Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The State Of Things To Come

Geoff Trainor

Washington StateI don't know how I came across it, but I was browsing Wikipedia the other day and came across a list of bands from the state of Washington. Sure, some of them I knew of; there was of course that whole Seattle scene back in the early to mid 90s. There were others though that I had no clue. So, I'm bring the Washington State music scene to you in yet another Mocking Music list.

Yes, I am aware I left out a lot of bands. I tried to steer clear of obvious choices such as Nirvana, Soundgarden or Hole and present to you artists which aren't necessarily known for the scene they belong to. I also left out some indie favourites, but I am comfident with these 10.

Jimi Hendrix

10) Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze (MP3)
Years ago, me and a couple guys at work were talking about Hendrix and a girl came up and asked who he was. To which another said something along the lines of, "Oh, he's one of the Beatles, isn't he?". The sad thing is, she wasn't at all joking and the other one sort of took that as "Oh okay, yeah, I know him". That memory always sticks out whenever I think of him now.

9) Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Nocturnal House (MP3)
As I said previously, I am a sucker for a good band name. That means Pretty Girls Make Graves had points with me before I ever listened to them. Although I suppose it isn't entirely fair, as it isn't entirely original. But it has been proven that anyone can be inspired by a song title. Fortunately, they live up to their name...I mean in the sense that it is a fun name and they are a fun band.

Pretty Girls Make Graves

8) The Microphones - Samurai Sword (MP3)
There is something about this song that I've always liked more than any other from the band. I am a sucker for names/titles. Names of bands, titles of albums, or titles of songs. If you can hook me with a title, I am in. So what is special about the title Samurai Sword? To tell you the truth, I don't know what it is, perhaps the mystique behind the Samurai culture. Beyond that, I enjoy the barely audible vocals as sort of the background to the instrumentals.

7) Bikini Kill - Reject All American (MP3)
Back in the day, Casey & I took part in an extra curricular activity. Part of the group branched off into some sort of activist cheerleading, which we were all up for. Any excuse to wear a little red mini-skirt. Bikini Kill's brand of riot grrl is definitely the type of music we would warm up to. Except that we didn't warm up to anything. We did use cheers stolen from what should have been Oscar-nominated, Bring It On. Back then, there was some plans kicking around for a game of Anarchist Soccer or something where we took over a busy Charlottetown street and played soccer. Too bad that never materialized. [Casey: I'm not sure if the complete vague-tangent style of this summary makes it sound better or worse. The skirts were not mini, the legs were not bare, and the protests were hardcore. Thank you.]


6) Sleater-Kinney - Buy Her Candy (MP3)
Sleater-Kinney recently opened for fellow Seattle natives Pearl Jam. I was planning on going to see Pearl Jam when they were in Halfax last year, but tickets sold so quickly I never got the chance. Too bad, if I did I would have got to see Sleater-Kinney which would have been more worthwhile for me than Pearl Jam. I remember glaring at one Mocking Music visitor and sometimes commenter, Moe, when I had learned she was going. If you are reading this Moe, I am sending you the same icy glares.

5) Minus The Bear - Just Kickin' It Like A Wild Donkey (MP3)
This band is new to me, I liked their name and checked them out for the purpose of this article. I don't know what it is about Minus The Bear, but I really love them. The dry vocals are offset by vibrant beats and catchy hooks. This will be a band to watch for me.

Minus The Bear

4) Vendetta Red - Shatterday (MP3)
It has been a while since I listened to Between The Never And The Now, the band's last great album. The group broke up recently, perhaps due to the fact that they suck now. Well that isn't true, but their latest, Sisters of the Red Death was certainly not very interesting. Still, if you've never checked it out, I urge you to give "The Never..." a listen. You won't be disappointed. If you are, Casey takes all responsibility. [Casey: ?]

3) Pedro The Lion - The Fleecing (MP3)
I've been a fan of David Bazan's one-man, Pedro the Lion since the first time I heard Winners Never Quit, which was the first Pedro album I had been exposed to. While Control was a great album, it wasn't until Achilles Heel came out that I had been more happy with the band. Ester Drang and James McAlister are a welcome addition and help create what is one of my top ten album's of 2004. [Casey: The one band man is over, yo. Dead. Done.]

Pedro the Lion

2) Death Cab For Cutie - Sound of Settling (Acoustic) (MP3)
When talking about the best in indie rock, three names seem to be at the top of the list. Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and Death Cab's Ben Gibbard. I talked about Gibbard side-project, Postal Service, in a previous list. Gibbard's flagship band and has received a lot of recognition, including being the favourite band of OC character Seth (who really makes the show), and for good reason. That said, I still find it embarrassing that I don't own any Death Cab albums . . .

Harvey Danger - Wine, Women & Song (MP3)
Harvey Danger used to be one of my favourite bands back in high school with their debut, Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?. Sure, Flagpole Sitta having as much airplay as it did, probably had a lot to do with it. The band is still released great albums though. Their latest, Little by Little was released for download, complete with liner notes, on the band's official website. So if you don't want to pay to check them out, just take a look around their website and spend the couple minutes (depending on connection speed) downloading Little by Little. If you like what you hear, buy it. [Casey: Just say no.]

Harvey Danger Cooking Up A Storm

It seems I've been saying this at the end of all my lists, but I think this one has definite potential for a follow-up. Besides the fact that there were a ton of bands I didn't include, there is also the possibility for other lists based on location. I suppose the obvious choice would be Montreal, but that is not something I'd like to do for the same reasons I left out the Seattle scene bands. Thoughts?

Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Nocturnal House
The Microphones - Samurai Sword
Bikini Kill - Reject All American
Sleater-Kinney - Buy Her Candy
Minus the Bear - Just Kickin' It Like A Wild Donkey
Vendetta Red - Shatterday
Pedro the Lion - The Fleecing
Death Cab For Cutie - Sound of Settling (Acoustic on Henry Rollins May 20th, 2006)
Harvey Danger - Wine, Women & Song

Pretty Girls Make Graves - Elan Vital
Minus the Bear - Menos el Oso
Pedro the Lion - Achilles Heel
Harvey Danger - Little by Little

Cover Concerns? Call Casey (867-5309)
Can I Have That On The Side, Please?
Songs In The Key Of M
This Is A Long Song For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Sunny Days...
Who Are You Calling A Narcissist?
Jesus, Mocking Music Loves You Too
Yes, But Is It Heart?
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
No Pan Troglodyte Business Here
Everything Is Automatic

Comments on "The State Of Things To Come"


Blogger J.E. said ... (23/5/06 8:04 pm) : 

Not to sound like a sob, but Death Cab for Cutie... really aren't that great, IMO. Their sound is typical, their songwriting is mundane, and Ben Gibbard has an obnoxious emo voice. Anyway, I can see why they're popular, but they're overrated.


Anonymous Casey said ... (23/5/06 9:29 pm) : 

What "scene" is this supposed to be? Clearly Death Cab and Hendrix aren't jamming together.

I've only really heard Harvey Danger's second last release, and if their music typically sounds anything like that, I'd rank it at about 1,232 or so.


Anonymous laura said ... (23/5/06 9:37 pm) : 

Hey, I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have been enjoying it since. Thanks for all of the music you post, and especially this WA recognition. I moved to Seattle last year for grad school, and have been a KEXP listener ever since...for more Northwest-area music, you should check out their local music show on Saturday nights...always lots of great stuff that I've never heard before!


Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (24/5/06 2:15 am) : 

Harvey Danger's latest on my desktio if you care to listen to it. I quite enjoy it.


Anonymous Casey Dorrell said ... (24/5/06 11:20 am) : 

Did, it's not awful I guess.


Blogger Squashed said ... (25/5/06 7:46 am) : 

follow up, follow up...

we want follow up. this list is definitely hot.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (26/5/06 2:01 am) : 

funny how Washington state doesn't look like Texas...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/6/06 12:15 am) : 

Interesting List...
How about
The Kingsmen
The Sonics
Quincy Jones (!)
Band of Horses
Dub Narcotic
Common Market/Blue Scholars

just a few...


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