Photos: Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, William Ryan Key & Oh, Weatherly @ the Showbox

Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, William Ryan Key & Oh, Weatherly @ the Showbox – 10/21/18 – Photos by Charitie Myers

Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade, the Florida-based rock quintet, made their Seattle appearance of the Welcome to Sunnyland tour on October 21st. The tour took them to every part of the US with 39 dates! This year, Mayday Parade signed with Beaver Records, resulting in their sixth album, Sunnyland, which included the wonderfully-titled “It’s Hard to be Religious When Certain People Aren’t Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning.” Also, if you didn’t see the group’s tour diary, I recommend it.

California duo This Wild Life; former Yellowcard singer William Ryan Key and Texans Oh, Weatherly were on hand as openers.

Mayday Parade
This Wild Life
William Ryan Key
Oh, Weatherly

Show Review & Photos: Joywave @ the Neptune

Joywave @ the Neptune, 11/9/18
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

I am heartbroken from only seeing Joywave now. I’d heard some of their music, then, recently began listening to their albums. I became smitten. I’d seen other photographs of the band from photographers on Back Beat Seattle, and pictures elsewhere. I loved lead singer Daniel Armbruster’s style. So, while I hated myself for not catching their Seattle shows, and there have been quite a few, I finally got to catch the Joywave experience.

Joywave‘s Daniel Armbruster – photo by Dagmar

Co-headlining with Sir Sly, the New York quintet played songs from their two albums, How Do You Feel Now? and Content on a stage with word changing lighted boxes and flashing lights. Those lights worked especially well during “Destruction.” Armbruster covered the stage while dressed in flashy shoes. He’s got to be one of my favorite singers at this point, and he’s charming and charismatic and all that important stuff.

The entire setlist was gorgeous with a shocking “Content,” which is actually put together unlike much other music. Do you know how hard it is not to be derivative? And have it sound good? “It’s a Trip,” “Little Lies You’re Told,” “Somebody New,” “Tongues,” “Now,” “Traveling at the Speed of Light,” new track “Obsession,” and the burning “Destruction” were the absolute evening’s keepers.

At one point, Armbruster mentioned that the Seattle show sold out twice. The first time was to a “robot” online. The band didn’t like that, so they cancelled that order (damn you, scalpers,) and sold tickets again. He proudly told us that it turns out humans like Joywave, too. We do!



Somebody New
It’s a Trip!
Traveling at the Speed of Light
Little Lies You’re Told
Let’s Talk About Feelings


Show Review & Photos: Sir Sly @ the Neptune

Sir Sly @ the Neptune, 11/9/18
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

Sir Sly‘s Landon Jacobs

Los Angeles trio Sir Sly made a co-headlining appearance with Joywave in Seattle on November 9th. And you could really feel the love. Somehow I had not seen either band before live, and I was thrilled to see them. I’ll have my thoughts on Joywave in an individual post; first, here’s what Sir Sly was like.

I mention that love because that capacity crowd was totally into Sir Sly. Rightly so, as this band put on a vibrant and sympathetic performance, including a giant brain that lit up and pulsated strobes. Could that make you kind of ill? I don’t know, but it was fascinating. I have never seen such a thing before onstage, and watching the colors change with the music was fabulous. It made its first appearance in the video for the band’s song, “High.” It’s all making sense!

As a group, Sir Sly is a talented trio with shared writing credits in their songs. While attention naturally gravitates towards frontman Landon Jacobs, watch the energy of drummer Hayden Coplen if you catch them live. He’s quite the fantastic drummer. I also enjoyed how close together these three guys were. Jacobs talked about how his bandmates helped him out of a dark period in his life when his marriage ended and his mother passed away. It was incredibly moving, and brought more scale to the track, “Oh Mama,” written about Landon’s mother. I actually got choked up. Thank you, Jacobs, for being able to talk about that awful experience and create art from it.

Best known for the song “&Run,” which ended the show, the setlist was a persuasive argument that Sir Sly is even getting better. Older tracks “Gold” and “Ghost” from their 2014 debut You Haunt Me are very good, yet the band moves into the territory of excellence with album two, Don’t You Worry, Honey. “Fun,” “Altar,” “Trippin’,” “Astronaut,” “High,” and “&Run” were awesomely wonderful pop.

Sir Sly


Show Review: Ry Cooder w/the Hamiltones & Joachim Cooder @ the Moore

Show Review: Ry Cooder with the Hamiltones, w/ Joachim Cooder @ the Moore Theatre, 7/13/2018
By Lisa Hagen Glynn

Marquee @ the Moore – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn

Renowned guitarist–vocalist Ry Cooder rarely tours these days, but he packed both balconies of Seattle’s Moore Theatre on July 13th.

At age 71, Cooder is eclectic and unpretentious in his personal style: thick-rimmed glasses, brightly colored skinny tie, and blue ski cap atop white ponytail. On his left pinky finger he wore a reflective slide. The guitarist re-tuned constantly, remarking that his instrument was, “only a Fender, not a Steinway, for Chrissake.”

The living legend’s accolades include multiple Grammys, and his diverse credits range from blues slide guitar, to Buena Vista Social Club, to film soundtracks. Cooder’s latest album, The Prodigal Son, is strongly gospel-influenced with unabashed current-events commentary.

Cooder opened with the Blind Willie Johnson classic, “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” which showcased Cooder’s signature sound of warbling blues guitar and rich vocal vibrato. He then announced that he had, “Some tunes for you. Got some old ones, got some new ones.” True to his word, Cooder played a mix during the 15-song set.

He then brought up his band—his son Joachim Cooder on drums, Sam Gendel on saxophones, and Robert Francis on electric bass—backed on vocals by The Hamiltones, a finely tuned gospel and R&B group out of North Carolina. They joined Cooder for all but two numbers.

Perhaps most powerful were Cooder’s introspective and politically messaged solo tunes. A compelling storyteller, Cooder paused to share about the 1930s backdrop of labor unrest and the “stomping” of fascism that had inspired Woody Guthrie’s music, before breaking into characteristic slide guitar for Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man.” Cooder added a poignant verse to memorialize Trayvon Martin that choked up the audience audibly. Following was Cooder’s new acoustic tribute to Guthrie, “Jesus and Woody,” with the provocative and timely line, “Guess I like sinners better than fascists/And that makes me a dreamer, too.”

Just before the encore, Cooder reminisced about his fourth-grade existence, which had been “bleak and endless” until he received his first radio and found Los Angeles blues station KGFT. “It saved me,” said Cooder, “I knew then that I wanted to play, record, and tell stories.” He continued with a quirky story about meeting Johnny Cash, before jumping into Cash’s “Get Rhythm.”

The crowd was seemingly full of admiring long-term fans familiar with Cooder’s music. A feminine voice screamed “I love you, Ry,” and a masculine voice added, “I do, too,” prompting cheering and applause. Cooder received two standing ovations. The audience was surprisingly compliant with the artist’s no-photo policy for the tour.

Joachim Cooder opened the evening with a short set of “Because the Moonlight,” “Strange Love,” “Everyone Sleeps in the Light,” and “Fuchsia Machu Picchu.” The younger Cooder laid eccentric vocals atop live-sampled guitar, Array mbira, and brushed cajón. He was joined by experimental musician Sam Gendel on breathy effects-processed saxophone that was almost mistakable for organ. The duo built up tunes an element at a time, looping and layering into a plinky psychedelic rhythm.


Photos: Dude York, Naked Giants & Dog Breth @ the Crocodile

Dude York, Naked Giants & Dog Breth @ the Crocodile, 12/16/17
Photos by Casey Brevig
Memory Lane Series, part 41

Dude York

Naked Giants

Dog Breath