written by Ben Funkhouser
photos by Jake Goltiani
So yeah, Deerhunter, right, supposedly a good band, from Georgia. I had actually never heard this band before that night. I was pretty much there to see Times New Viking, an Ohio band who bridge noise and pop music together in a loud mess. Past Lives, who replaced New Faces, who replaced BARR, were to play first.
Past Lives. Good band, seriously, but I feel like I have by chance been to 50% of their shows in Seattle. I didn’t really feel like seeing them again. Anyway, when I got to Neumo’s, there was a bit of a fiasco getting in, conflict solved, blah blah. Past Lives began the most intense set of theirs that I’d ever seen. I could hear Morgan Henderson’s thumping, throbbing bass filling the guitar parts, and I felt the rhythm this time. It was amazing; seriously, I finally am seeing the pulsing rage of the Blood Brothers mix with the surfy-noise of Shoplifting. Bam! That’s Past Lives. The best part of their set by far was the transition that I often see them play between “Beyond Gone” and “Strange Symmetry” with drummer Mark Gajadhar pounding the snare until he raises his arms like a crane, and the second song begins in perfect time. Sweet, duder.
As I said earlier, I like Times New Viking a lot, a super lot. Their sound is perfect for a grimy summer day, when it’s hot, and you have cut off jeans on and you just rode your bike around Lake Union, and you have bicycle grease on your legs and sweat on your brow. Times New Viking channels that feeling into amazing, noise shrouded pop. That’s not what I got last night. They sounded torn apart, like three different instruments playing different songs at the same time, it didn’t sound right. That didn’t totally ruin it though; they’re still a really good band, with really good songs. I was especially stoked when they played “Pagan Eyes” from the new Stay Awake EP. That whole EP is just swell. They played for a good thirty minutes and left the stage, allowing me to stand on my tired feet for like thirty more before Deerhunter came on.
To preface anything I say, that shit blew my mind. Wild and totally crazy, singer Bradford Cox is a tall skinny crazy guy who for all of his nerdy aspects (a bowl cut, and others) he had a certain amount of sex appeal. That weirded me out, but heck, was it awesome. At points, it was straight garage, and at others, it fused into noisy droning weirdness. Their set ended with endless drone and guitars strewn about the stage. That show was seriously one of the craziest I’ve been to in a long time. Super good, super memorable.
So kids, I want to take a minute to tell you about Seattle DIY. Not that I don’t think shows are important, they’re what I live for, but I was on a high school trip and only got to attend one show. Alright, so Seattle DIY is a collective whose mission is to promote and support the DIY ethos and its associated growing community in Seattle. Our goal is to help this large and nebulous group of people stay informed about what the community is doing, hopefully leading to greater communication, participation, and collaboration. Seattle DIY helps put on and collaborates with most of the houses that put on shows in the city. Part of fitting the Seattle DIY criteria, is to not have any restrictions to the people who can come, that means, always all ages. The Vera Project is a part of Seattle DIY, as are other venues. The point is, that its important to get involved with your community, and for those under 21, you have a great, welcoming community right in front of you. So get involved, be it as a volunteer at Vera, or even helping clean up after basement shows.
Saturday 11/29 – Casy and Brian, Religious Girls, LP&BB, Katharine Hepburn’s Voice @ The Holy Mountain
Sunday 11/30 – Casy and Brian, Religious Girls, Past Lives @ Full Tilt Ice Cream
Saturday 12/6 – Bloodhag, Doomhawk, Filth Mattress, Evangelist @ The Vera Project
Ben Funkhouser is a former KEXP programming intern turned weekly columnist. Being underage, his column, Oh, Messy Life, 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.