Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tonight in Music: KISS, Pharaohe Monch, Pridefest and Steve Winwood!

Posted by on Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 2:03 PM


(White River Amphitheatre) While the extremely gay people (and friends of the extremely gay people) are still whooping it up all over Seattle today, many of the extremely straight people will pile into their cars and head for Auburn to see heavy metal Brits Def Leppard join face-paint-wearing American rock icons KISS on their 40th Anniversary Tour. FORTY FRICKIN' YEARS of these guys—I mean, Gene Simmons has been wagging his tongue in this band for longer than some people who are reading have even been alive! Def Leppard formed in 1977, so they're no spring chickens either. I saw them play a few years ago at KeyArena. Singer Joe Elliott can still hit the high notes, and they pretty much nailed their old classics. Some extremely straight-looking middle-aged women near the front row got in a hair-pulling fight during the song "Hysteria," too. That was pretty classic. KELLY O
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(Neumos) Monch's old duo Organized Konfusion is not unlike the Television of rap's 1990s golden age—highly influential, mystifying in their technical acuity. In 15 years as a soloist, Monch has only dropped four albums, his latest called PTSD, a harrowing not-quite-concept album about depression and mental health, informed by a severe bout of depression Monch suffered some years back—due to side effects from a mix of asthma medications. (Yes, the OG of "Lung Collapsing Lyrics" has trouble breathing.) There's a continuation of OK's classic POV tale "Stray Bullet" on "Damage", and plenty feats of tongue—but one of PTSD's highlights is "Losing My Mind"'s dead-on observation that black "family customs are not accustomed to dealing with mental health/It was more or less an issue for white families with wealth." Mental health is everybody's problem, and never more than this gun-happy morning in America. Oh Pharoahe, let my people know. LARRY MIZELL JR.
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(Seattle Center) I know you've been partying all weekend, but you still should get your hungover ass outta bed and go see the Pride Parade! Then, after the parade, from noon to 8 p.m., you really should check out PrideFest at Seattle Center. On the main stage this year: drag comedian, songstress, and —according to her website—"the world's biggest bitch" Jackie Beat will be performing, along with hostess Heklina (also a funny bitch, and host of San Francisco's long-running T-Shack) and a husband-wife electro band called Purple Crush. There's also a whole slew of DJs spinning music on another stage, so you have some music to dance to, when you take off most (or all) of your clothes to run through the big gay Seattle Center fountain. Don't forget the sunscreen! KELLY O
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(Chateau Ste. Michelle) I’m 12. It is 1981. I’m in a home in Harare, ZImbabwe. This is the home of my cousin’s parents. Their living room has a crate of LPs next to a handsome stereo system. I’m alone and looking for something to play. Most of the records I find are of a musical form I do not have much interest in at that time, jazz. Then I come across an LP whose cover art is fascinating. It is a kind of African-inspired modernist drawing of a black human body diving into lord knows what. What looks like a sun hangs above this figure. I play the record and hear, after the first track, a really groovy tune: “Arc of a Diver.” The singer is Steve Winwood. He is smooth as shit. He is British. Many years later ,I learn Winwood was one of the biggest names in the blue-eyed soul movement. I played the whole album over and over that day in 1981. The end. CHARLES MUDEDE
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!


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