Taking Back Sunday w/ The Subways and Forgive Durden
Thursday, July 27 – 7:30pm
The Premier – Tix at www.ticketswest.com / $25
Sundays are no longer a drag. This according to Taking Back Sunday, the hard rock band that has emerged on the music scene like a category five hurricane. The group released their indie label debut Tell All Your Friends in 2002, shortly after the quintet took formation in Amityville, New York. From there, it’s been all uphill. 2004’s Where You Want to Be debuted strongly at number three on Billboard’s top albums chart, selling more than 160,000 copies in its first week of release and went on to sell over 700, 000 copies total. The band, comprised of Adam Lazzara (vocals), Fred Mascherino (guitar, vocals), Eddie Reyes (guitar), Mark O’Connell (drums) and Matt Rubano (bass), became an instant favorite on MTV and Fuse music video networks.
Louder Now is Taking Back Sunday’s third effort and the five-piece unit’s debut on a major label, Warner Bros. Since its late April 2006 release, the CD has held a position on Billboard’s top albums chart. The first single, “MakeDamnSure”, received heavy rotation on mainstream rock radio stations across the country, and on MTV and Fuse channels. Taking Back Sunday was also tapped to record the theme song for the Fantastic Four video game, an accompaniment to the blockbuster action-futuristic movie. Last month, they opened two sold out shows with Grammy winners Green Day at England’s Milton Keynes National Bowl. Does this spell success? You bet your Old Navy cargo shorts it does! These guys, cutie pies individually and rock stars collaboratively, are floating on a very impressive cloud these days.
Taking Back Sunday is on a summer US tour, following a series of sold out dates throughout the UK and Europe, which brings them to Seattle on Thursday night. “The Music Lounge” column this week features an interview with the group’s bassist Matt Rubano, where he says concertgoers sing along madly at their shows and we can expect the unexpected from lead singer and sexymotherfucker Adam Lazzara. Gay boys and gals into hard rock, with an alternative twist, might want to consider checking this band out, especially in a tight space like The Premier. The venue is located in the Sodo District, just south of the baseball and football fields, and a block away from Starbucks headquarters. This promises to be a loud and thrilling show. Upstart bands The Subways and Forgive Durden open the concert. – A. Rodriguez
Pre-concert CD recommendation: Louder Now featuring “MakeDamnSure”, “Miami”, “Twenty-Twenty Surgery” and “Divine Intervention”.
Thursday, July 27 – 8:00pm
Moore Theatre – Tix at www.ticketmaster.com / $30.00-$33.50
There’s always been a special place in my heart for bands that are beat up, bloodied, or bruised on their album covers. Something intensely appealing about a good black eye, as if the band in question had been around the block a few times to make it into your hot little hands. David Bowie has done it exceedingly well, The Jam, even Andrew W.K. a few years back. The Raconteurs, whose name alone implies a pack of renegade thieves, look every inch the band of bloodied romantics on the cover of this year’s Broken Boy Soldiers (Third Man/V2 Records).
All four members of The Raconteurs are quick to emphasize that the sum of the band is greater than all of its talented parts. Made up of The White Stripes founder Jack White (guitar, vocals, keys), power pop prodigy Brendan Benson (guitar, vocals, keys), Jack Lawrence (bass), and Patrick Keeler (drums), both of The Greenhornes and recently, country diva Loretta Lynn’s rhythm section. With such distinctive and successful careers leaving an imprint on everything they do, it’s no wonder the band must stress that they are not a vanity project for Jack White, not a distraction for prolific songwriter Brendan Benson. Catch them Thursday night at Seattle’s Moore Theatre and they will set out to prove it.
Broken Boy Soldiers sounds very much like an equal part venture. There’s some Southern rock, catchy power pop, chunky riff rock, and a handful of Lennon/McCartney harmonies thrown in. Each song carries enough weight to stand on its own- there are no lackluster throwaways here. Yet the democratic “follow your musical instincts” approach is apparent in the very distinct flavor of each song. “Blue Veins”, the scorching bluesy album closer, feels like a more filled out White Stripes track; the brilliant “Call It A Day”, with its thoughtful and painstaking breakup lyrics, sounds like it could only have been penned by Brendan Benson. With all four members now living in Nashville and White, Keeler, and Lawrence having worked on Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose (2004), the only musical genre surprisingly absent on the album is country.
The Raconteurs hit upon another great band hallmark in keeping each song to a punchy three- minute shakedown. White says that for the recording, songs were actually cut back to make the album leaner. In concert, The Raconteurs plan to extend the songs and stretch out their playing as they see fit. “It’s always good to leave someone wanting more. I’m not sure you should exhaust people on an album,” said White recently. “But I do like to exhaust them live. See if we can blow them away; see how much they can take.” - J. Browning
Pre-concert CD recommendation: standouts from Broken Boy Soldiers include “Steady As She Goes”, “Intimate Secretary” and “Call It A Day”.
Friday, July 28 – 8:00pm
The Triple Door - For reservations call (206) 838-4333 / $15
Katie Melua hopes to be the Next Big Thing out of Great Britain. She’s well on her way: her debut album knocked Dido from the BBC’s #1 spot three years ago, and her second CD stayed in the European top five for over six months; it was released in the US this June, and thanks to some quirky and interesting videos (particularly “I Cried For You – Mary’s Song” and the first single, “Nine Million Bicycles”) she seems destined to make her mark on the American charts as well.
Enthusiasts compare her to every modern jazz chanteuse from the ethereal (Norah Jones and Eva Cassidy) to the substantial (Diana Krall and Madeleine Peyroux). For me, her albums are mostly promises of greatness to come, but sample her live performances on www.youtube.com and you’ll hear she’s got chops, ranging from smoky and seductive to funky and bluesy all in one song. Her jazz covers can be a little too serious and straight but she makes up for it with spunky originals. Think Alison Krauss with a dash of Corinne Bailey Rae (or a lower-register Kate Bush, if that’s even possible): acoustic guitar, soft orchestration and slow, story-telling lyrics.
Melua (pronounced “mellow-uh”), originally from the once Soviet state of Georgia, now hails from London, and you can hear both countries in her breathy vocals. In 2004, she sold out the Century Ballroom when she toured for her first album, although as of this writing seating is still available for next Friday’s House of Blues show. Seeing her in person should be exciting, especially at a great acoustic venue like The Triple Door. Get there early so you can sample the 3xD’s tasty menu. I recommend the molten chocolate lava cake, with a hint of wasabi! - L. Quenzer
Pre-concert CD recommendation: Piece By Piece, featuring “Shy Boy,” “Nine Million Bicycles” and “On the Road Again” (Canned Heat cover, not Willie Nelson).