Aplscruf's Music Blog

The Gift of Music, Art, and Other Holiday Cheer

Tornado Nebula

Tornado Nebula by Jacob Knight

‘Tis the season for giving. Let’s give support to good causes and to our artist friends near and far. Spread good cheer all ’round. Here are a few of my favorite things (and people!). I know I missed many, and don’t have the time to list them all. If you have other artists, charities, music, or websites in mind, feel free to comment below and include a link.

Kosmos Journal – Give the journal subscription to someone you love and help transform our world! Writers are also encouraged to submit pieces on various topics. You can also donate by purchasing a beautiful meditation bracelet, hand-crafted by the multi-talented New York artist Kari Auerbach.

Speaking of New York artists, check out Kathy Luker Hats – Support Kathy Luker’s fundraising campaign and give one of her hand-made hats to the rockstar in your life! Raspberry beret? Yep, she makes those, too!

New York is also home to the lovely actress Ms. Bernadette Quigley and of Quigley Media whose musical clientele ranges from Canadian folk singers to Austin rock stars. Check out links to her work and purchase some exciting new music from her clients.

Writers Helping Writers – Do you know someone who is writing the Next Great American Novel? This is a fabulous site with lots of tips and books available to move from writer to bestselling author! They also give to great causes on their site.

Another great way to support the writer in your life is to purchase a membership to a local writing chapter. Here in the Northwest, we have PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association) and for romance writers of all genres, GSRWA (Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America), local chapter to the national RWA.  If you’d like to donate, there are also scholarships available to help support all writers.

Need an editor for that Great American Novel? Check out Lynne Pearson of All That Editing. She just edited my manuscript in October, and I came away with the motivation and confidence to dive into rewrites.

Want to give the gift of original abstract paintings like the one above? Check out Jacob Knight Art on FB or Instagram. Yeah, he might be my son. And he’s pretty cool.

No Depression – Looking for the quintessential roots and Americana music mag to give to friends and family? Purchase their subscription at 20% off right now. Check out the dazzling list of artists reviewed on this site, as well as their year-end readers poll, where you can vote for your favorite album, including one of our faves, Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer’s Mockingbird Soul. Grayson Capps, also has a new album featured on the year-end poll, called Scarlett Roses. Will and Grayson are a part of the Alabama Supergroup, Willie Sugarcapps. Purchase music by following the artist links or GTS (google that stuff!).

You can also support another Will Kimbrough project with Tommy Womack and their band DADDY. I included an article of a recent fundraiser to support their album. Find ’em on Facebook for more info.

Americana Music – Another essential source for award-winning artists, and for planning your next trip to watch them perform at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

Paul Kerr’s Blabber ‘n’ Smoke is another excellent resource for Americana music, from a Glasgow point of view. His reviews are thoughtful and poetic, and usually include a video or song selection.

From Glasgow, take a day and head over to Kilkenny, Ireland to Rollercoaster Records, The Happiest Little Record Shop in the World. Buy some vinyl, see a show, and pay respects to the late great Willie Meighan .

Jeff Finlin – Jeff is known world-wide for his musical artistry, but is also a poet, author, and certified yoga instructor and counselor. He has recently worked as an addiction therapist in a treatment center, instructing patients how to turn their words of trauma into healing poetry. Download his music and buy his books on his website.

Willy Vlautin – This man’s on a winning streak. He’s a famous author and formerly of Portland’s world-renowned band Richmond Fontaine. Check out Willy’s websites, download some music, and purchase one of his books. His latest novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me, is due in February. Also, a film based on his novel Lean On Pete will screen in American theaters in February and stars Steve Buscemi.

Massy Ferguson – Seattle’s own American Rock band for over a decade. We’ve seen them countless times, and they never fail to entertain and rock the house. They also perform shows for good causes, and can be found rocking all over the metropolitan area–and across The Pond! Grab a loved one and go! Stream their latest, Run It Right Into The Wall on their website and purchase a disk or three.

Dusty 45’s and DESC – Not to be outdone, The Dusty 45’s have been rocking Seattle for two decades, and were the backing band for Ms. Wanda Jackson, Queen of Rockabilly! They also host the DESC(Downtown Emergency Service Center) annual fundraiser.

Time to Give Back, Y’all.

 

 

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December 4, 2017 Posted by | 2017, Holiday Gifts, Jacob Knight Art, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Star Anna, Dusty 45’s and Dead Rock West at Neumos 5.20.2011

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs

Dusty 45’s

Dead Rock West opened

Neumos on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Friday, May 20, 2011

We tried to be Capitol Hill Hipsters on Friday night, but it just wasn’t happening; I wore cowboy boots, and P did not sport a full beard and black-rimmed glasses.  So we just played off being middle-aged parents with a night off.  We didn’t completely have the night off, as our boy was suffering from a bad cold and sore throat.  We spent pre-show time texting him to see if he needed something stronger than ibuprofen and nose spray, reassuring him that we would call him right before entering Neumos and would leave right after the show.

We escaped Bothell about 6:15 and hit the usual Friday traffic on I-5.  Quickly exiting at Northgate, we decided to wind our way there via Roosevelt.  I’m pretty sure the stop ‘n’ go traffic on the side streets was quicker than sitting on the freeway.  We arrived on Capitol Hill sometime after 7:00.  We were starving.  We paid the eight bucks to park in a lot and walked across the street to the Elysian Brewing Co.  We immediately got a seat next to the giant vats behind the glass walls.  I liked the atmosphere: not too hipster, a mixed clientele.  Who cared at this point; we were ready to eat and get some good brew.  Actually, I was warm and didn’t want anything heavy, so I ordered a mojito instead.  Good choice for a warm day.  It wasn’t too sweet, either.  P ordered a Loser Pale Ale, similar to Manny’s, only without the bite.  We had delicious food, too.  I had pork chile verde, and P ordered a lamb burger served with pita.  Both were tasty and satisfying.  The service was a bit slow, so we didn’t get outta there until after 8:00.

We walked a couple blocks down Pike to Neumos, only to find the first act, Dead Rock West, didn’t start until 9:30.  That was ok, we had room for dessert.  We got our wrists stamped, then checked out the bar next door briefly before going back out to the lively street.  Capitol Hill is a buzzing, bustling place on the weekend.  We enjoyed people-watching while strolling around looking for the perfect place to have dessert.

We found the perfect place: Poquitos.  We downed four churros, extra crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, with warm caramel sauce complemented with El Dude (vanilla-infused tequila with horchata and kahlua).  El Dude Abides!

Stuffed, we then headed back to Neumos after calling our son one last time to be sure he was feeling ok.  He assured us he was feeling better, so we ducked in to find the place still almost empty.  That was ok with us; we found a spot on the right side of the stage and were thankful to have a place to at least hold on.  There was a balcony upstairs along the side, but it wasn’t open near the stage side, so standing was the only option.  I know, I’m getting old.

DRW Setlist

Dead Rock West, an L.A. band featuring Cindy Wasserman on lead vocals, rocked the house slowly with some smooth country rock.  We liked their style.  Neumos started filling in, and we stayed the course on Stage Left.  DRW just released a new album in April entitled Bright Morning Stars.   Their new album features some old-timey covers that date back a couple centuries, as well as a Jesus and Mary Chain cover called “God Help Me.”  Another song, “Green and Blue,” had an almost psychedelic feel.  “Ain’t No Grave” was my favorite song they performed.  I enjoyed her harmonies with guitarist Frank Lee Drennen.

Dead Rock West

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs were on next, and the crowd thickened, but politely so.  No one crushed up near the stage tonight.  I recognized the woman next to us; she had been to one of The Tractor shows to see Star.  She was very friendly, and seemed to know the band.  She exchanged a bit of banter with Justin Davis, the guitarist, while he set up equipment.  I was cranky that we weren’t on the other side of the stage in front of Justin and Ty Bailie.  They’re so much fun to watch.  P said they always look like they’re having a great time.  And how could they NOT have a great time?  This band rocks, the lead singer Star is one of the most amazing, soulful singers I’ve ever witnessed, and they are about to release an album on Local 638 Records on July 12.

Star Anna Setlist

Star and the band entered the stage to shouts, claps and whoops from the growing crowd.  The audience obviously adored this band.  First on the set list was “Running Man,” a soul-bearing slow crush of a song.  Star is just so good at reaching within and pulling out her soul and sharing it with us.  It’s heartbreaking at times, and hits an emotional and sometimes spiritual button.  At the same time, she makes us want more, on some animalistic and base level.  I think P felt that Friday night.

P’s been pretty tolerant of my crazed passion to experience live music, and loves to go to shows, but not necessarily for the same reasons as me.  That’s ok, we always have a great time together.  But Friday, I think he felt what I’ve been trying to decipher in writing for years: he connected.  That’s how powerful Star’s voice can be.

Star Anna

She stopped about a third of the way through the set to announce the release of her third album, Alone In This Together, coming July 12.  She drilled it into us that her album will be released July 12.  July 12, got it?? My Neumos neighbor proudly announced to me where they’ll perform for the release date.  Not sure if that is public info yet…but I’m pretty sure we’ll be there, wherever it is!

She played “Time” from the new album, and I will be definitely purchasing a copy.  Her songs have so much power behind them, as well as an excellent backing band that know how to pull it all together.  She blasted into the bluesy number “For When I Go,” and we watched in awe at her gut-wrenching expressions, throaty vocals and her feet, lifting off the floor with each expressed note.  Ty churned out the blues on organ and Justin had blasting solos.  Just watch:

Her single,  “Alone In This Together” has recently been played on KEXP.  It also blew us away and we wanted to purchase that album NOW.  It’s hard to categorize it.  Country mixed with rock, bluesy, rootsy, and deep.  Just listen.  Just go to a show.

We missed Dusty 45’s altogether.  That was okay, we’ll catch them next time.  We were in a trance-like state both from watching Star and from being up since 5 that morning, so it was time to go.

We stopped at Dick’s and brought home a Special and chocolate shake to our smiling, but sniffling and coughing boy.

Check out my Randomville review of Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs: http://randomville.com/wordpress/?p=9929

Pictures:

Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennen

Star

The Well-Dressed Keith Ash

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Concert Season 2011, Music, Neumos, Star Anna, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs | , , , , , , | 2 Comments