Tag Archives: the greenhouse

Carousel Festival, day 2, evening show – The Greenhouse

This is the fourth year of the awesome DIY festival known as Carousel. Like any good festival, profits were donated to a respectable cause or two (Urban Rest Stop and Hollow Earth Radio). I had big plans to go to all three days, but I spent friday meeting people that don’t drink and having a picnic at gasworks park. Tonight, I’m working on school stuff because I procrastinated and then going to Rain City Mixtape Club. But I did make it to part of day 2 at my favorite house venue: The Greenhouse.

I missed the first band, which I was sorely disappointed about. I’d heard their name a few times (Eighteen Individual Eyes) and was curious to hear their music. When I got there, I talked with my acquaintance Bryce and he told me the band was comprised of former H is for Hellgate and Hungry Pines members. Sorely disappointed. They’ll be playing at The Mix in Georgetown on September 23rd if you want to hear them as much as I do.

Patrol played about 3 songs in their 30ish minute set. They rattled the Carousel Festival banner off the wall. Feedback and effects and volume. My old band played a show with them at the Crocodile about five years ago and I don’t remember anything like this. Then again, I was extraordinarily sick that evening. Anyhow, Patrol was massively loud and sufficiently distorted to bring pleasure to the ears of their audience. Of the few bands I watched, theirs was probably the largest crowd, as well. I should have taken more notes because they sound totally different on their myspace page. The show was much more like that first Seaweed record, all rawr and grrr. Not so much on the myspace. I’ll have to try them again. Side note: wouldn’t it be funny if they played with The Cops?

Woah! I was not expecting this! Kidcrash was awesome! Cool mathy twiddly guitar bits and yelling! Head-bobbing rhythms and complex musicianship! Exciting tempo and volume changes! Kidcrash made me want to keep this itchy beard I’m going to shave off in a couple hours, move to Portland, buy a fixed gear bicycle and work for an organic food delivery service. Great stuff and I’m looking forward to them coming back again sometime.

Helms Alee
I’ve heard Helms Alee’s name bandied about many times. For some reason, they got mixed up with The Helm in my head and I was expecting hardcore. Instead, I got amazing drumming and throwbacks to TAD and old, not-so-popular grunge bands. Heavy, medium-slow songs percolating up through prehistoric mud as the tide recedes on the NW coast. That metallic vocal style of yelling. Not the silly, high-pitched kind of screaming, but the Mark Arm perfect vocal overdrive. Fantastic use of spaces and perfect drum fills. I really liked Helms Alee. You might like them as well if you grew up on early grunge and have an appreciation for dark metal.

Partman Parthorse
At this point, my antidepressants wore off, so I went home. Just kidding, I don’t take antidepressants, as you can probably tell. But I did go home because I wasn’t having fun anymore. You’d think a band like Partman Parthorse would help. Nope. This may be proof that I am incapable of having a good time. I will now accept recommendations for Seattle area therapists, because this is bullshit and I’m tired of it ruining my life.

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The Oregon Donor, The Braille Tapes, Pwrfl Power, The Mission Orange, Kids and Animals – The Greenhouse

Friday is adventure night. It’s been a long week and a nice show was about all the adventure I could take.

The Greenhouse was having fun. This show was put on by .jpg concerts which is impossible to find on google. However, I think it is this kid because he said his name was Adam and he’s myspace friends with one of the bands. He put together quite an eclectic show and gave out free raffle tickets for tiny bottles of things from the beach (sand from New Jersey, a sand dollar from Biloxi, a starfish from somewhere…) so that was entertaining. I meant to talk to people this time around but it was all kids, pretty much. Ah well, next time.

Kids and Animals
The bass lines for this band were pretty exciting. Lots of notes all over the places. The bassist had a Berklee College of Music t-shirt on, and he could probably go there or does. It actually reminds me of another east coast band, Ashes. The vocalist reminded me of a young Tom Waits, much before Mr. Waits had drunk all that whiskey, smoked all those cigarettes or eaten all that glass or whatever he did to ruin his voice just the right amount. The vocals were very… lackadaisical in both delivery and tone, probably due to the difficult PA at The Greenhouse. But I sort of liked it. The kids seem nice enough. I hope they keep practicing and tighten things up. I was glad to see all their parents there standing in the back with me.

The Mission Orange
I love going to shows. I get pretty tired from it, but I go there and then I find bands that are awesome. Like The Mission Orange. They are a guitar/drums duo from Mount Vernon of all places. They have the same energy as The Last Slice of Butter but a more polished sound. At The Greenhouse they sounded a lot like No Knife but more minimal. I was particularly impressed with the lack of pedals, just a guitar and two amps (stereo for fullness!) and a simple drum kit. Super! Recorded, they lose a bit of that pre-emopop sound and gain a bit more Northwestern flavor. I’m a bit more partial to the live set I heard tonight than the recorded songs on their myspace. Their song Hammer Fever has a particularly familiar introduction, but I just can’t place it. It will annoy me for quite some time. At any rate, their uptempo songs are both fun and interesting and toe-tapping and melodic at the same time. Yes, I know that was four things. It’s like that. I think these guys would be great with some of the Northwest’s finest, Police Teeth, Madraso, etc. Perhaps paired with some mathy bands like Panther Attack and Bronze Fawn? I should open my own venue.

Pwrfl Power
If you don’t like Pwrfl Power, you’re a jerk.  Tonight he was sporting his grandma’s homemade knitted pin (brooch?), of which he also had several for sale. He told us ridiculously funny stories like “She was the girl that I moved to New York for and then I realized that she was psycho so I moved back.” or something similar. You had to be there. At any rate, I guess Kaz has practiced the required 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell requires for people to become awesome at what they do.  He gets the craziest guitar sounds out of just a simple acoustic guitar.  His simple lyrics are always hilarious, though I question whether or not he intends them to be.  They definitely come from dark and strange places.  I particularly enjoyed his new song “I am google” in which he claims to know everything.  Genius.  He said after all that touring last year that he was feeling “post stupid.”  I think the only logical conclusion is that Kaz is the Nicola Tesla of singer/songwriters.  And even though he made us all sit down (which I always have a hard time doing), he made us all happy.

The Braille Tapes
Think about At The Drive In and then think about Small Brown Bike. That’s the range of awesome that The Braille Tapes wander between. I’m going to go order their CD’s right now, actually. I first saw them at Reverb Fest and was impressed with them there.  Tonight, they were just as good.  They yelled and were loud and a little bit RAWR and awesome.  I need to learn some lyrics and they need to play more shows in my town.  They brought two drum sets with them this time around.  It turned out to be necessary as the vocalist/guitarist broke a string and did not bring a spare.  So he played drums for their last two songs.  Two drum sets is difficult to pull off, particularly when bother drummers are just playing the same thing.  It all seemed like overkill for no particular purpose.  But I’ll forgive them because the songs are all still awesome and powerful.  Also, the side project of the drummer, rooftops, is amazing.  I wish they were playing Cumulus Festival.

The Oregon Donor
At the beginning of their set, they played this schizophrenic song with multiple tempos and starts and stops. I was pretty excited. They seem like pretty talented musicians, but something was bothering me. They seemed very fond of the yodeling pickle that they brought. That was pretty funny. They seem like they’d be a great pair with Slender Means. They seemed out of place at the house show. A helpful crowd member adjusted the PA for them but I don’t think the PA was the problem, I think it was just that they didn’t really fit there. They’d work better at the High Dive or the Nectar or some fancy bar. They’re just too safe. There’s no feeling of danger or excitement. Just like Oregon. I’m sure KEXP will be very appreciative of their radio-friendly sound. Good luck out there gentlemen.

Friday is adventure day. Tomorrow is no internet day, so I think I’ll be watching my Rhodes Repair DVD or perhaps getting the rest of the parts for my bed or maybe sneakily checking the internet every five minutes or so and feeling guilty about it. We’ll see.

Five shows next week! I might die!

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H is for Hellgate, Wah Wah Exit Wound, Panther Attack!, The Curious Mystery – The Greenhouse

I tried to grow out my beard a little in preparation for tonight. So I could blend in a bit. My goal was to meet some new folks, but instead I found myself content with just sneaking about and watching a couple bands. I showed up 45 minutes late, thinking the show would run on “house show time” but, alas, it was running on schedule. So I missed The Curious Mystery. They’ll have to stay a mystery.

If you haven’t been to The Greenhouse, I suggest that you go. I like the space. It sounds pretty decent and, except for the PA, you can pretty much hear everything. The folks are real nice and it is decorated very well. Shows are cheap and parking is pretty simple. All in all, it’s a pretty magical house show spot and I hope that the neighbors like it too.

Panther Attack
Panther Attack started with the longest crescendo known to mankind. Let’s say it was about a hundred hours. Or maybe 2 minutes. A fistful of “hey we’re playing” in the form of some drums and bass under the doo dit do doo guitar lines welcomed everyone from upstairs as they made their way down the perilous stairs and through the bead door into the rock and roll. As I’ve said elsewhere, I like Panther Attack. I’m glad other people like them too. I’m very glad they’re playing the Cumulus Festival in January, which I will be stoked to attend. They have awesome tempo and rhythm changes that just appear out of nowhere. I’ve given up trying to count the time signatures. They hide them in constant motion, a shuffling of feet to go with your nodding head, guitar over guitar over bass over drum counter melody and counter rhythm. There are no long notes, only passing moments of tone that wander like a seabird searching for food among the pounding waves. Pausing only long enough to dip it’s head down and pick up some tasty bit of protein preserved by salt water. All these pretty melodies and rhythms and cool syncopated beats. Man somebody needs to do this type of stuff with some vocals. Email don at this website (without the www, obviously) to have me audition. Now. Anyways, now that I’ve buttered up Panther Attack let me be more realistic and mention what I would do differently if I had any talent. Panther Attack are great at the quiet to mid-level dynamics. If it were me, I’d throw in some super loud parts to offset the quiet parts. They had a couple moments that were what I was thinking about, but nothing that really blew my mind and made us all lose control of ourselves. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect and nice all the time guys. Change #2: get rid of the second drumset. It’s pointless and adds nothing. Sure, you can show off your multi-instrumentalism, but you don’t need to. Keep rocking the second guitar, it sounds awesome. The second drums are just unnecessary. Okay, enough complaining. Panther Attack rules and I’ll go see them again any time.

H is for Hellgate
It’s been about a year since I’ve seen H is for Hellgate and they’ve gone through some lineup changes in that time. Gone are the drummer and the second guitarist. There is a new drummer and they’ve moved to a power trio set up. H is for Hellgate is still having fun, at least. “We are the Jonas Brothers” is a pretty good hint at that. We were also treated to a couple off-color jokes from the bassist. Yes, the bassist that I talked smack about in an early blog post if you were here for that. I didn’t mind the HOORAY line tonight. I was in a very poor mood at that 31 Knots show. I almost shouted out HOORAY myself when he asked “Who feels alone tonight.” I thought it would have been funny. But tonight I was invisible and preoccupied with some tasks I have coming up. Speaking of things coming up, H is for Hellgate is playing the High Dive on the 5th and releasing their new CD at the same time. I’ll be going to a fancy party that evening and attempting to recover from my tattoo work, so I’ll probably miss that show. Let me know how it goes. Oh, I should probably talk about tonight’s set. The PA was a bit too quiet, but overall the sound was pretty decent. They reminded me of Rainer Maria, but something was gnawing on the edges of this comparison. The crowd was having fun and unperturbed by this chomp chomp chomp at the good times that I was feeling, so it must be just me. After a song or two, I figured it out: the drummer. He reminds me of a certain drummer I know: good enough but not awesome. He lacks the finesse of an amazing drummer and certain transitions were just sloppy. Before everyone jumps on me for talking smack about yet another member of H is for Hellgate I better say something nice. Jamie Hellgate and Ben Hooray were holding it together on guitar and bass respectively. I like Jamie’s guitar playing a lot and Ben was doing a fine job of thumping on the bass. I think that if H is for Hellgate could find a drummer that was more than just competent, they’d be doing pretty well for themselves. They seem like good friends and I hope they’re having fun together. If so, they should ignore me and keep on keeping on. Maybe the drummer was just sick or having a bad night. I’m curious how the CD turned out. Go to the High Dive on the 5th and find out!

The only appropriate thing to do after showing up late is to leave early. So I missed out on Wah Wah Exit Wound (who played out of sequence, if they played at all). Go see these two bands and go to The Greenhouse when you get a chance. See you out there.

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carousel festival #3 day 2 – the greenhouse

i haven’t been to a house show in a long time. i loved house shows at one time. the chaos and disorganization. the x-mas lights. the underage drinking and stench of pot smoke. the heat and humidity of a small basement full of rocking. some weird bands you’ve never heard of. etc. etc. etc.

i’ve been thinking about putting on house shows for a long time. we did a couple at the place we were renting. we could have done some here before the basement was all fixed up if we really wanted to, but the room is pretty small. with some work and a lot of foam materials we could rig up some sound proofing for the garage. but our nice neighbor has twins babies now. and the crazy neighbor is crazy. and there’s a bunch of condos behind us. and if some kids got busted for underage drinking here, it’s quite possible i wouldn’t have a job anymore. it’s too bad straightedge music is so dumb and the people are all frat boys. maybe we could do house comedy shows. or story time. or game night.

upon entering the greenhouse i paid my mandatory $5 donation and asked to be directed to the restroom. place seemed nice enough. well, messed up enough to have house shows in, that is. i quickly got bored and purchased heart murmur, benji DIY’s zine. i read some of it as i sat downstairs watching bronze fawn set up. me and bryce talked about (the) hungry pines break up and how he could have played three times that night if he really tried. it was a funny joke. then, some dude showed up, set up a tape player and started playing.

i thought it ironic that a guy who named his solo project mattress would be playing in a basement that uses mattresses as soundproofing. it was just me, though. there were about 10 people there to watch mattress play. but one guy was *really* excited about it. i don’t know why. the guy sings with a low voice through a delay pedal along to some tapes of drum machines and synthesizer. it was all very weird. and perfect for the start to a house show.

after mattress, there were kids doing pop rocks in the corner. i noticed the glow-in-the-dark stars that my sister had on her ceiling in eighth grade. that i stole and brought to the old bartertown to put in my room.

bronze fawn
as my housemate is downstairs yelling at the U.S. basketball team over in China from our couch, i’m reminded that bronze fawn is the opposite of that. they do not make me want to stab anyone. in fact, they were the start of my hour and a half of feeling alright about the world. the start of the “this is what i needed right now” moments. fleeting, but present nonetheless. okay, i have to put on headphones to finish this. play some sad songs that i could sing along with really loud if i had a studio apartment instead of sharing a house with four dudes. hey, bronze fawn is four dudes. well, three play instruments and one does live video editing. if you have to have video, this is the way that makes the most sense to me. the video person becomes a part of the band that way. i didn’t notice this when they played king cobra, but i like it. through their million effects pedals and hard hitting drums, bronze fawn play bad ass mathy instrumentals. the kind that got my foot tapping from the first song. great tempo changes and arrhythmic breakdowns. if i could just sing along with bronze fawn, i’d probably be their third biggest fan, right after the ladies from the hungry pines, who i’ve seen at both shows i’ve been to. it is clear that i need to go to more bronze fawn shows.

yes, you read that right, bronze fawn and then joules. my boy bryce is in both of those bands. i first saw joules at a house party, actually. juhu beach, joules and my old band played. it was fun. joules was also a fundamental part of the best show i have ever seen in my life: the advantage, joules and some crazy guy from portland playing drums and guitar at the same time.  joules is in my top whatever of local bands.  i don’t know how long the list is, but they’re on it for sure.  probably near the top.  they’re so good, that the room was packed and everyone was rocking out.  of the five bands i stuck around for, it was the most popular set.  maybe because they haven’t played for a whole year.  man i’ve missed them.  the premise of joules is basically the same as bronze fawn.  epic mathy instrumentals.  the differences make all the difference, however.  joules is more stripped down.  less effects.  more subtlety in the drumming and the playing.  more rhythmic in their delivery but still very melodic.  a little bit more “WTF just happened there?”  good luck clapping along. 

with tiny bits of silly string dandruff, i sat outside and read benji’s zine and contemplated asking out that lesbian or talking to the only person wearing white. it matches his hair. but instead i stand under the streetlight and contemplate what my neighbor’s babies would think if i converted the garage into a venue.

the abodox
metal? well, the kids that are down here are into this. but there’s not as many kids watching the band as there are kids hanging around outside drinking and smoking. metal makes me really tired. from all the laughing. the abodox does it pretty well, however. with back-of-the-throat screaming and technical precision. they’re loud all the time. sometimes they are a bit grind-y. thank god it’s not all the time.

these guys have a good schtick going: they’re out there to educate us with metal/hardcore. all of their songs are about science fiction authors (this nerd appreciated all the anne mccaffery references). half way through the set, they threw some books out into the crowd (i caught one, but left it on the surfboard for someone who knows how to read). their music would probably do more good if you could understand more than one or two words per song, but hey, i’m old. also, they were trying really hard to be funny, which rarely works. i was a little disappointed that all the kids were missing the education by hanging out outside, but a few more filtered in by the time i left. by the time my ears started bleeding, that is. i really need to go buy some new earplugs, but american music is only open until 6 on the weekends.

i forgot to mention that between joules and the abodox, my friend from the south lake union block party showed up.  the ass that throws his cigarette butts where others are going to sit for several hours.  i took small joy in seeing a young lady kick over his beer.  i left before his band played.  i wanted to stay to watch little party and the bad business (seattle’s electronic no age), but i had no interest in the two bands before them.  ah well.

just to remind me of my place in this world, on the way home, the universe decided to rip the muffler off my car. i circled back and picked it up, but really i found it hard to understand why i deserve this. but there is no question that i do, since it happened. the only thing to do is to find some exhaust shop that is open on sundays, or just drive around sounding like a semi truck until next saturday, which is the next time i could get even close to some place that can help me. or maybe no one can help me. i’d like to just laugh about it. i’d like to just not wake up until something good happens. but instead, i shake my head and think about what i’ll make for breakfast tomorrow. i have some eggs i need to use.

carousel festival day 3 tomorrow. i think i’ll go to the fusion cafe show. panther attack!

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