The Royal Basement


The Royal Basement is a blog/podcast focusing on music, art, baseball, cats, and other wonders of life, based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

The Royal Basement is a division of Kentucky Chrome Industries.

Filtering by Category: concert calendar

The Royal Pick for Nov. 1, 2014: PISSED JEANS at Barboza

As you get older, you can glide comfortably (or acceptingly) into the adult world, accepting the tedium and monotony that life often gives you when you accept that comfy office job. Pissed Jeans is an embracing of those jittery voices of daily dissent, celebrating those moments of dark discomfort and adult awkwardness while occasionally tossing a gladly-welcomed splashing and screaming trantrum in the kiddie pool. The four piece from Pennsylvania come from a background full of East Coast hoodie-hardcore, but piece those frenetic elements into concise, well-structured blasts of chuggy, chaos ridden sludge pop. Add frontman Matt Korvette's manic personality and self-effacing observational lyrics and half-serious/half-sarcastic Iggy Pop-isms into the mix, and you have one of the most compelling live bands on the planet right now. Given that the band has embraced the office/family life, they don't tour much, so any chance to see Pissed Jeans (especially on the West Coast) is a "do not miss" affair.  

Pissed Jeans plays at Barboza tonight. Stickers and Vexx open. Show is at 7pm. Tickets are $15.

The Royal Pick for October 20, 2014: SLOAN at the Tractor Tavern

It's easy to use the term "Beatle-esque" to compare any group with multiple songwriters and a decent grasp of vocal harmonies to the Fab Four, but it's definitely not an unfair comparison with Toronto's Sloan. Having just celebrated their twenty year anniversary as a band, Sloan has a surplus of gems in their catalog that they could easily rest on; they've been around long enough to know their strengths and define their sound, but they're still ambitious enough to push at those boundaries and continue to re-define their own rich legacy in the pop universe.  

Take, for example, Sloan's new double LP (Commonwealth). Taking a conceptual nod from Kiss' solo albums, each member of the band takes on a side of the LP, with results ranging from pristine, baroque pop to gauzy shoegaze to the expansive 18 minute long "Fourty-Eight Portraits", which builds from the clanging clatter of machine shop parts up into a rolling, spacy boil and glides along through multiple mini-movements that form together seamlessly. While a lot of power pop artists have dedicated their careers to being fantastic at one particular trick, Sloan is a four-headed monster of songwriters. Those four distinct voices and approaches to pop songcraft compliment and conflict with each other, but hearing a band 22 years into their career embrace that struggle (especially with the segmented nature of Commonwealth) is a rare and beautiful thing indeed.

Basically, if you miss this show, you're a knucklehead. 

Also, please tune in next month for an episode of the Royal Basement podcast featuring Sloan!

Sloan plays at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, WA on October 20, 2014. Tickets are $15. 

The Royal Pick for October 17, 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at The Tractor Tavern

I've never been a giant fan of bands who rely on laptops and synths as their musical foundation. Coming of age in a post-Nirvana world, it's been engrained in me to feel a great sense of distrust with any band who may have backing tracks or just a little too much polish. However,  put some incredibly tasteful songwriters at the head of the project (who also manage to produce giant, complex sounding songs whose layers compliment rather than compete), that red warning light in the back of my head flips off and it's a lot of fun. 

Detroit's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. happen to be that exact beautiful combination, creating perfect plastic pop with legitimately moving/clever songs hidden beneath the sheen. On record, it's a giant, whirring machine that spits out post-millennial Pet Sounds harmonies atop glitchy loops. In a live setting, the band has an incredible polished live show with flashing "JR JR" lights across the stage and giant synchronized video projections, but they aren't afraid to light the fuse and let their songs blow up into bombastic rock and roll. The world of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. truly is a beautiful dream, melding progressive electronica with indie pop in wonderfully unpredictable, anthemic fashion. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Miniature Tigers play tonight, October 17, 2014, at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. Tickets are $16.

The Royal Pick for October 16, 2014: CONSTANT LOVERS

For a while there, Seattle, it looked like the folk rock movement was going to win. Much like the cranes that dot our city skyline, building up yet another squared-off concrete and glass mixed-use monstrosity, the sincere "beardo with acoustic guitar" thing threatened to flatten out and homogenize Seattle's music scene for a while there. Sure, that sort of thing is fine when it's well done (and in small doses), but there's so much more to this place than coffee shop rock. 

Thankfully, there are bands like Constant Lovers who gnash and claw through the beige clutter. Sure, there's a definite tip of the cap to the sound of early 90's Seattle in there (along with a nice melding of some of the finer bits of the Amphetamine/Reptile catalog), but Constant Lovers manage to retain their urgency and freshness, all while writing frantic anthems for the restless and frustrated parts in all of us. This is the soundtrack to our condo apocalypse, Seattle. 

Constant Lovers play with Unnatural Helpers, SSDD and Corey Brewer at The Sunset Tavern tonight. Tickets are $8.

The Royal Pick for October 15, 2014: Bahamas

For those of you in the Seattle area, my Royal Pick for tonight is Toronto's Bahamas and Basia Bulat at the Columbia City Theater. I've written about seeing Bahamas here and here, but still can't get enough of the classic but playful folk-pop that the band makes. If pedigree is your thing, main Bahamanian Afie Jurvanen was an integral part of Feist's live band, and drummer Jason Tait (one of the most impressively versatile and musical drummers I've ever seen) has been manning the kit for The Weakerthans for many years. Jurvanen is an absolutely incredible guitarist, and when he's given a chance to let loose, his playing is dexterous without overstepping the needs of the song itself. As a band, Bahamas seems to never be satisfied with one specific arrangement, and makes a point of constantly tinkering with stripping songs down to necessary parts or adding sparse details to make the songs (and the musicians behind them) really shine. 

Put your eyes/ears on a live cut from their newest record (Bahamas Is Afie) and an extended live set that finds the band covering Alan Jackson and Nirvana in the same sitting. Well played, Afie. 

Bahamas and Basia Bulat play at Columbia City Theater in Seattle, WA on Wednesday, October 15th. Tickets are $14. 

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