News, Reviews, and Cats
• Opening for the Notwist on Saturday night at Neumos, Anticon Records mainstay Jel looked like Jeff Spicoli's tightest bro from way back when with his lank blond hair and skateboarder-skinny build. But when he started tapping out beats on his MPC, Jel turned into a one-man Neptunes, his stark, hard-as-hell slaps recalling the production on Clipse's Lord Willin'. In between tracks, Jel mocked his old-ass flip phone and cracked wise about US/Canadian border patrol, among other things. He was as funny as he was funky. The Notwist's Germanic indie rock was fine—ranging from beautifully hushed slow numbers to fiery, rambunctious songs—but singer Markus Acher's bland voice always sounds like sour milk being poured on an elegantly conceived and executed meal. Like many rock bands, the Notwist would substantially improve if they went all instrumental.
• New Order played a hit-filled set to a packed Paramount on Sunday evening, finishing with an encore of crowd-pleasing Joy Division songs. ("Love Will Tear Us Apart" was the final song, as it should be, always and forever.)
• While we're on the subject, let's clear the air. Regarding the New Order article that Charles Mudede wrote for the last issue of this paper: Let it be known that Mr. Mudede does indeed know that the song "Leif Erikson" is an Interpol song, and not, as he stated, a New Order song. He was attempting a joke, but he has learned his lesson and will never joke about New Order again in an article about New Order read by fans of New Order.
• Attention hiphop fans! Start saving your ducats for a transatlantic flight, because Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical feline monstrosity Cats—based on T.S. Eliot's whimsical poetry—is getting a London reboot spiced with that old boom-bap! As Lloyd Webber told the Associated Press, he was turning the character of Rum Tum Tugger into a rapping street cat because "I've come to the conclusion that... maybe Eliot was the inventor of rap."
• Our new stoney metal favorites WEEED celebrated the Fourth of July by wilding out with homemade ginger beer on Bainbridge island, augmenting their sound with wickedly psychedelic slide guitar.
• Seattle prog-rock/jazz guitarist Dennis Rea informs us that Wayward Music Series/Chapel Performance Space curator and Seattle avant-garde musician Steve Peters is in the process of compiling an oral history of experimental music in Seattle, with support from Jack Straw Productions. We eagerly anticipate this highly worthwhile endeavor.
• Did you know there is a new Judas Priest album coming out called Redeemer of Souls? You should go gaze upon the corresponding cardboard cutout at Everyday Music. (Dibs, though.)