Living in the Northwest you grow accustomed to rain, cool breezes and gray skies — but also the opposite — sun and blue and warmth. The truth of this place is that nothing is permanent and there is always change, both in the weather and the geography.
Beach House does not want you to think about their music, they want you to feel it. “At the end of the day when you hear our music, I hope the analytical side shuts down and you feel it more,” Victoria Legrand (lead vocals, keyboard) says.
If you want an idea of how prolific composer John Williams is, consider this: By the time he wrote the music for Star Wars in the mid ’70s, he had already composed scores for 45 films (11 had earned Academy Awards nominations, two had won Oscars).
There’s a possibly apocryphal story that an American in Paris, George Gershwin, once asked one of his idols, the great 20th-century French composer Maurice Ravel, for music lessons. Ravel is said to have politely declined.
Although “back to school” commercials are in heavy rotation, let us forget about notebooks and football games for one brief moment and concentrate on sweet, fleeting summer. For it is only in summer that you can dance until you work up a sweat outdoors under the stars at the Cuthbert Amphitheater.
If five beach bums tried to surf their way to the classic California rock sound (The Doors, The Byrds, etc.) but instead got lost in a cloud of pot smoke and found themselves at a goth house party, you would end up with something like The Growlers.
Purists will say shoegaze only existed for a very short period of time, mostly in England, but iterations of it can be found at nearly every music festival today. Brooklyn’s School of Seven Bells is a perfect example.
Elegant composition is lost on our dumb generation. When was the last time you heard Kanye West orchestrate the equivalent of an entire Bavarian marching band single-handedly into a coherent tune that’s both catchy and just hipster enough that plaid-wearing fixie-riders would love it?
With the Republican convention wrapping up this week, it’s a perfect time to celebrate the party’s platform philosophy of getting something (yet more tax breaks for zillionaires, or roads, schools and other components of civilized society, say) for (apparently) nothing. Over the next week or so, you can hear some sweet summer music downtown for free.
Aretha Franklin is considered the Queen of Soul, but Mavis Staples is Robin Hood. Now in her early 70s, Staples got her start singing gospel tunes as a child with her father, Pops, and her sisters as the Staples Singers in 1950.