FESTIVAL PHOTOS & REVIEW: CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY 2014, SEATTLE, WA. JULY 25-27

(I was lucky enough to be assisted by Seattle photographer-writer and all-around goddess/badass Suzi Pratt this year at CHBP, so she and I bring you this co-post! All photos © Suzi Pratt unless noted. Please to enjoy!)


FEST PREVIEW: 2014 CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY, SEATTLE, WA. JULY 25-27

(I am absolutely delighted to once again feature here on Popthomology my friend and colleague, Seattle-based writer and photographer extraordinaire Suzi Pratt! Suzi will be bringing you SMOKIN' HOT coverage of the annual Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend, and I am so excited to see her work I am hopping up and down like a kindergartener after a Pixy Stix binge! I will also be popping into CHBP myself to see 'n shoot as well -- woo hoo! Let's get started NOW with Suzi's Fest Preview featuring some of the newer bands you should be sure to check out. Please to enjoy, and check back here for more from CHBP!)




HOW SEARS WANTED YOU TO SPEND THE SUMMER OF 1982!




12 MORE WEIRD KNICK-KNACKS FROM THE VALUE VILLAGE THRIFT STORES IN WOODINVILLE & KIRKLAND, WA.!

My theory™:

After the clusterbang that will be climate change and nuclear holocaust and whatever else nasty we've chosen to inflict upon this fine Earth, all that will be left will be roaches, Rush Limbaugh, and massive piles of curios and knick-knacks.
Of course, I won't be around to see this proven, but I'm pretty confident Rush will be bitterly battling the roaches for title of Knick-Knack Lord Supreme until the sun blows up and everything is reduced to universe-drifting ash. In the meantime, please to enjoy this latest lot of goofball decor!

I dunno, wherever you go these days, it always seems like there's a bunch of damn cocks hangin' out.


17 WEIRD RECORD COVERS FROM THE GOODWILL THIRFT STORE IN BELLEVUE, WA.!

Six things I've learned about people from rummaging through the old record bins at thrift stores:

1. Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, people are dumping your entire recorded works in every thrift store I've been at all over the nation. Sorry.

2. Local religious records are not popular.

3. Nor are recordings of the local high school bands and choruses.

4. One day, all your stuff will smell "old," too. Sorry.

5. Herb Alpert, sit over by Neil and Barbra over there.

6. Mitch Miller, you too.

Well, you can make your own sociological conclusions with this next lot! Please to enjoy!

Well, that's one depressed horse there.




PHOTOS & SHOW REVIEW: REIGNING SOUND, THE INTELLIGENCE, & THE TRIPWIRES @ NEUMOS, SEATTLE, WA. 7/6/14

When I found out several months ago that THIS show was coming to Neumos...



















PHOTOS & SHOW REVIEW: PARTMAN PARTHORSE AND THE GODS THEMSELVES @ RENDEZVOUS, SEATTLE, WA. 7/5/14 (NSFW)

Q: What is more fun than seeing a superb live triple bill at a sweaty Belltown club on a lovely July evening?

1. Staying at home and watching a rerun of "Dance Moms" while clucking your tongue.

2. Organizing your pencils and pens by height and color.

3. Drinking craft beer at the "sustainable sandwich" cafe with people you think have too much money for their own good.

4. Bungeeing jumping on a dare and visibly crapping your pants.

5. NOTHING! NOTHING IS MORE FUN!

A: #5 OR GET OUT



22 MORE WEIRD THRIFT STORE RECORD COVERS FROM WOODINVILLE AND REDMOND, WA.!

Isn't about time YOU made yourself a record? I'm serious! Clearly, if you peruse this post and the many other thrift store record posts I have made, you may correctly surmise that ANYONE can make one! Go ahead! Haul out your powder-blue leisure suit and a slide whistle and do your thing! What's the worst that could happen? Ending up in a thrift store bin and then on Popthomology? LIVE THE DREAM! In the meantime, please to enjoy these!

"Music for dancing and relaxation," huh? If I'm looking at the dude in the lower right hand corner, it's totally "Music for puking up beer later on in the night."


25 WEIRD BOOKS AND KNICK-KNACKS FROM THE VALUE VILLAGE IN WOODINVILLE, WA.!

Here's the question I have in my mind today: did ancient peoples have knick-knacks? You know what I mean...like, did The McHuttersons collect turtle shells to display or did the Swampsteins paint rocks to look like big-eyed wild boar with stain made from berries? I don't think I have to even research this: SURE THEY DID. People love their crap! Here's some more from Le Thrifte Shoppe, with a few oddball books thrown in for good measure. Please to enjoy!

What time is it? IT'S FRIGGIN' BEAR O'CLOCK, THAT'S WHAT TIME IT IS!


VIDEO: "LOUNGE GARAGE" PERFECTED IN SANDY NELSON'S "HEY JOE!" (1966) (MILDLY NSFW)

OK, so "Hey Joe" is already one of my fave rave songs of the 1960s, so I'm up for hearing any version of it I can get my hands on, yeah? This week in my thrift store runs I came across drummer Sandy Nelson's "Superdrums!" LP from 1966 and put it in my cart WITH NO HESITATION AT ALL when I spotted "Hey Joe" as one of the tracks on this instrumental record. I got it home, cleaned it up a lil', and plopped it on the turntable, and this BIG smile came across my face! Wow! What a BOSS GROOVE! Going off the Leaves' superb hit version from the same year, horns replacing the crazy fuzz guitar slices, studio dudes interjecting "HEY! JOE!" every so often, and Nelson's signature rolling triplet fills and propulsive shuffle beat, the song is a time warp stone GAS -- a little cheesy, and a lot rockin'.

I was personally offended that this marvelous song did not have its own YouTube video, so I made one for it using vintage footage featuring dancers of the era, including a marvelously enthusiastic young lady in her undergarments. You might receive a quizzical look from your boss if you play this at work, but hey -- he or she might just bust out with a wicked Frug, too. You won't know until you try! Please to enjoy!

Sandy Nelson, "Hey Joe" (1966)





I MADE YOU A CHILDREN'S BOOK NOT FOR CHILDREN: SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR BOYS AND GIRLS


IPHONE PHOTO MINI-ROUNDUP: GAS WORKS PARK, SEATTLE

It was a gorgeous summer day yesterday in the Pacific Northwest, and we found ourselves at the very unique and cool Gas Works Park in Seattle: From the park website:
This 20 acre point on Lake Union was cleared in 1906 to construct a plant to manufacture gas from coal - later converted to crude oil. Import of natural gas in the 1950's made the plant obsolete. The city acquired the site for a park in 1962. The park was opened to the public in 1975. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter with tables, fire grills and an open area. The former exhauster-compressor building, now a children's play barn, features a maze of brightly painted machinery.
I shot just a few fonephotos and thought I would share them with you. Gas Works Park is a must-do stop on any Seattle visit, travelers!


HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY RAY DAVIES!

Tomorrow, June 21st, the inimitable Ray Davies turns 70 years old. I'm very comfortable with calling him "inimitable," having suffered through many possibly well-meaning attempts by other musicians over the last 50 years or so to jack his style. Writing a pseudo-nostalgic tune about blueberry scones whilst singing with a fake British accent does not cut it, my friends, no, no, and no. Ray Davies became an influential and honored songwriter by running with, through instinct or design, his major strength. He is able to take his razor-sharp observational skills, dust them with equal measures of contempt and compassion, and offer us tiny, perfect song-worlds filled with all-too-human characters that we can relate to, that we can sing along with, and remember always.

In the best of Davies' work, we feel a depth that is not often present in the work of most of his British Invasion songwriter peers, and that does include Lennon/McCartney, Townshend, and Jagger/Richards. The focus is smaller yet sharper, the expected subjects turned around, swagger twisted to anger, love as more of a distant concept than messy, heady reality. When faced with the overwhelming content demands placed on him as the leader and primary songwriter for the Kinks, he turned inward rather than outward for inspiration, so in looking back we now find very little of trendiness or hollowness in his work. Write what you know, sage advice goes, and Davies excels at this because he is able to not only translate from his own personal experience, but can hone in on what is essential to understand about others as well. 

This vision depends upon higher levels of clarity and empathy; these are gifts, to be sure, but ones that also come with a great cost. Seeing humanity in all its beauty and brutality is an overwhelming thing, and it does not come with an "OFF" switch. Without question, Davies has struggled with doubt and deep withdrawal, at times can be cagey and cruel, yet remains far more accessible than the above-mentioned peers, and often is quite kind, even when there is no one to see it or laud it. The contradictions he presents are not so different from our own, but he takes them and makes them into art, often with tremendous wit and balance. He remains, at 70, a man still invested in becoming a better writer, still understanding that staying outside the mainstream and embracing imperfections keeps him fueled. He is fairly amazed by how his career has gone and how much he is cared for, which is actually rather lovely.

Happy birthday, Ray.






I MADE YOU SOME FATHER'S DAY CARDS


SONGS MORRISSEY WOULD PERFORM IF HE DIDN'T CANCEL HIS TOUR BECAUSE OF A COLD

Frail grumpy pop legend Morrissey has, once again, canceled a slew of concerts because of illness. This time, because of a respiratory infection contracted by, his representatives claim, opening act Kristeen Young (which she adamantly refutes, by the way), fans will once again be deprived of an evening of intractable surly emotionalism and middle-aged man chest-baring.

But...what if Morrissey stuck to the ol' showbiz adage "the show must go on?" Hey, it could happen, and if it ever did, I've made up a setlist for him, adjusted to reflect his current tragic circumstances. Sniff sniff, cough cough!

1. Heaven Knows I'm Even More Miserable Now

2. Mouthbreather Strikes Again

3. Really, Still Ill

4. That Sneeze Isn't Funny Anymore

5. Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This Cough Before

6. Snotblowers of The World Unite

7. You Have Infected Me

8. Rhinovirus Beach

9. All You Need Is Kleenex

10. The Last of The Famous Immunodeficient Playboys

Encore:

1. The Boy With The Phlegm In His Lungs

2. Sinusitis Take A Bow

3. This Robitussin Man

4. William, It Was Really Influenza