So here’s something super relevant to the Olympia music scene. The Northern, Olympia’s only all ages music venue has reopened in a new location! It was rumored the Olympia All Ages Project went belly up and had to close it doors due to costs last year, but not so. According to volunteer Kelsey Smith of Timberland Regional Library fame, the building was sold to another proprietor who decided to do something else with the space-leaving the project homeless. And although we all enjoyed moshing amongst the stacks and getting slam-danced into the magazine racks at the Olympia branch of said library, I think its safe to say that the music scene suffered without its all ages space.

Northern’s  first show at its new location (414 1/2 Legion Way) was the 28th of April with subsequent shows during Arts Walk Weekend. Grand opening events are still in full swing. Check it out:

Tonight, May 3rd @8PM-$5:

Hungry Cloud Darkening: Dreamy pop from Anacortes
Baby Island: Eli and Ashley from LAKE’s rockn’roll side project
Motorbikes: Funky pop from Anacortes
Memory Boys: ’90′s pop rock from Portland, with A & E of LAKE

May 4th @8PM-$5:

Justin Stang (of Science!)
Kendl Winter
Moth Rider
Andras Jones

May 6th @ 3PM-FREE!

A work party! Hurray! The Northern really needs volunteers to come out and help them complete their new space.  SO show up early! Your hard work will be rewarded at 3 pm with a free Sunday matinee, and this is cool: Sam McPheeters (author and lead singer of Rise Against, Men’s Recovery Project, and Wrangler Brutes) will be doing a reading of his new book, “The Loom of Ruin”. The book was published just last month and is a satire about the angriest man in the world. Interesting. Also performing will be Craig Extine and the Exiles, Olympia’s own Punk/country/acoustic/western hymn/etc.

-Karli

Aside  —  Posted: May 3, 2012 in EVENT!, Olympia Music, Uncategorized
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The people at Volcano are great! Anthony Neff used to DM their Dungeons and Dragons games back in the day. You think I’m kidding, ask em about it. Google some of these bands and go see em! Or not, do what you feel like, but it is free, and people will think you’re cool if you go.

Andrew

Paul Baribeau. He’s folk, he’s punk, he’s beardy. He’s everything you would put in a Karli-trap. For real.

And he wrote THIS beautiful piece of amazingness. It’s less than 2 minutes long, but its 2 minutes of super honest, super fun fevor. Forgo the shrink, the drugs, the mindless eating and the marathon sleeping. I bet if you did everything Baribeau says here, you’d be feeling purr-itty fine.

There isn't a Youtube video for this song, so you can go ahead and allow yourself to be hypnotized by his epic beard (and this pretty cool canyon) while you utilize the player below. You're welcome.

Today’s song on repeat is “Ten Things” by Paul Baribeau off his 2007 album Grand Ledge.

This song makes me oddly aware of my mortality but kinda excited about it at the same time. Oh, I’m going to die? I better go do something great RIGHT NOW! And it’s the perfect I-just-got-back-from-running-away-to-South-America-and-gotta-keep-this-morale-up anthem. Because I know that applies to all of you, too.

Doesn’t it just make you want to live?! Let’s count our blessings, right our wrongs, learn from our mistakes. Let’s go camping somewhere crazy, streak on the beach, and spin in circle ’til we puke.  Lets build a fire, break out our guitars and have a sing along! AND SING THIS SONG, GUYS.

Or not.

But really, let’s.

Other songs that I’ve been enjoying recently:

“Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious”-Against Me!

“Fond Farwell”-Elliot Smith

“Holland, 1945”-Neutral Milk Hotel

-Karli

What happens when a bunch of Tacoma metal workers, box makers, bartenders, cable operators, interpreters, Mormons, Catholics, Atheists, Agnostics, slackers, stoners, go-getters, vagabonds, male sluts, and virgins form a band? Punk-rock-folk reggae-country,  Motherfucker! Yeah!

Imagine that Skankin Pickle got in on the folk-punk/bluegrass thing that’s going around these days-now keep that image in your head-its pretty much The Fun Police. Honestly. The Fun Police have the same lively, occasionally funky, reggae-punk sound. But don’t take my word for it, go check out their Band Camp or their Facebook and have a merry ol’ time. The Fun Police have just released their second full length “Clown Control,” you can get that for dirt cheap off of their Last Fm, or you can download  a free EP HERE.

The Fun Police – Pretty Good Friend

The Fun Police – Far Away

The Fun Police – Dumpster Diving (single edit)

The Fun Police – Unemployment

Andrew

(Every Duel I’m Shufflin’)

Shuffle Dueling is a fun thing we do here at The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever. The rules are simple: two of our writers sit down with their ipods or mp3 players on shuffle. They then write down the first five songs that come up on shuffle (skipping audio books, stand up comedy, sounds clips, etc). Then people vote on who has made the best random five-song playlist. After a while, the results will be be locked and the winner goes on to round two where they face a new opponent. Win and loss records will be created over time. Now that you know the rules…IT’S ON!!!

Name: Darion

Weapon of Choice: 4 GB ipod nano (1,099 songs)

Possible Weaknesses: KORN, 30 Seconds to Mars, Coldplay.

Most Albums By: NoFX (9 albums)

Shuffle Songs:
  1. The Rascal King by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  2. Candy by The Presidents of the United States of America
  3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
  4. Aeroplane by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. Dead and Bloated by Stone Temple Pilots

Name: Leah

Weapon of Choice: 80 GB ipod (6942 songs)

Possible Weaknesses: Counting Crows, Coldplay.

Most Albums By: Bob Dylan (52 albums)

Shuffle Songs:
  1. What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) by DJ Shadow
  2. Young Hearts Spark Fire by Japandroids
  3. Suddenly Everything Has Changed by The Flaming Lips
  4. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
  5. Bone Machine by The Pixies

Now it’s up to you, dear reader.
Who has won the duel? who will proceed to the second round?
YOU DECIDE!

~Darion


Interesting question: Are there punks in Oklahoma? As it turns out yes, yes indeed. Black Cop is a three piece hardcore band from Stillwater, OK, and its fucking brutal. As in extremely fast, thrash, hardcore, violent, angry, all around quality stuff. They’ve just released their first full length CD off of Torn Shoe Records this January. You can download one track for free off their bandcamp, and honestly, you could pirate the rest really easily from their bandcamp as well…if you’re a soulless bastard.

I would pay attention to these guys, the recording quality on the CD might not be the best, but they’ve got a great 80’s hardcore-thrash kind of sound, which judging by their videos is amazing to see live. If you’re into that kind of thing. Plus! They’re playing this year’s Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW). I had no idea what that is either… but,  a simple google search revealed its kind of a big deal in the South/Southwest world, so that’s got to count for something. So if you’re like me, i.e age < 30, and wish you had a chance to see any 80’s hardcore bands, then these guys would be exactly the opposite of Herpes:  a great thing to catch. (Darion totally added this last part fuck that guy)

This is the video for their track “Unearth,” which you can download for free off of their bandcamp.

Andrew

P.S.

-YAY! This is our 50th blog post. I raise my glass to you, my dear readers!

So, I finally bought a turntable.  I have been wanting one for a long time but for some reason I thought it was way too late to start collecting vinyl.  I have so much music, and would want to get ALL of my favorites (probably hundreds of albums), and I have been to so many shows where I could have gotten the record and…I don’t know, these are pretty stupid reasons but whatever, those were my thoughts.  I kept hearing that small nagging voice randomly telling me that I need a record player in my life, possibly fueled by my nostalgia of listening to records as a kid and flipping through my parent’s record collection.  I remember listening to The Police’s Synchronicity and Michael Jackson’s Bad on vinyl, and I have missed the feeling of having a great album in my hands, tearing off the plastic, pulling it out of that paper sleeve with as much care as my trembling hands could give, putting in on and dropping that needle down, hearing the slight fuzz as the needle settles into the grooves and then a sweet sweet feeling sets in when that clear beautiful sound comes blasting out of the speakers….ahhh, bliss.  I would always reverently soak in the album art, the liner notes, lyrics and pictures, anything that was on the album sleeve, as I went through my first few listens of an album, trying to get a feel for it all, reading every word as if they were the most poignant and meaningful words ever spoken (written, whatever).

My first record?  Radiohead, The King of Limbs, one of my favs from last year.  As I listened to that record I was BLOWN AWAY and have vowed to get every one of their albums on vinyl so I can hear it all like that.  The clarity of it all, the subtle nuances and complex layers of sound, the Thom Yorke mumbling that suddenly sounds like words or lyrics or something, it is truly an experience to listen to it in that format.

Don’t y’all miss that?  Wasn’t it a great time, when you so looked forward to something new to be released by your favorite band and the happiest moments were when you brought that sucker home and popped it on and cracked out on it for days and weeks?  There was no internet to leak the album onto or download or stream before you decide to buy it.  These days there is so much great accessible music out there and all you have to do is spend some time online to find it.  I can get lost online searching and streaming and listening and buying and downloading.  I can get 3 or 4 albums at once, throw them on a playlist and listen to it over and over for a while.  And I love doing all that, I really do.  But, but…..something is different, there’s that old feeling that seems lost now, the ritual of buying some coveted album and hearing it for the first time and just getting lost in it forever.

That feeling doesn’t have to be lost.  We can still buy and listen to vinyl.  We SHOULD still buy and listen to vinyl.  I found a really rad turntable that also plays CDs, tapes, iPods, and radio.  I now have a way to play every single method of music I could want, all in one appliance.  And I have some old tapes I wanna play,  I still have CDs I wanna listen to.  And of course I have everything on my iPod as well.  One thing I did not realize as I bought my first few records was that they all came with a CD or access to a digital copy so you can enjoy it on the turntable at home and on the iPod on the go.  That is a pretty great deal, I think.  I recently purchased a record from a small label in Boston and although it took a week to get the album I was able to download it immediately.  So, overall I am so pleased with the quality of sound from of the records and the availability of the music in different formats.  I don’t know why it took me so long to come around to this, but I’m arguing for buying vinyl whenever available for the ultimate listening experience.

And yeah, I know that a lot of people aren’t willing to buy music at all these days, and I understand that.  Vinyl is for the serious fan or collector, I agree.  I just think that if I want to actually buy something, vinyl is now my preferred format.  I feel like I’m getting the most bang for my buck now.

And yeah, I know that there’s a lot of pretentious fucks out there who act all self-righteous about only listening to vinyl and all that, but it doesn’t have to be like that.  I promise you can listen to vinyl for all the reasons I talked about without becoming a jerk.  I mean, look at me.  I write for The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever so I’m proof that you can do some things that may be seen as pretentious without becoming that way.

~Leah

I went to Seattle to see Los Campesinos! at the Neptune Theater.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  I had never been to this venue, I hadn’t seen anything about an opening band, and I have only been listening to the headliners for a couple of months.  So, I was curious enough to go up and check it out.

The show began around 9 with four dudes creeping out onto the stage and launching into probably the most rousing cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” that I have ever heard.  As a shameless lover of all things Phil Collins/Genesis, I was sold, just like that.  A fitting start to what was an awesome set by Seattle natives Kithkin.

This thing in the air I felt that night came from these four dudes who had so much energy, so much charisma, and so much obvious love for what they were doing that it was impossible not to laugh at their silly showmanship and dance right along with them.   They made me feel like there really was something special happening that night and just by being in that place, watching them play, I was a part of it.  The music is pretty intense though, straight up crazy with all the drumming and percussion going on, I don’t even really know how to classify them but it doesn’t really matter.  If you saw these dudes live you would have a really great time, you just have to.

Think drums, drums, drums, and more drums.  They all play drums and sing, the main singer has the biggest drum set though and the other guys play keyboard, guitar and bass.  That’s it, just these four dudes pounding out with so much intensity and having a fantastic time with it.  Check out their E.P. Takers and Leavers here.  But go see these guys, seriously, they are from Seattle so you should have ample opportunity.

Oh yeah, and I saw Los Campesinos! that night too, on tour after the release of their fourth album Hello Sadness, which came out this past November. I had been reeled in by the undeniably catchy first single “By Your Hand” and ended up listening to the album a good bit, mainly for two songs, “To Tundra” and “Light Leaves, Dark Sees pt. II,” which are intense, emotional kind of anthems that I quite enjoy for the sad poetry and music that kinda reminds me of the early 90s (the musical glory days of my youth).  I like the way the dude writes: witty, sarcastic, ironic, bitter, you know, all the tortured self-loathing emotions.  One of the things I like most about this album is that it sounds very honest and personal, there’s some real raw emotion coming through the lyrics and the music that I keeps me listening.  I hoped that they would bring this same raw intensity to their live performance and I was not disappointed.

The show was really good.  They band all seemed to have a good energy and the crowd was super into it, people were dancing and singing and even lots of crowd-surfing, surprisingly.  I found the show to be pretty solid, overall.

Did I leave way more impressed with the opening band than the headliner?  Yeah, yeah, maybe I did.  But I couldn’t help it, the energy of Kithkin is way too infectious to be denied.  As lead singer Gareth Campesinos! pointed out, the crowd was a little bit too into the opening band and he found it kind of rude.  A joke?  Perhaps, but not entirely untrue. People were so into Kithkin that I even wondered how many people were there just to see them and if they even cared about the headliners.

There are some really good pictures from the show in this article from the KEXP blog as well, for those who are curious.

A note about the venue, because it’s relatively new.  It was at the Neptune Theater, owned by Seattle Theater Group, who also operate the Paramount and Moore Theaters in downtown Seattle.  A pretty cool little venue, an old restored theater at about 90 years old, big enough to book good bands and small enough to feel intimate.  Try to get up there and see a show soon, they have some good shows coming up.

Okay, it’s been great, catch y’all next time.

~Leah

There’s nothing like a good all-ages hardcore punk show! Don’t believe me?

Well it’s time to make a believer out of you.

Sunday Februrary 19th there will be a Free All-Ages Hardcore Punk Show. If you’re not down to party on a sunday night, well..then you’re just not down to party. Luckily this show starts relatively early with doors opening at 6:30pm. So even the responsible ones among you will be able to attend.

The show line-up is as follows (All genres are punk):

From what I’ve heard of these bands; this show should be standard punk. So grab your leather jacket with the studs, pre-game with a 40 in hand, and get ready to throw your body weight against complete strangers. On Sunday the 19th, it’s on.

(Print it out and pass it around)

Though this is a free show, I highly suggest bringing donations to help support both the local and touring bands. I don’t know the house rules for the venue, but I would assume that they are something along the lines of “enjoy the music, respect the house, and don’t be a dick”.

Need help getting to the venue? How about a little help from THE INTERNET.

Personally, I plan on attending this show and writing some post-show jibber-jabber. So, there’s always that to look forward to. Once again, if you have any opinions or information about these bands or this show; then don’t hesitate to tell us in a comment.

~Darion

Few things here. First of all, Kalamazoo Michigan is a real place. Second of all, deep within the recesses of what I thought was a fictional realm invented by doctor suess, is The Extreme Unicorns. Third, I know this is kind of late, but! Nothing Nice to Say is off of hiatus, (wooooo!!!!!!) so that’s pretty cool I guess.

Anyway- The Extreme Unicorns. Vocalist/bassist Lex gives the band that sort of, tamer (relatively speaking) almost riot grrl vocal sound you might find in Slutever or The Gits. Plus, guitarist Tim (one word) and drummer Rob O’Toole have soft gingery beards that have been known to cure blindness.

They do some really great covers of The Misfits and Britney Spears, and! They only have one original song out now, so now is your chance to say you liked them before they were cool!

Go the their website or buy their merch. Listen. Be amazed.

Hybrid Moments (Misfits Cover)

Also check out these awesome tracks from The Extreme Unicorns:

Andrew