“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“.

The Beatles Playlist

Recently I saw the film “Yesterday”.  I enjoyed it.  It was like a reminder to music fans how important The Beatles were not only to music but to the world.  If anything, it kind of downplayed their importance to music and entertainment, and really showed how important The Beatles were to general life and pop culture.  My favorite knock against the film is that it doesn’t demonstrate how the main character ended up being one of the few people who can remember The Beatles.  If this happened in real life to an average joe, the person would either do what the character in “Yesterday” did which was go along with it and hopefully gain from that knowledge, or he could have gone the alternate route and spent his time and limited resources trying to figure out how it happened.  The far more interesting route was what occurred in the film, but I could imagine a storyline where the lead character is going from scientist to scientist or government officials, explaining his story, and being laughed at for believing this alternate reality.  I liked “Yesterday” because it was a fun story, which inspired this “Beatles” playlist.

The Beatles Playlist
1.) Dear Prudence
2.) Free as a Bird
3.) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (LOVE mix)
4.) Yesterday (First performance)
5.) For No One
6.) The Ballad of John and Yoko
7.) I Will
8.) Real Love
9.) Walk With You (by Ringo Starr with Paul McCartney)
10.) Love by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

Tips for a Great Bumbershoot 2019

Bumbershoot is one of my favorite events of the year.  Growing up in Seattle I would always hear about the festival, and since 2012, I haven’t missed a single Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival.

I always come back from Bumbershoot having met new people, seen some great bands, and overall feeling like I had just been “recharged”.  Friends will ask “do you have any tips to help maximize my Bumbershoot experience?”  Here are my 5 tips to help maximize your Bumbershoot experience:

5.) The best beer prices are at SIFF Cinema.  If you want to beat the heat, and get away from the crowd, go to SIFF Cinema and catch a collection of films.  Cans of Rainier (in years past) are only $3, there’s non port-o-potty restrooms available, and it’s just an opportunity to sit in the dark away from the sun and the overwhelming crowd for a bit.  It’s a just a good way to rest.

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Flume, Bumbershoot 2017

4.) In years past, the best entrance to the festival grounds is adjacent to the Bagley Wright Theater.  It normally features multiple entrance lanes, a separate entrance for VIP/Emerald pass holders, and a separate ADA entrance.

3.) Review the schedule and plan ahead before attending the festival.  If you want to see a particular act up close and they’re performing at the main stage, get there early.  If you aren’t VIP and the performer is later in the day, expect to get there at least a two or three sets early, and be prepared to stand for long hours.  If they’re not at the main stage and are at one of the minor stages, 10 to 15 minutes before the performance should be fine unless they are the headliner of that stage, then you may want to hang out during the prior performer’s set in order to get a great view.

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Cody Jinks, Bumbershoot 2017

2.) Check out the non musical experiences.  The Bumbershoot team always book some great non musical performers throughout the weekend.  I once saw a panel/podcast recording featuring Bill Nye, Eugene Mirman, and Pete Holmes.  I once saw Paul F Tompkins and Matt Gourley do improv.  The food selections at the B-Eats section are amazing as well.

1.) Go to Bumbershoot with friends but don’t go as a group.  I can’t say this enough, go to Bumbershoot alone.  Going alone to Bumbershoot alone, doesn’t mean you’re by yourself.  Everyone there is on the same mission you are, and as long as you understand that you’re there to have a good time and you’re not trying to ruin anyone else’s good time, everyone will want to have a good time with you.  I usually let my friends know what performers I plan to see that day, and wherever our schedules line up we try to meet at those place, but we never let each other fully dictate our day.  If one person wants to leave early to see another performer, more power to them, we’ll meet up later.  Try going to Bumbershoot alone.

20160902_174317Tyler the Creator, Bumbershoot 2016

If I could sum up my advice for Bumbershoot weekend it would be this:
Try something new.  Open your ears to new music.  Dance with strangers.  Wear a funny hat or try an entirely new look.  Catch a play or a clown or a debate or podcast or a comedian.  You’ll never know who you’ll meet, who you’ll see, or what you’ll do.  If anything if you leave yourself open for something new, it’ll be different than what you expected and provide you an experience, you never knew you could have.  Have fun, stay safe, and stay hydrated.