Shows of Note – Never Gonna Stop the Funk

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We have to admit that funky, jazzy marching band music isn’t necessarily what we regularly play here at The ‘Burg, but MarchFourth Marching Band is so awesome we just have to promote their show.

MarchFourth Marching Band

MarchFourth Marching Band

MarchFourth Marching Band’s name does a pretty good job of describing them. The 20 + member group includes a 5-piece percussion section, 7-part brass section and elaborate marching band themed costumes. Although their music is almost too funky to bear, it’s their choreographed dance moves and energetic live shows that make the band really worth watching.

The influence of traditional marching band music is very apparent in MarchFourth Marching Band’s sound but they definitely aren’t close to traditional. Their sound is anchored by a funky electric bass and they draw influences from rock, jazz and even African tribal music.

Originally from Portland, Ore, the band has released two studio albums along with a live album. Their most recent work Magnificent Beast was released in 2011 and they have since produced one single, “Shindig.”

“Shindig” is nothing short of wonderful. The song features an early flute solo, driving brass and appropriate drum solo. A circus themed music video accompanies the song. Anyone who was ever in any sort of jazz, marching or concert band will appreciate MarchFourth Marching Band’s excellent style and desire to keep marching band music cool.

MarchFourth Marching Band will be in Leavenworth at Leisure Games,  Feb 15, The Showbox in Seattle on Feb. 28, Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, March 3, Wild Buffalo in Bellingham on March 2, and the Crystal Ballroom in Portland on March 4. Tune-in to News Central tomorrow between noon and 1 p.m. for a chance to see one of the most entertaining musical acts in America.

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Shows of Note – Lets Talk Politics

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Call it rock, call it rap rock, call it indie, whatever you want to call their style, New Politics is an awesome band. Out of Copenhagen, Denmark, the trio made up David Boyd, Soren Hansen and Louis Vecchio has made their mark on the American college music scene. The band’s hit songs “Harlem,” “Dignity,” and “Tonight You’re Perfect” haven’t gotten old yet and the tunes frequent our airwaves as well as student run stations all over the country.

New Politics has two albums to their name, but the most recent A Bad Girl in Harlem dropped in May of last year. The album has received pretty solid reviews and the band is currently on tour promoting the record. Thefirenote.com said this about A Bad Girl in Harlem:

New Politics

New Politics

“With their sophomore album, New Politics breaks away from their gritty, indie roots, trading it in for a pop rock, punk sound.”

With a different sound in their sophomore album New Politics has shown they aren’t a one-trick pony and can evolve their sound over time.

New Politcis will be performing in the northwest in Portland on Feb. 25 at Aladdin Theater and Feb. 26 in Seattle at Neumos. Don’t miss out on seeing this awesome foreign powerhouse rock Seattle!

 

 

 

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Fresh Tunes – Something Old, Something New

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Electronic music has never done anything but change. What began in the ’70s as a sort of novelty has now become a pervasive force with scores of subcultures, styles, and the ability to infiltrate most any musical genre. Daft Punk released their carefully crafted (and divisive) record last year, and now The Crystal Method, another welterweight duo from the nineties, is taking their turn to re-image themselves in this new and incredibly diverse landscape of electronica with their recent, self-titled release.
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Aptly named “Emulator”, the first track on The Crystal Method’s new album is an undeniable throwback to their Vegas days, erecting simmering sonic slides and bumps around spoken vocal samples that build to towering grooves. The true trademark of TCM comes from their vast spectrum of synth textures and percussion. Like a circus with a dozen different acts being performed at once, there is always some new sound, some new melody or pattern to turn your ear to pay attention to. On track six, “Jupiter Shift”, it becomes almost a game trying to follow any one melody or texture as a dozen others crash, rumble, shriek, and buzz all around. It would be exhausting were it not for Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland’s ability to inject vitality and energy into most everything they craft.

And it’s that energy- that visceral how-do-you-like-me-now attitude balanced with slow, fresh moments of sonic space that makes this album special. A surge of adrenaline only lasts for a few moments before the crash, and likewise Jordan and Kirkland have smartly paced this album to not be completely exhausting to listen to. That being said, only thumping these tracks through a pair of headphones, alone, is a lot like hammering a nail with the blunt end of a knife, that’s not what the tool is for and you are going to hurt yourself. Truly, this album belongs in a place where just as much energy can be expended as what it was constructed with. And that place is a dance floor.

thumpers_galore_album-500x500There’s a powerful sort of magic in the bright memories from childhood, and Thumpers are well aware of it. Friends since the age of 11, the musical duo seem to have harnessed their rose-colored past and crafted something full of smiley, giddy energy in their debit album Galore.

The first track, “Marvel,” acts as a thematic overture for the rest of the album; creative and powerful drum beats, hazy vocals, and synth textures that add fullness to the band’s sound. Even its very first lyric, “stay young”, is an idea this whole album appears to be focused on- almost obsessed with, actually. Throughout Galore the lyrics, “I wish you were sixteen,” “bed jumping, him and her are full of passions tonight,” “we’re tired but ripe,” and, “two beating hearts,” makes the impression Thumpers is aching for you to make your sunny summer memories, which is funny since this album is being released in the middle of February.

Though this is their debut as Thumpers, Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. are not new to indie music. Collectively they have been a part of the bands Antihero, Pull Tiger Tail, Noah and the Whale, and Friendly Fires. Their experience certainly shows. Galore is full of enough energy to send it bouncing off every wall in the room, but is seems to be done purposely. The sound of each track is similar, but never feels overworked or tired. Through their experience, Pepperell and Hamson have learned control over the atmosphere of each track and the atmosphere of the album as a whole.

Making music while doing a thousand-yard-stare into the past is not new. What’s special about Thumpers is they have managed to craft something without any eye roll-inducing cliché that usually comes with nostalgia. Galore is creative and lively, and most importantly, it’s just fun.

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Shows of Note – Indie Accents

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Lately, The ‘Burg hasn’t been able to get enough of the British indie music scene. There must be something in the water overseas because a lot of our favorite indie acts come are from the U.K. One of these acts is Glasvegas. The four-piece band is from Glasgow, Scotland which is made apparent with the thick accent of lead singer, James Allan.

Glasvegas

Glasvegas

Glasvegas made their debut in 2008 with the release of their self-titled album which featured what is probably still their most popular single “Geraldine.” Since their self-titled album, Glasvegas has produced two more albums, Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\ in 2011 and most recently Later…When the TV Turns to Static. The latter dropped in September of last year.

If” is the top single off of their recent release but we also recommend checking out “Neon Bedroom Blues” and “All I Want is My Baby.” Popmatters.com said this about the most recent Glasvegas album:

“The new album is technically proficient and features more than its fair share of impassioned crooning by lead vocalist James Allan and driving walls of indie-rock sound. However, the album overall fails to retain the interest of the listener. This is, in part, due to the fact that with a few sonic exceptions, the songs largely sound the same, with Allan crying out (often impressively) over his cousin Rab Allan’s driving lead guitar work or light, light piano on track after track after track with not much variation to make Later… When the TV Turns to Static a terribly challenging or engaging listen.”

Is Glasvegas’s new album too mechanical to listen to or is it a stroke of genius? You can decide for yourself because The ‘Burg is giving away tickets to see Glasvegas live in Seattle at the Columbia City Theater on Feb. 28. The band will also be playing in Portland on March 1 at The Ceremonies. Listen tonight between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to see them live in Seattle!

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Shows of Note – SASQUATCH!

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If you’re like us, you were counting down the days until the Sasquatch 2014 lineup to be announced. With an added weekend in July, Sasquatch 2014 promised to be not only the biggest music event in Washington, but one of the largest in the country. Artists on the bill like The National, Kid Cudi, Soundgarden, Broken Bells and Frank Ocean got us excited but there are a few artists that have really got us pumped.

Outkast

Outkast

As cliche as it might be, Outkast is a group we just can’t stop talking about. Yes, everyone is excited to see them and yes, they are the main headliner for the Memorial Day weekend but its their first time reuniting in over a decade. Outkast certainly knows how to do a  reunion right. The hip-hop duo will be headlining Coachella in April of this year as well. Not only is this the first time Outkast will perform in a decade, this year marks the 20th anniversary of their debut album Southernplaylisticadillamuzik. Outkast will be on the Sasquatch stage (main stage) Friday, May 23.

AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge

Our second pick for the first weekend is AlunaGeorge. Another duo, AlunaGeorge is an electronic trip-hop act with a hint of R&B. Made up of Aluna Francis and George Reid, the two met in an unconventional way for a band to meet, the internet. With a mutual respect for eachother’s music they decided to join force and that is something we are forever grateful for. Catching fire with their single “You Know You Like It,” AlunaGeorge will be on the El Chupacabra stage Sunday, May 25.

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant is someone else we’d like to see during the first Sasquatch weekend. From Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cage the Elephant formed in 2005 but were discovered by most of us when they’re single “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” dropped in 2009. The Sasquatch performance will follow Cage the Elephant’s October release Melophobia, which includes “Come a Little Closer.” Cage the Elephant will be playing on the Sasquatch stage, Friday, May 23.

New Order

New Order

When it comes to weekend two, we’ve noticed a little more rock, in particular, rock a more mature audience on the bill. This isn’t a good or bad thing and there are still a ton of artists we’re psyched about. In particular, New Order. New Order has been around since 1980 and have stood the text of time, working through multiple break ups and reunions only to show up on the Sasquatch bill this year. New Order’s Lost Sirens was released in January of last year and was well received by fans and critics alike. Lost Sirens is the band’s first album since 2005 and Pitchfork.com had this to say about the album:

“As an album, Lost Sirens isn’t at all an embarrassment: it’s a document of a band whose range and reach, rather than power, are what has been diminished.”

Children of the 80s will delight in getting to see this new wave era band rock out at Sasquatch. New Order will be on the Sasquatch stage Sunday, July 6.

The second weekend of Sasquatch features awesome ambient electronic artists as well. Jon Hopkins’ downtempo, chill-out style

Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins

has delighted fans, especially in the U.K. where he is from. Hopkins’ Immunity dropped at the end of 2013 with Pitchfork.com stating

“[Immunity}...adds up to a remarkably visceral, sensual, confident electronic record that stays absorbing from beginning to end, and should finally catapult Hopkins to stardom in his own story."

Hopkins promises to bring a mix of slowed down tunes and catchy dance hooks. Hopkins ability to consistently cross genres implementing piano, acoustic sounds and bass heavy electro to make music that should almost be qualified as being in his own special genre. Hopkins will be at the El Chupacabra stage on Saturday, July 5.

Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

Many people forget that Sasquatch features comedy acts as well. Demetri Martin will be performing at the second weekend of Sasquatch and has proved to be a favorite comedian, especially among the college crowd. Martin was the headlining comedian for Homecoming 2010 at CWU and performed for a sold-out shout. A little unconventional in his stand-up, Martin uses a guitar, one-liners and a “large pad” to tell his jokes. Martin had a show on Comedy Central for two years and now focuses on his stand-up, books and contributions to various TV shows and movies. Martin will be on the EL Chupacabra stage on Sunday, July 6.

Ticket sales for Sasquatch 2014 are tomorrow (02/08) at 10 a.m. Be sure to keep an eye on The ‘Burg’s social media for surprise ticket giveaways and opportunities to win tickets to the biggest music/entertainment event in Washington state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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