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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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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

July 30, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Shabazz Palaces pushes boundaries again| New recordings

Shabazz Palaces, ‘Lese Majesty’ (Sub Pop) “Focus” is the first word uttered on Shabazz Palaces’ second full-length, “Lese Majesty,” an expectedly dense and boundary-pushing follow-up to its 2011 future-rap opus “Black Up.” It’s a fitting word for a record in which everything demands a closer listen or further consideration, from its lyrics to its track names…

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Comments | More in Electronic, R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Lese Majesty, New Recordings, Shabazz Palaces

July 27, 2014 at 7:45 AM

8 acts to see at Capitol Hill Block Party Sunday

Sara Slayton, of Camas, Wash., dances behind her boyfriend Marc'antonio Undeberg, of Seattle, during a performance by the band Poolside on the main stage during Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday. Slayton was celebrating her 21st birthday. The three-day annual music and arts festival hosts nationally known and local bands across six stages. (Photo by Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times)

Sara Slayton, of Camas, Wash., dances behind her boyfriend Marc’antonio Undeberg, of Seattle, during a performance by the band Poolside on the main stage during Capitol Hill Block Party on Saturday.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times)

The third and final day of the Capitol Hill Block Party is heavy on the local acts, but still has some national headliners to attract the mainstream crowd.

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Comments | More in Festivals, General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: A$SAP ROCKY, Capitol Hill Block Party 2014, The War on Drugs

July 26, 2014 at 7:45 AM

10 acts to see at Capitol Hill Block Party Saturday

A$AP Ferg reaches out to the crowd from on top of a speaker during his performance. (Photo by Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times)

A$AP Ferg reaches out to the crowd from on top of a speaker during his performance Friday. (Photo by Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times) See more photos from Day 1

Saturday features two way-retro headliners in Canadian ’80s-electro-funk revivalists Chromeo and New York’s The Budos Band, who make the kind of big-band instrumental funk that sounds like it belongs on ’70s kung fu movie soundtracks. Manchester, England, producer Star Slinger’s soulful sample chops and The Thermals’ Portland indie-punk add some variety to the day’s offerings, but the hidden theme for Saturday is showstopping female artists:

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Comments | More in Festivals, General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop

July 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM

What to see at Capitol Hill Block Party 2014

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Concertgoers take in Capitol Hill Block Party 2013. (Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times)

The Capitol Hill Block Party — Seattle’s favorite one-day actual block party-turned three-day corporate-sponsored music festival — is returning to a fenced-in Pike Street for the 17th year this weekend.

Friday’s lineup boasts headlining indie-rock veterans Spoon, who haven’t released an album since 2010s “Transference” but have a new one called “They Want My Soul” on the way that comes packed with a wannabe slacker-pop summer anthem “Do You.” Brooklyn DIY keyboard/drums dance-pop sweethearts Matt & Kim will also bring their energetic, feel-good live set to the main stage.

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Comments | More in Festivals, General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: A$AP Ferg, A$AP Rock, Capitol Hill Block Party 2014

June 27, 2014 at 5:38 AM

Future follows his own blueprint | Concert preview

(Jonathan Mannion)

(Jonathan Mannion)

Atlanta’s Future, who plays the Neptune Theatre Thursday, is one of the leading voices in rap, R&B and even pop music in 2014, with multiple radio hits (“Move That Dope,” “Honest”) and collaborations with everyone from Kanye West and Andre 3000 to Miley Cyrus.

But the 30-year-old’s path to the top has been an arduous one.

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: "Honest", Concert Preview, Future

June 8, 2014 at 4:32 PM

KUBE 93 Summer Jam’s day two a let-down | Concert review

Before any musical acts took the Gorge Amphitheatre main stage at KUBE 93’s Summer Jam on Saturday, it was announced that Rick Ross, one of the headliners, would not be performing as scheduled. Though artists not being able to make the trek out to George, Wash. is a fairly regular occurrence and Miami’s Ross has suffered health complications on long flights in recent years, his absence took a great deal of star power away from the lineup, and the crowd’s audible disappointment hinted the thing was doomed to fail before it even began.

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Comments | Topics: Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, KUBE 93 Summer Jam

June 5, 2014 at 4:02 PM

KUBE 93 Summer Jam brings the new classics and old favorites for a two-day party at the Gorge

KUBE 93’s annual Summer Jam is back at The Gorge again this weekend, but this year adds an extra day of high-powered rap acts to become a two-day festival well worth the trip out to George, Washington.

Saturday’s main lineup reads like a typical radio-rap festival in 2014

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Comments | More in Festivals, R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Big Sean, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar

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