Seattle Met Mixtape Volume 2

Mixtape 2Just in time for the holidays, I compiled another free downloadable mixtape of some of Seattle’s best new music. This edition features Mansions, Sol, La Luz, My Goodness, and more. Get it.

Deck the Hall Ball 2013 Recap

By Iron Mike Savoia
Over at Seattle Met, I recapped 107.7 The End’s annual holiday radio showcase. This year’s lineup featured Lorde, The Head and the Heart, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, CHVRCHES, and more. Check it out.

Fiendish Conversation with The Moondoggies’ Kevin Murphy

The MoondoggiesTalked to the Seattle favorite about his band’s new album Adios I’m A Ghost, music critics, and roller skating. Check it out.

Fiendish Conversation with The Cave Singers’ Pete Quirk

The Cave SingersI chatted with The Cave Singers’ frontman about the new album Naomi and his love of Seattle. Check it out.

Top 10 Songs of 2012

Even more so then previous years, it appears I was really into guitar rock in 2012. It’s not exactly a diverse list in that sense, but I can live with it.

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10. “Serpents” – Sharon Van Etten

While the solemn serenity of Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp gets better with each listen, the album lacks is the authentic sense of pain that was prevalent on her first two official records. The one exception to this comes in the form of “Serpents.” Van Etten’s signature angry sorrow comes through as she tremblingly snarls the line, “You enjoy sucking on dreams…” It’s a spine-shivering delivery. While it’s great that Van Etten has found a sense of personal peace, it’s terrific as a listener to hear her pent up venom momentarily seep thorough.

9. “Comeback Kid” – Sleigh Bells

Waves of huge guitar noise helped Sleigh Bells build buzz, but “Comeback Kid” is the band’s first real stab at melodicism. Backed with typically massive riff, the song maintains Sleigh Bells’ sense of chaos and noise while Alexis Krauss’s layered vocals cut through the shredding with an upbeat enthusiasm that makes the song by far the band’s most accessible track to date. It’s a rare high energy track that can be equally enjoyed in the offices of the Brooklyn music blogosphere and in football weight rooms across the country.

8. “Ships”– Deep Sea Diver

Before the day of Deep Sea Diver’s album release show, I hadn’t ever heard the band’s music. I rolled out of bed, checked Twitter, and saw that the band’s new album (History Speaks) was streaming on Bandcamp. On a whim, I clicked play on the first track – “Ships.” I was immediately hooked. The song showcased the best of the band: Jessica Dobson’s killer guitar work and vocals, terrific off-beat drumming (plenty of rim action here), and melody in spades. I quickly snagged a ticket to the release show, bought the album that night, and Deep Sea Diver eventually became my favorite Seattle band of the year. Not bad for a first listen.

7. “Thread” – Now, Now

Now, Now mainly sticks to finely crafted tunes that are relatively slow; borderline plodding. “Thread” unabashedly kicks things into a higher gear with a straight-forward rocker. Everything about the song is pitch perfect: Cacie Dalager and Jess Abbott’s vocal and guitar harmonies, the frenetic tempo, Chris Walla’s production, the jumbled clap beats in the post-chorus. Pulling a thread and watching it all unravel hasn’t been this enjoyable since Weezer’s “Undone – The Sweater Song.”

6. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” – Father John Misty

I want Father John Misty to be my L.A. tour guide. I imagine he’d get a kick out of showing a bus full of tourists his version of the city, the one that exists on “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.” As the rhythmic guitar riff messily crashes about, FJM bellows the refrain of “Jesus Christ girl…” (or more accurately “Je-e-e-e-e-sus Christ girl…”) with a sense of desperation, exasperation, and a hint of condescension. All the while, his tongue is planted so firmly in his cheek that one might worry that it’ll bore a hole in his pretty little preening face. What a delightful way to play in the dark. Continue reading

Points of Reference: Sharon Van Etten

I got a chance to chat with Sharon Van Etten (one of my absolute favs) about the pieces of pop culture that influenced her latest album Tramp. Check it out over at Seattle Met.

Seattle Living Room Shows Feature from Seattle Met

Here’s my first magazine feature for Seattle Met. It’s on three different ways that Seattle folks (including David Bazan) are approaching living room concerts. Check it out.