Erik Blood and Notes to Myself at the Comet

Erik Blood and Notes to Myself at the Comet Tavern, Seattle | 18 September

If you don’t live in Seattle and I told you I was going to see Erik Blood, you would probably have no idea who I was talking about. Well come to think of it, even if you did live in Seattle you might not know about him. This is probably due to some imbalance in the universe or just a cruel sense of humor that the gods have, because you really should know about him. So who is Erik Blood? He is in the band the Turn-Ons as well as producer (Moondoggies, Lights), and now he has recorded a solo album. The album isn’t out yet, but what I’ve heard from it, it’s an amazing piece of mod-shoegaze that at time reminds me of early Who, and Swervedriver, or Beach Boys and Ride. Blood has an overflowing bag of hooks, where every song is immediate and instant. There’s no having to listen to it five times before you finally get, but at the same time, songs are layered and complex so that on repeat listenings you’re hearing new sounds you missed before.
Last night was the first time he and his band played these songs in Seattle. The Comet seemed to be filled with lots of friends and fans, making it an easy debut. The set started off a bit shaky with some minor sound difficulties, but by the end of the second song the room was filled with a warm reverberating buzz from the band’s intricate  wall of sound and Blood’s songs. Lots of guitars were present with most of the songs sporting three,  though not overpowering, just right, where you could clearly hear Blood’s easy croon which reminds me a lot of Adam Franklin of Swervedriver. Though this is Erik Blood solo, he had three quarters of the Turn-ons on stage with him. Cory Gutch played lead guitar throughout the night and Will Hallauer was behind the drums. Travis DeVries was the only Turn-On missing, but no one was missing the Turn-Ons last night Erik Blood’s songs easily equal any of those of his (other) band.

MySpace: No album yet, but you can get a preview of it over at his MySpace page. Well worth the trip!

It seemed like a lot of people left after Erik Blood, but they shouldn’t have because Spain’s Notes to Myself put on a raging set of Mogwai inspired rock. The band are over here playing dates on the west coast and if last night is any indication, totally lighting it up. Their mostly instrumental songs make the Mogwai comparison pretty easy, but Notes to Myself don’t do the quiet-loud-quiet-loud thing, they were mostly just loud. The two guitarists shared minimal vocals with American sounding singing accents. At times the guitars seemed so intricately entwined they melted into one, and the drummer was great, especially with all the fills he did. These Spaniards put on a great show and easily won over a few us Americans. I plunked down 10 bucks for their cd, hopefully helping to fund a return trip.
Sorry to say I couldn’t stick it out for Seattle’s Red Sea Sharks, work and responsibilities, man I know that is so un-rock-n-roll, but it’s my reality.

mp3: Notes to Myself – Places Where I Hide (from their Self-titled CD)

Remaining Notes to Myself tour dates:
20 sep – Zombie Room Spokane, Washington
21 sep – Visual Arts Collective Boise, Idaho
22 sep – Old Ironsides Sacramento, California
23 sep – Scene Bar Glendale (LA), California
25 sep – Eagle Tavern San Francisco, California

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