Friday, September 26, 2008

What will be the new name of the WaMu Theater?

I've never been a fan of Seattle's WaMu Theater. It's booking is by corporate media giant AEG (who also now own the two Showbox locations and book the stadium at Bumbershoot) and it's just too big of a venue for me, I like more intimate shows. But I liked WaMu as a bank, I've had an account there for quite a while and enjoyed the lack of extra fees and the highest interest rate savings account I could find. But Washington Mutual is no more, the nation’s largest savings and loan was sold almost in its entirety to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion yesterday evening.

I can't think that JPMorgan Chase will keep the Washington Mutual name, nor will they miss the advertising opportunity to rename the various WaMu theaters and stadiums in a way that serves their corporate interests better (a name that isn't as tarnished as the WaMu name now is). So what will the new name be? The Chase Theater? The JP Morgan Chase Theater? Both are pretty boring, so my suggestion is pick something less corporate and more cool instead, maybe with a more regional, Seattle feel. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Northwest Rock Music Videos

I did a previous blog entry about Bombshelter Videos, a great Seattle underground punk and rock video show in the '90s hosted by Frank Harlan (AKA Bill Bored).

Harlan also co-hosted another video show aimed at just covering Northwest music right at the height of the whole grunge thing, when the Seattle music scene was exploding. It was a perfect time for "Northwest Rock Music Videos," which ran directly after Bombshelter on KTZZ (Channel 22) for it's last few months and then continued on it's own for a few years. The actual dates Northwest Rock ran were from May 1992 to September 1994, and Harlan's co-host was Barbara Dollarhide, who also worked at Seattle label C/Z Records for many years. The show took off, mainly because it was at the right place at the right time. They'd mix in videos of hit bands of the day like Soundgarden, The Posies, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Coffin Break, The Walkabouts, Skin Yard, TAD and The Accused, with older and more obscure Northwest band videos. Harlan has a partial episode/playlist up here. One of the cool things the would do is have a different local band host it each time, doing the introduction and some of the commentary from locations shot around Seattle. Mudhoney hosted the very first episode from the observation deck of the Space Needle, it doesn't get more Seattle than that.

Chris Sievanen, a long time contributor both in writing and photography for 10 Things back in the day, did an article on the show back when is was debuting in 1992 for the UW Daily's "Glass Onion" section. She was kind enough to give me permission to reprint it. Click on the article parts for the full-sized readable files:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

N30 / The Battle of Seattle / WTO Protest

The Battle of Seattle movie comes out this Friday, below is the trailer. I'm excited... and a bit fearful of watching this. I was right down in the action all day N30 taking photos, getting maced, marching, chanting, facing the violent cops... it was such an intense day and experience, really that whole week, it will be interesting to see how it is portrayed. Here in Seattle, this event, this massive protest (or riot in some people's minds), this giant step for the anti-globalization and American activist movement, changed us forever. I hope they did it justice. I'll be scanning in my photos in the coming week I took on the streets of the protesters, police, fire and mayhem.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bronx show review

So Saturday night I cruised up to King Cobra to see The Bronx. I met up at the nearby Satellite with my friend Charlie for beers beforehand. We wandered over to the venue a little after 9pm, and to our surprise, The Valkyries had already played The Girls were already halfway through their set. Singer Brown was stripped down to his skivvies and the band was sweat-covered and rockin' out. I don't think I've seen the band play with the new line-up yet, but they were super energetic and fun. Since I broke my camera last week, I was borrowing one of Amy's, a wider format Kodak digital camera, which got pretty good results after I got the hang of it. Here's The Girls:

Up next were The Bronx. I'm pretty sure this was the first mixed show at King Cobra (all-ages plus a bar area for over-21 folks). The set up worked pretty good, the main floor area was all-ages, the main bar and all of upstairs were 21+. They had a chain link fence separating the two sections on the floor that gave an industrial vibe to it. The Bronx immediately tore into their set after they took stage. And they were on, they played all their hits from their two albums, focusing mostly on the faster stuff like "Heart Attack American" and "They Will Kill Us All," which both had the crowd all singing along and the singer diving out into the audience. Multiple times singer Matt Caughthran invited the audience to the stage to dance and a zillion kids jumped around before they were pushed off by security. Awesome. The energy level and positive feeling in the crowd was infectious, Caughthran began to just smile out at the crowd any time he wasn't singing and talked between songs about how great Seattle and the audience was, how much fun he has playing shows here. I haven't seen a singer smile so much on stage looking out at the audience since Jerry A of Poison Idea, Caughthran was just feeding off of the audience and then giving it back to us. Too often these days, you don't get that anymore, so it's kinda magical when it happens. A few pix:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seattle Saturday Night: The Girls and The Bronx!!!

The Girls:

Combine the retro power pop/frantic punk energy of bands like The Briefs with a healthy dose of rock'n'roll swagger and you run headfirst into Seattle band The Girls. These guys have been at it for years and it shows, but now, right now, they are on the verge of taken things up to the next level. They've got a new album due out next week and are kicking off a US tour with a fantastic show at King Cobra Saturday night for the hometown crowd. If you don't already know it, The Girls are a great live band, this show should be off the hook. Sample some of their music here.

Headlining the show will be these guys, The Bronx:

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I love the fucking Bronx. Their first album I think is one of the best this decade... and while I whined about their second album when it first came out being less punk and more rock, it's really grown on me since. The Bronx actually play Black Flag in the new Germs movie that's finally hitting the big screen, I can't wait to see it. Live they destroy, they will melt your face off with their heavy rockin' punk and soak you with their hard working sweat as the jump all over the stage and down into the crowd. I implore you to go to this show!

The Valkeries, The Girls and The Bronx
Saturday, September 13th
King Cobra, 916 East Pike St
All-Ages, Bar w/ID, $12, 9pm

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

When I was a kid in the '80s, I'd stay up late at night watching this show "Night Flight" on the USA Network. It often featured cult and underground films that provided my first exposure to numerous punk bands and subversive ideas. Among the films I loved were "Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains," "Breaking Glass," and "Another State of Mind."

"Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains" followed the lives of three teenage girls (including a young Laura Dern and Diane Lane) who started a punk band. They go on tour with a metal and street punk band (made up of Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and Paul Simonon!) and Black Randy also makes an appearance. I don't want to spoil the story, it's definitely worth seeking out.

"Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains" never has been released officially on DVD for some reason, but bootlegs made from the VHS tape have been findable on Ebay that are decent quality for a few years. It's now officially slated to be released September 16th.

Similarly, the soundtrack hasn't made it CD, which is a crying shame. Rhino was working with Paramount to get it released, but apparently Paramount just pulled out of the deal. The good news is Amazon doesn't seem to know this and is selling the album electronically currently. I don't know how long the digital download will be available as a rights battle ensues, but it's currently up here.

Woops, it looks like Amazon was already alerted and took the downloads down, sorry.