Brandi Carlile at Mount Baker Theatre 

If you take away only one thing from this show review, let it be this: you need to see Brandi Carlile live. Right now. Don't wait until the next tour. Go now. It's rare to see an artist and band in such perfect union, and the live show perfectly mixes anthemic rock with soulful ballads. You'll dance, even if you never do. You'll applaud. You'll laugh. Go.

Brandi kicked off her "By the Way I Forgive You" tour in Bellingham, WA at Mount Baker Theatre. A Northwest native, Brandi sold out the show well in advance of its opening, and it quickly became apparent why: to see her perform live is an experience one doesn't forget.

Opening for Brandi was Boston-based Darling Side, a four piece indie folk band. NPR referred to them as an "exquisitely-arranged, literary-minded, baroque folk-pop", and that description is pretty apt. Their set was nearly equal parts engaging the audience with stories about their time in Bellingham as it was music. Both were handled with showmanship and quiet flair, and you'll no doubt be seeing them headline their own tours shortly.

Now, having listened to Brandi Carlile's new album, "By the Way I Forgive You" in advance of the show, I was interested to see how it would translate to a live performance. Halfway through the set, it was obvious this is an album that is meant to be heard live. Playing with "The Twins" on guitar, a drummer, a string ensemble, and a multi instrumentalist, the album is only enhanced by the live format and sounds even better than the record. And that's saying something, because the album itself is a fantastic listening experience.

After a 90 minute performance, playing the album in its entirety as well as a few cuts from older albums, Brandi and her band closed out the show with an acoustic encore, deftly switching gears from rock that brought down the house to intimate, almost coffee-shop volume acoustic. It was beautiful. It was joyous. It was one of the best shows I've seen in years.

For tour dates:


Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett


Why? at Neumos in Seattle

Yoni Wolf has always been a bit of a genre-defying enigma. You may know him as the front man of the rock band Why?, or you might know him from his work with the now disbanded hip hop group cLOUDDEAD, or as a producer. In whatever musical capacity you're familiar, perhaps you're not yet, one thing is apparent: Yoni is one talented dude.

Why?'s soldout show at Neumos was equal parts acoustic rock concert, sort of rap show, sometimes ambient. The fact that each of the songs blended together more smoothly than they had any right to speaks volumes to the cohesion of Why? as a band, and member's control over their artistry. A show not to be missed.

Catch them on tour now, with dates available at



Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett


Lights (Featured)

Lights is the pseudonym of Valerie Poxleitner - musician, songwriter, and comic book artist extraordinaire. Based out of Canada, she may not be as much of a household name in the States as she would be if she were from, say, LA. Yet, as a recent sold out show at Seattle's Showbox, a decade of touring worldwide, and several million diehard followers across social media can attest, Lights is an artist who has carved her own path through a wholly unique vision and a tireless work ethic.

To be clear, she puts on an incredible show. As of this writing, she's currently in the midst of her We Were Here tour, to which you'd be highly encouraged to attend. Outside of the music itself, Lights has her hands in every creative aspect of her art: from creating a comic book to accompany her latest album, "Skin & Earth", to designing much of her merchandise, to seamlessly transitioning between acoustic guitar, piano, dancing, and playing an instrument out of a gigantic pizza box during her live set.

Her versatility and ability across many artistic disciplines is an anomaly in a sea of singular pop stars, and something which fully deserves your attention.

For tour dates,

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett

Genreless Abomination - A two night event at Substation in Seattle

Live music is one of the healthiest risks you can take. It's a gamble on any given night in a city as culturally and musically diverse as Seattle. Often times the hardest part is choosing which show to see, and thus which show to miss. The Genreless Abomination is a celebration of this multi-faceted gem. Over the course of 2 days 14 bands with a variety of sounds will gather together in one place, along with their supporting communities to celebrate this distinct, vibrant place. Rather than attempting to showcase bands in order of skill level, and popularity, the two nights shows have been curated by music writer Sean Jewell like a mixtape, ranging in moods, sonic experimentation, and styles to create a listening experience different from the average live show.

Music will take place continuously, alternating between two separate stages, mixing sounds and crowds of supporting listeners with the hopes that attendees will come for one thing and discover another. $10 gets you in at the door, every penny you pay goes directly to the bands. 
Here's what you can expect, and here's a Genreless Abomination Compilation album to listen along:
  • Guayaba: Bremerton via Olympia eccentric, personal, and powerful hip-hop force fka Aeon Fux. Guayaba's album Black Trash, White House personifies genrelessness, ranging from hip hop to r&b and spanish folk.
  • Taylar Elizza Beth: all in your feels hip hop & r&b. She writes lyrics and invents character voices in which to rap them, she's so self aware she forgets the crowd is there.
  • Falon Sierra: 2017 R&B queen, and Sound Off! finalist, who we're told will have new material to croon Saturday night.
  • Corespondents: Balkan based big beat bar-of-soap album releasing bazaar of virtuosos, divining psych and surf and dancehall through common electric guitar and not so common vietnames dan bau.
  • Double Or Muffin: Smart like Devo, sexy like Stooges, smart ass Seattle rock. They don't even have an album out yet and don't give a damn if you don't like that. If you've been lucky enough to see them around town then you know, you have to see them at this show.
  • Barry Walker Jr.: Portland based pedal steel player best known as a member of Roselit Bone. His 2017 self-titled album mixed field recordings, folk songs, and a spirit of death. Saturday night he's bringing a full band that may well answer the question "What if Townes Van Zandt had played in The Band".
  • The Salt Riot: Seattle alt-rock power pop power trio led by Julia Vidal, classically educated violinist who has put down the bow and picked up electric guitar. 
  • Wild Lips: Gritty insurgent country verging on Replacements punk from this drum and guitar duo of dudes regarded as "fucking loud".
  • The Crying Shame: Seattle's best kept country and western seven-piece secret. Led by husband and wife Arlan and Lucile, The Crying Shame combines the timeless lyricism one might find in the Smithsonian Archive, with the disheveled, disillusioned rock of Old 97's early aughts good alt-country.
  • Roselit Bone: "Like Marty Robbins meets The Cramps, or a Goblin sountrack to a spaghetti western, ranchero fantasy meets greased up country in a magical reality", wear your leathers, and dose accordingly, this huge, haunting band will play the vihuela at the apocalypse, also known as the closing of The Genreless Abomination on Saturday night.
  • Ben Zar: We are so stoked to have the improvised Guadalajaran exotica of Ben Zar on tour all the way from Mexico. He's played with locals like Correspondents and Ben Von Wildenhaus before, and as a bonus members of Bainbridge drone-age heavy-hippies WEEED will be joining him in the band.


Day 1 Details

Day 2 Details

 Words by Sean Jewell


K.Flay at the Showbox - Seattle

Fresh off her recent double Grammy nominations (for best rock song and best engineered album), K.Flay packed the Showbox in Seattle to capacity. Backed by a three man band, Flay put on an exceedingly energetic show.

The music was killer, and over the course of an hour and 15 minutes, spanned an ever growing catalog of hits. Blood in the Cut and Cops were two standouts, but the entire set of buttoned down, brutally honest tracks flowed together seamlessly.

All that's to say, the show would've been great based on the merits of the music alone, even if she decided just to stand still and sing. But it was clear she came to put on a show, as evidenced by her jumping off various heights of the stage, enthusiastically inviting two women on stage (resulting in a proposal!), and otherwise controlling the crowd like an absolute boss.

If you haven't heard of K.Flay, no doubt you will soon, as her star continues to climb at a breakneck pace. And if you have, well, you know that you need to see her in concert. Right now.

For more info, dates, and tickets, visit


Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett


Gill Landry - Visible Voice Session 

Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Gill Landry swept into Seattle gracing the stage at Showbox in support of his latest release, “Love Rides a Dark Horse”. Road-worn and introspective as ever, Landry’s latest crop of songs fuse the traditional ornamentation of country and folk with the kind of personal, penetrating poetry that propelled Landry into the national conversation.

Written in the wake of a torturous break-up and his departure from Old Crow Medicine Show, “Love Rides a Dark Horse” is, in Landry’s words, “a map out of the darkness rather than an invitation to it”. As often happens, despair is a blessed motivator of artistic invention and Landry’s depths are no exception.

Brutally frank, with flourishes of romantic whimsy, “Love Rides a Dark Horse” is a voyage through a dark night of the soul. In standout track “Berlin”, Landry sings, “Sometimes the darkest moments can be treasures”. It is the perfect summation of this album…a treasure trove of dark moments.

Gill met up with us before his show in the most intimate setting yet... That's right, sitting on the toilet. Enjoy!




Words by Patrick Galactic

Video by John Theroux


Cloud Person - Caligula

Caligula was a Roman Emperor notorious for cruelty and sadism before being brutally killed. Unless I’ve missed something, Seattle sextet Cloud Person are not known for these things. But their new EP “Caligula” is sure to destroy any preconceptions of who they are. With just two songs, “Caligula” and “Get Me Out of This City”, it still clocks in at 12 minutes, every one of them intense and undeniably epic.

I hate indulgent rock wank-ery. I don’t want to listen to jerk-off theory nerds try to recreate Bach without paying an orchestra. With their respective runtimes of 7:25 and 5:13 respectively, it would be easy to assume that these songs are of some similar indulgent ilk. That is, somehow, not the case at all.

“Caligula” starts off quick and dirty, with Pixies-esque fuzz guitar, a soaring bass line and textural synths laying down a rapid-fire rhythm that will get the rock kids jumping around and the smoother, classy types shaking their hips. Cloud Person's hallmark is immaculate composition. Through several tempo changes and tonal shifts, the song maintains emotional immediacy with no fluff to scrape off. It is a movie of a song, a journey that ebbs and flows and ends with the hero standing tall.

"Get Me Out of This City" has a laid-back, bluesy groove. Chugging guitars and bass are embellished with beautiful, Doors-y piano melodies. The tonal shifts are less dramatic than "Caligula" but no less effective. Tasteful psych guitar breaks are interspersed with equally tasteful harmonica interludes to create a vibe I enjoyed best while driving. Weed wouldn't make it less enjoyable, if you're into it. But don't drive and weed. DO NOT drive and weed. Choose.

Cloud Person's anchor, and the one thing that has remained constant throughout their history, is Pete Jordan's vocal and lyrical narrative. If there is an indulgence Jordan partakes in, it is of the emotional kind. “It’s going tonight, the feeling of the state isn’t right,” Jordan intones in “Caligula”, “They tell you to embrace the doubt again. Oh, it’s a lie. Regress to abide.” This strain of impassioned cynicism, full-throated despair, is that of a true believer raging against the tide of apathetic malaise.

The criteria for greatness in today’s industry model is very different than before. Heart often falls far below aesthetic in terms of marketability. Cloud Person’s aesthetic is both retro and thoroughly modern. They have mastered dynamic composition. But it is their heart, laid bare with everything on the line, that distinguishes them from their peers.

Words by Patrick Galactic


Del the Funky Homosapien and The Grouch

Del the Funky HomosapienAsk any hip hop fan who some of the most legendary indie rap groups of all time are, and Hieroglyphics and The Living Legends would undoubtedly be on every single list. So when Del the Funky Homosapien and The Grouch (of Hiero and Living Legends, respectively) co-headlined the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham for Grouch's 11th annual How the Grouch Stole Christmas tour, it was no surprise the house was at capacity.

Del is a bit of an anomaly in rap, comfortably straddling myriad genres outside of simply hip hop while still being, unequivocally, an emcee. Case in point: he's one of the original members of Gorillaz and Deltron 3030. Pulling from a discography of both legendary groups, Hiero, and his solo career, Del could've just phoned it in and the crowd would've likely eaten it up. But, a true showman, Del put on  quite a set for a solid 45 minutes, before ending with "Clint Eastwood" from his Gorillaz days.

The Grouch has been paying dues for going on two decades which, in hip hop terms, is tantamount to a career several centuries in longevity. Given that, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect The Grouch, like Del, to just comfortably perform a concise set and bounce. (After all, Bellingham isn't exactly going to pull thousands to a show). Instead, Grouch clearly used those 20 years to continuously hone is stage presence, because his set was nothing short of extraordinarily energetic. In addition to Living Legends tracks, Grouch pulled out hits from his solo and collaborative catalog. A show not to be missed.

Here's to another 20 years of The Grouch "Stealing Christmas."

Del the Funky Homosapien

The Grouch
Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett

Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA

When you're 81 years old, you've got a career in music that spans nearly 60 years, and you've worked with artists ranging from Bob Marley to the Beastie Boys, and Rolling Stone names you one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, your musical legacy is beyond reproach. So if you were to tour at this age, you'd be doing it because you want to, not because you have to. Such is the case with the legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, who recently played to a capacity audience at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA.

With backing from New York's Subatomic Sound System - Lee's go-to band for the last 6 years - Lee played over an hour long set, complete with encore, with more focus and crowd control at 81 than most artists have at 21. It's the product of years of experience, to be sure, but it's also a hallmark of just being really good at what you do and having innate talent down to the bones. It takes a certain level of gumption and confidence to calmly sip tea on stage, immersed in a sea of incense sticks, in between (and sometimes, during) songs, rather than to shotgun a PBR in an effort to curry favor with the audience.

Perhaps there's no greater testament to Perry's legacy than taking a look at the diversity in the audience: twenty-somethings, seventy-somethings, men, women, a cultural melting pot of baby boomers and millenials. Perry's music has been a shining beacon on the mountain of reggae and dub for six decades, and it will radiate forth for generations to come.

For more tour dates, tune into Lee's Facebook page:

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett