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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

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December 12, 2014 at 5:11 AM

Swedish teenage rapper Yung Lean to make Seattle debut | Concert preview

Yung Lean — headlining Neumos with his Sad Boys crew on Thursday, Dec. 18 — is a telling example of just how young, strange and global rap music has become. An 18-year-old Swedish kid whose first exposure to rap was 50 Cent’s 2003 track “Patiently Waiting,” Lean combines futuristic, emotive electronic beats with stream-of-consciousness, alternate-reality raps….

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Ginseng Strip 2002", Concert Preview, Neumos

November 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

FKA Twigs debut short, slow & mesmerizing | Concert review

FKA Twigs making her Seattle debut at the Showbox Tuesday, Nov. 18. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

FKA Twigs making her Seattle debut at the Showbox Tuesday, Nov. 18. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

See more photos from Tuesday’s concert.

Rising U.K. singer/songwriter/producer/dancer FKA Twigs’ performance at the Showbox Tuesday, Nov. 18, was everything that her music is — moody, intimate and dramatic, but ultimately kind of slow-moving.It was FKA Twigs’ first appearance in Seattle, part of her first large-scale international tour.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "LP1", "Video Girl", "Water Me"

November 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Flying Lotus landing at the Neptune

Los Angeles-based DJ/producer Flying Lotus, who plays the Neptune next week, released his fifth studio album — “You’re Dead!” — in October. It is a brief (under 39 minutes) but exploratory jaunt through multiple styles and genres that begins as a free jazz album but takes turns through electronic, bass, juke and hip-hop, with guest…

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Flying Lotus, The Neptune

October 30, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Scottish producer Rustie cancels North American dates

Glasgow DJ/producer Rustie, scheduled to play Neumos Thursday, Nov. 6, has cancelled his North American dates. On Thursday, Oct. 30, he posted on his Facebook page, “very sad to announce i won’t be making the upcoming North American dates due to health issues. huge apologies and I’ll be back soon.” Rustie’s 2011 full-length debut “Glass Swords”…

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Comments | More in Electronic, General news | Topics: "Green Language, Neumos, Rustie

October 16, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Ya’ll get back now! Big Freedia comes to Neumos | Concert preview

New Orleans’ Big Freedia has built a cult the past few years with her high-energy “bounce music,” a party-centric regional rap subgenre geared specifically to get butts shaking. With a two-season renewal of her Fuse TV reality show, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” and a forthcoming memoir, tentatively titled “God Save the Queen Diva,” the flamboyant rapper may be edging toward the mainstream. Her dynamic live performances featuring expert-level exhibitions of twerking by Freedia and her dance team are a vital part of the experience, which is all about cutting loose, having fun, and — as her recently released album’s title suggests — to “Just Be Free.”

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Comments | Topics: Big Freedia, Bounce, Neumos

August 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Eastside punk, South End rap – something in common? | Concert preview

Ten years ago, a raucous post-hardcore quintet from the Eastside suburbs called The Blood Brothers was making local music history, gaining a national following and spawning a legion of sound-alike bands. On Friday, the band is performing at the Showbox — its first local show since 2007.

A half-mile away, at the Crocodile, Nacho Picasso, a South End-bred rapper at the forefront of Seattle’s underground for the last few years, may be building the kind of legacy that years from now will also deserve a reunion celebration.

Though these artists don’t share much in the way of sound, image or background, there is a common thread — an overarching regional dreariness typical of the Northwest, which resonates with local youth.

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Concert Preview, Crocodile, Nacho Picasso

August 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Q & A with Soulja Boy, who makes first Seattle appearance Friday | Concert preview

In early 2007 a 16-year-old from Atlanta named Soulja Boy Tell Em made a simplistic steel-drum snap beat on his computer, rapped over it, made up a dance to go with it, and put a video on YouTube. Months later he had a Billboard Chart-topping, multi-platinum single in “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” and a record deal with Interscope. It was one of the earliest, most widespread independent viral music videos.

It’s only been seven years, but that’s multiple music careers’ worth of time in Internet years. And with Soulja Boy’s ever-constant mixtape output, still-ubiquitous online presence, multiple business ventures, eye and ear for the current trends (at least borrowing from them), and major label connections, the 24-year-old appears to have the kind of tools and experience to become the Internet generation’s Diddy or Jay-Z. For an artist who was initially dismissed as a disposable passing fad, he appears to be here to stay.

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: "Crank That", Concert Preview, Crocodile

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