Brooklyn-based Black Dice bring their experimental noise rock to the Sunset Tavern this Friday. Black Dice have made a name for themselves by pushing the envelope with their dissonant electronica-influenced sounds for 15 years. Released this year, the band’s Mr. Impossible LP (Ribbon Music) features their signature blend of scattered electronic beats and thrashing industrial noise. Most of the vocals on the album are delivered with a mechanical effect reminiscent of what you might hear from a schizophrenic robot. This is music that can be energizing and futuristic, or just downright hard to follow. Acknowledged by many as harbingers, Black Dice are known for having paved the way for such acts as Animal Collective and No Age so if noise rock is your thing, this show is a don’t miss. Check out these psychedelic videos for “Pigs” and “Rodriguez”:
Jabon is the project of prolific Seattle musician and Gravelvoice Studios proprietor Scott Colburn. The idea behind Jabon is, as described by Colburn himself, to “present musical ideas, sounds, image and performance that is designed to entertain.” The resultant material is at once experimental, dark, theatrical, and comedic. You kind of have to hear it to understand. Colburn was inspired to make music as Jabon in 1985, after hearing material by Stockhausen and Charles Ives in a music appreciation course. Since then, Colburn has contributed to a number of experimental groups, and, as recently as 2005, worked with such acts as Animal Collective and Arcade Fire as a sound engineer. After focusing on other projects for ten years, Colburn returned to Jabon in 2009 and again began releasing material. Jabon’s 13-track LP Mabon was released on September 23rd, 2011. Fusing elements of psychedelia, industrial, noise, and electronica Mabon, plays like a soundtrack to some futuristic dystopian nightmare.
Performing live, Jabon is all about atmosphere. Decked out in some kind of Grim Reaper meets “V for Vendetta” type getup, Colburn appears solo onstage, with no accompaniment but his gear. As he plays, circular strobe light patterns cast circular shadows around him, creating quite the sight to be seen.
Named after a character from David Lynch’s 1990 film “Wild at Heart,” Seattle’s Uncle Pooch are a thrashing, experimental metal quartet. The group are performing in support of their sophomore album Oneirophrenia (the follow up to 2010’s Conduct Unbecoming), released last month via ICBT Records. The album features frenetic arrangements punctuated by blast beat drumming, heavy riffs, and avant garde solos. Just when you think you have the right rhythm to headbang to, the tempo changes and the music takes off in a different direction. Check out this clip of the group performing at last year’s ICBT SXSW showcase to see what you’re in for:
Preview by Chris Green:
With a name coming from the early 20th century Chinese uprising, The Boxer Rebellion‘s music is dark and atmospheric rock, with layered guitars, punchy drums, and an arena-friendly feel. Based in the UK, they have an international lineup, with members from Tennessee, England, and Australia. In the decade that they have been together, they have produced a debut EP and 3 studio albums. When their first record label Poptones went under, they decided not to seek out another, they decided to remain independent, and have funded and managed their career as an unsigned band ever since. Their first independently released album, 2008’s Union, peaked at #4 on the UK itunes album store, but was not eligible for the UK charts due to the nonavailability of a physical version. The strength of the album and singles led to many uses of their songs on TV, prominent usage of their music in the Drew Barrymore film Going The Distance, and worldwide touring.
Their most recent release The Cold Still, produced by Kings of Leon producer Elton Johns, was released in 2011 and made it to the top 10 of the UK alternative itunes charts in less than 24 hours.
Joining the Boxer Rebellion are Nashville-based ambient pop musicians Canon Blue, who have previously played on KEXP and toured with Mutemath and Foster The People.
Preview by Lindsey Bluher:
Enchanting. That is the best way to describe the folk music Laura Veirs makes. And if you didn’t find her music to be that prior to her latest release, Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Songs For Children, take a listen and your rock-hard Seattle heart will melt as you stumble into a delightful album of folk songs perfect for children – whether in age or in heart.
The album is 13 songs of sheer joy as it is creative and original while being based on many familiar stories and characters. Veirs infuses playfulness in all her lyrics that one would expect from this sort of album, but there’s a high level of integrity to this – it’s a fun, light, and made with such quality that labeling it a children’s record doesn’t do it full justice. It’s a multi-layered piece of art, and as a result Veirs has been receiving all sorts of awards and accolades, such as winning top honors from Parent’s Choice.
Her earlier albums contain a spark that is capable of setting your world on fire. Veirs’ lyrics are catchy and thoughtful, her voice is radiant, and songs like “Galaxy” and “July Flame” will stick with you long after the last note.
If you are at all familiar with the vibrant Seattle music scene, you’re familiar with – at the very least – the name Cataldo. Eric Anderson uses that as his musical pseudonym, and under it he is creating music that has truly captured the ears of many people around town. His latest release, Prison Boxing, is a record that a listener can get lost in. Written in the time following a relationship and friendship ending, and in the midst of a Seattle-inspired rebirth, it captures familiar sentiments to every person; even when life screws you, there are things that keep you inspired. This record is one that encourages a person to embrace the melancholy, while at the same time instruments are tickled throughout that provide a chipper background.
Pretty Broken Things is an emerging band that has gotten a great deal of attention from fans and other bands following a show stopping performance last month at The Fremont Abbey. Lead singer Katie Costello had the godfather of Seattle folk music, Damien Jurado, exclaiming time and time again his adoration of her voice, and for good reason – saying Costello has talent is an understatement. Her voice is soulful, rich, and breathtaking at moments. Her band is equally talented, projecting endless enthusiasm and talent onto any crowd they perform in front of.