It’s OFFICIAL….. I’m running for Mayor of Seattle in 2025. Spread the word. We got a campaign to win.
Oh man, This should be good. The current king of the Seattle music scene right now dropping this little gift for us on the first day of 2013? This is flipping awesome. Yeah it’s in 12 years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited now! Whatever you make of his music, that’s fine, but I’m not really sure there’s anyone out there that can call him a bad guy. Yeah he’s been through some rough times, but to potentially have a mayor where you already know his shady past and that he has overcome it? Don’t see how anyone can be more connected to the public than that. Also with a history of cultural aware songs like “Same Love”or “A Wake”, I’m sure that he’d make a great mayor. Obviously there will be some backlash to this because he’s a liberal guy, but hey, who knows? No you can’t have him; He’s ours to keep.
Sorry Kevin, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do… By which I mean I’m just as floored as you and simply COULDN’T keep all these important ideas and opinions to myself. I mean, someone’s gotta want to hear these… right?
First off, a background on my history at Seattle festivals. I’ve been a regular attendee of the Folk Life festival for the past 4 years and have always enjoyed going to the Seattle Center to run into a lot of “Oh hey let me just give you the head nod cause I don’t ACTUALLY know you”s, get just a little bit too high every year, and end up staring at the fountain for a good hour. That being said, I also enjoy the overpriced fair foods (Pirozhkis out the ying yang) and tracking down the Seattle Scarf Man for an annual Free Hugs sign. However, until yesterday I had never been to Bumbershoot. Why? I suck, that’s why. I’m a huge loser and don’t like fun.
See? Sleeping. No fun.
Continuing on, Bumbershoot. To quickly explain for those of you that don’t know Bumbershoot is a 3 day music festival held at the Seattle Center that features a mixture of local and underground as well as bigger, more mainstream acts. So when I arrived at precisely 2:34 PM (You have to keep a tight schedule if you don’t want to have any fun) I was pleased to see that music aside, this was quite similar to the Folk Life atmosphere. Girls wearing little to no clothing (some guys too), tons of drugs (decidedly did not partake this year), and yet there was something missing. Lo and behold, no Scarf Man… I shed a quick tear for my lost comrade.
But we pushed forward! Now then, the music:
Oh hey M83, what’s that? I’m sorry I can’t hear you. One more time? [Insert sounds of head exploding]
If you don’t know who M83 is they’re that French band that’s been all over the radio with that one song that has the random scream-like sounds that sound exactly like the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time.
Yes that one. Anyways, I wasn’t a huge fan of them at first (partially because that sound reminds me of sleepless nights waiting for this) but also hadn’t really taken a good listen yet. Well guess what, I’m fucking stupid, because these guys kick absolute ass. We started out in the nosebleed section of seats and decided we were better than that, so we found some seats lower down (where the above picture was taken from), and then eventually made out way onto the floor like the rest of the sane people there. And again, seriously, M83 put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Their whole performance has this crazy mix of electronic keyboards and synths with a very pure set of drums, guitar, and the occasional saxophone. It’s very French, very nuanced, and very catchy. Not in an obnoxious sort of way though. The band sort of sneaks these incredibly addictive sounds into their songs that have left me obsessing (first person to tell me what that song is gets a post about why they’re awesome). And the band got so into their performance, climbing on drum sets, skanking for like 8 minutes straight, and just giggin. They also did something I hadn’t really seen a lot of previously, which was a consistent switching of roles and instruments. Which was cool, it was like each band member wanted a different piece of the action for each song. Along with this whole crazy performance they had an amazing light show. The band was staged in front of a dozen or so lit up poles that resembled what I can only hope is the awesome hybrid of bamboo and LEDs (let’s go scientists). The crowd was frequently assaulted by euphoria inducing waves of lights that only egged us on even more. Oh yeah, I forgot. Speaking of egging us on, the band was so incredible, that this happened.
Dear Lights, Can I have your number you Canadian vixen of song and dance? Love, Seth
After a long late-afternoon hanging out by the fountain and catching up with some old friends (shouts out to Emma Spence) we made our way to the Tune In stage to watch Canadian singer Lights perform.
She put on quite a show for us if I do say so myself. For those of you that don’t know her (shhhh, it’s ok. Don’t be embarrassed, I didn’t either… There there) Lights’ music consists of poppy, electro beats and cute, love songy lyrics to accompany them. Her whole set was actually pretty spectacular. She’s got a really great voice and totally knows how to work with the crowd. She sort of reminds me of a more indie, less commercialized, more Canadian Katy Perry. Not to say she’s a KP knock off, she’s totally got her own sound and persona. Keeping with the theme of new experiences here, Lights threw me and I think the whole crowd off when she started throwing dubstep drops into the middle of her songs. The first time was sort of a knock to the head: “Whoa…, hey wait what was that?” but by the second and third time it was more of an outstretched hand that said “Hey there, it’s ok, I meant to do that.” at which point the crowd was like ksweetthanx. Overall, she’s an excellent performer and a perfect act to open up for…
Passion Pit. So let’s get the record straight here. I originally had planned on attending Skrillex. Yup, I said it. Having been to enough electronic concerts I figured a Skrillex show would be nothing short of an insane 2 hour long dubstep orgasm (according to reports, it was). Anyways back onto topic, the friends I was with convinced me to stay (“C’mon Seth, be cool, for once in your life”). So Lights ended and we had about 45 minutes in between sets. We (along with every-fucking-one else around us) wanted good spots close to the front for PP and decided to stay and wait. But don’t worry it was worth it. The whole band came out and opened up with their latest hit Take a Walk. Needless to say, everyone got pretty pumped up at the point. Their set as a whole consisted of mostly new songs off their just released album Gossamer aside from their older hits Sleepyhead and Little Secrets. The band was spot on and the whole crowd was jumping and swaying to every song. Also, if you haven’t ever seen these guys perform, the lead singer is hilarious. I assume it’s because of how high pitched his singing is, but his mouth is stretching in ways I thought not possible and his tongue flails about in all directions.
Meh, I guess we thought they were alright
Although Passion Pit wasn’t quite as nuts as Skrillex might’ve been, they made up for it with a killer performance and a sensational positive vibe about the whole thing. My only big disappointment was the lack of a significant light show. Maybe it’s too difficult to set something like that up outside in the open but I was bummed there wasn’t more trance-like visual effects. Ah well, maybe next time.
Hailing from Seattle, at the age of 18 is Wolfy Bauer. And this kid definitely can sing. His music is soft and has a jazzy type of feel to it. Looking into his facebook page, you can see some of his likes and can understand where some of his sound stems from. Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Al Green. I don’t get much exposure to music like Bauer’s but I like it. Receiving a facebook message out of the blue is always interesting, especially if someone is asking you to give them a chance. I’m definitely glad I clicked on his link. I really do enjoy his music. Soft and just very very soothing, there is a soulfulness to his sound. I really want to point out that he is 18, but damn, he has a really good voice. Like I really cannot believe that is coming from someone so young. This cat can really croon. His voice seems to be way past his actual age. If I were to listen to his music without any idea of how old he was, I would’ve guessed somewhere in the mid 20’s. And it sounds nice too. Just relaxing to listen to. I gave his whole mixtape a go, and it was nice to just kick back and take a break from homework to listen to his stuff. Respect to you Wolfy (awesome name too), your music is nothing to walk over. Some soulful stuff right there.
I’m digging his stuff, and I enjoy the shake up between soft and soulful, to an upbeat type of sound. A nice comparison of his skill would be to listen to tracks 1 (Bad News) and 10 (Song for Anna). Definitely my two favorite ones right there and really display his talent. Nice job man. Your singing makes me feel inadequate, when I try to sing. Thanks.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of Nacho Picasso, which you should do too. But, while I was balls deep in Skyrim last night and had my iTunes on shuffle, my computer was sure to remind me who Seattle’s best rapper is. Don’t get me wrong, Nacho has an incredible flow, but he’s got a long way to go until he can spit with the same intelligence and passion that you get from Sol.
Fresh outta the University of Washington, Sol’s made Seattle his Kingdom
His self-proclaimed title as “Seattle’s Prince” is all too fitting. He just recently graduated from the University of Washington and is now focusing entirely on his musical career. Sol’s first full album The Ride has a semi-serious feel to it that gives you insight into how determined he was to be a musical star from the start. His rap style reflects a sort of Biggie Smalls meets Snoop Dogg with a zen-like flow. After The Ride Sol followed up with three EPs released over the course of 2 years, Dear Friends, Vol. 1, 2, and 3. These three EPs took the sound of nirvana Sol had already achieved, refined it, and threw in some comedic elements for good measure. Vol. 2 saw the rise of his hit So Damn High, hitting #1 on Hype Machine (surpassing artists like Kanye West).
Sol’s greatest accomplishment is by far his dedication to his fans. They may just be titles, but when you listen to all three volumes of Dear Friends you feel like he really does appreciate all of his fans. He takes his tranquil flow, adds a lovable stonery character to it, and then throws in a serious side, that makes you not only love him, but also respect him as an artist. I don’t generally go out and buy music, anyone that knows me knows I’m not huge on paying for music. But when Sol released Yours Truly earlier this January, I happily shelled out the $10 to support him and would’ve happily paid more.
The first video to come off of the album, 2020 is the hardest I’ve seen almost any rapper ever go on one of their songs. His voice makes you feel his passion and dedication and not just feel it, but understand it. Yours Truly is easily the best album I’ve heard in a solid couple of years. Every song has its own story to it. Sol raps about the things that he cares about, and maybe it’s just because I’m an 18-year-old in Seattle, but all of it is relatable. In his song Ugly Lovehe raps about the ugly side of love, the one-night-stands, the hook-ups that you regret right after, the relationships where the physical aspect is all that’s keeping together. I’m not much for commenting on love, but his rhymes just make you sit there and go “Yeah, this dude’s got it!” The whole album is gold, and it’s easily worth the $10 on iTunes. And if you’re not sure you wanna shell out the money just yet, then check out his website here and download all three Dear Friends EPs for free. In this blogger’s opinion, Sol is the best rapper in Seattle right now, and he’s only going up from here.