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Concert Preview- Dave Matthews Band

I wrote this brief to preview Dave Matthews Band’s series of shows at the Gorge Amphitheatre for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.

Few bands can fully command an audience’s attention while playing an awe-inspiring venue like the Gorge, but Dave Matthews Band has been doing just that for more than 15 years. This summer, the seven-piece will add another element to its visit: multiple sets each night. After a day of music from various artists and a performance from singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, DMB will play an acoustic set. Then it’ll be time to don your dancing shoes as the band kicks up its blend of rock, jazz, and funk during an electric set. With the amount of material the band has, each night should be a collection of DMB deep cuts and radio hits. Through Sunday. With Moon Taxi, JD McPherson, Shovels and Rope, Betsy Olson, Bombino, Ana Tijoux, David Ryan Harris, Dumpstaphunk. The Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Rd., Quincy, Wash., 509-785-6262, gorgeamphitheatre.net. 7:30 p.m. $61.50 and up. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Dave Matthews Band The Gorge Amphitheatre Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Concert Preview- How To Dress Well

This is another late post, but I wrote this brief to preview How To Dress Well’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly.

“What Is This Heart?”, the latest from How To Dress Well, the stage name of singer Tom Krell, might be this year’s most swoon-worthy release yet. For one thing, Krell’s falsetto is impossibly gorgeous. And though he does away with a lot of the indie-R&B heard on previous releases, trading it for a ’90s pop feel with hints of synth (“Face Again”), sweeping orchestral arrangements (“Pour Cyril”), and insanely danceable hooks (“Very Best Friend”), that doesn’t mean “WITH?” lacks soul. Lyrically, the album cements Krell’s status as one of the most emotionally open songwriters around, and features a mix of personal and universally understood observations on life and relationships, 
both familial and romantic. With Maiah Manser. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under How To Dress Well Tom Krell What Is This Heart? Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Concert Preview- Little Dragon

This is a day late, but I wrote this brief to preview Little Dragon’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.

Not since Robyn and Lykke Li burst onto the scene has a Swedish act garnered as much buzz as Gothenburg quartet Little Dragon, and rightly so. The band, which formed in 1996 but released its self-titled debut only in 2007, mixes sultry electro-jazz, the smooth attitude of club music, and shimmering pop beats into one giant ball of musical energy, most recently heard on Nabuma Rubberband. The album finds lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s seductive coo mesmerizing as usual, especially on the many Prince-inspired slow jams. The band keeps that musical energy high, even when Nagano’s voice is more subdued, with a steady pairing of groovy keys and percussion. Looks like Little Dragon is no longer Sweden’s best-kept secret. With Dam-Funk. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxpresents.com. 9 p.m. $25 adv./$30 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Little Dragon Nabuma Rubberband Seattle Weekly music writing freelance writing music journalism

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Concert Preview- Sylvan Esso

I wrote this brief to preview Sylvan Esso’s Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.

With “Coffee” from its self-titled debut, Sylvan Esso—that’s Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and Nick Sanborn of Megafaun—have created an unassuming pop hit. Meath’s sweet-and-low vocals and the track’s electro-pop backbone pair in such a way that “Coffee” wouldn’t seem out of place at either a club or an open-mike night. Just try to get it out of your head. With Dana Buoy. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $12. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Sylvan Esso Coffee Amelia Meath Mountain Man Nick Sanborn Megafaun Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Concert Previews- Jack Johnson, Bradford Loomis and Beth Whitney

I wrote these briefs to preview upcoming shows by Jack Johnson and Bradford Loomis and Beth Whitney for Seattle Weekly. You can also read these briefs here.

Singer/songwriter/surfer/filmmaker Jack Johnson is nothing if not consistent. For more than a dozen years, he’s churned out sun-soaked jams, most recently on From Here to Now to You. There are funkier grooves throughout the album, but Johnson mostly sticks to what he knows: upbeat acoustic songs about life and love. With Amos Lee, Michael Kiwanuka, Bahamas. The Gorge, 754 Silica Rd., Quincy, Wash., 509-785-6262, gorgeamphitheatre.net. 6:30 p.m. $57 and up. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

The Banner Days, a collaboration by local singer/songwriters Bradford Loomis and Beth Whitney, could easily pass for a Swell Season release if you didn’t know better. The pair blends indie folk with a bit of soul. And like Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Loomis and Whitney’s voices are lovely on their own, but really shine together. With The Native Sibling, And Yet. Secret Crown Hill venue released upon purchase of tickets. bradfordloomis.com. 8:30 p.m. $12–$14. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Jack Johnson From Here to Now to You Bradford Loomis Beth Whitney The Banner Days Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Feature Story- Fly Moon Royalty

I wrote about an awesome electro-soul duo from Seattle called Fly Moon Royalty for The Inlander. You can also read this article here.

Work It

Seattle’s Fly Moon Royalty isn’t afraid of a little ‘world domination’ with its music

By Azaria Podplesky

Singer Adriene “Adra Boo” Green and producer/DJ Mike “Action Jackson” Sylvester, aka electro-soul duo Fly Moon Royalty, are no strangers to elbow grease. After all, they met while working at a restaurant in Seattle.

"As soon as he said he was a producer, it was like, ‘Boom!’" Green says their connection.

Once the duo began working together, other musical projects took a backseat, and the pair released its self-titled debut in 2011.

Rave reviews from the likes of Seattle and City Arts magazines, which named Fly Moon Royalty one of the city’s best new bands and best local band, respectively, performances supporting soul band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Chewelah native Allen Stone, and 2012’s Dimensions EP propelled the band into early 2014 and the release of its second EP, Unfinished Business — much of which was heard at the duo’s stunning Marmot Fest set last month.

The five-track EP was the product of the duo’s unstoppable work ethic, culled from extra songs Green and Sylvester had in their arsenal.

"The EP was called Unfinished Business because those songs were that,” Sylvester says. “We have a full-length album that no one’s heard yet. It’s some of our best work, in my opinion. It’s hard to sit on it … But we thought we needed to take care of unfinished business before releasing that.”

Read more …

Filed under Fly Moon Royalty Adriene Green Mike Sylvester Adra Boo Action Jackson electro-soul Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Concert Preview- LeAnn Rimes

I wrote this brief to preview LeAnn Rimes’ Seattle show for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this brief here.

Did you know LeAnn Rimes released an album last year? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. In recent years, Rimes’ love life (which includes a divorce, an affair, a second marriage to actor Eddie Cibrian, and a rumored feud with his ex) has overshadowed her career. Which is unfortunate for the country crooner; Spitfire is a fun mix of feisty and heartfelt tunes. Snoqualmie Casino, Mountain View Plaza, 37500 S.E. North Bend Way, 425-888-1234, snocasino.com. 7 p.m. $20 and up. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under LeAnn Rimes Spitfire Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing

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Concert Preview- Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival

I wrote this brief to preview the Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival for Seattle Weekly. You can also read this preview here.

As festival season winds down, the diverse lineup of the Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival will fill you up with enough soul to last until Bumbershoot. In the mood for some rootsy blues? Singer Betsy Olson, with drummer Sera Cahoone, is on it. Want to shimmy to a blend of Delta blues and rock & roll? Gravel Road has got you covered. Hoping to catch a bit of “antifolk”? Stick around for the Foghorns. With Michael Wohl, Fat Yap Harwood & the Thesaurusauruses, The Scotch Tops, Bigfoot Wallace and His Wicked Sons. Through Sunday. Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave. S., 723-0088, columbiacitytheater.com. 9 p.m. Saturday; 8:30 p.m. Sunday. $8 adv./$10 DOS. 21 and older. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival Betsy Olson Sera Cahoone Gravel Road The Foghorns music writing music journalism freelance writing Seattle Weekly

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Concert Previews- Portugal. The Man, Broken Bells

I wrote these briefs to preview upcoming shows by Portugal. The Man and Broken Bells for Seattle Weekly. You can also read these briefs here.

In April, Portland-by-way-of-Alaska rock quartet Portugal. The Man created something unheard of: a song that would become extinct unless it was reproduced. In partnership with Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, the band sent 400 copies of “Sumatran Tiger” on degradable vinyl to “influencers” including actors, musicians, conservationists, and journalists, each record representing one of the 400 Sumatran tigers in the wild. The song, which has slowly spread through hashtags like #EndangeredSong and #SumatranTiger, features P.TM’s psychedelic touch and the repeated line “You don’t have to worry.” Those words, we hope, predict a brighter future for the endangered-tiger population. With Grouplove, Typhoon. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E., Redmond., 205-3661, marymoor concerts.com. 6:30 p.m. $35 adv./$40 DOS. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

For its second studio album, After the Disco, musician and producer Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and the Shins’ James Mercer, who perform together as Broken Bells, were inspired by retro-futurism and the somewhat kooky way science-fiction books of yesteryear envisioned the future. Using instruments from the ’60s and ’70s to bring that retro influence to life, Burton and Mercer created what could be the soundtrack to a movie set in a mysterious, far-off galaxy, one featuring both synth-driven grooves (“After the Disco”) and darker ballads (“The Angel and the Fool”). The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org/moore. 7:30 p.m. $43.50. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY

Filed under Portugal. The Man Sumatran Tiger Broken Bells After the Disco Seattle Weekly music writing freelance writing music journalism

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Concert Preview- Chvrches

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

Filed under Chvrches The Bones of What You Believe The Mother We Share Recover Seattle Weekly music writing music journalism freelance writing journalism