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…More
Category: R & B/Hip-hop
The Singularity is here. The moment in which technology and humanity finally merge and form new life is upon us — at least a vision of that future, provided courtesy of Brent Amaker and his Android Amaker concept project. The debut album, “Android Amaker,” drops today and you can listen to it for free at…More
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.”More
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.More
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.”)More
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.More
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.More
Sometimes a pop singer can appear to have dropped to Earth with zero backstory, and while this is rarely the case, for Sam Smith, the British vocalist with a lovely tenor voice with a choke in it, and a falsetto he squeezes like lemon on a salad, there is not much story there.More
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.More
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.More