Jan 292016
 

Rhine-An Outsider

 

I knew Seattle’s Gabe Tachell was something special when I discovered Duality, the 2011 debut album of his then-solo project Rhine (briefly reviewed here). When I heard it, I became intrigued about what he might do next. But as head-spinning as Duality was, it still couldn’t have adequately prepared anyone for the almost boundless extravagance of the band’s new album An Outsider.

Since Duality, Tachell has surrounded himself with a talented group of other musicians for the band’s live performances (which are strikingly impressive) — guitarist Alex Smolin, bassist James Porter, and drummer Carlos Delgado. But for An Outsider, if I have my facts right, Tachell did everything again other than perform the drums, which were handled by Sean Lang — and that makes the results even more astonishing. Continue reading »

May 012015
 

 

Life is so unpredictable. Some days, it just rains shit in torrents. Other days, it’s almost magical. I had one of those magical days — actually, a magical night — earlier this week (April 29), when Lago, Rhine, and Rat King played in Seattle.

The show was at the resurrected Funhouse, which has now occupied the lounge at El Corazon. Lago (from Phoenix) have been touring the West Coast, and their Seattle stop was the occasion for this event. I’m a big fan of the band, and have been really impressed with Rhine’s recorded music too, so I was very curious to see what both bands would be like live. In my case, Rat King was a complete unknown.

To start with a summation: All three bands were fantastic. And although this is ostensibly a show review (with photos I snapped using my phone), it’s also intended as an introduction to our readers (or re-introduction) to the music of these bands; I’m including streams of their most recent releases along with my comments about their live sets. Continue reading »

Feb 262015
 

 

As I announced a few days ago, we’ve launched a new series at NCS in which we’re inviting readers to submit pieces for publication with the goal of putting the spotlight on lesser known bands from the towns, cities, and regions you folks call home — whether in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. For details about this project, go HERE.

Yesterday we posted the inaugural piece in this series by Grant Skelton (who had the idea for the series in the first place). Hot on the heels of that, I received a submission by Seattle resident Eric Bauer (who has his own blog — “High Defamation” — here). As it happens, Eric’s piece puts the spotlight on a Seattle band that’s one of my favorites — and they’re also a group of very cool people on a personal level.

But I thought, in keeping with Grant’s original idea, that a “Local Focus” piece on Seattle ought to include a few more bands, and so with Eric’s permission I’m adding three to this post following his own feature. Continue reading »