Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pinkies Up: High Tea with OC Notes.

Otis Calvin III, or OC Notes, is becoming a Cairo regular. Well, why wouldn't he? He's fucking cool. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing OC3 here at Cairo, and we discussed everything from the magic of cable-knit sweaters to Funkedelic's One Nation Under a Groove.
As 1/2 of local hiphop group Metal Chocolates with rapper Rik Rude, Otis produces psychedelic beats for "the whole world. Everybody, really." Yeah? NPR and The Seattle Times think so, and so do we! So much in fact, that OC Notes will be performing at Cairo's winter music fest, EXPO89! Woot.

So check out those photos, and read that interview. Or look at more photos.

Jewelry from Iacoli & McCallister. NEWLY Available at Cairo.
"I feel very lucky that I started out playing instruments and singing in choir. I understand the spirit of truth that you express through music, instead of making a beat.That's just playing with noise."

"This sweater makes me feel like it's christmas dinner, man. And I got allll the money in the family."


Our Interview:
Are you from Seattle?
Arizona. My father is in the military and I lived all over the place for a long time. I spent the most time in Washington State, though.

What is most inspiring about Washington to you?
Nature. The mountains.

Where is the most exciting place you've travelled to?
Germany, I think. Europe is hella cool. The food is really good, the people are nice. It's unreal.

What are you doing when you're not making music?
Sleeping! No, I have a daughter, so I'm with her a lot. She's advanced. She's really bossy. She's a double Leo. I also like to try new things to do, like random shit. This lifestyle is so stressful, you know? You're not allowed to just be satisfied in anything you do.

What's your favorite kid's cereal?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch, man. That's the best cereal ever.

Favorite show growing up?
I was a huge fan of Seinfeld. That shit is great! I love that show. My life is like Seinfeld.

Do you have a style icon or influence?
I'm inspired by not giving a fuck about my style. I can't think about it. Takes too much time in the day. Those are my favorite styles, people who don't think about it ever. Hard work, that's the best style of all time.

Who would you love to play a show with?
Madlib, without a doubt.

What is the best part about collaborating with Fresh Espresso's Rik Rude?
We work really well together. He's really passionate about what he does, and about what he doesn't. His quality of work is better than most people who try twice as hard, too.

What is one thing you will never be able to give up?
I am never going to stop making music. I'm never going to stop trying to make something with my music, that's for sure. I'm glad the press likes my music as much as they do...I just need to get the rest of the world to like it.

Do you ever get starstruck?
Man, I am always starstruck. I get starstruck by Ish [Shabazz Palaces] and even Rik Rude! They are so hardworking and impressive. I'm all shy and shit, so I don't know how to approach a conversation.

Who are your favorite musicians and collaborators in Seattle?
Musicians? Stas and Cat [of THEESatisfaction], all the Wheedle's Groove cats, Darrius Willrich, Jahon Mikal. And of course, Ishmael and Tendai [of Shabazz Palaces] are mindblowing.

What was the best show you saw recently?
I would say Don't Talk to the Cops at Reverb Fest. That's the first one that comes to mind. I love their energy on stage.

What was the best show you played recently?
Metal Chocolates' show at the Triple Door was filthy? The Annika show was filthy too--I wrote 5 new songs for it.

What do you think is different or original about the Seattle hiphop scene?
I think that people are getting really inspired by the weird shit. I don't think people were expecting it to get so popular. I think people thought there was a certain recipe for hiphop, but now they are realizing you need to be an artist, not a businessman.

Where was your first-ever date?
Damn. I think I took this chick to the movies when I was in junior high school. My mom drove us. It was a really awkward situation. I just remember thinking, "damn, this is so lame."

What are your favorite spots to hangout in Seattle?
I like to go to Niho Sushi. I go to The Lo-fi sometimes too. They care a lot about the music.

Who is your target audience?
The whole world. Everybody, really. I really want to make music that everybody can listen to. I wanted to have something for everybody at some point. Well, people with open minds: I dont want to make music for people who make all the problems.

Do you have any music that you are the most proud of?
I made a record called This is Your Brain on Drugs. It's filthy, but no one's ever heard it. It's some of the most universal music I've made, though.

Convinced? Help a friend out!
Metal Chocolates also tweet, whatever that means!


Friday, November 18, 2011

EXPO 89 line-up! New mix up by Adam Forkner of White Rainbow

EXPO 89 line-up Thursday December 8th- Sunday December 11th

Announcing the line-up for Cairo's 4th annual EXPO fest! See you at the FREE Thursday night kick-off party with new artwork by Robert Wolfe, jewels by Meghann Sommer of & Co. Jewelry, and a series of film shorts loosely revolving around the topic of "After Dark" by some of our favorite northwest artists!

Start getting hyped for EXPO now with a new exclusive Cairo mix by Adam Forkner of White Rainbow. Listen/download/explode your mind HERE.

Thursday December 8th, 6 pm, FREE Robert M. Wolfe presents "Dirt", & Co. Jewelry trunk show, and screening of "After Dark"

Friday December 9th, 6 pm, $8 music by

Saturday December 10th, 5 pm, $8 music by

Sunday December 11th, early afternoon FREE Mixtape Reading Series & "UMMM...WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" a salon hosted by Jamey Braden.
6 pm, $8 music by

Thursday, November 17, 2011


On the cusp of their upcoming Rain Delay b/w Goodbye Ball 7” on High Fives & Handshakes records, and subsequent record release party at Cairo this Saturday, we sat down with our four favorite Witches for a nice Q&A. Photos by Lena Joy Whittle.

IAN JUDD: Let’s start with your band name. Sources say that it came from a dream, did it not? What all happened in that dream?

SARA BEABOUT: It did. It’s kind of hard to explain, because it was a dream after all, and they’re hard to explain in full detail. But it was a very bleak, dark, misty area that made me think of a witches’ garden, and there it was! That’s how it happened – it’s not that exciting. I could lie and say there were a lot of cool things about it…

CASEY CATHERWOOD: I remember that I almost didn’t like it! I love (the name) now, and I can’t imagine it being called anything else. But at the time I was like, “that’s so stupid” (laughs) But I think that’s the thing about band names, it’s like, you think about them so much but then if you own one, it sort of just becomes a representation of what you’re doing. So if you really like what you’re doing, then the band name isn’t really that important, it’s just a name.

I: Were there any alternate names that you considered?

KAROLYN KUKOSKI: I only remember “The Age of Rings”…lots of rings.

C: Sara B and I were into tarot stuff for a while, and we were flipping through some and thinking, “what if we were to combine these two, like, the page of wands and the page of rings?” And then we were just like, “this is so stupid, let’s just call it Witch Gardens, or wait until it becomes more mystic. (all laugh)

I: Let’s share a little bit of your musical background, I know that most of you have grown up playing an instrument, like I know that Beth, you played classical piano growing up; Karolyn, you played the autoharp for years before you joined Witch Gardens; and Casey, you played a few other instruments before the guitar. Sara, I know you played bass in a band once?

S: Very briefly I played the bass. I wouldn’t say that I played╦ć the bass really. I tried. I grew up singing in theater but I never played an instrument before the picked up the drums. I’ve been playing the drums since I was 23! Being a drama nerd helped me with my confidence, like in trying new things, and wanting to get out there and perform. Confidence is the key, the rest will come to you.

BETH CORRY: I grew up playing classical piano, and I played for 10 years. I miss it, but I do feel that it provides an interesting and helpful angle in our band, because it’s fun to come with that background and understanding in music and try to make something new with people who don’t. You end up creating something cool.
K: And we need you to translate most of the music. (laughs) She’s the Beethoven of the band.

C: In learning new songs, it’s her ability to hear something, figure it out, and relay it Karol…her inherent ability to hear music and process it into notes and chords is a major boost to the communication of our band. For awhile it was like, playing a note on guitar and looking it up on Wikipedia, like searching “guitar” (laughs) to find what note it was, and it seriously took forever.

K: I signed up for autoharp lessons with Katherine Britell, who’s a cool autoharp lady, but I crashed my car and couldn’t go to all of them. There was another woman in the class named Karolyn who was 40 years old and wrote a song called “Bassett Hound Blues”…and I felt like I was looking into my future. (all laughs)

I: How did this record come to be? Out of all the songs that you have written, why did you choose “Rain Delay” to become its own single? Was it out of practicality or preference?

S: Peter Lowe approached us and wanted to put something out for us, so we got the ball rolling with him. We had a lot of songs at the time, but the majority of them were already on our Alice, Agatha, Branch, and Christ cassette. So to be honest, there weren’t a lot of songs left to put on this record. But we thought that Rain Delay and Goodbye Ball went together nicely!

C: It’s interesting that it’s coming out now, almost a year after it was written! The song is very much inspired by Pacific Northwest life. You can do all of these great things, but the weather is not accommodating, you’re harshed out, so you have to make the best of it. I love playing that song. I’m stoked that it’s getting its own seven-inch.

I: Would you want to elaborate on “Goodbye Ball”?

B: “Goodbye Ball” is a song that was inspired by Koko (the Gorilla)’s kitten. We wrote this song without lyrics, and when we sat down together to write some lyrics for it, the clipboard that I was using to write on top of was Casey’s copy of “Koko’s Kitten”. A lot of the lyrics are actually quotes from Koko.

C: But the actual chorus of “Goodbye Ball" is not in the book at all. It is referencing Koko’s cat, “Ball”, who dies. But the idea of a ball was inspired by this day that I was walking with Matt Lawson, up Union Street and we were just literally watching these kids lose a ball. And they were these tiny kids, so they were just chasing this ball all the way down Union, they were maybe like a few steps behind it the whole way. We watched them, they passed us, the ball keeps rolling, we don’t stop it, the ball keeps going. It was just like, “see you later, goodbye ball.”

I: Word is that Witch Gardens are contributing a track for Cairo’s Expo 89 compilation (Coastal Sightings) and it’s a collaboration with USF and Haunted Horses. Your group seems to be very open to collaboration – you cut a track with rapper Manch Malevolent a couple of months ago – is there anybody in the contemporary moment that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

B: My mind goes straight to top 40.

S: Lil B, the BasedGod.

C: I’ve wanted to write a song with my friend ISSUE, and I’ve been talking with him a little bit about it. He’s a young guy, totally weird, we both think a lot about creativity; just on the same wavelength. We’re friends on twitter. We’d like to collaborate with artists that sound completely different from us. I don’t think collaborating with another rock band would be very interesting, unless it was a collaboration of voices or something. We can make rock music, but we’re not very good at making rap or dance music.

I: I know that the four of you are all big rap and hip-hop fans, and you’ve played with a few rap & hip-hop groups: who are some of your favorite emcees/rappers?

S: Luda. Ludacris is my all time favorite.

K: Dead Prez, Brother Ali, Eminem. I love Eminem.

B: Pharell, but I mostly care about Snoop Dogg. I’ll be honest. Metal Chocolates are a favorite.

C: So much great local rap these days. Brothers From Another are amazing, Kung Foo Grip, Don’t Talk to the Cops, Metal Chocolates. OC Notes is super influential. Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction...Proud to be from Seattle, all love to all rappers from Seattle, except the negative ones.

I: There’s a lot of imagery in your lyrics, but there’s an equal amount of humor and sadness to be found as well. Would you agree?

B: I would say that in terms of humor the four of us like each other a lot, get along really well, and have a really good time together. Humor just plays into that because we’re all funny people, and we take that into account when we’re writing lyrics, because we don’t take things that seriously. I mean, we take things seriously, we want the music and lyrics to be good, but we also want to have fun, and that’s just a part of our band and our personalities. In terms of sadness, I would just say that we’re sad dudes.

C: I would say that there is an element of true sadness in every one of our band members. I’m not trying to milk it but every one of us uses humor in a way to paint a positive picture to what are actually very dark issues. A lot of our songs are about things that I find to be truly sad, or a lot of the songwriting will come from a sad place, but if you can laugh about it all with your friends, that’s what our band is about, I think.

I: There’s also a heavy visual element to Witch Gardens. You make your own banners and posters, there’s a lot of iconography and references in those show posters - basically, you seem to have a good handle on the visual aesthetic of your project. Why do you feel that it’s necessary to have complete control not just over the musical aspects of your band, but the visual parts as well?

B: It’s exciting to be in this project with Casey, who has seemingly unlimited creative drive, and works with a variety of visual elements. It definitely adds a lot to the band.

C: Think about your favorite bands, they usually have cool album covers, who doesn’t like an album more when it looks good? When you get a book and there’s two different copies of the same book, like Art of War or whatever, and there’s the Barnes & Noble copy that looks like crap, or a different copy that some great graphic designer created. If they’re the same price, of course you’re going to choose the one that looks better. There’s something about it that’s just visually appealing. The band is like an art project. We have spent a lot of time on video work too…

I: You’ve made all of your own videos, except for the “Goodbye Ball” video, right?

B: Yeah, there’s also a video that Pierce made for “Small Daring Boy”.

SMALL DARING BOY - WITCH GARDENS from Pierce Adler on Vimeo.

I: Witch Gardens marks the first time that three of you have been in a band. When you were starting out, what were the biggest obstacles to being in your first band? Also, what came easiest?

K: It was really scary playing live for the first time. You don’t even know how nervous you are, you can’t feel it. I remember when we played “I Wanna Get Sick” the first couple of times, and there’s a part where I play the keyboard, and afterward you said to me, “your hands were trembling, were you nervous?” And I remember saying, “I had no idea, I can’t remember anything that just happened!” (laughs)

S: Travis Coster gave me some advice after our first show. He told me, “don’t forget this feeling, because at a certain point, you will lose that feeling of super nervousness,” and he was saying that he wished that he still felt that way sometimes.

B: Travis blows my mind…I would never want to feel that way again! (laughs)

I: My final question: what’s in store for the future of Witch Gardens? What do y’all see in your crystal ball?

S: We see a full length that we’re recording for Couple Skate in the future. That’s our next project that we want to focus on.

C: Happiness, taking things out on to the road, more music videos, more art.

B: I just want to keep playing and meeting more great people. Those are probably the best things about being in a band.

K: Beth and me have a two-piece called “Two Girls on a Porch”, we only play Linkin Park covers. We’re excited.

WG: See you in two weeks.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


.... It's cold outside!

Come check out our Fat Stack of Vintage Blankets. This mexican blanket is big enough for two.

Snuggling makes you warmer. Thanks to Casey and Rachel.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Next Silkscreen Workshop is Tuesday, December 6 at 7 pm.

$45 gets you this great workshop, teaching you the basics of silkscreening shirts and posters + 1 month's worth of 7 day a week access to our studio to create your very own goodies. Stop by or email alchemy.of.time (at) gmail.com to reserve a spot!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cairo Quickie: Leather Mamas.

It appears that maroon is IN right now. (Burgundy?)

Kari Odegaard (1/2 of Voodoo Reverb ) and Isabel Trujillo ( 1 whole megababe) both sported their dark red leathers at Cairo last week. Who is so excited to see more new fall fashion? ME!

All about Isabel's jacket? WELL it will be posted for sale on Etsy soon!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MATT LAWSON, of Secret Colors

We recently talked with Matt Lawson from Secret Colors in advance of his show here at Cairo on Friday November 4th celebrating the new release, Water Mirror, being put out on Brooklyn NY label Group Tightener. Show starts at 8 pm, and will also feature sets from Weed (Vancouver, B.C.) & Pleasure Beauties (Olympia, WA). Check out the interview below & as well as some recent videos Matt created.

Heavy Sleeper from Secret Colors on Vimeo.

1995, or 2012? That is hard! I feel like I could think about this for a long time . . . As much as I wanna say 1995 I know it's foolish to wanna live in the past so I'll say 2012. I'm excited for the future.

How did this album come about? What is your relationship with Group Tightener? Group Tightener is run by two guys from Seattle that live in Brooklyn now. They found my music via the internet/myspace about a year and a half ago and asked if they could put out some of my stuff. At that time I wasn't too focused on Secret Colors, I was a lot more invested in this new band, Stephanie. But they really wanted to do it and of course the prospect of having a vinyl record with my music on it was really exciting. So we came up with a way to do it. Basically, I hadn't recorded any new material in a long time, so they asked if I could send them all my old recordings and together we could decide on a batch of songs that could make for a good album. As a result, half the songs are from an old tape that had a ridiculously small pressing, and the other half are from a cd-r that I made and never officially released. Those guys are awesome and their support really made me take my solo music-making a lot more seriously and the process of putting out this record has been so amazing. Thanks Jamie and Sam!

Where did you grow up? Did you go to shows there? Do you remember the first show you ever attended (sans parents)? I was born and raised in Spokane, WA. There was some stuff going on there but I never knew about it. I never really went to shows at all until I moved to Seattle. I think that's given me a real appreciation for a lot of the stuff I'm able to experience and be a part of here, because it hasn't always been like that for me. There's so much going on all the time, it's so cool. I feel really blessed to be where I am in all of it. The first show sans parents might have been The Wailers (with some guy filling in for Bob Marley) in Spokane. Haha, that was pretty cool.

You work in a ton of mediums, was art apart of your childhood or upbringing? I loved to draw and write at a young age. I loved writing stories. I really enjoyed that and was told that I was pretty good at it. That's something I wish I did more of these days. I used to draw a lot and make comic books and stuff. At some point basketball kind of took over, and then skateboarding, and finally music. But I really love to try and create things in lots of different ways. Music definitely comes the most naturally to me, but with other stuff I just get inspired by friends and stuff I see and sometimes it's fun to try and make a poster or a video or whatever.

Secret Colors - Rewinder from Secret Colors on Vimeo.

Are there particular filmmakers or video artists you admire? I really like David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Terrence Mallick, I saw a couple films by Andrei Tarkovsky that were inspiring. Same with Ingmar Bergman. Recently I got into Lars Von Trier's stuff. I really love Enter the Void by Gaspar Noe. Old skateboarding videos for sure. I think what I like about video art is the way you can sort of simulate a hallucinatory experience. I also really love the way situations or stories can be presented through film, as opposed to in a book, as much as I love reading and appreciate what that medium has to offer. There are just certain things that can be done with film that I feel really drawn to.

Was there a particular band, or song, that made you understand a reality "outside of Top 40", or commercial radio? It's hard to think back and figure out when that switch was flipped. I grew up a huge hip hop fan. From about 10 to 15 almost all I listened to was like hardcore rap. My dad would find the cd's and break them in half! But then I got really into a classic rock phase, and then I heard The Velvet Underground and that was huge for me. So then it just went from them to Sonic Youth, and then Black Dice and stuff like that later on.

You collaborate a lot, is there someone either historically, or a contemporary artist you'd like to create music with? There are a few bands that I'm so obsessed with that I've totally dreamed about going back in time and being in the band. It's almost painful that I can't actually do it. The Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, and The Swirlies.

Top five forever albums?

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs/Feels
Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

Who are you particularly psyched on right now musically? My biggest musical discovery this year has been Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. I'm obsessed. They've become one of my all time favorites for sure. Eric Copeland from Black Dice is one of my favorite contemporary artists. I've been really into this band Disco Inferno. They were from England and put out a lot of awesome stuff in the '90's. I also just recently discovered Tonstartssbandht, these two guys that make this weird music that just feels so good to me. It's kind of all over the place, from psych-rock to crazy a capella doo wop. Feeling inspired by them right now, like there's no reason to hold back.

What is your day job? How do you view your day-to-day, is a job a means to an end, or does it contribute to your creative process? I work at an elementary school as an after school counselor. I hang out with kids every day. I've been doing it for almost two years now and I feel really comfortable and it fits into my life really well. I think in some ways it could be contributing to the creative process because I spend that time thinking a lot about musical ideas and band stuff. It's not so demanding or stressful that I can't let my mind wander. A lot of it is fun and really entertaining and keeps me feeling like a kid.

We've never met, but I hear you are over 8 feet tall, any good stories come out of that? Haha,I'm 6'7" actually. Sometimes I become really conscious of that fact and it freaks me out, but at the end of the day I am what I am. I've gotten used to it. I always have a pretty good view of my surroundings, which is nice.

What's your favorite thing about the Northwest, or Seattle in particular....what keeps you here? The Northwest is just home. I'm so used to it. I think the main thing that keeps me here is relationships with friends and loved ones. I'd like to travel more and see more of the U.S. at some point. I don't know if I'll be in Seattle forever, but it feels good right now.

SEE YOU ON FRIDAY, $5 gets you in the door, and $10 gets you in the door AND a copy of Water Mirror! Until then enjoy another insanely blissed out video below....

Secret Colors - New Lens from Secret Colors on Vimeo.


Last month we shot our newest Cairo Lookbook at the Cafe Vita Loft on Capitol Hill. Thanks to Cafe Vita and our models. Styling by Aimee Butterworth. Photos by Olivia McCausland.

Check out our newest FALL / early WINTER Lookbook on our new TUMBLR.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Next Silkscreen Workshop is Tuesday, November 8 at 7 pm

$45 gets you this great workshop, teaching you the basics of silkscreening shirts and posters + 1 month's worth of 7 day a week access to our studio to create your very own goodies. Stop by or email alchemy.of.time (at) gmail.com to reserve a spot!