50th Vanniversary: THE MARSHMALLOW THAT MADE… AND ALMOST BROKE VAN MORRISON, By Claude Iosso

On the way to forging his own way in music, Van Morrison penned a sentimental ditty called “Brown Eyed Girl.” Sung with gusto over a simple, three-chord melody, the song remains Morrison’s biggest hit 50 years later. “Brown Eyed Girl” is still sung around campfires and is an oldies station staple, but I think . . . → Read More: 50th Vanniversary: THE MARSHMALLOW THAT MADE… AND ALMOST BROKE VAN MORRISON, By Claude Iosso

Van Morrison – Crazy Love, by Rich Horton

A couple weeks ago I was working up an acoustic arrangement of Van’s song, “Crazy Love,” for May May and me to sing with another couple. After a few passes at it, I abandoned it for a different song by a more harmony-inclined band. Despite the catchiness & simplicity of “Crazy Love,” it just . . . → Read More: Van Morrison – Crazy Love, by Rich Horton

Mavis Staples, Wilco, Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie, by Ricky Polite

Mavis Staples is one of the very true American voices left. She sang with the Staples Singers and had many hits with that group. Mavis early on became the featured singer there given her unique sound. Her voice was low and passionate and the only one of its kind. Mavis is a national . . . → Read More: Mavis Staples, Wilco, Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie, by Ricky Polite

Punk Rock Cover Band Brings Their Fun & Zany Show to the Showbox Market, by Holly Homan

Thursday May 4 I had the esteemed privilege of seeing punk rock cover band Me First & the Gimme Gimmes. Me First, for those of you unfamiliar with them, are a punk band who turn non-punk songs into punk songs. “Songs like Leavin’ On A Jet Plane,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” etc.

Jay Bentley . . . → Read More: Punk Rock Cover Band Brings Their Fun & Zany Show to the Showbox Market, by Holly Homan

Etta James – Take it to the Limit, by Pat Thomas

The album cover art is easily the winner for the world’s worst cover art released by a legendary musician, but damn, I love the Etta James Live From San Francisco album from 1981. She can even make this Eagles tune sound genius.

– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights . . . → Read More: Etta James – Take it to the Limit, by Pat Thomas

Reverend Horton Heat Brings a Solo Acoustic Show And Amusing Stories to Seattle’s Tractor Tavern, by Holly Homan

On Saturday night after spending all day at the Punk Rock Flea Market selling my wares, I headed to the Tractor Tavern in Seattle’s old Ballard neighborhood. Playing was the Reverend Horton Heat doing a (semi) solo acoustic show without his long-time sidekick Jimbo on bass and no drummer.

I arrived just after eight . . . → Read More: Reverend Horton Heat Brings a Solo Acoustic Show And Amusing Stories to Seattle’s Tractor Tavern, by Holly Homan

It Gets Worse – Cool Kids

Seattle ska band It Gets Worse have long been a favorite of East Portland Blog. They are in the midst of a good, long run of success and have just released a video for “Cool Kids.” The band will be appearing at the Nectar Lounge in Seattle on June 18 with Mad Caddies . . . → Read More: It Gets Worse – Cool Kids

Legendary London Punks the Damned Headline A Fun Filled Show at Seattle’s Showbox, by Holly Homan

On Easter Sunday I finally got the privilege of seeing legendary London punks the Damned. I’ve been waiting a long time. Last time I was set to see them it was Halloween Eve maybe 2007, but their visas didn’t come through and they had to cancel.

The show began with keyboardist (Monty Oxy Moron) . . . → Read More: Legendary London Punks the Damned Headline A Fun Filled Show at Seattle’s Showbox, by Holly Homan

March to May – Madeleine

Seattle’s March to May have a new tune, “Madeleine” which you can hear below, and a new album, Through the Night, which will be released on April 21. Their sound is organic, locally-grown, small-batch, artisanal chamber folk and so far all of their tunes have been excellent. A duo– Beth Wesche (Celtic harp, . . . → Read More: March to May – Madeleine

Sweet Spirit – The Power

Austin’s self-described “freak parade,” Sweet Spirit, harnesses the force of their eight-piece band to create a high-energy, soulful, gritty, and just-straight-up-fun soundscape. Sabrina Ellis’ (A Giant Dog) standout vocals provide the anchor for the array of pop, rock, glam, soul, and blues that blend together seamlessly. St. Mojo, the sophomore album, came out on . . . → Read More: Sweet Spirit – The Power

Chicago’s Flatfoot 56 Brings Their Celtic Punk to Seattle’s Funhouse, by Holly Homan

On April 4 I finally got to see Chicago’s Celtic punk rockers Flatfoot 56. I think it was 2009 when I saw them last opening for Street Dogs. That was the last time they played Seattle. I would have missed this show entirely if it weren’t for a bit of serendipity. I was sharing . . . → Read More: Chicago’s Flatfoot 56 Brings Their Celtic Punk to Seattle’s Funhouse, by Holly Homan

Part Shangri-Las and Part Jesus & Mary Chain: Introducing New York’s Sunshine & the Rain

Sunshine & the Rain is a duo consisting of husband and wife Ashley Morey (vocals, bass) and Justin Morey (guitar), both formerly of critically acclaimed psych rockers The Black Hollies. They have produced what has to be a contender for album of the year. Recorded in Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon West studio with the . . . → Read More: Part Shangri-Las and Part Jesus & Mary Chain: Introducing New York’s Sunshine & the Rain

AC/DC: Girls Got Rhythm Retooled to Fit the Day, By Mark Erickson

My favorite rock vocalist is Freddie Mercury of Queen. Also in my top five are Randy Blythe of Burn the Priest/Lamb of God, Michael Akerfeldt of Opeth, pre-cape Elvis Presley, and Bon Scott from AC/DC. (James Brown “ranks” #2 if the category expands beyond rock.) Regarding the last front man, I cranked Back in . . . → Read More: AC/DC: Girls Got Rhythm Retooled to Fit the Day, By Mark Erickson

Save Ferris Headline A Fun Filled and Tantalizing Night at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern, By Holly Homan

On March 19 Seattle once again hosted a rousing fun night of (mostly) ska bands, this time at the Tractor Tavern. The headliners were the recently reformed Save Ferris. The only original member is lead singer/front woman Monique (Moe) Powell and she entered the stage after the rest of the band started playing. . . . → Read More: Save Ferris Headline A Fun Filled and Tantalizing Night at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern, By Holly Homan

Flint Eastwood – Queen

Detroit Michigan’s finest multimedia sensation, Flint Eastwood, has released a video for her song “Queen.” Talking about the video, Eastwood says: “it was made with a bunch of friends in Detroit, MI. I wanted to create a feeling of empowerment and confidence in unused spaces. Queen is about taking charge and owning up . . . → Read More: Flint Eastwood – Queen

Ska Masters Reel Big Fish Co-Headline A Show With Raw Punkers Anti Flag At Seattle’s Showbox, by Holly Homan

February 11, 2017 was a day I looked forward to for several weeks. Reel Big Fish were headlining a show with Anti Flag at Seattle’s Showbox (the good Showbox, not the Showbox Sodo).

I don’t know when I last saw Anti Flag but it’s been at least six years. Reel Big Fish I’ve seen . . . → Read More: Ska Masters Reel Big Fish Co-Headline A Show With Raw Punkers Anti Flag At Seattle’s Showbox, by Holly Homan

DUNE RATS – Bullshit

Their publicist assured me Dune Rats are closing in on a No. 1 record way down over in Australia.

To this I said, “What’s a record?”

At any rate, Brisbane, Australia’s Dune Rats play rock’n roll with unnaturally tasty hooks, the like of which we haven’t heard for a long time. They seem like . . . → Read More: DUNE RATS – Bullshit

The Funhouse Hosts A Lively Night of Ska Featuring The Toasters, by Holly Homan

On Feb 1, Seattle’s Funhouse hosted a night of ska this time with New York’s the Toasters headlining.

Aside from bass player Tim, and of course front man Bucket, the members of the Toasters change with every tour. This doesn’t discount the level of musicianship in every member every show. This time the horn . . . → Read More: The Funhouse Hosts A Lively Night of Ska Featuring The Toasters, by Holly Homan

Less Than Jake & Pepper Play A Solid Night Of Ska in Seattle’s Showbox Sodo, by Holly Homan

On January 31st the Showbox Sodo hosted ska masters Less Than Jake From Gainesville, FL. This five-piece are punk/ska/pop all mixed together with a heavy dose of energy and fun.

Though the show wasn’t well attended, those who came were very enthusiastic. There was a bit of crowd surfing throughout and the entire dance . . . → Read More: Less Than Jake & Pepper Play A Solid Night Of Ska in Seattle’s Showbox Sodo, by Holly Homan

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain: A Song Which Captures the Trump Era, by Mark Erickson

I’ve been thinking about lyrics to a song or an album that fits the current state of the nation with its new president. Like other politicians, Donald Trump made some bold pledges and promises on the campaign trail. He promised the return of manufacturing jobs to “Make America Great Again.” He wanted to tear . . . → Read More: Funkadelic – Maggot Brain: A Song Which Captures the Trump Era, by Mark Erickson