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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: R & B/Hip-hop
October 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Macklemore honored by ACLU for same-sex marriage activism

The ACLU of Washington announced today that Macklemore, the local-boy-made-worldwide-music-phenom, has been awarded the organization’s Civil Libertarian Award for his efforts around same-sex marriage. According to a news release, the rapper “has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights. He shares his views about the issue in his moving song ‘Same Love,’ written in support of legalizing marriage…


Comments | Topics: ACLU, Macklemore, Same Love

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.”


Comments | Topics: Big Freedia, Bounce, Neumos

October 3, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Echosmith: hits and high-school | Concert preview

Before her 12th birthday, Sydney Sierota formed a family band with her three brothers that played Rihanna and Rage Against the Machine covers at local festivals and Chick-fil-As near their home in Los Angeles. Before she was old enough to drive, she and her brothers sat across the table from an executive at Warner Bros. Records who offered them a deal on the spot.


Comments | More in General news, R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Echosmith, Sydney Sierota

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.”)


Comments | Topics: Macefield Festival, Posies, The Sonics

September 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Relatable, golden-voiced Sam Smith at the Paramount

Dressed in a dark gray suit, British singing sensation Sam Smith moved woodenly and nailed the song “Latch” Thursday at the lofty Paramount Theatre, his famous collaboration with the London electronic duo Disclosure. Singing in his most raw and exciting falsetto in the chorus, he whipped around in there like he was fencing, and it was exciting to witness the vocalist reach aggressively for those notes.


Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Sam Smith, The Paramount Theatre

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.


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

September 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Drake vs. Lil Wayne all about the star power | Concert review

Lil Wayne and Drake performed at White River Amphitheatre Sunday (Associated Press)

Lil Wayne and Drake performed at White River Amphitheatre Sunday (Associated Press)

Drake and Lil Wayne are rappers who also happen to be two of the most recognizable faces in popular music. So it stands to reason that the duo’s performance at White River Amphitheatre in Auburn on Sunday night was less about performing songs than it was about performing celebrity.


Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: "Drake, Concert Review, Lil Wayne

September 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Bass, sweat and cheers for Katy Perry at Tacoma Dome

Artifice is inherent to pop music, but you still need actual talent to pull it off. Katy Perry might not have said anything of much importance Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, but her real trick was making you not care one bit.

Before a predictable sold-out mix of screaming preteen girls (and their surprisingly enthusiastic parents), Perry opened the “Prismatic” tour with her hit single “Roar,” rising from the depths of the stage enclosed in a cocoon of LED panels. The crowd dutifully provided their own roars as Perry led them in a triumphant sing-along, opening with a moment most artists would kill to close their sets with.


Comments | Topics: Katy Perry, Prismatic Tour, Tacoma Dome

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