PHOTOS & SHOW REVIEW: THE SONICS, MUDHONEY, & THE INTELLIGENCE @ THE MOORE THEATER, SEATTLE, WA. 4/2/15

Ah, Springtime, the season of renewal and reawakening! Delicate new green grass appears through the muddy ground, tulips and daffodils and cherry blossoms pop into colorful life...and PUNKS return to rule the earth! Therefore, it could not be a better time for Tacoma, Washington's greatest export, The Sonics -- the best damn garage band in the world -- to return to victorious form. The band have just released an astonishingly-awesome album entitled "This Is The Sonics," their first new music in 48 years. Yes, that's F-O-R-T-Y - E-I-G-H-T, friends, and it is just as dynamic and powerful and fun as their original bash-'em-out records of the mid-'60s. How?? How is this possible? Are The Sonics magical warlocks who have discovered the eternal remote-control opener to the Golden Garage Door? Was it even possible that they could replicate this Sonic Tsunami live?? Well, I am here to answer these burning questions, having attended The Sonics' tour-opening show featuring Mudhoney and The Intelligence at Seattle's historic Moore Theater last Thursday night. READ ON!


PHOTOS & SHOW PREVIEW: THE SONICS RETURN TO BLOW YOUR MIND WITH "THIS IS THE SONICS" (2015)

“We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity. We would call forth in our minds the image of Paul Revere, riding through the American night, petitioning the people to wake up, to take up arms. We too would take up arms, the arms of our generation, the electric guitar and the microphone.” 
― Patti SmithJust Kids
If your heart is dedicated to rock n' roll, as mine is, you understand what Patti is talking about. Music isn't a passing fancy, a background noise, a throwaway thing...it is your passion, your best friend, the driving force, and the greatest joy throughout your life. You will support and defend it until the end, because music does more for you than it is possible to express with words. This is why The Sonics' slammin' new record "This Is The Sonics" is downright heroic to me: to return after nearly 50 years to record an album just as kickass, relevant, and damn punk as their very first release in 1964 and then go on tour is so beyond extraordinary as to be inspirational. The Sonics are the coolest there ever was and will ever be!

The Sonics really were the very first garage/punk band, blasting out of the happening Pacific Northwest rock scene in the early '60s with their unrelentingly and unapologetic hard-hitting rock, made from gritty guitars, cacophonous trash-can drums, surf sax, and bad boy vocals. Lay on top of that some spooky/creepy/fun lyrics in songs like "Psycho," "The Witch," and "Strychnine," and you had a band whose unique sound created a musical influence that strongly continues into today, into not only garage and punk, but grunge, alternative, and metal. But as is so common, even the coolest bands have lives to live, and after recording an album that they were unhappy with in 1967, the members dispersed to other pursuits like college, work, and the Vietnam War. There were a couple of one-off reformations of the band in later years, but it wasn't until now that The Sonics decided to deliver their full-on, take-no-prisoners, awesome auditory assault once again. What's a half-century, eh?

"This Is The Sonics," recorded in "earth-shaking mono," is a triumph and an affirmation of the spirit of the garage: nasty, aggressive, crazy and fun as hell. These guys beat back Father Time with what must be the devil's drumsticks, because the energy throughout the record is jaw-dropping, bettering bands with members 50 years younger. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE and admire that they just WENT FOR IT and gave it everything they had. It'll rip your face off, son. (Side note: when I was playing the album through for the first time and heard they covered The Kinks' "The Hard Way" from Schoolboys In Disgrace I about jumped out of my chair in delight and went "WHOOO YEAH!!) Buy this record immediately!

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to attend the first record-signing event for "This Is The Sonics" at Silver Platters in Bellevue, WA. I was so excited to be there that I hardly knew what to do with myself. Seeing fans there that ranged from granddads to grandkids made my entire being smile. The Sonics have two more meet n' greets for the Seattle area -- TONIGHT at Easy Street Records in West Seattle, and Wednesday, April 1st at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard, so be sure to head out there and show your support!

FURTHERMORE and IMPORTANTLY, The Sonics headline the Show To Beat All Shows at Seattle's Moore Theater on Thursday, April 2nd with grunge supahstahz Mudhoney, and my very favorite post-punk princes, The Intelligence. Tickets are still available, and I just cannot stress enough that you NEED TO BE THERE. Seriously, do what you have to do, sell some blood, pawn your wife, whatever...GO!

The Sonics have indeed taken up arms once again. Join the revolution!

(As always, click on the photos to enlarge and click on the Flickr set link to see more!)

The Sonics, Silver Platters, Bellevue, WA. 3/30/15 Flickr set






















































Thank you Jen Stippich, Silver Platters, Kitty Page, and The Sonics!!

VIDEO: TEN OF THE "WORST" KARAOKE PARTICIPANTS!

I am super-new to the entire karaoke thing. I KNOW I KNOW, I'm the latest to the party EVER, but it was not in my universe until recently as I was busy brushing the dog and researching hot water heaters. Anyway, my birthday is coming up in a week and it so happens I am having a bit of a karaoke party at a local club. Will I actually get up the nerve to sing? Well, we shall see. If I do, I hope for the sake of everyone there and all humanity that I do a better job than these poor sods. If I don't...watch for me on YouTube. Please to enjoy!


NINE '60s/'70s-ERA PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS THAT TERRORIZED ME AS A CHILD!

Like nearly all of my age-cohorts, I spent great swaths of time watching TV. "Watching" really isn't the best way to describe it -- it was more like "immersed" in TV, wholly unavailable to the world outside the box, attending with the sponge-like nature known to young children. Everything was important, everything was real, everything was teaching me something, wildly inaccurate or not. To this very day some 50 years later, I can still recall the the jarring or creeping dread some well-intentioned and obviously powerful PSAs had upon my young psyche. They were micro-horror movies, crafted to to pack a wallop, and IT WORKED! Now, via our friend the Interhaps, I can share my ancient traumas with you, so please to enjoy these films that implore you not to do bad things!


HERE ARE FOURTEEN MORE WEIRD THRIFT STORE RECORD COVERS!

I'm thinking of returning to my high school days and plastering all my interior home walls with these oddities from the vinyl past. Maybe the exterior walls, too. There are certainly ENOUGH of these to complete the job! I think after doing this I would either be laughing all the time or lose my marbles. Walk with me again into Strangeville, won't you? Please to enjoy!

Oh, man. Just study this one for awhile. The orange skullet. The 1000-points-of-light trumpet. The celestial breaking of slave chains. SWOON!


PHOTOS & SHOW REVIEW: TWEEDY, THE MINUS 5 @ THE NEPTUNE THEATER, SEATTLE, WA. 3/12/15

I was so pleased to note that last Thursday was a truly glorious weather day here in Seattle: sunny skies, a warm 60+ degrees, with nary a drop of our infamous gloomy rain in sight. It was only fitting that the weather gods gave a kind greeting to Tweedy as their tour buses rolled in to park alongside the popcorn-scented Neptune Theater, because they bring an awful lot of good with them to us. Tweedy is the father-and-son musical team of Jeff and Spencer Tweedy, Jeff being best known for his 20-year leadership of the marvelous band Wilco, and for being a brilliant songwriter, swoon-worthy singer, and rather excellent musician. Spencer is also a impressively accomplished person, and at 19 years of age has already developed seriously exceptional skills as a published writer, photographer, and musician. I don't drop these big ol' positive descriptive adjectives around lightly, my friends, so heed my effusion: if you didn't know it, these two are the real creative deal. It was my great pleasure to see Tweedy LIVE IN CONCERT and to photograph said concert with my large camera device.

video


FIFTEEN RATHER DISTURBING THRIFT STORE KNICK-KNACKS!

I dunno, man. I mean, you know, everyone is beautiful in their own way, peace n' love, and all that, but I AM STRUGGLING to understand HOW and WHY some of these really strange home decor items were ever designed, manufactured, sold, and DISPLAYED in someone's HOME. I guess my ceramic horror is someone's else adorable conversation piece. Anyway, wherever you might land on this scale, please to enjoy these now!

video

ELEVEN WEIRD RECORD COVERS AND KNICK-KNACKS FROM THE VALUE VILLAGE IN ISSAQUAH, WA.!

It's an exciting day for me when a new thrift store opens in my general vicinity, for it means even more opportunities to find oddities to share with you! It was also exciting to see a tall, grey-haired gentleman playing with a broken white porcelain unicorn music box, giggling at its sad sounds. Anyway, here's 11 more fun things I found, so please to enjoy!

The Lady and The Tiger was a proposed Disney movie, but was scrapped when the treatment mentioned that the Tiger consumed his bride directly after their wedding, and the entire rest of the film featured him making jokes about his wife's flatulence-inducing gastrointestinal journey.



























POPTHOMOLOGY IS SEVEN YEARS OLD...SOMEBODY, CALL CNN! OR WATCH KIDDIE A-GO-GO FROM 1969!

February 28th provides me with the opportunity to to express how seriously happy and amazed and grateful I am that YOU, YES, YOU are reading this. Back on February 28, 2008, I started this blog with no plan other than to have a place to put some ideas and creative work that had been backlogged for many years. Whaddya know, up through the ground came a bubblin' crude, and we are both still here! That is something that pleases me so much, because if I have the opportunity to deliver to you something that makes you smile or laugh or think or cry or dance or get inspired, there's really nothing better. Well, OK OK OK, if I shut this mofo down and went into a lab and cured cancer, THAT would be better. But since I never took chemistry in school I guess you will have to settle for this. Thank you so much for spending part of your day with me, sharing posts with your friends, and sometimes even letting me know that you specially liked some. After seven years, it is still quite a thrill.

My little gift to you today is an episode of Chicago's "Kiddie A-Go-Go" children's dance program from 1969, in three parts. In 1969, I turned seven years old, so would have been around the same age as many of the kids you see in the video. Holy crap, that flips my wig. If I had lived a little closer to Chicago at that time, I would've BEGGED to have been on "Kiddie A-Go-Go." I guess I'll have to figure out how to produce "Golden Years A-Go-Go" now, so WATCH THIS SPACE!



























I MADE YOU SOME GET WELL CARDS (2015)


365-WORD MICROFICTION: "JUDY"

After ten years of thinking it each time I saw her face, finally, I said it to her. We didn’t really have the kind of relationship that was of this depth, but I said it anyway.

“Judy, I always have the feeling somehow that the world is breaking your heart.”

Her face dropped slightly in surprise, and she took her gaze away from mine to stare at something, or nothing.  An orange-y ray from the afternoon sun pierced through her wine glass, making a pretty light pattern on the table. A minute or two passed.

“Do you know that song, the old jazz one that goes, ‘Is that all there is?’” she quietly asked me, or somebody, or nobody.

“Yes,” I nodded, even though she still wasn’t looking at me. Another pause.

“Nothing is like how I thought it would be. Nothing is right. My life is going by and it will have meant nothing at all. I try to be grateful, and I am, I really am, but I feel like a failure.” Judy turned towards me, her face flat with exhaustion, eyes bright.

I watched a water droplet slide down my glass, and I traced its path with my finger. I sighed. I didn’t at all know what to say, until I knew exactly what to say, and it came tumbling out.

“In-between all the dreams and hopes and wishes and expectations that are put on us or that we make for ourselves…the gap between that and reality, is what being human is. It’s where all of us are all the time! All of us! That open field where possibility still exists, where we don’t know, good or bad, what our lives are going to be or what they will mean, because we can’t know. We balance the dreams and the boundaries, and this makes up our lives. It’s excruciating…and absolutely, crushingly beautiful. That struggle is what we are. It’s OK. It’s OK.”


She stared at me, and tears began to stream down her face. I began to loudly sing “Judy’s Turn To Cry,” and she laughed and I laughed until we were out of breath, not caring who, if anyone, saw us.


I MADE YOU TEN VALENTINE'S DAY CARDS (2015)


TEN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS I THINK SHOULD EXIST

MEDS.

AMIRITE?

ERR BUDDY ON DA MEDS.

Young, old, healthy, infirm, yes...it seems just about everyone in America is regularly taking some kind of medication, to the infinite delight of Big Pharma. Now don't get me wrong -- most meds are a magnificent benefit to living in Our Moderne Tymes. They can prevent Small Illness from becoming Big Illness, and Big Illness from becoming Actual Final Death. Hooray for Science! But are we an overmedicated society, too fast to pop pills for the slightest reason? Probably. Yet there are some conditions that remain unaddressed by the pharmaceutical industry, and so I have helpfully gone ahead here with my suggestions which should jumpstart their creation. Please to enjoy!


VIDEO: "SPEED METAL DOG"

Sometimes there is a video. Sometimes there is a song. Sometimes, the video and the song need to meet. Please to enjoy Speed Metal Dog!



Speed Metal Dog from Marianne Sp on Vimeo.


I MADE YOU A CHILDREN'S BOOK NOT FOR CHILDREN: "IS TED PARANOID?" (NSFW)