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music

Alice in Chains at Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario, September 18, 2010. Alice In Chains' music is being considered for the musical Seattle Repertory Theatre is commissioning
Flickr Photo/cb2vi3 (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8EgV6r

Bill Radke talks to Sean Nelson and Gretta Harley about the idea of a grunge musical. The Seattle Repertory Theatre has commissioned an original musical that features the music and story of Seattle's 1990s music scene. Nelson is editor at large for The Stranger and Harley is a Seattle musician who co-wrote the rock music play, "These Streets," which ran at ACT in 2013.

When you were younger, do you remember there being a piano store in your neighborhood or at the mall? There are many fewer piano dealers today than there used to be. Those who weren't done in by cheaper electronic keyboards or the last recession are changing their tunes to stay in the money.

music concert
FLICKR PHOTO/Avarty Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ffNvCc

You're living in a region with tons of good, new, local music. Too much to take it all in, so Bill Radke speaks with Jonathan Zwickel, who writes a City Arts Magazine column called Attractive Singles. Zwickel has picked out three local artists for you to get to know.

Three years ago, the Islamic State overran large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and soon declared a caliphate that straddled the border between the two countries. Today, the group's physical caliphate is declining — and the group is preparing its base of fighters for a future under siege.

One of the ways it is doing that is through its musical propaganda.

The Slants
Courtesy of The Slants

Bill Radke speaks with Simon Tam of Portland band The Slants and Robert Chang, professor of law at the Seattle University School of Law, about the Supreme Court decision that allowed Tam's Asian-American band to trademark their name, which some argued was too offensive for the designation.

Tam explains how he feels this decision allows people to empower themselves against slurs and thinks this is a huge win for social justice.

Professor Chang disagrees with the SCOTUS decision, claiming that this could open the doors to discriminatory  trademarks that slip past civil rights laws. He also argues that trademarking names may in fact harm future social justice movements. 

Courtesy of Mitchell Overton

If you’re a musician in Seattle who wants strings on a recording, your path will lead to Andrew Joslyn. He has orchestrated for the likes of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Mark Lanegan, made soundtracks for movies and podcasts, and performed with the Bushwick Book Club and Seattle Rock Orchestra. Now Joslyn is stepping into the spotlight himself. Ross Reynolds talks with Joslyn about his career and how his older brother, comedian Chris Kattan, affected his musical tastes.

Khu.eex'
Russell Johnson

What do you get when you cross tribal music with jazz and funk? Khu.eex'

That’s the name of a Seattle band performing at this weekend’s Folklife festival in Seattle.

Jeremy Chirinos of Renton was in middle school when Jimi Hendrix's house arrived. The failure of a museum project that would have surrounded the house meant he had an affordable place to grow up.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The body of musician Jimi Hendrix lies in a Renton cemetery. Across the street is the Hi-Land Mobile Manor Park, which looks like it hasn’t changed much since it was built in the 1950s.

A few years ago, a 900-square-foot house showed up to the mobile home park on a flatbed truck trailer. It was Hendrix’s childhood home. It rolled up to the mobile park because of a dream. A dream that would not come true.


Bill Radke gets hooked up to the encephalophone.
KUOW Photo/Ann Kane

Bill Radke talks with Dr. Thomas Deuel, a musician, neuroscientist and inventor of the encephalophone, an instrument you play with your brainwaves. Deuel explains why he was inspired to create the instrument, how he feels it will help people with disabilities, and he even lets Bill strap it on. Listen until the end to hear Bill's brain play a solo.

Remembering Chris Cornell: 'It's so devastating'

May 18, 2017
Chris Cornell performing in 2011.
Flickr Photo/Sebastian R. (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cC1AXE

Bill Radke speaks with Charles R. Cross about the sudden, shocking suicide of Chris Cornell. Cross knew the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman for decades, and he reflects on the massive impact Cornell had on Seattle and the world. He also discusses the circumstances surrounding Cornell's death and how fans and friends may be able to cope with the tragedy. 

Of course it's a story about death and Seattle music.

I woke up this morning after bad dreams last night, only to find the real nightmare — that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden was dead. As with all these losses it seems surreal, untrue, unimaginable. But there it is.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Chris Cornell, the unmistakable voice and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died overnight in Detroit at the age of 52. He was discovered just past midnight at the MGM Grand Detroit, according to police.

The office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner on Thursday determined the cause of his death to be suicide by hanging, noting that a full autopsy has yet to be completed.

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

A new kind of music festival will come to Seattle’s Pioneer Square this week.  

It's called Upstream.

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

Bill Radke speaks with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DJ Marco Collins about the Upstream Music Festival. The three day festival in Pioneer Square is the brain child of Microsoft's Paul Allen. This is his way of bringing together local technology and local music. Collins is curating his own stage at the festival and shares some of the music he is excited for this weekend. 

Sydney Opera House

Artist Laurie Anderson has written six books, released a dozen albums, created multimedia performances for human and canine audiences and produced an acclaimed documentary film.

In 1992, on the occasion of her book Stories from the Nerve Bible, she talks with Ross Reynolds about her short stint as an art teacher ("I made up stories about artists"), why she made an American Express commercial, her thoughts on the then emerging internet, and how her first hit “O Superman” was appropriated for a car alarm company. 

Twenty-five years ago Tuesday, a career-defining single was born — and with it, endless sitcom jokes and rap homages. It was referenced in Sing, the 2016 animated children's movie, and in Shrek years before that. But when it debuted in 1992, there were those who took it to heart as an anthem of body positivity.

The fastest growing Mariachi music program outside of Mexico is in Washington state. A high school Mariachi band from Wenatchee has an award winning director and they’ve won a few themselves.

Since the 18th century, Mariachi has been an integral part of Mexico’s music scene and most students here have Mexican roots. There aren’t many programs like this in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Brady Harvey/Museum of Pop Culture

Bill Radke speaks with NPR music writer Ann Powers about the current state of protest music. Powers is moderating a panel discussing politics and music at The Pop Conference 2017 happening at MoPop this weekend. Also joining the conversation is local poet, songwriter and singer for the band The Flavr Blue, Hollis Wong Wear. 

music concert
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Bill Radke speaks with KEXP DJ Sharlese Metcalf. She hosts the local music show Audioasis on Saturday evenings. She came in to KUOW to talk about three bands she thinks you should know.

Songs mentioned: Falon Sierra "Expectations," Haley Heynderickx "Ride A Pack of Bees," Baywitch "Technopagan"

Courtesy of Mosaic Voices

Human beings have depended on mythology since the beginning of our existence. Myths told us how the world began, how to understand its trials and wonders, and how it might end.

Yet now, when many of us believe something is not true, we call it a myth. What happened?

Couresty of Phil Elverum

Phil Elverum, aka Mount Eerie, wrote an album about his grief after the death of his wife. This is his story.

Try out a Sad Bath. You just might like it

Mar 21, 2017
music concert
FLICKR PHOTO/Avarty Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ffNvCc

From Seattle's Macefield Music Festival in Ballard DJ Michael Stevens shares with Bill Radke some local bands you ought to know about.

Bill Radke talks with music director Ludovic Morlot about the Seattle Symphony's performance of "Music Beyond Borders: Voices from the Seven." The concert was performed just 12 days after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning entry to the U.S. from seven majority Muslim countries.

Portland’s most prominent music teacher is facing allegations that he was inappropriate with some teenage students. Thara Memory has been coaching high school musicians in his American Music Program for over a decade. The news has sent the city’s musical community into a tailspin.

We watched more than 6,000 videos. Ten judges weighed in. Now, the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest has a winner.

Seattle loves swing, as featured in a sidewalk sculpture on Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/ Steve Bernacki (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bQqca2

Amanda Wilde speaks with historian Feliks Banel, a self-described huge fan of live local radio, about The Swing Years' place in Seattle radio history. 

music concert
FLICKR PHOTO/Avarty Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ffNvCc

Bill Radke speaks with Jonathan Zwickel, senior editor of City Arts magazine about local music you should be listening to. Zwickel puts out a monthly list of local artists for City Arts called "Attractive Singles."

Is Thunderpussy too offensive to trademark?

Feb 13, 2017

Bill Radke talks to Molly Sides and Leah Julius of the Seattle band Thunderpussy and their struggle to trademark a name that the federal government has deemed too offensive. A case currently in the Supreme Court will determine if their name, among others, will be given trademark status. The members discuss why a trademark is so important, the misconceptions about their name and why they struggle with other names, such as the Washington Redskins, that would also benefit from this ruling.  

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