Monday 28 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Kind of Like Spitting's Ben...

Kind of Like Spitting's Ben Barnett takes things a little easier with Blunt Mechanic

Chris Parker September 9th, 2010

If you haven't heard of Blunt Mechanic founder Ben Barnett's old band, Kind of Like Spitting, don't feel bad.

Blunt Mechanic with Andrew Jackson Jihad, O Fidelis and P.S. Conductor
8:30 p.m. Monday
the Conservatory
8911 N. Western

If you haven't heard of Blunt Mechanic founder Ben Barnett's old band, Kind of Like Spitting, don't feel bad.

"I think we did three interviews in 10 years," Barnett said. "Nobody gave a shit about that band."

His new one, a not-so-subtle reference to one of his abiding loves, finds him combining witty wordplay, chunky guitar and an abiding affection for '90s indie rock. It's like an old-school college radio station curated by an ADHD-afflicted music nerd. The origins of Blunt Mechanic's debut, April's "World Record," were forged by his unsatisfying decade-long tenure leading Kind of Like Spitting.

The Portland-based act was a cult fave that drew accolades from Pedro the Lion and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, a good friend who played on some of its nine albums.

Abused physically, emotionally and sexually by his father, Barnett used his songs no so much as art, but therapy. Touring was an futile way to find a way of communicating with the world. Only when everything inevitably imploded and Barnett slowly pulled himself up from the muck, did he find the strength to create something of his own, rather than simply attempt to monetize feelings he couldn't tame.

"My music was so fucking bummed, self-aggrandizing, and I'm just very fortunate that I've lived long enough to at least begin to say different things," he said.

The more easy-going manner is the result of a journey that culminated in his taking the directorship of Seattle's School of Rock. Although inaugurated by his tortured childhood, the story begins with a pal's fatal heroin overdose.

"I truly, on the deepest of levels, had my life destroyed by perpetuating a real genuine loss of hope," he said. "My friend died in 2000, and I really never got over it."

In the wake of his broken engagement, Barnett dropped completely out. After several months of homebound self-loathing, he took a job at a coffee shop, and wound up being offered a job at Portland's School of Rock. It changed his life.

"Seeing the kids inspired me," he said. "They're not worried about work. They're not worried about insurance. They just have to play music, and there was something really nice about that. I'd forgotten getting better is what life is all about."

Barnett only hopes people will give Blunt Mechanic a chance. He readily admitted it's all over the place, and he's assembled a crack band, mostly culled from instructors from the performance music academy. The job's temporarily on hold because he would've felt like a fraud if he didn't take his shot.

"World Record" is a smart, tuneful, well-written album, but unless someone buys it, he's unsure if he'll get another chance with Seattle's beloved Barsuk Records, which released the disc. But in the end, it's just about doing something he loves.

"We're not going on tour so all these other people can enjoy our energy and we can come home exhausted. We're going on tour so we can enjoy ourselves, and if anyone gets something out of it, great," he said. "Hopefully, people will know that Kind of Like Spitting got better and it's called Blunt Mechanic now. The same spirit is there; it's just going to be a lot more listenable." "Chris Parker
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5