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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: The Triple Door

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May 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Johnnyswim finds diamonds in hard year | Concert preview

Johnnyswim plays The Triple Door Saturday. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Johnnyswim plays The Triple Door Saturday. Photo courtesy of the artist.

It sounds scripted: at their darkest hour, husband and wife team Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano sit on their living room floor and write an angry song telling off their naysayers, but a trip to a local hospital turns the song into the uplifting title track of their debut album, “Diamonds.”

For Johnnyswim, the reality was much tougher than the soundbite, but they’re left with a brilliant first album full of anthemic tunes that fit well within the current folk-rock soundscape dominated by bands like The Head and the Heart and Mumford and Sons. They bring their new music to the Triple Door on May 31.

“It represents the last three years of our life,” Ramirez said. “These songs were in us and we’d be sick if we didn’t get them out. I lost my dad, Amanda lost her mom and her grandmother, and it all happened within a two or three month period. It was a really hard time of our lives.”

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Comments | More in Americana, Folk | Topics: johnnyswim, The Triple Door

May 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

William Fitzsimmons charms at the Triple Door | Concert review

William Fitzsimmons played the Triple Door last week.

William Fitzsimmons played the Triple Door last week.

When William Fitzsimmons finished his first song, “Speak,” to open his early show Thursday at the Triple Door, the reverent crowd wasn’t quite sure what to do, so they greeted the release of the somber dirge’s building weight with silence.

It felt like the right response, though they greeted the delicate construction and careful execution of “Beautiful Girl,” which followed the bizarre opening, with the usual satisfying cascade of cheers and applause.

Things have changed in Fitzsimmons’ life since he last played in Seattle. He’s a father now, and he released a new album, “Lions,” in February. However, Fitzsimmons wryly observed that he’s still writing the same old sad songs, so maybe things haven’t changed that much after all.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: The Triple Door, william fitzsimmons

May 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Cassandra Wilson on fire at Triple Door | Concert review

(Ojah Media Group)

(Ojah Media Group)

The last time I saw Cassandra Wilson, she seemed lost in a slow-motion, narcissistic fog.

What a change-up Wednesday at the Triple Door, where she was irresistibly animated — chatting with the crowd, smiling warmly, shifting her weight from side to side as she danced slinkily in place — and, as always, in ultra full voice. Her well-known edition of Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” flew out at the crowd like a slow-burning fireball of ecstasy.

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Comments | More in Jazz | Topics: "Blue Light 'Til Dawn", Cassandra Wilson, Concert Review

May 2, 2014 at 6:31 AM

Cassandra Wilson celebrates 20 years of groundbreaking eclecticism | Concert preview

American popular music flows in two great streams.

One, sometimes called The Great American Songbook, comes from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway and includes tunes like George Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

The other, sometimes called rock, flows from blues and folk and takes in everything from Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”

For decades, singers traditionally chose to swim in one stream or the other.

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Comments | More in Jazz | Topics: "Blue Light 'Til Dawn", Cassandra Wilson, The Triple Door

April 28, 2014 at 1:31 PM

How to throw a birthday party | Concert review

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo played a sold-out show at the Triple Door on Friday.

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo played a sold-out show at the Triple Door on Friday. Photo by Lance Mercer.

I thought my plan to have a fancy steak at the Met and drink some really expensive scotch sounded like a pretty good way to face the big 3-0 next month. Brent Amaker’s 50th birthday bash at the Triple Door on Friday, however, has me thinking I need a little less classy reserve and a little more Kraftwerk and barely-clad burlesque dancers.

How someone faces big milestones can say a lot about their personality. In his wild show that bordered on performance art, Amaker didn’t reveal new insight so much as affirm that he is as inimitable as ever as he enters his sixth decade. 

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Comments | More in Americana, Country | Topics: Brent Amaker and the rodeo, the comettes, The Triple Door

April 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Brent Amaker chases immortality with Android Amaker | Feature

Brent Amaker in a new photo taken for the Android Amaker project. Photo by Frank Correa.

Brent Amaker in a new photo taken for the Android Amaker project. Photo by Frank Correa.

Brent Amaker is celebrating his 50th birthday Friday with a show at the Triple Door, so forgive the country music auteur for having immortality on his mind. It’s a theme that permeates his new project, Android Amaker, a concept album and art project about a future version of Amaker that has uploaded his mind into an robotic shell.

To be fair, Amaker had the fantastic on his mind far before his encroaching birthday. He said he’s always been interested in science fiction, but it was a Time magazine cover story, “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal,” he saw a few years ago when traveling that got his gears turning for his new project.

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Comments | More in Country, R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: brent amaker, frank correa, p smoov

April 18, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Jauna Molina’s singular ‘folktronica’ sound | Concert preview

By Mike Toombs / Special to The Seattle Times

“I saw Nine Inch Nails two days ago and it totally, totally blew my mind,” Juana Molina said recently by phone from her Buenos Aires home. “It’s something that you can’t believe, that someone’s able to do that. So powerful, so perfect, so musical at the same time. If I had to compare myself to that, maybe I should just work in a bar.”

She added with a laugh, “It’s totally the contrary of encouraging — what’s the word?”

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Comments | Topics: Juana Molina, The Triple Door

February 13, 2014 at 7:15 PM

The Presidents of the United States of America launch new album with sixth annual PUSAFEST | Concert preview

Not many Seattle bands can pretend that a national holiday was named in their honor. The Presidents of the United States of America, known to fans by the acronym PUSA, are warming up for Presidents Day with their sixth annual PUSAFEST, a series of weekend shows beginning Friday night at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland and…

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Andrew McKeag, Chris Balley, Dave Dederer