The most popular Christmas carol in America stands apart from the others in a number of ways: It’s not upbeat, there are no fanciful characters and it isn’t religious. Instead, it’s melancholy and wistful – full of longing for bygone days.
Seattle is a town full of music. From indie rock to folk to rap, the city boasts a bevy of thriving scenes. These days, those scenes tend to cross-pollinate. And that can result in something powerful, especially when a traditional gospel singer is part of the mix.
The Anthology of American Folk Music is one of the most influential recordings in history. The Anthology brings together American roots music that was saved from destruction by a local man in the days before World War II.
Born in Portland, Ore., and raised around Bellingham and Seattle, Harry Smith was an eccentric painter, film maker, and anthropologist who convinced gathered music from forgotten 78 rpm records originally released between 1927 and 1932 at the dawn of popular culture.
In June 1989, Sub Pop Records rented out the Moore Theatre in Seattle to showcase three of its up-and-coming bands: Mudhoney, Tad and Nirvana. The manager sent security home early because he didn’t think anyone would show up.
The manager was wrong: It was the first sold-out show by a local group. The lack of control and the chaos from a crazy crowd resulted in Sub Pop being blacklisted from the Moore for the next 10 years.
Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:02 pm
12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.
Lou Reed, songwriter and frontman to the band The Velvet Underground, passed away yesterday. Without Reed and The Velvet Underground, music writer Charles R. Cross said, "There would be no Nirvana, Pearl Jam or any edgy rock 'n' roll."
In 1993, reporter Jon Savage recorded this interview with Kurt Cobain in preparation for a story he was writing. After the story was published, the cassette languished in storage. Blank on Blank unearthed it and turned it into a cartoon.
Last Monday, musicians from around the world gathered at Benaroya Hall to remember cellist, UW music professor and Seattle Chamber Music Society founder Toby Saks. She died from pancreatic cancer this summer. Classical KING FM host (and KUOW alum) Dave Beck attended the memorial. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the memorial and about Saks' legacy.
A recently unearthed interview with Janis Joplin – which turns out to be the last interview she gave – reveals a woman struggling to make herself understood, at a time when women in the media were still largely defined by men.
What’s there left to say about Bruce Springsteen? He burst into national consciousness in 1978 on the success of his hit album "Born to Run" and his face was featured on the cover of Time and Newsweek magazines. Since then he’s been exhaustively interviewed and analyzed. However, Peter Ames Carlin’s biography "Bruce," covers new ground to even the most avid fans. The author speaks with Ross Reynolds.