Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer Soul Collecting - SEPTEMBER MOURNING Gig Review! Seattle, WA 8/3/17

September Mourning


Studio Seven

Seattle, WA




Thursday night Studio Seven welcomed back the Soul Collectors known as September Mourning.  If you’ve been reading Eclectic Arts, you already know that we have been a firm supporter of the September Mourning horde. 


Seattle was under a hot spell as of late (in the 90’s) with poor air quality due to smoke from Canadian fires blowing down to the Emerald City.  We were rated worse than Beijing and LA on Thursday for air quality.  Studio Seven was surprisingly not as hot as I thought it would be.  Granted, it was far from comfortable, but it could have been a lot worse.


Now, if you’re wearing costumes on stage, makeup, and you’re performing, I’m sure it was a different story.


September and three of her Reapers (Shadou has been absent the last three shows I’ve been to) presented a new aspect to their stage show – comic story telling through video.  This aspect really helped create and sell the trans media concept that is September Mourning.  I enjoyed the interplay of dialogue and animation with the bands songs.  This addition is a big step in the right direction for the band if you ask me.


I would love to see this presentation in a theater like the Moore or the Paramount. 


For those that haven’t seen the band before, they always bring a show of fog, lights, costumes, props, and other stage items to bring their concept of September Mourning to life. 


Musically, the band has backing tracks that help fill in some of the recorded elements you hear on Volume II (which just had its one year anniversary) or that you hear/see in their music videos.


Two friends made it down to the show who knew next to nothing about the band.  They both walked away fans.  This is what it takes for these road dog kind of bands – fans bringing new people to the shows to create new fans of the band.


They’re finishing up this leg of the Summer Tour before a quick break.  Then, they head out on one of the best bills of the end of summer/fall – the Xandria, Kobra and The Lotus, and September Mourning tour.  All three bands are quality and all three bands play different types of metal.  I wish this tour was coming to Seattle but they already made their stop here on the first leg of the Xandria/Kobra tour.


After that, I would think a longer break is in order so September Mourning can get some new material written and recorded.  I would expect that we’ll see the band again sometime in 2018 – hopefully with a new album to promote and tour behind. 



Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts


Special Thanks:   Rich for the credentials.  No worries about the interview last night.  Hopefully, it won’t be so damn hot next time in Seattle so we can get an interview done.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Digging For Clams - RAZOR CLAM Gig Review! 7/27/17

Razor Clam


at LoFi

Seattle, WA




Bittersweet.  For friends of Aya’s – who is leaving for an opportunity in the UK, the Razor Clam gig last Thursday was bittersweet.  Happy for their friend and what lays ahead.  Bummed to see their friend leaving the Seattle area.


Bittersweet also sums up my view of the band Razor Clam.  Their third show also doubled as a going away party for Aya (who I only met at the show for the first time). 


Every now and then I’ll hear a band with potential, that raw “something that you can’t put your finger on but know you’re right” kind of potential.


The four piece band took the stage at LoFi and proceeded to play a to the point set of music that was a mix of very melodic rock/punk/pop hybrid mixed in with a few other influences.  There were times when the band was loose which is to be expected for a newer band.  But, at the same time, they had a really good vibe going on. 


More important than anything else is that they had good songs.  Rough in some spots but, man, the potential is there!


So, I’m sad to see this band end/go on indefinite hiatus/etc.  I understand they may have recorded some tunes before Aya’s departure which would be amazing to hear.


Let’s hope the band manages to stay together, or at the very least, reform sometime in the future as this band could go far. 





Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts


Special Thanks:   Aya for the credentials.





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

KATIE KUFFEL at the High Dive - Gig Review! 7/25/17

Katie Kuffel


High Dive

July 25, 2017

Seattle, WA




There are many clubs, rooms per se, that I have known about here in the greater Seattle area but I have not actually been to for a show.  The High Dive is one such room.  On a warm Tuesday evening, I went to see a local artist that I had only seen once before (and that was recently, too).


I enjoyed Katie Kuffel's set the first time I saw her perform.  I had known about her for a while but never saw a gig.  The mixture of her voice - which I believe is key - along with the variance in music sold me at that first show. 


The show at the High Dive was a headlining show.  Two indie touring artists opened up the evening (with one member of Mighty Brother having a birthday as well).  I have a pet peeve but I'll save that for the end of this review.


Katie's trio really works for me.  I like hearing the drums and bass filling out the sound to Katie's songs (keyboards and vocals).  Theirs is a vibe or chemistry that works on stage with the three of them.  Like many local musicians, Katie has performed in different lineups at her shows.  I hope she keeps this trio going - there's a lot of potential there.


Her song selection for her set was varied - I recognized a few songs from the first gig I saw while there were definitely a few others aired that were new to me.  The bonus tune with Jonah on sax was a fantastic way to end the evening.


Katie is a talent - there is no question about that in my mind.  But, with all singer songwriters, the rooms they play make a big difference.  Or, rather, that audiences they play to. 


Nothing irks me more than hearing the white noise of chitter chatter from folks in a bar not giving a shit about who's performing on stage.  The High Dive is at least laid out in a way that the drinkers can hang in the back part of the bar and talk the night away while the listeners can be up front by the stage. 


Unfortunately, this is part of the deal when artists perform, especially at bars.  People are there to drink, mingle, talk, etc.  I know this from playing my own gigs.  Friends and family sometimes are going to talk through your set - and yes - it irks me then when it happens to me, too. 


So what's my point?  In a perfect world, people would go to listen to the artist on stage.  I know this world isn't perfect - far from it these days.  I would just hope that if you're friends with the artist, keep your chit chat to a minimum OR stand away from the stage area so those that want to take in the artist’s music can do so without distraction. 


Now that I'm off my soapbox, go check out one of Katie's gigs - she has several coming up before the summer winds down.  I hope to myself.  And if you see me at a gig, say hello between artists sets.  Is that a deal?  Cool - and thanks!




Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts


Special Thanks:  Katie for guest-ing me!