It was a dark and stormy night last Thursday, but the Soniphone Spook-A-Thon was nothing as rote as the weather. If anything, the dark, wind, and rain enhanced the snug-as-a-bug feel of the Columbia City Theater’s warm, intimate space. It’s a gem of a venue and the perfect setting for up and coming musicians.
Soniphone Records out of Mukilteo is small yet burgeoning; the two bands in its roster both set to release their debut material in the near future. Label owner Kyle Ledford has been working hard for both Johnny Hoffman and The Residents and Shark The Herald, and both bands have been performing multiple gigs in the area in the last few months. With so much going on for the Soniphone folks, it was definitely time for a (costume) party. The crowd and bands alike dressed up as everything from Tom Cruise in Risky Business to a Zissou Frogman to good old pirates and cowboys. The Tilted Thunder Railbirds non-profit roller derby girls were there to officiate a costume contest, with the winners announced at the end of the night.
Northern Shakedown started things off with a groovy R&B hip-hop vibe, bringing to mind Jamiroquai’s biggest hit, “Virtual Insanity.” Keyboardist/rapper Jabreel Stewart was the only one of the two sets of brothers to get into the Halloween spirit, but his muscled Superman costume had enough personality for all four band members. The crowd started bobbing their heads.
Jaunty rock outfit The Requisite leveled things up from there, both musically and in the attire department. Lead singer and guitarist Maxwell Royce and co. blazed through a clutch of tunes that were strut-worthy and sonically tight, at times sounding a bit dreamy and soaring. Their costumes were the best of the night; there was seriously nothing on stage that could compete with Royce’s PBR guitar-toting lion or a drumming Pocahontas. Judging by their performance on this night, it would be a pleasure to see these guys in just their regular duds as well. Royce’s voice is honey-timbred; thick, yet pleasantly clear.
Shark The Herald hails from Everett, and Kirk Rutherford’s vocals are also quite pleasing, although in an altogether different way. Grunge-ish and loud, melodic and crushing, Shark The Herald tips its hat low to the nineties, snagging the best monster riffs and modernizing them to everyone’s benefit. Rutherford’s voice has a serious strength that could be put to use quite a bit more often; his screaming and wailing inject necessary depth and emotion into the band’s doozy jams. The crowd swelled to the front of the stage during the set, hollering their approval. They were duly rocked.
Johnny Hoffman and The Residents sewed it all up with a brash punk set that was surprisingly good. Johnny came on stage looking like a cross between Bob Dylan and a zombie that had joined the Kiss Army, while drummer Frico Suave went for the more conservative look with a Misfits skull on his hooded face. Hoffman exuded a devil-may-care attitude that started with his hasty makeup application and was emphasized by his rowdy guitar riffs and flamboyant stage presence. Frico was a superb, badass drummer, hard-hitting and a joy to watch and hear. Together, the Everett-based duo coalesced like a dirty force of nature, the messy, fuzzy guitar smacking against the drums in a satisfying way. Hoffman’s voice, while not particularly strong, has a fascinating tone to it that evokes the essence of pissed-off disaffected youth, a bit like Jack White mixed with a smidge of Gordon Gano.
Soniphone Records is one to watch. Look for their new releases soon and keep an eye out for these bands: they’re worth it.
4 days ago
Seattle has been blessed with a few musical St Valentine's gifts that will keep on giving. None brighter than The Chris Poage Band's new masterpiece 'Bad Weather'.
We will dive deeper into detail and this story in the days to come. A solo artist like Chris is many ways a ring leader of sorts. A talisman that inspires his tree to be dressed with the genius that befits him, and these are the holiday gifts that lay at our feet.
Making an animation of any music video is no small feat, and we at SMI are proud to help him tell this story. Send us more music to premier or just pass along.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=1GYyRsritN8&feature=youtu.be ... See MoreSee Less
5 days ago
This was Big Business at Tony V's Garage last night. Everett Music Initiative helped present a hard hitting evening of absolute rock.
Songwriter and one man band extraordinaire Jeremy "Steel Beans" Dibardi was convinced to take some air from his secret Everett studio lair to shoot these photos for SMI.
Rumor has it Steel Beans is among the artists being announced for Fisherman's Village Music Festival this year at their announcement party Feb 28th. But that cannot be confirmed nor denied.
- Dylan Van Keef, gossip columnist ... See MoreSee Less