Last year was bittersweet for music—we lost a lot of great bands. The Pleasureboaters, Harvey Danger, Schoolyard Heroes, Kane Hodder, H Is for Hellgate, New Faces, Black Eyes and Neckties, Speaker Speaker, and what seems like dozens of others broke up. Some, like Schoolyard Heroes, went out with stellar final shows, while others, like New Faces, abruptly quit.
The good news is that a lot of orphaned musicians are already picking up the pieces, and their new acts should be added to your 2010 "Bands to Watch" list. (Because you make a list like that, right? I'm not the only one?)
Jonah Bergman and Ryann Donnelly of Schoolyard Heroes have a new project called Blood Cells. It may be hard to escape Schoolyard's shadow—with Donnelly's iconic voice and Bergman's always manically heavy bass—but Bergman promises Blood Cells will explore different directions than their former band did. (You can see for yourself at the Vera Project on January 15 when they open for Jaguar Love.)
Schoolyard drummer Brian Turner has a new, unnamed project featuring Eric Christianson, Aaron Yost, and Jerome Sauer of Kane Hodder. Speaking of Hodder, former guitarist Jeremy White is now in psych-pop band Chyeah Chyeah.
A couple of the Black Eyes and Neckties fellas also have new projects. Singer Brad Horror is focusing on the folk-punk Wooden Wings, and guitarist Josh "Homicide" Holland continues to, well, shred in the heavy, metal-tinged band Dog Shredder.
And if you miss H Is for Hellgate as much as I do, then you'll be happy to hear that singer Jamie Henkensiefken has buddied up with some of the lovely ladies from Hungry Pines (who also broke up! Argh!) to form a beautiful, haunting, and guitar-heavy indie-rock outfit called Eighteen Individual Eyes—and they've already released an EP! Slightly Frightened, Mostly Happy is in stores now. Hopefully at least half of these newbies will make it through the end of the year. I can't take any more band breakups right now.
Thurs Jan 7: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Baby Panda, Kids and Animals, the Girl with Violent Arms at Vera Project, 7:30 pm, $8 with club card/$9.
Fri Jan 8: Barcelona, the Pale Pacific, Conservative Dad at Chop Suey, 9 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS.
Sat Jan 9: School of Rock Presents: Best of the Northwest at the Crocodile, 5 pm, $10.