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The Big Takeover Issue #93

Charlie Zaillian

Charlie Zaillian is a Seattle-based journalist in his early late 20s. A California native, he caught the music bug early, writing, editing and self-publishing his first fanzine, Distortion, at age 12. In high school, Charlie was editor-in-chief of award-winning student newspaper Crossfire. More recently, he worked as music director at Olympia’s influential KAOS radio, and currently writes for The Seattle Times and American Songwriter, among others. You can read his published work here.

This Is Not This Heat

This Is Not This Heat: The Big Takeover Interview

22 July 2019

On the eve of their final five U.S. shows, the post-punk trailblazers reflect on their surprise second act

Meet Clarke and the Himselfs, the best-ever one-person band out of Boise

4 February 2016

With her unique drums-and-guitar setup and already-massive repertoire of lo-fi pop gems (over 400!) 27-year-old Clarke Howell is one of the Western U.S. underground’s best-kept secrets, but with her first proper LP The Well-Rounded Clarke and the Himselfs out, another on the way and two tours with Built to Spill under her belt that ought to change soon.

Your book rules: a conversation with writer and musician Jon Fine

14 July 2015

Nerding out on music and writing with the Bitch Magnet guitarist and author of the new punk time capsule Your Band Sucks.

These Estates

Prairie boys make good: an interview with These Estates

22 November 2014

Drawing upon the indie rock of yesteryear, Saskatchewan’s These Estates adds its own distinct voice. Meet the songwriting team behind not one but two of the smartest, most immediate LPs of 2014.


Revitalized Constantines' fire still burns

25 September 2014

Back in the early 2000s, Constantines’ emotionally charged, blue-collar rock was a welcome anachronism. As the Canadian five-piece gears up for its first round of U.S. shows in five years, frontman Bry Webb explains why the timing feels right.


Through the eyes of Silkworm, filmmaker Seth Pomeroy examines 1990s indie-rock

15 October 2013

From 1987 to 2005, Silkworm made records for a small yet dedicated audience, and seemed like a good bet to continue into old age before senseless tragedy struck. With the alternative-nation era as its backdrop, Seth Pomeroy’s documentary ‘Couldn’t You Wait?’ chronicles the trio’s existence and legacy. Here, the Nashville-based director discusses filmmaking, music, and — naturally — his favorite band.

LSD and the Search for God

LSD and the Search for God continues

16 July 2013

Six years back, San Francisco’s LSD and the Search for God released a five-song EP of top-shelf shoegaze, then went quiet. Now, with a series of new singles on the horizon, singer-guitarist Andy Liszt called to discuss LSD’s past and future trips.

The Palisades — Mr. S.'s Memory EP

The Palisades - Mr. S.'s Memory EP (self-released)

1 July 2013

In revisiting the jagged guitars and measured catharses of ’90s emo-core, this Bellingham, WA foursome trades navel-gazing histrionics for freewheeling pop-punk shoutalongs.

Happy Noose - Haunted 7" (Dead End Social Club)

Happy Noose - Haunted and Amagosa 7"s (Dead End Social Club)

29 June 2013

For comprising familiar punk, indie-rock and darkwave influences, multi-generational Olympia, Washington pop-rockers’ two new Tim Green-produced EPs are surprisingly hard to pin down.

Special Explosion - Past/Future 7"

Special Explosion - Past/Future 7" (Forbidden Seabass)

18 June 2013

Young Seattleites Special Explosion have, since 2010, wowed locals with ahead-of-the-curve musicianship, pop hooks and presence. On its vinyl debut, the indie-rock foursome enters adulthood.


Cosying up to Seattle's Kinski

2 April 2013

Cosy Moments, out today, ends the space-rockers’ uncharacteristic six-year hiatus. Singer-guitarist Chris Martin explains.

Cascadia - Level Trust 7" (Cruising USA)

22 March 2013

Nineties-inspired heroics with a sludgy veneer, Vancouver’s Cascadia hits a timeless sweet spot where punk and shoegaze collide.

Unwound - Live Leaves

Unwound - Live Leaves (Kill Rock Stars)

24 January 2013

Much-missed Washington State post-punk trio Unwound revisits its sprawling 2001 swan song Leaves Turn Inside You with 13 choice live recordings from the band’s final U.S. tour.

Pretty Old, Party Pictures

Pretty Old - Party Pictures (Porchlight)

24 January 2013

Pretty Old’s stripped-down post-emo is sentimental but concise, and sometimes even uplifting.

Sick Sad World

Sick Sad World - "Skateboarding Girl" (Electricity/Lust)

24 January 2013

A potent blast of D.I.Y. pop from a dank Northwest basement.


Reverter - Future You (self-released)

19 January 2013

Co-ed Canucks mine post-hardcore song structures and math-rock time signatures, inverting a tired trend or two.

Romantic Feelings

Romantic Feelings - Romantic Feelings (self-released)

17 January 2013

On Romantic Feelings’ self-titled debut, the Olympia, Washington trio’s contemplative indie pop scores high for musicianship and variety.

Police Teeth

Police Teeth - Police Teeth (Latest Flame)

12 January 2013

Though for rockers only, there’s a discernible sense of enjoyment and confidence to Police Teeth‘s 10 solid, unpretentious songs.