Big changes are headed your way with Tacoma Weekly’s online music coverage. Since I came on board at the beginning of this month, I have been working with Tacoma Weekly’s resident web guru, Cedric Leggin, to come up with new ways we can expose this region’s rich and diverse music scene. The first idea we are unveiling is something we call the Weekly Mix Tape. The idea is that, once a week, we will showcase a dozen tracks from independent artists from around the Northwest, but mostly from the greater Tacoma area. You can give 'em a listen or two, click on links to bands' Bandcamp.com pages; and, if you like, maybe spend a few ducats at Rocket Records, Hi-Voltage and other fine establishments that carry local music. Our inaugural mix is up and ready for your listening pleasure at http://www.tacomaweekly.com/mixtape. But, before you aim your browsers that way, here is what a couple of this week's “mixees” had to say about their work.
“Walking Away” by Bandolier
Seattle and Covington-based Bandolier is Lino Fernandez on guitar and vocals, Kyle Hill on keys and vocals, Joel Sayson on bass, Samir Baillie on drums and new singer, Sadie Adams. And this dreamy ballad from their “Yellow EP” is a good intro to the band’s sound, which straddles twee-pop and old school soul. “Our former singer Whitney Carlaw wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music,” says Fernandez (whose brother, coincidentally, can be seen on pg. B2 in this edition of Tacoma Weekly). “You can say that she's hunkered down with a new dream-pop band that's being built from the ground up.” Your next chance to catch members of Bandolier in action is at Seattle’s Sunset Tavern on Nov. 1. Granted, they will not be playing their own tunes. It is the Cure vs. the Smiths cover night, a fundraiser for Fernandez, who busted his ankle in a scooter wreck. Ouch! Meanwhile, you can sample more Bandolier at http://bandolier.bandcamp.com/.
“Dandylions Gold” by Fun Police
The normally rowdy “Bullies in Blue” showcase a more introspective sound on this cut from last year’s “Clown Control” album. Front man Kevin Schulz (a.k.a. Ranger Ruffhousen) wrote it one summer as he and singer Holley Van Wagoner (Veteran V-Dub) were train hopping their way to Pasco. The pensive refrain: “The hardest thing in life is not getting what you want, it’s deciding what you want.” “I’m such a generalist that I’ve never been able to pick exactly where I want to go,” Schulz says. “I’ve never been able to specialize in one area. And most of the people around me are the same.” Point of disclosure: I have been known to dress up as Seattle super-hero Phoenix Jones and join this band onstage for the song they wrote about him. There is even video evidence of the YouTube variety. But for more on the Fun Police head to http://www.reverbnation.com/thefunpolice1.
Also in this week's mix: The Plastards, Ben Union, Big Wheel Stunt Show, Argonaut, Phasers on Kill, Jeanlizabeth, China Davis, Full Moon Radio, Jori and the Push and Bodybox. So how do I get in on that action, you ask? If your Northwest-based band has fresh cuts that you want to be considered for the Weekly Mix Tape, e-mail download links to firstname.lastname@example.org or, hey, send us a bona fide CD. We like checking out your cover art. Send those to:
Ernest Jasmin, c/o Tacoma Weekly, 2588 Pacific Highway E., Tacoma, Wash. 98424.