Rad Report: An Ethereal Night at the ECT with Moses Sumney

After local artists Crater and Shaprece rocked out with their high energy and expressive vibes, Moses Sumney assumed his position in front of the audience at the Ethnic Cultural Center on Wednesday, January 28th. Just his very presence sent ethereal sensations throughout the venue, creating a kind of piercing silence that is only heardwhen crowds of people are in complete and utter awe of whatever it is they find
themselves collectively part of. “There’s gonna be a lot of surprises tonight,
for both of us,” Moses Sumney said with a laugh as he grabbed the mic and
started to test the waters on the stage. His sly remarks gave the impression that
he may have been a tad nervous, but the moment he started playing music it
became clear that nerves were most certainly not a factor in his phenomenal
performance. Although I might not have plastic wings like Moses Sumney (as
heard in his song “Plastic”), I felt myself float as he began to experiment
with his inspiring soul/folk sounds.

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These
sounds began to develop into loops of his voice, overlapping each other—resulting
in a trancelike, overwhelming foundation for the musical journey he was
beginning to create for the audience. I’ve never been to another show where I
felt like I was watching art being created in front of my eyes and ears, but
Moses Sumney really achieved that with the techniques he used to create his
beautiful compositions. Aside from the use of a guitar, the only other
instrument Moses used on stage was his voice and his looping tool to create a
unique experience unlike any other that I’ve felt at a live show. Each
individual noise coming out of his mouth and guitar somehow developed into
beautiful songs that surrounded the audience in an unearthly bubble that popped
in each audience member’s mind.

His
opening song—“Dwell in the Dark”—was one of his more upbeat folky songs that
created liveliness throughout the ECT. This and his next song, “Man on the Moon,”
set the tone for the rest of the night as being a soulful and unique one on the
UW campus. As this song came to an end, he held one high note and began looping
his voice into a really interesting mix of sounds. The tones in this mixture
became almost anxiety-inducing in the best possible way—causing listeners to
feel a bit uncomfortable in their seats as they felt the growing sublime energy
swallow and capture their senses. The Ethnic Cultural Center turned into a cave
of creation, full of reverberating sounds including beat boxing, clapping, and
intonations of Moses Sumney’s heavenly voice (as can be seen and heard below).

He later went into playing one of
my favorite songs of the night—“Worth It”—and joked about it being written
about tuition increases (hehe, thanks for keeping a positive attitude about
tuition rises, Mr. Sumney). The biggest crowd pleaser of the night definitely
came when Moses began playing “Plastic,” one of his most played songs on his Soundcloud. He eased into playing this mellow and sexy tune while receiving cheering
from the entire audience to continue his outstanding work. There was one point
during the song that he began to actually whisper, almost teasing listeners to
beg for more of his smooth voice.

Throughout
the night, I felt myself become emotionally controlled by the powerful hold
that the music had over me; however, the saddest part came when Moses Sumney’s
music had to stop. As he exited with a standing ovation (no surprise there), I
found myself wishing for an encore more than I had ever in my entire life. Unfortunately
there was no encore, but I did get a chance to briefly speak with Moses after
the show and get a picture with this up and coming legend.

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Incase you weren’t able to come
around this time to experience this one-of-a-kind musician; I strongly recommend
you check him out the next time he’s in Seattle (which lucky for you is on
February 17th at Neumos)! You won’t regret it—I can speak from experience when I say that it will be an ear-opening performance to remember as last Wednesday’s was at the ECT.

ASUW & Rainy Dawg Radio Present: Moses Sumney + Shaprece & Crater @ UW ECT TOMORROW

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The Associated Students of University of Washington Arts & Entertainment and Rainy Dawg Radio (yours truly) has invited Moses Sumney to play at the Ethnic Cultural Theater TOMORROW, January 28.

Sumney’s lighthearted demeanor lets his music envelop the listener. Seamlessly flowing between his drawn out ooo’s and aah’s and falsetto lyricism, his music is faded. In listening to Moses sing, we are forced to concentrate on more than just the initial comfort he brings.

During the show, expect plenty of meditations and sudden realizations as Sumney brings his heart to the stage. His music, as well as songs from the whole lineup, are available for streaming on ASUW A&E’s SoundCloud.

Playing before Moses will be Crater, one of Seattle’s most danceable experimental electronic acts. Band members, CBG x KFG, are joined onstage by Gomez, Gordon, Roth, Umble, according to the band’s facebook page. The craterbabes (as they are known on social media) rely on guitars and ambient electronic sounds strung together to generate an existential groove. Plus, they seem pretty excited about performing for us:

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Shaprece will also be making an appearance as she sheds her general collection of instruments for a more “stripped set”. In her previous acts that I’ve seen, the sheer amount of sound from her band provided the perfect driving force behind Shaprece’s amazingly talented vocals. For this performance, however, she’ll be leaving most of that sound behind. It will be exciting to see how this change affects her sound and dynamic range!

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Don’t miss out! RSVP on Facebook or buy your tickets now on Brown Paper Tickets ($5 for students, $10 for everyone else). If you can’t make it, no worries! Like ASUW A&E and Rainy Dawg Radio on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest in local music and events.

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DJ Desman

New Track: prints_ – Ghosts

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In some ways, “Ghosts” is an appropriate name for the newest track by L.A. artists Carol Rhyu and Keil Corcoran, otherwise known as prints_. Rhyu’s whispery voice floats above ethereal synth lines, singing about being “lost inside this moment/no past, no future.” The dreamy keyboard textures are undergirded by a steady bass and skittering drums, keeping the track from drifting off into the spirit realm entirely. Still, it’s a fine track for those times when you feel like escaping from the real world for a few minutes.

“Ghosts” is the first new prints_ song in nearly two years, but that doesn’t mean the project’s members haven’t kept busy. Rhyu also makes music as White Blush, producing dark dream pop similar to that of prints_, and Corcoran is a member of the band STRFKR, who of course graced UW with their presence at last year’s ASUW Spring Show. You can listen to the rest of their collaborative tracks on Soundcloud (which are, sadly, limited in number) and check out the new video for their song “Wish” on YouTube.

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LeAnn Nguyen

ASUW A&E Presents: An Evening with Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!)

So I’m here to tell all of you exactly where you need to be this Saturday night and that’s at the HUB to see Laura Jane Grace speak and perform. 

I have to admit that I had no idea who this chick was before I started writing this post about her, but now that I know who she is, I am thoroughly impressed with her work and her mission. She has a killer voice and a story that is more than interesting to hear about. 

Laura Jane Grace is the former singer and founder of the band Against Me!, a punk rock group that started in Gainesville, Florida, but you may not have heard of her or may not have known about her involvement with the band because at the time she was a man named Thomas James Gabel. Laura dealt with gender dysphoria for a majority of her lifetime and publicly came out as a transgender woman in 2012. Since then she has started speaking around the country in hopes to educate people on what it really means to be transgender. 

It’s a unique and awesome opportunity to be able to see her on the UW campus and I recommend everyone check it out! 

Saturday November 22 in the HUB North Ballroom starting at 7pm. You can get tickets at the HUB front desk. Bring friends and prepare for a hardcore and badass night with Laura Jane Grace. 

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Rio Jones