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

Category: General news
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.


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?”


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

August 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Pink Martini drummer dies

Sad news for Pink Martini and its legion of dedicated Seattle fans, who recently saw the group perform Wednesday and Thursday at the Woodland Park Zoo. The group’s drummer, Derek Rieth, has died. According to The Associated Press, a police spokesman said Friday that the Oregon State medical examiner’s office has determined that Rieth died of…


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August 4, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Soundgarden, Pharrell to perform prior to Seahawks’ season opener vs. Packers

Soundgarden and Pharrell will perform a free concert at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 outside Seattle's CenturyLink Field. (Seattle Times)

Soundgarden and Pharrell will perform a free concert at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 outside Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. (Seattle Times)

Two Grammy award-winning acts, singer/rapper Pharrell and Seattle’s own Soundgarden, will perform a free concert outside CenturyLink Field on Sept. 4 before the Seattle Seahawks‘ 2014 NFL season opener against the Green Bay Packers. The music begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the NFL Network.


Comments | More in General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Green Bay Packers, NFL, Pharrell

July 31, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Jay Z and Beyoncé bring the On the Run Tour to Seattle

It’s in the books. The second show ever at Safeco Field and it was a big one. Mr. and Mrs. Carter, aka Bey and Jay, aka the closest thing pop music has to a royal couple, performed for more than two and half hours Wednesday night. See SoundPosts tomorrow morning for a full review.


Comments | More in General news, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Beyoncé, Jay Z, On the Run Tour

July 29, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Earshot Jazz Festival makes early announcement

Saxophonists Pharaoh Sanders, Joe Lovano and Miguel Zenon, trumpeter Dave Douglas and pianist Jacky Terrasson are some of the headliners announced this week by Seattle jazz non-profit Earshot Jazz for its annual festival, which runs Oct. 10 through Nov. 11 at various venues around the city. Other shows feature bassist Linda Oh, vocalist Carmen Lundy and…


Comments | More in General news, Jazz | Topics: Dave Douglas, Earshot Jazz, Pharaoh Sanders

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.


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

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