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 hours ago
A report from Nectar Lounge by Davin Michael Stedman:
I am so proud of this record. Mell Dettmer and Clinton Fearon forever.
Sly Dunbar and One Pop Recording Studio is a big part of this breakout album by the greatest Roots artist writing songs today.
I was on the press list tonight and I bought this for $25 with pride.
Celebrate this local artist that is beloved around the world. Because there is no other Clinton Fearon.
This man has amassed a catalog that is on the same scale and weight of purpose as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. But in the end as a survivor, and as Gladiator he used his overtime here on earth to continue to bang out stellar song after song through his French connections and his unheralded partnership with Miss Meli Dettmer, the Queen of Reggae and Afrobeat production in this Villa.
It's madness to say this is my first time at a full on Clinton Fearon show but it's true. We've shared stages and moments but this is my first time, and this is the most pop and ready for the airwaves accessible record he has produced. But Mell made sure that all that sugar was matched gram for gram with the tremendous fiber you can expect from a Clinton Fearon release.
But it's the season to drop hits, which at Fearon's age is unheard of in Reggae. But again there is only one Clinton Fearon. ... See MoreSee Less
5 days ago
PEEP THIS LINEUP is fire is fire is fire Freakout 7 WOOP ... See MoreSee Less
SMI (Seattle Music Insider) updated their cover photo.
6 days ago
SMI (Seattle Music Insider)'s cover photo ... See MoreSee Less