Author Archives: shalleran

Sam Lachow – Dabbin’ Up a Storm

Hey there guys, good to see you. How you been? Well? Good to hear. We’re gonna do something a little bit different today (100% not different at all if you know anything about me).

For those of you that don’t know much about Sam Lachow he’s a classically hilarious white boy that grew up in the city. Starting his rapping career sometime in middle school Sammy was originally part of a rap group with his high school friends known as Shankbone. Not exactly a regular household name, but you’ll run into the rare Roosevelt or Garfield High graduate that saw Shankbone at some point. Fast-forward a couple of years, Sam Lachow is frequently releasing new music, producing his own beats, directing his own videos, and just killin the local rap game.

This song is a perfect example of why I love Lachow and his crew. Heavy thumping beats? Check. Trippy Stoner Lyrics? Check. Gorilla Suits? Check. The beat is powerful enough that you feel it, but not so overpowering that you stop listening to the lyrics. Lachow’s verse is exactly what I would expect from him with lines about weed, rap, and food (what can I say? it speaks to me). Long-time friends of Sam, Sky Blaow and Ryan Campbell come in for features that just feel like the 3 of them had a blast recording it all together. Wilson Luxurious (perhaps the flyest of the Avenue Music crew) features in the video as well with credit for collaborating on the beat. Coming out of no where (at least to me) is J. Bird with lines about drugs and girls like it’s just no thing. He’s got a nice drawling sound to his voice that says “of course I’m fucked up while recording this.”

Basically, you gotta dig this guy’s sound. Sam has been putting his heart and soul into his music for years and  his songs seem to keep finding their way into my Most Played songs in iTunes (“What a Night” By Shankbone is still my 19th most played). The video is directed and shot by Andrew Imanaka, another young talented artist in Seattle that clearly has some real talent judging by this video.

Hoping for more like this to be coming from Mr. Lachow. Check out his facebook page here (He’s about to start touring the Midwest!)


Like Passion Pit, if it Were 1983: Breakbot

Hey, remember when I talked about seeing Justice live? Or when I posted about Jamiroquai? You do?!?! Awesome, because this post is loosely related to both of those!

When I saw Justice live at the Paramount this past April another French electro artist opened up for them: Breakbot. Had I heard of him before? No. Was he amazing? I think so. It’s hard to remember to be frank. But that is probably more of an indication that yes, yes he was. After the concert, at some point I hopped on my handy-dandy laptop and scoured the internetz for more Breakbot. And I found this: 

A beautifully groovy song, Baby I’m Yours takes on a distinct 80s personality but still reminds you that it’s modern and most importantly, hip. Aside from this one song though, I couldn’t find a whole lot of other good Breakbot music. There were some 40+ minute long mixes on youtube but none of them really got me tapping my feet if you will. So, lo and behold here a mere 7 months or so later, I found myself googling “Breakbot” to find the song and listen to it (for the 200th time), only to find that he has in fact released a new album.

Absurd levels of excitement

By Your Side is all very similar to “Baby I’m Yours” but in a very non-repetitive way. Everything song has it’s own story to it, but they all revolve around sort of 80s pop meets electro meets romance. Romance is the key theme in this whole album. I can’t attest to it just yet, but I’d bet money that this album would be great to have sex to. Just sayin. As was referenced in the title, it sounds a bit like Passion Pit, with light synths and some mildly modified vocals. 

Here you can see a bit of the difference between the songs. Like I said, each song has a story told through the melody and lyrics. The whole album features some really interesting production and layering of sounds that’s very pleasing to the ear. Overall it’s just a great album that I highly recommend. Each song leaves you with a positive feeling and easily 75% of them make you want to dance in some way (the other 25% would be perfect for slow dancing). Breakbot’s really come out in an impressive way here and I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I’m looking forward to hearing more of his music and hopefully seeing him in tours to come.

Check out Breakbot on facebook
Buy and listen to By Your Side on beatport

 


I Think I’ll Do This EVERY Year; Bumbershoot From A 2nd Perspective

Sorry Kevin, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do… By which I mean I’m just as floored as you and simply COULDN’T keep all these important ideas and opinions to myself. I mean, someone’s gotta want to hear these… right?

First off, a background on my history at Seattle festivals. I’ve been a regular attendee of the Folk Life festival for the past 4 years and have always enjoyed going to the Seattle Center to run into a lot of “Oh hey let me just give you the head nod cause I don’t ACTUALLY know you”s, get just a little bit too high every year, and end up staring at the fountain for a good hour. That being said, I also enjoy the overpriced fair foods (Pirozhkis out the ying yang) and tracking down the Seattle Scarf Man for an annual Free Hugs sign. However, until yesterday I had never been to Bumbershoot. Why? I suck, that’s why. I’m a huge loser and don’t like fun.

See? Sleeping. No fun.

Continuing on, Bumbershoot. To quickly explain for those of you that don’t know Bumbershoot is a 3 day music festival held at the Seattle Center that features a mixture of local and underground as well as bigger, more mainstream acts. So when I arrived at precisely 2:34 PM (You have to keep a tight schedule if you don’t want to have any fun) I was pleased to see that music aside, this was quite similar to the Folk Life atmosphere. Girls wearing little to no clothing (some guys too), tons of drugs (decidedly did not partake this year), and yet there was something missing. Lo and behold, no Scarf Man… I shed a quick tear for my lost comrade.

But we pushed forward! Now then, the music:

Oh hey M83, what’s that? I’m sorry I can’t hear you. One more time? [Insert sounds of head exploding]

If you don’t know who M83 is they’re that French band that’s been all over the radio with that one song that has the random scream-like sounds that sound exactly like the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time

Yes that one. Anyways, I wasn’t a huge fan of them at first (partially because that sound reminds me of sleepless nights waiting for this) but also hadn’t really taken a good listen yet. Well guess what, I’m fucking stupid, because these guys kick absolute ass. We started out in the nosebleed section of seats and decided we were better than that, so we found some seats lower down (where the above picture was taken from), and then eventually made out way onto the floor like the rest of the sane people there. And again, seriously, M83 put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Their whole performance has this crazy mix of electronic keyboards and synths with a very pure set of drums, guitar, and the occasional saxophone. It’s very French, very nuanced, and very catchy. Not in an obnoxious sort of way though. The band sort of sneaks these incredibly addictive sounds into their songs that have left me obsessing (first person to tell me what that song is gets a post about why they’re awesome). And the band got so into their performance, climbing on drum sets, skanking for like 8 minutes straight, and just giggin. They also did something I hadn’t really seen a lot of previously, which was a consistent switching of roles and instruments. Which was cool, it was like each band member wanted a different piece of the action for each song. Along with this whole crazy performance they had an amazing light show. The band was staged in front of a dozen or so lit up poles that resembled what I can only hope is the awesome hybrid of bamboo and LEDs (let’s go scientists). The crowd was frequently assaulted by euphoria inducing waves of lights that only egged us on even more. Oh yeah, I forgot. Speaking of egging us on, the band was so incredible, that this happened.

Dear Lights, Can I have your number you Canadian vixen of song and dance? Love, Seth

After a long late-afternoon hanging out by the fountain and catching up with some old friends (shouts out to Emma Spence) we made our way to the Tune In stage to watch Canadian singer Lights perform. 

She put on quite a show for us if I do say so myself. For those of you that don’t know her (shhhh, it’s ok. Don’t be embarrassed, I didn’t either… There there) Lights’ music consists of poppy, electro beats and cute, love songy lyrics to accompany them. Her whole set was actually pretty spectacular. She’s got a really great voice and totally knows how to work with the crowd. She sort of reminds me of a more indie, less commercialized, more Canadian Katy Perry. Not to say she’s a KP knock off, she’s totally got her own sound and persona. Keeping with the theme of new experiences here, Lights threw me and I think the whole crowd off when she started throwing dubstep drops into the middle of her songs. The first time was sort of a knock to the head: “Whoa…, hey wait what was that?” but by the second and third time it was more of an outstretched hand that said “Hey there, it’s ok, I meant to do that.” at which point the crowd was like ksweetthanx. Overall, she’s an excellent performer and a perfect act to open up for…

Passion Pit. So let’s get the record straight here. I originally had planned on attending Skrillex. Yup, I said it. Having been to enough electronic concerts I figured a Skrillex show would be nothing short of an insane 2 hour long dubstep orgasm (according to reports, it was). Anyways back onto topic, the friends I was with convinced me to stay (“C’mon Seth, be cool, for once in your life”). So Lights ended and we had about 45 minutes in between sets. We (along with every-fucking-one else around us) wanted good spots close to the front for PP and decided to stay and wait. But don’t worry it was worth it. The whole band came out and opened up with their latest hit Take a WalkNeedless to say, everyone got pretty pumped up at the point. Their set as a whole consisted of mostly new songs off their just released album Gossamer aside from their older hits Sleepyhead and Little Secrets. The band was spot on and the whole crowd was jumping and swaying to every song. Also, if you haven’t ever seen these guys perform, the lead singer is hilarious. I assume it’s because of how high pitched his singing is, but his mouth is stretching in ways I thought not possible and his tongue flails about in all directions.

Meh, I guess we thought they were alright

Although Passion Pit wasn’t quite as nuts as Skrillex might’ve been, they made up for it with a killer performance and a sensational positive vibe about the whole thing. My only big disappointment was the lack of a significant light show. Maybe it’s too difficult to set something like that up outside in the open but I was bummed there wasn’t more trance-like visual effects. Ah well, maybe next time.

Go like some facebooks: M83, Lights (Also check out her new album Siberia), Passion Pit

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For those wondering, yes I did have fun. I also got Dicks afterwards. Suhhhhwagggg


The Variety Hour; Or A Couple Of Releases To Be Checking Out

Back again Gents (Presumptuous to think we only have male readers? Prove me wrong ladies). Was sitting here thinking about doing a review on two new Sam Lachow releases when I heard a voice: “Seth, there’s an awful lot of new releases in your Youtube history right now.” God… is that you? Nope just talking to myself again. To save you from more tempered senseless rantings, here are some new releases from a variety of artists to be checking out right now, bon appétit:

Sam Lachow & Raz

Young Seattle rapper Sam Lachow has teamed up with Raz Simone, another little-known rapper from the Seattle area on the “5 Good Reasons EP”, a collaborative release due 9/17/12. This recently dropped single off the album features a verse from both rappers that’s hopefully indicative of what’s to come, along with the heartfelt, raspy musings of hypeman B Skeez. Sam talked in an interview about how working with Raz who has a more serious, contemplative theme to his work, has really challenged him and forced him to explore a new “deeper” style to his own lyrics. Experimenting with new styles aside, this song is a charming listen with a nostalgic, feel-good vibe. It’s a little goofy, a portion thought provoking, and a lot sincere. It’s easy to get caught up in the bullshit when it comes to all this jibber-jabber about “The Town” but you can really hear that this city means a lot to these guys, not because it’s Seattle, but because it’s what they call home.

Sam Lachow, Kung Foo Grip, BFA, and Gift uh Gab

A quick paced, independent release from Sam features an array of young and upcoming Seattle area rappers. Sam picks up the beat with a classic, no-worries verse that calls back to his high-school debut group: Shankbone. The next verses to follow come from Kung Foo Grip and Brothers From Another. KFG’s boys bring smooth verses that hugely understate there real talent. They definitely have some room to improve with their flow/lyrics, but those two know how to go hard. They played at Cascadia Community College for a crowd of probably 100 or so (aka not very big) but still went nuts on stage and gave us a hell of a show. BFA hail from the Eastside here (Kirkland I believe? Fact check anyone?) and present themselves with some silly lyrics about being a teenager and partying, which IS the meaning of life after all. Joking aside, to contrast the youthful, still developing lyrics of these 4 guys Gift uh Gab (aka Gabby Kadushin) quite remarkably murders this track with her verse. Not that I have anything against girl rappers, but quite frankly most of them don’t really have the talent and presence needed for being truly admirable. This is not one of those cases though. Gabby’s flow is warm and buttery, and her lyrics have a depth that almost jabs you at the end of each line. She’ a regular feature on Sam’s work (check out Goldschlaggers) and I’m thinking she could sport some bomb solo work. Sam’s paying his dues here, and I love it. It’s encouraging to see local artists work with each other and really contribute to the Seattle music scene as a whole.

Mellowhype

The Odd Future crew sort of disappeared this summer but Mellowhype is back with their video for La Bonita, the first single off the upcoming album Numbers (or at least the first official single? 64? 65? 45? Wikipedia needs to get it’s shit straight…). Truthfully, it’s groovy. The whole Latin style to the song is provocatively intoxicating. The marimbas (feels like sixth-grade music class) bring in a sweet-sounding melody that isn’t often heard on Odd Future tracks because it’s not Tyler’s production style. It’s a welcome change that is definitely setting Mellowhype aside as it’s own entity. Unlike most of their songs where Hodgy is solo rapping over Left Brain’s beats, Mr. Brain comes in with his own verse and various vocals. It’s awesome. He’s got a gravelly, welcomingly menacing voice that sounds just fucking boss on this. Hodgy’s stellar as usual with the same kind of impressively rhymed lines that have been bolstering him this whole way. As for the video it’s just cool. There really isn’t another way to describe hot latin girls (is that Rihanna?) dancing, badass gypsy makeup, huge speakers, oversized coats, a mariachi band, and a motherfucking trained, smart ass capuchin monkey chillin out on Hodgy’s motherfucking shoulder like it’s gonna jump off and spit it’s own verse. Go get your own capuchin, then talk to me about cool. Look out for Numbers coming 10/9/12.

Deadmau5

Look which mildly irate, minecraft addicted, Nyan Cat sporting nerd DJ is back. This song has been out for a couple weeks now in a couple different versions but this recently released video features the official mix off of Deadmau5’s soon to come album >album title goes here< (Coming 9/25/12). The song has a strangely fitting mix of heavy guitar sounds with the classic mau5 synths and heavy bass kicks. Professional Griefers also features the vocal talent of Mr. Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. Boy, my middle-school self is squirming in my too-big-clothes and too-long-hair with excitement. But for real, Gerard (may I call you Gerard? Okay, thanks) adds a new dynamic to the mau5 song. Although Dr. Mau5 has his merits, sometimes his music needs that extra kick, and these almost slam-poetic vocals give it just that. The video’s humorous as ever with Joel and Gerard facing off in a giant-remote-controlled-mau5bot UFC match, only to be foiled by a robotic Professor Meowingtons (I promise I didn’t make that up).

Honorable Mentions?

•Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, has everyone in Seattle buzzing about like it’s the second coming (still waiting…). Call me cynical… I am, but meh. I like the saxophone and the vocals coming from Wanz but I’m not sold on the verses. Slash the video’s hilurrious, I’ll give it that. Check out Kevin’s post on it if you’re looking for a more favorable opinion.

•Madeon’s The City, also covered by KPham, is an uplifting and thrilling electrogasm of keyboard, bass, beats, and singing. That being said, I feel like it’s release has unfairly shadowed his only month-old release of Finale, which is the superior track in this blogger’s opinion.

Whew, that was an ordeal. Go show some love on the artist’s facebook pages if the mood strikes you. Tell me why my music taste is shit or why I’m wrong on our own facebook page


My Top 5 Most Played Songs and iTunes (And what I have to say about them)

So here I am, sitting on my computer with a desire to write about music and myself. And there you are, with a desire to read about music… and me! Don’t be shy, I see your daydreams. Serious business ahead though, here are my top 5 most played songs on iTunes and what I have to say about them.

1. On Melancholy Hill, Gorillaz
I’ve been saying for years now that the best song of all “modern” music is Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz. I have yet to find a soul that doesn’t love it. Regardless On Melancholy Hill is easily my favorite Gorillaz song. It’s relaxing, sentimental, somber, hopeful, and uplifting all in one. I’ve listened to this song in a vast variety of moods and each time it pleases in a different way.

2. So Damn High, Sol
Okay, so this one doesn’t need a whole lot of explaining. Suffice it to say that this song was played many-a-time after returning home from a night of debauchery. Sober or not though, this song will always remind me of high school and many nights spent just thinking… and thinking.

3. Party and Bullshit in the USA Hathbanger
Similarly, this song screams freshman year shenanigans to me. Why? Because Miley Cyrus, that’s why. This was probably one of the first really good mashups I ever listened to, so cheers to Hathbanger, here’s to taking apples and oranges and making oranpples.

4. Veridis Quo Daft Punk
On a similar level to #1, Veridis Quo is able to pack a whole lot of feelings into just a single song. It gives off a vibe of exploring and discovering something new (Hint: watch Interstella 5555). It also brings back the memory of figuring out for the very first time that “Veridis Quo” is a homophone of “Very Disco” which when switched becomes “Discovery” (The album name). Minds were bottled that day.

5. Livin’ The Dream (I’m on a Float) Super Mash Bros
Again, mashups. To this day I still can’t hear Viva La Vida without trying to break out into Twista rap. Chris can have his opinions on mashups, I’ll have mine, which are right. Regardless, this song is crazy and actually a blast to listen to.

❤ Cheers


Presenting a Humble Musical Genius: Fagottron (aka Pogo)

First off, let’s get something out onto the table, I suck. My embarrassing lack of posts has been due to a serious illness known as laziness. You may be familiar with it. If not, congratulations; you are one in one-hundred Americans born with an extra motivation chromosome. I’m a doctor, trust me.

Moving on to why I actually brought you here Mr. Wayne. Riddle me this, is music a vital part of a movie? (It is.) So then we can assert that music is one of the many ingredients that go into a movie. Why then, I ask you Dear Internetz, can’t movies be an ingredient in music. Holy contributing-to-the-delinquency-of-minors Batman! Spoiler Alert: TDKR is Inception 2 They can.

What we have here is Pogo (or as his youtube name indicates: Fagottron). A 23-year-old Australian electronic trip-hop musician that specializes in weaving together samples from popular movies. I stumbled upon this guy a couple months ago and upon watching his video “Alice” promptly re-watched it like 6 times before finally going to bed that night. As you can hear in the above song, his mixes have a very ethereal sound, taking light sounds like strings and singing from the movie’s music and joining it with dialogue and various sounds from the movie that are cut up to remind one of classic DJ vinyl scratching. What you get in the end is a peaceful and in many cases, nostalgic piece of music that is both comforting and stimulating in the same way that sitting and listening to a waterfall is.

As you have gathered at this point Pogo is big on Disney movies. With those two songs being arguably his most popular its hard to avoid this truth. But, his collection extends to tons of other classics such as: Pulp Fiction, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Lord of the Rings (Along with many others). All of these songs work together the dialogue in a way that blends the ideas of lyrics and instrumental music/sounds. You’re never really sure if you’re hearing structured sentences or just a really awesome fusion of voices, music, and sounds.

Check Pogo out at his youtube channel here
Follow him on twitter allllllll the way overrrrrrrr……….  ———> here
Potentially download all his past stuff down there ↓ (Once his site is back up…)

Yes, here


Seth Saw Justice and Died of a Brain Eruption

As Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Unfortunately for Mr. Twain, that quote only half applies to me. The reports of MY death are false, but not exaggerated. There was a great amount of brain eruption. A great amount.

Known by many as that group that did that D-A-N-C-E song awhile back Justice hails from good ol’ Paris under Ed Banger Records (the very same record label that sponsored worldwide techno-duo-giant Daft Punk). There are a lot of elements at play in their music at any given time including overdrive’d guitars, string instruments played through a synth, and various other random sounds that can’t really be described. Placing Justice in a genre is difficult. They definitely have an electronic sound or as their wikipedia page calls it “electroclash” which is certainly accurate. But there’s also a level of sheer epicness in their music that goes along with their Bible theme throughout their songs. Sporting a cross as their sigil, Justice’s first album “” has religious references in many of its songs such as Waters of Nazareth, Let There Be Light, and Genesis. Genesis being the first song on the album, feels exactly as the name implies, the creation of the universe. See video posted above.

Justice rocking their customary stage set up

Onto the show itself. I found out that Justice was going to be playing at the Paramount in April in like October of 2011 and bought tickets immediately. To say the least, this was a show I was incredibly excited for. I ended up going with my good friend William, his girlfriend, and another friend of his that was visiting from NYU. The opener was another of Ed Banger’s host of electronic acts, Breakbot. I hand’t heard of Breakbot before this show but was pleasantly surprised. His music has a nice level of funk to it that I can always appreciate. In short, he was a great opener that set an awesome tone for the show that was to come.

By the time Breakbot left stage the crowd was getting restless and clearly couldn’t wait for Justice to come on. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the duo stepped onto their pedestal of electronic goodness and the cross lit up. What followed was nothing less of an orgy of jumping, sweat, absurd levels of bass, synth that could make a unicorn cry rainbow tears, and a light show that would send the weak-hearted into an epileptic seizure. So let’s break these pieces up real quick. First, the crowd; I’ll be the first (just kidding, I’m sure someone else has said this) to say that electronic concerts have some of the best crowds. Maybe its the excessive levels of people rolling on E, maybe constant bass kicks promote good deeds, but either way this was a great crowd. People weren’t being stupid with the shoving and whatnot and everything stayed real positive. I think everyone was just so stoked to be seeing Justice live that there wasn’t any room for pettiness. I also ran into a couple people I knew including my friend Molly (the ravers love her). Next, the light show. At first I was skeptical having seen Deadmau5 who essentially employs a wall of LEDs along with a ‘W’ shaped stage made of LEDs and two more multiple cubic structures covered in LEDs that all project images of every single color known to man. To my delectable surprise, Justice’s employment of a multiple hanging wires with single LEDs spaced out along their length making up a grid, along with their iconic cross on their stage and the side stacks of LEDs proved to be extremely effective. I’m not certain, but I’m pretty positive they never actually used any colors and stuck to simple color and lack-thereof. They also had lights behind them that worked in a way where they either appeared as weakly illuminated figures or god-like silhouettes. To summarize, the lights were fucking epic. 

Finally, onto the music. First off, let me just say I left this concert feeling like my life had changed. William said it well when he let loose what can only be described as a wolf howl at the end of the show. Justice does something with their shows that most other musicians don’t. Rather than playing through their songs as they were recorded, they essentially take all of their songs, and just smash them into a smorgasbord of a set. Their individual songs of their set really end up being something like 10 minutes each and they just contain components of each of their songs thrown in here and there. The set as a whole feels almost like a story. Not to say that there’s a story to their songs, but you kind of get the same feelings of empathy you get when reading about a hero triumphing and failing. Anytime you’re standing there dancing, thinking that the songs just dying, they bring it back up again and inject you with Vitamin Electricity. The concert was nothing short of spectacular and I can only look forward to what Justice will bring to the music scene in the future.

If you’re interested click here to listen to their first live set before their second album.

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