Monday
Dec162013

The Caleb Klauder Band - Nectar Lounge - Seattle WA

Saturday night at the Nectar Lounge, The Caleb Klauder Band proved that the only thing more fun than saying the term “honky-tonk” is listening to it live.  Originally from nearby Orcas Island, WA, and now living in Portland, Klauder embodies honky-tonk tunes with a pinch of the Pacific Northwest.  As evidenced by the title of his 2010 album, “Western Country,” his songs contain plucky puns, references to soul-saving roads, and that swoony twang capable of melting even the Seattle freeze.  The air smelt of whiskey and the fresh sweat of lively dancing.  It made me smile to note the spectrum of ages at the show; young couples kissed in every corner as clearly lifelong partners swung one another around in front of the stage.  With all the button-ups and cowboy boots about, I half-expected to see people sipping sarsparilla.  Not everyonelooked dressed for a hoedown, though -- those who’d be labeled by pop culture as “hipsters” were right in the thick of it too, stomping their feet and cheering at each fiddle solo.

Urging the audience members to all “take home someone sweet” that night, Klauder’s clear charm and warm voice filled the venue with positive vibes all through his set.  When one of his strings broke and he had to dash off to fix it between songs, the band burst into an instrumental number with just the rightamount of giddyup to keep people swaying.  As each member participates in a multitude of other projects, their experience shone through, making for a cohesive and catchy show perfect for the Nectar Lounge’s stage and size.  I highly recommend hitting a Caleb Klauder Band concert to anyone in need of a pick-me-up with plenty of country-style panache.

Words // Photos by AJ Dent 

Monday
Dec022013

Tonight: Cass McCombs plays The Sinclair

Cass McCombsBig Wheel and Others is one of my favorite albums of the year. It's a massive, rambling, folk-country epic. Clocking in at 22 tracks, it features some gorgeous guitar work, wry lyrics and some really great tunes.  

McCombs takes his freewheeling act on the road to The Sinclair on Monday night and I would suggest checking it out. I saw him play back in September and it was simply spellbinding.

Stream "There Can Be Only One" and see his other tour dates below.

 


Tue Dec 03 2013 Il Motore, Montreal, QC, Canada
Wed Dec 04 2013 Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON, Canada
Fri Dec 06 2013 The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL, US
Sat Dec 07 2013 Zanzabar, Louisville, KY, US
Sun Dec 08 2013 High Watt, Nashville, TN, US
Mon Dec 09 2013 The Earl, East Atlanta, GA, US
Thu Dec 12 2013 The Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, US
Fri Dec 13 2013 Boot & Saddle, Philadelphia, PA, US
Sat Dec 14 2013 Ottobar, Baltimore, MD, US 

Wednesday
Nov202013

Dan Dodd - "This Ordinary Life" - Providence RI

Providence's Dan Dodd finds inspiration in the everyday. On his latest tune, fittingly titled "This Ordinary Life", he looks to an e-mail correspondence with a friend over seas for the lyrics. 

"Lately I've been interested in extracting songs from every day conversations. They seem to tell many stories at once, depending on who is listening," he writes.

Thankfully Dodd lets us listen in on his Nick Drake-like melodicism, matched with sublime visuals from Evan St Martin at Frame & Anchor Films. Turns out there's plenty of beauty all around us.
Dan Dodd is the stage name of Providence-based singer-songwriter Dan Chase. Dodd's is his mother's maiden name, and his given name at birth. "Using it is a sort of return to childhood for me. I think it's important we remember the innocence and honesty of being a kid. It just might be the thing that saves us as we grow up," he says.
Follow him on Facebook here.

Dan Dodd - This Ordinary Life from Frame & Anchor on Vimeo.

Words // Brian Hodge

Video // Evan St. Martin at Frame & Anchor Films

Hear more from Dan!

 

Wednesday
Nov132013

XVIII Eyes - Interview by The MIXTAPE

We are proud to anounce our partnership and general friendship with the pod cast The Mixtape hosted by Sean De Tore. The Mixtape is a weekly pod cast and blog that cranks out great interviews and exclusive content that complements Visible Voice. Show your support by downloading the pod cast and checking out the blog. Look forward to more exciting content from the both of us!

Local group XVIII Eyes have a couple of records under their belt with the latest and greatest being "I'll Keep You". Rumor has it that the band first titled the album "I'll Keep You Loving This Record Until Time Stands Still Because It's So Effing Good", but it was just too long and a bit over the top. Ok, that's not true at all. At least the part about the album title. The record, however, is indeed so. effing. good.

I had the chance to chat with guitarist/vocalist Irene Barber about the name of the band, radio vs. social media, naming songs and fun gay bar times involving a bartender named Shannon who is "the tallest, toughest and coolest dyke around.".

XVIII Eyes play Chop Suey Thursday, Nov.14 along with Ships and Blue Light Curtain.

the mixtape: When I hear the words 18 Individual Eyes I think of a massive man eating spider or some disturbing creature I would not want to meet at any time in my life. Where did you get the name 18 Individual Eyes or XVIII Eyes as it is sometimes stylized and what kind of thoughts does it evoke in you?

XVIII: Ha! The name does sound pretty Sci-Fi, which I think would be just as fitting for us. It's from The Bell Jar which I was reading at the time we were trying to find a name. The exact sentence is actually, "Eighteen separate eyes." The character is describing a trip to see a new doctor, and how she walks into the room to find that nine students (eighteen eyes) will be sitting in for the visit. We've made a formal decision to change our name to simply "XVIII Eyes." Most folks, including ourselves, leave out "Individual" when referring to us. So we thought we might as well cut it out, make the name shorter and hopefully sweeter as well.

tm: As I was researching you folks I stumbled upon a photo-blog with posts from 2010 when the band was comprised of all women. Nowadays I see that you've got a dude in the group. Was it important to be an all female group at the time or was it sheer coincidence?

XVIII: Coincidence. XVIII Eyes embodies both the feminine and masculine spectrums regardless of lineup. Our presence is mixed and I love that.

tm: I heard your new song "We Only Talk in San Francisco" on KEXP recently (which inspired this chat, btw) and loved the darn thing. Radio is still very present and important but these days we also have TONS of social media and ways to promote ourselves on-line. Do you put more weight into one medium than the other or are radio and internet both very important for what you're doing?

XVIII: Aw, well thank you very much! We are incredibly appreciative of KEXP and the support they give to local and independent artists around the world. I'm so horrible with social media. You'll catch me listening to KEXP far more often than you'll find me on the social webs. This isn't to say that social media isn't wonderful — our band definitely benefits from it whether it be someone following a tweet to this interview, or someone getting the details for our next show. I find myself discovering new music via radio, music blogs, and other music media on the internet that are not necessarily socially-driven. That said, I'm sure this isn't true for everyone, and so I'm not sure we should put weight in one medium over the other. I do know this though: The other night I was driving home and we came on KEXP, one minute later I got an email from Bandcamp saying we sold another download. I've gotta think that the person was inspired to go out and find us online after hearing us on the airwaves.

tm: Why do some of you look familiar to me? I know I've seen you around town. What do you do for your day jobs?

XVIII: I'm guessing you've most likely seen Andy out and about as he bartends/backs and works security at a couple different spots. Our practice space is on 11th and Pike, so we spend a lot of time at Pettirosso. Samantha just opened Studio 915, her massage therapy studio in the Rainier Building. Jamie is taking a bit of a sabbatical and is working on her home recording studio. I do interaction design for a tech company in Fremont.

tm: What other talents do you have besides playing music and singing and junk?

XVIII: Both Sam and I live in the world of art and design. Jamie is a carpenter extraordinaire! And Andy can identify and name any aircraft you throw at him. We can all polish off a bottle of Fireball in one night. Disgusting or sexy, yes this is a talent.

tm: Tell me a story, either crazy or sane, about your time on the road.

XVIII: Out on the road we stay pretty even-keel - let's say somewhere in between crazy and sane, haha. A good story came out of our time on tour with Minus the Bear last winter. After our show in Des Moines, IA we all hit up the local gay bar across the street where we met the now revered, Shannon the Bartender. The tallest, toughest and coolest dyke around. She poured the stiffest drinks and told us the craziest stories. The bar also had those business cards where you can rate the attractiveness of people you meet 1 through 10. I don't know - are these used for booty calls later? Anyway, we asked Shannon to rate us - Jamie, Sam, me and our sound lady Robin. She gave us a 7 saying, "you're pretty good, but there is room for improvement." Damn! She put us in our place that night with tough love and booze. Shannon ended up coming to our show the next night in Madison, WI. She brought some pot cookies, and Andy and I ate one each without question or hesitation. Oh my word, they were way too strong. I sunk into a paranoia so strong I was convinced she had poisoned us. Andy was across the room flying through a Star Wars battle scene. Shannon, respect. You kicked the shit out of us two nights in a row.

tm: Your new record is called I'll Keep You. Who came up with that name? Also, as a band, how do you come up with album names/song titles? Are they super important?

XVIII: This album is a bit lighter in mood, much more open, exposed and publicly affectionate. We thought the title I'll Keep You effectively captures those qualities. "I'll Keep You" is also the first track on the record, which is the same first-song-equals-record-title equation we went with on our last record Unnovae Nights. A few of our song titles, and lyrics for that matter, are phrases spoken in conversations among ourselves. When it happens we all kind of stop and are like, hey that'd make a sweet song title. Being the lyricist, I'm usually in the best position to find or pull the appropriate title. But at the same time, I think the best titles are ones that just pop and intrigue. They don't have to have incredible meaning.

tm: Do you remember making/receiving a mixtape as a kid or even as an adult for that matter? If so, what was on it?

XVIII: I made a mixtape for myself when I discovered how to use a dual cassette player in 2nd grade. I made a mix from a couple of my mom's tapes - Dionne Warwick and Sade. It was my bath time mix.

tm: New record. Check. Upcoming show at Chop Suey. Check. What does the future look like for 18 Individual Eyes?

XVIII: Next month we are playing a show with My Goodness at the Croc. And we are already writing new tunes. We're excited to see what direction the writing goes. We'd love to go on tour in early spring. Announcements around both to come!

 
Tuesday
Nov122013

Ravenna Woods - Kitchen Sessions / Visible Voice Exclusive

Walking into Ravenna Woods’ Seattle house/practice space/recording studio was pretty surreal. We quickly realized that this was not a house at all, it was a creative dungeon. It was a place to eat, sleep, drink, and produce music.

The band welcomed us to catch a glimpse into their jam session. We first started to roll the cameras in a bedroom on the top floor where they had never played before. Although the band sounded great we decided to relocate to their basement (practice/recording space). The basement was draped in rugs, posters, and various trinkets that made it feel less “cold”, it was clearly the beating heart of the house.  While the band is fairly laid back, lead singer and guitar player Chris Cunningham is a driving force of intensity that bears his dark side throughout his lyrics.

Their much anticipated album The Jackal is available November 12! It is a true representation of the band’s balanced sensibility. The Jackal is perfectly produced to exemplify the purity of their sound, which is refreshing in a time when music is being ransacked by computers and producers who want to leave their “mark.”  

Ravenna Woods has their album release show on Saturday November 16th at Neumos in Seattle.

Video // Kitchen Sessions & Visible Voice 

 

Saturday
Nov092013

Charli XCX - Neumo's - Seattle, WA

Until Charli XCX started crooning and shimmying at Neumo’s, I had no idea what a cult following she has here in Seattle.  The moment she cracked open her show with “What I Like,” the men surrounding me in the front row burst out dancing and singing every lyric.  Standing in the middle of her band of female instrumentalists, she owned everyone’s attention with her raspy British accent and fervid headbanging.  At just twenty-one years old, the English singer-songwriter is not only an international star, but also a fashion icon thanks to her goth-tinged wardrobe and huge, dread-laced hair.

Murmurs flew through the crowd when, at the end of her fourth song, “Lock You Up,” Charli broke down into tears.  As the tune was followed by an extra-emotional “Stay Away,” everyone assumed a former lover was on her mind.  She explained afterwards, though, that she actually had a sore throat, and had been on the verge of calling off the show, but “didn’t want to do that” to us.  The audience erupted into cheers of gratitude and affirmation that she still sounded amazing.  Without her confession and the fact she was drinking tea onstage, I’d have never guessed her voice was anything but at its best.  Though concertgoers were disappointed when she didn’t emerge for an encore at the end, we could hardly blame her, especially given that she’d still performed an impressive thirteen songs.  With catchy anthems like “You (Ha Ha Ha)” and “I Love It” (a song she wrote for the band Icona Pop) entering the mainstream, she’s sure to keep winning over hearts and growing her adoring fan base.

Words//Photos By:AJ Dent - Twitter // Web Site

Tuesday
Nov052013

Deer Tick - Neumos - Seattle, WA

Deer Tick has built a name for themselves by not only pumping out killer tunes, but by pulling out the stops. Just two years removed from the rollicking Divine Providence, the band returns with a clear-eyed, emotionally-charged record, Negativity.

As on Divine Providence, the band benefits from letting Ian O’Neil take a turn behind the mic. His “The Dream’s in the Ditch” is the album’s catchiest tune. Drummer Dennis Michael Ryan’s “Thyme” also acquits itself well.

But ultimately, this is lead singer John McCauley’s show. He addresses his dissolved engagement on album opener “The Rock”, and his father’s prison sentence for tax evasion (“Mr. Sticks”). The result is some of the band’s most autobiographical and affecting tunes to date. His sandpaper croak is still rough, but it’s more pointed than ever; his bloodshot eyes are wide here with a keen clarity, thanks in no small part to shirking at least some of the substances.

McCauley has always had a voice that sounds like he’s seen some hard times. Now he’s got some hard times to sing about.

Words // Brian Hodge
Photos // Adam Richert 

Check out this throw back of Deer Tick circa 2010 (kitchen Sessions)
Wednesday
Oct302013

The Avett Brothers - Key Arena - Seattle, WA

The Pacific Northwest was lucky enough to get a second helping of The Avett Brothers this year, which included a high-energy show at Seattle's Key Arena on October 18. On the heels of the October 15 release date of their new album Magpie and the Dandelion, the band gave fans a few new gems - including Vanity, Bring Your Love to Me, and the album's first single Another is Waiting. Foot stomping commenced during crowd pleasers such as Laundry Room and The Fall. And die- hard fans would list Salvation Song and Backwards with Time as the highlights of the night.

Recently the Bros & Co teamed up with Seattle's own Chris Cornell to treat television viewers to a special performance of Vanity on adoring fan Jimmy Fallon's late night talk show. On October 30, the North Carolinians will rock the stage for a Live on Letterman webcast, and will do a regular show performance after. With Magpie and the Dandelion debuting at #5 on the Billboard Top 200, and #3 on iTunes top albums, it seems we will be seeing a lot more of the genre-defying brothers in the future. 

Words // Ashley Couey: Web Site and facebook

Photos // Adam Richert

Saturday
Oct262013

David Bazan - Living Room Sessions - Bakersfield, CA

Last Thursday I walked down my street to a neighborhood house, knocked on the door of a person I had never met, and was invited in to listen to David Bazan

A bar height chair was set in the corner of the living room, between the fireplace filled with votive candles and a warm glow of a lamp on the other side. The host had the vibe just right. Bazan walks in as if he were a friend invited over to play. He begins to tune as the crowd who was once standing awkwardly around the living area of this quaint house, now starts to take their seats. Just watching everyone arrange themselves in such a considerate manor is a testament to the living room session. Absolute respect for the home, the musician, and each other. The kind of respect that can only be derived from understanding and appreciation for what everyone is about to experience. 

Bazan begins to play and then answers some questions. This is when the fans, who have been listening with intent silence, show their excitement. This is also when Bazan, becomes more than a musican and reveals all those genuine and sincere parts of his character that are perceived through his music, in the flesh. After answering a questions about religion and raising his children, Bazan asks if anyone else has any questions, then jokes "It doesn't have to be as personal, or it can be." While Bazan is in the living room he is an open book. 

Bazan closes with the favorite "Bands With Managers", thanks everyone, and as the crowd shuffles around the living room, he casually exits. I suspected this was more out of respect for the host (as not to create lingering fans inside their living room), because as we walked out, we noticed he hadn't left. Bazan was standing in the front yard. We were able to thank him personally, shook his hand, and as we walked back home I looked back and noticed he was chatting and taking photographs with the little crowd that gathered that night just for him. 

Words//Photos// By: Jennifer Williams // Visit her Web Site and facebook for more fantastic photography!

Video// By Brad Cordova // Vimeo

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