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Soundposts

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

Category: Festivals
October 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Acclaimed jazz journeymen Lovano and Douglas grace Earshot jazz fest

Only a handful of journeymen jazz players consistently win magazine polls of both critics and readers. Saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas are longtime members of that club.

Both are coming to the Earshot Jazz Festival in the rarely-seen collaborative group Sound Prints, on Saturday, Oct. 18. It should the highlight of the four-week annual spree.

Lovano and Douglas have carved out a territory that could arguably be called a new mainstream — between roots revivalism and head-exploding experimentalism. No matter how far out they go — into dissonance, free-improvisation, tangential forms or extended instrumental techniques — their music is still blues-drenched, swinging jazz.

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Comments | Topics: Dave Douglas, Earshot Jazz Festival, Joe Lovano

October 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Macefield fest brings The Sonics, The Posies, THEESatisfaction and others to Ballard

A bastion of live-music tradition in a gentrifying city, Seattle’s tight-knit Ballard neighborhood is like a big house with different artists making different work in different rooms.

Fitting, then, that this weekend’s Macefield Music Festival honors the late Edith Macefield, a local musician and folk hero for refusing high-rise developers’ millions to stay put in her 100-year-old cottage. (Think the house in the 2009 Pixar film “Up.”)

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Comments | Topics: Macefield Festival, Posies, The Sonics

September 22, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Even at 57, Monterey Jazz Festival still finding new levels of groove

MONTEREY, Calif. — When Tim Jackson took over the programming of the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1992, he assured its somewhat conservative patrons that he would introduce artistic changes gradually at the parklike Monterey Fairgrounds.

Jackson has kept his word, but the festival’s 57th edition this past weekend felt like a watershed. Saturday night’s arena headliner was a jazz-influenced hip-hop act, The Roots, which topped a thematic through-line of contemporary African-American music that placed the festival firmly in the present. It was a meaty, satisfying lineup.

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Comments | More in Festivals, General news, Jazz, R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Herbie Hancock, Monterey Jazz Festival, The Roots

September 3, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Country stars Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Florida Georgia Line shine in Puyallup fair music lineup

If you think no state fair is complete without elephant ears, corn dogs and country music, you’re in luck. Some of the brightest stars in the country-music constellation are set to shine on the Washington State Fair grandstand stage over the next two weeks, including Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban and Toby Keith. Clay Walker gets…

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Comments | More in Country, Festivals | Topics: country, lineup, puyallup fair

September 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Comedy Mystery Mutants: Extreme skipping and time traveling Hitler assassins

The Comedy Mystery Mutants took Sunday’s Bumbershoot audience on a tour of Seattle’s weird underbelly of comedy with a mix of sketch, video, music and stand-up comedy at the Leo K. Theatre. Led by MC Albert Kirchner the show’s highlights included a display of gravity-defying jumps and twists from Extreme Gene (played by…

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Comments | More in Comedy, Festivals | Topics: Albert Kirchner, Brendan Kelley, Bumbershoot 2014

August 30, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Seattle comedian Brett Hamil on losing his virginity to Nirvana’s ‘Teen Spirit’

There were a lot of laughs throughout the The Laughs Comedy Spot Showcase at the Leo K. Theatre on Saturday, but it was Seattle’s Brett Hamil that stood out with his self-deprecating and revealing take on sex and marriage.

“I married up,” Hamil admitted, “Four years ago she slid this ring on my finger and for the first time in my life I own something pawn-able.”

Hamil also spoke candidly about the time he lost his virginity.

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Comments | Topics: Bret Hamil, Bumbershoot 2014, Nirvana

August 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Bumbershoot brings comedian Nick Decktor one-step closer to his childhood dream of joining the Wu-Tang Clan

Seattle’s female-focused weekly comedy show, “The Comedy Womb,” put on one of the funniest and well-rounded shows of the day on Saturday at Bumbershoot. Led by MC and producer, Danielle K.L. Gregoire, the show featured 16 of the city’s best underground comedians each performing 3-minute sets at the Leo K….

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Comments | Topics: Bumbershoot, Comedy, Seattle Comedy

August 30, 2014 at 6:44 PM

The Wu-Tang close out a soggy start at Bumbershoot | Festival review

bumbershoot 3

(For a photo gallery, click here.)

The Wu rocks it

The legendary Staten Island, N.Y. rap crew Wu-Tang Clan closed down the mainstage Saturday night with eight members — less the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and with no Method Man to be found either, but longtime “10th member” Cappadonna filling his absence.

A majority of the crowd present looked like they hadn’t even been born when the group’s debut “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” came out in 1993, and the audience participation (especially during classic shout-alongs like “Clan In Da Front”) sure didn’t match the amount of Wu-shirts present. But as de facto frontman/main producer RZA noted, the group fed off of any enthusiasm the crowd had to give. Though the set list stuck to the basics, it was still crazy fulfilling to see almost all of “36 Chambers,” plus solo hits like “Liquid Swords,” “Ice Cream,” “4th Chamber” and second-album smashes “Reunited” and “Triumph” performed live.

— Mike Ramos, Special to The Seattle Times

Whig-ing out

The crowd at Afghan Whigs was a little smaller then usual for the Fisher Green stage, with a much higher percentage of thirty- and forty-something’s. The band was competing with Wu-Tang Clan and Mavis Staples, which I’m sure frustrated more than a few people. Still, raw-boned hard rock (three guitarists!) delivered by 20-year veterans of the genre is hard to ignore. To counterbalance the triple guitar assault, the group made liberal use of violin, with a cello also making a brief appearance. These strings smoothed over rough sonic edges at crucial moments. Greg Dulli’s singing fell perfectly in between aggressive and melodic.

— Joseph Sutton-Holcomb, Special to The Seattle Times

Elvis is in the building

The first thing that stood out about Elvis Costello’s performance (besides the singer’s exquisite purple blazer and blue hat ensemble) was the organ player, who punctuated the spaces between Costello’s verses, giving the songs a playful, hopeful air. Somewhat surprisingly, he had only three supporting musicians (keys, bass, and drums with his guitar), but they made a lot of noise. At one point Costello put a megaphone in siren mode and pointed it at his guitar so the amp picked up the screeching sounds. He continued to conduct cheeky experiments with noise and distortion over the course of his show.

— J.S.H.

Danny Brown the pro

Detroit rapper Danny Brown had the Fisher Green stage (and its adjoining beer garden) packed despite a rather early 4:30 start time. His EDM-trap-hybrid party jams escalated things quickly from there. Rocking a Frank Zappa “Hot Rats” T-shirt to compliment his side-shaved, green-tipped, high-top fade haircut, Brown tore through selections from his acclaimed “Old” and “XXX” albums with skill and professionalism, unaffected by seemingly unfamiliar crowd’s failures to complete or repeat his hooks and punchlines. And though the large audience might’ve not known all of his songs, they couldn’t help but turn up — and turn up hard, in broad daylight — to his raunchy, electro-rap bangers like new Rustie-produced single “Attak,” “Kush Coma,” Purity Ring-featuring “25 Bucks,” and the Kanye West-quoting molly anthem “Dip.”

— M.R.

 Big Freedia’s bounce

A renowned  figure of the New Orleans bounce rap scene, Big Freedia approaches hip hop with ultra-glamorous-yet-intensely-provocative mentality often seen in drag shows. Her dancers, the lynchpin of her live performance, elevate “twerking” to an art form in a way that never seemed possible. It feels good to support progressive gender expression while shaking one’s booty.

—J.S.H.

Early in the day, the rain ruled

It started out as a soggy day in Bumbershoot Town.

One young woman standing in line next to me, under a tattered umbrella, even wondered aloud, “Is this worth it?”

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Comments | Topics: Bumbershoot, Fly Moon Royalty, Otieno Terry

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