“Only one of these songs is NOT a Disney song” Mini Challenge

9 of these songs are Disney songs and 1 of them is not.  Have a listen to this selection and see if you could spot the non Disney song without looking at the album covers (Spotify playlist provided below).  Even when you figure out which song is the non Disney song, it’s still pretty unbelievable that some of these songs are Disney songs.

“Only one of these songs is NOT a Disney song” Playlist
1.) “Derezzed” – Daft Punk
2.) “Destiny” – Louise Warren
3.) “Sanctuary (Opening)” – Utada
4.) “In a World of My Own/Very Good Afternoon” – Jhene Aiko
5.) “Down to Earth” – Peter Gabriel
6.) “Pretend” – Scott Porter and the Glory Dogs
7.) “So Close” – Jon McLaughlin
8.) “Never Knew I Needed” – Ne-Yo
9.) “A Whole New World” – Yuna
10.) “How Does a Moment Last Forever” – Celine Dion

 

Answer (highlight):
Number 6 is from the film Bandslam which is not a Disney film
1.) “Derezzed” – Daft Punk –  from the film TRON: Legacy
2.) “Destiny” – Louise Warren – the musical theme for Mission Space (EPCOT ride)
3.) “Sanctuary (Opening)” – Utada – the theme song for Kingdom Hearts II (the video game)
4.) “In a World of My Own/Very Good Afternoon” – Jhene Aiko – Cover of the Alice in Wonderland songs
5.) “Down to Earth” – Peter Gabriel – from the film Wall E.
6.) “Pretend” – Scott Porter and the Glory Dogs – from the film Bandslam
7.) “So Close” – Jon McLaughlin – from the film Enchanted
8.) “Never Knew I Needed” – Ne-Yo – from the film Princess and the Frog
9.) “A Whole New World” – Yuna – Cover of the song from Aladdin
10.) “How Does a Moment Last Forever” – Celine Dion – from the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast

 

Photos of My Hometown: Seattle March to June 2020

I stopped writing when COVID-19 hit. I just didn’t feel the drive to write. 

The concert scene had dried up around the country.  I got 3 shows in, in the first week of March. I was in attendance at the last show at Neumos.  The headliners Brent Amaker Deathsquad knew how big of a deal this event could have been so in front of a 50% capacity crowd they put on one last send off before the order to shelter in place was put in place by Governor Inslee the following day.

When it became more and more apparent that not only were any plans folks had made for concerts, festivals, or conventions going to be put on hold indefinitely, but also the world would forever be changed by the virus spreading across the globe affecting the most vulnerable in our communities, I got nervous.  I feel like everyone was a little optimistic in the beginning.  We always wanted “time”, “time” to pursue hobbies, to exercise, to develop a skill, and now we had “time”.  The world is having a mini “Oldboy” moment.

It’s been 3 months, and I’m just tired.  COVID-19.  Racial Tensions.  Protests.  BLACK LIVES MATTER!  The world is different.

I think I circled back and I’m optimistic again, but who can tell what else 2020 will have in store for us?

Here’s a photo recap of Seattle from March to June 2020:

(Bands in the first 4  images: Leone, Summer Cannibals, and Brent Amaker Deathsquad)

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“I feel in general my solo work feels more true to who I am as an individual.” 7 Questions with Claire George

When I go to a music festival I always do my best to discover new music.  It’s one thing to go and hear your favorite bands but, unless you knew every act on a lineup, more than likely you’ll have gaps in your schedule.  What I’ll do is chat up some of the crowd or some of the local photographers and ask who’s a performer I should check out today?  It was Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) 2018.  Of the people I spoke to, many suggested I check out Claire George.  Prior to that CHBP performance, I had not heard of Claire, but after seeing her set I was mesmerized.  Her set was a mixture of great vocals interplayed with synths, fascinating lyrics, and danceable beats.  I was instantly a fan.  Recently, I reached out to Claire and had an opportunity to do a short interview.  Here’s my short interview with Claire George:

1.) The first time I saw you perform was at Capitol Hill Block Party 2018 as a solo artist, but through research it looks like you were the lead singer of an indie rock band called HEARTWATCH. Hearing your work as a solo artist and the music presented by HEARTWATCH, I’d say the two present very different music styles. Was it a challenge to transition to a solo artist, or was your solo work always something you had in mind and were hoping to get out?

It was definitely a challenge to create my solo work as I had never made music on my own, but I definitely feel it better represents my musical tastes and my life more. Learning how to produce electronic music on my own presented a lot of challenges for me but also felt the most rewarding because I put so much more of myself into making it. I felt pretty worried about the reception of the solo work after the band’s material, and there were definitely some fans who want me to make something less dark, but I feel in general my solo work feels more true to who I am as an individual.

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Capitol Hill Block Party 2018

2.) Your latest release, “Alone, Together” and it’s quasi remix “Alone, Together (Forever)” are fabulous both in composition and message. “Alone, Together” was described on your site as the different seasons in the lifecycle of a failed relationship. I personally love how the song ends with a sense of hopefulness. On the flipside, “Alone, Together (Forever)” carries some of those same feelings, but is more reminiscent of Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own” in that it’s very danceable but with a very relatable message. Would you mind speaking to the creation of both songs?

I wrote the first version as a piano ballad by myself, but when my friend Josh from Yumi Zouma saw me perform it live he asked if he could help me produce it out. When we got into the session the song took on a whole new light and I loved it so much that I wanted to share both versions with the world. I like that the version that I wrote solo feels pretty isolated and intimate and the version with Josh feels much more collaborative and dancey, something you want to listen to with another person.

3.) Regarding your 2018 EP, Bodies of Water, one song in particular that pulled my attention was Orbits where you have these poetic lyrics of what sounds like recognizing potential but you also mixed in references to the Voyager space program (which launched a literal Gold Record into space). When it comes to song writing do you approach each song with intention in that “with this song I hope to convey (blank)” or do you let each song flow into what they eventually become in that there’s no real plan, it comes together on the page? How would you describe your approach?

I create both ways, sometimes with a general intention, sometimes with a phrase or idea in mind, and sometimes with a whole concept in place. Orbits came out with an intention for sure, and I knew I wanted to connect the romantic idea of the Golden Record into the song. A lot of my music comes from just sitting down and letting things spill out of me though. Sometimes when I try too hard to have a plan or intention behind it, it can feel forced, so I try to let things flow however they want once I sit down to write.

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Barboza, October 2019

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview is I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject Icelandic Singer Songwriter Asgeir. Asgeir asks: (Claire: Love this!)
4.) When you were young – What did you want to become when you grew up?
Mariah Carey, but my own version haha! I was obsessed with her. I wanted to be a pop star when I was little, but that got buried for a long time and the desire to be an artist only came bubbling back up for me after college.

5.) What was the best advice someone gave you?
Start now, you will never again be younger than you are today.

6.) How do you think popular music will sound in 50 years?
I think we will be even more integrated with technology and perhaps there will be machines assisting in creation of music but I don’t like to think that they will take over the process completely. Perhaps we will have machines that can tune into our emotions and feelings and adjust/create music that suits us. I think there will be even further development in electronic music but will get the hang of making things sound more natural. We will probably have even busier more distracting lives so the songs may be even shorter and to the point than they are today!

7.) As my final question, I follow you on Instagram, and earlier this year you shared your first “Clairetoon”. Were these “Clairetoons” something you’ve always done, or something new you wanted try and share? Can we expect more “Clairetoons” throughout the year?

This is something new I’ve wanted to try out and share, and yes! I will definitely be sharing more throughout the year 🙂

(I want to thank Claire George for taking the time to answer my questions.  Check out Claire’s latest single, Alone Together, and the song’s remix, Alone Together (Forever), on all streaming platforms.  Also check out Claire’s debut EP, Bodies of Water, also on all streaming platforms.)

“Soup is overrated” 7 Questions with Ásgeir

The third album “Bury the Moon” by Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir is an album I would describe as an folky atmospheric dream pop album with lyrics that feel deep and meaningful.  On the day the album was released, Ásgeir detailed the experience of leaving Reykjavik to go write at a friend’s summerhouse with just a guitar and piano, in an effort to bring his music back to it’s roots and make it more honest.  He also detailed writing the lyrics with his dad which added a more personal uniqueness to each song.  I really enjoyed the album, and was happy to have the opportunity to interview Ásgeir.  Here’s my short interview with Ásgeir:

1.) I enjoyed your new album “Bury the Moon”. In particular I enjoyed Pictures, Eventide, Youth, Lazy Giants, and Rattled Snow. There were a lot of themes of memories. Were there any main themes and or motivators behind the album as a whole, or were the songs more of a collection of ideas? 

There is no one thing or theme that ties the whole album together. I would rather say that it’s a collection of songs that I’ve made through the years but the lyrics were all written in a similar time period and maybe that has something to do with why they sound unified.

My idea and motivation behind making this album was to try and see if I could have fun again recording and writing. I felt like at times in the past I’ve been struggling with pressure and stress and not been able to enjoy the process as much as I should have. That’s why I wanted this album to be all about the songs and not the recording process as much. These songs were just simply recorded and I didn’t let my head get in the way of what I felt when I was in the studio.

2.) As a bilingual artist, does it change the creative process, when creating music that is going to be translated to both Icelandic and English? Is this something you have to keep in mind constantly when creating your work, or do you feel some themes are broad enough that they translate well no matter the language?

I never think about that when I’m writing a song. I always start by writing the song (melody and chords) first and then the lyrics come after that. They are usually written in Icelandic first and then translated into English. It’s just a step by step process. Never thinking about the obstacles ahead, only what is being worked on in the moment. Sometimes we struggle with the translations and it’s not always easy to find the right words and rhythm but it usually works out in the end. But obviously the lyrics change a little bit from Icelandic to English but that can also give the songs more depth in my mind.

3.) I read in an interview that when you’re home in Iceland, you enjoy going to the countryside where things move slower and the air is fresher. When you’re on tour do you seek these seemingly tranquil places out also, or do you try to take in as much of a new city as possible before heading to the next stop?

There is never really time to do much outside of the schedule when you’re on tour, and when you have a day off it’s usually spent at a hotel in some city.

I’m usually not that eager to go out and explore in my off time, I just like to rest
and take it easy.  But when and if I go out I try to get to know the city a little by tasting something from the food culture or just walking the streets to sense the vibe from the cities.

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview is I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject Hip Hop trio, New Track City. New Track City asks:
4.) If you had the ability to communicate one message to a newborn baby and they could understand you, what would that message be?
Soup is overrated

5.) What’s one decision you made that you think shaped the person you are today?
There have probably been many that have shaped me but one was to give up on a career in sports and put all my focus into my music. I think also to move out of my parents home when I was 16, from the countryside into the city, it was challenging and something that made me who I am today.

6.) What cartoon, movie or TV show character do you think describes you the best?
Bilbo Baggins, Just want a quiet and simple life when I’m done with my adventures.

7.) For my last question, I’m born and raised in Seattle. I heard your cover of Heart Shaped Box and was very impressed. What do you feel is the quintessential Nirvana album and why?
For me In Utero was their best album. I loved all the songs and the sound on that record and I know that for them that was the sound they were always after. It had the rawness of their first album but songs that were more like something that could’ve been on Nevermind.

 

I have to thank Ásgeir for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out his website for news about upcoming shows, and check out his latest album Bury the Moon on all streaming platforms.

Do Anything Cool Lately? #1

(In between show reviews and interviews, every two weeks “Do Anything Cool Lately?” will be a compilation of short thoughts and musings I’ve had while attending a number of shows in the Seattle area.)

On DEFY Kings of Crash…
(Above Image) Don’t get me wrong, I love that Randy Myers is the new DEFY Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, but I feel like we missed out on a real “Hero’s Journey” style storyline for Randy.  My only knock against DEFY since I’ve been a fan of the company has been how erratic some of the company’s main storylines can be. Randy made a passionate speech where he pledged to get the title and within a month and a half he got the title. To really build his story, I would have thought he would have lost this first attempt, Schaff go on an epic title run, with Randy coming back more focused and dedicated at getting another shot, and then at a big summer show Randy try again and gain the title after re climbing that mountain. Randy winning the title clean was probably one of DEFY’s biggest title picture twists since the company’s inception.

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(clockwise from above left) Entendres, Early Warnings, The Bitter, Corbin Louis

On how expensive it is to go to concerts regularly…
In February, I went to 4 concerts between the 13th and the 27th:
– Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands
– Marshall Law Band at Chop Suey
– The Early Warnings Album Release Show at Barboza
– Atomic Rust at Cha Cha Lounge
The combined ticket price for all four shows was $21.

On Early Warnings’ and The Bitter’s debut EPs…
I recommend checking out the debut EPs from local Seattle bands, The Early Warnings, and The Bitter. I would describe The Early Warnings as a mix of classic rock, country rock, and a little bit of dream pop. Their debut EP “Breakfast Club”, exemplifies the qualities that made me a fan of their live show, well balanced musicianship that support the very strong vocal style of lead singer, Danica Winkley.  On the flipside, The Bitter is Seattle’s next big afro punk band.  Folks who’ve seen their live show, would compare their music style to Rage Against the Machine. Their debut EP “Venom and Rage” feels like a frank and angry post punk critique of government and society at large mixed with stories of growing up in pre gentrified Seattle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more of these two bands in the years to come.

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(Clockwise from top) Divine Comedy Club, Grace Stuewe, Goodwill Gold

On Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands 2020…
Of the bands that performed at Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands 2020, I believe Goodwill Gold, Grace Stuewe, and Divine Comedy Club are ready to make a play at the Seattle music scene. Obviously, stay in school and get your degrees, but I wouldn’t mind seeing these bands perform more around the Seattle music community. Divine Comedy Club felt like psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s mixed with modern dream pop (the drummer really stood out to me). Grace Stuewe played a lyric driven style of indie pop mixing guitars and synths. She was the only one with physical CDs on sale at merch (I bought one).  Goodwill Gold ultimately won the competition with a rock style that bordered on punk, in line with a number of bands currently playing around the current Seattle music scene.

“We are still considering L******** C*** if we are denied our trademark again.” 7 Questions with Whitney Petty and Molly Sides of Thunderpussy.

When I started going to live concerts frequently in the area, the first non festival show I went to headlined by local performers was Night 1 of Thunderpussy’s 2016 New Year’s Eve Party at Neumos. I had heard part of their set at that year’s Capitol Hill Block Party and was very eager to see a full performance. That New Year’s Eve show not only kicked off my fandom of Thunderpussy, but also kicked off my fandom for local music. Since then I’ve attended 20 plus Thunderpussy shows, have attended their New Year’s Eve show each year for the past 4 years, and have become a proud member of their local fan group. I was very happy to get the chance to interview lead vocalist Molly Sides, and lead guitarist Whitney Petty. Here’s my short interview with members of the band Thunderpussy:

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1.) Let’s start with the name. I’ve been a fan of the band since Capitol Hill Block Party 2016. I heard you folks killing it at the main stage and once I heard the band name I was hooked. Where did the name Thunderpussy come from? Were there any failed or “possible” band names you guys had thought of before deciding on Thunderpussy?

Whitney: Well, we are still considering Lightning Cock if we are denied our trademark again. Also thinking of starting a side band called, “Feelie Dan,” for weddings and bar mitzvahs, that type of thing. I think the only one that ever came close to competing with Thunderpussy was, “Hottie Couteratti,” but Thunderpussy is just too good. It really stuck hard and fast when I first threw it out to Molly as a joke for the first time.

2.) Regarding the outfits, where does the band’s fashion sense come from? The outfits have always been fantastic. Is there a theme for each show or does one band member find an awesome outfit and the bandmates (kind of) coordinate accordingly?

Molly: That’s something I really enjoy doing. I come up with a theme, color scheme and draw up sketches to send to our costume designer, Pakio Galore. We meet often and talk fabrics, designs, alterations and then he goes wild. We spend a lot of time at JoAnn’s! On tour, I bring a bedazzling kit, because I love to source fabrics and outfits and then alter them on the road. Or I’ll being those treasures home and take them to Pakio where he can reuse the fabrics for something more elaborate. Tour is basically an excuse to go vintage shopping 😉

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3.) Having been a fan for a few years, I feel like every time I hear some Thunderpussy News, it’s always something impressive, be it the first time KEXP played your songs on air, Mike McCready mentioning the band during Pearl Jam’s Hall of Fame induction, the “Danger Diva” film, SXSW, etc. What do you feel has been the most “Oh my Gosh!” moment of this journey?

Whitney: Jeez there are so many. Most recently, I would say getting to meet Tanya Tucker at an event in Seattle. Holy shit. I have been a big fan since I was a little girl and she is a fucking legend. Before that it was going in the studio with Chad Smith. What an incredible person and one of the greatest drummers ever.

Something I like to do to create a through-line for all the folks I interview that I ask the prior interview subject to provide 3 blind questions for the next interviewee with no knowledge as to who I would interview next. These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject local drummer, Andy King. Andy asks:

4.) What’s your favorite tour food?
Whitney: Popcorn

5.) What seat do you like in the tour van the best?
Whitney: The way back

6.) Do you listen to music or do you like quiet on the drives?
Whitney: Music!!

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7.) For my final question, I’ve attended the Thunderpussy New Year’s Eve show for the past 4 years. The line up this year looks insane and I know it’s going to be another great time. If you were going to pitch the show to someone who had no idea who you or anyone on the line up were, what would you say, what should they expect, and what set this year’s show apart from other years?

Whitney: Well, speaking of costumes, I am especially excited for mine this year 😉

We are experimenting with color, lights, and fog a bit more. I’m very excited for what our lighting designer is working on!! Also, musically, we are playing a LOT of new stuff which is always very exciting for us. We consider these New Years shows to be the one time each year that we can really put together the stage show the way that we want it, all the elements that we can’t afford to take on the road (yet!), so it’s like an incubator for future ideas. We always try to push ourselves on NYE.

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I have to thank Whitney and Molly for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out Thunderpussy’s debut album Thunderpussy and their latest EP Milk It. For more Thunderpussy news follow them on social media and keep an eye out for future Thunderpussy events near you

Ten Things to look forward to from DEFY Pro Wrestling in 2020

DEFY Pro Wrestling celebrates it’s three year anniversary with DEFY: Year 3 at Washington Hall on January 31, 2020.  I’ve been to every DEFY show at Washington Hall since DEFY 1.  The photo at the top is the first photo I ever took at a DEFY show.  (The rest of the photos throughout this post will be images from the first DEFY show.)  The way I got introduced to DEFY, I remember seeing flyers for DEFY 1 all throughout Capitol Hill.  One day, I went Rancho Bravo and saw a guy with a “321 Battle” patch on his battle vest.  We got to talking, I asked him if he knew anything about DEFY, he told me it was legit (they’re bringing Cody Rhodes to Seattle), and I should check them out.  The person turned out to be local wrestler, Batboy who also performed on the first few DEFY cards. Going into 2020, here are ten things I’m looking forward to from DEFY Pro Wrestling:

10. More “big name” out of town stars. In no way is DEFY bad at booking outside talent and I love seeing our out of town regulars (War Beast, Matt Cross, etc.), but seeing Strong Hearts and Jurassic Express booked for the next show, I would love to see this trend of new outside talent continue into 2020.

9. Randy Myers quest for the heavyweight title. We saw Randy open the most recent show declaring he wants the belt. I want to see him continue his gauntlet of challengers. Daniel Makabe was a great first test, but I’m curious to see who’s next?

8. Is Cody Chhun ready for a step up in competition? It’s hard to deny, Cody is a star in DEFY. His showing at last year’s Super 8x GP and matches with Darby Allin and Christopher Daniels proved he’s ready for a step up in competition, but can he get wins over an Artemis Spencer, Hammerstone, or Schaff?

7. A fan booked event. I vaguely remember a year or so back, fans could buy the opportunity to book a future DEFY event as part of a VIP experience. What would a fan booked DEFY event look like in 2020?

6. What will DEFY do with the local lightweight guys? I feel like we see Judas Icarus, Travis Williams, Guillermo Rosas, and a handful of other locals booked against each other in a number of combinations every month. What if there was a DEFY lightweight championship or some sort of secondary title for them to compete for?  I think it would be great if this year’s Super 8x GP was for a secondary belt.

5. In September, Darby Allin cut a promo praising DEFY as the top independent organization in the Pacific Northwest and downplaying every other northwest organization before it. He essentially threw down the gauntlet, and personally I think it would be great to see a company respond. Will a local company invade DEFY to prove who’s the best?

4. Will we see Migs compete in a DEFY ring?

3. More gimmick matches. We get the occasional no holds barred match or War Beast rules match, but Artemis Spencer and Schaff are kind of opening Pandora’s Box with the announcement of a ladder match at DEFY Year 3. I’d love to see more ladder matches at future events, or something just as crazy (cage match, maybe?).

2. Can someone pose a challenge to War Beast? I like War Beast. Every show they’re on, I usually say “Hi! Looking forward to your match.” when I see them at “merch row”, but looking at the current roster, other than the Gunz, I would love to see a tag team pose a serious threat to the War Beast title reign.

1. What will the heavyweight title picture look like? I like Schaff, especially now that he’s turned (everyone can’t be good), but there are a lot of contenders. Everyone from Randy Myers, Artemis Spencer, (since their face off at the last show) Jacob Fatu, Alex Hammerstone, and a number of outside company contenders are all looking for a shot. How long can Schaff hold onto the heavyweight title in 2020?

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to what DEFY has in store for 2020.

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CakeInTheRain206’s 15 Best Photos of 2019

This blog is an offshoot of my Instagram: Cakeintherain206.  I wanted to practice my writing skills alongside my photography skills.  Instagram is a great platform to practice both writing and photography skills, but long form writing should be done on a blog.  All the photos on my posts, except for some of the promo images provided by the artists were taken by me with my cell phone.  To check out more of my photos and videos, check out my Instagram: Cakeintherain206.  Here are 15 of my favorite shots from the year:

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Greta Van Fleet – 1/10/19 – The Paramount

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Amyl and The Sniffers – 3/18/19 – Barboza

20190608_233255Tacocat – 6/8/19 – The Showbox

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The Comet is Coming – 6/20/19 – Barboza

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Mitski – 7/20/19 – Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

20190719_215419Bear Axe – 7/20/19 – Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

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Fucked and Bound – 8/24/19 – Linda’s Fest 2019

20190830_190825Sol – 8/31/19 – Bumbershoot 2019

20190901_150628Kolars – 8/31/19 – Bumbershoot 2019

20191009_230043Starcrawler – 10/9/19 – The Crocodile

20191013_220945Banners – 10/13/19 – Chop Suey

20191017_223606Grizz – 10/17/19 – The Paramount

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Maiah Manser – 10/30/19 – Barboza

20191106_212544The Paranoyds – 11/6/19 – Barboza

IMG_20191122_200703_288Crushed PBR – 11/22/19 – Lost Lake Cafe

“More voices mean more expression and for us that can only be a good thing.” 7 Questions with The Brook & The Bluff

From Birmingham, Alabama, Indie folk band The Brook & The Bluff are coming to Seattle Tuesday night (11/5).  The first time I heard The Brook & The Bluff, I had let Youtube go on autoplay while working remote.  The band’s smooth cover of the Childish Gambino song “Redbone” came on and I was impressed.  Listening to the band’s more recent offerings, songs like “Everything is Just a Mess” or “Hallways“, it’s hard not to get drawn in by the vocal magic this band seems to emanate.  With the release of their first full length album “First Place”, I had an opportunity to interview all four members of the band, Guitar player Alex Bolton, drummer John Canada, bassist Fred Lankford (all from Mountain Brook, Alabama), and vocalist/key and guitar player Joseph Settine (from Bluff Park, Alabama).  Here’s my short interview with The Brook & The Bluff:

1.) Most interviews I’ve read, talk about the origins of the band name, The Brook & The Bluff. I think it’s a great name. You’re quoted as saying, “I think we will always claim ourselves as a Birmingham band no matter what, it’s inherent in the name.”  Was that always the intention of the name, The Brook & The Bluff? Were there any rejected names that as a group you thought up, that still stick out today?

The Brook & The Bluff was definitely always intended to call back to where we’re from. When we started performing under that name, it was just Alec and I (Joseph) playing acoustic cover songs in Auburn, and it was actually the first name that we came up with. There had been another band we were in during our first couple years of school that was called The Freewheelers, and we considered that but ultimately wanted to be something new.

2.) I read that each band member has a choir background and in each song, there is an emphasis on the vocals. How does having a band where each member has a choir background affect the songwriting process? Would you say it’s an advantage or at times can it be a hindrance?

It is absolutely an advantage at all times. The voice is our only instrument that’s actually in your body, so we think it’s the most expressive when it comes to all of the different textures in the music. More voices mean more expression and for us that can only be a good thing. It really affects the songwriting process just as far as making sure we always have room within the song for more voices.

3.) I checked out the music videos featured on your YouTube channel. In one sense, some videos are simplistic in that it’s footage of the band performing the songs in what looks like a studio, however, a common trait is the unique filming style which mixes filters and at times a type of pinhole lens. It contributes an almost dreamlike quality to the video and really adds to the song. Where do the concepts for your videos come from? Is there a feeling you’re trying to evoke through these videos?

We originally wanted to try and have some type of performance video for the first three singles with a similar kind of thread visually, but have them shot in different places, so we reached out to our friend Drew Bauml to see if he’d like to shoot them and then gave him the space to create that dreamy aspect that you’re talking about. I really believe in letting people have as much room to create as possible, and we don’t know the ins and outs of filming, so we really let him run with it – sent him the songs and he was off.

These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, Hip Hop artist Nick Weaver. Nick Weaver asks:
4.) Social media is a must for all DIY artists. Do you work to balance how much social media time you have every day? If so, what steps do you take?

Social media definitely is super important, which can sometimes be overwhelming for an artist. Our philosophy is basically not oversharing and staying genuine. People’s feeds are overflowing with so much of that “content” every day, so we don’t want to be part of all that noise and want to focus on the highlights and most important pieces to share.

5.) Name one artist who’s no longer alive that you wish could have seen perform. Why?

Donny Hathaway… and his live record is exactly why.

6.) Favorite pizza spot in your hometown?

Our favorite spot in Nashville, where we currently live, is Five Points Pizza. As for Birmingham that’s probably up for contention… Davenports, Salvatores and Tortugas are all really really great tho.

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7.) As my final question, as a band you folks enjoy trying the local cuisine and beers of each place you stop at while on tour. What city has the best food? What city has the best local beer? (Please include recommendations, if possible)

Our favorite food city is definitely Austin, Tx. Our friend and album art designer/designer for everything we do lives there and he’s taken us to so many places. I think the place we went to with the best pasta I’ve ever had is called Pettrucci’s. We also went to a taco truck out of an old school bus, I don’t remember what that was called. The best local beer city I think has to be Asheville, North Carolina and you could have any beer from there and it will be good.

 

I have to thank The Brook & The Bluff for taking the time to answer my questions.  I really hope you enjoy what Seattle has to offer in food (I recommend snacking on stuff at Pike Place Market), and what we have to offer in beer (can’t go wrong checking out the bars and breweries around Capitol Hill).  Check them out tomorrow night at the Columbia City Theater, and check out their album “First Place” wherever you get your music.

 

“One fan at a time.” 7 Questions with Nick Weaver

The first time I saw Nick Weaver perform was on a Thursday night at the Vera Project. 

He was the opening act for another local hip hop group, New Track City.  The crowd for Weaver’s set was small at first, but once he got on that mic it quickly grew.  If you ever get the opportunity to see Weaver perform live, be prepared for a level of lyrical fire you rarely hear in hip hop acts today.  Since that initial performance, I’ve seen Weaver kill it at every show of his that I’ve attended.  I’ll usually bring a friend or two to his shows, and Weaver never fails to impress.  I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.  Here’s my short interview with Nick Weaver:

Lets start with something a little easy.  One of my favorite Northwest Hip Hop songs is Macklemore’s “The Town”. 
1.) The opening line of “The Town”, First memory of Seattle Hip Hop?

Nick Weaver: Not pertaining to Seattle, but first time seeing hip hop in Seattle was Jurassic 5 at Bumbershoot back in 2001. They played in Memorial Stadium, such a great thing to see as a kid.

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I read an older interview of yours from January 2015, where you mentioned that your big four of hip hop were Nas, Biggie, Jay Z, and Eminem. It’s been nearly 5 years since that article was published.
2.) Would you still say those are your big four and would you also say that those artists have had the most influence on your sound?

I definitely still think those 4 artists are the most influential towards my original style. To be honest, these days my sound evolves to something different everyday. The list of artists currently influencing music could be Hot Chip on one day, or Saba on another. Lol. It’s a rollercoaster.

I read one of your artist bios and your experience as a recording artist sounds fascinating. You went from mass producing your own first album onto one of those 100 CD spindles and then selling each one for $2 a CD, to getting millions of plays across streaming sites.
3.) Having experienced the transition from burning your own CDs to Streaming, what advice would you give artists today attempting this similar almost DIY approach?

I hear lots of my peers saying “I just don’t understand why Spotify isn’t giving me love.” It’s no question their music is great. But you absolutely have to have that fanbase that’s LOOKING for your stuff. You do that by playing as many local shows as you can, having engaging social media, and keeping a continuous release stream. Oh, and having money to invest in sponsored ads 🙂

These next 3 questions were provided by my last interview subject, the band Moon Palace. Moon Palace asks:
4.) What is your favorite road snack?

Nutter Butters. It’s not even close. Nutter Butters are the best thing ever. That sugary peanut butter is making my mouth water as I type this.

5.) Favorite venues to play at?

Locally I really love the stage at Neumos, such a great revamp they did a couple years back. The Crocodile’s sound and room layout is heavenly.

6.) What is your dream band to open for?

Jungle. I absolutely love this band and their live show is so incredibly inspiring. They are a massive influence on where my music is heading.

7.) For my final question, I follow you on Instagram and every now and again you talk about a love for coffee. Where can I find the best latte/cup of coffee in Seattle, and also what was the best cup of caffeine you’ve ever had (be it the beans, the preparation, etc. what made it special)?

Bruh ok, this is my favorite question! In Seattle, it’s Porchlight Coffee and Slate. Those are my top two. My FAVORITE, FAVORITE coffee shop is Pallet Roasters in Vancouver, BC. Their Benchmark espresso roast is perfection. However, the BEST cup of caffeine I ever had? Portland’s Albina Press. I had an almond milk latte. The dude working there pulled an incredible shot of espresso. Crema so thick it looked mud on top. Damn.

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I have to thank Nick Weaver for answering my questions and giving me a new coffee place to try out. Check out his website (thenickweaver.com), and check out his latest singles “Lund” and “Meyers Briggs“.