Show Review: Noname and Ravyn Lenae Slay at The Crocodile

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I saw Noname perform at The Crocodile this past Wednesday. Ravyn Lenae opened for her, and needless to say they were both incredible. I had been anticipating this concert for quite some time now (I ordered the tickets in November), and the night had finally arrived.

First things first, I had also bought meet and greet tickets for my lovely girlfriend in an effort to blow Valentine’s Day out of the water. For the most part I think it was a success. She was excited to meet Noname, as was I, of course. Unfortunately, we both had different reactions to talking to her in person. She was so nervous that her mind started racing, asking Noname-whose real name is Fatima-question after question. This was a godsend, because I was so nervous that my mind drew a blank and stood there sheepishly, only mustering the courage to introduce myself and say “yes” a few times. 

After a photo op with Fatima, it was time for the concert. Unbeknownst to me, there was an act before Ravyn Lenae. Local Seattle rappers Nyles Davis and Mo Money got the show started, but not exactly as I had expected. Noname and Ravyn Lenae’s musical styles both exude peacefulness and don’t try to be in your face. Davis and Mo Money were both accurate reflections of what rap is becoming: repetitive lyrics over bass-heavy beats. Their music reminded me a lot of Lil Uzi Vert, my least favorite rapper in the game right now. Mo Money also got really sweaty and it was flying everywhere, so that didn’t help his set improve.

Finally, the time came for the actual concert to start, and Ravyn Lenae came out. And let me tell ya, her voice was jaw dropping. I knew it was good when I listened to her music on Spotify, but it was probably even better live. Each song she performed had multiple vocal inflections where she would change the note while she belted out a single word or sound. My previously hefty expectations had been exceeded somehow and I was witnessing an angel on stage. 

Lenae also took the time to explain the meaning behind each song before she performed it. I had listened through her Moon Shoes EP multiple times, but had never taken the time to thoroughly listen to it and pull the meaning from each song. I found myself listening much more intently, trying to connect the lyrics to the explanation she had given just a few minutes earlier. Also, she put the mic in front of my girlfriend to sing a part of a song, but evidently the pressure was overwhelming and she could only sing for a split second before laughing it off. To be fair, I would’ve done the exact same thing, and Ravyn probably would’ve gotten the whole crowd to make fun of me because I can’t sing as well as her. That may have been why she did it in the first place.

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Lenae’s set ended after about 45 minutes and it was time for the headliner, Noname. Her debut album Telefone was one of my favorite albums of last year. It was meaningful, perfectly produced, and it introduced me to a female rapper that I actually enjoyed (sorry not sorry Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea). Noname’s band was the first to come on stage, performing a few minutes of smooth instrumentals before Noname came out to open with “All I Need”. To my relief, she sounded exactly like she did on Telefone. The live band was a great addition; Davis, Mo Money, and Lenae all performed over recordings of the instrumentals to their songs (Davis actually rapped over recordings of his songs with the rap recorded too, so he didn’t have to work as hard). Noname performed Telefone in its entirety, as well as her verses for Mick Jenkins’ “Comfortable” and Chance the Rapper’s “Lost”. Ravyn Lenae joined her on stage and they performed “Forever” together, which was easily the best moment of the night. Noname’s discography still has some growing to do, because she ran out of music to perform after half an hour. Despite the short set, Noname was excellent on stage and had the audience captivated the whole time.

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The concert as a whole was great. The surprise openers got the concert off on a sour note, but Ravyn Lenae and Noname more than made up for the openers’ slip-ups. Both either performed exactly as in their recordings or far beyond what I had expected. Once they expand their discography there will only be more demand for them to go on tour again, and I look forward to when that day comes. Check out each artist’s music below.

Noname – Telefone

Ravyn LenaeMoon Shoes EP

Nyles Davis

Mo Money

Archie O’Dell

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Juicy J Changes Lives Over Course of Emotional Night

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Oscar winner Juicy J wrecked my soul at The Neptune Theater last night. Oh yeah, yes, it’s true, Juicy J and Leonardo DiCaprio have the same number of Oscars.

Project Pat brought out Nasty Mane and they performed some
booming bass music with predictable yet catchy lyrics.

Belly came out next. Never heard of him before. He does boast a bit of a belly though, which could point to the origins of his stage name. His
real name, according to the internet, is Ahmad. Further perusal of the internet
reveals that Belly was born in Palestine. Diversity! Yay!

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Okay, that’s enough with the facts. Here’s more opinion:
Belly’s set was damn good. I now follow him on Spotify. His song with Travis
Scott bangs confirmed.

Then the stage was empty for a while. Anticipation hung in
the air thicker than the sweat—and there was a butt ton of sweat.

Juicy J is a distinguished dude with an enviable career—Three 6 Mafia
and an Oscar then a TGOD comeback with Bandz a Make Her Dance then a really
good album and now mixtape after mixtape of roof rattlers.

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Anyways he stormed on stage, scarf draped over his head just like my mom wears a dupatta. Instantly I declared him my newest role
model. My list of role models was 29 pages long on Microsoft Word. Now it is 30.

I’ll be honest—I don’t know that many Juicy J songs. But
that didn’t stop me from leaping around like an electrified monkey. Bass on The
Neptune’s speakers exploded my brain into dripping mush—Beautiful. I still
haven’t recovered. At one point Juicy played a bunch of Three 6 Mafia numbers and
I knew the words so I screamed them and it was great.

Times like those, watching awestruck as an Oscar winner
screams down at you “YOU SAY NO TO DRUGS, JUICY J CAN’T,” you wonder what life
is really all about. Because maybe, just maybe, all you have to do is keep doing
your thing—whatever that thing may be—and you’ll eventually win.

Juicy J, legend, you inspire me to be the best possible me. Safe travels.

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Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Show Review: Daughter Makes Seattle All Emotional

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“Indie Folk” is the genre label often tossed on British band
Daughter. But labels never do anything justice. Daughter’s music, to quote
someone I hardly know, is mildly terrifying and deeply liberating. Its
bleakness threatens to eat the world up, but it also radiates hope. Gun to my eye, I’d label Daughter’s music as Indie Emotional. Yup.

Halfway through their set last night, a fan in the
crowd said, loud but respectful, “Thanks for what you give us.”

The Neptune was sold out, and we all stood shoulder to
shoulder feeling emotional as Daughter blessed us. Back
to back heat. Their music is relatable in an embarrassing way. It exposes our
inner natures, our unspoken thoughts, our underlying values, and all the associated darkness.

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The set list comprised a lot of songs from latest album “Not
to Disappear,” but made room for fan favorites. The opening chords of Youth, by and far Daughter’s most
popular song, met with an immense cheer. Masterpiece.

The light show kept pace with the music, flashing-exploding at
the violent parts and glowing at the low-key parts. Various shades of purple and
blue played a dominant role, and oddly embodied Daughter’s whole vibe pretty
perfectly.

Frontwoman Elena Tonra’s voice sounded just
as rich and beautiful in person. I know, impossible right? Throughout the show
I stood staring astounded. Emotion dripped like honey from every word. The
memory haunts me, but in a good way.

I started listening to Daughter at the emotional age of 15.
Yeah, it was totally hardcore. “The Wild Youth EP” soundtracked most of my adolescent
conundrums and setbacks and victories. I didn’t have a beard back then. Woah.

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Well, here I am now, five years later, bearded, a couple
inches taller, and I love Daughter even more. I grew with their music. I grew
to their music. Seeing them live, wow. What a privilege. I went to high school
in a small town up on a secluded hill in South India. I never ever even dreamed
I’d see Daughter live. They were just another option on my iPod Touch.

They’re so much better live. The music, unbounded by a
recording, burst forth wild and triumphant. Yeah, triumphant. Plus, the guitars
resonate. Arena music in an intimate environment. Outer space guitars, man.
Outer space vocals, man. Outer space, man. Seeing them all up there, doing
their thing, perfectly on time with every element, holy cow.

Listening to Daughter on Spotify will never be the same—The
divine memory of their live sound will forever haunt and augment.

I’m so emotional.

~Pranav Shivanna

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Positivity, Aspirin, and Pizza: A Review of Modern Baseball’s Show at Neumos

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Modern Baseball
bassist Ian Farmer had a shit-eating grin that just couldn’t be wiped off his face during their
entire set at Neumos, and I think that sums up fairly well how the night went. A mix of good vibes and melancholy music made for a fantastic evening.

This is the first show I’ve been to in a long time where I was completely blown
away by the openers. The first band, Tiny
Moving Parts
, kicked off the night with a bang, playing their blend of math
rock, emo, and post-hardcore. Their musicianship was phenomenal all around, but
drummer Billy Chevalier in particular had the crowd in awe. Jeff Rosenstock and his backing band
were next to take the stage. Their blend of old-school punk and new-school
pop-punk kept the energy rising, and they even threw an on-the-fly cover of
Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” into their set. The final opener, PUP, killed it (they killed my ear
drums too; they’re seriously the loudest band I’ve ever seen). They had some
good banter with the crowd as well, making jokes at the expense of Portland and
its seemingly endless gauntlet of vegan food joints.

By the time Modern Baseball took the stage, they crowd was
pumped. They kicked off their set with their mid-tempo jam “The Weekend”, a song
about fucking around on the weekends with your closest friends, and it set the
mood perfectly for the rest of the evening. The crowd sang along to every word
of “Re-Done” (my personal favorite song in their discography), and two songs off
their new EP, “The Thrash Particle” and “Revenge of the Nameless Ranger”, sounded
fantastic.

The boys from Philly played all of the fan favorites off their most recent full-length album, 2014’s You’re
Gonna Miss It All
, and closed out their set with an ass-kicking rendition
of their hit “Your Graduation”. The bassist and drummer from Jeff Rosenstock’s
band joined Modern Baseball for the tune so drummer Sean Huber could run around
the stage, crowd surf, and play frontman for a song. They returned for one
encore and played a cover of The Killers’
“Mr. Brightside”.

There was one moment in particular that stood out to me that
night. Near the end of Modern Baseball’s set, guitarist and vocalist Brendan
Lukens
sincerely thanked the crowd for coming to the show and brought up the
topic of their recently cancelled shows. The band chose to cancel some tour dates
in England and Australia this past summer so Lukens could focus on taking steps toward improving
his mental health, as he has dealt with a lifelong struggle with anxiety and
depression. For a brief but beautiful moment, the crowd erupted in support of
Lukens. Even though the lyrics of Modern Baseball songs often aren’t the
happiest, the concert had a very positive vibe, and this small part of the show
made that positivity personal.

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Catch Modern Baseball if they come to a city near you as they
make their way through Canada and the East Coast this winter. You can find a list of their upcoming tour dates here.

-RJ Morgan

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RJ Morgan

Secondhand Blitzen Trapper High – A Concert Review

“If I seem relaxed, it’s because
you can’t really walk through the dressing room without getting a secondhand
high. That ‘secondhand Blitzen Trapper high’,” explained Phoebe Bridges, the
opener for Blitzen Trapper at the Neptune, midway through her set. 

And what a
set it was. I had only heard two of her songs before, so I wasn’t sure what to
expect. But her acoustic folk sound, phenomenal voice, and sweetly depressing
lyrics blew me away. Whether it was playing a song off her Killer 7”, or the best rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On
Fire” I’ve ever heard, she nailed it. The $18 ticket price would have been
worth it if she were the only performance. If you’re looking for some good
acoustic music, definitely check her out. She also has silver hair, making her
look kinda like Daenerys Targaryen, so that’s a plus.

Then came
Blitzen Trapper, Portland’s slice of musical excellence. If you aren’t
familiar, check out my rundown of the band here. They opened with “Rock and
Roll (Was Made For You)”, playing it much louder, faster, and heavier than the
album version. This was a trend that continued throughout the show, making
every track sound noticeably more rock-ish than I was used to. But it sure did
sound good. The second song played, “Fletcher”, is my personal favorite and the
“grunge” that the song was performed with was a pleasant surprise. It was
somehow better than the album version, which I didn’t think was possible.
Blitzen Trapper really turns it up to 11 when they perform.

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I’m not
going to bore you with their entire set list that night (it was quite long),
but I will say that nearly every song was highlighted by a guitar solo from the
main vocalist and guitar, Eric Earley. These are rare on their recorded music,
making the live performance a treat for fans. The band was really into the
show, and it was apparent by their superb playing and high energy. But the real
highlight of the entire show was the coolest version of The Beatles’ “Come
Together” that has ever graced my ears. The song had an almost bluesy tone to
it, while mixing in Blitzen Trapper’s strange country style. Blitzen Trapper,
if you’re reading this, record a cover of that version right this instant.

Finishing
their official set list was “Furr”, “Black River Killer”, and “All Across This
Land”. The latter two tracks, which are from an old album, were performed with
a style more akin to that of their new album, leaving me with an appreciation
of their ever-evolving sound. They don’t sound exactly like they used to, but
they don’t sound too different, either. Their sound doesn’t seem to want to
settle, and that’s okay with me.

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The
obligatory encore was started off with a great cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “If I
Needed You”, surprising the drunk man next to me so much that I had to duck to
avoid his fist-pumps. They played quite the long encore, even including another
The Beatles song, “You Never Give Me Your Money”. This time, I was the one
doing the fist-pumps.

Despite the
intoxicated Melissa McCarthy-lookalike next to me invading my personal space a
few too many times, I loved the show. My only complaint about the band is that
they had little stage presence. They didn’t really talk to the crowd much, which
was balanced out by allowing more music to be played. If their music didn’t
blow me out of the water, I would have been mildly disappointed. Luckily, they
sounded better than I even expected. If you have a chance to see them live, do
it. Also, Rainn Wilson wasn’t there. Real bummer.

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Niles Kyholm



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Show Review: Shlohmo in Seattle

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I’ve
been a Shlohmo fan for years now,
so I bought tickets to his show as soon as he announced a tour. That was way back around
the start of the year.

I whiled away the months
leading to the show by revisiting his impressive discography. I’ve long
considered his Laid Out EP to be a
masterpiece.

In March, Shlohmo dropped his new album, Dark Red. The
album was a stunning departure from his previous releases. But it still had all
those classic Shlohmo elements, like menacing basslines and warped notes.
Definitely an album worth checking out.

Shlohmo’s electronic
music isn’t the dance-y kind. His music reminds me of dark basements and scary
nights and pain and zombie apocalypses. It’s pretty great. That’s why I was
surprised when I started dancing at the show. Everyone was dancing. It was
probably because Shlohmo’s basslines were even more immense on Neumos’s bumping sound system. Shout
out my ear drums for not exploding.

I love it when electronic
artists bring out a band. Shlohmo brought out a drummer and a guitarist and
also occasionally wielded a guitar himself.

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The light show was crazy
intense. The lights and the music complemented each other beautifully, surging
and receding in harmony. At times, shrouded by the spotlights, Shlohmo seemed angelic.

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He mostly played cuts off
his new album, but didn’t forget fan favorites like Places and Later. Later is my favorite Shlohmo song ever.
I cried sweet tears of joy when it came on. Well, maybe not. Nonetheless, I was
super happy.

About an hour into the
set, Shlohmo and the band just ran off the stage without warning. “Is that it?”
I wondered.

Hell no. The lights flared
up and Shlohmo ran back up on stage. He grabbed the microphone and reassured us,
“That was a joke. This is real life now!” He played us one last amazing song.
Then, unfortunately, it was over.

My one beef with the show
was that the two openers, Purple and
Nick Melons, had sets that lasted
about an hour each. That’s a bit long, as openers go. I was restless, standing
on sore feet waiting for Shlohmo to come out. But the openers were pretty tight
so it was cool I guess.

Definitely a night to
remember.  

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Pranav Shivanna

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

Angus and Julia Stone Live at The Showbox

A throwback post right here guys! A few weeks back (Oct 12th to be exact)(or last month to be more precise), with two tickets, I got to watch Angus and Julia Stone live at The Showbox. We were ushered in at 7pm but it started out with a local opening act who was touring with them. They didn’t come out till 9.30pm so it was quite a wait!

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The four-pieced band came out and immediately started performing “A Heartbreak.” The ambiance of it all suddenly made me feel like I was in a ‘70s rock concert. The voice you listen to on your iTunes or Spotify of Julia’s voice was exactly the same when she performed live. Scratch that, even better! Angus, with his shabby facial hair in a cap and strumming his heart out on his guitar, was looking hella attractive. His voice was a great combination with Julia’s.

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One of the highlights of the night was when they agreed to play “Devil’s Tears” upon one of the audience’s request. Personally, their best performance was when they played their top hit “Big Jet Plane.” It was just goosebumps and feels for me from the start to end. Just when we thought the concert was over, the crowd was cheering for more. They came back on the stage and the siblings did a duet of the haunting lullaby “Santa Monica Dream.”

You would expect to be bored at a concert by a duo who usually sings slow indie rock songs. However, for a huge fan like me, it wasn’t boring at all. The beauty of Angus and Julia’s voices matched together followed by atmospheric background music playing was entertaining. It was everything I expected it to be and more! They’re definitely a duo to spot out for at any upcoming music festivals in Seattle.

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Ellisha “take me for a ride… on a Big Jet Plane” Rosli

Rad Report: A digitized croc for the night!—Digitalism’s Seattle Show 11/4

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Moelle and Tüfekçi, duo of the remarkable Digitalism, walk onto the stage behind a screen of white drop down strings that hang from the ceiling. Complete with lights beaming upon the threads and the performers as well, the duo assumes each of their roles behind their computers and synthesizers. They appear nearly digital—looking as if they are part of an LED light screen.

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This is the scene that I walked into at Digitalism’s show at the Crocodile on November fourth. Standing in the crowd of people that were all there to experience the good vibes that were radiating through the room didn’t feel like your average concert; it felt more like a full experience between the extreme electronic sounds, the smooth vocals, and the amazing light show which seemed to become more intense throughout the night.

After their first album, Idealism, and their Pogo EP were released in 2007, the German duo’s success took off. I’ve personally been into digitalism for a while since I heard Pogo shortly after it was released and instantly heard brilliance beam out of my headphones. It had been a while since I’d heard that Digitalism was going on a US tour, so I was stoked to have this opportunity to be able to see and write about them. I’m not interested in all electronic music, but unlike others of similar genres, Digitalism adds unique themes within their songs. Much of their music actually has vocals, which are preformed by Moelle—unlike most other electronic artists, he even sings on stage at live shows.

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At the Crocodile, I found myself mesmerized by the duo’s initial strong electronic build with the synths. A few songs into it, I became even further impressed as Moelle walked over to his vintage microphone and began adding suave vocals. I noticed that many of the songs had a retro feel to them, just as the microphone did. This really added an exciting atmosphere to the music and took the normal electronic feel from average to extraordinary.

The show was taken to another level as the music came to a halt after an intense build—Moelle and Tüfekçi walk off stage as the crowd goes wild for an encore. The lights begin to flash and the two once again stroll over to their synths. The drops their indietronica beats as Moelle walks over to the old-fashioned mic for the last time of the night, allowing his vocals to resonate toward the audience. For the last couple songs (ending with their most popular “Wolves” and “Pogo”), the crowd is enthralled by the funk vibe seems to rush out of the performers. “Pogo” is a bright song with creative, yet simple, lyrics—and what a great song to end with. One line from the song, “Yeah, woohoo, there’s something in the air” seems to capture the entire feeling of the night. As soon as Digitalism walked nearly weightlessly onto stage, there was definitely a different feeling in the air that continued until they played their final beats.

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Rad Rebs

Outlander in the Emerald City: King Tuff at Neumo’s (Show Review)

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Despite the brutish nature of their name and their look, King Tuff were anything but at Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room this past Wednesday, October 22. 

Front man Kyle Thomas, bassist Magic Jake and drummer Old Gary Goddard burst onto the stage with cut-off, patched up jean jackets and a positivism that permeated the entire room.  For their opening song, a wall of distortion and feedback transformed into the title track of their latest album, Black Moon Spell.  In the interim between the first few tracks, Thomas and Magic Jake continued a banter infused with good vibes, at one point mentioning how honored they were to be performing in Seattle, the “home of so many influential artists”. 


Magic Jake and Kyle Thomas rock with attitude

The love flowed throughout the night, with all members of King Tuff beaming permanent grins at their ecstatic fans song after sloppy song.  As the crowd got rowdier and the mosh pit’s circumference increased, King Tuff’s energy skyrocketed, climaxing during the supremely-catchy “Bad Thing”.  Although the musicality wasn’t much to be amazed at, the constant upbeat energy and no-holds-barred attitude of its members allowed King Tuff’s performance to shine with grungey, shredding, lo-fi mastery.  

Take a listen to their new album (embedded below):

(Photo credits to Alex Ostenberg)

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Katie Hanford