club shows

When the pre-mail came on April 28th, alerting us that a KEXP club Triple Door show invite would be sent on the 30th, I just instantly knew it would be for a Cloud Cult performance and I was right. Which pretty much made my week.

As always, it’s an amazing venue for intimate performances and such a treat to sneak off in the middle of the day for a private show. I think I have probably cried at every Cloud Cult show I’ve ever attended –  this time they opened with “Love You All” and yep, my face was drenched in seconds. Then it was 45 solid minutes of overwhelming awesome that got me hyped for the evening show. Except the evening show @ Neumos got sold out during the afternoon, leaving me sans ticket and exceedingly grateful that I got to see the Triple Door show. WTF is wrong with me, not ordering a ticket in advance? Cloud Cult always sells out in this town.



Somehow I missed the memo that Iron & Wine would be in town for 2 shows this week, and both were sold out. But I hauled my ass over to the Capitol Hill Sonic Boom Records plenty early and stood in line for the free in-store performance.

The store was absolutely packed and I’m not sure if everyone even got in. The show was solo acoustic; easygoing, friendly, causal. He hadn’t prepared a set list and after opening with the 8-minute gorgeousness that is “The Trapeze Singer”, every song was by request. Some songs he hadn’t played in a long time, he said, and every now and then a note went adorably awry. The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes, and made me wish I was able to attend the longer show later that night. Pix after the cut, as usual.


The new Crocodile Cafe is still finding its groove, or maybe the new patrons are still figuring the place out. For the second week in a row (Head Like a Kite 4/17, Throw Me the Statue 4/24) the crowd seemed to thin out a little before the final band took the stage. And it seems like some people are there because it’s a new place to go out in Belltown, as opposed to wanting to hear really good local music.

Really good local music like Throw Me The Statue! This is just some quality indie pop right here. Love it. It’d been a few months since we saw them (@ Neumos in December) and, like that show, they had a more raw sound than on their released material. This time I’d also say they weren’t all that tight, but they played with a lot of passion and we were into it.

– (pictures, etc. this way!!)>

I was going to be in Las Vegas anyway, so when I found out that The Hold Steady would be playing the night I arrived, I nearly broke my fingers getting to Ticketmaster as fast as I could :-)

Yep, I landed Monday around 8pm, got a taxi to my hotel, unpacked quickly, and headed straight on up to a cute little club called Beauty Bar. Someone was even getting a manicure in the front barroom when I arrived. I actually didn’t have much opportunity to check it out because the show was outside behind the building in a space that probably fit <500 people. It was a beautiful mild evening in the low 70’s, maybe upper 60’s. Wow.

I had gotten there pretty early so I was able to get right up front and center so I could jump around and wave arms with all the other crazies. I was never more than 3 people deep from the stage at any time, which was extra good because the stage was pretty low. Further back I wouldn’t have been able to see very well. I met a guy who flew in from Detroit for the show(!!) who said he’d seen them 16 or 17 times. In comparison, my 6 or so times doesn’t seem too stalkerish, now does it!

The show itself was fantastic as expected – a nice long set, too. Extended squee and flail and SETLIST and pix after the cut.


Head Like a Kite is one of our favorite local bands. I know, we have a lot of them. We’ll see another one this coming Friday, ha.

Anyway, HLAK really know how to put on a great show. Having great music is the most important part, of course, but they also have great showmanship and energy and a great supporting cast. Onstage, they had a few mannequin heads on poles to help set the atmosphere. Also a fog machine. As usual, members of Animals at Night joined them on stage occasionally, as did about 5 people in furry creature costumes. They also projected a new film behind them during the show, involving Barbie & Ken type dolls in –ahem– sexual situations. There was also a fire (in the film).

How many bands out there can do amazing covers of CSNY’s “Ohio” AND Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue”? I’m telling you, these guys are freaking awesome. Pix after the cut.


It might not be immediately obvious, but mellow Canadian folk-rock made a terrific follow-up a couple days after the high-energy party that was U.S.E.


I was impressed, his voice is just as gorgeous live as it sounds on the recordings. It was really mesmerizing. The crowd was really into it – often you’re out seeing a band and there’s tons of chatter, and it is really annoying at a mellow, quieter show. Not at this one – everyone seemed to be a hardcore fan. I was proud :-)

So it’s been over a week since this show and I regret to say I can’t remember much about the first band, Strength, other than basically enjoying their set.

Velella Velella was up next and I know I’ve heard their name before but had no preconceptions of what they were going to be like. Turned out to be delightfully fun; electronic funk. Sadly I’m going to be out of town when they play at the Tractor Tavern later this week.

U.S.E was, as always, incredible. It was a beautiful, sweaty, mosh-y mess up in front of the stage (we were a little bit back from that, thankfully). They sounded great – it’s been WAY too long since I saw them. I jumped and yelled and put my fists in the air. It’s just not possible to have a bad time at a U.S.E show! 

They played a good mix of songs – a few from the first album, recognizable unrecorded stuff that they’ve been playing for a couple of years, and new stuff I hadn’t heard before. They had a hand-burned & hand-decorated EP with them. A new album is coming out this spring I think, yay!

Photos after the jump…


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