Music

Capturing the Music Scene of the Pacific Northwest

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is a Pacific Northwest-based photographer and documentary filmmaker. She has been working with local artists, nonprofits, and community organizers to help them share their stories and connect with their communities since 2017. As a music photographer, Smith has covered national touring artists, including the Polyrhythmics, Allen Stone, and ZZ Ward, as well as local favorites like Kim Archer and the Thunderpussies.

Are Virtual Festivals the Future?

BPT

Producing a virtual event is standard fare for many large, medium and small corporate marketing teams, but big, consumer events had yet to realize virtual success until well into the pandemic era. Moment House produced a virtual Justin Bieber show from a hotel in Beverly Hills on New Year’s Eve, and stand-up comedians like Kevin Fredericks are hosting larger audiences than ever virtually. But a virtual festival? Is that even possible? Popular film festival SXSW went virtual this year and mega-media company OZY just wrapped its annual OZY Fest.

‘Sparks Brothers’ Pays Homage to Quirky Genius of Musical Duo

Forrest Hartman

The Sparks Brothers is as entertaining as it is informative, and music lovers should leave the film both appreciating the Maels’ contributions to pop music and admiring Wright’s ability to tell their story. Furthermore, the folks who – like me – came into this project unaware of the band will, no doubt, spend a few hours digging through its rather impressive back catalog. Not every movie leaves me with new downloads in my music library, but this one certainly did.

Rock Has Another Trick Up Its Sleave

Garrett Hartman

On Fidlar’s latest album “Almost Free,” released in 2019, the title track is an entirely instrumental blend of funk and big band music. A track like this seems to contradict the Alt Rock angst they call back to however it seems to fit into the album perfectly. Similarly, SWMRS “Berkley’s on Fire” and “Lose Lose Lose” use groovy basslines and interesting rhythms that separate them from the standard order Alt Rock, but still have enough attitude and Punk guitars to be described as anything else. It feels almost disrespectful to compare these bands with each other because of their undeniable individuality.

 

New Book Reminisces About Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong’s Big Band Years

James Fozard

Armstrong’s dual career as a jazz player and vocalist continued through the remainder of his life. He sang with other jazz legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald and in cameo music roles in movies. He continued performing with his group and core members, Barney Bigard, Jack Teagarden, and Earl Hines into the 1950s. Armstrong was also immensely popular in Europe, often referred to as America’s Jazz Ambassador. He is said to have considered himself a “performer of music.”

‘Royalty Free’ Tells the Story of the Most Selfless Man in Music

Ulises Duenas

MacLeod himself is heavily featured as he provides insight on the music business and why he works so hard to create free music. After a while into the film, you get a good inkling of the kind of person he is: a selfless workaholic who is plagued with bouts of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome. It’s funny to see how much of an impact he’s had in the world unintentionally and even when he thinks about it, he doesn’t seem fazed. He’s so strangely endearing that even Hollywood would have trouble creating a character like him.

Charlie Parker: Celebrating a Century of the Genius of Jazz

Emile Wennekes

Charlie Parker was a legendary soloist, inspiring bandleader, daring composer, ingenious innovator and a source of inspiration for many generations still. A jazz idol, full stop. But his off-stage personality revealed a more tragic figure: a drug addict and alcoholic. Bird lived hard and lost his performance license, several jobs and attempted suicide twice. All in all, his physical and mental health were already waning at an early age.

Back to the Future: In Praise of the Long-Lost Music Album

Forrest Hartman

So, while I might play entire albums at home, the only way to fill a dance floor was to pick the “hits” that most people wanted to hear. You might say, I – as a DJ – was an early form of streaming. Because of this, I embraced CDs and the ease with which I could cue the best tracks, sometimes even starting them after the self. -indulgent introductions that nobody dances to. You can do the same things, of course, with records, but it is infinitely harder. Cueing tracks on LPs is more difficult than pushing a button or two, and hauling hundreds of 45s around is work.

How Johnny Hodges Shaped Boston’s Jazz Legacy

Con Chapman

Eventually, Hodges left for the money and the opportunities in New York.  In the City That Never Sleeps, bars could serve liquor until 4 in the morning, while last call in Boston was a puritanical 11 p.m.  With so many more hours in the day to play, it is no wonder that New York pulled jazz musicians away from Boston like an outgoing riptide. After stints with Bechet, Chick Webb, Willie “The Lion” Smith and others, at the age of 20, Hodges was hired by Duke Ellington, with whom he would be associated for the rest of his life. 

As Hip as Elvis: Caruso the Pop Idol

John Potter

Every generation seems to reinvent the tenor as something closer to a pop star than an opera star. The Three Tenors were among the late 20th century’s great musical marketing successes, and the brightest star that they acknowledged in the tenor firmament was cinema heartthrob Mario Lanza. Lanza himself claimed Enrico Caruso as his greatest influence and famously played him on screen, reminding a wider audience that there was nothing incompatible with classical tenors and genuine popularity, whatever they were singing.

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