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Earlier | Later

The car crash in mid-October didn't keep me down for long; not quite a month later, I was at Chop Suey on Saturday November 13 to see the Bran Flakes, a wacky performance-art band, with Velella Velella and Dat'r. For some reason I actually wrote that review in a timely manner and posted it right away; you can read it in the archives here on my blog. One thing I didn't emphasize enough in that review was that Velella Velella were quite good and I'd like to see them again.

On Monday November 29, I went to the Showbox at the Market to see the Black Angels, with Black Mountain opening. Black Mountain do the early '70s heavy psychedelic rock really well, and it helps them stand out when so many bands seem to look a decade later for inspiration. It now seems inevitable that they'd grow to this level, as their sound filled the Showbox, and although they were the opening band, the place was filled for them. They played a mix of older and newer songs, storming through "Don't Drag My Heart Around" to finish. I'd never thought of the Black Angels as '70s style heavy/dark rock, but they actually fit in very well with Black Mountain. They maintained a cavernous echoy sound even when the guitars or keyboards were grumbling or shimmering beneath. One song, "Telephone", jumped out for its strong '60s sound, making me wonder if it was a cover. (It's not.) They concluded with "Manipulation" and "Empire", both from their debut album Passover. It was a really solid show, with good performances by both bands and a generous use of time at about 75 and 90 minute sets.

For some reason I insisted on taking photos, even though I was far from the stage, so there's a small set here on Flickr.

December is always a tough month for catching shows, with so much going on including my annual trip home for Christmas. This year however I was able to end in style by going to the Crocodile on New Year's Eve to see Head Like a Kite with Fresh Espresso headlining. I can't do a proper review of this show, as I didn't take any notes and I didn't see the whole thing: I missed the opener, which the Crocodile's website tells me was Concours d'Elegance, and I missed about half of Fresh Espresso's set because I was out in the alley watching the Space Needle fireworks with a couple friends. I will say that I found Head Like a Kite surprisingly on the subdued side, not quite the crazy dance party with people in costumes that I expected from past shows, but my guess is that was due to them not being the headlining act. They were still great to hear, though. What I saw of Fresh Espresso was fun, too, although their rap style still isn't quite to my taste. In any case it was definitely one of the best birthdays/New Year's Eves I've spent in Seattle.

And hey, that's 2010! Now I just have a few more reviews to write in order to catch up to the present.

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