A Scottish band with a small but rather loyal following here.Played a great show in a small Seattle club last summer. Just scratching the surface of a very rich, and world renown Seattle music scene.
OK Go are an Alt band from Chicago, other than their music they are best known for their interesting videos. This might be the coolest one so far.
Last night was Social Distortion at the Showbox SoDo. It’s been a good couple of weeks for live music, and there is more over the next week or two.
Driving into Seattle and the heavens opened, at one point I could just about make out the car in front through the rain, it really was that bad. On the bright side, at six last night there was still a lot of light in the sky.
We met downtown and went to dinner in the Cellars on First. It was OK, but no better than that. There is far better in the rather competitive Seattle restaurant market. Good wine list though.
I’ve been listening to the new Social D album a little over the last week and it does not feel like a band are going through the motions, and for a band that’s been around for 25 years that’s a decent complement. It’s worth the listen, I’m not super familiar with their stuff, but I will be downloading some more.
Good gig, and the music is a little harder onstage than recorded. Showbox SoDo is a nice sized venue and they played a solid set and looked very polished on stage. Went to the palace kitchen for a late night happy hour. Fun night.
Motorhead were exactly as I expected, Lemmy walks on stage, plays 90 minutes of really good bass, sings into the microphone and them Lemmy walks off. It’s not changed much in 26 years, and that’s what I liked about it.
The band knew what we’d come to see and while the new album made a brief appearance, they played all the classics. Ace of Spades, Overkill and Bomber were all in there, and they were played loud (my hearing took another small step to deafness last night, there were a few came prepared with ear plugs in), just as it should be.
The place was packed with people in their 40’s, this is my demographic! I did not go with the black t-shirt and denim vest look last night that many sported. I decided to skip the headbanging too, it would just give me a headache now.
The show was full of 70’s and 80’s rock clichés and that was just how it should have been. Lemmy may be 65 now, but still pats a great speed bass. It was a loud, fast and exactly what everyone wanted.
We went out for a drink after the concert and it was deep into the morning before I made it home. I met at home by a pair of hungry cats (and to continue the theme of the night, loud cats) pissed off that evolution never gave them opposable thumbs and looking for a little help in opening a tin of cat food.A few minutes later and they were happy, I was happy and that’s the important part.
Was in Everett dropping some paperwork off this afternoon after work and parked outside the Flying Pig restaurant. It used to be a microbrewery until a few years ago and did a couple of really good beers, I recall an excellent IPA. When the brewery part closed a few year the bar still had a decent selection of interesting beers on tap and the food was pretty good, but certainly a step down from what it was.
Today I discovered it’s closed for good. Downtown has changed and there is a lot of competition in downtown Everett now that was not there 10 years ago, but it’s a shame to see a place I’ve been going to since I moved here closed.
Onto more important things, tonight is part one of the heavy metal double header: Motorhead at a sold out Showbox.
I last saw Motorhead play live in 1985 at Hammersmith Odeon in London. They were one of the first big concerts I went too. I think they were my second big gig, ZZ Top were the first. I do recall Motorhead had one of the worst bands I’ve ever seen as support, Death Angel from LA (they were so bad that stayed with me). The only thrash metal band I’ve ever seen with a drum machine, they were horrible.
I have been rather excited about tonight since it was announced, this is going to be fun night of metal.
Last night was something different, I got invited to the opera. I’m not a total stranger to the opera, but it’s not one of my usual haunts. I’ve been to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London (don’t remember what it was for) and once to La Scala in Milan for Verdi’s Aida many years ago.
So McCaw Hall was (I think) my third visit to the Opera and it was a very memorable evening. I’d forgotten the power of opera and it’s ability to tell a story. It’s very possible that perhaps I’ve not been in a place to appreciate it in the past, but last night was impressive. It’s an entertaining evening and the performances, especially Lawrence Brownlee, were spectacular.
I’ve always said that I love live music (and there are some good ones coming to Seattle over the next month or two), I can add Opera to list of live music that I’d happily go see again.
It was a very pleasant evening out and afterwards took a wander around the Space Needle to get back to the car. A wonderful evening.
Last night, before we all went out, I made a bold prediction. I said there was not enough gin (or sake) in the lounge to get me to sing karaoke. I was wrong, there was.
We went out for the somewhat traditional end of trip dinner with the partner back in Nagoya. We went to a very nice Japanese restaurant with 6 or 7 courses. One of the managers, who up until now has avoided Japanese food, tried the sashimi, and while not a convert found it better than he expected. I thought the meal was excellent and the beer and sake was flowing.
We had a good time, talked about the relationships between the partners and us, the value of meeting like this regularly and so on. I’ve got some process revisions I that I need to incorporate to better support the partners and clarify a few things, but from the business point of view it’s been a very successful trip, everyone at the table last night seemed to feel that.
After the very good dinner Konichi-san said we were going to karaoke. I have no singing voice and the only time I’ve ever done it once before, 1992 in Washington DC, and I swore I’d never do it again. Turns out I was wrong, there were photos taken last night, it’s not going to be good when they come out…
In Japan Karaoke is more than just singing to pre-recorded tracks, it’s far more important than that. One of the managers tried to explain it to me, but said I’d see it once we were in the room. He was right, it’s difficult to explain, but it comes down to an experience shared only by the ten of us in the room last night.
In a country that has a lot of peer pressure to conform it provides a place where it’s OK for the individual to stand out for a few minutes before moving the center of attention to the next person and becoming part of the group again.
It’s not just sharing that; it’s way more than that. It breaks the ice, bypasses the ridged structure in the workplace and a very fun experience. Unquestionably the sake helped lower my barriers, but the people in the room made it happen.
In Japan you rent a room, called a Karaoke Bokkusu, in our case for a couple of hours, order some beer and go for it. It was way more fun that I’d expected, some of the people were very good, others (certainly including me) not so. It was a very fun group in there and fueled by a few jibes and the alcohol induced bravery I went for it.
Rockstar by Nickleback was my first choice on the machine. Getting into the spirit of the evening I changed some of the lyrics to “We all just want to be ME’s (manufacturing engineers) living in hilltop houses driving 15 cars”. That seemed to work and got a laugh from everyone in the room, who were all MEs’.
There were a few songs sang in Japanese, one had the locals jumping around the room, catchy tune but no idea what was being said. It was explained to me that it was a Japanese karaoke standard and is one of the first songs every Japanese learns. It was entertaining so see a people who have been very reserved over the last couple of days in meetings really get into the spirit of things.
Another pitcher of beer later my next choice was Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. The backing track was a little more laid back than the original, and lets face it, I’m not much of a Johnny Rotten, but it was a fun night. The Sex Pistols are very well known in Japan, I’ve seen a few “Never Mind…” t-shirts in the stores here, a lot of people in the room joined in.
A very fun evening, way more than I expected and a great way to round off what’s been a very productive, interesting, but at times difficult trip.
According to BA the Seattle to Heathrow service is going to be running despite the weather in London, we’ll see when tomorrow evening comes around and it’s time to check in.
I’ve been told I’m a little late to this particular party, but better late than never I guess.
Last Wednesday the Black Keys (along with a few others) played WaMu Theater in Seattle as part of the “107.7 The End” pimped Deck the Hall Ball.
The Black Keys were really good, very polished. Somehow it’s the first time I’ve really heard their music, let alone seen them play; they put on a great show. The lead guitar and singer is the insanely talented Dan Auerbach, he led the whole place with deep guitar led blues/rock. Really impressive set from a band I think should have known more about.
This is what live music is about.
When I was offered a ticket the band that caught my eye on the lineup was Jimmy Eat World. Saw them a couple of years ago (supporting Bare Naked Ladies I think) in Everett. They put on a very solid set at WaMu Theater, have some good original stuff and seem to be having fun on stage.
I did not make it for some of the earlier bands, but caught The Presidents of the United states playing an unannounced set. Again a band I’ve seen a couple of times and are fun to watch, but don’t seem to change it up much. The headliner for the Deck the Hall Ball was Broken Bells, a solid group that my iPod has a passing acquaintance with. A good show, unfortunately they had to follow the Black Keys, and that was tough on them.
A fun night out with some great music, and once I got home Apple made more money out of me via iTunes. Best buy was “Brothers” by the Black Keys, it’s really good.
At the end of September I wrote about the 100 Club closing in London (click here). It seems there may be some hope for one of London’s most atmospheric music clubs.
According to Spinner.com Pixies front man Frank Black has put up 100,000 pounds to help keep the venue open past Christmas. Hopefully this can be followed by a realistic business plan that will keep its doors open indefinitely.
Here is a clip of The Jam fronted by a very young Paul Weller playing the venue.
A little glance back to the 80′s. Not a time of necessarily great music, but certainly memorable music. In 1981 at Stoughton Middle School “Kings of the Wild Frontier” was the must have album.
Looking back Adam and the Ants actually stand the test of time rather well. Their background was the 70’s punk movement, they toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees, and were influenced by the Sex Pistols (but very few punk bands of that era were not) and at one point were managed by Malcolm McLaren (formerly manager of the Sex Pistols).
As a band they went on to greater success after they spit from McLaren and their influence was huge as they were a band that bridged the gap between punk of the 70’s and new wave of the 80’s.
Here is Kings of the Wild Frontier.