Now is when the depression starts…

With the passing of a time change (Daylights savings or it’s reverse daylights spending, I can never remember) sadness has returned to Seattle. When I first moved out here and started meeting other new transplants to the city, I (and others, I am not claiming I was the first to notice, just that I did) noticed that people, including myself, started getting all types of depressed towards the end of October. It remained a mystery for a year or two but then in a sudden flash of genius (we like to call them ‘Eureka’ moments in the genius biz) I realized it was related to how dark it got so early.

Once the clocks change it gets pitch black here by 3 PM which makes the rest of the day kind of lose time and stretch on forever. This condition tends to cause at least momentary spurts of depression in even the cheeriest of people. Not all is woe though (Hahaha that rhymes, I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it), the weather does lend itself to a particularly frightening Halloween season. It looks like it might even be clear out this year. I hope for all the youts that it stays that way.

Speaking of Halloween, I went to Marques’ annual shindig and had a great time. I even managed to bribe / cajole my way into a prize, MOP. Mash out posse you say? No this isn’t Brownsville, most outstanding partier, mostly for my way with the music and the guests. It seemed like a great time was had by all and those who might not have classified it as great probably classified it at least as pretty damn good. Drinking, costumes, breaking boards and mysterious bruises, what more could a party be?



Work has been a little crazy recently. Things are heating up and deadlines are approaching. With this pressure I have found myself more and more asking WWJD? I want to throttle that person because of the drivel pouring forth from their vacuous mind but WWJD? I want to scream at the top of my lungs till this person actually listens to me but WWJD? I want to do things that I cannot type about here as they might eventually be used as evidence in a criminal case but WWJD?

Fortunately I came down with a bad case of the stigmata recently…

And was able to just look down at my hand to remind me, oh yeah that’s what Justin would do.


Germans and Goths

Saturday night I managed to see another sublime show. It is good getting back out and seeing music again. For this concert I had never even heard the band which usually results in a rather lopsided show. It is either kick ass or so awful you feel like leaving.

I think this is related to the effect music has in general and how the live setting causes it to be intensified. Your familiarity with music will allow artists to grow on you that upon first listen were some of your least favorite. Alternatively the live show of a band that immediately clicks with you makes that bond much stronger. It is always a pleasure when you attend a show of the latter variety.

On Saturday it was the Dresden Dolls, a band that I had heard a lot about on the blogosphere (who are being referenced on my blog, how meta and self-referential) and from Marques. I did not really know what to expect and a quick view of their allmusic entry did not help me out that much. Piano and drums, punk and pop, burlesque and well, burlesque.

The show blew me and my confused expectations away. It was a female lead singer playing piano and a male playing drums. The musicianship of both was spectacular and the passion with which they approached their music was relentless. They carried amazing energy throughout the show and the attention of the crowd never wavered.
The music itself was a staggering mix of many different styles and influences that managed to be much more than the sum of its parts. The show itself was entertaining in the way not that many shows are these days. The enthusiasm of the band made even the stoic Seattle crowd enjoy themselves. They also managed to convince some of the dancers from the opening circus to come up and dance for them.

Both musicians added a great deal in their own way. The voice and presence of the singer dominated the stage even when she was focusing her and the audience’s attention on the dancers. The drummer beat the drums like Ike beat Tina and was singing along with the crowd to every song.

The encore though was where they really placed themselves in another tier. They first let the opening band sing the majority of a cover they performed and then played a 10 minute instrumental piece that segued into one of their more popular numbers (I am assuming because of the reaction of the crowd). It reminded me of Liquid Swords (Also known as the best Wu album ever and a contender for best rap album ever). Both allow(ed) a different artist to close the mood which shows a confidence in the art they are creating that few have.

The rest of the night was typical Seattle fun, a stop at Garage and a run to Satellite to close the night out.


Seattle Perks

A couple of night it ago there was a really pretty sunset in Seattle. Reminded me of one of the reasons I like it here every once in a while.

Oh yeah, these pictures are taken off our balcony. Hows that for a decent view?


Happy Christmas


Make your day and download this album. Biggie and Gnarls Barkley, I am posting this while downloading it but with that combination it is going to be hard to go wrong.


The Tail Side of the Coin

After such an amazing show I was hungry to see brilliance again. There was a rumor (That I think I might have had a small part in starting) that Shadow was going to show up at the James Lavelle show later that night.

Quick background on why this would seem likely, pretend you are seeing Wayne’s World flashback effects. Lavelle started a label called Mo’ Wax that put out some of the most innovative and important music of the early to mid 90’s. This music of course included Shadow’s early work. They had a pretty fruitful partnership progressing to U.N.K.L.E., a super group of sorts that was the two of them and everyone they wanted to work with. I am not a big fan of this work but it is good (More in a Radiohead vein than I care for). After U.N.K.L.E. Shadow moved on to the bigger and better and Lavelle kind of started to fall off.

This brings me back to the present; we showed up at Element to see this show and were greeted by the sounds of a completely generic star DJ set. Lavelle is a man who was responsible for sheparding a lot of sublime music and making some great music himself along the way. He has been reduced to a phenomenon that it largely part of the reason I don’t see DJ sets in clubs anymore.

It seems like a lot of DJs who have made good music and have a lot of skill on the decks put on these really vapid shows. It is the equivalent of just checking it in at your 9-5. The set comprises some funky breaks and a lot of bad house mixed in a way that does not offend anyone. The scary thing about these sets is that they are coming from people I consider giants, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Afrika Bambatta, etc… It is hard to put on a good show as a DJ, there is always the tension between the music and the performance but these are people who have shown they can rise above this. Instead they basically play a tape and collect their check. They play such a banal set that they really should just be putting a tape in.

After seeing such a great show with DJ Shadow it was even more apparent and made me spin my head around the dichotomy for a week or so. It was a fun night minus the music. There was a drunken girl making such an ass out of herself that she provided lots of amusement for us. Among the other usually fun club activities, drinking and making fun of the patrons, I managed to enjoy myself. It will be a while before I go to a show like this again though.