Category Archives: Pacific Northwest

Breda 5-Song Demo (1990)

1990 Promo CardMight write more about this later, might not. This one goes out to Joe, in fact, this one is entirely owed to Joe. Find my full reviews of Breda and Fire Choir demo tapes in the 1990 book, up over there in the top right sidebar. Watch for a Fire Choir MP3 playlist here (featuring regular-ish member of Queensryche, Kelly Gray) in the weeks ahead.

For a true taste of late 80’s hair metal fame attempts from Seatown, I present in MP3 format, Breda (note that the E should have an accent above it). A Seattle band that is, by way of New York City (said with a Pace picante twang)!

Original TDK D60 cassette remains intact.

Breda 5-Song Demo Jacket


Pirate Television – Kid Sensation & Artis the Spoonman [1997.03.04]

PTV [1997.03.04]

In The Mix

2 Live CrewDo The Damn Thang [World Premiere]

Nasty Nes Rodriguez introduces, live in studio, Kid Sensation!

On The Floor

The ProdigyFirestarter

Rockin’ Out

MxPxMove To Bremerton [World Premiere]

On The Scene

Gas HufferSixty Three Hours

Doc Rock introduces, live in studio, Artis The Spoonman! For this night’s performance, Artis was backed by Evan Schiller & Paul Hinklin of Sadhappy.

If any viewer out there has a copy of this show, please let me know!

Heaven’s Gate Cottages [Pacific Northwest – May 1993]

Section: Weekends

Heaven’s Gate Cottages

50055/18 McKenzie Highway, Vida, OR 97488
(503/541) 822-3214 /896-3855

Whatever the season, a back-porch perch at Heaven’s Gate is recommended for viewing the river slipping by.

From that particular perch, the particular river would be the McKenzie. Widely esteemed in trout and steelhead circles, the shallow waters of the McKenzie offer thrills to all ages and attitudes. Whether it’s adrenalin-inducing white-water rafting or sleep-inducing aqua-gazing, the McKenzie fills the bill.

A little less than three hours from Portland and six hours from Seattle, Heaven’s Gate Cottages lie nestled along the river’s north bank on Highway 126, 45 minutes east of Interstate 5 at Eugene-Springfield. The drive into the foothills is a pleasant farewell to the lean concrete of the interstate.

In the summer, angling is an obvious lure at Heaven’s Gate Cottages. The McKenzie is known for its game fish. With the river virtually underfoot, a novice would have no trouble casting from the deck, but the area is full of other options.

The water alone offers many. First comes fishing for the big one. If you’re no trout expert, you can accompany a fishing guide.

If being on the water is what you crave, there are even more options. For timid porch-sitters, there are scenic riverboat rides; for adventuresome thrill-chasers, there are white-water rafting trips.

Also, nearby facilities rent floating devices such as a kayak or a motorized flatboat.
While the river itself is much too treacherous for water-skiing or windsurfing, those too are mere moments away. The Cougar and Blue River reservoirs are within 15 minutes.

Head up the Cascades to Fish Lake, just 45 minutes away, and you notice that the area along the McKenzie Highway is full of recreational and scenic spots. Stream fishers find an abundance of picturesque sites, including Belknap Springs, Lost Springs, and Sahalie Falls.

Natural phenomena are found at Sawyers Ice Cave near the lava fields, about an hour east of Heaven’s Gate. Farther cast is the pioneer-style city of Sisters. Beloved for its western classic quaintness and one-of-a-kind shops, Sisters makes for an excellent lazy afternoon.

Pacific Northwest - Heaven's Gate Cottages [May 1993]

Pacific Northwest – Heaven’s Gate Cottages [May 1993]

When the sun sets, get ready for blissful isolation – if that’s what you want. Even though the cottages have full kitchens and even a Weber out back – ready for your choice of grillables – some people simply prefer not to cook.

You’re in luck. The Forest Glen (Blue River), a mere five minutes east, has good food and a lounge at reasonable prices. The Log Cabin Restaurant and Lounge (McKenzie Bridge), the Village Cafe (Nimrod), and the Riverside Inn and Ike’s Pizza (both in Vida) are all within about 20 minutes via back roads and offer ample epicurean diversity. Breakfast can be had at the Whitewater Cafe (Blue River) or the Vida Cafe (yes, in Vida) any time after 7:00 a.m.

Heaven’s Gate manager Mary Mitchell knows the neighborhood and is glad to point the way. She’s just up and across the road at the yellow house behind the Heaven’s Gate sign, and she commutes to the cottages on a custom golf cart covered with banners and hearts.

As you learn later – after a rigorous day in the woods and the dinner of your choice – while lounging by the fire with the sound of water all around you, this environment can’t help but kindle romance.

In fact, it’s not unheard-of for couples to abandon all plans after checking in. Once you see the potential for private relaxation, you may not want to open
the door again until your departure.

Relaxing in the warm comfort and rustic air of the Moon River (one of four cottages – two one-bedroom units and two studios) evokes memories of a distant, gentler time.

Studios ($61, double occupancy) house a queen-size bed with a davenport that folds down into a double bed. Both a queen and a double bed occupy the bedroom of the larger units ($70, double occupancy), with a fold-out davenport in the living room.

Each extra person costs only $6 – not a bad rate – but most would agree this is more of a couples thing just the same.

-Michael Browning

[2013 revision goes here]

Sir Mix-A-Lot at The Paramount [Seattle Post-Intelligencer – 12/01/92]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tuesday, December 1, 1992
Sir Mix-A-Lot shakes things up in fund-raiser

Sir Mix-A-Lot, Kid Sensation, N2Deep and Paperboy, rap concert, Sunday night at the Paramount Theatre.

By Michael Browning
Special to the P-l

It was a triumphant night of Seattle rap and hip-hop that brought young people together in support of an even younger member of the community. In a show Sunday night at the 2,800-seat Paramount Theatre, local rap star Sir Mix-A-Lot staged a concert to help raise money for a bone-marrow transplant for a 3-year-old Tacoma girl. Janai Cante spent her third birthday watching the show from a wheelchair in the wings, ever-present smile blazing. Proceeds from the sold-out, S15-a-person show will be combined with money raised over the last few weeks by members of the Seahawks, Mariners and University of Washington Huskies football team. (Those wishing lo contribute to the campaign to raise the more than $250,000 needed for the bone-marrow transplant can donate money to the Janai Cante benefit account at any U.S. Bank branch.)

Sir Mix-A-Lot, who went to the top of the national singles charts this year with his hit song “Baby Got Back.” brought along his long-time protege, Seattle rapper Kid Sensation. But first on stage in this hometown hip-hop test were the group Paperboy, made up of four young performers in need of more experience, and the slightly more entertaining duo N2 Deep.

Finally, “The Kid” hit the stage, treating the mostly teen-age crowd to the big-league sounds of hip-hop. Kid Sensation’s straight-forward set, punctuated by the songs “Seatown Ballers” and “The Weekend,” begged the question. “Why isn’t this guy bigger?” Mostly ignored by the black music community, Seattle rap artists continue to struggle for recognition on a national level. Hopefully, Sir Mix-A-Lot’s impact on the record charts this year will make that a little less of a struggle.

The high point in Kid Sensation’s performance featured a guest appearance by another young man in top form — the Mariners’ Ken Griffey Jr. — during the song “The Way I Swing.”


From behind the platform supporting the band, Sir Mix-A-Lot appeared in a mink jacket and his trademark fedora. Performing songs from his current album. “Mack Daddy,” along with old favorites like “My Hooptie” and “Beepers.” Mix carried the crowd along. New tunes “Swap Meet Louie” and “Testarossa” were eagerly received. But the classic “Posse on Broadway” brought the house down.

Surrounded by as many as six “posse” members and five female dancers, Sir Mix-A-Lot kept cool while watching the others sweat. The theatrics during a mock shakedown of his posse by a dancer in a police uniform on “One Time’s Got No Case” were almost laughable in light of the small army of Seattle police officers that greeted concertgoers when they arrived (the police assured that the show went on without incident).

Sir Mix-A-Lot

Rap artist Sir Mix-A-Lot’s benefit
concert Sunday was a sellout.

Flanked by two pistol-gripping women in shades. Sir Mix-A-Lot, in the guise of his high-rolling alter ego, Mack Daddy, looked on while the mock police officer searched his posse. Utilizing the latest in laser and lighting technology, the lurid hues overhead lent additional impact to the visual spectacle on-stage.

The whole crew came out to shake their tails for the finale of “Baby Got Back” a song celebrating women with large posteriors (for this, Sir Mix-A-Lot brought out a special dancer). Before closing with his hottest-selling single of the year. Sir Mix-A-Lot invited about 60  “homegirls” to the stage to “shake their thang.”

Cameron Crowe “Singles” interview for PULSE! and Rock Power

Click to listen to the actual interview, conducted by phone in the summer of 1992.

Rock Power was published out of London in the early 90s, translated into ten languages and distributed globally.

Cameron Crowe2Cameron Crowe1SINGLES, a movie set in Seattle starring Matt Dillon and directed by Cameron Crowe (husband of Heart’s Nancy Wilson), brings to the silver screen the sounds of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and more! MICHAEL BROWNING meets the director of what may go down in history as Grunge -The Movie…

Rock Power Sept 16 1992 Intl Cover

MAKE SURE EVERYBODY KNOWS we did this movie a year and a half ago,” Cameron Crowe, writer and director of Singles, emphasises. The irony is that all this stuff, which is the music I was listening to, or the music we love, has become very commercial. So it was a good investment for Epic, but still nobody’s getting rich off of this.”

Then again, you couldn’t really call it a losing proposition either, now could you?

In fact, in advance of the movie’s release, most involved are probably hoping the film itself makes as big a splash as the soundtrack {out since midsummer) already has. Heralded as a quintessential composite of Seattle tastes, if not the entire sound, the ‘Singles’ LP contains ten cuts from the city’s creme de la creme, as well as three songs from non-residents that still manage to embody the region’s musical vibe. Which, for the clueless, all boils down to honesty. Crowe, former editor at Rolling Stone magazine and screenplay writer of Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The Wildlife, Say Anything and Singles (also directing the last two), recognises the value of honesty in music and shows his appreciation of honesty (and loud guitars) by liberally adding his favourite artists to his movie making formula. “I love guitar. I love hard, guitar-oriented rock, and in the middle ’80s there was all this synth-pop garbage everywhere and I just found that guitar was still alive in the Northwest.” 1990’s Say Anything had both Mother Love Bone and Soundgarden in it and this year he’s upped the Seattle ante by including music from Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Chris Cornell, Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam and, perhaps the most intriguing addition, The Lovemongers, a hometown side project of Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson. With that list, you could easily think that the movie is about the Seattle scene itself. It’s not.

While Matt Dillon does play the singer/songwriter of fictitious band Citizen Dick, Crowe likens the film to Woody Allen’s Manhattan where intense personal relations (a new direction for Allen) are played out against a colourful, cultured backdrop. With the Washington metropolis as the stage, Singles is about how six young lives intertwine within the building in which they live.

Pearl Jam plays Matt’s band in the movie so that’s how the rumour got started that it is a movie about the Seattle scene.”

So how did Crowe come up with the idea a couple of years back to do a film in the now globally acclaimed climate of Puget Sound?

“Nancy (Wilson – she and Crowe are now married) gave me someone to visit up here, but I always loved the area. I first came here in 74, writing a story on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; I was 17 at the time. I really loved it up here and I just love music, so it was kind of a natural thing to get hooked into some of these bands.”

Now wait a minute: Smashing Pumpkins and Paul Westerberg (of The Replacements fame) aren’t from Seattle. What’s with that?

“The incongruities serve to show that we’re not in the business of selling Seattle music. (Sub Pop’s) Bruce (Pavitt) and John (Poneman) have done an amazing job with their samplers and the truth is, this is just the music that I love and that worked in the movie.”

The rest of that truth is these artists have a kind of soul connection to the Northwest. Firstly, Seattlites seem to dig all things Butch Vig (the Pumpkins’ producer, and Nirvana’s as well) and “Paul Westerberg really is the spirit of the movie. Paul was one of the first guys to have pretty melodies built into hard, thrashing rock and punk attitude.”

Westerberg also got the job of scoring the film, with some incidental guitar work from Chris Cornell. You may have noticed that this is the first solo work ever released by Cornell, although the deeply personal Temple Of The Dog LP comes close This was no easy feat for Crowe “I don’t want to start a thing with A&M (Soundgarden’s label), but they have fought putting music in stuff I’ve written for years and I don’t know why. They had the Soundgarden music from Louder Than Love pulled out of Say Anything, so we used stuff from Ultramega OK!, a Sub Pop label Soundgarden release. They’ve had a nasty attitude towards us whenever we’ve wanted to use some of their music, and the truth is only with great jockeying from Susan Silver (Soundgarden’s manager) and Chris Cornell were we able to get a new Soundgarden song and Chris solo in this movie.”

In all, Crowe and co-producer Danny Bramson have compiled a collection of songs that truly captures the essence of Singles. Effectively sidestepping his idea of the current trend in soundtracks, which for him is like,

“What is this? is this some tangential sampler that has ‘something’ to do with the movie? Cos it’s not a soundtrack. It’s weird, the soundtrack has turned into a really crass marketing tool.”

Although there’s a ton of other music from John Coltrane to REM in the movie, every song is prominently used in the film. Most importantly, they deserve to be on the soundtrack and they effectively conjure up the appropriate images. This soundtrack exactly fulfills the aim of the director.

And hopefully it fulfills the listener as well.

Dr. Unknown, Red Platinum: Hot Flashes [City Heat – May 1992]

dr. Unknown and Red Platinum

Tonight I saw a groovy, sparsely attended show, and I’m not too shit-faced so I guess I’ll tell you about it.

I must’ve gotten to Pike Place Market’s Colourbox just after the opening band finished ’cause the Pearl Jam CD was playing and it seemed almost over (read: ungodly long break) by the time dr. Unknown took the tiny stage. New guitarist Matt Fox (from Bitter End) and vocalist Jeff Carrell were riffin’ into some tasty breaks while bassist Derek Peace joined them for some hair flying frenzy. Cool songs I caught titles on were Misery and Come Down To Love. I didn’t catch the name of a jazzy little number that truly blew socks.

News from the front is that they’ve accepted an offer and the deal’s in that red tape stage before they can actually announce the signing. Congrats guys.

Next up was an electrified set by Red Platinum. Almost 1:00 by the time they kicked in, they apparently had some serious voltage surging through their equipment as guitarist Eric Wunderlich commented, “Nothing like a little 110 to liven up a performance!” And lively it was, by the time they started the second tune, Doug, his hair looked like someone had rubbed him with a balloon.

They played the best older stuff like Shovin’, and some nifty new ones, Don’t Take It Away and Mother Nature. They probably saved the best new material for last but it was well past my bedtime so I snuck my ass out of the Central/Satyricon shaped club.

Walking to my car I flashed a ‘peace’ to Matt Fox as he turned the corner in front of me, then silently wished him luck as one of Seattle’s finest filed into traffic behind him.


Van Halen at The Tacoma Dome: In Concert [City Heat – February 1992]

VAN HALEN at The Tacoma Dome

Well. first off, the miserable drive down to the Tacky Dome is always enough to get a rainy winter evening off to a foul start. This night was no exception. Couple that with typical TicketMaster annoyances and a mighty ensemble of over zealous south end security and you’ve got a fairly representational Tacoma Dome event.

Due to the distance, we completely missed Alice In Chain’s set, which, opening for Van Halen, was something we’d looked forward to. Due to the wet cattle run/reptilian maze that stood between the tickets and the entrance, we missed the first half of Poundcake. No biggee, but we still gotta find our seats. On the other side.

By the time Judgement Day had started we were set. Runaround completed the initial greet from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge then they went into several Sammy tunes, One Way To Rock and the solo acoustic Give To Live.

For me, the highlight of the evening by far was when they spontaneously launched into Rock Candy (from Sammy’s early days in Montrose) after picking up a local [RKCNDY nightclub] flyer thrown onstage.

Hearing Rock Candy done live suddenly made it all worthwhile. After having witnessed the Van Hagar production three or four times now, and feeling they are rather uninteresting live by this point, I realized that they still can swing flashes of brilliance.

They touched on the last couple VH albums, OU812 and 5150, with Black And Blue, Finish What Ya Started, Best Of Both Worlds and Why Can’t This Be Love. After I Can’t Drive 55, Sammy went into some angry rant about the state of society as an intro to This Dream Is Over. Then they took their traditional unified bow and left the stage. But you knew the old guys were coming back at least once; just like by looking around you knew they hadn’t lost their ability to pack throngs of scantily clad teenyrockers into arenas.

And they did. Returning with a silly Jump during the chorus of which Eddie was only able to get one foot off the ground at a time. Top Of The World was supposed to be the last, but Sammy, feeling good the first night back from a rest that began when they cancelled the show scheduled here in December, just didn’t want to leave.

So getting back at him for throwing the rest of them into Rock Candy earlier, the three original VH members dove headlong into Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, a song Sammy finished by apologizing with,

“We haven’t played that one in five years!”

Sounded okay to me.

Gruntruck – Inside Yours: Hot Flashes Local Tracks [City Heat – February 1992]

Inside Yours
eMpTy / RoadRacer

This is a re-release that a lot of people are glad to see given new life.

Feb 92 HF Gruntruck InsideYoursOriginally produced by Jack Endino and delivered by locals at eMpTy Records in fall 1990, Inside Yours, the debut of star-crossed Gruntruck, has been picked up by RoadRacer – who remixed a track and added two more before presentation.

Gruntruck is the thunderous culmination of Skin Yard’s voice, Ben McMullen, and The Accused’s guitar, Tommy Niemeyer (Tommy’s favorite is Flesh Fever and mine is the other new track on there, Crucifunkin’), joined by Tim Paul (Napalm Beach) and Norman Scott (Final Warning, Skin Yard) these grunge-crunchers create Seattle beauty at it’s heavy best.

Own it.