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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: Rock/Pop
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

August 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Soundgarden and NIN: a hard-rock power tour 20 years in the making | Concert preview

The Soundgarden tour is getting a boost with the rerelease of the 1994 “Superunknown,” the band’s most successful album — and a top album of the grunge era. The doubleheader also features Nine Inch Nails. (The Seattle Times, 2012)

The Soundgarden tour is getting a boost with the rerelease of the 1994 “Superunknown,” the band’s most successful album — and a top album of the grunge era. The doubleheader also features Nine Inch Nails. (The Seattle Times, 2012)

More than 20 years ago, Soundgarden was booked to do its first tour with Nine Inch Nails (NIN).

But the doubleheader, featuring two of the most powerful hard-rock bands of the ’90s, never happened.

“We were originally going to tour with Nine Inch Nails in 1994 after ‘Superunknown’ came out,” guitarist Kim Thayil said recently during tour rehearsals at Seattle’s Studio X.

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Comments | Topics: Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, White River Amphitheatre

August 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Bob Dylan and His Band coming to the Paramount Theatre

Bob Dylan will perform Oct. 17-19 at the Paramount Theatre. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

Bob Dylan will perform Oct. 17-19 at the Paramount Theatre. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

Bob Dylan and His Band will perform for three nights Oct. 17-19 at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5 at LiveNation.com, STGPresents.org, or by phone 877-784-4849. Prices have yet to be announced.

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Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: Bob Dylan, paramount theatre

August 25, 2014 at 6:01 AM

New documentary about legendary teen band Slint | Concert preview

Six months before Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out in 1991, a band called Slint — playing Seattle’s Showbox Wednesday — issued its own one-of-a-kind record. An angular, shadowy six-song suite, “Spiderland” is today considered by many to be the genesis of post-rock, a style emphasizing atmosphere and extreme dynamics over verses and choruses. Without it, there’d be…

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Breadcrumb Trail", "Spiderland", Concert Preview

August 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Ed Sheeran’s singalong aimed to entertain — and did | Concert review

Ed Sheeran performed at Seattle's WaMu Theater Thursday, Aug. 21 (Ben Watts)

Ed Sheeran performed at Seattle’s WaMu Theater Thursday, Aug. 21 (Ben Watts)

Ed Sheeran gave his fans exactly what they wanted during his sold-out show at WaMu Theater Thursday, Aug. 21  — a massive singalong.

“I want you to wake up tomorrow and still be singing,” said the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter as he skipped offstage after a nearly two hour set.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Concert Review, Ed Sheeran, WaMu Theater

August 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Eastside punk, South End rap – something in common? | Concert preview

Ten years ago, a raucous post-hardcore quintet from the Eastside suburbs called The Blood Brothers was making local music history, gaining a national following and spawning a legion of sound-alike bands. On Friday, the band is performing at the Showbox — its first local show since 2007.

A half-mile away, at the Crocodile, Nacho Picasso, a South End-bred rapper at the forefront of Seattle’s underground for the last few years, may be building the kind of legacy that years from now will also deserve a reunion celebration.

Though these artists don’t share much in the way of sound, image or background, there is a common thread — an overarching regional dreariness typical of the Northwest, which resonates with local youth.

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: Concert Preview, Crocodile, Nacho Picasso

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