Category Archives: Moscow

Jubilee

The watery blue indie jazz of Jubilee began in Seattle with Steve Harden’s love for drums and wee-hour talks about life-stuff. “One of our conclusions was that, regardless of what art is, [the artist] gains a voice,” Harden told me, “that’s part and parcel to the whole thing.” Jubilee was started with the self-conscious purpose of sayin’ somethin’ good and fighting slavery.
Steve elaborated that “slavery exists in a lot of different forms whether its people forced to work in a brick factory or a chocolate cocoa farms or a rice mill, whatever, you find it all over the place. You find it in the United States – there’s over 150,000 slaves in the United States. These are people who are told that if you don’t work for us, we will kill you or we will beat you, or we will hurt your families.” Jubilee, officially registered as a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization, gives 50% of all proceedings to helping these victims, and their Myspace

1 Comment

Filed under Moscow

FFR

1 Comment

Filed under Moscow

Twee with a Twang: Sundance Kids

Leave a comment

Filed under Moscow

See Women Play. Hear Women Rock.

The first song was good, it was different than the usual. The second really caught you off your guard, and now that I was into the rhythm of this band, I knew to just relax and fall between the waffle-woven multi-layered textures of sound. At the end of the third song I heard Larson Hicks say in front of me, “Dude, I’m about to rip off my shirt.”
What was it that inspired Larson to bare his chest, you may ask? Women. It was Women, an experimental rock band that is actually four men from Calgary, Alberta who thought it would be cute to form a Velvet-Underground reminiscent art-rock band and call themselves Women.
[QUESTION: is it still “experimental-rock” if it’s retro? really, you tell me.]

Women on stage at the Nuart Theatre

Women on stage at the Nuart Theatre


They’re right at the tail end of their American tour, and about to head to Europe after appearing on CMJ for 10 shows and being featured repeatedly on Pitchfork Media. Not bad for a group that produced their first album, also called Women, on tape recorders in a basement with their buddy Chad VanGaalen.
Matt Flegel

Matt Flegel

Pat and Matt Flegel are brothers who play guitar and bass, respectively.
Pat Flegel

Pat Flegel


Enter best friends Mike Wallace and Chris Reimer somewhere in early middle school; Mike beats drums, with an occasional tambourine, and Chris plays guitar. Now, some years later, Matt Flegel has quite the bush ahem beard and you have a quartet of guys who still love to play around with their voices and instruments, but this time like grown ups – stroking, cuddling, picking, strumming, hitting, tapping, playing with sound until they produce some unreal vibes that could only come out of the Velvet Underground or a basement somewhere in the middle of Alberta. They use voices like instruments joining in the throng of sound. Thick, heavy, totally mad, – which I can say like Jack Kerouac because Women is totally retro of smoky nights of hookah and psychedic shrooming in the late 60s. I’ve had it from Matt Flegel that this is even on purpose and that he’d be just fine if you compared them to Sonic Youth.
Mike and Chris.  sorry it's dark.  it's cozy.  this is the shot they wanted me to use.

Mike and Chris. sorry it's dark. it's cozy. this is the shot they wanted me to use.


Unlike women, they are dead pyromaniacs. Their favorite thing is to light bottle rockets in the middle of the night and to set off Black Cats in beer bottles, a habit they picked up in Cheyenne, Wy., where there wasn’t too much else going on and, being resourceful, Women made their own fun. dude give those boys a lighter and just watch them go. But Black Cats make a nice tight boom in the beer can; the explosion of beerfoam looks real pretty and smells kinda nice. It’s a satisfying hilarious “pouf” pop! somewhat hysterical totally crazy and thus a little like their music. Mad, eh?
See Women Site

4 Comments

Filed under calgary, Moscow

The Shoemaker Brothers

Q. Cat: “The Shoebox Brothers?”

Once upon a time, four brothers grew up roaming the hills and woods of Washington, listening to the sounds of nature and making music in the open air. Now, all growed up and tall, they’re undergrads at Wazoo and makin music everywhere they can. The Shoemaker Brothers are: Samuel (who has already served in Iraq twice with the Marines, woohoo for the Forces and men in uniform), Nathanael, Daniel and Gabe.

Dan, Sam and Nat on the strings

Dan, Sam and Nat on the strings

They play violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, mandolin, piano, djembe, football, shot putt and prolly anything else they can find like banshees, and they “sing like angels,” as their band site says. I’m not sure if they sing like angels, but they sound pretty demm good for boys who talk like football players and I was excited to hear when they played at Bucer’s recently that they have a whole new cast of fun shtuff along with their older material (all of which they compose collaboratively). Apparently inspired by their summer booze ahem wine tour through Napa Valley, they’ve got new Indo-Eastern sort of strumming going on with their uus intricate folk melodies. You should definitely stop by the next time they’re at Rico’s or in Moscow for a good douse of indie-folk.

2 Comments

Filed under Moscow

They Are Barcelona

Brian, Chris, Rhett

Barcelona at Stereopathic Sessions: Brian, Chris, Rhett


For all its qualities as a langue du monde (pardon my French), music is so regional. And Barcelona is Seattle. Barcelona is the name of the band that was created in Seattle two years ago when singer- songwriter Brian Fennell decided to join his vocal forces and keyboard with his college buddies Chris Bristol on the guitar and Rhett Stonelake, the “drums in the baaand,” (and childhood pal Brian Eichelberger on the bass, if we’re gonna be technical, but he stayed home and thus didn’t make it here). So they’re called Barcelona, but they sound like Seattle: alternative soft piano self-proclaimed “melodic indie rock machine” – a lot like Keane in “Hopes and Fears,” really. I hear them and I think Americano-with-cream in down-town Seattle with maybe Pike’s Place and the Anacortes Ferry and the Cascades thrown in. They’ve got something going.
Brian explained that “the name Barcelona means a lot of things to us, but the honest story is that the night of our first show we still didn’t have a name, and that was a name in the pool so an hour before the show we put our hands in the middle and I said, “Guys, we are going to be Barcelona… we decided to define it later.”
The image that they project now, two years later, reflects talent and personality. They’re charismatic performers and their music is beautiful; it accomplishes their goal of moving the audience to experience the emotion of the moment with them. They have plenty of talent. Rhett, who is 6’5” (believe me, that is tall – wah, wah taller than you think it is) can do amazing gymnastics besides beat his drums, so that shows skill, but the band’s covers and goofing around on stage prove they are artists. They’re more than capable of pursuing any style they please, but they found a sound that fits them like a glove and so that’s what they are wearing.
What I can’t believe is that they haven’t recorded “One is the Loneliest Number.” The only cover I’ve ever heard that is anything like it as far as sheer astounding quality is House of the Rising Sun by Muse –it’s the cover that the song was composed to be covered in: it sets magic soakin your spine. But even though “One” is not on their album, Absolutes is magnificent: every song is a rrringerr. Listen to “Colors” and feel your world change. Brian sniffs at my bourgeois bubble-popping sensibilities: he said he expresses himself best with “dirges.” But the fact remains that “Colors” is a song that expresses what you see and draws what you feel and wraps you up in at least 3 dimensions of lyric texture. And that’s important cause Color makes me smile.
Barcelona is still defining themselves, making stories (a band fav, just ask) en route on their 1st cross-country tour, but, so far, seriously – a Seattle-evocative, piano-driven group of good-lookers? they’re schnaz. Check em out.

barcelona-interview

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtsmMCIfZzI&feature=relatedv=XtsmMCIfZzI&feature=related, Brian

Barcelona at Bumbershoot, YAY! Hils, Chris, Molly, Brian, Brian

House o the Risin Sun <a href=”“>

They Are Barcelona

2 Comments

Filed under Artistes, Moscow, Seattle