Posts tagged journalism
Posts tagged journalism
I wrote this brief to preview Chvrches’ upcoming Seattle shows for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
The last time Chvrches played Seattle, the Scottish electro-pop trio kicked off 107.7 The End’s Deck the Hall Ball at the un-rockly hour of 3 p.m., thanking the crowd for coming early to see its set. This time, after nearly a year of touring and the popularity of its debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, and singles like “The Mother We Share” and “Recover,” the band has expanded its Seattle stop to two nights. That’s two chances to hear this group’s synthy, layer-upon-layer rock, topped by lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s ringing, crystal-clear voice. Through Friday. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444, showboxonline.com. 9 p.m. $30. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote about an incredible Portland-based melodic rock trio called Rags & Ribbons for The Inlander. You can also read this article here.
Searching for Symmetry
For Portland’s Rags & Ribbons, it’s all about balance
By Azaria Podplesky
Portland melodic rock trio Rags & Ribbons takes a measured approach to everything it does.
From incorporating darker elements into its piano-heavy sound to finding the right people to add to its team, the band strives to find middle ground between heavy and light, emotion and business, excitement and intimidation.
Guitarist/vocalist Ben Weyerhaeuser, 29, formed Rags & Ribbons with pianist/vocalist Jon Hicks after they graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. A mix of Sufjan Stevens and synth-pop marked the band’s early years, which Weyerhaeuser calls the “weird, figuring-out stage.”
"Jon really wasn’t too much into harder rock music at the time," Weyerhaeuser says. "And I was just trying to balance out whoever I was working with at that point."
The addition of drummer/vocalist Chris Neff, who has a background in hard rock, added a heavier aspect to R&R’s piano-driven music.
"We started writing and the three pieces came together to make the current sound," Weyerhaeuser says.
Step by Step
The Paper Cutout Crew wants to introduce Spokane to break dancing - one move at a time
By Azaria Podplesky
You can hear them before you see them. Past balance beams and uneven bars at Spokane Gymnastics, tennis shoes squeak on hardwood floors. Long after typical workout hours, four break dancers practice intricate footwork and tricky spins. Eventually, four more dancers arrive.
This is the Paper Cutout Crew.
For the next hour, the dancers — five PCC members and three breakers visiting with EWU’s Asia University America Program — take turns throwing down a few moves. At various points, a member steps away to work on a move, rejoining the group when they’re ready to try again.
It’s a small but supportive community, one the dancers want to introduce to as many people as possible.
I wrote this brief to preview Thunderpussy’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
Thunderpussy is your new favorite Seattle supergroup. Since late last year, bassist Leah Julius (Cumulus, Sundries), guitarist Whitney Petty (The Grizzled Mighty), vocalist Molly Sides (This Bitch Don’t Fall Off), and drummer Lena Simon (La Luz, Kairos) have been writing rock ’n’ roll jams with a sultry blues twist. This is only the band’s second public show, but, judging by footage from its first, the quartet has the chemistry and stage presence of a group that’s been playing together for years. This show is a fundraiser for Hangin’ Tuff, a wonderfully wacky online music variety show in which host DJ Bobbi Rich, who is also emceeing this event, interviews local bands in, of all places, a hot tub boat. With Lozen, Dusty Lips, Un-Protected Sax. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, chopsuey.com. 8 p.m. $10. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief to preview Wye Oak’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
The carefully crafted Shriek, the fourth full-length from indie-rock duo Wye Oak, belies the fact that the band traded ideas while singer/guitarist/bassist Jenn Wasner was in the duo’s hometown of Baltimore and drummer/keyboardist Andy Stack split his time between Portland and Marfa, Texas. What’s even more impressive, though, is the shift in sound the pair has accomplished with this album. From 2011’s Civilian to their latest, Wasner and Stack have exchanged guitar-focused jams for a softer take on synth-pop. There’s a dreamy interplay between Wasner’s lush vocals and Stack’s vibrant-yet-hazy keys throughout the album, especially on singles “The Tower” and “Glory.” Shriek’s not as boisterous as its title suggests, but Wye Oak’s rejuvenated sound still makes a statement. With Pattern Is Movement. Neumos. 8 p.m. $18 adv. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief to preview 4,000 Holes’ 25th Anniversary Celebration. You can also read this brief here.
Bob Gallagher never thought his record store, 4,000 Holes, would make it this far. Opened in 1989, the store was hit hard by slow music sales in the early aughts and was on the brink of closing. But with a resurgence in vinyl’s popularity over the past few years and older customers introducing their children to the store, 4,000 Holes is now better than ever. To celebrate, Gallagher is holding a 25th anniversary event with music from local alt-country act Cursive Wires and giveaways from labels like Sony and Sub Pop. “I think our future looks good, which, in the past, I wasn’t able to say,” Gallagher says. “It was pretty iffy, but I think we’re going to be around for a long time.” 4000 Holes, 1610 N. Monroe St., 325-1914. Sat., July 12, 11 a.m. -Azaria Podplesky
I wrote this brief to preview Slim’s Cornbread Ball for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
There’s no shortage of festivals this time of year, but Slim’s Cornbread Ball isn’t your average one. Now in its fifth year, the fest showcases some of the Pacific Northwest’s best Americana and country roots acts. This year, Knut Bell and the Blue Collars, an alt-country quartet that describes its sound as “Honkahillarockabilly,” tops the roster, along with blues-rock duo Dead Man (featuring Slim’s own Mike Lucas) and the Disco Cowboys, an outfit that adds Southern flair to disco hits. Presented by Slim’s with John “Hamhock” Hagan, who will perform with his band The Rooster Run, the ball is a benefit, too—for Childhood Cancer Sucks–The Jakob Ellis Foundation, an organization working on finding a cure and easing the financial burden on families of cancer patients. With Twang Junkies, Hartwood, Earle Thunders and His So-Called Friends, Darci Carlson, Michael Scott Thomas, Tom Howard. Slim’s Last Chance, 5606 First Ave. S., 762-7900, slimslastchance.com. Noon. $15/$12 with new, unwrapped toy. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief to preview the Antlers’ Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
There’s an understated elegance to Familiars, the fifth album from Brooklyn indie-rock trio the Antlers, which makes it both unassuming and breathtaking. The mid-tempo instrumentation, including a wistful trumpet and twinkling keys from multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, shifts between cinematic and somber, and Peter Silberman’s emotionally charged vocals and lyrics on the theme of identity add to the moody atmosphere. With Yellow Ostrich. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $18 adv. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I wrote this brief to preview Lauryn Hill’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.
Step aside, Mariah; Lauryn Hill is the real elusive chanteuse. Since releasing her critically acclaimed first (and so far only) solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998, the former Fugee has graced the world with more controversy than the handful of singles she’s dropped—most recently 2013’s “Consumerism,” which debuted the night before she left prison after serving three months for tax evasion. Her Tumblr page claims the track is an introduction to a new project, Letters From Exile, which she wrote during her incarceration, but a release date has yet to be announced. The Paramount. 8 p.m. $35 and up. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
I’m late posting these, but I wrote these briefs to preview shows by Pure Bathing Culture, Steely Dan, Kool & the Gang and Dwight Yoakam for Seattle Weekly. You can also read these briefs here.
In the 10 months since Portland-by-way-of-New York indie-pop duo Pure Bathing Culture released its debut full-length, Moon Tides, the album has yet to lose the nostalgic grab that made it so instantly likable. Recorded with Richard Swift (the Shins, Damien Jurado), who also worked on the duo’s self-titled EP, Moon Tides combines Cocteau Twins-esque ’80s pop with the haziness of ’60s psychedelia. But guitarist Daniel Hindman and vocalist/keyboardist Sarah Versprille (both formerly of Vetiver) keep the album firmly rooted in the present with introspective lyrics about self-discovery and spirituality. It sounds like a lot to take in, but Hindman’s bright guitar riffs and Versprille’s crystal-clear voice make such heavy topics easily palatable. With Pure X, M. Geddes Gengras. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza.com. 8 p.m. $10 adv. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
Steely Dan, the jazz-rock duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, hasn’t released new material since 2003’s Everything Must Go, but that’s not stopping them from touring. This, the Jamalot Ever After tour, finds the pair riding on the strength of still-beloved singles like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Hey Nineteen.” Through Sunday. With Bobby Broom. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy., Redmond, 205-3661, marymoorconcerts.com. 7:30 p.m. $65 and up. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
With two Grammys, 34 top-10 appearances on the pop and R&B charts, and singles like “Celebration” and “Jungle Boogie,” which everyone from Madonna to Will Smith has sampled, is there anything Kool & the Gang hasn’t accomplished? Well, at least one highlight is still to come: a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. Snoqualmie Casino, Mountain View Plaza, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, 425-888-1234, snocasino.com. 7 p.m. $15 and up. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY
Country-music legend Dwight Yoakam is a busy man. Besides an illustrious music career, Yoakam is an actor (Sling Blade and Wedding Crashers), a director (South of Heaven, West of Hell), and the owner of his own brand of biscuits. And on top of all that, he somehow found time to release 2012’s delightfully twangy 3 Pears. Snoqualmie Casino. 7 p.m. $25 and up. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY