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The Charleston celebrates Two Years

4 Apr

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~ Y.I.A. @ the Chuck’s Grand Opening, 2008 | Angel Perry ~

Two years may not seem like a long time, but for many all ages venues it’s a lifetime. Bremerton’s Charleston Music Venue turns two this month w/ a slate of special birthday shows.

It all kicked off last night (April 2 — Barbie’s Barfday Bash/The Assasinators CD Release Show), goes on tonight (April 3) with the Chuck’s official birthday bash featuring Boise, Id. bands N.F.F.U., Pull Out Quick, Adamant Allies and A New Agenda w/ a re-birthed Project 9, and continues next week as the bodacious Hell’s Belles celebrate their 10th anniversary, April 10 at the Chuck.

See more on those shows and more scattered throughout this month’s Smokestack — out now in print and in the digital archive.

For more on the Chuck — and the Callow Avenue venue’s inspiring story of ambition and unity in the face of authority — see this month’s feature, a gonzo retrospective on Bremerton’s 21st century all ages music scene through the eyes of Angel Perry… Continue reading

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Hermes Goes to Houston

24 Mar

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‘Everybody Else Was Having A Bad Day’

~A Short Story by John Diaz~

Hermes Vasques dreamt of freshly lain foundation bricks. The mortar bulged under the weight of new layers, which he carefully trimmed with the edge of his trowel. He stacked basalt bricks, one atop the other in the morning Texas sun. He felt good knowing that by high noon, his garage foundation would be complete. Suddenly, the structure started to collapse. He fell backward as bricks toppled into his lap.

Hermes awoke with a start.

A child of six or seven years was standing on his legs, climbing to a folding table behind him. A younger girl was hiding below the table, giggling. Hermes scooped up the child by the thighs and the jacket, and gave him a gentle toss onto the table. The kid landed on all fours, squealing in a mixture of protest and delight. Hermes stood up and straightened his shorts and shirt. Brushing away the imaginary kid dirt, he maintained an indignant posture. Over the top of the smaller dryers, he could see the two larger dryers that contained his laundry. Hermes’ two towels, sleeping bag, work pants and blue terry cloth bath robe were dry . . . Continue reading

Multiple Kitsap bands hitting the road, that is rad.

17 Mar

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~ Generation Decline @ Libertatia, California, 2009 | Photo: oldhcdude ~

The return of the sun always seems to invoke a little wanderlust around this time of year. In the Kitsap music scene, the coming of spring brings a flurry of tours and abounding albums from local bands. One of the most epic — Tumbledown’s 7000-mile journey to and from SXSW is featured on this month’s cover — but they’re not the only ones getting out of town. . . Continue reading

Tumbledown’s NXSW Tour Diaries

9 Mar

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~ Tumbledown, smokestacked | Photo: Jered Scott ~

Mike Herrera’s Tumbledown — the Bremerton-based pop-punkabilly/country western-y side project of the bassist and lead singer of MxPx — is winging it’s way through the American midwest, onto the Lone Star State, across the desert and back up the West Coast on a month-long tour to-and-from the South By Southwest music mecca in Austin, Texas this month.

We feature Tumbledown in our latest print edition, dedicated to The Touring Musician — [see that here] — and we’ll be following the band vicariously through a short series of gonzo tour diaries, photos and ephemera in Tumbledown’s NXSW Tour Diaries.

Find more Tumbledown @ www.tumbledownhq.com.

A Few Words w/ Little Miss Risk

27 Feb

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~Liquor, monocles & revolvers, BJB & the Voodoo Dollz | Ed Araquel~

Big John Bates & the Voodoo Dollz — a rock-n-roll burlesque group from Vancouver, B.C. — bring their booze-swillin’, fire-blowin’, face-rockin’ antics to Bremerton’s Winterland tonight (Feb. 27), joining a stacked line up which features the roving Reverend Dead Eye’s No Man Gospel Band, Seattle’s Hard Money Saints, and Kitsap’s own living legend James Hunnicutt. The show is 21+ w/ a $10 cover, starting around 9:30 p.m. @ Winterland, 1220 Sylvan Way in Bremerton. More @ myspace.com/winterlandrocks, www.bigjohnbates.com.

We caught up with the lead Voodoo Doll Little Miss Risk (at right above) for a few words on booze, burlesque, BJB and life on the road for March’s upcoming print edition, dedicated to traveling artists. . . Continue reading

Showdown in the Sound

26 Feb

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~ Wild West Showdown, Feb. 26-28 | Art: Kryzstof Nemeth ~

This weekend, Bremerton becomes the center of the roller derby universe, as 19 teams from around the country converge on Kitsap County. From national powerhouse the Philly Roller Girls, to the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association National Champion Oly Rollers, derby’s upper echelons will be battling it out for three days of knock-down, drag-out roller derby mayhem at the Wild West Showdown, hosted by Kitsap’s own Slaughter County Roller Vixens, Feb. 26-28 @ the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in East Bremerton. We’ve got a dispatch from Northwest Roller Derby Scribe Thurston Gore. . . Continue reading

Mos Generator to shred again

19 Feb

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~ The storied Port Orchard band returns Saturday @ Winterland ~

It’s been about a year since we’ve heard much of anything from Port Orchard Seventies Rock Preservationists Mos Generator.

Following an opening spot w/ Rush @ The Gorge and a European Tour with Texas band Blood of the Sun over the summer of 2008, Mos has been on hiatus without any official word on what was going on. The three-piece had found itself at odds amidst the rise in demand for the band.

“We hadn’t talked in pretty much a year,” said guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed. “But the hiatus. . . we all like each other, you know, it was just, I wanted more from the band. I wanted to go on the road more and stuff.”

But drummer Shawn Johnson, being a business owner/manager in Port Orchard, wasn’t able to afford as much free time. So, midstride, the band stopped and all but dropped off the radar for the better part of year. Continue reading