Jul. 7th, 2011 09:31 am
amnesiack: (batllerina)
The weekend (plus a few days before and after) was awesome. It included Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz on the big screen at Central Cinema, an awesome wedding at the Woodland Park Zoo, and amazing house show with 11 bands and tons of friends, and the annual "best 4th of July party ever (until the next one)" at the house of [ profile] random_girl and [ profile] grandmoffdavid.

I've been playing bass again. Three friends and I decided to put together a band and mess around and see what comes of it. We've had three practices in three weeks so far, and while we're still not good, we're definitely better than when we started. It's a very cool, low-pressure situation since we're all either (a) brand new to playing our instruments (which includes vocals) or (b) haven't played them in 7+ years. So we're just figuring things out together as we go.

On a less postivie note: )
amnesiack: (littlehellboy)
I realized this morning that last night was the The Mountain Goats show that I had wanted to go to, and I completely forgot about it. Of course, that would have meant missing [ profile] preciousjade's game, so it's a mixed disappointment.

In other very sad music news, Pretty Girls Make Graves have broken up. I count myself extremely fortunate to have gotten to see them a half-dozen times over the last several years, but this is a great loss to Seattle music. To rub just a little bit of extra salt in the wound, I found out about the breakup by overhearing dialog from an episode of Gilmore Girls that [ profile] bookishelaine was watching on Tuesday.
amnesiack: (commie star)
Jason and I saw Erin McKeown last night at the Tractor Tavern. She's touring in support of her new album Sing You Sinners, a collection of covers of (mostly) jazz songs from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. It rocked.
amnesiack: (american astronaut)
Fearless was fantastic. The wire-work and special effects were highly restrained, but Jet Li's performance was (as always) very well-done. It's a very straight-forward story with no twists or turns, well-choreographed fight scenes, and a basis in Chinese history that ignores almost all actual historical facts. What more could you want?

* * *

I know that Final Fantasy XII is coming out soon (I have, in fact, preordered it already), but I think that Okami may end up being one of my favorite games of the year. At its most stripped-down, core level, it's a Zelda-style action/puzzle/quest game. If you take all of its elements together, though, it is a brilliantly unique game, with a beautiful visual style unlike any other game I've seen. I'm only about 4 hours into it, and it has already sunk its claws (tee hee) quite deeply into me. With the PS3 on its way in the next couple of months, Sony is certainly making sure that PS2 game development goes out on several high notes.

* * *

Saturday night [ profile] yurodivuie, Jason, and I saw The Billy Nayer Show live at this tiny little theater in the Rendezvous Lounge in Belltown. Like most of the people there (I think), my initial exposure to the BNS came from the bizarre uber-movie that is The American Astronaut. I've already described it in a past entry, but having watched it many more times since then, I can firmly say that it is awesome in ways which you cannot conceive of something being awesome. Corey McAbee (lead singer, electric autoharp player, and song writer for the BNS, as well as the writer, director, and star of American Astronaut) is a twisted genius of the highest order, and seeing BNS live actually kicks all of that up a significant notch. Until their two encores, every song they played was from their as-yet-unreleased new album, and the few old songs they played for encores were not from American Astronaut (i.e. songs that I knew). And you know what? It didn't matter one bit. New songs or old, McAbee's lyrics will stun, confound, and hilarify you in a single burst. I left feeling that I had experienced something profound and not entirely comprehensible by my mortal brain. If you have a chance, I would encourage you to do the same.
amnesiack: (kimpinegf)
Jason and I are going to see Band of Horses and Pretty Girls Make Graves at the Capitol Hill Block Party tonight. I don't remember if I ever wrote about my feelings regarding the new PGMG cd; suffice to say, I was rather disappointed, as they seem to have lost most of their energy in favor of a pseudo-experimental emoish indie rock sort of sound. There are maybe three good songs on the whole album, with the rest ranging from tolerable to terrible. Still, their first 2 albums are still among my favorites, and 2 out of 3 isn't bad. Plus, their live shows have never disappointed before. Band of Horses aren't really my thing overall, but they're good at what they do, and Jason's a fan, so I'm up for it. Tomorrow Schoolyard Heroes and Smoosh are playing, but unfortunately we have an Exalted game that's going to keep us from being there. Still, we may make it for the Murder City Devils' reunion show, which should be sweet. I saw them once in 1999, but since they've been broken up for about five years now, I didn't think it would ever happen again.
amnesiack: (Default)
I have mixed feelings about the show last night. On one hand, it was good; definitely worth my $12. However, it didn't quite blow me away as I had expected it to. Perhaps that's my fault for having too high expectations. Still, the breakdown:

Schoolyard Heroes: I'd never seen SH live before. They were good, but the performance wasn't quite up to the quality of their recordings, mostly because the volume of the vocals was too low, and the overall musical mix was dominated a bit too much by the drums. Still, they put on a good show, though the lead singer's stage antics felt slightly awkward from time-to-time. I want to see them again so that I can decide if this was just an off show or if they are really better as a studio band. If nothing else, though, they have a ton of energy and heart; that's always worth something.

Pretty Girls Make Graves: They kicked my butt, as they always do. Andrea's voice was a lot more nasal than I remember it ever being before, live or on cd, but it was only note-worthy on one or two songs. All together, this was my favorite performance of the night. Unfortunately, I didn't buy any merch before the show started, and by the time it was all over, they had already packed up their stuff and left. This is especially annoying because the last two times I've seen them were right after they had returned from big tours and were out of merch to sell, so after two years of being into this band I still don't own a single shirt, button, or sticker for them.

Andrew W.K.: When it's time to party, Andrew will always party hard. He cut his hair, and he wasn't wearing the torn jeans and white shirt I expected, but he still put on a great show. The metal aspect of his music dominated the pop elements a bit more than when I've seen him before, and most of his backing musicians were different (I miss the hawai'ian shirted guitarist), but it was a worthwhile performance. I have the barrier bruises on my stomach to prove it.
amnesiack: (kitaguchi)
Some demented genius dwells on the University of Washington campus and has somehow arranged the following line-up for Friday night:

Schoolyard Heroes

Pretty Girls Make Graves

Andrew W.K.

Oh yeah.
amnesiack: (skull panda)
Every now and then I get to experience the mixed displeasure and pride that comes when a band whose music I've been listening to for years starts to really make it big. It's not the bigness itself that brings displeasure but the many annoying complications it brings with it. Tonight, Against Me! had to be placed on the list in my brain for "Bands You Have to Buy Tickets in Advance to See." I've seen them five times in the last three years, and this has never been the case, but tonight it was. Of course, I only found out the show was sold out after the bartender at Neumos told me it wasn't and I had stood outside for two hours waiting to pay my money to get in.

So, Jesse and I went to a coffee shop for an hour or so, and then he and Elaine gave me a ride home. It'll be nice not to be exhausted at work tomorrow, but that is far outweighed by the sadness of the fact that I am not rocking out right now. Oh well.
amnesiack: (mohawk1)
I'm going to see Against Me! at Neumos tonight. Oh yeah.
amnesiack: (Default)
Betrayal at House on the Hill is up for best board game in the Origins Gamers' Choice Awards. That is awesome, regardless of what Mike might say.

Also, I just discovered on Sunday that The Mountain Goats are playing at Neumos on June 19th. The Mountain Goats, for all practical purposes, is John Darnielle, singer and songwriter. On some albums, he has other people acting as guest musicians and vocalists, and he usually has at least one other person with him on tour, but he is the heart and soul of what is The Mountain Goats. My mission between now and then is to (1) Get more TMG albums besides the two I have now and (2) find one or more companions to accompany me to the show. Jason and Jesse, I'm looking in your direction(s).

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