Posts tagged “Robb Benson”

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Photos (& Music) of Stereo Embers, Fine Prince, Julia Massey, & Chris Blount at the Crocodile

Can you find me in the crowd?

Can you find me in the crowd?
(Photo by Bebe Labree)

Last Thursday my wife and I went and stayed out late on a school night. Gasp! What could tempt us so? Why, none other than an amazing music show at The Crocodile filled to the brim with amazing local musicians!

First up was…

1. Stereo Embers

The Embers, Now in Stereo!

The Embers, Now in Stereo!

Stereo Embers is one of the many, many musical projects fronted by Seattle musical mainstay Robb Benson. This is a very straight-up rock band. Lead guitarist Tim DiJulio could be described as someone who “wails/shreds/rips.” They’re very good live. They’re also very good recorded. Take a listen:

2. Fine Prince

Mmmm, damn... them princes be FINE.

Mmmm, damn… them princes be FINE.

I had never heard of Fine Prince before. It’s a rather large band for Seattle, with six full members including two keyboardists and two guitarists. Their sound is kinda hard to describe; it’s kind of light, gots a slight groove to it, and is just thoroughly… pleasant. They were a lot of fun. Take a listen:

I had to take off my glasses to hear this Fine Prince (thanks, Howard).

I had to take off my glasses to hear this Fine Prince (thanks, Howard).

3. Julia Massey & the Five Finger Discount

JM+FFD at the Crockie!

JM+FFD at the Crockie!

Miss Joooolia.

Miss Joooolia.

Here’s the real reason there was a show at all: This was the release party for Julia Massy & the Five Finger Discount’s new album, Heart Tones. It’s now available to purchase on Bandcamp! You should download it now!

Dem tones, dem tones, dem Heart Tones!

Dem tones, dem tones, dem Heart Tones!

Not sure if you really want to own this amazing album? Well, then (1) you’re an idiot and (2) you should listen to this song and watch this joyful video. Then go and buy Heart Tones.

And, as is my nature, I made an animated .gif of the proceedings:

Animated JM+FFD.

Animated JM+FFD.

So I got a lot of pretty good photos. Unfortunately, as is often the case when I see JM+FFD, I was not at a good angle to get a good photo of Dom Cortese (the drummer). Here’s the best I could do:

Sorry, Dom (sad trombone).

Sorry, Dom (sad trombone).

4. Special Guest Chris Blount!

Photo by Bebe Labree

Photo by Bebe Labree

Chris Blount (pronounced “Blunt”) is a good friend of mine who also happens to be an exceptional hip-hopster. He guests on a song on JM+FFD’s new album, which you can listen to (and watch the video) right here:

He guested on that song live on stage as well. I was gonnnnnna take a photo of him performing, but I got so wrapped up in the moment that I plumb forgot. He absolutely killed it up there, and got probably the biggest pop of the night at the end of his verse. So big thanks to Bebe Labree for providing me with some photos from the show and letting me use them here!

You do you, Mr. Blount.

You do you, Mr. Blount.
(Photo by Bebe Labree)

Coming “soon” — a full-length album review of Heart Tones! Honest!

Categories: Animated .GIFs, Concerts/Shows, Music, Pictures.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Trevor Peach Has Got You Covered

...SONG covered, that is! Get it?

…SONG covered, that is! Get it?

The Fourth volume of Trevor Peach’s one-song-a-week project (AKA “Squandered Promise of a Wasted Year”) has begun, and this one is a pretty awexome hum-dinger. In his previous volume he did remakes of some of his own “classic” songs. But in this volume he is going to be putting his own spin on other musicians’ songs with a series of cover songs! He’s released the track list, and it includes some delightfully surprising and bizarre choices. Here they all are (and you can listen to them all) right here:

1. Black Sparrow – J Hacha De Zola

2. Your Mother Doesn’t Love You – Jason Brunet

3. Long Way To Fall – The Electric NoNo

4. Jesus, Friend of Sinners – Joshua Stephens

5. First 48 – Chris Blount

6. Secret Squirrel – Robb Benson

7. Nightmares – Open Mike Eagle

8. Nightmares – The Hoot Hoots

9. Blueberries – Julia Massey

10. Shake – The Great UM

11. White Whale – Kid in the Attic

12. Mr. Boots – Incanus

13. Dada Pops – Chubby Mummy

Volume IV marks a musical departure from the previous three volumes as well, because they’re not being produced by Geoff B. Gibbs. They’re being produced by Vincent Fresco. That’s right: the Vincent Fresco who produced Trevor Peach’s very first EP back 12 years ago!

The first cover has already been released. You can take a wissen right here:

I’m particularly excited to see how Trevor and Vincent handle Open Mike Eagle’s hip-hop and Chubby Mummy’s general incompetence. Also, there are rumors that there might be a couple of bonus tracks that aren’t listed here. There’s some exciting things in the pipeline from Trevor Peach this summer FO SHO.

Categories: Music, My Famous Friends.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Musical Adventure at Cafe Racer with Robb Benson & Nice Garçons!

This Friday Night!

This Friday Night!

Continuing a February full of awexome musics, this Friday up at Cafe Racer in Seattle’s U-District (very near Ravenna Park) there’s gonna be a show put on by a bunch of people I really like:

Robb Benson & the Shelk
Seattle musical mainstay Robb Benson will be performing a set. This is the “Shelk” version of Robb Benson, just one of about a dozen bands/incarnations of this musician. On drums for the Shelk this evening will be Dom Cortese, drummer for The Jesus Rehab and The Five Finger Discount!

Nice Garçons
This group fascinates me. I haven’t heard them yet; in fact I’ve only just recently heard of them. But kinda like a supergroup, Nice Garçons is made up of various musicians and artists of many types, all brought together:

The description of this group is a bit mystifying:

If you love the Violent Femmes, then you will truly be entertained by the Nice Garçons. Seven Lovely Ladies execute a Performance Piece Musical Adventure!

Those people with that diverse skillset, plus that description? I don’t know what to expect, but I’m sold!

I don’t have any information about this act, other than what’s provided in the Facebook event:

featuring BONES, who not only makes the BEST Burger in town, but also plays Awesome Folky tunes!

I’m wondering if maybe this BONES character is one of the employees of Cafe Racer? I guess I’ll find out!

So that’s the show. Carrie & I are BOTH planning on being there, and seeing as how it’s an all-ages show, we might just bring a wee beb with us as well. Haven’t quite decided yet.

A Musical Adventure at Cafe Racer (Facebook event)
5828 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle
Friday 2/21, 9:00 PM
FREE! All-ages

Categories: Concerts/Shows.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

“Of the Month” July 2013

Album of the Month:
Robb Benson & The Shelk Album Cover Robb Benson & The Shelk: Cursive Falls From the Sky
Two Albums of the Month in one year from the same artist? Yes, it’s Robb Benson, Seattle mainstay and frontman of The Glass Notes, who had my Album of the Month back in February. This time it’s The Shelk (as in part shark, part elk) and it’s another very good, catchy album. The styles are much more varied than the hard-rockin’ Glass Notes, including some interesting synth-poppy stuff. I enjoy it!

Game of the Month:
1307game Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Easily the best Animal Crossing game since the original for GameCube o-so-many years ago. This time not only do you own a house, but you are actually the mayor of the whole town and get to build “public works” that improve your town. There’s a city section like in City Folk, but it is actually useful and necessary unlike in that game. Tonnes of new features make it hard to stop playing, and the 3DS allows you to do some really cool thinks, like making hanging out with friends over the internet super easy. And also you can tweet screenshots of the game!

Book of the Month:
1307book Slan: A Novel by A.E. Van Vogt
Though it’s almost unheard of nowadays, Slan is the book that really ushered in the “Golden Age” of Science Fiction. It is the book that all of the great authors of that era looked to as a shining example of a favorite SF book. It’s a fascinating read: extraordinarily fast-paced and incredibly pulpy with a protagonist who is so superhuman that it’s impossible to relate to him. But the ideas fly fast and loose and the science is ridiculous and sketchy, and it’s a lot of fun in the way that 1940s serials are a lot of fun.

Categories: Of the Month.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

“Of the Month” February 2013

Link of the Month:
Bandcamp Fan Pages
Bandcamp is already the best place for musicians to sell their music online. Now they have done something that is so unbelievably cool that it makes it the best place for you to buy music online as well. Now when you setup a Bandcamp Fan Page and then purchase any music on the site, that song/album gets added to the collection on your page. Not only that, but you get added to the pages of artists and albums that you’ve purchased as a supporter! You can follow your friends’ collections, and look at people who have similar collections to find new music that you might also like. It’s a fascinating philosophy that actually incentivises people to pay for music so they can show it off as part of their collection and be shown off as a supporter. You can read more on the Bandcamp Blog. And you can find me and my collection here:

Album of the Month:
The Glass Notes: As the Building Crumbles
The Glass Notes is the latest band to be fronted by Seattle music mainstay Robb Benson (of Dear John Letters, Dept. of Energy, and Nevada Bachelors). And this one rocks. The Glass Notes is a foursome that creates very earnest, fun, straight-ahead rock music. It’s catchy as hell and features things like vocal harmonies and actual, honest-to-god guitar solos. There’s something endearingly old-fashioned but at the same time refreshingly original about the sound. I dig it. So can you!

Streaming Radio of the Month:
Jet City Stream
This is a streaming radio station that plays only local music. From Bellingham down to Olympia and back up the other side of the Puget Sound. But they don’t just play current music; they play the whole recorded history of the area, and any and all genres, from The Sonics to Blue Scholars to Neko Case. It’s run by a former bigwig of “The End” and a former bigwig of “The Mountain.” Their website is slick and professional and easily-navigable, and their stream is robust and clean. It’s fun to hear all these songs that you know and realize just how much great music came out of the area, much more than just the grunge years (though they also of course are featured). And also to hear people I know pop up on the stream periodically! I highly encourage all of my musical friends to head to the station (it’s run out of the old Rainier Beer building in Seattle) and submit your musics! Dominate this stream! Also, here’s a news story about it by KOMO news, featuring The Glass Notes!

Categories: Of the Month.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Julia Massey, We Heart You!

Last Thursday night Carrie & I went up to Darrell’s Tavern in Shoreline to be a part of an extremely important evening: the Julia Massey’s Surprise 30th Birthday Party! It was thrown by her husband Jared and dozens upon dozens of people showed up with a singular message: “Julia Massey, we heart you!”

There was another surprise after the initial surprise. A whole bunch of Julia’s musical friends performed covers of her songs for her. Below is the lineup. Where possible I’ve linked to the websites or Facebook pages of the performers, and linked to Julia’s original versions of the songs for download. Enjoy:

  1. The Jesus Rehab:
    Rock duo The Jesus Rehab (Julia’s Husband Jared on guitar & his brother Dom Cortese on drums) did a rockin’ version of Light Reminder. It might have been a little bit cheating since Dom is also the FFD’s drummer.
  2. Jon Yoon:
    Mr. Yoon did a lovely acoustic version of Bottom of the Ocean.
  3. Michael Raley:
    Mr. Raley did a spoken-word performance of Good Fish.
  4. David Miner:
    Mr. Miner is the guy who mixed Julia’s latest album! He performed a saxophone-only version of Outro.
  5. Bob and Sheldon:
    Bob and Sheldon are a very talented duo who specialize in covers. They performed at Julia & Jared’s wedding! They did two songs from Julia’s first album: Try to Convince You and Dancing in the Kitchen.
  6. Yevtushenko:
    I first saw Yevtushenko the week prior when they opened the Five Letters From Far Away CD Release Party. They’re a 4-person rock group headed by singer Amber Shine. She and her guitarist performed Aghadoe.
  7. Andy Kingham:
    Mr. Kingham has quite a history with Julia and Jared; he used to play bass for both of them! He rocked out two songs: Bullfrog and Salty Schemes.
  8. Robb Benson:
    Seattle music mainstay and all-around rockin’ good guy performed a really heart-felt version of Here Is a Stone Wall.
  9. Christa Fisher:
    Ms. Fisher heads the group Christa Says Yay! She has a gorgeous voice and absolutely belted out an amazing version of Someday, Our Bodies Are Gone.
  10. Safeword Sasquatch:
    Safeword Sasquatch is sometimes also known as DVoD. They’re headed by the duo of Eric Weber on guitar, and Liz Mayer on cello and ukulele. They did #712 and bridged it to Spaceships, then did a great version of Don’t Worry ‘Bout Us where the piano parts and much of the bass solos of the original song were done on electric guitar.
  11. Terrapin, AKA Gary Lappier with Katie Stricker:
    Gary did an extremely spaced-out version of Skatepark with his lovely fianceé Katie doing backing vocals. It was cool because it was so way different than the original version. This was Carrie’s favorite performance of the night.
  12. The Crazy Boy Floyds:
    Geoff & I programmed an absolutely batsh*t crazy version of Yeah, which Geoff sung while I activated an animated band on a laptop screen. Sorry we only have a MySpace page to link to, but we haven’t actually done anything for a few years.
  13. Three Ninjas:
    Threeni did a very cool electronic version of Honeycombs.
  14. Katie Larson & Jill Cimino with Jared Cortese:
    These two girls did a version of Brains & Bubbles (which is a very funny song that isn’t available on any album) with Jared backing them on Guitar.
  15. Red Heart Alarm:
    Catacombs and then did an absolutely scorching, country-tinged version of Soaked Through Matches. Red Heart Alarm was very impressive and super polished; it sounded like they’d been playing these songs for years, and they killed Soaked Through Matches so hard that they made it sound like it was their song.

It was a pretty amazing night. It was humbling to see how grateful Julia was for everyone who showed up, and it was an honor to be involved in it (even as little as I was).

I didn’t take any photos because (A) my camera phone is crappy and (B) I was too busy having a good time and enjoying the night to worry about taking photos. Luckily, another blogger took plenty: LiveSeattleMusicInTheClubs (who didn’t even know Julia; just happened to be there when it all went down) blogged all about the whole night, even the parts after Carrie & I had to leave (which was right after the tribute part). So check that out as well.

Geoff recorded audio for the whole tribute, but I don’t know when or in what capacity that’ll be available to me. I’d love it if he would record a studio version of our Yeah. Hint-hint, Geoff.

If you would like to get in on the Julia-loving action, she and the FFD are playing a show tomorrow (Thursday) night at the Tractor in Ballard! We will be there. So can you!

Anyway, happy birfday, Julia! We love you! You deserve it.

Categories: Concerts/Shows.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Musics I Need to Get

There are a bunch of musics that I really should pick up. This post serves a dual purpose:

  1. It serves as a reminder to me of what I might otherwise forget
  2. It lets you, dear readers, see the kind(s) of musics that I am currently diggin’

Camp by Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino is the hip-hop alter-ego of Donald Glover, star of Community. It’s funny, nerdy, and very self-aware. Also filthy, filthy, filthy.

Artificial Heart by Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton‘s latest album. I still haven’t picked it up for some reason. I even saw him live on stage since it came out! I’m a bad slacker person.

Grey Oceans by Cocorosie

I actually only own ONE song by Cocorosie. FOR THE SHAMES ON ME! Her stuff’s got dat smoove, weird groove dat I dig, y’hear?

Night Sound by Prom Queen

Prom Queen is one of Leeni‘s side projects. It’s got a creepy 60s-ish mellow vibe, like something you’d listen to in the dark, eating a cheeseburger and drinking a milkshake while wearing a circle skirt (if you’re a girl).

The Time Slip Demos by Robb Benson

Robb Benson is an uber-talented Seattle musician who has been in a half-dozen bands in the last 10 years. We saw him perform live once in 2000, and have kinda picked up some songs by him here and there. We recently re-discovered him via The Glass Notes and now are totally stoked to go see him play sometime soon.

By the time you read this I will have most likely gotten some of these. So, y’know, there’s that.

So what am I missing, folks? What other musics should I pick up?

Categories: Music.