Rock n’ Roll Pest Control: Super Groups


written by Gary Miller

First and foremost I want to thank KEXP for inviting me to contribute to the NW Fridays section of their blog. I’ve been running the Seattle Powerpop Blog (SPB) for about a year and a half now, and it’s great to be brought into KEXP’s warming glow to share my thoughts and opinions with you each Friday in my new column Rock n’ Roll Pest Control. Now onto the music.

The Sonics, that fabled, howling Tacoma rock band of the 1960s, recently played a one-off reunion show at Cavestomp in New York (hat tip to Andy Miracle for putting this on my radar). For those of us not around — geographically or chronologically — for their original run, such a reunion is epic. Unfortunately, it seems there are no plans for more shows. Fortunately, there is a bevy of video clips on YouTube documenting the performance. Here’s a sample.

Another band that presses my special rock buttons — and one that you actually can see play here in the Pacific Northwest — is The Tripwires. They have a new disc titled Makes You Look Around that was just released by the Paisley Pop label out of Portland, and if you haven’t heard it then you’re missing some mighty fine rock and roll.

The Tripwires is something of a local “super group,” as it features John Ramberg (Minus 5, Model Rockets), Johnny Sangster (producer extraordinaire, Dear John Letters), Jim Sangster (Young Fresh Fellows, Sgt. Major) and Mark Pickerel (Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Screaming Trees). In my SPB review of the disc I described the band by saying they’re as melodic and personal as Big Star, as tunesmithy as The Byrds, and bring as much boogie to the table as Chuck Berry. I’ll stick with that here and add that it also makes for a darn good live show.

I’d give my kingdom for some good video footage to prove that to you. But, the only YouTube clips I can find are too distorted to embed here. But, while I’m on the subject of video, you can actually find an very good performance video of the entire Tripwires CD release show (and many other shows for that matter) on the site.

This relatively-new venture is a hybrid social networking/live performance website that is doing some interesting things with streaming concerts. Mike and Mark Musburger — the latter of whom has played drums with nearly every band in town, it seems — are involved with the site, so you know it’s worth checking out since those guys rock. It relies a bit too much on java or flash or some such program that forces me to sit through animations and longer load times than I’d prefer. But, you can find good concert footage once you’ve navigated through the hurdles and created an account.

So, go eat some leftover turkey while you take in the streaming video of the show. Gobble, gobble, hey.

Gary Miller runs the Seattle Powerpop Blog, which focuses on all things powerpop in the Pacific Northwest. SPB features album reviews, recommended shows, videos, mp3s and more.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 23, 2007 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I need to correct my own post. In my mention of, I mention that Mike and Mark Musburger are involved with the site, and I said the latter was a drummer around town when I actually meant the former. Apologies to both!

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