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2007 - Concert Dates

The Presidents Of The United States Of America (PUSA):

Lineup: Chris Ballew (Vocals, Basitar), Andrew McKeag (Guitbass, Vocals) and Jason Finn (Drums, Vocals)

The Feelings Hijackers:  

Lineup: Chris Ballew, Outtasite

2007-02-16 Showbox, Seattle, WA

2007 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA at showbox

Kick Out The Jams / Boll Weevil / Highway Forever / Feather Pluckn / Zero Friction / Back Porch / Peaches / Volcano / She's A Nurse / Tiki God / Monkey River / French Girl / Dune Buggy / Some Postman / Kitty / Mach 5 / Lump / Love Everybody / Video Killed the Radio Star / More Bad Times / Japan / We're Not Going To Make It

with Supernova, Rock 'N Roll Soldiers, and DJ Cherry


8 p.m., Showbox — The Presidents of the United States of America with Supernova, Rock 'n Roll Soldiers and DJ Cherry Canoe. All ages. $18 adv, $20 dos.


By Travis Hay - Special to the Post-Intelligencer

The holiday weekend got off to a proper presidential start at the Showbox Friday night with a set by Seattle's favorite hometown post-grunge trio, The Presidents of the United States of America. The show was the first of three consecutive sold-out gigs by the band at the Pike Street venue. The weekend concerts were dubbed "The Presidents' Presidents' Day Space Jam Weekend." Returning home after a year and a half of touring, the band -- bassitarist and vocalist Chris Ballew, drummer Jason Finn and guitbassist Andrew McKeag -- showed fans they are still in top form delivering a 90-minute set full of the quirky rock that's to be expected from PUSA.

As is usual with concerts by the band that plays with the fewer-than-normal number of strings on their guitars, the opener was "Kick Out the Jams" and the evening ended with "We Are Not Going To Make It." But it wasn't the old stuff that stole the show; it was the three new songs that truly shined and showed these presidents aren't quite done with their terms.

The songs were typical PUSA fare, which is what made them so fun and enjoyable. One song, "She's A Nurse" is a playful love song. Another song, "More Bad Times" has humorous lyrics about bad luck. The best of the three was "French Girl," another cheeky love song. It features the priceless advice "Don't ever fall in love with a French girl. She'll make your life miserable."

Sure it was great to hear "Lump," "Kitty," "Mach 5," "Volcano" and other favorites, but the vivacity of the new material showed the band is alive and kicking. Hopefully all three tracks will make it to a new album soon.

Local DJ extraordinaire Cherry Canoe, Oregon band Rock N Roll Soldiers and oddball punk trio Supernova opened the show. The latter band lived up to the night's space jam theme by wearing silver space suits and masks.

Supernova's music was amusing, especially the band's closing number "Chewbacca," which is best known for being on the "Clerks" soundtrack. The song was fitting considering PUSA wrote a song about the Death Star (it' so nice, they built it twice, according to the lyrics) and the Supernova's zaniness was appreciated by the crowd, but it couldn't compete with the wackiness of the homegrown headliners.

Fri 16 Feb – The Presidents of the United States of America, Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers, Supernova, Rock n' Roll Soldiers

Last Friday, I went to the most amazing show ever, which was also my first actual show.

The venue: The Showbox in Seattle.
The minor bands: Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers and Supernova.
The headliner: The Presidents of the United States of America.

So, the show started right at 9, the doors were at 8. Needless to say, there was a fair amount of waiting involved. The line stretched across the block and around the corner for quite a bit. The highlight of the waiting thing? Watching one of my best friends try and climb a street pole, and whack his head on the Walk light.

At any rate, we got inside and waited around for a half hour or so.

First up? The Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers. They were pretty, good, I'd heard some of their songs before, thanks to one of my friends. Notably "Anthem". The vocalist was pretty iffy live, though. Part-way through the set, some guy was going through the audience, giving out sheets of foil to be used as "Conduit for Rock 'n Roll." I shrugged and made a foil hat out of it.

After that, we chilled around for another thirty to forty-five minutes. Then, Supernova was up.

Honestly, I was convinced they were going to be another one of those no-name bands that they throw in front of really popular bands to increase said no-name band's popularity.

Oh, how I was wrong. While the stage crew was setting up, I couldn't help but notice someone bringing on a foil covered bass. Now, as a bassist myself, I couldn't help but point this out to my other bassist friend.

This is when I thought, Hmm... Maybe this band will be a little different than I thought.

The bass was followed by several other foil encovered instruments.

Then the real fun started. The lights went out on the stage, and a classical piece was blasted out of the speakers. You know that one piece that's usually associated with space clips? Like the first step on the moon, and various other things. Yeah, that. It was being played as the lights started dim on the stage.

The band paraded on, outfitted in silver jumpsuits and flashing alien helmets. It was really quite cool, despite how dorky it may sound.

After the first song, the helmets came off, and the bassist proved to be an arrogant guy, but in that funny way you sometimes see. Along the way, he mentioned that he'd never been hit in the face with a piece of tinfoil at a concert before. With this revelation, came the realization of the purpose of the tinfoil. To throw at the bassist.

Much of their set from then on included the bassist have bits of foil thrown at him. I'm proud to say that I hit him right in the nose at one point, and he pointed straight at me.

Honestly, I must go out and buy one of their albums soon. They were spectacular live, and I want to hear them recorded.

After Supernova, there was another long wait, but we were all started to get tired by then. So, we did the natural thing to do. We sat down. Now, mind you, realize I was with a group of four, including myself. So, we may have annoyed a few people, but alas, who cares.

Then, with much dramatic flair, a voice came on over the speakers, doing a very cute little intro for the Presidents. Ah, if you've ever heard that bands suck live, this does not apply to the Presidents.

I swear, they must've played for hours, and they played three new songs for us. "French Girl", "More Bad Times", and "Nurse." All of which I enjoyed immensely. The "Ow, ow, ow, ow..." line in Nurse were cute.

They even came back for an encore, after a lengthy chant of "USA, USA, USA, USA..."

All in all, the concert was superb, the bands were top-notch, the songs were kitschy and cool (Chewbacca? ADORABLE. Dune-Buggy? LOVE THAT.), and thepeople had personality. I'm very happy to be able to call this my first concert.

by happygoducky
2007-02-17 Showbox, Seattle, WA


pusa / potusa / presidents at  showbox 2007 - tour poster

Ticket 2007 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA at Showbox, Seattle

Video Killed the Radio Star / Kitty / Highway Forever / Boll Weevil / French Girl / Lunatic to Love / Stranger / Lump / Zero Friction / Bug City / Dune Buggy / What the Hell / Back Porch / Shreds of Boa / Volcano / Love Everybody / Peaches / Kick Out the Jams / Tiki God / Candy / Some Postman / We're Not Gonna Make It

7 p.m., Showbox — Presidents of the USA with No-Fi Soul Rebellion, The Trucks and DJ Cherry Canoe. All ages. $18 adv, $20 doors

Audience Tape

2007-02-18 Showbox, Seattle, WA

Video Killed The Radio Star / Kitty / Highway Forever / Boll Weevil / Volcano / Munky River / What The Hell? / Naked And Famous / Lump / Some Postman / Froggie / French Girl / Dune Buggy / Love Everybody / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Back Porch / Body / Zero Friction / We Are Not Going To Make It

with No-Fi Soul Rebellion, The Trucks and DJ Cherry Canoe
2007-03-03 RockWIz, Australia

Lump / Candy (Iggy Pop cover) with Chelsey Wheatley (YouTube)

"From Duets Vol 2, Liner Notes:
On the afternoon of his appearance on RocKwiz, we learned that Chris Ballew didn’t actually know “Candy”, a top ten hit for Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson from the B52s. Mmmm … communication breakdown! Chris disappeared with an iPod and the lyrics, shortly returning to inform us … “It’s a cute song, but I don’t think I can sing it”. Peter Luscombe convinced Chris he could do it, encouraging him to have a bit of fun. He certainly did.

RocKwiz is an Australian television quiz show series, focused on rock music, and broadcast on the Special Broadcasting Service.
2007-03-16 CD Baby Show, Headhunters, Austin, TX


Presidents of the United States of America (5:10pm), Jim Bianco (4:10pm), Kleveland (3:20pm), Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards (2:30pm), The Village Green (1:40pm), Telephone (12:50pm), Jets Overhead (noon) at Headhunters (noon-6pm, free)
2007-03-17 Ballard Party at SXSW, Maggie Mae's Rooftop, Austin, TX

2007 Tour Poster - PUSA / Presidents at SXSW Ballard / Austin concert

2007 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA at SXSW Show


with Little Brazil, Jon Langford & The Sexy, The Tripwires, Ian Moore, The Nice Boys, The Cops, Schoolyard Heroes, Carolyn Mark, The Trucks, Rachel Flotard (of Visqueen), Kinski, Grand Champeen


"After Mastodon, my wife picked up my son and I headed downtown to check out Presidents of USA at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop. I got there a
little early, fearing that I’d be turned away if it got too crowded. They were only admitting people with wristbands and badges when I arrived at 10:30. I’ve never set foot in that part of Maggie Mae’s before and I think I’ve only been in the smaller bar once on my 21st birthday, many moons ago. I was underwhelmed by the two bands before PUSA and amused myself by watching the St. Patrick’s Day / SXSW thongs below. I don’t know what was going on at the Ritz, but they had a huge line by 11:30. I managed to maneuver
my way near the front of the crowd before PUSA went on, so I got some pretty good photos. They played most of their hits and did a cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star” and “Superstition”. The size of the crowd combined with all of the pogoing had me wondering whether the rooftop deck was going to hold. I could see the headlines: “SXSW Tragedy at Maggie Mae’s”. Luckily, the roof deck held and the show went without incident. I got a text message from SXSW about 15 minutes before PUSA finished their show saying
that a free show with Perry Farrell’s new band was starting at La Zona Rosa. The Statesman SXSW blog had a commentary on the wisdom of announcing a show at the last minute. I briefly thought about running over there, but decided it wasn’t worth it. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought that." - ttrentham

2007-04-13 Tower Theater, Ellensburg, WA



2007-05-04 Olson Auditorium, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

2007 Tour Poster - Presidents Of the USA / PUSA - Tacoma

Froggie (Youtube) / Some Postman (YouTube) / Peaches (YouTube clip)

Partial setlist taken from YouTube videos.

with Colonies


Photo Gallery #1 (Flickr)
Photo Gallery #2 (Flickr)
2007-05-19 Naperville, IL


2007-06-07 Big Orange Studios, Austin, TX

Tiki God / French Girl / Lump / Love Everybody

2007-09-23 High Dive, Seattle, WA

Poster - The Feelings Hijackers (T.F.H) - Record Release Party - Chris Ballew & Outtasite


The Feelings Hijackers (TFH) - Skeletal Remains CD release part! with Fysah Thomas and The Rush Project

The Feelings Hijackers

"This is The Feelings Hijackers, my singer Chris's other band. They are doing a record release gig this Friday at the Hi Dive in Seattle's historic Fremont neighborhood. It's a duo, singin and rappin over tracks. BUT they have asked me to play drums on 6-8 songs to mark the specialness of the occasion. A little nerve-wracking, since they have a strict no-practice rule. "save it for the show" they say. Fine if you are a rapper or singer who has heard the tunes a hundred times making the record...for us 'hired guns' a run through of some sort would be appreciated! oh well, just gonna let my musical genius carry the mail on this one. " - Jason Finn

2007-08-04 Seafair, Genesee Park, Seattle, WA



Another act that won't stink is The Feelings Hijackers (2:30 p.m., Saturday), a side project of The Presidents of the United States's Chris Ballew. Along with Mike "Outtasite" Singleton, Ballew has created what he calls "acoustadelic swing along crunch-beat jingles sung by lofty cloud high skeletons." And that doesn't even begin to touch on the "sideways" rapping and "jumping about to some ill beatz." Lofty though his ambitions may be, The Presidents' recent back-to-back-to-back stint at The Showbox over Presidents Day weekend proved that Ballew still has the energy and stamina to back up as many outlandishly run-on claims as he wants.

The Feelings Hijackers
2007-08-17 Victor Steinbrueck Park, Seattle, WA



A super sonic salute to Seattle icons



WHAT: Pike Place Market Centennial Days party and concert

WHEN: Friday at 8:30 p.m. (party begins at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: Victor Steinbrueck Park


When Seattle all-star band the Iconics takes the stage for tonight's Pike Place Market Centennial Days concert, they'll be performing "the songs that made Seattle great," says band member Dave Dederer.

Songs like "Louie, Louie" (The Kingsmen), "The Witch" (Sonics), "Tall Cool One" (Wailers), "Angel of the Morning" (Merrilee Rush), "Barracuda" (Heart), "Spanish Castle Magic" (Jimi Hendrix) and even "I Don't Like Your Face" (The Heats).

But the toughest song to perform may be "Seattle," the theme song of TV's "Here Come the Brides" that became a huge hit for crooner Perry Como in 1969.

Who knew that such a sunny song could create dark, anxious moments in a rehearsal studio?

"It's a goddammed hard song," Dederer said with a laugh as he described rehearsals this week. "It has a little melodic motif that's a refrain in between each chorus of 'the bluest skies I've ever seen are in Seattle.'

"The song has a fairly sophisticated harmonic structure and chord progression. And as if that weren't enough, two-thirds of the way through the song, it modulates up a half-step. But Paul Jensen of Dudley Manlove Quartet will give it it's proper due on lead vocals."

Beginning at 8:30 p.m. (though the party starts at 6), the concert celebrates Seattle's storied music scene, which has produced a string of stars, from Ray Charles in the 1940s to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the Presidents of the United States of America in the 1990s -- as well as such current performers as Blue Scholars, Brandi Carlile, Amber Pacific and Sara Gazarek.

Dederer, a member of the Presidents, will join the core band featuring Andrew McKeag (also a President), Mike Musburger (drummer for the Posies and Fastbacks), Jeff Fielder (bassist for Sera Cahoone) and Ty Bailie (keyboardist for the Department of Energy).

Other guest performers include veteran jazz singer Ernestine Anderson, Chris Ballew of the Presidents, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, singer Choklate, Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger, Pat Wright of the Total Experience Gospel Choir, as well as comedian David Crowe, Artis the Spoonman, Fankick! (an '80s hair band duo) and the one-ring Circus Contraption.

Helping to produce the concert is Chad Queirolo of The Showbox. Master of ceremonies is Nancy Guppy, formerly of TV's "Almost Live" and now with the Seattle Channel, which is airing the event live.

The idea for a concert finale to celebrate the Pike Place Market's 100th birthday came up several years ago when Dederer, now with Seattle-based Melodeo, worked at Pyramid Communications, the public affairs company producing the festival.

"It was one of the first ideas we talked about," Dederer said. "We thought, 'Oh, maybe could we get Pearl Jam to play on the roof under the market sign.' And then we thought, 'Let's do something that's more inclusive.' "

Dederer, along with original Presidents members Chris Ballew and Jason Finn, last played at the Pike Place Market 13 years ago when President Clinton spoke at a massive rally in the closing days of the turbulent 1994 campaign.

The Presidents were practically an underground band at the time.

"We were starting to get courted by major labels, and that was when the rocket ship started gaining steam," Dederer said.

Ballew sings the Young Fresh Fellows song “Rock and Roll Pest Control.” And John Roderick of the Long Winters is featured on “Spanish Castle Magic,” and Evan Foster of the Boss Martians performs on “The Witch.”

Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir bring their magic touch to Charles' "What'd I Say," and Nelson sings "Angel of the Morning" from a man's point of view. Artis the Spoonman and Rachel Flotard of Visqueen are featured on Soundgarden's "Spoonman," a pairing that could just throw off sparks.

McCready will close the concert with a Hendrix-inspired version of "Star-Spangled Banner."

But the most light-hearted song of the night is surely "Acres of Clams," the tune that Seattle folksinger/restaurateur Ivar Haglund made famous as the theme song for his seafood chain.

Written in the 1870s, the song originally was titled "Old Settler's Song (Acres of Clams)."

"Ivar didn't write 'Acres of Clams,' but he made it his own," Dederer said.

"John Roderick of the Long Winters is going to lead the crowd in a singalong, we hope. Jeff Fielder will play banjo, and the rest of the Iconics will gather round the microphone and join in with a manly sound."

Perry Como's "Seattle" isn't the only tough tune in the set list. Heart's "Barracuda" is also a challenge to play.

"Who wouldn't want to play 'Barracuda'?" Dederer said.

"As it turns out, it's pretty complicated, so you don't hear bands cover the song very often. It's hard to play. And it's hard to sing. We've had a number of singers lined up for it, and we're still not sure who's going to sing it. It's the remaining prize to be claimed."

The concert caps a week of centennial activities at the historic market.

"It's been said many times that the market is the soul of the city, and I concur with that truism," Dederer said.

"So it's a great moment in the life of the city. It's a chance to celebrate not just the market, but the whole city."
2007-08-23 Redwest, Redmond, WA

Boll Weevil / Kitty / Highway Forever / Back Porch / Volcano / Some Postman / Bath Of Fire / Lump / Froggie / Zero Friction / Mach 5 / Monkey River / Dune Buggy / Tiki God / Love Everybody / Peaches / Video Killed The Radio Star / Feather Pluckn / Lunatic To Love / We're Not Gonna Make It

2007-08-25 Download Fest 07, The Gorge, WA

2007 Download festival show poster -Presidents Of USA / PUSA with Incubus, Modest Mouse, Nada Surf


with Incubus, Modest Mouse, Nada Surf
2007-09-15 Seattle, WA


2007-09-23 Gasworks Park, Seattle, WA


Free Show.

The Feelings Hijackers
2007-09-29 Western Washington University, Multi Purpose Room, Bellingham, WA

Dune Buggy (youtube) / Froggie (with Love Lights) (youtube) / Peaches (youtube) / We're Not Gonna Make It (youtube)

Partial set list take from youtube videos. Let us know if you know more PUSA songs.

with Love Lights
2007-11-09 11th Annual Get Snowed In - Party, Pyramid Ale House, Seattle, WA

2007 Tour Poster - Presidents Of USA / PUSA - Get Snowed In


Pyramid Breweries presents the 11th annual "Get Snowed In" party.

Friday, November 9: DJ Rad'em with The Presidents of the United States of America

All tickets are $21. Doors at 7pm, music at 9pm. 21+ over only, at Pyramid Alehouse - 1201 1st Ave South, Seattle. In the Snow Cap Tent. Benefiting Surfrider Foundation's Snowrider Project.tape,

Review & Photos

with DJ Radam and Boat
2007-11-10 Seattle, WA


2007-11-23 Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR


with Swim Swam Swum and The Punk Group
2007-12-30 Belly Up, Aspen, CO

2007 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Belly Up, Aspen



Hail to the Chief

I’m giving up my career in high finance to spend the rest of my life bowing down to the awesome showmanship of the Presidents of the United States of America (the band, not the oval). PUSA played Belly Up, Aspen on December 30th, 2007 and pretty much brought the new year in 24 hours early. Where do I start? Where do I finish? Do I dare give a set list?! I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

PUSA remains an amazing three man band from the 90’s that didn’t stop rocking after replacing the original guitarist. Clad in matching white shirts and Wal-mart brand, yellow striped ties these guys started the show with the hits: Kitty, Lump, Peaches, etc. But how many bands can start with their hits, continue with some more hits, then end the show with another round of hits??? Remember Old Man On the Backporch, Naked and Famous, Twig, Volcano, Mach 5, Dune Buggy, Video Killed the Radio Star (cover), etc. Yeah, it was a never ending parade of songs to shout to.

But to be honest, the music came in second to the performance. The lead singer was ALL OVER THE PLACE! Jumping off the drumset? Check. Having a fan sing an entire song a la Rockstar? Check. Playing 127 hits in row to end a song just because they could? Check. What more could the crowd want!!! Well, the drummer walking off stage, through the crowd, back on stage, and back to the kit all while playing was pretty f*cking amazing.

After the band played an awesome encore and they were saying their thank you’s and goodbye’s a fan yelled, “What about Twig?!” A thought ran across the singer’s face for just a second and he replied, “Yeah, we haven’t played that in forever!” And on we went, five more songs that kept popping into their heads while the crowd begged for more. Once again it was a non-stop parade of hits.

When PUSA finally finished there was no rockstar moments and no “better than thou” attitudes. The lights came up, they put down their axes, and started shaking hands and taking pictures. Who are these guys! The whole band hung around the front of the stage chatting about the show, what was next on their plates, and whatever else they wanted to talk about. This is unheard of coolness from the guys who made fun rock the coolest.

For everything that happened that night I say Hail to the Chief! And hope the Presidents of the United States come back to town soon.

By Simon “Sideways” Sullivan