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Whiskey River pics from Club Galaxy show Sept. 11 | Slideshow

September 15th, 2010 at 3:52 pm by Shawn Skager
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Powerhouse Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute and classic rock cover band Whiskey River poured into the Muckleshoot Casino’s Club Galaxy on Sept. 11, bringing along a heaping helping of Southern Rock and several of Skynyrd’s finest tunes.

The band played two sets, the first a Skynyrd tribute featuring a taste of the Southern Rock progenitors finest tunes, including “That Smell,” “I Know a Little” and “Gimme Back My Bullets.” After a brief break the band returned for a set of classic rock mainstays, including tunes by Free, Rick Derringer, Boston and Foghat.

For more information visit the band’s Web site here.

This Saturday you have a chance to make a difference.
Beginning at 7 p.m., Sept. 11 at The Club Formerly Known as Adrian, at 5601 South Puget Sound Ave. in Tacoma – Blue Hair Dave, Rane Stone, Dudley Taft, Kill Devil Rum Club and Big Wheel Stunt Club will play acoustic sets with the $10 ticket price going towards Tacoma’s New Phoebe House Association.
Since 2002 The New Phoebe House has provided housing, services and support to women and children whose live has been impacted by substance abuse. The house, a nine bedroom Victorian home, provides a safe place for more than 55 women and 25-55 children each year. The house allows residents the chance to recover from challenges, giving them a clean and sober place to rebuild the skills needed to function. This includes classes on financial literacy, GED classes, college courses, counseling and outpatient treatment for addiction, sexual trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression and the lasting affects of childhood abuse.
The $10 ticket donation for Saturday’s show, sponsored by Holy Grounds Espresso and the Northwest Music Scene, will go towards helping The New Phoebe House continue it’s work.
For organizers Reanna Bettencourt and Jim Rooth, it’s a cause close to their heart.
Bettencourt, a recovering drug addict, stayed at The New Phoebe House in 2005, after being released from jail and said it was instrumental in helping her get on the road to recovery.
“It was a safe place for me to be,” Bettencourt said. “I was just out of a domestic violence situation and trying to get clean.”
Bettencourt said her 18 months living at the house helped lay the foundation for her recovery.
“It’s very structured,” Bettencourt said. “I kind of didn’t like that. But I knew that was what I needed. It was good when I went there. It’s better now. They really provide for the women and children.”
Although all the usuals hassles of organizing an event of this magnitude are still present, Rooth said it’s easier to deal with because of the cause.
“When people come together and commit to something, it comes together real easy,” Rooth said.
“I’d like to make this a yearly event,” he added. “It feels good, really good, to be able to give back.”
For more information on The New Phoebe House visit their Web site.
For more information on the benefit show visit the Facebook event page.
Tickets are $10 and available by calling Jim Rooth at 253.571.8131 or Reanna Bettencourt at 253.988.9139.

Alright, here is a gang of pictures from day at the KISW Pain In The Grass show, Aug. 28 at the White River Amphitheatre. Unfortunately I was only able to stick around for Black Label, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd and Drowning Pool, so my apologies for not getting pics of the other fine bands on the bill, including Godsmack, Shinedown, Post Modern Heroes and My Darkest Days.

By the way Sevendust killed it. Enjoy.

KISW 99.9 FM Pain In The Grass 2010, Aug. 28 at the White River Amphitheatre, Auburn, Wash.

The lowdown on The Showdown and their new disc “Blood In The Gears”

August 27th, 2010 at 4:24 pm by Shawn Skager
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There is usually no middle ground when it comes to the roar of a V-Twin Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine. You either love it or hate it.
To some, it’s just noise pollution, a noisy nuisance that is tolerated.
But to others, its pure mechanical music, a discordant ditty that filters through the mind of a Harley-Davidson aficionado and becomes melody.
Tennessee-based The Showdown is much like the V-Twin motor that kicks off their newest offering “Blood In The Gears” (released Aug. 24 on Solid State Records). If you’re not a metal fan already, this band is probably not going to inspire you to run to the mall to trade in your Justin Bieber shirt for some denim and leather.

If you are a fan of aggressive, Southern-groove-inflected-thrash metal (think Pantera, Down and Crowbar) however, then you should dig this album.
The album, The Showdown’s fourth full-length, opens with a Harley idling then devolving into the double-bass of the first track “The Man Named Hell.”
David Bunton – one of two original members, along with guitarist Josh Childers, still in the band – growls and barks his way through the verses on “The Man Named Hell”, propelling the song along before kicking into a more melodic, but still aggressive, voice for the chorus, which provides a break from the pummeling and just makes you appreciate the aggressiveness of Bunton’s angry voice even more.

On the next two tracks, “Heavy Lies The Crown” and “Bring It Down”, the band continues to bludgeon listeners with blast beats, crisp palm-muted guitar riffs and Bunton’s angry voice, before surrendering to their inner redneck on the ballad (yes, I said ballad) “Take Me Home.”
Here, The Showdown offer a mid-tempoed sludgy slab of Southern metal, as catchy and radio friendly as any of the crap currently infesting the air waves, but with a touch of much needed Southern soul.

After kicking back into the angry voice and aggression for the next five songs – “Blood In The Gears”, “Dogma Enthroned”, “No Escape”, “The Crooked Path” and “Graveyard Of Empires – The Showdown again downshift into “Diggin’ My Own Grave”, again a cut that wouldn’t be out of place any rock-oriented station in the country.

Lyrically the album is not a concept album in the strictest terms – the songs do not follow a logical story line – however, the theme of the album remains consistent throughout, with the common thread being the battle of the individual (presumably Christian individuals) versus the faceless, evil perpetuated by society on the whole.

This is best evidenced on “The Crooked Path”, where Bunton declares his desire to break free from societal expectations and norms and live life on his terms, pointing an angry finger and warning those who conform that a reckoning is coming.
“You’re not a man, you’re just a pawn
You may be free, but not for long
You may be black, you may be white
Under the heel you have no rights.”

On the song “Bring It Down” Bunton’s further refines his view that American society is on the wrong path, and that the individual needs to rise and take back the country.
“Our anthem, our prayer, our call to men of will
Abide not one injustice, strike down what makes us ill
Become the change and catalyze, breathe revolution’s air
Become the key and take it back, this world was never theirs”

Although written from a Christian point-of-view, the theme of man versus system is universal, and references to Christianity are unobtrusive, allowing non-Christians to also relate and find meaning in the lyrics.

All in all, “Blood In The Gears” doesn’t break a lot of new ground in the metal genre, either lyrically or musically, but passion, able musicianship and intelligent lyrics carry the album and make it worth listening to.
The band is currently on the road in the South and the Midwest, with the following shows scheduled:
8/27 – Chattanooga, TN – The Warehouse
8/28 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown
8/29 – Hammond, LA – Fuze @ BCM
9/02 – Douglasville, GA – The 7 Venue
9/03 – Charleston, SC – Oasis
9/04 – Jacksonville, FL – Murray Hill Theatre
9/05 – Augusta, GA – Sector 7 G
9/06 – Lynchburg, VA – Crosspoint Venue
9/07 – Johnson City, TN – The Hideaway
9/08 – Newark, OH – Refuel
9/09 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hoosier Dome
9/11 – Corbin, KY – Corbin Tech Center
9/12 – Danville, IL – The Edge

To purchase the album visit the iTunes store.

For more information on the band visit www.myspace.com/theshowdown or www.facebook.com/TheShowdown. Video footage is available here.

Slipknot guitarist Jim Root on stage at the White River Amphitheatre, Oct. 10. Photo by Shawn Skager

On Sept. 28, 2010 Slipknot will release their latest DVD “(sic)ness,” featuring 18 songs from the band’s June 13 Download Festival performance in the United Kingdom. Additionally the DVD will feature bonus features, including a 45-minute short film “Audible Visions of (sic)ness” by M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan (No. 6), capturing moments from the band’s “All Hope Is Gone” tour, four music videos from the band’s platinum selling “All Hope Is Gone” album and a behind the scenes look at the making of the band’s “Snuff” video.

The live footage from the Download Festival will include the following set list:
1. 742617000027
2. (sic)
3. Eyeless
4. Wait and Bleed
5. Get This
6. Before I Forget
7. Sulfur
8. The Blister Exists
9. Dead Memories
10. Left Behind
11. Disasterpiece
12. Vermilion
13. Everything Ends
14. Psychosocial
15. Duality
16. People=Shit
17. Surfacing
18. Spit it Out

For complete details visit the Roadrunner Records Web site here.

Rush picturey goodness.

August 16th, 2010 at 5:14 pm by Shawn Skager
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Originally wanted to post a blog about why Rush is perhaps the best live band in the world. Then I realized that all the people that get it, were at the band’s Aug. 7 White River Amphitheatre show and all the people that don’t or won’t get it, weren’t. Besides those that don’t already recognize the overpowering live prowess of the Canadian power trio, usually seem to have some deep seated reason they don’t like the band, (mommy issues, daddy issues, self loathing, hatred of all thing’s Canadian, fear of high pitched vocals, Peart-envy, etc.) So I decided to just post my pics from the “Time Machine” tour’s stop in Auburn, without a review of how totally awesome the show was. Sorry if you missed it, but here’s the set list from the 3-hour show, which included two sets and the band’s multi-platinum 1981 release “Moving Pictures” played in it’s entirety.

Spirit of the Radio;
Time Stand Still;
Stick It Out;
Workin’ Them Angels;
Leave That Thing Alone;
Marathon; and


Tom Sawyer;
Red Barchetta;
The Camera Eye;
Witch Hunt;
Vital Signs;
Drum Solo;
Closer To The Heart;
2112 Part I: Overture;
2112 Part II: The Temples Of Syrinx; and
Far Cry

La Villa Strangiato; and
Working Man

Soundgarden sets date for new mega-release in coordination with Gutiar Hero

August 3rd, 2010 at 11:38 pm by Shawn Skager
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Yeah, not sure how I feel about this.

Seems kind of like a money grab to me.

Maybe I’m still a little bitter about not being able to score a ticket to the Showbox show.

Maybe it’s because I want to hear some new stuff recorded in this century.

On the plus side, it’s coming out on vinyl. So that’s cool.

And it’s got a ton of pre-Superunkown stuff.

Like this.

Or this.

I could go on. Actually I think I will. How about this.



Murderdolls – Murderdolls Confirmed For Halloween Hootenanny Tour with Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper.

No Northwest dates announced yet, but Cooper and Zombie both played Kennewick in May on the Gruesome Twosome Tour. So here’s hoping for a Western Washington date.

Here’s the new video from the Murderdolls “My Dark Place Alone”

Free metal. That’s right, you heard me – FREE METAL.

Doom Fest, featuring Witchburn, The Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Crowned by Fire, Doomsower, Into the Storm, H.C. Mind, Roareth and F**K Knuckles (UK) kicks off at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1 at Seattle’s Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way N.E.). The festival is scheduled to run until 7 p.m. that evening, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s free!

On the bill are Seattle-based Witchburn, who are on the verge of releasing their Jack Endino-produced full-length debut “This Is How We Slay Our Demons” in August. The band features all-female AC/DC cover band Hell’s Belles lead singer Jamie Nova, in addition to Mischa Kianne on guitar, Jacy Pecjham on guitar, Jessica Bos on bass and Dana Sims on drums. The sound is whiskey soaked, Sabbath-inspired, Southern metal. Check out a stream of the new album at their MySpace site.

Also on the bill is The Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Seattle-legend Tad Doyle’s newest venture. Check out some samples of their work here at their site.

Here’s some links of the other bands on the bill, so you can familiarize yourself a little about what you’re in for. Nothing worse than not knowing any of the songs by the opening bands and headbanging out of synch.

Crowned by Fire.

H.C. Minds

Into the Storm

F**k Knuckles



And if all this metal isn’t enough to keep you occupied for eight hours, the festival will also feature bellydancing by J9 Fierce and a freakshow by Noel Austin Pure Cirkus (warning some of the vids on the Pure Cirkus site are not safe for viewing at work).

For more information about the festival visit this site right here!

Why you should really go see Squeeze at the Showbox Market, Aug. 3

July 29th, 2010 at 8:47 pm by Shawn Skager
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Sometimes good bands get lost in the shuffle.

This is the case with Squeeze, a UK band often filed away in the one-hit wonder from the 1980s file. This is a tragedy, because of two reasons.

First, the band actually charted six singles in the Billboard U.S. Mainstream Rock top 40 in the 1980s: “Tempted” (No. 8, 1981); “Black Coffee in Bed” (No. 26, 1982); “Annie Get Your Gun” (No. 40, 1982); “Hits of the Year” (No. 39, 1985); “Hourglass (No. 22, 1987); and “853-5937″ (No. 37, 1988). Additionally the band charted four more singles after Billboard instituted the U.S. Modern Rock charts in 1988: “If It’s Love” (No. 7, 1989); “Satisfied” (No. 3, 1991), “Crying In My Sleep” (No. 14, 1991; and “Everything In The World: (No. 9, 1993).

In my book that constitutes a career, rather than a 15 minute shot in the spotlight.

Secondly, the band just brings it live.  Although they haven’t recorded a album of new material since 1998, the catalog from their 13 studio albums provides more than enough quality material to make their Aug. 3 show at the Showbox Market a must see.

If you don’t believe me, check out this clip of the band performing “Tempted” from a show in New Jersey from 2007.

Or this performance of “Black Coffee In Bed” from a July 25 show in Denver, Colo.

Besides, it’s Tuesday night. What the hell else are you doing? There is nothing good on TV, trust me.

Squeeze plays the Showbox Market at 7 p.m., Aug. 3 with Ship as the opening act. The show is 21 and over and tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of show.

For more information visit the Showbox at the Market Web site.

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About Shawn Skager

Welcome to Electric Phase. It ain't no teenage craze! My name is Shawn Skager and for the last decade I've been working in community papers in the Puget Sound area, trying to figure out a way to meld my two passions - writing and music. Now I've found it and it's called Electric Phase, an outlet for information about music throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. So visit often and partake of the tasty morsels of musical information. And remember - read it, love it, link it, comment it. This whole online community thing is only as good as the people that participate. So let me know what you think and what you're listening to. And thanks to the band UFO for providing the name of the blog, a song from their classic 1977 album "Lights Out." See ya.

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