Posted tagged ‘regional music scenes’

Here Comes the Sun, part II

2010/12/19

You know, you’re right to say that Sam Phillips sure recorded a lot of good black and white artists down in Memphis in the 1950s.

The Fantastic Four

BUT – how the heck did he do it? What happened to musicians having to go to major music industry centres like Los Angeles or New York to get a start on their recording careers? For example, didn’t Ray Charles have to leave Seattle in just 1950 for California to get going on what would eventually culminate in Jamie Foxx getting famous and Kayne West shamelessly ripping him off?

The thing of it was, there were big changes to recording technology following World War II. And when an innovator like Sam Phillips came along to seize on untapped talent that was the Memphis region’s musicians, well, the rest is history.

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After the Goldrush, the August Arrival

2010/10/27

Before you read any further go look at a globe. First, lock your eyes on the world’s belt, the equator. Now, look up – waaaayyy up. Past Drugwarland. Past Canada’s Bow-tie and into America’s Hat. Keep going up – a little left…wait…no, don’t go all the way into Alaska…you don’t have the eyesight necessary to see the Russians coming…ok stop! Look around, you should be in the Yukon, in or near the city of Whitehorse.

If you aren’t in Whitehorse, sorry I think you’re lost – but don’t worry cause somebody should find you before the abominable snowman does. If you are in Whitehorse, you’re in luck because the place seems to have quite the thriving music milieu. I sat down in Internetland with members of the band the August Arrival to find out more about the music, people, and of course the weather in the Great White North.

The story of the August Arrival began in the usual, normal way bands get together: In a tent.  

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Building a New Scene in Seattle

2010/08/30

The early Seattle music scene was driven by the jazz community. It would help launch the career of Ray Charles, give Quincy Jones his start and influence a young Jimi Hendrix. Now the New York Times sheds some light on the contemporary jazz milieu in the city:

“Seattle, a city synonymous with alternative rock, has also been known as an incubator for talented young jazz players who leave town to develop and thrive elsewhere.

‘But the landscape has been shifting because of recent events at the university level and at joints like Cafe Racer,’ Nate Chinen writes. ‘A growing number of young musicians have been focused on building an autonomous scene, something distinctive and homegrown.'”

Read the New York Times article:
“Seattle’s Alt-Rock Hub, Purring With Jazz”

Look at the New York Times slideshow:
“Building a New Scene in Seattle”

Read my article on the Seattle music community up through the 1960s
“Seattle in the 1960s: Music, Identity, and the Struggle for Civil Rights”

The Black and Tan Club on 12 Ave and Jackson Street. First called the Alhambra, the jazz club was opened in 1922 and closed in 1966. The name Black and Tan referred to the Asian, Black, and White patrons who all happily mingled together, effectively creating a tolerant space in a racially charged era.