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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
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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
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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.  

My Twitter feed is still roiling. As I write this, it's been mere moments since my friends and colleagues (and a few assorted celebrities) started taking a break from praising the 2017 Grammys' most vital and viral performances — A Tribe Called Quest, Beyoncé, The Time, a bonkers Lady Gaga-Metallica mashup — to fume about Adele's sweep of the night's top three prizes.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Al Jarreau, a versatile vocalist who defied categorization for decades, died Sunday morning at the age of 76. Earlier this week, Jarreau had been hospitalized in Los Angeles "due to exhaustion," according to his official Facebook page.

It's perhaps the unlikeliest symphony orchestra in the world — an all-female ensemble from a strict Muslim society where it's often dangerous for young women to step outside of their homes unescorted. It's called Zohra — the name of a music goddess in Persian literature, according to its founder.

And they were performing at an unlikely venue — a hall attached to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a bombed-out ruin in western Berlin commemorating the horrors of World War II. It's just steps from where Berliners experienced their first ISIS-linked terror attack six weeks ago.

Does protest music matter anymore?

Jan 19, 2017
music concert
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Bill Radke speaks with music critics Charles Cross and Gina Arnold about what makes a good protest song. They also discussed how protest music has changed over the decades. 

Wimps singer/ guitarist Rachel Ratner
KUOW Photos / David Hyde

Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the Mexico border has inspired plenty of protest. Including a song by Portland-based musician Kyle Craft, “Before the Wall."

“It's just one big question,” Craft said, asking “what does that wall represent, not only to people inside of it, but outside of it?”


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ruth Brown, the original queen of rhythm and blues.

Brown’s career took her from the Apollo theatre to Broadway. She was the most prolific African American female R&B vocalist of the '50's, surpassing Dinah Washington for a time.

Quinton Morris, violin professor.
Courtesy of Quinton Morris

Quinton Morris is a violin virtuoso who wants to give back. The Seattle University teacher grew up in Renton and fondly remembers the support he got from the community. He says that encouragement is important for people of color who want to be classical musicians. Morris told Jamala Henderson how he was often discouraged.  

Blues singer Courtney Weaver performs in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Kenneth Fiaui had always been jealous of his girlfriend. He was even jealous of her 4-month-old cat.

On the night he shot her, Courtney Weaver was preparing to go out with some friends for the evening. Fiaui didn’t want her to go.

British pop star George Michael, who died over the weekend at the age of 53, was famous for his sex appeal, his songwriting gifts and his enduring voice — and for his personal life, which was treated as tabloid fodder.

But not everything he did made headlines.

Since Michael's death, charities and fans have revealed that the iconic singer was also a dedicated philanthropist — making large donations, and working hard to keep them out of the public eye.

Jeannie Yandel talks to KUOW's Amanda Wilde about three local musicians from the 20th century who changed their industry through technology and innovation. 

Photos by Joan Marcus

David Byrne, rock star with the Talking Heads and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, knew the stories of Imelda Marcos's thousands of pairs of shoes. But when he wrote a musical play about her life he left out the fact most people know about Marcos. Why did he chose her as the subject of his play?

The 32nd class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, announced by the organization Tuesday, include its first solo rapper, giants of alternative and album rock, and a stalwart protest singer. Also being inducted are a pair of extremely influential producers, one with his signature band and one by himself.

Seven KUOW women participated in creating Lucia Neare's wail in Seattle on election night.
KUOW Photo/Robert Jacobs-Springer

Last week on KUOW, you heard the beautiful and heartbreaking story of Lucia Neare.

Neare was an orphan who became an artist who specializes in large-scale public performances. After learning the election results last month, she became despondent. 

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market.

The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase.

Brandi Carlile among the music collection at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

"I am really upset with Trump voters right now," local legend Brandi Carlile told KUOW’s Bill Radke. "I’m a little concerned as to why they are [Trump supporters], but I am listening."

Lars Ulrich is the son of a Danish tennis pro — and he might have actually had a promising career in that sport himself. But at age 9, he saw something that would change his direction forever. He was at a tennis tournament in Copenhagen with his dad, and the hard rock band Deep Purple had invited all of the players at the tournament to their show.

Popular music, like every creative form, has produced iconoclasts and idols, whose charisma intersects with the historical moment to carry them into a singular space of greatness. Leonard Cohen was not that kind of star. He was the other kind, arguably more necessary: the companionable genius, compelled by the need to track the muse through the hallways of the everyday, to understand how profane existence can be shot through with profundity.

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