Monday, August 31, 2009


Harvey Danger Play Final Show
The smart alec Seattle punks call it a career with a three-hour hometown show.
BY MIKE TOOMBS 08.31.09 7:08 AM

Favorites of indie-rock bookworms everywhere, Harvey Danger went out where they came in, wrapping up their career with a three-hour, 29-song "final finale" Saturday night at the Crocodile Cafe in the group's hometown of Seattle. In the words of frontman Sean Nelson, the show was a "funmotional" end to the band's 17-year run.

The Croc was, "The first place we felt like we were a real band," the chatty Nelson said from stage. Of course, the club isn't quite the same as it was in its heyday; it's been spruced up over the years ("If you remember, it was pretty crappy," admitted the singer.) Fittingly, Harvey Danger, best known for their irrepressible 1998 pop hit "Flagpole Sitta," has changed too, re-emerging five years ago after a hiatus from 2001-2003 with new members Rob Knop on keyboards and Michael Welke on drums joining original Harveys Nelson, guitarist Jeff J. Linn and bassist Aaron Huffman. (The band's first drummer, Evan Sult, appeared here as half of opening act Sleepy Kitty).

Despite the lineup shuffling, it was all good vibes on this night, both for the friend-filled crowd and for the Harveys themselves. "You've all just seen us hug for the first time ever," Nelson said after the band capped its performance with the appropriately titled "The Show Must Not Go On."

Three hours earlier though, Harvey Danger had begun, somewhat haltingly with a stop-start version of the sweeping "Meetings With Remarkable Men (Show Me the Hero)," which name-checks Jesus Christ, the Smiths' Morrissey and hair-metal puffball Kip Winger. The generous set (sole covers: English Beat's "Save It for Later" and David Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things") wowed the crowd, which saved its most enthusiastic cheering for Nelson’s mention of the band's second album, the commercially disastrous King James Version, and its third, 2005's Little by Little.

Nelson's clever, literate lyrics (he referenced Hitchcock's Vertigo in "Carlotta Valdez," and Melville's Moby-Dick in "Old Hat") were a consistent delight, providing a solid foundation as the band worked its way from its early Nirvana and R.E.M.-influenced songs to the chamber-pop ornamentation of more recent tunes like "Little Round Mirrors" and the jaunty "Happiness Writes White," which featured French horn. The newer approach was also apparent on the regal-sounding "Wine, Women and Song" and "Moral Centralia."

The unavoidable "Flagpole Sitta" was saved for the last song of the pre-encore set -- and came accompanied by an alternately sarcastic and moving remark from Nelson. "I think we up on stage will take five seconds," he said, "to appreciate the fact that we never, ever have to play that song again."

Set list:

Meetings With Remarkable Men (Show Me the Hero)

Old Hat

Little Round Mirrors

Wine, Women and Song

Moral Centralia

Jack the Lion

Humility on Parade

Loyalty Bldg. 

Private Helicopter


Flagpole Sitta
Pike St./Park Slope

Oh! You Pretty Things

Cream and Bastards Rise

(Theme From) Carjack Fever

Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Terminal Annex

Picture, Picture


Happiness Writes White

Save It for Later

Radio Silence

Cold Snap

Problems and Bigger Ones

The Same As Being in Love

The Show Must Not Go On

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seattle and Chicago Happenings!

Big weekend for Riot Act artists... At Bumbershoot in Seattle, we have the seductively sly Black Whales performing on Sunday and on Monday, the cellos that play together and stay together, Portland Cello Project brings it's mammoth stage presence to the festival!  Also on Monday, Seattle's legendary, feisty redhead Rachel Flotard and co., aka Visqueen, return to Bumbershoot with the pure intention of melting faces.

Then, in Chicago, Stephen Howard brings his project Quieting Syrup to the Hideout on Sunday, 8/30.  Songs About A Sick Boy is out this month on Lovitt Records and, live, he'll be joined by the legendary Bob Weston!  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Ghost of an Earthworm
Night Bats
Spine (MMIX)
Wax and Wire


Preordered copies will be delivered one week prior to release date, and will be hand-signed by the band.

2009 has been a banner year for Portland’s Loch Lomond, punctuated with triumph, tumult, and above all, artistic growth. Night Bats, the band’s first physical release since the much-loved Paper The Walls full-length and the follow up to their digital-only Trumpets for Paper Children EP, captures Loch Lomond at a unique and singularly brilliant time in their evolution as an undeniably powerful creative unit.

Having toured extensively this year with The Decemberists and Blitzen Trapper (among others), Loch Lomond now emphasizes in its new recorded output a directness and sharp pop sensibility that was only hinted at previously. Lead track "The Ghost of an Earthworm" is a shimmery, hooky gem devoid of much of the chamber instrumentation that peppers most of Loch Lomond’s catalog (here, replaced with bright electric rhythms, making it perhaps the most straightforward song the band has ever recorded); they even cover the Bee Gees’ “Holiday” (from Bee Gees 1st). “Spine (MMIX)” is a dramatically different reading of one of singer Ritchie Young’s most-loved songs, highlighting the band’s musical muscularity.

Title track "Night Bats" is as expansive as it is arresting, and is, along with “Ghost of an Earthworm”, one of the most shining examples of Young’s exemplary ability to tell bizarre, often allegorical stories with stunning dry wit and biting precision. “Wax and Wire” is, simply, quite possibly the richest and most jaw-dropping track Loch Lomond has put to tape.

Masterfully mixed by producer-to-the-stars Tucker Martine (REM, Sufjan Stephens, Laura Viers), produced by the entire band collaboratively and recorded/engineered at Mystery Machine Studios by Lee Howard, Night Bats showcases Loch Lomond at their strongest. It’s been a crazy year, and they always say that what doesn’t kill you….


Joan Hiller Depper, Riot Act Media (joan AT riotactmedia dot com)
Tour/Dates: Nathan Walker, Riot Act Media (Nathan AT riotactmedia dot com)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Check it, yo: not only are Black Whales going to throw down at this year's Bumbershoot Festival, they're going to tackle the many-legged monster of rock known as CMJ. They've also, in case you missed it, announced their record release show for ORIGINS: 9/18 at the Tractor in Seattle. Their Riot Act bretheren, All Smiles, will be playing the show, too, as will Bobby Bare, Jr! Go. See. Love.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Screaming Females will be on "It's On with Alexa Chung" on MTV (not MTV2 or MTVu834208, but MTV proper, dudes) tomorrow at 12 noon EST/PST! The band is psyched, and has been prepped on the fact that the studio will be cold, that makeup will be applied to their faces, and that it will be a super great and crazy experience. Tune in to watch Marissa, Jarrett and Mike blow peoples' minds--and in the meantime, have yr mind blown by watching this clip below.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vortis Record Release Party - This Thursday, August 20th!

This thursday night, Chicago's bare-wire punks, Vortis, will be celebrating the release of their s/t new album!  It's at Reggie's Rock Club, doors are at 8 pm... don't miss it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

What do John Hughes and BOAT have in common?


In a review of "Lately" from BOAT's upcoming album Setting The Paces, Pitchfork lines BOAT to all of Hughes' Anthony Michael Hall characters.

Writing about Sixteen Candles on Tumblr, Tess Lynch recently argued that the film's ending gives us not what your grown-up selves want to happen, but what your teenage selves would've wanted. Lately, BOAT sound like they've been looking back, too.
Head on over and read more!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Portland Cello Projects Blows the Doug Fir OUT!!

Whoa, just saw our first bit of video footage from the Portland Cello Project's Extreme Dance Party at the Doug Fir last weekend.  SOLD OUT! They'll be playing again soon, promise...

Brian Perez and Portland Cello Project

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New BOAT song available for download!

I know you're itching to listen to the brand new BOAT album!  Well our gal Sara Brickner, fresh off seeing BOAT rock the Sunset Tavern last Friday, has posted "Prince Of Tacoma" for you to download, add to your mixes and then work out to it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

HARVEY DANGER'S SEAN NELSON GUEST BLOGS FOR ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!, from Entertainment WeeklyHarvey Danger's Sean Nelson: guest blogger!

Just as so many of their ’90s peers are clawing their way back to the scene, the men of Harvey Danger — you probably know them because of 1998’s“Flagpole Sitta” — have decided to call it quits.

“After 15 years, three albums, hundreds of shows, and far more twists and turns than we ever imagined possible, we’ve decided to put Harvey Danger to rest. The decision is totally mutual and utterly amicable. Everyone is very proud of the work we’ve done together, but we’ve also come to feel that our collaboration has–in a very positive way–run its course,” the band wrote on their website on May 28th of this year. They announced a string of farewell shows — the first of which istomorrow night at Harper’s Ferry in Boston (careful, that link will start playing “Flagpole Sitta” at high volume) – and are presumably busy dismantling all sorts of business hoo-hah and studio space, or whatever happens when you break up a band.

Here at the Music Mix, however, we were not content to let this charming outfit go quite so quietly into that good night. Since frontman and Seattle man-about-town Sean Nelson is also an excellent writer — he most recently blew our minds with the liner notes for Death Cab’sSomething About Airplanes reissue — we asked if he’d document the final tour here on He very kindly agreed. Sean’s first post will run Monday, recapping the weekend’s events; he’ll write for three more Mondays after that, until the band is finally put to rest.

Anyway, so get excited. And watch the video for “Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo,” below, one of my favorite Harvey Danger songs that does not involve flagpoles. Bonus: Ione Skye!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Awesome Interview With Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson!

Whoaaa dudes!  In preparation for Harvey Danger's Finale Tour, the fine folks at Backbeat Seattle sat down with Sean for a little one on one time and I'll be damned if it didn't turn out to be one of the finest interviews I've read in a while...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Chicagoan Craig Klein, aka The Race, is readying himself for a killer tour with Televon Tel Aviv, AND the 9/8 vinyl and digi-only release of Exiles on St. Ives (the newest imprint in the Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian family of labels). We could not be more pumped...there's a great story behind the process on this one that involves the American Southwest, dusty roads and cans of beans. I'll let him explain a bit about the record himself:

"While touring on our last record, 2007's Ice Station (Flameshovel), we spent several weeks on the road in our van, the Black Boat, frying in the Southwestern sun in places like Pecos, Abilene, Gila Bend, Imperial Sands and Needles. Exhausted late one night, we tried to find a motel room near Odessa, Texas, and pulled into the only motel we'd seen for hours. Without so much as looking up from her tabloid, the prickly clerk at the front desk said, "Everyone's looking for a room tonight, son. We got all kinds of men: Oil Men, Machinery Men, Construction Men, Company Men and Sorry Suckers like you. There ain't no vacancies. You won't find anyplace short of El Paso."

Damn if that clerk wasn't telling the truth. Hours later and a hundred miles from anywhere, we wound up flat on our backs pulled over and delirious on the westbound side of Highway 10. The annual Perseid meteor showers were on, and we laid there in awe, staring at the stars and listening to Ravi Shankar on the van's stereo at full blast. Under that widescreen sky, the idea for Exiles came about – it'd be a kind of Judeo-gothic-electric-western, melting the acid westerns and road films of the 60s and 70s with some cracked vision of Old Testament-style fire and brimstone. A couple of days later over tequila in Tucson, I put pen to paper for the song "Clack"-- and headed west from there.

Back home, I found inspiration in the photography of Edward Curtis, Richard Avedon and the Farm Security Administration, the stories of Moses and T.E Lawrence, the films of Warren Oates, Dennis Hopper, Peckinpah, Malick, Jodorowsky, Hellman, Roeg, and in the sounds of country, blues and electronic music.

I collected images and collaged the walls of my shitty little studio, a tiny, windowless blue room packed floor to ceiling with gear, paint chipped and crackling around its busted ceiling fan. I spent a Chicago winter ritualistically holed up in there, projecting myself into an alien-burning world. By day, I was bringing exhibits at the Chicago Public Library to fruition, mostly working on a short film about the history of Chicago's State Street. After work, I'd stick around and look for source material. When I got home, I'd eat the same meal every night --a half can of black beans and a fistful of kale--then I'd get to it. Alfredo Nogueira would come over and play his silver slide and help arrange what fell out. He and I wrote most of the music together. We used a lot of those bits we recorded in the blue room on the album. The rest was laid down later with Josh Eustis from Telefon Tel Aviv on the boards at Benelli Sound Labs. It's the second record we've made together. We came up with a palette of sound, (crusty synthesizers, broken guitars, machine drums, cave vocals) ran it to tape, and out came this record.

Exiles is meant to be an over-the-top listening experience, sonically, lyrically and thematically propulsive, bombastic and windblown, conjuring the desert's dunes, mirages and holy mountains as well as the outlaws, escape artists, searchers, wanderers, drifters, pariahs, prophets, misfits, mystics, miscreants and all the Sorry Suckers who've called the dusty road home. As dark as it may all sound, it was a hell of a lot of fun to make—and, we hope, an enjoyable listen."


Record Release Show

9/06 - Chicago @ Empty Bottle (w/Bloodiest, Ariisk)

The Race / Telefon Tel Aviv Tour

09/08 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Pig

09/09 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo

09/10 – Montreal, QC @ Cabaret du Musee Justte Pour Rire

09/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Bell House

09/12 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge

09/13 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott

09/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kungfu Necktie

09/16 – Washington, DC @ DC9

09/17 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506

09/18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

09/19 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks

09/21 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk

09/22 – Dallas, TX @ Cavern Ale House

09/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room

09/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland

09/26 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of The Hill

09/28 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

09/29 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey

10/02 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry

10/08 - Hideout Chicago

Get in touch with me (Joan *at* riot act media dot com) for a digi-copy and/or to talk with Craig, mmmkay? For tour press, hit up (Nathan *at* riot act media dot com), and he'll get you sorted.


Sunday, August 2, 2009


Idaho doesn't just serve up delicious potatoes, as everyone knows--they export magical bands like Finn Riggins, who have just announced their November tour with fellow Idahoans Built To Spill. Doug Martsch & Co. are totally fans, and we have a hunch that you'll fall in love, too. Finn Riggins' newest, Vs. Wilderness, is out 10-13 on Tender Loving Empire. Get in touch!

11/15 Wow Hall EUGENE w/ Built To Spill+ Disco Doom
11/17 The Nightlight BELLINGHAM w/ BTS + DD
11/18 Commodore Ballroom VANCOUVER, BC w/ BTS + DD
11/19 The Showbox SEATTLE w/ BTS + DD
11/20 The Showbox SEATTLE w/ BTS + DD
11/21 Knitting Factory SPOKANE w/ BTS + DD