Wednesday
Apr172019

The Faim - El Corazon - Seattle, WA

Seattle's El Corazon was the perfect place to see The Faim for the first time. Their sound has fingerprints of Seattle's grunge apex, and - while their sound is also reflective of the contemporary soundscape - one can easily envision them sharing the stage with bands of that era.

Hailing from Australia, The Faim have cultivated a loyal fan base across the world thanks to an extensive global tour schedule, as well as a string of singles co-written with some of pop-rock's heaviest hitters: Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, blink-182's Mark Hoppus, and beyond. While working with prolific songwriters such as these helps to open a few doors, it's still up to the band to make their own name for themselves, to pave their own path. And The Faim do just that.

Their live show is kinetic and seasoned. A handful of sound problems were worked around with veteran ease, and the capacity crowd on hand - most in their late teens and early twenties - were engaged throughout. For those who are fans of Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, or blink-182, you'll find yourself right at home with The Faim. Live in concert is definitely the recommended way to hear them for the first time, and if you're already familiar with their music, it will only deepen your appreciation.

Catch them on tour here.

 

 Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

Friday
Apr122019

The Dip - The Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA

It can confidently be stated that The Dip puts on one of the most fun live shows you're ever likely to see. Not only does their effortless blending of soul, funk, and 60's pop make their music preeminently danceable (if you need some convincing, give “Sure Don’t Miss You” a spin), these guys just know how to perform. 

Hailing from Seattle, The Dip are a seven piece band with charisma, showmanship, and talent by the boatload. It’s not often at a concert that one sees college kids dancing alongside folks who could pass as their parents and grandparents, but that’s what happens when they’re are on stage. It’s infectious music that gets into the bones and moves the soul, thus making it impossible - at the very least - to not toe tap, head nod, and finger dance.

As they continue their string of sold out shows across the country, you’re highly encouraged to check out their tour schedule, scoop up tickets for you and a group of friends, and just go have an incredibly fun time. 

 

The Dip were supported by opener - and fellow Northwest native - Laura Jean Anderson. If you haven’t heard her work, you should. If you’d like a musical reference think of Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, and Janis Joplin all rolled into one. She’s phenomenal. Listen.


 

 Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

Tuesday
Apr022019

Haelos - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA

Hailing from London, five piece band HÆLOS is a darkly ambient trip-hop group that filled The Crocodile to capacity. As they were sure to mention on stage, Seattle holds a special place in their story. It was at KEXP several years back that they recorded a full "Live on KEXP" session which - as of this writing - has well over 2 million views. This is how I, and many others, first heard about HÆLOS.

If you haven't checked out that performance, do, because it's a perfect representation of how amazing their live show is. Lotti Bendarout's vocals are equal parts angelic and haunting, effortlessly gliding over the ambient soundscape laid down by the band. Standout tracks like "Dust" and "Earth Not Above" were couched nicely between new material from their upcoming album Any Random Kindness

Encore track "Pray" left the sellout crowd buzzing after the lights went down. Were they to do a new KEXP session, no doubt it would surpass the views of the first as their music continues to evolve to exciting new places.

For tour dates: http://haelos.com/

 

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

Friday
Mar222019

The Suffers - Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA

I was first introduced to The Suffers in 2016, when they were the opening act for Lake Street Dive at the Neptune here in Seattle. Now, three years on, they've been criss-crossing the US and globe on a headlining tour, and it's easy to see how and why they've achieved such acclaim in a relatively short amount of time: they put on a killer show.

Hailing from Houston, the 8 member band - fronted by the extraordinary lead singer Kam Franklin - creates a dynamically fresh Soul sound. Imbued with brutally honest lyrics that at turns confront grief, the pressure to conform, and accepting one's flaws, the tracks can't help but make the listener want to dance, as they're always buoyed with uplifting arrangements. Give a listen to "Make Some Room" and "You Only Call" for a nice introduction, and then give their newest album "Everything Here" a spin from front to back. You'll be glad you did.

Tractor Tavern was a wonderful place to see the show, as the intimacy afforded by the 200ish capacity venue heightens the profundity of the songs. And, to be clear, The Suffers won't be playing venues of this size for long: they are destined for arenas in no time at all.

It's worth highlighting, too, Seattle local Whitney Mongé who opened the show. Whitney has a phenomenal stage presence and sound that fits well in the family of Tracy Chapman meets Macy Gray and Kimya Dawson. Listen.

 

 

Catch The Suffers on tour here

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

Tuesday
Mar122019

Pickathon 2019

Pickathon announces new additions to an already stacked lineup, bringing a true American musical legend, Phil Lesh, into the fold. A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Lesh not only influenced multiple generations of artists, but created and defined a new American songbook, at once inspired by the roots of the music that came before and open to psychedelic new horizons. Lesh will be performing two days at Pickathon as Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band. Also announced is a very special set from The Richard Swift Hex Band, featuring an all-star list of collaborators backed by a dream band led by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, and members of Pure Bathing Culture, in addition to many special guests.

Aside from this year’s headliners, like Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Khruangbin, Mandolin Orange, and Tyler Childers, Pickathon operates also as a discovery engine. Festival director Zale Schoenborn and Pickathon co-producer Terry Groves know full well that many of the bands booked at the festival have only a small draw in the surrounding area of Portland, Oregon, but Pickathon’s predicated on the need for new inspiration, new sounds, and new ideas in music and culture. Each year, Pickathon reaches out to a wide collection of tastemakers in many genres, asking each to recommend the bands that they feel are the most innovative and most contemporary. This philosophy of booking has proven itself time and again, first with bringing on artists early in their career right before they break (like Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shakey Graves, Lake Street Dive, The Avett Brothers, The War & Treaty, Kevin Morby, Future Islands, Leon Bridges, Daniel Norgren, DakhaBrakha, Billy Strings, and Courtney Barnett), and then with the inspiration shared between like-minded artists across genres. It’s commonplace to see artists wandering backstage between sets, soaking up new ideas from new bands that they’re also discovering, and pushing their booking agents to come back to Pickathon as much as possible, looking for this inspiration.

PICKATHON 2019

AUGUST 2-4, 2019

www.pickathon.com

FULL LINEUP:

pickathon.com/lineup/music/

Tickets:

pickathon.com/tickets/

Pickathon 2019 Music Sampler:

bit.ly/pickathon2019sampler

Monday
Mar042019

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy - Mount Baker Theatre - Bellingham, WA

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy are househould names for anyone in the fiddle community. Their respective careers have spanned decades and taken them (and their family) to all corners of the Earth. Their live show is magnificent, rooted in the love they have for sharing their soul through song with the audience. 

 

 

Mount Baker Theatre was packed to the gills to see Natalie & Donnell play a variety of tracks with their backing band. From Celtic Classics, to contemporary originals, the entire concert flowed seamlessly from one track to the next.

Many were the moments when the crowd - which varied in age from 8 to 80 - was on their feet and toe tapping. This is definitely a show for all ages, which was evidenced by the closing numbers of the first half of the concert, when Natalie and Donnell were joined onstage by three of their young children, each of them fiddle and tapdance prodigies in their own right.

A show not to be missed for fans of fiddle, classic tunes, and just all around solid showmanship. 

 


 

 

For tour dates: https://www.natalieanddonnell.com/tours/

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

Wednesday
Dec192018

Allen Stone - The Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA

 

Allen Stone is a Northwest native that likely needs no introduction. Growing up in a small town outside Spokane, he's been singing since he could walk, and is nearly a decade into his professional music career. So, it should come as no surprise that his live performance is commanding, beyond engaging, and inspired. Allen danced nearly as much as he sang, and often did both at the same time which - while maintaining perfect rhythm on the guitar - is no small feat. 
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Backed by his bandmates of ten years (who also served as the opener to the show under the moniker Steve Swatkins and the Positive Agenda), there wasn't one second during the entirety of the nearly hour and a half set that labored. Every note was played with joy, and it was easy to see everyone on stage was having as good of a time as each person in the sold-out audience.
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With a new album due out soon, Stone is setting himself up to take the next evolutionary step in his musical career. Outside of, say, Bruno Mars, one would be hard-pressed to find an entertainer who so thoroughly enjoys and appreciates the opportunity to perform his art as much as Allen Stone. As a result, his live show is as infectious as the hits he continues to make.
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Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo

 

Wednesday
Dec122018

Postmodern Jukebox - Mount Baker Theatre - Bellingham, WA

To say that a Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) show is "fun" would be a lot like saying the sun is "warm." A more accurate description would be this: PMJ puts on one of the most entertaining, engaging, and downright electrifying live concerts going. 

A group of classically trained musicians, singers, and dancers of the highest caliber, PMJ is a collective of some ridiculously talented artists. You may be familiar with their throwback covers of classic and contemporary songs on YouTube, like this rendition of Creep (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3lF2qEA2cw) or No Diggity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTfz36WArSU), and for the duration of their show, covers ranging from the aforementioned Radiohead to Meghan Trainor to Cyndi Lauper were carried out to perfection. Make no mistake about it, though, these aren't merely covers. These are ingenious reinventions of hits.
Highlights of the evening included Motown legend Miche Braden's stripped down cover of Lauper's Time After Time, Casey Abrams' ridiculous rendition of Creep, but really there wasn't one second that felt like filler.
Go. To. A. Postmodern. Jukebox. Show. 

http://postmodernjukebox.com/tickets/

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett

Tuesday
Dec042018

Neko Case - Mt. Baker Theatre, Bellingham, WA

Most readers of Visible Voice will no doubt already be familiar with Neko Case. A legend in the industry for nearly 25 years - from her solo work to her contributions to The New Pornographers - Case's status among artists and fans alike is indelible. 
So it was an honor and a privilege to attend and photograph Neko's recent sold-out show in Bellingham, WA, as part of her worldwide Hell On Tour. The demographic diversity present in the audience is a testament to Neko's universality and staying power with fans of all walks of life. One live listen to many cuts off her newest album, Hell On - let alone her extensive back catalog - and it's clear to see why and how her music remains as immediate as ever.

See Neko at a stop on her extensive tour: https://nekocase.com/tour/

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett