Entries in Neumos (7)

Monday
Dec262016

The Album Leaf w/ Rituals of Mine - at Neumos in Seattle

Rituals of Mine

The Album Leaf visited Seattle for the first time in over 5 years, playing to a capacity show at Neumos. The tour coincides with the release of their first album in 5 years, Between Waves. Touring with, and opening for, The Album Leaf was Rituals of Mine (formerly Sister Crayon).

The tight trio of Rituals of Mine, headed by Terra Lopez, put on one of the best live sets I've seen all year. It was clear that, judging by the audience, I wasn't the only one in the house who hadn't heard their work at that point. It was also clear, by the line to their merch table, that I wasn't the only one who became a new fan. When you get time, check out "To Show You Violence." The haunting beauty of the track live carries over beautifully to record, and it has quickly earned a place on my personal "favorite songs of 2016" list.

With an abundance of new and old material to draw from, The Album Leaf's 90 minute set flew by. Opening with several cuts from the new album, front man Jimmy LaValle has shifted gears in sound from the earlier releases, ushering in a more electronic, glitchy soundscape punctuated only sparsely with vocals. Having been fairly well acquainted with their catalog up until the newest release, the divergent sound took some getting used to, but by the third track in its beauty was clear. Closer "The Light" brought thunderous applause and an encore from the audience. Their return from an extended touring and recording hiatus was well worth the wait.

See The Album Leaf on tour:

The Album Leaf

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett

Monday
Feb102014

Augustines - at Neumos - Seattle, WA

As anyone whose ever heard Augustines would expect, the band was write-home-about-it epic at Neumos this past Fridaynight. Riding high on the February 2nd release of Augustines, their sophomore album that's already winning critical acclaim, they absolutely beamed through their entire set.  Despite being based in Brooklyn, the trio lived in Seattle during summer 2013 to practice this very record, so this wasno   ordinary show, either. The sold-out venue was packed to the gills with fans and friends whom they frequently called out or pointed at throughout the show.

From soaring triumphantly through "Cruel City" to drawing silent reverence from the crowd during an acoustic "Now You Are Free," his gravely voice cemented the evening as unforgettable. Drummer Rob Allen, keyboardist and bass player Eric Sanderson, and McCarthy refused to rush through their songs and instead let the event play out with extra emotion and impact. McCarthy's grief-filled facial expressions, Sanderson's core-cutting piano chords, and Allen's take-it-out-on-the-drums delivery were simply stunning.  Yet for all the glimpses of their anguish, ninety percent of the night was spent with them bounding across the stage, looking utterly filled with glee.

Wrapping up the celebration with whiskey shots, the guys again expressed their gratitude for the crowd and all their supporters with clear authenticity. And man, was the feeling mutual.

Words // Photos by: AJ Dent

 

 

Sunday
Dec222013

Deep Sea Diver w/ Bryan John Appleby – Neumos – Seattle, WA

The show at Neumos on Friday night was nothing short of a Christmas special, from Peter Mansen in an adorable onesie to Bryan John Appleby’s delightful holiday get-up, complete with Muppets and a choir. A perfectly sweet open to Deep Sea Diver’s folk-driven rock, Appleby’s heartfelt set comprised of tender tracks from Fire on the Vine and carmelized Christmas numbers. Folk revivalism done tastefully, these narrative tunes are intricately instrumental and refreshingly honest.

Nearly two years out from the release of History Speaks, Deep Sea Diver’s sparse set refuses to wilt on record or stage. It doesn’t take more than one song to sink deliciously under the tasty spell of Jessica Dobson’s haunting synth-matched vocal hooks riding on Mansen’s galvanizing drums. Dobson’s possessed stature and impressive technical precision luxuriate in a likeness of Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and it’s not difficult to imagine the songstress reaching similar heights. A former member of The Shins (whose influence resounds in the nautical licks of ‘You Go Running’), Dobson on stage is simply captivating. Opening with temporal plays on flickering bare bulbs and exploding bursts of flood light, the band showed us promising new gems and several endearing Christmas covers. Dobson’s confessional 'O Holy Night' was backed by a stage decked with spectacular strings of lights that formed a massive tree, which the band had personally slaved over. The sonic celebrations left me with enough elation stuck on my heart to float away from the Pike/Pine antics filled with warm holiday fuzzies.

Photos//Words By Cassandra Croft

Deep Sea Diver

Bryan John Appleby

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!

 
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)
Friday
Mar292013

Damien Jurado - Jon Russell - Tomo Nakayama at Neumos -Seattle

This was an amazing singer/songwriter's night at Neumos!

Tomo Nakayama (of Grand Hallway) kicked off the night  with his unique sound and powerful blasts of energy! Usually people will skip the first artist and come for the headliners…what a huge mistake that would be when Tomo is playing! Some may have come for Damien Jurado and Jon Russell but quickly fell in love. Tomo will also be in an up and coming movie with Ellen Page called Touchy Feely.

Damien Jurado doesn't speak to the crowd very often during performances, nor does he need to. He is the kind of musician that you would rather him keep playing so he can fit as many songs in to his set as possible. Damien was joined with a group of women who sang in choir form to complement his new songs. It was a beautiful performance and a treat to watch him. 

Jon Russell (of The Head and the Heart) is as consistent as "consistent" gets! He is a true singer/song writer and performer. He does not put on a show that makes you look forward to a specific "favorite song" since every song fulfills on all marks! A few members from The Head and the Heart (including Josiah Johnson, Charity Rose, and Chris Zasche) joined Jon on stage for a few songs which was very well received by the crowd.

Tomo Nakayama (of Grand Hallway)

Jon Russell (of The Head and the Heart)


Damien Jurado