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Seattle Theatre Group Presents STRFKR, Alabama Shakes and Alt-J; Tickets on Sale Today

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Related: Seattle Theatre Group, Alabama Shakes, STRFKR, Alt-J, STG Presents

Seattle Theatre Group (STG) announces the following concerts going on sale this week:

STRFKR
Special Guest: Blackbird Blackbird
Date: February 26, 2013 @ 8:00pm
Venue: The Neptune (All Ages / Bar w/ ID)
Price: $16.50 advance, $18.00 day of show, not including applicable fees
Seating: General Admission
On Sale: Saturday, December 8, 2012 @ 10am
Ticketing Information: Available online at Tickets.com, or in person at the Paramount Theatre box office (M-F 10am-6pm), 24-hour kiosks located outside the Paramount & Moore Theatres, charge by phone at (877)784-4849, Sonic Boom Records in Ballard (10am - 10pm M-Sa, 10am - 7pm Sun) or online at STGPresents.org.

It's hard to say exactly when it happened. It could've been during one of the 100+ shows STRFKR played over the past two years -- ecstatic sold-out dance parties that started in tiny, sweaty rooms before word of mouth spread and forced a move to larger (and even sweatier) venues. It might've been when touring guitarist Patrick Morris officially became a full-time member in late 2011, rounding out a line-up that included multi-instrumentalists Josh Hodges, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran. Most likely, though, there wasn't a single defining moment when the change occurred. With evolution there rarely is. Instead, progression happens naturally and steadily -- each step leading inevitably to the next until you reach a point when you realize how far you've come without even being fully aware of how you got there. In early 2012, during a rare break in the group's touring schedule, Hodges retreated to secluded Astoria, Oregon. But this time, rather than completely isolating himself to work on new material (as had always been the case in the past), Hodges invited the other members to visit often and truly collaborate in the process of writing STRFKR's third full-length, Miracle Mile. And so it was that STRFKR became a band. As a result, whether participating in all-night lyric writing sessions, fleshing out song skeletons originally conceived during European soundchecks ("Malmo") and long van rides ("Leave It All Behind"), or completing half-finished ideas kicking around Hodges' brain and hard drive, there isn't a single song on Miracle Mile that every member of STRFKR didn't contribute to and ultimately improve. For proof, look no further than first single and opening track "While I'm Alive," a song that bursts out of the gate with what can only be described as swagger. Not overconfidence or false bravado, but the undeniable sound of a band that knows exactly who they are: swirling keyboards that take you up, down, and all around, rhythmic guitars, irresistible basslines, and drums that keep an unrelenting beat. Disco-y standout "Atlantis" is the paragon of this formula, with vocal and musical hooks seemingly cusTom Fitted to a spot so deep inside your eardrums they'll never dislodge. But upbeat isn't Miracle Mile's only tempo. In fact, it's in quieter moments like "Isea," which briefly slows down the album's pulse with gentle "oh-oh-ohs" over acoustic guitar, that the record truly coalesces as a complete whole that couldn't have come together any other way. Just like STRFKR.

Alabama Shakes
Special Guests: Michael Kiwanuka, Sam Doores & Riley Downing
Date: March 3, 2013 @ 7:00pm
Venue: The Paramount (All Ages)
Price: $32.50 not including applicable fees
Seating: General Admission Flat Floor, Reserved Balcony
On Sale: Saturday, December 8, 2012 @ 10am
Ticketing Information: Available online at
Tickets.com, or in person at the Paramount Theatre box office (M-F 10am-6pm), 24-hour kiosks located outside the Paramount & Moore Theatres, charge by phone at (877)784-4849, Sonic Boom Records in Ballard (10am - 10pm M-Sa, 10am - 7pm Sun) or online at STGPresents.org.

The story of the Alabama Shakes begins in a high school psychology class in Athens, Alabama. Brittany Howard, who had started playing guitar a few years earlier, approached Zac Cockrell and asked if he wanted to try making music together. "I just knew that he played bass and that he wore shirts with cool bands on them that nobody had heard of," says Howard. They started to meet up after school and write songs sitting on Howard's floor. "It had that rootsy feel, but there was some out-there stuff," says Cockrell. "David Bowie-style things, prog-rock, lots of different stuff. We started to come across our own sound a little bit, though it's evolved a lot since then." StEve Johnson worked at the only music store in town, and Howard knew he played the drums. She invited him to a party where, she says, "he met everybody from our side of the tracks." The three young musicians began working together, further expanding their style and approach. "Steve is kind of a punk-metal drummer," says Howard, "so we embraced that edge he brings to everything he does." The trio soon went into a studio in Decatur to record some of the songs they were working up, and this proto-demo found its way into the hands of Heath Fogg, with whom Howard had been familiar because he had been the lead guitarist in what she describes as "the best band in our high school." Fogg, who by now had graduated from college, asked them to open a show for his band, which they agreed to do-on the condition that he play with them. The response was immediate: "That first show was really explosive," says Howard." Though they had been focusing on original material ("It's just more fun to write than to learn someone else's music," says Cockrell), as the band-newly christened the Shakes-began playing out, they added more cover songs. They played classics by JAmes Brown and Otis Redding, but also by Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. "We had to find music we could all agree on and figure out how to play together," says Howard, "and that had a lot of influence on how we play now." Now, with expectations at fever pitch, the Alabama Shakes have delivered Boys & Girls-six of the songs from that initial Nashville session, and another five recorded during the rest of the year. From the heart-rending title song to such stomps as "Rise to the Sun," the album demonstrates the sense of groove and space the band learned from their idols, along with a blistering force and emotion that simply can't be learned.

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