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Posts Tagged ‘Appleseed Cast’

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Hey music blog reader…back in Vancouver after an adventure around the Pacific Northwest. Our original plans had to be scaled back but we still managed 7 days tooling around between Seattle and Portland and even Cannon Beach!

Both cities are fantastic. I hadn’t been to Portland in years and it great getting a few days to stroll, eat, and see the sights. The picture above was from our picnic in Laurelhurst Park. We found this little light meals place called Cheese and Crack. They made up some yummy cheese and cracker plates and salami sandwiches, a couple iced coffees and radlers, and we wandered the lovely park in the 30 degree plus heat. Stumptown was magical. Do I love it even more than Seattle or San Francisco?

Back in Seattle we got up to all sorts of stuff. Parades, parks, restaurants, a Mariners game (they got dismantled by the Angels, but it was fun and my Dad’s 59th birthday.), and I even hit a show!

Appleseed Cast performed at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard. The band is on a 15th anniversary tour. When I met my wife Coral, she listened to these guys and got me into them. To be honest, we hadn’t listened much to their music lately…but seeing as they were on tour I thought, “I should check this out.”

I punched “Ballard” into my computer car and it took me 30 minutes west to a groovy neighbourhood that was hopping on a Saturday summer night. It was Ballard Seafood Fest and people were everywhere. Stumbling around drunk with bellies full of seafood.

The Sunset was a great little tavern on one of the main strips. One of those roads where it seemed every other business was a public house or restropub.

The back room was a small, square space with a stage crammed in a corner. It made me nostalgic for being 20 again and checking out bands and getting drunk.

The support bands were both great. Coaster are from Chicago. They said chill a lot. They had the quiet, loud, quiet, then loud again thing down. I like that. I *think* they played this song first? And it was my favourite of the set.

Adjy are from Florida or maybe North Carolina? They had an interesting thing going on. Xylophones, group drumming, REM-esque jangly guitars, song subject matter that was too deep for me.

Adjy means a person who disturbs, causes trouble. The lead singer guy kept trying to explain all his songs, there was something happening behind each cut. At one point he asked the audience to just start talking during a song and the band pulled out books and all started reading aloud!

These guys ended up being highly entertaining.

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This is neat. David Sitek plays in TV on the Radio. He also records music as Maximum Balloon. He released his first new song since 2010 the other day. Features Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tunde Adebimpe of TVOTR. Sounds rad.

While on holiday I got an email alerting me to this fine cover form Surfer Blood. They take on Outkast’s all-time party jammer “Hey Ya.”

I still have some more music I need to sift through, a few bands I think I promised to get up…so I’ll try to hammer those out in the next few….but here’s the thing, still on holiday till Monday…we’ll see.

Happy Thursday to you. A few more adventures to get after this week! Go with yourself.

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The Victoria Record Club will be meeting Tuesday, April 24th at Smiths.  And I guess we’re feeling pretty basic because it is Top 5: side one, track one night.  Everyone in the club is supposed to come up with their favourites…then we’ll play selections from the lists at Smiths for a couple hours.

What does “side one, track one” mean?  Basically its a hipster way of saying… song number one on a record or album.

To me, side one, track one is hugely important and needs to do one of (or all of) three things.

01) It should be your best song.
02) It should be ripper.
03) It should introduce the listener to your album.

Breaking this down… rule number 1 is vitally important if your band is new to the world and I’ve never heard of you.  Your first song needs to immediately  grab my ears or you’re gone.  When I hosted the Morning After Show in the days when the internet was still new, it was hard to learn about bands and music streaming was not really out there.  I had to actually put your CD in the CD players and in real time listen.  If your first song was some artistic fuckery, as rad as you probably are… I just skipped to the next CD.  Cold.  But that is how it was when I had a pile of wannabes wanting airtime at 3AM on a 1000 watt FM in Vancouver.

Now… if your band has some history, or track one truly is some great studio fuckery… then jam on rule 3 and have the song be a great movie-esque introduction to your band.  A song that did not make my list (but was close) was The Appleseed Cast‘s “Ceremony.”  Huge jam, instrumental.  So perfect and sets the tone for a great album.

Instrumentals and studio fuckery is not your style?  I respect that.  and what?  Your best song is a ballad and maybe not the best side one, track one? OK (if you’re not an indie band… indie bands should still always put their BEST song first) then rule number 2 applies to you.  A ripper.  Hit my head holes with sonic choiceness.  And I will love you and grind through the dip of your shitty song two (and maybe three) to revel in the emotional depth of your stunning ballad.  Snow Patrol‘s Eyes Open kinda does this.  They want to save the jam for the single and track 2 “Hands Open” then bust your heart open with track 3, “Chasing Cars” so you get the highly energetic and lead single “You’re All I Have.”

wah wah wah…. here is my list.  If you’re a regular reader on my blog, there shouldn’t be too many surprises.  And actually, maybe you could leave me a comment if you think I screwed up my own list.  Keep in mind, the purpose of this exercise was to dig through my collection of records… so my rule was, I have to own the record.  if you think, “fuck this guy’s list! Imma make my own!”  Awesome, share the link in the comment section so I can check it out.

01) Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock”

Making a list of favourite music is always a personal experience and so I begin with some personal history.  Siamese Dream is a hugely important record for me growing up and a vinyl I only recently added to my collection.  “Cherub Rock” invokes rule 2 of Jeremy Baker’s Rules of Side One Track One.  Not the best song on the album, but the best song to hook you into the fuzzy reverberated world of Billy and company.  “Cherub Rock” is number one on my list because it does an exceptional job of telling the story of the album.  You can hear this song… and probably make your mind up whether you wanna stick around.  The album is great because if you do, you get rewarded with a collection of interesting and classic alternative songs.

02) Interpol – “Untitled”

The great albums like the great baseball teams have a strong lead off batter.  Its a role player who gets on base so the power hitter can drive in a run and the team as whole wins.  To me… I am hearing rule number 3… “Untitled” sounds like the opening credits to Turn on the Bright Lights.  Its mysterious.  Paul Banks barely sings anything… but its so emotional.  It reminds me of American Beauty when Kevin Spacey breaks the third wall and talks to the audience and says that his character dies.  Then the movie really starts.

“I will surprise you some time.  I’ll come around. When you’re down”

What an intriguing promise.  Now deliver… and they do with a masterpiece record that to this day remains Interpol’s best.  This song is not only side one track one of an album, but side one track one of their discography.  whoa…

03) The Replacements – “I Will Dare”

My favourite song from my favourite band.  And it happens to be track one, side one off their album Let It Be.  This song has done a lot to make my life better.  It was the first replacements song I heard that got me to explore more about the band.  It has gotten me through some ups and some downs in my life.  Repeated listenings as I ride this rock around the sun year-after-year bring me renewed appreciation and different interpretations.  I will probably love this song forever.

I’ll say this a rule 1 song.  Best song, Right up front.

04) Mission of Burma – “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”

Another rule 1 song on our adventure of my Top 5: side one, track one.  The best MOB song at first listen.  The beauty of the great bands… once you’re hooked, other songs emerge as “favourites.”  But it is undeniable that “Revolver” is a powerful hook to demand attention.  You give it and the song is rewarding.  Stay with the record and you’ll quickly find other amazing songs on Signals, Calls and Marches.

I must have the Rykodisc 1997 track listing… not the original and not the Matador reissue in the 2000s.  Huh.

Up to this point, it was actually pretty easy.  I almost went right to my record pile and pulled these four records out and knew in my heart this was the list.  Then the 5th pick.

I hmmmm’d and hmmmm’d some more on a few records.  Its pretty late so my kid and Coral are sleeping.  I have my headphones plugged in (and I noticed Madelyn was playing ‘records’ because there is some damage to Numark… MADELYN OLIVIA!!!!)… and this was actually fun… playing a whole bunch of record in my pajama pants trying to find the right 5th… in the end, it came down to The Appleseed Cast, Braid’s “The New Nathan Detroits,” Japandroids and a couple Band of Horses and National LPs… but in the end, I could not deny….

05) Bon Iver – “Perth”

Side one, track one off Bon Iver’s Bon Iver record is just so god damned pretty and lush.  Another number 3 type of lead off track…. Bon Iver is doing the Bon Iver thing to introduce you to the album.  Then he gets to the jam, but only after you eat your bread.

And its called “Perth” and I have a weird romantic fascination with that far off city… that actually know nothing about and will probably never go to.  But a song called “Perth” gets my attention…. silly reason to be on my list, but its true. (and not the only reason)

After you listen to this song, you should be pretty primed to listen to the whole album.  And if all you hear is “Perth” well… you get the idea of what Justin and his band of merry Wisconsinites are all about.

And that is my list.  If you took the time to read this far and listen to some of the songs, thank you for indulging me.

Tomorrow I reckon I’ll get into the new Jack White if I have the time or talk about another great song I heard on Sons of Anarchy.

Go with yourself.

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