Photos: Chicago @ Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

It was no Saturday In The Park during the downpour prior to Chicago taking the stage and intermittently during their 2+ hour set. But hearing their classic songs again sure did Make Me Smile as Chicago brought their Heart And Soul Tour to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery last week for a sold-out show. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year. Four of the founding members are still going strong – Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walter Parazaider. Paul Allen (Microsoft cofounder) had a fourth row center seat and Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife) opened.

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Chicago

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Paul Allen

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Rita Wilson

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Show Preview: Ana Popovic @ Jazz Alley – Tues. 6/28

Show Preview: Ana Popovic @ Jazz Alley – Tuesday June 28th

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Ana Popovic – photo by Kirk Stauffer

Ana Popovic is in Seattle! She’s got two nights at Jazz Alley (sorry about the late notice, and that you might be missing her first show, which is tonight), where she’ll play her second show as well at Jazz Alley tomorrow, Tuesday June 28th. The blues/jazz/funk singer-songwriter has given fans eight extremely well-reviewed EPs, and, having a vigorous voice combined with expert, passionate guitar skills, Popovic is in the lead of current blues music. She’s a great. When she starts off her new work, Trilogy, with “Love You Tonight,” it’s all about confidence – and, of course love.

Popovic, now based in Memphis, Tennessee, survived the Balkan War after being taken in by The Netherlands. I mention this for a couple reasons: it’s a blessing she and her family made it, and, how amazing it is she got into the blues!

~Dagmar

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Show Review: Mirah & Jherek Bischoff @ the Neptune

Mirah & Jherek Bischoff @ the Neptune, June 8th
Review by Nick Nihil

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Mira & Jherek Bischoff

Jherek Bischoff’s lack of the enigmatic is what makes him so fascinating. Cartoonishly gangly and coiffed, his sincerity assures he is not a mere construct of irony. So is it with his art that he has keenly drawn the finest of lines between high-minded new music and broad accessibility. His orchestral works from his forthcoming album, Cistern, live in the post-minimalist realm of floridly expressive, repetitive phrases, while harking back to pre-classical motifs. The title piece’s crescendo invokes Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, sticking around for only 4 or 5 minutes; “Wolf,” with its pummel drones and discord, invites the idea of fear, while keeping it at a safe distance. Bischoff is genuine and imaginative enough at crafting series of 4-minute chamber pieces that don’t give the listener apprehensions that come with producing longer works. More often than not, they exist as beautifully orchestrated, fully-formed ideas.

With Mirah, Bischoff’s an equally brilliant arranger and interpreter as he is a producer of his own material. Having worked extensively on her most recent (and best) album, Changing Light, his dramatic yet modern sensibilities truly bring her already arresting blend of cerebral, metaphor-rich story telling an emotional candor. They’re both a bit quirky, but neither is ever postured. As a vocalist, I’ve heard few singers and songwriters who have her skill at wringing melodic invention out of wordy passages (usually one suffers in the other’s presence). At the same time, she displays an equal comfort in her more ‘songwriterly’ introspective numbers such as “Gold Rush” and “Radiomind,” as well as her Euro-cabaret Latin-flavored dance numbers (she has some moves, too). And many props to the sound engineer who was able to keep her voice and lyrics clear over the widely dynamic chamber ensemble.

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Photos: Della Mae @ Tractor Tavern

I had the pleasure again last week of covering Della Mae at the Tractor Tavern. The Grammy-nominated bluegrass quintet – Kimber Ludiker, Celia Woodsmith, Jenni Lyn Gardner, Courtney Hartman and Zoe Guigueno – played in support of their self-titled album.

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Della Mae

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Show Review & Photos: The 1975 @ WaMu Theater

The 1975 @ WaMu Theater – April 28, 2016
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

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Matthew Healy of the 1975

The 1975 lovingly joins my British Bands Seen Live in 2016 list. Last year’s list included Rixton, Kaiser Chiefs and the Wombats, meaning, by the way, that 2015 was an excellent year for visits to Seattle by many of my favorites. Should you follow my tastes, you’ll know the 1975 is one of my most-adored bands. I’ve seen and covered every Seattle date, except for their first here, in 2013. Dammit, I didn’t know about them until later! Catching them four times though? Fantastic.

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, the 1975’s follow-up to their first album, The 1975, continues the band’s excellence in combining experimental sounds with beautiful pop. The 1975’s album two hammered America, grabbing a number 1 spot on Billboard, while The 1975 announced the group’s arrival with a number 28 spot on that chart. Unusual and, probably unexpected, for a British band to have achieved this. What lead to these accomplishments? People were smart, and recognized the awesome songs. Also, singer Matthew Healy has a sexy voice separating him from many other chart toppers, and he gets to do some extra gorgeous vocal work in slower songs such as “Fallingforyou,” “Somebody Else,” “Paris” and “A Change of Heart.”

While fans might have thought the night’s setlist would be entirely filled by songs from the 1975’s two albums, there was a surprising number of tracks off the group’s four EPs. Those surprises included “HNSCC,” with goose bump-inducing guitar work by Adam Hann. They also included “Me” and “Fallingforyou,” which might have been totally unfamiliar to the audience if they don’t have the deluxe version of The 1975, where they appear as bonus tracks, or the EPs themselves. Yet they were received enormously well, confirming my suspicion that this group is instantly likable, and has fans who dig deep into the 1975’s discography. The more well-known songs, “Chocolate,” “Sex,” “Heart Out,” “Girls,” “Sex,” “The Sound” and “Love Me” made major earthquakes among the audience.

I’m simply in awe of this band. They’re all that’s great in contemporary music, and they’re touring all over the world this summer. That’s something for music fans to appreciate.

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The 1975

More Photos of the 1975 @ WaMu Theater

Setlist:

The 1975 (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it )
Love Me (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it)
Heart Out (The 1975)
Settle Down (The 1975)
So Far (It’s Alright) (The 1975 bonus track/IV EP)
The City (The 1975/IV EP/Facedown EP)
You (/The 1975 bonus track/IV EP/Sex EP)
HNSCC (The 1975 bonus track/Music for Cars EP)
Menswear (The 1975)
A Change of Heart (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it)
She’s American (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it)
Me (The 1975 bonus track, IV EP)
Fallingforyou (The 1975 bonus track/IV EP)
Somebody Else (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it)
The Sound (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it)
Robbers (The 1975)
Girls (The 1975)

Encore:

Medicine (Drive – Film)
Chocolate (The 1975/IV EP/Music for Cars EP)
Sex (The 1975/IV EP/Sex EP)

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