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Webelos band

Webelos: Volume 1 [Album Review]

Observing the DIY packaging Volume One is comfortably stored in, one has the distinct thought that Webelos may be an acoustic folk project, and not necessarily the experimental indie pop band that it is. The opening tune, “Another Nature Study” is an instrumental folk-pop tune featuring a prominent snare/cymbal mix and soft organ melodies. Hell, there are even finger snaps!

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Math And Physics Club: Movie Ending Romance [Album Review]

Math And Physics Club

As a child I was fascinated with the Beach Boys. Songs about surfing and care-free relations with women on the beach made my feet tap, though many of the latter references were well above my head. All that mattered was that they had hot rods on their record covers and that they looked cool. I found Brian Wilson to be not only the best looking of the bunch, but also the one with the most charm and grace. He appeared natural on the back of the cover while the rest of the group seemed a bit out of place. It is nice to hear bands like Math And Physics Club pay homage to the pop groups like the Beach Boys so fully and truly. Wilson’s “You’re So Good To Me” is given a fresh indie-pop sound that brings forth the nostalgia of Summer Days (And Summer Nights) and Pet Sounds and adds to it a hint of twee and jangle.

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Jared Mees

Jared Mees & The Grown Children: Caffeine Alcohol Sunshine Money [Album Review]

Despite using the “main star & his band” moniker, Jared Mees & The Grown Children is an obviously collaborative group in their execution. Although Jared hits hard with his wonderfully trebled vocals, his counterpart Meg adds to the mix one of the best voices in indie rock west of the Cascades. Try to imagine the best Antsy Pants song you know, and The Grown Children provide 13 of those on Caffeine Alcohol Sunshine Money.

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Feral Children: Second To The Last Frontier [Album Review]

Feral Children at Capital Hill Block Party, Photo by Fense.

Lead singer Jeffrey Keenan has the voice of a younger Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), if not the wild-eyed nature. His nature is his own and you can see it when he grabs the drum-sticks—that intensely focused look in his eyes. Feral Children have come to be a dominant name in Seattle thanks to these performances and their debut LP, Second To The Last Frontier, is finally ready for public consumption. Read More »Feral Children: Second To The Last Frontier [Album Review]

Stencil: Chop Suey, Seattle [Live, 08.26.2008]

Stencil by Kelley Bingham

As a Seattle venue, I respect Chop Suey. Their shows begin at decent hours—something aging individuals like myself appreciate. The bill for this rainy August evening included three artists, opening with Stencil, a band I was unfamiliar with. (The other two artists included my good Austin friends The Lovely Sparrows—stay tuned for an interview next week and a review of their debut album the week following—and local trio Toy Gun.) Read More »Stencil: Chop Suey, Seattle [Live, 08.26.2008]

Hypatia Lake Band

Hypatia Lake: Angels And Demons, Space And Time [Album Review]

Listening to the melodic first track, “Her Tears Are The Footsteps Of Angels,” one distinctly gets the impression that Angels And Demons, Space And Time may be a bedroom pop album. After all, Hypatia Lake did release through Sad Robot Records, brief home to Carissa’s Wierd (sic). But “A Plea To Remiel” distills that thought outright; guitars grow with a hefty post-rock, noisy intensity.

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Virgin Of The Birds: Sunset Tavern, Seattle [Live, 08.21.2008]

Virgin Of The Birds at Sunset Tavern

Each Ball Of Wax compilation has a theme behind it and this one is the thirteenth quarterly comp that Seattle artist Levi Fuller has done. What Fuller does is concoct a theme (at least on some… several have no theme other than being “music to enjoy”) then gather a mass of (usually) local Pacific Northwest artists, who all write and record an exclusive song for the release. This was my first time seeing several of the performers on the list, from St Rainbow (the folks behind Hollow Earth Radio) and their eerie sampled goodness to Olie Eshleman’s instrumental loops. Virgin Of The Birds (MySpace), however, was a familiar name. Read More »Virgin Of The Birds: Sunset Tavern, Seattle [Live, 08.21.2008]

Smile Brigade: Sunset Tavern, Seattle [Live, 08.21.2008]

Smile Brigade at Sunset Tavern in Seattle

August 21, the night of the fourteenth Ball Of Wax CD release party. I dropped by Sunset Tavern here in Ballard at about 8:30, just in time to see Levi Fuller, the mastermind behind this quarterly compilation series, play his song from the album. But a highlight of the evening would come when I discovered that Smile Brigade (MySpace) would be laying down a set toward the end of the evening. Read More »Smile Brigade: Sunset Tavern, Seattle [Live, 08.21.2008]

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