Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Joy at Vera

Vera’s annual Holiday volunteer appreciation night was last Sunday. What a success it was! It was filled with holiday mirth and merriment. The highlight of the evening, however was the unveiling of the “I <3 Nick Turner t-shirts.” For those of you who don’t know Nick Turner, he is our resident fundraising guru, and also co-hosts the KEXP Sonic reducer show. He is so kick-ass that there is some odd obsession with him here at Vera (I have never succumbed to his charms). With Vera trying to raise $200 per member by the end of the year and Nick Turner’s recent quote that, “The worst thing I could imagine would be a shirt with my face on it,” Emily Knies took it upon herself to make up said shirts behind Nick’s back. When Nick finally turned up to a roomful of people with his face on everyone’s chest, his reaction was priceless.

The evening was also filled with armature graham cracker houses, photos in our octopus cut out and even those creepy claymation holiday movies projected onto a wall. Another Highlight of the evening was the white elephant gift exchange. Memorable gifts included a florescent flamingo light bulb, Spiderman 3 poster, a bowling pin, and cow placenta hair treatment.
The evening turned out to be a jolly good time! Start volunteering and you to can join in on the fun!

-Kari Odegaard

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best Song Ever in 30 Seconds

Vera had Band of Horses back in October and it was a phenomenal success. We had a large line before the show, and it was packed with sweaty indie rock fans. They're a very popular group, but they have always disappointed me. Until now, thanks to Ford Motor Company.

This commercial transforms the Band Of Horses song "The Funeral," from an okay melodic guitar song into a full-on mood masterpiece. Just listen to the "ooooo" (yes, I just quoted a whole bunch of "o's") when it comes in: it's perfect, the kind of stuff that life-changing epiphanies are made of. I've watched this You Tube clip quite a few times and still don't feel that I have a full grasp of what this commercial is actually trying to say, but it doesn't matter: the song is all that matters. Spliced into 30 seconds "The Funeral" is the perfect song. Ironically this video just came on the TV while I watch a re-run of "Frasier." It makes me want to pull my copy of "Everything All the Time" off the shelf and upload it onto my Ipod. I'll wait until Frasier is over.

Sound Off! 2008 Lineup Announced!

Yesterday The EMP announced the lineup for their annual Sound Off! event which takes place every February. Many great bands have come out of this competition, including recent participants Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, and Sound Off! Legends like Mon Frere, Schoolyard Heroes and Dyme Def.

Typically, there is one really great group that comes out of Sound Off! every year, but I think this crop may have two or three potential future stars.

I really like The Nextdoor Neighbors and their strange minimal conversational indie rock. They sound very Olympia. Check out their Myspace Next Door Neighbors

The 2008 Sound Off! also features two pretty great, old-school influenced hip-hop acts. Scribes is a good friend of The Vera Project – who is working on something great here at Vera in early February. Both of these hip-hop acts were at Vera for an awesome hip-hop show, definitely the best local hip-hop show all year. I do have some criticism for EMP for putting both of the hip-hop acts (and Nextdoor Neighbors are a little hip-hop influenced) so that there can’t be more than one hip-hop group in the finals.

Another group I’m really interested in is New Faces from Port Townsend. I heard about this young group two years back when I met one of their moms at a concert and they were called “Captain Incognito.” They play the kind of angular guitar rock which seemed to be coming out England a few years ago. Here they are back in May, with the full lineup below:

Saturday, February 9: Semifinals #1
The Batteries
The Dead Are Judged
New Faces

Saturday, February 16: Semifinals #2
The Nextdoor Neighbors
Pat Goodwin

Saturday, February 23: Semifinals #3
Deer City
Man Down Medic

- Tristan Pelton

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vera Holiday Party This Saturday!

This weekend Vera is hosting a Holiday party of sorts with a four great melodic rock bands who are the next wave of Seattle rock. Three of these groups are EMP Sound Off! Alumni, which is particularly relevant with the lineup being finalized as we speak (I would expect a blog post with contestants soon). While many people know about Lonely Forest lead singer John Van Deusen’s keyboard skills, the hidden weapon of this Anacortes group is drummer Bradyn’s work with the skins. Check him out in this video.

The last time The Lonely Forest played Vera - they celebrated the release of their album “Nuclear Winter,” which is a thoughtful and huge work of music.

This show is going to a fun celebration of all things that Christmas break is about: most notably staying up late and listening to some ripping rock music. Show up early for egg-nog, Christmas cookies, friends and all things that make the season great!
- Tristan Pelton

The Demise of Vera's Facebook

What Happened to Vera’s Facebook? I was asking myself that very question, just yesterday evening. After noticing that Vera’s own booking intern was not friends with Vera I was aghast. So I took it upon myself to investigate such a travesty. What I uncovered was disturbing; the Vera Seattle’s Facebook had been deleted!! Immediately, I knew that the culprit was not Facebook, but our own booking intern Tristan! He had always seemed very to loyal to Vera, however perpetrators always want to gain your trust in order to rob you blind. Then I thought again, Tristan is a moderately successful human being, he wouldn’t shut down our account. In fact in the days prior to the demise of our Facebook Tristan was working hard to amp up our page, adding friends, posting events, etc. So I came to the conclusion that it was Tristan’s own overzealous desire to add friends that, ultimately lead to our down fall.

The moderators of Facebook had put Vera into the category of SPAMMER, because of the boat-loads of friends we were adding. Thus, the mystery was solved. However, you can look forward to (hopefully, if Tristan doesn’t get this deleted too) Vera’s Music Facebook.
- Kari Odegaard

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

January 5, 2008 Poster

Here is the revised poster for this awesome show:
Saturday January 5 7:30 PM
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground
The Lonely H
The Lashes
$10 ($9 w/ club card)
This poster has been through quite a few different mutations. It was already a great poster and then we added The Lashes and a dollar to the price, which is why they're kind of thrown in at the bottom. Last Friday I wanted to make sure this poster was up for all of the U.S.E. craziness - and it was crazy (more to come later today) so I taped over the original $9/8 price and I put "The Lashes!" in the open white space next to the beach-goers. The poster designer, however made sure to not let "The Lashes" get into the white space. I'm not going to complain. Most of my posters involve printed out strips of paper with writing on them.

This poster is actually pretty bittersweet because this show is happening in January and those people in the poster are on a beach during the summer time. It's good though, because I hate literal posters.
Any thoughts, commments, questions?
- Tristan Pelton

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First, a Little History

The Vera Project is an all-ages non-profit arts and music space located at The Corner of Warren Ave N. and Republican at Seattle Center. It was founded by two University of Washington students: James Keblas and Shannon Stewart with the help of Kate Becker and is based upon Vera, a government funded concert venue in Groningen, Holland.

The Vera Project opened at its current space on February 23, 2007 when it celebrated a large opening weekend with three concerts featuring performers like Common Market, These Arms are Snakes, Mt. Eerie, YACHT, Panther, and Akimbo amongst many others.

Prior to finding a home at Seattle Center; The Vera Project has hosted concerts at many different venues, including the Theatre Off Jackson, and 1916 4th Ave. The first ever Vera Project show was held at the IBEW Local 46 on January 27, 2001 with an amazing lineup of Murder City Devils, Botch, and Blood Brothers.

The Vera Project hosts about ten shows a month which are almost entirely volunteer run, with just two paid positions per show.

- Tristan Pelton