News from 9/2017

NEWS : WED, SEP 20, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Sub Pop to release Walt Wagner’s ‘Reworks’ recorded live at Seattle’s Canlis Restaurant and collecting piano renditions of songs by Band of Horses, DJ Shadow, Prince, My Bloody Valentine, and more.

Walt Wagner’s Reworks will be in stores November 17th, 2017.

Sub Pop will release Walt Wagner’s Reworks – an album of renditions popularized by the likes of Band Of Horses, DJ Shadow,  My Bloody Valentine, Prince, Fleet Foxes, Phoenix, and more – on November 17th, 2017. The veteran pianist recorded the songs live on October 9th, 2016 at the famed Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Washington.  

Charles Darwin said it best: adapt or die. Okay, maybe that’s not an exact quote, but the great English scientist was definitely on to something. Organisms that respond over time to the ever-changing environment are more likely to survive and thrive.
While you may not find this crazy idea in Junior’s textbooks these days, it’s audible in every facet of Walt Wagner’s Reworks. With its distinctive renditions of songs popularized by DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Fleet Foxes, and more, this live recording of the beloved pianist’s farewell performance shows how three Seattle institutions – Wagner, Canlis restaurant, and Sub Pop Records – have evolved over the years.  

[Photo Credit: CreativeLive]

When veteran pianist Wagner first landed at Canlis in 1996, the Emerald City’s premiere destination for fine dining was in the midst of significant changes: a new chef, new uniforms, modifications to its iconic building overlooking Lake Union. That required a fresh approach to dinner music, too. “I knew what the status quo was, but the owners wanted new energy,” recalls Wagner.
Although he started out with a set heavy on the Great American Songbook and the occasional pop tune, that gradually gave way to more adaptations of modern fare. “Increasingly I kept working in more new, edgier music. In the beginning my sets were 90 percent standards. In the last few years, I was mostly playing very contemporary music.”
As young staff members recommended new artists and songs, Wagner’s repertoire grew deeper and more varied – especially after the next generation of the Canlis family took over in 2003. Yet whether the source material was Pink Floyd, Prince, Metallica, or the Weeknd, the challenge remained the same: “To distill the vibe on a record, the very essence of a song, into solo piano playing.” Performances as memorable yet tasteful as the cuisine, interiors, and views of Canlis.
One fateful night a couple years ago, Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper and co-president Tony Kiewel were dining at the award-winning restaurant when they recognized melodies by Adele and Daft Punk wafting through the restaurant and decided to investigate. Canlis co-owner Mark Canlis offered the Sub Pop crew a full tour, and when he pulled out a vintage copy of the ’60s LP Live At Canlis, an idea was born. With Wagner preparing to retire, the time was ripe for a live recording that captured his inimitable gifts in their natural surroundings.
In preparation for the big night, Wagner sat down with Jasper and Kiewel for more ideas. “I wanted them to feed me tunes that they loved and could imagine hearing me play.” Sub Pop alumni Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses were already staples of Wagner’s sets, but what magic could he work with DJ Shadow, Phoenix, or My Bloody Valentine? He had three months to find out.
The album’s opening selection, “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt,” provides a glimpse into Wagner’s modus operandi. “The first time I listened to it, I said ‘well what can I do with that?’” he recalls. “But the more I listened, the more I noticed these signature moments in the song, and through messing around with those and improvisation, I ended up with my version.”
Recorded before a packed house on October 9, 2016, Reworks is more than just a souvenir of a very special evening; it captures decades of musicianship that forged Wagner’s distinctive style. At the age of six, he couldn’t keep his mitts off of the family piano – even though it was stored under a moving blanket in the basement. He studied classical piano throughout his youth, yet kept his playing secret until he’d reached his teens, when he began playing in rock bands.
While learning to improvise and play more rhythmically made him a hit with his peers, his classical instruction made his band the Exotics especially popular with local bookers. “We were one of the only bands that could read music, so we accompanied different stars of the time: Dick and Dee Dee, Johnny Crawford, all these ’50s and early ’60s artists that came to town.” The Exotics even cut a single, a Wagner original entitled “Oasis,” that made it to #3 on local radio station KJR in the summer of 1961.
In the years that followed, Wagner played at downtown Seattle watering holes and eateries including the Dublin House and Plaza Five, and refined his jazz chops. In the ’70s he began working on cruise ships and supporting entertainers like Bob Hope and George Burns. Two decades at Canlis taught him to interact with listeners in a whole new way. And now, flush with excitement over Reworks, Wagner may not stay retired for long.
“This record is totally out of the box for me,” he concludes. “It’s a totally new adventure, and I don’t know what kind of life it’s going to have. If it catches on, I could see myself making a lot more music in this style.”

Walt Wagner’s Reworks will be available on CD / LP / DL from Sub Pop and select independent retailers on November 17th, 2017. Pre-order it now here.


1. Building Steam With a Grain of Salt (DJ Shadow)
2. I Only Said (My Bloody Valentine)
3. Desiree (The Left Banke)
4. Mykonos (Fleet Foxes)
5. 1901 (Phoenix)
6. Bondye (Goat)
7. No One’s Gonna Love You (Band of Horses)
8. Purple Rain (Prince)
9. The Funeral (Band of Horses)
10. Ever Fallen In Love (Buzzcocks)

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, SEP 21, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Get Transported to a New Spatial Reality in METZ’s Official Video for “Cellophane” - ‘Strange Peace’ is Out Tomorrow Sept. 22

Today our masterfully noisy friends METZ shared their official video for debut single “Cellophane.” As described by director Shayne Ehman, the visual depicts a sphere where “consciousness is split, and a world of contrast unfolds. The resulting disembodiment disperses one’s spatial awareness and new kinds of empathy develop. Two become three, and it’s only half the story.”

As previously shared, NPR Music is streaming METZ’s Strange Peace in its entirety via “First Listen” hear it here].  NPR Music’s Jason Heller says of Strange Peace, “Recorded with Shellac’s mastermind Steve Albini, Strange Peace is an album that doesn’t need to be explicitly political to make a statement about our current chaotic climate. The opening track, “Mess of Wires,” gallops out of the gate like a malfunctioning industrial robot, a tangle of mechanical riffs and Edkins’ oddly infectious chants. The band’s ability to inject melody into the weirdest of places is most striking on “Cellophane.” Slightly more laidback than the usual METZ song, it’s closer to a garage-rock anthem than a skin-peeling punk rager, and Edkins’ refrain of “How will I know? / How will I know?” is designed to lodge itself in the brain of the listener like some insidious implant....cathartic rather than hopeless — an exorcism of nervous energy at a time when it’s direly needed.”

Strange Peace is available from both Sub Pop and Royal Mountain Records. -> Canadian fans can pre-order the new record here

LP pre-orders of the Sub Pop album from and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on clear vinyl with red and green swirls (while supplies last).

METZ Tour Dates + Ticket Links

METZ resume their international tour schedule in support of Strange Peace tomorrow night, Friday, September 22nd at Detroit’s Princess Riverboat. The tour currently runs through December 16th in Hosuton at Warehouse Live. In the midst of that run, METZ will serve as direct support for Modest Mouse on October 10th and 11th. Additionally, METZ will play shows with Suuns (September 29th-30th), Uniform (October 2nd-8th), Protomartyr (Sept. 22nd and November 2nd-8th), Brian Case (November 9th), Drahla (November 12th-24th), and Cherubs (December 15th). All of their current tour dates follow.
2017 METZ Tour Dates:
Sep. 22 - Detroit, MI - Detroit Princess Riverboat !
Sep. 23 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
Sep. 25 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
Sep. 29 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace *
Sep. 30 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace *
Oct. 02 - Boston, MA - Sinclair #
Oct. 03 - Philadelphia, PA - The First Unitarian Church #
Oct. 04 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg #
Oct. 05 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom #
Oct. 06 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel #
Oct. 07 - Hamden, CT - The Ballroom
Oct. 08 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa
Oct. 10 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s **
Oct. 11 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom **
Oct. 18 - Halifax, NS - The Marquee (Halifax Pop Explosion)
Nov. 02 - Prague, Czech Republic - Futurum !
Nov. 03 -  Wroclaw, Poland - Klub Firlej !
Nov. 04 -  Warsaw, Poland - Klub Hydrozagadka !
Nov. 06 - Berlin, Germany - Bi Nuu !
Nov. 07 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen !
Nov. 08 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust !
Nov. 09 - Zwolle, Netherlands - Poppodium Hedon  ^
Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kruen (Sonic City Festival)
Nov. 11 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who? Festival
Nov. 12 - Le Havre, France - Le Tetris %
Nov. 14 - Nimes, France - La Paloma %
Nov. 15 - Bordeaux, France - Theatre Barbey %
Nov. 16 - Toulouse, France - Club Metronum %
Nov. 17 - Barcelona, Spain - La (2) De Apolo %
Nov. 18 - Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick %
Nov. 20 - Nantes, France - Pole Etudiant %
Nov. 21 - Paris, France - Le Trabendo %
Nov. 22 - London, UK - The Garage %
Nov. 23 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece %
Nov. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club %
Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt
Dec. 07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
Dec. 08 - Vancouver, BC - Cobalt
Dec. 09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
Dec. 11 - San Francisco, CA - Independent
Dec. 12 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom
Dec. 13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Dec. 15 - Austin, TX - Mohawk &
Dec. 16 - Houston, TX - Studio @ Warehouse Live
* w/ SUUNS
# w/ Uniform
! w/ Protomartyr
^ w/ Brian Case
% w/ Drahla
& w/ Cherubs
** w// Modest Mouse

Posted by Rachel White