Wednesday, July 28, 2010

get with the beat

I want to take this opportunity to shamelessly promote for a friend of mine. This is going to feel like the 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon game (I'm a 3) but it will all make sense in the end.

To begin with we have Beat Happening. Pure delectable raw goodness, like fresh honey or warm bread. Beat Happening clung to their independent roots fiercely, sticking it out with vocalist Calvin Johnson's own K records rather than going on to corporate fame. Calvin Johnson is an indie hero of the Pacific Northwest (or PNW as we call it). While at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, Calvin not only rocked his own band, but was also involved with K, the Sub Pop fanzine (which I used to read and wish I still had copies of) which eventually lead to the record label (which I had on all of my first 3 cars) and later was in the Halo Benders with Doug Martsch of Built to Spill(see post back when you were cool) among his many other project.

In the likely event that you aren't aware of K records here are a few bands that have put out albums with K:
Beck, Built to Spill, Girl Trouble, Melvins, Modest Mouse, Pansy Division, Shonen Knife, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Thee Headcoats.

If you have Netflix like most of America I recommend clicking over to the documentary "The Shield Around the K: the story of K records". You can stream it instantly, and it is a great music history of the 90's in Washington state, where the grunge and riot grrrl musical movements began.

Now back to the beginning, and the shameless promotion. My friend Grace, who I met when I was 15 and was my reliable alibi for the many times when I slipped of to see a show with or without her, is now a DJ at KAOS radio in Olympia, Washington at Evergreen State College. See the connection?

Grace has a show on Sunday nights "Our Lady of KAOS" at 8 PM (Pacific) featuring all the ladies who rock our world. You can stream it or just pick up Grace's play lists each week and search them out on your own via Napster or iTunes or Amazon.

Should you be in the unfortunate position of never hearing Calvin's voice before, it's easily remedied;just turn on your speakers and slide over to the play list. He has a wonderfully deep voice, and grumbles like a gravel truck on a gravel road, and like a long bumpy road trip, once you settle in it is incredibly soothing. Dreamy is my favorite album.

I am a bit hesitant to skip over Maximo Park on this blog post but I promise to get back to them at a later date. In the meantime, here are the songs of the day on my countdown to school.


Today's songs of the day are brought to you...
by the letter "M": "apply some pressure" - Maximo Park
and the number "14": "fourteen" - Beat Happening

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