A Conversation about Macklemore’s Letter “Wing$, The NBA All-Star Game, & Selling Out”

This is a real email conversation between Adam Sharp (Songsfortheday) and Matt Hart (MidbyNorthwest.com / The Local Strangers) that we later decided to publish on our blogs: ADAM:  I love Macklemore…but this is a pretty bad response to a pretty obvious case of ‘selling out’: http://macklemore.com/post/43688861186/wings-the-nba-all-star-game-selling-out MATT:  disagree. I find these statements to ring very true: “The All Star game intro was seen by millions of people on Sunday who had no idea who we were.  My thinking was, if they liked the […]

Interview: Ivan & Alyosha

“Bubblegum pop in indie rock or indie-folk form… That’s kind of what we’re all going for, in a way. Like, The Jackson Five with a beard.” -Tim Wilson, Ivan & Alyosha The Vibe versus The Song… The Vibe finds the pocket of a groove and can go forever. The Song relies on dynamics and transitions to tell a discrete story. The Vibe makes you feel something subconsciously. The Song makes you hang on every word. Most bands, and many music […]

Question: What is the Social Utility of Negative Music Reviews?

This question has been on my mind for a few days… In our modern age of Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, iTunes, and other tools that let people easily sample new music, what is the social utility of a scathing review of a band or album, if any? Here are my thoughts so far on the subject, but this much-longer-than-originally-intended memo is primarily to hear YOUR thoughts and get a discussion going, so after you read all this, please post your opinion […]

Interview: Kevin Long

A peek into the goals journal – written or imagined – of every local band: Record an album Get played on the radio somewhere mom can hear it Go on tour opening for [favorite and/or personally influential national act] Kevin Long, one of my favorite Seattle singer/songwriters, got to do that last thing for three weeks this spring as he opened for Rocky Votolato in San Diego, Chicago, Toronto, and everywhere in between.  By the numbers, it was 16 shows in […]

Interview: NotesFromHome.tv

One of the most significant differences between the Seattle music scene and any other I’ve experienced is the prevalence and importance on non-musicians.  Seattle’s many photographers, videographers, bloggers, and audio engineers make the scene what it is.  Without harping too much on chicken/egg or tree-falling-in-the-woods clichés, suffice to say that the role of these artists and journalists is vital to the health and sustainability of our talented local music community. Perhaps the perfect example of these forces coalescing is NotesFromHome.tv – a collaborative project […]

Song: The Lumineers – “Slow it Down”

I fell hard for The Lumineers when I saw them last summer at Capitol Hill Block Party.  It was, by far, my favorite performance of the weekend.  But if they played “Slow it Down,” I don’t remember it.  I was engrossed by their more upbeat, heart-filled, and impeccably arranged tunes like “Ho Hey” and “Classy Girls Don’t Kiss in Bars.”   When my hunger for some well-produced recordings beyond their burned demo was satiated by the best Daytrotter Sesssion I’ve […]

A New Phase

Well, it’s been almost 6 months since my last post here.  The short excuse explanation is that I’ve been busy as hell, which is true.  A longer explanation is that most of my goals in starting this blog have been achieved.  I’ve been in Seattle almost 2 years now and feel like I’m part of a music community here; both as an individual and as part of my band The Local Strangers.  It makes me very happy to call the people that I’ve featured […]

Chicago IN Seattle: Matt Ryd / Xoe Wise / Katrina Charles @ Egan’s

My guy-love for old friend Matt Ryd is well known to longtime MidByNorthwest followers.  I’ve interviewed him, I’ve reviewed his album, and now thanks to his first tour I get to preview his Seattle debut! Ryd is hitting the road with another acclaimed Chicago singer/songwriter Xoe Wise.  That many hours in the car together is sure to produce some stunning collaborations – accenting both Ryd’s endearing guitar-pop and Wise’s dreamy vocal compositions.  It’s a unique experience to see two separate […]

Interview: Frightened Rabbit

I first heard Frightened Rabbit in 2009 on NPR – one of many Saturday mornings at work staying sane with Car Talk, then Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, then Sound Opinions.  They were Greg and Jim’s guests on Sound Opinions that day, playing acoustic versions of songs from The Midnight Organ Fight and chatting with the guys.  I remember thinking “These songs sound good…”  That night I checked out the studio recordings on MySpace and thought “Wow, this is really […]

Capitol Hill Block Party and My Summer of Nostalgia

Having moved to Seattle last May, this summer has been full of one-year markers and anniversaries. With each annual event I’m forced to reflect on a year ago and I am repeatedly stunned by how much has changed. This weekend, that process is triggered by Capitol Hill Block Party – a weekend-long, nationally-acclaimed music festival smack-dab in the middle of my neighborhood. Last year I bought my 3-day pass the day they became available without any idea who I would […]