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I went to five concerts in November 2009 and one in December 2009, but only took notes at two of them, and again not very extensive notes. So here's another summary post.

First up was Hotels at the Crocodile on November 2, with Alligators and Apes of Wrath opening. Alligators had a good modern art/pop rock sound; I spoke with their manager later, who aptly compared them to Supertramp. Apes of Wrath were on the punk side of upbeat post-punk rock, and played a tight, energetic set. Hotels of course were great as always, or at least I expect so; I didn't take any notes on their set, as there are only so many ways to keep saying I love their music. 

Next, I went with a few friends to check out KJ Sawka playing at Heaven on November 6, along with a DJ whose name I didn't get down. No notes for this show; I'm sure Sawka played his usual solid set, though I tend to prefer when he has guest musicians rather than playing solo. 

On November 18, I went to Nectar Lounge for an unusual show. Billed as a "musical journey," it began with Thione Diop & Yeke Yeke playing the music of West Africa ("departure), BeleBá playing Cuban rhumba ("layover), and finished with Tubaluba playing New Orleans funk ("arrival"). It was a lot of fun hearing great dance music from styles I don't usually listen to. I remembered writing something about Tubaluba, and thought I'd made a blog post, but no, it was just a comment on Twitter: "for a good old-fashioned N'Orleans party time, check out the band Tubaluba. Great stuff."

For another unusual show, Cairo and the Anne Bonney (now closed) held "Expo 87", a small three-day music and art event. I attended on Friday November 20 so that I could see one of my favorite local bands, CMYK, do their usual set of great soulful dance pop. I also went to see Rachel Ratner's "Seattle Band Map—A Cartographic Study of Musical Incest" project, a huge diagram showing the interconnections among as many Seattle-based bands as possible. Check it out, it's pretty cool. Besides the photos on that blog, I have a few photos of the map and my own contributions here on Flickr.

To finish November, I was back at the Crocodile on the 21st for Head Like A Kite, with Foscil and the Animals at Night. The Animals at Night not only had a full quartet of musicians, not only a trio of backup singers as well, but also brought out country-western musician Brent Amaker to sing a remix of his song "I've Got a Little Hillbilly in Me". The Animals at Night were groovy or soulful or even a little hillbilly, but they also brought the rock. Foscil was a band I saw back in 2005—or at least I thought I had, but I remembered them being a group of four guys at a table-full of synthesizers and electronic gear. This time, they were still a quartet but had a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, including one player alternating on trumpet, clarinet, and bass clarinet. They played jazz/art rock with an electronic base, and I thought it was good but a bit odd placed with the other two bands. Finally, Head Like a Kite always put on a crazy dance party at every show, and did not disappoint this time with multiple guest backup singers and costumed dancers. Both Greg Markel and Brent Amaker came out for guest spots, as did a very heavily pregnant Barb Trentalange for lead vocals on "Daydream Vacation". From electroclash to funk, indie rock to trip-hop, Head Like a Kite played a killer set. I have a too-dark-and-too-far-off set of photos from this show here on Flickr.

Finally, December has proven to be a tough month to catch a show, even though there are often several good ones. 2009 was no exception, as i only made it out to the KEXP Yule Benefit on December 12, and only because I was volunteering to help. The lineup included Grand Hallway opening, followed by the Builders and the Butchers, the Cave Singers, and the Thermals closing. I wasn't particularly excited about any of the bands, but did like all of them well enough; unfortunately I missed Grand Hallway, the rest put on a good show. 

And that finally covers all the shows I went to in 2009. Now to get started on reviewing 2010… hopefully I can return to more timely reviews for 2011. 


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