If you pick up a copy of this week's paper, you'll find an article about the music scene in Tacoma, based on this list from a few weeks back. For the story, I talked to 2009 Sound Off! finalists Makeup Monsters, who hail from "The City of Destiny" (yes, that really is Tacoma's nickname), and whose slightly poppy, '60s garage sound is perfect for that city's famed house party scene. They lamented the "brain drain" of sorts that plagues the city, wherein talented musicians often move to bigger markets like New York and L.A. in search of fortune.
Chona Kasinger Makeup Monsters
There's a perception that you can't make it in Tacoma, drummer Jay Clancy told me, noting that bands like Oberhofer and Widowspeak have moved away from their hometown before finding success. But this diaspora of Tacoman musicians has produced a bright spot: Station Record Club, a new, collaborative compilation series available for free download. Makeup Monsters' singer/guitarist Shayne Weeks explained via email:
The founders of Station Record Club are from Tacoma. The project began in 2008 as Dear Records and was comprised of solely Tacoma bands. Back then we would each offer up a song to the group monthly, to be released on what we called samplers. Dear Recs only produced a handful or so of these samplers before most of the founding members/contributors moved to different parts of the country and Dear Records died off.
With Station Record Club, we are sort of picking up where we left off, but this time with a more diverse roster of musicians we have all made connections with across the states. The monthly sampler is a concept that has carried over and the first SRC sampler from the month of January can be found at the link above.
Bonus deal: The February compilation is now available as well! Bands participating include I Low, Yeses, Greenfield, Dalmatian, and a bunch of other artists. You can also stream both comps here.
Up next in Tacoma happenings is the third edition of Squeak and Squawk, a music festival with an excellently-curated lineup featuring mostly local bands but with a few national and international acts (Australia's Pond and the aforementioned Oberhofer) thrown in for good measure. It takes place April 5th-9th at various venues around town, with quite a few all-ages shows for the underage folks. If you want to get a sense of what's going on in Tacoma right now, I highly recommend driving down, as there's one show at 6 p.m. and another at 9 each day, and pretty much every good band active in the city is playing. The full lineup (whoa, that is a lot of bands):
Thursday, April 5th, All Ages, 6pm @ Tahoma Tea and Co.
Not From Brooklyn
Thursday, April 5th, 21+, 9pm @ The New Frontier
The Back Pockets
Friday, April 6th, All Ages, 6pm @ The Space
Friday, April 6th, 21+, 9pm @ The New Frontier
Derek Kelley and the Speedwobbles
Saturday, April 7th, All Ages, 6pm @ The Space
The Tea Cozies
Saturday, April 7th, 21+, 9pm, @ The New Frontier
I Will Keep Your Ghost
Sunday, April 8th, All Ages, 6pm @ The Space
Sunday, April 8th, 21+, 9pm @ The New Frontier
The Hoot Hoots
Monday, April 9th, All Ages, 6pm @ Tahoma Tea and Co.
Si Si Si
The Rusty Cleavers
Monday, April 9th, 21+, 9pm @ The New Frontier
Free closing night show
Row House Road