One last song from the piano in Volunteer Park

Monty Banks

Monty Banks

The pianos in the parks are gone, auctioned off to the highest bidders to support public open spaces in King County. In addition to inspiring musical spins around Capitol Hill’s green spaces, the Pianos in the Parks campaign has also inspired some excellent performances. A contest to capture some of the best from around the parks system has wrapped up — the winning video shot down on the waterfront is below. We’ve also included a finalist who chose the Volunteer Park piano for his plinking — check out the performance by Monty Banks after the jump. Continue reading

Fifth annual Linda’s Fest ready to rock the patio — and the construction pit

IMG_234610543656_724644084238704_3622052533988432165_nAs summer draws to a close, Linda’s Tavern is ready to bring Capitol Hill’s festival season to a close with its fifth annual free mini music bash, Linda’s Fest. This will be the last year Linda’s infamous back patio will not have a seven-story apartment building looming above.

“It’s not the first time that Capitol Hill has changed,” says Jonah Bergman who plans the annual event, “Even if there’s a construction pit next to it, it is still a great place to hang out.”

On Saturday the 23rd from 5 to 10 PM the bands Tacocat, Chastity Belt, the Young Evils, Kithkin, and Thunder Pussy will take the patio stage for the free show.

“It’s cool to have musicians of that caliber on a stage,” says Bergman, “that we put together for one day in a back parking lot.”

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AMDEF 2014

Seattle’s 7th Annual AMDEF, presenting over 6 hours of Artists, Bands, DJ’s, Dancers, Vocalists, Aerialists, Designers, and more! Enjoy 150+ performers sharing a stage for a one-night only experience. TICKETS: $15 presale, $25 at the door. Includes 1 free piece of merchandise from a local Artist. http://neumos.com/event/amdef/

=== | AMDEF 2014 TALENT ROSTER | ===
Staxx Brothers | Blly the Fridge | Nikola Tease-La, Lady Tatas, Jesse Belle-Jones, and Doña Dei Cuori of Sinner Saint Burlesque | GG Connections (Visiting from San Francisco) | Pantera Blacksmith | DJ’s Wendall & Simon of Anadamide Records | Kitty Kitty Bang Bang | D.N.A.S. Fashion Designs | Eric Blu & The Soul Revue | Twisted Trystan | Goody Goody | Paper Dollz Clothing | Wreckless Freeks | Backpack Girl Bikinis | Ronald McFondle & King Dro | dj Sang-Do of Global Dance Records | Hawk Gang Clothing | Duranged Pitt | Dimeatra Dee | Lyrik Allure | Emily & Marie of Dolphin Dance Studio | Jane Carter Courtney | BubbleGunk Designs | Amora Dior Black, Jessica Paradisco, Drew Paradisco, Atasha Manilla, and Orea Jesus Mendez of Social Outreach Seattle | Jack Mozie | DeLoach Wear | Alien Earth Designs | A Little Risqué | Levels of Movement | Jolene Dickerson of Afterglow Aerial Arts | Brittney Cole | Sola | Meltamorphosis Designs | Free Whiskey |

=== | ARTISTS & VENDORS | ===
Featured on the Mezzanine:
Rob Ripley, Joseph Brooks, Ryan Henry Ward, Wakuda, Agent 0, and 179 of Artifakt Art | DGomez Art | Twisted Cheshire | RPM Photography | Aetherial Images

Hosted by Vincent Drambuie, AMDEF features mash-ups of Art, Music, Dance, Entertainment and Fashion.
VIDEOS: www.youtube.com/SeattleEntertainment
PICTURES: www.facebook.com/SeattleAMDEF

=== | 2013 REVIEWS | ===
“Giving an awe-struck crowd a look at what happens when body paint, bodies, and music comes together for a beautiful spectacle” – Seattle Weekly: http://tinyurl.com/kb9rlkx

“The Wild Child of the Seattle Art Scene” – Seattle Art Nerd: http://tinyurl.com/k24enol

“If there ever was an event that showcased diversity, then AMDEF 2013 fit the bill perfectly.” – Ask Miss A: http://tinyurl.com/k2h8qgj

=== | SPONSORS | ===
– Seattle Fun Events: www.facebook.com/SeattleFunEvents
– Seattle Gay News: http://www.sgn.org/
– Seattle BunnyCon: www.facebook.com/SeattleBunny
– MODE Fashion Magazine: www.MODEISFASHION.com
– Seattle Lesbian: http://theseattlelesbian.com/
– Ask Miss A: www.AskMissA.com
– Endicott Coffee: www.facebook.com/EndicottCoffee
– Neighbours Nightclub: www.facebook.com/NeighboursSeattle
– Dark Horse Tattoo: www.darkhorsetattooing.com
– Seattle Social Club: /www.facebook.com/SeattleSocialClub

Contact: GuestList@ActivateTheArts.com
Active Entertainment: www.ActivateTheArts.com

CHS Pics | Summit Block Party 3 keeps the party on the block

SONY DSCSONY DSCThe anarchic bohemia of drinking an ice cold Rainier from a brown paper sack on a city street powered the third annual Summit Block Party to another successful free and wonderful and slightly later than planned crescendo Saturday night. Pictures of the fun times are below.

Admission was free except for those who also attended Capitol Hill Block Party — their $61.11 admission price for the July festival has now been prorated to $30.56.

CHS told you here about the past, present, and uncertain future of the annual DIY and fully local block party. And here we visited the Summit Inn – symbolic clubhouse of the avenue where halfway houses and Capitol Hill-relative affordable apartment living meet. Saturday as temperatures reached the 80s, revelers and residents found mini-skate ramps, Parker Edison performing atop a van, the Bad Tats stripping in the street, and The Pharmacy playing its final show ever. If you’d like to get involved supporting the annual event, check out summitblockparty.com for more information.
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With ‘grassroots spirit,’ Summit Block Party grows into third year — Year 4? Who knows!

2013's SBP -- more pictures here (Image: CHS)

2013′s SBP — more pictures here (Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

In its third year, this weekend’s Summit Block Party has talked its neighbors into an uncertain future.

The free event returns bigger than ever this Saturday, August 9th with two band-filled stages, barbecue, live art, local vendors, raffle prizes and more. Closing Summit between E Olive and Howell, the festivities begin at 11 AM and go on until 9:30 at night.

“It started mostly on a whim,” founder Adair Tudor tells CHS. “I was really enamored with the block and really enjoyed seeing how it had a great sense of community. I thought, ‘Yeah, let’s just have a block party.’”

The second year provided Tudor with a chance to expand the event so she added a second stage and a larger crowd came with it. Though she said she doesn’t know what kind of turnout to expect this year, she and fellow organizer Adam Way have had to do a fair bit of outreach to keep the locals involved and accommodating.

“There was a weird amount of tension there for a second,” Way said. “We just talked it out with them and I think it’s in a positive place now. I think it’s going to be great.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Vibrations adds wild knot to string of Capitol Hill summer 2014 music fests

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Midday Veil (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_9978Weird and totally DIY, Vibrations Festival brought music and art to the Volunteer Park amphitheater Sunday afternoon and into the evening.

Art projects and light projections joined “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style  installations as bands and DJs took the stage to continue the run of the annual celebration of Capitol Hill culture that got its start back in 2011.

Acts Gazebos, netcat, Wimps, USF, Stickers, DJAO, Midday Veil, and Naomi Punk took the stage.

You can see the roster of participating musicians, DJs, and artists here.

The 2014 edition of the festival from music, art, and fashion concern Cairo pushed forward without a major corporate sponsor with help from a small army of support and lots of blood, sweat, and tears from dedicated producers:

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CHS Video | Cal Anderson Park Piano Ride — Without Piano, Variation 14

Friday morning, the Pianos in the Parks campaign had planned a performance in Cal Anderson as part of a sunny morning in the busy central park. The piano tuner had even paid a visit Thursday to make sure the upright was in tune. This morning, however, we found a spokesperson for the campaign hanging out to share the sad news: Cal Anderson’s piano was too busted to play and in need of repair. Given recent news, CHS decided to make the best of it in a public space that just can’t seem to get a break.

Please enjoy our possibly nausea-inducing ride around the park. We’ve added Variatio 14 a 2 Clav. by Kimiko Ishizaka from The Open Goldberg Variations to accompany. Go ahead and suggest other possible soundtracks in comments.

Pianos in the Parks organizers said other performances are scheduled around the city in coming weeks — including in Volunteer Park. You can keep track at pianosintheparks.com.

CHS Pics | Chamber players, clarinet great take stage in Volunteer Park

IMG_8379IMG_5097In front of a crowd that organizers believed might have been the largest ever for their series, the Seattle Chamber Music Society presented the Volunteer Park episode of its 2014 Summer Festival on Wednesday’s warm and breezy, near-end-of-July night.

With the works of Mozart and Beethoven rolling over the Volunteer Park lawn, Wednesday night’s free performance included clarinet great Ricardo Morales. The festival concludes this weekend with a series of performances at Benaroya Hall.

Unfortunately, there was no collaboration with the chamber players and the upright placed in Volunteer Park as part of the Pianos in the Park promotion.

But another Capitol Hill piano will be put into motion on Friday:

As a part of the on-going Pianos in the Parks program, we are thrilled to announce a performance at Cal Anderson park by Michael Allen Harrison tomorrow at 10 a.m. Michael is a well-known Seattle-based musician whose unique brand of music ranges from movie scores to passionate arrangements for piano in genres like jazz, fusion, smooth jazz, pop, new age, and adult contemporary. Michael has also acted as the company pianist for the Pacific Ballet Theater, Ballet Oregon, and Oregon Ballet Theater.

Meanwhile, Sunday will bring more free music in Volunteer Park as the Vibrations Festival returns.

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Ready for another Capitol Hill music festival? Vibrations returns to Volunteer Park

558273_10151170275526351_935403658_nProrated over the entire slate of Capitol Hill’s summer music festivals, Block Party’s $60 ticket prices are downright reasonable. You can start to achieve that actuarial discount Sunday, August 3rd as the Vibrations festival makes a triumphant return to Volunteer Park.

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This spring, CHS told you about festival organizers Cairo reviving the free summer music festival with a crowdfunded version of the event free of corporate sponsorship. While the online drive generated only a fraction of the $10,000 goal, producers have moved ahead with the free day of music, art — and summertime dancing on the Volunteer Park grass. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party 2014: Day One Open Thread

The Vera Stage is bigger and better this year -- and has a telling new view in the background (Image: CHS intern Rayna Stackhouse for CHS)

The Vera Stage is bigger and better this year — and has a telling new view in the background (Image: CHS intern Rayna Stackhouse for CHS)

Spoon loomed large Friday night (Image: CHBP with permission to CHS)

Spoon loomed large Friday night (Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP with permission to CHS)

In the wee hours of Friday morning, Jason Lajeunesse and the Block Party crew initiated the tightly coordinated sequence of events needed to prepare Capitol Hill Block Party 2014 for liftoff. Before the first glimmer of sunlight touches Pike/Pine on Friday, streets needed to be closed, stages erected, and wires ran every which way.

With less sweat, but just as much determination, we present our annual pre-party ritual: the launch of CHS’s Block Party open threads. CHS will update through the weekend on the people making Block Party happen, the crowds, and the community around the festival.

You can also follow @jseattle for updates. Let us know if you see anything — or anybody — interesting, too. You can email us or call/txt (206) 399-5959 for the *really* interesting stuff to let us know what you’re seeing. Or hearing.

  • Luckily, rainfall earlier in the week seems to have purged crummy weather conditions heading into Block Party. The forecast for the rest of the weekend looks ideal, with temperatures in the mid-70s through the weekend afternoons and sunscreen-worthy clear skies.
  • Three-day, two-day, and single day passes are still on sale here. You can also purchase tickets at the gate or at the E Pike Caffe Vita. There are also various local businesses giving away tickets as prizes or offering them as a gift with purchase. Check out the CHBP Facebook page to find the latest promotions.
  • With an event as large as Block Party in an area as dense as Pike/Pine, unofficial spinoffs are part of the fun. This year some people are setting up a hip-hop BBQ, promising “meat, heat, and blunts.” Let us know if you see any other interesting things along Block Party’s peripheral blocks.
  • Call him Billy Gates but don't trust A$AP Rocky was actually hanging at Linda's (Image via Linda's Facebook)

    Call him Billy Gates but don’t trust that A$AP Rocky was actually hanging at Linda’s earlier this week (Image via Linda’s Facebook)

    Music kicks off Friday afternoon with Shy Girls on the Main Stage and Lemolo on the Vera Stage. Lemolo’s Meagan Grandall, who graduated from Seattle University, will also be the first of a hand full of musicians to play CHBP with strong Capitol Hill ties. Benjamin Verdoes of Iska Dhaaf has a daytime gig teaching at Nova High School. Childbirth has Pony Time’s Stacy Peck and Kithkin has former CHS intern/current Seattle Weekly reporter Kelton Sears.The members of Constant Lovers and Gibraltar are known Hillebrities.

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Block Party faces its future in a developing Capitol Hill

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(Image: Alex Crick for CHS)

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Capitol Hill Block Party wants to keep the heart of the neighborhood alive as so much of it changes.

In its 18th year, the weekend event which closes down six blocks of Pike/Pine and draws upward of 30,000 music lovers remains an annual subject of excitement from fans and the rarest of summer musical festival beasts: a three-day commercial concert venue carved out of a living, breathing city neighborhood.

With A$AP Rocky, Chromeo and Spoon headlining this year, rock fest tourists and plenty of locals will once again swarm the cordoned-off area in the heart of Pike/Pine starting July 25 for a weekend of sights, sounds and selling your soul for a parking space.

Only in America
Owner Jason Lajeunesse has not needed the Capitol Hill Block Party to make his mark on the neighborhood. CHS dubbed him one of the ‘Princes of Pike/Pine’ — along with business partner and frequent collaborator David Meinert – due to his extensive stakes in many nearby restaurants and venues, including Neumos and Lost Lake.

After spending nine years planning the Block Party’s music as co-producer, Lajeunesse took ownership of the event in 2012.

He believes Capitol Hill Block Party is a product of the neighborhood which gives it its name.

“I think it’s important to promote the neighborhood year round,” he said. “The Block Party sort of grew with the local and regional bands. As the bands got bigger, so did the Block Party.”

With four indoor venues, two outdoor stages and dozens of restaurants and bars in the area, the Block Party has the distinction of being the only event of its kind in America.

“To our knowledge Capitol Hill Block Party is unique as the only ticketed three-day street festival in the country,” Chris Swenson, program manager with the Seattle Office of Film and Music, said. “It’s a little like scooping up half of Sasquatch and plopping it in the middle of a neighborhood for a weekend. The city’s primary concern is safety and, because of the unique layout of the event, each year safety officials and agencies spend many months establishing organizer requirements and emergency plans specific to the site.” Continue reading

Living Liner Notes

A celebration and conversation with musicians featured on the new release Wheedle’s Groove Volume Two: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul, & Boogie 1972-1987, hosted by CityArts Magazine Editor Jonathan Zwickel. FREE!

The format for Living Liner Notes will include Jonathan chatting live with WGV2 music scene veterans Robbie Hill (the drummer who formed Family Affair with his own brothers, best represented by the song “Don’t Give Up”); Tony Benton (of ahead-of-its-time electro group Teleclere and currently working in contemporary hip-hop promotion); Bernadette Bascom (who recorded “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love,” was part of pop-R&B band Epicentre, and later worked with Stevie Wonder); and Frederick Robinson lll (pioneering the gospel-funk protest song with “Love One Another,” and spent many years as a Chemical Dependency Counselor).

About the Album:

Seattle-based reissue label Light In The Attic Records released the original Wheedle’s Groove compilation a few years ago, which chronicled the King County Soul and R&B scene of the late 60′s and early 70′s. The newly released Wheedle’s Groove II (CD and vinyl LP) is more than just a sequel, it features crucial stories about our region’s vibrant, diverse, and creative African-American music scene during the late 70′s and early 80′s.

Living Liner Notes gives historical Seattle-Tacoma music fans a chance to listen to and engage with those who crafted music for nearby clubs yet had their eyes on the stars, and went on to become engaged in the music business, social work, politics, the church, and other ways to entertain, illuminate, and serve the community. This event is part of The Project Room’s How is Seattle Remembered? series.