About the only recognizable song among the 43 cuts is "What Do We Do With A Drunken Sailor" (sung by David Thomas).

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August 17, 2006 11:06 AM

Free Heather, Smoosh

Posted by Tom Scanlon

The luxurious voice of Heather Duby can be heard live and free tonight at 6. Duby is doing an in-store concert at Sonic Boom Records, 2209 NW Market St.
Seattle's reigning trip-hop queen will be singing from her powefully under-stated, self-titled album, featuring Minus the Bear drummer Erin Tate. For sample songs, check out www.myspace.com/heatherduby
*****Smoosh, the young sister-pop act, performs at the same Sonic Boom location on Saturday at 6 p.m. No charge to hear the budding stars playing from "Free to Stay," the precocious band's second album.

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August 15, 2006 12:13 PM

Pearl Jam enjoys high gross at Gorge

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Pearl Jam at the Gorge will probably become a summer tradition, like the yearly visits of The Dave Matthews Band, as PJ morphs into a Grateful Deadlike late career -- i.e., a highly respected band that doesn't sell many records but tours a lot.
After tallying the proceeds of their two-night stand at the amphitheater this year, however, Pearl Jam is unlikely to schedule multiple dates there again.
Their shows July 22 and 23 drew 32,578 paying customers and grossed $1,705,592, according to Pollstar, the concert-industry trade magazine. The first show sold out but the second did not, for a 81% capacity over the two days.

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August 15, 2006 9:17 AM

Clubs resurrected

Posted by Tom Scanlon

Two hip-hop nightclubs that were the scenes of horrific violence, had their liquor licenses yanked and closed in ignominy earlier this year are coming back - but with different names and under different owners who vow to provide mellow, neighborhood-friendly environments.
If liquor applications and other licenses are granted, Larry's in Pioneer Square will be re-christened the Crimson C, and Uptown Queen Anne's Mr. Lucky will be made over as Voltage.
"We're really going away from what it used to be," said Ryan Howard, co-owner (with Matthew Chan) of Voltage. He envisions Voltage as an Italian restaurant with a small dance floor and DJ's spinning "Top 40 . . . no rap music."
Similarly, the Crimson C plans to avoid the hip-hop of Larry's, instead having "Top 40 pop music," said Carol Hamlin.
***She and her husband, Sean Hamlin, are not related to Ken Hamlin, the Seahawk who ended up in the hospital last year, after a fight outside Larry's.
The Crimson C (209 First Ave. S) and Voltage (315 First Ave. N., across from KeyArena) both hope to open in the early fall.
Howard, who co-owns Belltown Billiards, also plans to open Club Lagoon on Capitol Hill's Broadway Avenue later this month.

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August 11, 2006 1:29 PM

Snow Patrol a no go

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Snow Patrol will not appear as scheduled at tomorrow's EndFest at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn. Some members of the UK band made it to America, but others were stranded in Norway after their flight to London was canceled due to yesterday's terrorist alert at London's Heathrow Airport.
A show Sunday in Portland was also canceled.
In a prepared statement issued by the band's publicity agency, lead singer and chief songwriter Gary Lightbody was quoted as saying, "We are utterly disappointed and regret that recent circumstances have hindered our travel plans and consequent scheduled appearances in the US. We look forward to getting back on the road after the weekend and giving our fans what they have been waiting for and deserve after all this time."

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August 10, 2006 3:40 PM

More additions to the concert calendar

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

"CMT On Tour" will bring young-country stars Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean and Billy Currington to Qwest Field Event Center Nov. 24.
And speaking of sexy male pop stars, Jamie Cullum will be back, playing Oct. 17 at the Paramount, with Josh Ritter opening. And James "You're Beautiful" Blunt returns Nov. 6 to play Everett Events Center.
Brooks & Dunn, the most popular country-music duo of all time, will headline a show Oct. 19 in the Tacoma Dome, with Jack Ingram opening.
And country great George Strait will play here in January, probably in KeyArena.
Watch Ticket, The Seattle Times' Friday entertainment tabloid, for more information and ticket on-sale dates.

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August 9, 2006 3:02 PM

Zach is back

Posted by Tom Scanlon

The once-promising Vendetta Red is no more. A few months ago, the Seattle emo-rock band called it "Shatterday" and folded after seven years and two Epic Records releases.
The charismatic singer Zach Davidson quickly started another band, Sirens Sister, which kicks into gear this month. Shows at Bremerton's Sons of Norway on Aug. 19 and Tacoma hot spot Hell's Kitchen on Aug. 20 lead up to a Bumbershoot date (Sept. 2, 6:15 p.m., EMP Sky Church).
*Sirens Sister is also shooting a video Sunday at noon at Capitol Hill club Chop Suey. The band is looking for crowd participants, requesting folks to dress outrageously and bring bubbles.
**Davidson's band releases its first CD, "Echoes From the Ocean Floor," on Sept. 12.
For more: http://myspace.com/sirenssister.

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August 8, 2006 9:19 AM

Hey Showbox, no smoking!

Posted by Tom Scanlon

The Showbox was in violation of the "no smoking" law Monday morning, though not on purpose. A small fire on the roof was quickly extinguished by fire fighters.
"Everything's OK," club booker Brian McFadin emailed Monday night. " We're just working out a few minor damage things and expect to be up and running for Peaches on Wednesday."
*Eagles of Death Metal open for Peaches & Herms on Wednesday night.
**Seattle grunge vets Candlebox recently booked a two-night stay at the Showbox, Sept. 28-29. Advance tickets are $25 at www.ticketswest.com.

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August 3, 2006 10:39 PM

S = Saturday

Posted by Tom Scanlon

What does S stand for? . . . Seattle? Stupid? Serenity? Surrender?
"It can be whatever you want it to be," the unpretentious but mysterious Jenn Ghetto answers, with a laugh.
For the last year-and-a-half, S stood for silent, as Ghetto dropped out of the music scene. Now, thankfully, Ghetto is back, writing and recording new songs, and stressing out about a show at the Crocodile Cafe on Saturday (9 p.m., $10). "I'm pretty terrfied," she says, with a rueful chuckle.
While she was still with the beloved, whispery rock band Carissa's Wierd, Ghetto started S as a stark solo project. In 2004, guitar player-producer Josh Wackerly joined Ghetto for "Puking and Crying," a fleshed-out recording. And then Carissa's Wierd broke up, and Ghetto . . . disappeared.
"I thought taking a break for a while would make me want to do (music) again . . . It seems to have worked."
Over the last few months, she has written enough songs to fill an album. Wackerly is again producing, and he's a busy man. His other band, the exciting slow-fast Panda & Angel, is also on Saturday's Crocodile bill. Panda & Angel will play songs from its Jade Tree debut.

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August 3, 2006 6:44 PM

Marr now a Mouse

Posted by Patrick MacDonald

Johnny Marr, the legendary guitarist of The Smiths, is now officially a member of Modest Mouse, according to a report today on Rolling Stone's website, www.rollingstone.com. The story says that MM leader Isaac Brock sought out Marr to work on MM's new album, due in the fall, and it worked out so well, Brock brought him into the fold. He'll make his first concert appearances with the band in a tour that will start about the time of the new album's release. Marr was as key member of The Smiths and helped shape the band's sound. He was noted for his live performances. After The Smiths broke up in 1987, Marr worked with the Pretenders, The The and Electronica.

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August 3, 2006 10:57 AM

New downtown bar

Posted by Tom Scanlon

A new bar called Vessel is coming soon to the historic Skinner Building.
The two-level, 2,400-square foot Vessel plans to open later this summer at the Skinner Building (1312 5th Ave.), which is also the home of the Fifth Avenue Theatre. The Christian Crockett company is doing design work.
*** For more info, including employment opportunities, visit www.vesselseattle.com.

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August 2, 2006 3:32 PM

Sleater-Kinney change

Posted by Tom Scanlon

Sleater-Kinney's NPR streamed concert has been changed to Thursday (Aug. 3) at 6 p.m. The Washington D.C. concert streams live at www.npr.org/music. The show was originally scheduled for Tuesday (Aug. 1).
After the live streaming, the concert will also be available as a free MP3 download at the same site.
*Sleater-Kinney is going on "indefinite hiatus" in a few weeks

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Recent entries

Aug 31, 06 - 02:33 PM
England loves Aiden

Aug 29, 06 - 02:54 PM
Next Big Thing?

Aug 23, 06 - 12:21 PM
Watering hole/club shakeups

Aug 17, 06 - 03:57 PM
Aaargh!

Aug 17, 06 - 11:06 AM
Free Heather, Smoosh

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