Wednesday, May 25, 2016

KEXP: Seattle's Living Room

I needed to settle in with WiFi for a bit to catch up on work so I drove over to the KEXP studio public space.

Plenty of reasonably comfortable couches and chairs, KEXP playing over the nice sound system, espresso counter, this is Seattle's living room.

I got my usual coffee drink, settled in and took care of the electronic work. The WiFi worked fine, so I was able to get done in time to join the group let into the hall outside the studio to watch an interesting performance.

Gerald Collier, Friselle and John Doe each performed some Woody Guthrie material and spoke about Guthrie's influence.
The performance was mic'ed and produced extremely well, the sound we got through the speakers in the hallway was exceptional. A crew of 3 or 4 cameras operators stood and squatted in the middle of the circle of musicians, filming and taking pohotos. We had been warned not to try to take any photos or they'd remove us, so the photos available from KEXP are all I've got. They took enough footage and I'm sure they recorded the whole thing on multitrack equipment so with any luck they'll provide the performance video at some point. KEXP's videos have wonderful sound and clean clear video.
Not that this video has much to do with the performance we saw, but it's a nice example of KEXP's video ouput. Perhaps 30 of us, from geezers like me to 4 year olds being held by their dad all stood rapt and listened. Then the performance ended and we went back into the public area, Seattle's living room. I pulled the laptop out to get back to work in a better frame of mind than usual, I have to say I enjoy getting to hang out at the KEXP space.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fisherman's Village 2016

Carina and I made it to all 3 days of Fisherman's Village Music Festival in Everett. I'd missed it previously and regretted it, they had a great lineup of local talent. We made up for it this year, seeing all kinds of new (to me) bands, different styles, great venues, we had a blast.187
I didn't track band names, no notes or anything. That's be too much like work! That means I have tow work out who the bands are by looking at the schedule and relying on my weak memory. I think this is Bear Mountain based on their late Saturday slot in the historic Everett Theater. Probably.

Bands I know more about or have seen before are easier to track. I recognize Julia Massey and the 5 Finger Discount, we saw her/them at the Anchor pub. Great set! 162

Julia Massey had been highly recommended to me and I'd never quite managed to catch a set so it was satisfying to finally catch them. They're great just like my distant cousin told me. Fun local act having a good time performing for an appreciative audience, Fisherman's Village delivered and then some.

Star Anna played an intense, intimate set at the Anchor. I've seen her at Bumbershoot and looked forward to this set, I'm glad we made it. The Anchor is actually several blocks from the rest of the festival, and by this time (Sunday) our feet were getting sore. We drove the car down to the waterfront and back a few times to save our energy and I'm glad we did. We eventually wore out, but not before seeing Star Anna putting on a show and I suspect we might not have made it without the car to save our energy.


We also got some nice sushi next door at J Ramen and Sushi. That and the tea warmed us up and got us motivated to stay for more music. 


It was a cold and occasionally wet festival, which is unfortunate when there's an outdoor stage. It's still fun when the band is good, like Fauna Shade, for example.
But even for local heroes like Fauna Shade, fewer people show up when it's raining and crowd energy tends to be a little more muted. Harder to be hot when you're cold? Great set and the crowd enjoyed it, but if it had been 20 degrees warmer we'd have all been dancing and moshing and there would have been twice as many people. Outdoor Festivals in the greater Puget Sound area face this risk, at least we had some cooperative evening weather, anyway.
We did get a little bit of action at Zippy's early Saturday, catching Tobias the Owl, a personal favorite, Robert Blake, and Johanna Warren
The indoor stages were great. The historic Everett Theater is an awesome venue.
Plenty of room up front for the crowd to get in close and dance. The Ramblin' Years definitely had us packing the aisles and the front area, dancing and having a great time. 118
Grace Love and the True Loves played a spectacular set at the Everett Theater late Friday night.

They brought down the house, powerful music and powerful vocal performance, tight band with chops, the guitar and horn section are standout and the bass, drums and keys fill in the sound and rive the beat and the whole thing just has us dancing and jumping and yelling, definitely a peak experience.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all of the great bands we saw at Tony V's Garage.
Many of our favorite new discoveries were here all weekend. Skyemonkey, Sundries, Hollers, Cracker Factory, Campion, Sphyramid and Leava all played great sets.
I've been writing this post by wandering through my pictures to trigger my memory. This has the interesting effect of generating content in backwards order. Sunday bands are first up in my photo stream, then Saturday, and now I'm finishing up with Friday, the first day of the festival. Slightly odd how the minor tech details can dictate how you create something.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shane Diamanti Headlines the Vera Project Friday October 16

I'd only done two interviews on my blog, but Shane Diamanti saw the Knowmads interview and hit me up. Shane was a teenager in High School in Lynnwood and had a bit of viral success in early 2013 with his Dictionary Freestyle Rap.

This is a Dictionary Freestyle I did during hip hop club! I hope everyone can enjoy! Our hip hop adviser just start throwing me random words out of the dictionary and I went off of that and it came out pretty dope! There are some parts where it's muted because our hip hop adviser said I couldn't upload it unless I muted the part's I swore so I did! But hope everyone will enjoy the freestyle I did over Sunshine by Atmosphere!
Posted by Shane Diamanti on Thursday, May 2, 2013
I was a bit flattered and happy to interview Shane. Shane dreamed of being a successful performer and wasn't shy about reaching out. I wondered how things would go for him, if he'd ever achieve his dream of headlining shows.

A couple years later in early 2015 Shane got in touch and let me know that it was going pretty well! He had a show at El Corazon in May, and if he wasn't headlining at least it was his EP Release Show. I went ahead and interviewed him before the show and while I missed that show I was able to catch him opening for Mark Battles at the Vera Project a month or two later.

Talking to Shane before he managed to make some of his dreams come true and seeing how he worked towards them, in some ways the worst things that happened to him were the best things. They got him out of his comfort zone, motivated him like nobody's business, and inspired his music. It wasn't clear to me how he might achieve his dreams, and I doubt it was clear to him when he was still in High School, but in adversity he found his commitment to his craft and pursued that like a maniac and the rest is just the details.

So the latest news is that Shane is headlining a show this Friday at the Vera Project.

I'll be there. I'm signed up as the show photographer, but that's probably wishful thinking. If any of the key slots needs to be filled I'll end up doing that instead, so I may end up at the front door or in concessions or roaming security, we'll see. In any event I'll end up helping out with cleanup and I'll sneak into the show room and catch some of the show at least. If you make it to the show, say hi!