Setbacks & Bummers

Regrets? I've had more than a few. Overall, 2003 was a fruitful, interesting year for Seattle's electronic-music scene, but inevitably disappointments, setbacks, and bummers arose.

I regret not seeing Lamplighter play live before they broke up. Scoop up their one and only CD, A Three Point Perspective (Woodson Lateral), a varied display of IDM-ish finesse.

I regret seeing Lamplighter member Choncey Langford (AKA Thee Outfit) leave Seattle for Los Angeles. He was improving by Bob Beamon-sized leaps and bounds.

I regret being trapped near the back of Chop Suey for Luke Vibert and Squarepusher's entire mind-boggling sets. I also regret not getting to hang out with Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher), who is a wildly entertaining hell-raiser when he's not behind his gear or playing bass with Jaco Pastorius-like dexterity.

I regret the Ellen Allien show (and our interview) getting canceled. Her Berlinette album blew aural kisses to her home base with a seductive mix of broken beat and ephedrine-enhanced electro. Let's hope she'll actually make it here next year.

I regret the lack of female artists in this column. Compared to many big cities, Seattle's actually a hotbed of XX-chromosomed mixtresses, and I solemnly pledge to give them some column space.

I regret the split of Lovecraft Technologies' creative core, Prince Charming and Philosophy Major. It's especially disheartening because the excellent UK label Warp is currently showing interest in the group's demo. Both of these producers have issued outstanding albums for Baltimore's WordSound Records, home of some of the most out-there dub and hiphop extant.

I regret the piss-poor turnouts for amazing shows by the Phthalo, Tigerbeat6, and Schematic labels--especially because I featured them in Data Breaker. Talk about ego-depleting comeuppances....

I regret not downloading one song from Soulseek, nor from any other peer-to-peer file-sharing site. Hey, I've been supporting the record industry for over two decades, so don't give me any shit. Those bastards have been gouging consumers since forever, so it's payback time.

I regret electro kingpin BMG of Ectomorph's gear breaking down 20 minutes into his Chop Suey set. To come all the way from Ann Arbor, Michigan, only to have your laptop crap out after a few tracks was a huge letdown to all 37 people who toughed it out till the end.

And finally, I regret that Seattle hasn't passed a public smoking ban law (yet). Reports show that 53,000 people die annually from the effects of secondhand smoke. Would it be too much to ask to go to a concert without enduring burning eyes, sore lungs, smelly clothes, and a greater chance of getting lung cancer? Quit smoking now and you won't regret it.