Oh, Messy Life: Your Weekly All-Ages Review

Past Lives

Rachael Schumacher

by Ben Funkhouser

After my band played a house show in Redmond, we headed to the Holy Mountain to see Past Lives. By the luck of timing, we arrived just before the first band, The Last Slice of Butter, played. They thrashed out a 20ish minute set of bass and drum noisy punk, with drummer Travis Coster and bassist Catalin Vulcan alternating on vocals, sometimes not singing at all. For whatever reason, the sound was excellent, and you could hear the crazy melodies that accompanied the craziness. There were a ton of people present at the show, like 200-300 people all there, some watching, some socializing in other rooms. After a 20-30 minute wait, Talbot Tagora began their set. This band is crazy good. They too had a rhythmic punk sound, accentuated by young drummer, Ani Ricci’s erratic style. Every time I see Talbot Tagora, they get better. I don’t know how, but they always do. I was super stoked on the whole show. Past Lives played for like an hour, and to be honest, it seemed like too long; it was 1 in the morning when they finished, and I was tired. I liked their set fine, but it failed to captivate me in the same way that Talbot Tagora and the Last Slice of Butter did. I think because after too high-energy bands, the calmer sounds of Past Lives sort of lulled me off. That’s not to say that Past Lives aren’t wild or fun, but I just couldn’t get into it. Their new album came out that night. It’s super good. Buy it. (See more photos of the show here.)

Wednesday was a terrible day to see a show. School surrounded me, papers, quizzes and other crap stand between me and fun. I slapped my worries in the face, backhanded, and headed to Vera at seven. It was Veracity, the monthly free, all-ages, put on by volunteers show at Vera, and Deer City and Dearboy were playing. Everyone who played was no older than 16, my own humble age. I arrived late, catching the end of openers, TBD (yes that’s their name) — just the last song, “Dead Puppies Aren’t Much Fun.” Ack. I hate to be so merciless, but god. Later, I talked to Jeff, AKA Deer City, and we joked around for a while about the many dads hangin’ out to watch their kids play, cameras in hand. Pretty fun. Ambulance played next, and with a sort of indie rock sound that really didn’t blow my mind. They said “pussies” or something that I thought was a bummer and couldn’t sing very well. While that’s not always bad, it didn’t suit their squeaky-clean indie sound. I love Dearboy. Seriously. They’re like girl Devotchka/Sigur Ros, all juniors from Ballard High School. They played some baroque-y gypsy styled indie, switching between keyboards, guitar, accordion and mandolin, and each member played super well. The upright bass player was excellent as well. Great set. Deer City, as usual, brought it. His guitar wouldn’t plug in, but that was okay because his Macbook and voice worked well. Hearing Jeff is like listening to a pop musician who’s had years of training from a bastard record producer payed to make young musicians sound (and look) appealing to the masses. Jeff did it on his own. Great job.


  • The Shivers, Mighty Tiger, T.v. coahran, Sorry @ Healthy Times Fun Club – Sat, 15th
  • of Montreal, HEALTH @ Showbox SoDo – Weds, 19th
  • Deerhunter, Times New Viking @ Neumos – Fri, 21st
  • Lucky Dragons, Pit er Pat, Hecuba, Tinsel @ The Vera Project – Fri, 21st

Always check:

Ben Funkhouser is a former programming intern turned weekly columnist. Being underage, his column will focus strictly on the all-ages music in Seattle. He also is the booking assistant at the Vera Project and writes for Public Access Media.

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  1. Posted December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    ben_interesting reviews. Thanks for telling me about your blog. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was surprisingly relevant seeing as how I actually attended both the veracity show and the lucky dragons. You don’t hold back and your analysis is point on. Doesn’t seem like you care about politics to much either which is always good. Reviews should be honest. I didn’t notice you at the veracity show, but that figures because between all the people up front and the tables in the back, it was hard to see much of anything, except when people momentarily cleared up right before deer city played. He was pretty funny. I like that line, where he was like, this song is called 1992 and that is the year I was born. It even made me feel old as hell. I’d really like to learn more about Public Access Media…There are a few things that this city has to offer for music, and anything relating to this aspect is something that has a lot of potential. Please email soon! Thanks again.

  2. Posted December 4, 2008 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    damn those thermals playing chop suey tonight!

  3. Posted December 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    its funny how so many music venues can’t decide whether they’re in the business of selling music or selling poison(alcohol).

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