Archive for March, 2011

It’s a common occurrence for songs to weasel their way onto our minds and bounce around in our skulls all day. These songs make us hum, whistle, and mutter lyrics to ourselves no matter how awkward the situation. These songs aren’t always new, or even incredibly groundbreaking, but they all manage to get stuck in our music-loving noggins; and for that we honor them.

Today’s Song On Repeat is “Sail” by AWOLNATION.

(This music video kinda reminds me of Donnie Darko for some reason)

This song has found its way in and out of my head for about two weeks. I have made a dork of myself on several occasions my randomly singing “SAIL!” as I cross my college campus. I just love the lyrics and catchy beat; and even though it seems like everyone jokes about having ADD, the lyrics “Blame it on my ADD, baby” are still ones I can live by.

~Darion

Yay! A new feature, Local Artist Spotlights! I promised some of you I would feature you and have this up by the 15th, but, alas. Some of you have been waiting ever so patiently and you aren’t even featured this month! Grah! I’m sorry. There were some technical difficulties involving a mental break down and an online math class (why I decided to take an online math class I have no idea. Mental? Masochistic? Both?) Anyway. Here is a video of a walrus playing the saxophone. Think of it as an apology/peace offering.

Alright, enough of that. Without further ado, I present:

The Volcano Diary

Genre: Americana/alt-rock/Electroacoustic

Location: Seattle, Washington

Label: Unsigned

Sounds like: Sia, Mollie’s Revenge

Website: http://www.thevolcanodiary.com/

Local Seattle Band The Volcano Diary released it’s debut self-titled album in late 2010. It was produced by Steve Fisk, (Nirvana, The Posies) so when a press manager contacted me to review their album I was like, What? REALLY!? Hooray! Maybe they were looking for indie blogger cred? I don’t know. But I do know it was a pleasure to listen to this album.

A remarkable mix of alternative rock with a hint of country and an unexpected bit of blues Alicia Dara’s haunting and seductive voice is both memorable and unique. In a time when sampling and various other technological gimmicks fill the radio waves, The Volcano Diary is a band, rather than a computer, filled with honestly talented musicians.

The nine tracks are a satisfying schism of somber and exciting. This album feels like a first album in that it seems to be the beginning of something that is fresh and can only get better from here on out, sparking an interest in what will follow. That being said, the lyrics in some tracks tend to sound like that of a band that is still getting it’s bearings. I was looking to be moved a little more by the lyrics, but Dara’s voice carries the words in a way that is thrilling and unexpected-so it is easily forgiven .

I probably wouldn’t take this album to the gym but it’s been my night driving staple and seems to be just the thing when the time comes to relax to a calm playlist. So if you like female vocalists and easy-listening, I would recommend The Volcano Diary.

“Volcano” by the Volcano Diary:

“Cloud Cover” by The Volcano Diary:  

They have been playing various shows around the Northwest, many of them in bar and taverns, but they are playing a free all ages show on Monday May 30th at the Northwest Folklife Festival! I know many of you will be in attendance so check them out, show them some love!

Cheers!

-Karli

If you would like to be featured in a Local Artist Spotlight, email us at:  leastpretentious@gmail.com

I really hate to be redundant like this, but I just heard something that burns to the very core of me with hatred. A couple of days ago I was listening to the radio and the new Nicki Minaj/Will.i.am song “Check it out” came on. I would like to start by saying that this in an abortion of a song. The formula for the song is basically:

Horrible rhymes from auto-tuned Will.i.am + auto-tuned Nicki Minaj talking about how great she is + “check it out” repeated over and over again + a sound sample = Utter shit.

In fact, the only thing I liked about the song was the sound sample that they stole and even that was ruined for me after it was used so many times. It actually took me a bit to realize where I recognized the sound clip from, I forced myself to listen the song until I remembered. Luckily the answer came to me and I was able to change the station before the song forced me to commit suicide. The sample they used in the chorus of  “Check it out”  was “Oh, Oh”, which was in “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. I don’t just mean it was the same words; it is literally the exact same sound clip. I played them side by side, and there’s no doubt about it.

(Unfortunately, youtube videos of this song can only be viewed on youtube)


This pisses me off to no end. Why can’t these artists just make their own music? Are their songs really so bad that they need to take catchy parts from other songs in hopes that they can polish what is obviously the lyrical equivalent of a sack of crap? It doesn’t work!

In the song Nicki Minaj says “Haters you can kill yo-self”.  I would not be surprised if this song caused a wave of mass suicides across the nation, and then a second wave once the rest of the world translated these god-awful lyrics.

I have a proposition for all of you would-be music samplers out there. If you are going to sample a recognizable and prominent part of someone else’s work, then you have to name your work after them or work in the original title somehow. So in this case the original song was called “Video Killed The Radio Star” so the new version should be called “Check it out, Nicki Minaj ruined the Music Industry”.

(Just look at this as the second part of my last article, I promise my next post won’t be on this topic)


~Darion

I’ve had it up to here with horrible auto-tuning and lyric borrowing that plagues music today! I realize that you cannot tell where “up to here” is, but I assure you that it is a very disgruntled height. Every time I turn on the radio my ears are violated by the sounds of dismantled classic songs and voice modification, if I really wanted to hear robot voices I’d watch the movie Transformers.

I suppose it comes down to questioning the musical talent of new hip-hop and pop artists. Apparently not only are they incapable of singing (since they need to modify their voices), but they also can’t write a decent song to save their lives. When I hear classic songs like “Forever Young” and “The Time of my life” remixed, stripped for the chorus, and combined with horrible digital modifications it makes me feel sick and confused. It’s like the feeling I got when I saw Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.

They say that monkeys typing randomly on typewriters for eternity would eventually complete the works of Shakespeare, I believe it would take Ke$ha twice as long.

What the generic Nicki Minaj lacks in talent, she makes up for in lady lumps.

If all it takes to be “talented” these days is some computer software and the hard work of someone else, then I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this kind of attitude crop up in other forms of media. Who needs to write a good movie anymore when you can just steal a pre-existing story and remix it with special effects? *cough* James Cameron *cough*

I guess if I wanted to make my own film I would only need to film 75% of it and then I could merely plug in a fight scene from The Matrix, and the ending to Fight Club. Guaranteed money maker.

Back to music, perhaps it’s not the horrible talent-lacking and lyric-stealing that bugs me. Maybe I’m really just afraid of how future generations will see us. I can imagine someone my age in the future, they’re seventy years old and listening to the music that’s popular now. I don’t want to be from the same time as an old woman who tortures her family by listening to the high-pitched yappy lyrics of Nicki Minaj, or the decrepit old man who is happy about throat cancer because now his new voice-box gives him constant auto-tune nostalgia.

It’s time to re-evaluate our standards for good music, or at the very least acknowledge and reduce the amount of credit we give to artists who make money by half-assing creativity. In the spirit of remixing and stealing, rather than write my own ending to this rant I have decided to steal the ending of Terminator 2:

“The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it for the first time with a sense of hope, because if a machine, a terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can, too.”


~Darion

Concert calendar! Yay! I’m excited to get these started again. I make these because this is the kind of thing I would like to come across if I was to Google “shows Olympia” or “concerts Seattle” (which I have many-a-times and until now, no avail). I have a vision for these bad boys. I want them to become sort of a community posting place where local bands can put up their upcoming shows and where anyone who knows about a cool music-related event can drop me an email or a comment and I will add it for the world to see! So don’t be shy. C’mon now, free advertising on a blog that for some reason I don’t understand, people actually read. Check back often!

March 1st

  • Morcheeba with The Mumlers @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Lynch Mob @ The Capital Theater Backstage

March 3rd

  • Escape the Fatewith Alesana and Motionless In White @ The Showbox Market, Seattle

    If you want to listen to some talented upcoming bands this month, go to Sound Off! at the EMP. This competition helped two of my favorite (and HUGELY successful) Northwest bands get their start, Schoolyard Heroes and Natalie Portman's Shaved Head.

  • David Grey @ McCaw Hall, Seattle
  • The Lonely Forest with the Oregon Donor and The Violins @ Vera Project, Seattle

March 4th

  • Steven Page @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Paintings for Animals with the Walrus Effect, Babe Lazer, Chung Antique and Evil Worm @ Northern, Olympia

March 5th

  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Blueprint @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Lifehouse @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle
  • Sound off! Finals @ EMP Sound Church, Seattle
  • The Goo Goo Dolls @ The Emerald Queen Casio, Fife  (21+)
  • Vedetta Red with The Siren Sisters @ El Corazon, Seattle
  • Devotchka @ The Paramount, Seattle
  • Witch Gardens with Masters and Johnson and Ghost Feet @ Grandma’s House, Olympia

March 6th

  • The Dirty Heads with New Politics @ El Corazon, Seattle

March 7th

  • Pierced Arrows with Morgan and the Organ Donors and Mosquito Hawk @ The Brotherhood, Olympia (21+)

March 8th

  • Crystal Castles with Suuns @ The Showbox Market, Seattle (or the Sodo, I can’t figure out which)

March 9th

  • Macklemore plays one final Seattle show on the 5th before embarking on his first US tour as a headliner. He recently released a music video for his song "Irish Celebration" which for some reason has my 10th grade history teacher in it (YouTube that shit, 2:30, yo). I'd like to know how that arrangement came about.

    Joshua Radin with Cary Brothers and Laura Jansen @ The Showbox Market, Seattle

  • Erev Rav and the Underscore Orchestra @ The Northern, Olympia

March 11th

  • Civil Twilight with A Silent Film @ Neumos, Seattle
  • New Slang, G-Force, String Theory @ The Northern, Olympia

March 12th

  • Drive-By Truckers with Heartless Bastards @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • The Dismemberment Plan with Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and The Globes @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle
  • Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands Final Battle @ The Hard Rock Café, Seattle (21+)
  • The Curious Mystery, Karl Blau, Georgy @ Northern, Olympia

March 13th

  • Collective Love Unlimited, Random Abiladeze, Cloud Eaters @ Northern, Olympia

March 15th

  • Punch Brothers @ The Showbox Market, Seattle  I stole this picture from The Long Morning’s Myspace page. They only have 121 friends, so if you get off to knowing your favorite band is the most indie of the indie, well, this band is for you.

Girl Talk @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle

March 16th

  • Tres Mts. @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Girl Talk @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle
  • The Long Mornings, North American War, Furhood @ Northern, Olympia

March 19th

  • Excision with Downlink, Antiserum, and The Dowlz @ The Showbox Market, Seattle

March 22nd

  • Good Charlotte with Forever The Sickest Kidsand This Century @ The Showbox Market, Seattle

    I stole this picture from The Long Morning's Myspace page. They only have 121 friends, so if you get off to knowing your favorite band is the most indie of the indie, well, this band is for you.

March 23rd

  • State Radio @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Three Days Grace @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle

March 24th

  • Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • Sic Alps, The Maxines, Basemint @ Northern, Olympia
  • She Wants Revenge with Anguisette and The Californian@ El Corazon, Seattle

March 25th

  • Galactic with Cyril Neville and Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) and John Brown’s Body@ The Showbox Market

March 26th

  • Foster the People @ High Dive, Seattle (21+)
  • Gatsby’s American Dream with MXPX and Man Without Wax @ El Corazon, Seattle

March 27th

  • Uh Huh Her @ Chop Suey, Seattle
  • Strange Boy and Natural Child @ Northern, Olympia

March 29th

  • The Ready Set with Allstar Weekend, The Downtown Fiction, We Are The In Crowda and You Me And Everyone Knows @ El Corazon,  Seattle

March 30th

  • Crosby & Nash @ The WaMu Theater, Seattle
  • Helado Negro @ Northern, Olympia

March 31st

  • Dark Star Orchestra @ The Showbox Market, Seattle
  • A Day To Remember with Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce The Veil, and We Came as Romans @ The Showbox Sodo, Seattle

-Karli