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

Topic: Fly Moon Royalty

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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

January 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Fly Moon Royalty ‘pop off’ at Neumos in the new year

(Janae Jones)

(Janae Jones)

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

Special to the Seattle Times

Fly Moon Royalty. Three common words which, when arranged in this specific order, become memorable.

It’s fortunate that the neo-soul duo that performs under this name is charismatic and sassy enough to live up to the title. Case in point: When asked what her New Year’s resolution was, lead singer Adra Boo simply said, “to pop off.” It wasn’t clear if she was referring to her music or her social life. Hopefully both.

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Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Fly Moon Royalty, Neumos

July 26, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Capitol Hill Block Party’s heated kickoff

Telekinesis performs at the 2013 Capitol Hill Block Party Friday. (Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times)

Telekinesis performs at the 2013 Capitol Hill Block Party Friday. (Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times)

The Capitol Hill Block Party opened Friday to a large crowd in what has become one of the biggest music events in the Northwest. This year the festival is expected to attract more than 30,000 attendees to Pike Street throughout the weekend. It’s the 17th year for the popular urban event, and a forecast of sunny weather made it crowded. On Friday the festival was sold out by six, though single-day tickets remain for Saturday and Sunday.

More than a hundred bands will play on five stages over three days on Pike Street, and in nearby venues. The biggest crowds are expected on Sunday, when The Flaming Lips headline.

On Friday night, local band Telekinesis played on the main stage to a crowd of several thousand. The band is the creation of singer Michael Lerner, whose well-crafted alternative rock songs were a perfect counterpoint to the hip-hop and dance music that are the Block Party’s bread and butter.

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Comments | Topics: Capitol Hill Block Party, Fly Moon Royalty, Telekinesis