Sunday, July 12, 2009

127 Shows Later, H Is for Hellgate Closes Up Shop

It's with a very substantial amount of sadness that I, Jamie Hellgate, write the news that H Is for Hellgate is in its final days. Jon, our drummer, has accepted a job overseas and with his departure, Ben and I have decided to put H Is for Hellgate to rest. There is a small chance that Jon's plans will fall through and the band could stay together, but it's not likely and we won't have the final word for a couple of weeks so we are considering this the end.

It's very probable that Ben and I will work together again on another project, but as of right now, there is nothing specific planned. In the meantime, Ben will continue the "Hooray" legacy with We Wrote the Book On Connectors while I work with the ex-Hungry Pines ladies on a new band (name pending) on the drums.

Our last show will be Thursday, July 23rd at the Comet Tavern in Seattle. If you can, please come down and celebrate with us. I promise to play some of the older songs a little less begrudgingly than usual. Also, we'll have the Hellgate Club Issue 2 CDs available for free with the last three songs we wrote which I recorded in my garage a couple weeks ago.

127 shows
2 semi-national tours
7 mini-tours
2 albums
1 incomplete album
30 songs
1 line-up change

Last night I compiled some of the funny bits from the volumes of footage that David took over our first two years. I realized that Jon has all the footage from this last six months and has already edited it into the February 2009 tour videos available for viewing on our YouTube site.

Thank yous and sappy things to follow the final show. I just don't want to dish it all out now in case one country bombs another and Jon has to (gets to!) stay.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The end of the June Tour of Seattle Festivals

Last weekend we started off our June Tour of Seattle with a lovely afternoon show at the Fremont Fair where a very enthusiastic gentleman danced to a good portion of our set in a style which I will call The Rooster Ballet. A few of our friends joined him in a dance or two, after which my friend Mel said, "He touched my chest."

That night we played in a pure rawk-n-roll line-up with SHIM and Pipsisewah. There was no chest touching reported despite the dancing that I witnessed.

So, what's in store this weekend? Here's the agenda:

- Saturday, June 27 at 7:30 PM - we're playing at the Georgetown Music Fest which is a part of Seattle Weekly's Aropia Festival. There are many quality local bands playing that day, so you should bring your camping chair, grab a beer and a bag a peanuts, and check the whole thing out. The Seattle Weekly wrote a nice little piece about the show and the Hellgate Club for Musically Advanced Ladies and Gentlemen - read it here.

- Sunday, June 28 at 7:15 PM - I (Jamie) am playing a solo acoustic set at the Bend-it Festival at the Vera Project. What's Bend-it? In their words, "Bend It is a queer artist activist collective that makes the world a more fabulous place by building welcoming, liberated spaces, strengthening community, and creating meaningful alternatives for queer young people and their friends. " Sounds nice, yeah?
So now that the June Seattle tour is wrapping up, what's next for HIFH? Glad you asked - we're going to record Issue 2 of the Club demos in my garage, experimenting with micing in the vaulted ceiling. It will either sound cool or like we're playing in an empty morgue. I'll keep you posted. I'm hoping to have Issue 2 ready by our 7/11 Anacortes show, but we'll definitely have the new goodies for you on 7/23 at the Comet.

I'll leave you with a couple more pictures from last weekend:

Monday, June 15, 2009

And for the longest day of 2009...

We're going to take full advantage and play TWO SHOWS!

For folks who like their music during the day, especially at a festival fund-raiser, we'll be at the Fremont Fair Waterfront Stage from 5:15 - 6:00. What's the Fremont Fair about? Glad you asked:

The Fremont Fair is a grass-roots community celebration that is now in its 38th year. In addition to providing a forum for a diverse spectrum of arts and the creative spirit of Fremont, the Fair also serves as a fundraiser for Solid Ground — a service organization dedicated to achieving a just and caring community free from poverty, prejudice and neglect. Solid Ground’s 30 programs give 30,000 families a year in King County the services, resources and support they need to overcome homelessness, hunger, domestic violence and other traumas associated with poverty.

Please come down, donate non-perishable items at the Comcast booth and be sure to leave a donation for Solid Ground in the orange boxes!

For you night owls, we'll be getting all hot n' sweaty at the High Dive in Fremont at about 9:00 PM.

We're running low on the Hellgate Club For Musically Advanced Ladies and Gentlemen Volume 1 Issue 1 CDs (containing new, unreleased goods) so if you want one, you should show up this weekend before they're gone forever!

And as if all of this wasn't exciting enough, we have two brand new songs for you:

- Desaturate the Gyroscopes - our first fully instrumental face-ripper with Jon
- League, Fathom, or Stone - a little dark shuffle


Seattle P.I. wrote about our demo club

Local band joins others in simply giving music away The Seattle trio H is for Hellgate has decided to forgo traditional record releases and instead give away their music as they record it. They're part of a growing trend of giving music away.

Check out the full feature here.

In the comments section, there are a lot of people chiming in and asking the questions, "How do these kids expect to pay the bills by giving away their only source of income?" Here are some things to know about H Is for Hellgate that the article may not have pointed out:

1. We are going to continue releasing full-length albums; the demo club is a bonus for our fans because we wish to offer an extra "thank you" to our most dedicated supporters.

2. Although I wish it were otherwise, we've never sold enough CDs to consider quitting our day jobs.

3. We make much more money from shows, t-shirt sales and licencing than from CDs and mp3 downloads. This trend is true for almost every other band at our level in our careers.

4. If you're interested on professional opinions on the future of music, you should include The Future Of Music: Manifesto For The Digital Music Revolution, co-written by the President of Berklee School Of Music, in your research.

5. We do, very much, have day jobs that pay the bills and buy the gear. You'd be surprised at how many of your favorite Seattle bands, even those getting national attention, playing on late-night TV, etc, are checking groceries, serving you food, or behind a desk off the rock clock.

6. At the end of the day, we're not delusional enough to think that some slick lawyer is going to pick us up in a town car, shuffle us down to the local office of whatever major label, and hand over a suitcase of money for what we're doing. We're doing this because we love music and to quote one of my favorites, Gillian Welch, "We're going to do it anyway, even if it doesn't pay."

Hellgate out!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And now, a personal story about me and the Moog guitar

About nine months ago, I went on a date with a intimidatingly beautiful person named Samantha.  Over margaritas at El Chupacabra, we got to know each other.  She learned that I played a variety of instruments in about fourteen bands and I learned that her father was the inventor of the newly-released Moog guitar and that she owned several records by Mahavishnu Orchestra.  

We were pretty much married at that point.

For people who aren't gearheads and are unfamiliar with the Moog guitar, here's the rundown: it's the first guitar manufactured by Moog, a synthesizer and effects maker whose gear you have heard in many, many spacey/keyboard songs.  Paul Vo, Samantha's dad basically walked in off the street, talked to the big cheese at Moog about this crazy idea he had, and WHAM, a guitar that sounds like a spaceship and plays like butter. (That's my review anyway.  Thank you and good night.)  He's won a bunch of awards n' shit too.  

Here's some dude laying it down on the Moog guitar:

I decided that I really liked this Samantha chick and I've kept her around.  Coincidentally, her parents are in town this week and Paul kindly brought his prototype of the guitar with him for me to play tomorrow (Friday, May 15th) at the Mars Bar.  

In honor of the inherent geekdom of the guitar, we're playing with two of my favorite bands - Panther Attack and Wah Wah Exit Wound.  You should definitely come down and hang out if you're in Seattle.

HELLGATE CLUB FOR MUSICALLY ADVANCED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN has launched with hella success!  Thank you so much to our new and old friends in Spokane, Bozeman, and Missoula for coming out to see us play and snatching up 1/3 of the 100 copies of our spring demo CD.   Seattle, your chance to get these hot, handmade CDs is finally here tomorrow at our show.  Get some!

(I feel gross for saying, "Get some.")

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hello, Future. (Or, free Hellgate mp3s each month!)

Are you madly in love with us?

Or, are you moderately entertained by fresh take on music?

Or, are you indifferent to the power of the H, but you consider yourself a music collector?

Or, do you not really care for us, but you want to prove your indie cred to your friends because genetics is against you and you just can't grow that ironic mustache?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, we have the solution for you! Introducing the HELLGATE CLUB FOR MUSICALLY ADVANCED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

The HELLGATE CLUB FOR MUSICALLY ADVANCED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN is the band's exclusive posse, if you will. By joining our mailing list (via our website or myspace) you'll be privilege to:

- free, unreleased fresh-n-hot out the kitchen new demo mp3s every month
- invitations to exclusive Hellgate events (music video shoot, anyone?)
- CD listening parties- other awesomeness

Also, we will be giving away FOR FREE at all of our shows the seasonal demo songs on CD with sweet handmade artwork by local artists. They'll be limited to 100 hand-numbered copies, so get one while they're still around.

This weekend we'll be rolling out Volume 1, Issue 1 in Spokane (4/30), Bozeman (5/1), and Missoula (5/2) (yes, because maybe I like Montana better than Seattle...). If you can see us at a show, you get free new music. If you can't sign up for our mailing list and you'll get free new music.

That, my friends, is what we call a win-win. Because no matter how you feel about us, we love you for listening to our music.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

***Crocodile show this week*** Just added!

Spring is in the air.

Flowers are blooming.

People are being nice again.

You are leaving the house more often.

Did you know Thursday was the new Friday before Tuesday was the new Friday?

So, what are you doing Thursday night, April 16th? Hows about you come down to the newly fancified Crocodile and listen to our new jams on the sweet, sweet Croc system as we warm up the crowd for one of my favorite bands (no bullshit), Portugal. The Man and locals, Alligators...oui? Non? OUI OUI!

By the way, have you seen our rad new shirts? (See really hip American Apparel model at left.)We're going to run a sweet merch special this Thursday at the Croc - three bucks off our shirts or CDs if you sign up for our mailing list. And yes, you do want to be on the list because we're going to start giving away free, unreleased mp3s n' shit. More on that soon.

That's tighter than my belt after Christmas dinner!

The likely setlist on a request? Put it on our Facebook or MySpace page and, unlike radio DJs, we'll probably actually play it!

Dual Sunrise Over Magrathea
White Knife
If Someone Nails You To a Cross...
New York Times
The Sum
Sighs In Overdrive

That's all for now. SUITCASE.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hellgate live show on Hollow Earth Radio

If you weren't able to make it out the the Holy Mountain last Saturday for the Beep Repaired Family Tree II Comp showcase, you have a second chance to hear the show today at 2PM and on Saturday by streaming the awesomeness known as Hollow Earth Radio. You should check it out because our set consisted entirely of new, unreleased Hellgate goods.

Not much to report other than that. We're working feverishly on crafting the newest and freshest new songs for you. We'll see you in May.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What happens in Vegas gets put on YouTube

Please enjoy Part III of the H Is for Hellgate February '09 Tour Experience featuring:

- The Hoover Dam!
- The Las Vegas Strip!
- Jon's tender moment with prostitution propaganda!
- The Boot, our newest band member!
- The guy from Reno buying us a bottle of whiskey in the middle of our set!

Tomorrow, Saturday March 21st, we'll have the honor and the pleasure of being a part of the Beep Repaired Family Tree II Compilation Showcase with the cream of the Seattle local music crop! The compilation DIY label Beep Repaired is releasing contains an unreleased song that didn't make it on our last record, "Rebellion in 4/4." Ooooooo, unreleased material.... Come celebrate the release with us and others at the Holy Mountain. We hit the stage at 4:00 PM. It will be our last show for a couple months before we go into hibernation and kick out some new jams.

Friday, March 13, 2009

You know what Friday the 13th means for Hellgate?

...absolutely nothing.

In the spirit of being a band, we're working hard and fast at cranking out new jams for the people, and get this - we've got not one, but TWO NEW SONGS to play for you at the Blue Moon tomorrow night (Saturday, 3/14). THAT'S NOT ALL! We're also busting out an oldie. "Belt of Lights," anyone?


Let's take a roll call of the new songs:

1. White Knife
2. If Somebody Nails You to a Cross (You Don't Have Much Choice)
3. New York Times
4. Sighs In Overdrive *NEW*
5. The Sum *NEW*

The show tomorrow will be a fun one, no doubt about that. I always feel like I'm back in Missoula at Jay's Upstairs when we play the Blue Moon with all of the venue's "history" and "smell" and "characters." Just like home! Nonetheless, the show is also a birthday party for JJ, emperor of the Blue Moon and 30 Rock quoting extraordinaire. Anyone who can recite more of Tina Fey's lines than I can has to do nothing more to earn my respect.

Finally, Jon is becoming quite the video post-productionist. Check out the wizardry he performed with the second installment of our tour footage:


Friday, February 27, 2009

Are you there, Seattle? It's us, H Is for Hellgate.

If you read this blog regularly at all, you may recall that I mentioned an awesome tour video that Jon was putting together. Well my friend, today we're going to treat you to Part One of the Total Hellgate February Tour Experience. Check out the video below.

We're playing our first show since returning from tour tomorrow (Saturday, 2/28) at the Comet Tavern. We'll share with you all the wisdom and insight we gained from enduring such a strenuous trail, for example:

- one should pay attention to their DayQuil dosage
- if one's glasses fly off of one's face in a moment of rock and are subsequently stepped on, one should learn that they will continue to fly off of one's face and to stop rocking so goddamned much
- being sick on tour is like being punched in the face on Christmas
- be prepared to cop a squat anywhere at any time
- when an audience member offers to buy the band drinks, insist that the drinks be delivered via a bottle purchased from the bar and passed around for the remainder of the night
- assume everyone in Reno is an undercover cop and act accordingly

Anyway, the show tomorrow is an early one - doors are at 5:00 PM and the show will wrap up by 8:30, so really it's more like a dinner performance. Wear a sport jacket and bring a date (optional).

The Stranger said some nice things about the band for the show:

(Comet, 5 pm) H Is for Hellgate—the Seattle poppy-post-punk outfit powered by singer-songwriter- guitarist Jamie Henkensiefken—are gaining national attention for their new record, Come for the Peaks, Stay for the Valleys. But the track that most caught my attention is "Tina Fey," an as-yet-unreleased track I found on the band's MySpace page. Over a sprightlier-than-normal pop-punk riff (one of the band's key traits is their way with slower, heavier tempos), Henkensiefken lays out her deep personal love for the woman who's become America's Sweetheart. "Why did you marry some guy from the SNL band? I think we could have worked it out. If you wanna hook up with a real musician who won't knock you up..." The cute is kept in check by the creepy—the song ends with our frantic-with-desire frontwoman cozying up to her amazingly lifelike Tina Fey Real Doll. DAVID SCHMADER

And now, our featured performance.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last Day of Tour

When we left off last week, we were about to rock the hell out of Albuquerque on a Sunday. If you can imagine, there were NOT many people out on the Sunday after Valentine's day. Also, the bar didn't bother to book any local bands. Great. Nonetheless, two very enthusiastic and kind people watched our whole set, showered us with compliments, and the male of the duo professed his love to me.

We had Monday off and had decided to try and see the Grand Canyon which is more-or-less between Albuquerque and Phoenix, our next stop. We made it to Flagstaff at around dusk, so we parked it there at the Super 8 and found us some RAD karaoke at an establishment called Museum Club. I'm pretty sure Museum Club was airlifted out of Livingston, MT, so at least I felt right at home. There were many dead animals on the wall, and not in that ironic King's Hardware kind of way. The karaoke being performed was predominately country, so I warmed up the crowd to us city slickers with some Judds and Barbra Mandrell before we said farewell with an all-Hellgate performance of System Of A Down's "Chop Suey." Then, we walked outside to two inches of snow.

The next day we attempted to go to the Grand Canyon but the road was closed because of snow, so we sat on our asses in Phoenix, enjoyed some fare from Hooters then went to a movie. The club was definitely not in a good part of town, a point which was proven by the mugging that happened outside the club during our set. We played with a really sweet band called Tugboat who kindly put us up for the night.

We had a scheduled day off before our Las Vegas show, so we booked a couple of nights at the Imperial Palace for some R&R. The first night, Samantha and I took some time away from the boys to go on a date. The boys entertained themselves by leaving us the pictured gift on our bed. The next day we found out our Las Vegas gig was bumped for a magic show (thanks, Las Vegas, you cheap slut), so we did what any responsible band would do - we filled up my 32 ounce boot from Coyote Ugly (that had previously been filled with daiquiri) with Jack and Coke and hit the strip to take some new band promo shots with Jon. Then we parked ourselves at the Bellagio slots, got a few free whiskey and Cokes, refilled the boot and resumed our mission.

Last night we played in Reno which was all-around bizarre. The club was a 24-hour sports bar that usually hosted metal bands, but the patrons all looked like they were more interested in hip-hop. We followed a local band which, between breaks of asking the ladies in the crowd to show their tits, played some sort of pop punk/metal. By the time we took the stage, I didn't think we were going to win any audience members over. The awkwardness of the night was multiplied by me breaking a string during the first song and Ben tripping on my mic cable and knocking over my mic stand and drinks. But the people who stuck around seemed to love us. One guy threw a twenty dollar bill on stage during our third song. I thought was going to ask us to play some Journey or equally bad cover songs, but as it turned out he really like our Rush-esque timing changes. Then he offered to buy us drinks and asked what we liked. I said whiskey. He returned to the stage a few minutes later with 2/3 of a bottle of Jack Daniels for the band to share on stage. The rest of the set, while not technically our best, was full of enthusiasm and vigor.

Today we've been hanging around Sacramento waiting to play our last gig. The van got an oil change and we're going to pull an all-nighter in order to get back to our own beds ASAP.

I'll be posting some more videos and photos as we all exchange our goods. I'm sure everyone is dying to see Ben sing "Band On the Run" or Jon's tour montage.

Hooray, Tour! Extra special thanks to Carly at Starbird for hooking our shit UP!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 11 of Tour "You know I'm sick when I don't even want to use the internet" (working title)

Seriously. My first goal upon arriving in any particular town is to find the wi-fi, but this mad Hellgate cold '09 put us all on our asses for a few days. Ben had the cold first, so it's obviously his fault. Jon and I caught it at the same time, but that sprightly young fellow recovered much more quickly than me. Nevertheless, Hellgate is in better spirits all around and we managed to dig deep and provide some rock over the last week. Here are some highlights.

Oakland - we had a couple of days off between our Eureka and our San Francisco show, so we spent a night at the LoBot warehouse in Oakland. The warehouse is home to about 15 people, all artists and/or musicians, I believe. We were treated to a performance by John who does a Fleetwood Mac cover thing. Here's John singing my request of "The Chain:"

San Francisco - the next day we picked up a couple of Jon's friends from the airport who were awesome enough to come down from Seattle for a short vacation and to see the show. Then we checked into the Phoenix Hotel which is known for being a "rockstar hotel." This is when Jon and I started getting sick. This is also when we had neighbors who thought that, because they were staying in a "rockstar hotel" that they should stay up all night partying. Awesome. Our show at the Hemlock was good, but blurry in my memory which was probably corroded with DayQuil.

Los Angeles - We actually had a good LA show. I know. That never happens. Everyone hates playing in LA. We did well. We had friends there thanks to my g/f, as well as a handful of other friends. We had a long post-show drive to Yorba Linda to our hosts' house who medicated and fed us very well. Thanks, Jessica and Steven!

San Diego - One of the things I was most excited about for tour was going to a warm-ish portion of the beach, so on the way to San Diego we stopped at Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, it was the height of me wanting to die from my cold, so Ben, Jon and Sam saw the ocean and I slept in the van. Booooo. Well, not totally booo. It gave me the energy to play reasonably well at Bar Pink that night. Bar Pink actually had a built-in crowd which seemed totally bizarre for an urban music venue. People listened. People danced. The sound was good. Hoorays all around.

Tucson - Our original show was cancelled because it was double-booked, so the HangArt space was kind enough to put on the show. The HangArt is an art space in a mini-hangar. It was also kind of outdoors. We learned that the desert is not warm in the winter. Lisa Mae, friend of our occasional biggest friend, Matt Brown, was our hostess for the evening. She said we couldn't have bacon unless we played "Tina Fey." We played "Tina Fey" very, very poorly. After the show we hung out at our hostess's house for a while, listening to music, enjoying some PBR, and allowing Lisa Mae to entertain us with crazy stories. Ben sent a text to his wife that said, "Matt Brown's friend is crazy!" and the reply he got was, "Remember, you're married."

Santa Fe - The all-ages place where we played, Warehouse 21, was really rad. The people were all super nice, but the turn-out was not great. We found out after the show that two of the high schools had Valentines Day dances that sucked away the draw. I asked what there was to do in Santa Fe since we only have an hour drive to Albuquerque today and was told, "Party." "Hike." "Hike and party!"

We're doing neither. I almost assaulted a Starbucks barista over the mis-advertised "Two hours of Wi-Fi on us!" This town seems to hide it's coffee shops and I needed coffee and internet ASAP.

We're on the homestretch of tour with only five shows left. So far it has gone really, really well and people seem to like us, but it has also been weird not being well enough to do any of the fun tour things like drive hundreds of miles hungover or get video footage of Ben eating meat.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Day 4 of Tour "I'm going to throw this Chinese food on your face" (working title)

Well, the Eureka show went well considering what it was - Hellgate as the sole band in a bar that probably features classic rock cover bands playing with a car speaker as a monitor to 15 people playing pool. However, at least half of the patrons said they liked our style and a couple of them even purchased CDs. Hooray!

We're treating ourselves to a Super 8 tonight. Jon just showered for the first time since we left. Tomorrow we're going to head down to the Bay Area to hang with Sam's friend who lives in a warehouse in Oakland and have a couple days off.
Here are some photos that Sam took of us. We're on a mission to create a library of promo photos in exciting locations, especially because we don't yet have any promo photos of Jon and I don't want him to think we hate him. We don't.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Day 3 of Tour "Talk About It" (working title)

Well, last night's show in Eugene was just fantastic. We played with our friends in the Ovulators and The Dead Americans and even had some familiar faces from our show in January come out to see us again. Hooray!

We also debuted a new song for the fine people of Eugene, "New York Times," and it seemed to go over well.

Before the show we went to dinner at the Eugene City Brewery which is a Rogue beer place. The whole Rogue beer thing seemed a little cult-ish because our server wouldn't leave the table until we all agreed to sign up to be a part of the "Rogue Nation" which, apparently, has "benefits." I hope they have luck sending me marketing material care of Julie Ross in Kent.

We also got a little write-up in the Eugene Weekly which was good (I think...). It gives a little bit of an energy boost when we know that, when going to a town where few to no people know us, some might be persuaded to give us a try.

Thank you again to The Dead Americans to being fantastic hosts and breakfast company. Today we had a lovely drive through the Redwoods down to Eureka. Guess what? We found the ocean! Ask us how:

We attempted to start recording our RPM album based off of some fresh guitar stuff Jon was playing, but I discovered that there was some weird interference, probably because the power is coming from the van battery. But, I think we have a work around.

Many more rad videos and pictures have been taken by Ben and Samantha which will be posted soon. This is just to let you know we're still alive and causing just a little bit of trouble. As for now, we're sitting in a dive-bar-turned-nice-dive-bar called Lil' Red Hen in Eureka waiting to find out if other bands are on the bill with us as the three regulars watch bull riding. My hunch is that I'm going to be digging deep into my solo folk/country repertoire to fill up some time. And, I'm wishing we would have learned YYZ already.
More soon.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Day 1 of Tour "F Everyone But Us" (working title)

Quote of yesterday (Ben): "You know that guy, Leonard Peltier...everyone's always trying to free him."
It doesn't quite feel like we're on tour yet because we're only in Portland, a city we visit pretty frequently. So, we're having some mandatory bonding time at Powell's bookstore to pass the day until we head down to Eugene to have a friend-band extravaganza with The Dead Americans and the Ovulators.
The show last night was pretty good but we had to cut our set short due to the first band, thrown on last-minute as a part of the early art show, playing over an hour long set. We arrived at the venue a couple hours early because we gave ourselves extra time as not to be caught in the infamous SEA/PDX traffic, but the penalty was having to sit around for two hours before we could load in. Here's a thrilling tour-check in with the gang as we take in some free East End food. I'm sure Ben has more exciting videos, but I don't know where he's at right now.

We're all trying to live as meagerly as possible and spread our funds out over the two weeks, so unfortunately that means we can't kill time by treating ourselves to post-drive cocktails. Too much. But, as pictured we did eventually treat ourselves to a drink at the Doug Fir.

This is Jon's first tour experience. He really wants to get a deck of cards to pass the time during tour. I wonder if he'll buy a deck today. I wonder what kind of games we'll play. I wonder if we'll train for our two day mini-vacation in Las Vegas. I wonder if I'll be the only one who will gamble. Good thing I'm in charge of the band bank account!

Anyway, the two bands that were actually a part of the bill, AristeiA and A Cautionary Tale, were a good fit with us and very nice and did not play for too long. They were also kind enough to donate their portion of the door money to us for the road. Thank you!

Thank you also to Sara for putting us up last night. After a good night's sleep we headed to the Rumblefish office were I, without even having coffee yet, summoned my best radio voice to co-host a podcast with Zach, a music chooser guy.

Alright, time to go find Ben in the astrology section so we can both figure out the meaning of life or something.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Here I (Jamie) am, waiting for the boys (Ben and Jon) to arrive (suprise! they're late!) so we can shove all of our gear and two-and-a-half weeks of living supplies into the pictured van. HOORAY!!

Not only are we pumped to take our new three-piece act on the road and play songs from the new album, we have a few NEW new songs to throw at the west and southwest. That's how fresh we keep it here at H Is for Hellgate, people.

And, as if the modern spiritual quest that is the indie band tour wasn't enough for us, we're also going to attempt to complete the RPM Challenge - writing and recording an album in the month of February in the van. How sick is that? (I think I'm using the term "sick" correctly here yes, kids?)

Ben will also be filming our hilarious adventures with a neat little video recording device he got for Christmas. We'll post 'em here on the blog, but head over to our YouTube ( site if you need to waste some time at work and get caught up on Hellgate adventures of the past.

We will see you soon, following cities:

Thursday, February 5th, East End, Portland,OR with AristeiA, A Cautionary Tale
Friday, February 6th at Luckey's, Eugene, OR with The Dead Americans and The Ovulators
Saturday, February 7th at Lil Red Lion, Eureka, CA
Tuesday, February 10th at The Hemlock, San Franscico, CA with Guitar Vs Gravity and Echodrone
Wednesday, February 11th at The Redwood Bar, Los Angeles, CA with Magnuson
Thurdsay, February 12th at Bar Pink, San Diego, CAFriday,
February 13th at the The HangART (all ages), Tucson, AZ with Beloved Binge
Saturday, February 14th at Warehouse 21 (all ages), Santa Fe, NM
Sunday, February15th, Atomic Cantina, Albuquerque, NM
Tuesday, February17th, Ruby Room, Phoenix, AZ
Thursday, February 19th at Beauty Bar, Las Vegas, NV
Friday, February 20th, Knucklehead's, Reno, NV
Saturday, February 21st, Kennel Club, Sacramento, CA with Starring Morgan Freeman

Friday, January 30, 2009

For those who care about the Super Bowl as much as we do

...which is not at all, we're playing our first-ever early show this Sunday, February 1st at the Sunset Tavern.  We hit the stage at 7:00 PM.  So, even if you do care about that homoerotic costume party, you still have time to go to that Super Bowl party, overeat, mooch some beer, watch The Boss, and get over to the Sunset to catch the new jams we've brewed up for you.

What's more, this is our TOUR KICK-OFF SHOW!  Yes, Hellgate is hitting the road again, this time on a two and a half week mission towards the sunshine.  We'd love to see all your pretty pale faces before we jet town to work on our driving tans.

Where exactly are we going on tour?  Check it!

Thursday, February 5th, East End, Portland,OR
Friday, February 6th at Luckey's, Eugene, OR 
Saturday, February 7th at Lil Red Lion, Eureka, CA
Tuesday, February 10th at The Hemlock, San Franscico, CA 
Wednesday, February 11th at The Redwood Bar, Los Angeles, CA 
Thurdsay, February 12th at Bar Pink, San Diego, CA
Friday, February 13th at the Dry River Collective (all ages), Tuscon, AZ
Saturday, February 14th at Warehouse 21 (all ages), Santa Fe, NM
Sunday, February15th, Atomic Cantina, Albuquerque, NM
Tuesday, February17th, Ruby Room, Phoenix, AZ
Thursday, February 19th at Beauty Bar, Las Vegas, NV
Friday, February 20th, Knucklehead's, Reno, NV
Saturday, February 21st, Kennel Club, Sacramento, CA

Monday, January 19, 2009

A week of celebrating great men

We don't half-ass things over here at H Is for Hellgate. This week is jam-packed with awesomes. Check it.

#1 - Tuesday, January 20th at Chop Suey - Three Imaginary Girls Inauguration Celebration.

We're headlining this fantastic show with a stellar line-up. In honor of our 44th president, we're going to play two new songs, "White Knife" and "If Somebody Nails You To A Cross (You Don't Have Much Choice)," neither of which have anything to do with Barack Obama, inaugurations, or politics.

#2 - Saturday, January 24th at Skylark Cafe - Second Annual Ben Baier Appreciation Night

If you were at last year's Ben Baier Appreciation Night, you may remember the "Hooray" Shirts, the giant "Hooray" lighted sign, or the non-stop yelling of the word "Hooray" by everyone in the building.
Nobody can argue that Ben "Hooray" Baier brought the word hooray into our collective vocabulary and consciousness. And, while there are haters of The Hooray, one man stands unshaken by opposition. He throws back is head, breathes in the air, and releases the air back into the world on a magical blanket of joy and merriment..."HOORAY!"
Ben plays with Hellgate at 9PM and We Wrote The Book On Connectors at 11PM. Our friends The Dead Americans from Eugene play at 10PM

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

February Tour + RPM Challenge = Insanity

We're going on tour in February. Maybe you already know this. What you may not know is what the RPM Challenge is all about. Get the full low-down at the RPM site.

Basically, musicians are given the "challenge" to write and record a full album - 10 songs or 35 minutes worth of music - in the 28 days that is February. It's voluntary and it's just for fun. I entered last year and got eight minutes of a mini-suite finished before being consumed by other things. Thus, I failed. When I received the email this year from the RPM folks reminding me to sign up again, I thought, "Well crap. Hellgate will be on tour during February. Wait....."

And then I emailed Ben my crazy idea. And Ben said, "I'm totally down." And Jon doesn't have a choice. Sorry Jon. We're going to write and record an album IN THE VAN while we are on tour in February.

Now, if you know anything about how music is made (it's not delivered by magical unicorn storks, BTW) you know that playing music and recording in a moving vehicle might be difficult. This is true. But, we believe it will add to the creativity and fun.

So, keep your eyes peeled on our blog during February as well be posting song samples and video of our album making process. If it's any good, we'll put it up on iTunes. If it sucks, you'll have to get us drunk and we'll burn you a CD-R.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

We’re among the "Best Of..." (in some minds)

The votes are in. The people have spoken. The critics and journalists have written. 2008 has been wrapped up and, in the end, some folks ended up liking us. We generally don't aim to please, but we're sure happy when we do!

Three Imaginary Girls - Best of 2008: Top Northwest Releases of 2008 TIG Editorial Picks

25. The Nextdoor Neighbors - Magic Vs The Machine {live show review}
24. The Dead Science - Villanaire {
album review}
23. H is for Hellgate - Come for the peaks stay for the valleys {
22. Kay Kay and His Weathered Underdround - Kay Kay and His Weathered Underdround {
live show review}
21. BOAT - Topps EP {
live show review}
20. LoveLand - The Beautiful Truth {
19. Damien Jurado - Caught In The Trees {
album review}
18. Common Market - Black Patch War {
album review}
17. Chris Walla - Field Manual {
album review}
16. Hey Marseilles - To Travels and Trunks {
live show review}
15. Jared Mees and the Grown Children - Caffeine, Alchohol, Sunshine, Money {
album review}
14. Grand Archives - Grand Archives {
album review}
13. Man Plus - Hungarian Suicide Songbook {
album review}
12. Wallpaper - On The Chewing Gum Ground
11. (TIE) Young Sportsmen - If You Want It {
album review}
11. (TIE) Doll Test - Mosque Alarm Clock
10. The Pica Beats - Beating Back the Claws of the Cold {
9. Team Gina - Products of the 80s {
album review}
8. The Kindness Kind - The Kindness Kind {
7. The Pharmacy - Choose Ur Own Adventure {
6. Throw Me The Statue - Moonbeams {
album review}
5. Dutchess and the Duke - She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke {
live show review}
4. The Old Haunts - Poisonous Times {
live show review}
3. All Girl Summer Fun Band - Looking Into It {
live show review}
2. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes {
album review}
1. The Saturday Knights - Mingle {
album review} - 2008 Year in Review: Klepac on the Best Seattle Albums of 2008

16. Helms Alee - Night Terror (Hydra Head)
15. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
14. The Pica Beats – Beating Back the Claws of the Cold (Hardly Art)
13. The Apple War – Alarm Bell City
12. At The Spine – Vida
11. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs (Atlantic / Barsuk)
10. The Hands – The Hands
9. Common Market – Tobacco Road (Massline Media)
8. The Riffbrokers – Weight of Line and Intersection (Unsmashable)
7. The Moondoggies – Don't Be A Stranger (Hardly Art)
6. H is for Hellgate - Come For the Peaks, Stay For the Valleys (Scissor City)
5. These Arms Are Snakes – Tail Swallower and Dove (Suicide Squeeze)
4. Half Light - Sleep More, Take More Drugs, Do Whatever We Want
3. Jake One - White Van Music (Rhymesayers)
2. The Whore Moans – Hello From the Radio Wasteland! (Mt. Fuji)
1. Head Like a Kite – There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere (Mush)

Seattle P.I. Ear Candy Blog - 10 favorite songs by Seattle artists in 2008:

  • The Saturday Knights, "Dog Park": A fun, playful song by a fun, playful band
  • Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal": This song alone justifies why Fleet Foxes are on so many best-of lists
  • The Moondoggies, "Changing": Excellent roots rock from a band some consider to be Seattle's next big thing
  • Team Gina, "Wife Swapping": A humorous song about the nature of the lesbian dating scene
  • Common Market, "Trouble Is": Rapper Ra Scion and his DJ partner in crime Sabzi at their finest
  • Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, "I'm The Man Who Writes the Country Hits": Fun, unadulterated honky-tonk music
  • SHIM, "Animal": A sexed-up love song with a Foghat-meets-Wolfmother vibe
  • Jake One, "Trap Door": The pairing of Jake One with MF Doom is one of the many highlights on an amazing album
  • Dyme Def, "Brain's Theme": Definitely the best, if not the first, song to sample the "Pinky and the Brain" theme
  • H is For Hellgate, "Copernicus and Me": Progressive rock from a band on the rise

    Three Imaginary Girls - Estey's "most played on the iPod 2008" list

    John Spalding's LoveLand, "Give Me Grace"
    John Spalding's LoveLand, "Father"
    Parenthetical Girls, "Young Eucharists"
    Parenthetical Girls, "Song For Elle Greenwich"
    H Is For Hellgate, "Blood"
    H Is For Hellgate, "Pretty, Pretty Princess"
    The Saturday Knights, "Dog Park"
    The Saturday Knights, "Mutt"
    The Saturday Knights, "Count It Off"
    Damien Jurado, "Coats of Ice"
    Damien Jurado, "Sheets"
    Conrad Ford, "Vampires"
    Conrad Ford, "Sinner Street"
    Cancer Rising, "Let's Start Some Shit"
    Cancer Rising, "Perseverance"
    See Me River, "Wake Up Are You Wasted"
    See Me River, "Don't Pray For Blood"
    Saeta, "When Will You Find Love"
    Saeta, "Promise Me Still"
    Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power, "Little Fucker"
    Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power, "The Mad Passion of the Stoic"
    Transmissionary Six, "I Want To Deprogram You"
    Transmissionary Six, "Edison Stare"
    The Dead Science, "Make Mine Marvel!"
    Baskervilles, "A Little More Time"
    Palodine, "Woman Of Cain"
    Bearsuit, "Foxy Boxer"
    Amadan, "Anchor Tattoo"
    Run On Sentence, "The Afterlife, Pt. 1"
    Blitzen Trapper, "God & Suicide"
    Mono in VCF, "Escape City Scrapers"
    Viarosa, "The Old Walls"
    Gary Murray, "She's Electric"
    Everett True & The Young Liberals, "We Invented 'The Street'"
    Mt. Eerie, "Voice In Headphones"
    XX Teens, "Round"

    We're honored to be among so many other great but watch the hell out - we have some serious shit brewing for 2009, people.