The Last of the Famous International Playboys: An Evening with Morrissey

As I leaned forward peering over the edge of a third tier box down at the stage in Benaroya Hall, I reflected on what was about to happen and why I was here to see Morrissey. 10 years ago I had tickets to see him in Spokane, where I lived at the time, when the show was changed to 21+, I was 17.  My ticket was refunded. Then after a few days of outcry, the show was changed back to all ages. Except my then boyfriend seemed upset that I was going to go and I didn’t buy a ticket again.

This is one of the few decisions that has bugged me well into my post-college years. I was head over heels into the 80s at the time, deep into Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, and I didn’t go see one of my idols because of a boy. I don’t sit and brood on this often but when I do see that someone is coming into town that I really absolutely must see, that decision and the disappointment that followed pops up in the back of my head.

So when I saw Morrissey tickets, fuck yes I said, and I called my brother. I was going to go to this, and I knew full well that my current significant other of 8 years, would not be into this at all. Morrissey is not is scene at all. So I didn’t even ask him, I went straight to my brother and then bought tickets for the two of us.

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Morrissey & his bandmates are a beautiful thing to see live. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a show that wasn’t electronic. The live band is bloody amazing. They are all so talented & I very much love the fact that Morrissey introduces all of the members, and each of them have their moment to shine.

And let me just take a moment to say:

Morrissey’s voice is the absolute definition of perfection during a live performance. 

It’s always a treat to hear some of your favorite songs played: “Everyday is Like Sunday”, “Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed”, and “Suedehead”. And then he plays a few songs from the Smiths, and the crowd goes nuts.

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Morrissey’s fans are some of the most passionate people, so much that often people have rushed the stage and need to be carried off. I could see security on each side, ready to swoop in, but Seattle isn’t like that, at least not this crowd. Morrissey was within arms reach for many people and he gladly reached out to grasp people’s hands, those people’s faces glowing, ecstatic, some of them looked as though they had just touched god, and I’m sure for some it felt like that.

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I’ve heard & read the things about him being miserable, grumpy, and generally just an ass. None of that showed during this performance. He made a few funny quips in between songs, the atmosphere was upbeat, and it was exactly what I expected from a Morrissey show. Right down to the political statements.

And in the end, he stripped off his shirt & threw it into the crowd. And I couldn’t help but imagine what a sight he was to see 25 years ago. A heartthrob of a British musician: looks and a voice to knock you off your feet.

As we rolled out of the garage after the concert, I was happy, obviously, but I felt free of that decision 10 years ago, and contentedly checked this off my bucket list. I have seen Depeche Mode twice. I have danced with Slow Magic.

Now I have seen Morrissey, and I have a wonderful memory to share with my younger brother. Perhaps there was a reason I didn’t see Morrissey all those years ago because this is so much more meaningful to me now than it would have been then.

xoxo,

Steph

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What the Festival?! 2015 Recap

It feels like such a long time since I’ve done a festival recap. Paradiso seems so long ago (2 years ago). At the last minute I bought tickets to What the Festival?! in Oregon. Two of my favorite people in the world told me to come and as an early, joint-birthday bash with one of those favorite people, I went.

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Me & said favorite people 🙂

And I don’t think I’ve ever been happier about a decision.

What the Festival is small, 4,000-ish people, and a combination of art installations and music, in the shadow of the cascades. Literally. Oh hey there Mt. Hood.

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Four days of music (if you arrive early like we did), and a generally rad time with a group of really chill, positive festival goers. I haven’t had this type of experience since Re:generation in 2011. This is the type of festival experience I’m after now. Paradiso is too big, too overwhelming, and despite a stunning venue, there is no shade, a lack of respect to festival goers and vice versa, a lack of respect to the venue by the festival goers. There is none of this at WTFest and it makes for a much more enjoyable experience all around. The bro vibe that took over at Paradiso is nonexistent at What the Festival, so its easy for me to say, having experienced both, this is one of the top outdoor festivals in the pacific northwest (not including Canada, I’ve never been to any festivals up north but I imagine they’d be pretty rad).

I met so many people, saw so many amazing sets, and wandered through the illuminated forest looking at beautiful, interactive art installations.

This is hands down the best 4 days of the year yet. I can’t wait to go back next year, and I’m eyeing Summer Meltdown in my beautiful state. Small festivals, for the win.

Top sets from the weekend:

  • Slow Magic (of course ;))
  • Thomas Jack
  • Odesza
  • Nordic Soul
  • Little People
  • Tokimonsta
  • Big Gigantic

Check out photos from the event below.

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xoxo
Steph

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Slow Magic: A 3 Year Love Affair

At some point late in 2012, I remember it quite vividly because good things happened that night, I was sitting on my friend’s couch in his Capitol Hill apartment. There were a number of us hanging out, drinking beers, listening to music and just generally having a good time like we always do. One of my friends was DJing tunes from Soundcloud when the song came on.

I’m not quite sure what it was about that particular song. Maybe it was the intro. Maybe it was the drums. I’m don’t know, but the combination of everything in those 3 minutes and 11 seconds had me hooked, enthralled…in love.

“Who is this?” I asked.

“Slow Magic.”

I don’t remember much else about what was said, but when I went home late that night, the first thing I did before I went to sleep was find that song on Soundcloud and save it.

I was stoked to find an album and a few singles, but after a while it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. So for a year I stayed glued to Soundcloud, eating up anything that was posted. It was so good.

Then in 2013, my first year attending Decibel Festival, he played at Neumos.

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My love was solidified. The drums. The mask. It all made me feel like Depeche Mode had years before. It’s not a feeling I get very often. And this was a completely different sound from Depeche Mode. But it was perfect. For me, it was everything.

Then in 2014, I heard Youth Group. And then I heard Girls.

It was on repeat for days, probably weeks. It was like a drug I couldn’t get enough of, it just hit all the right spots musically, again, for me. Then the album How to Run Away came out. And once again, I was in Neumos on Capitol Hill, bursting to see the man in the mask. Hearing Girls live changed me. And when he jumped into the crowd I was ecstatic. I was too far back but it was a beautiful thing to see.

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Then, 3 days ago, I made my way to the main stage. Covered in dirt and exhausted at What the Festival, in the middle of Oregon, I planted myself in front of the stage. I was not going to be in the back. I was going to be up front to see the man in the mask.

I lost it.

I have never danced so hard, without a break, for any set. Ever.

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And then during Girls, he picked up his drum, got into the crowd, and I was right there. I was jumping, I was shaking, I was screaming.

At the end of the set, I threw my arms up and wrapped them around my friend, gleefully shouting, “I’m so FUCKING HAPPY right now! I was RIGHT THERE when he jumped off the stage and I am SO HAPPY!”

I don’t think I could ask for a better end to a festival, for a better end to a set.

I have only heard his music. I have never seen his face, only the mask.

Nothing quite makes me feel the way Slow Magic does, not just the music, but also the mask.

You could say I’m having an imaginary love affair with an imaginary friend, who makes wonderful music, in a beautiful glowing mask.

xoxo,
Steph

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Decibel Festival 2012 – Dancing in Slow Motion

Now that I’m finally recovering from the amazing electronica music rally that is Seattle’s Decibel Festival, it’s time to share. What a whirlwind of amazing artists and events over 5 days that the dbCrew has managed to put on. This is my first year going, and I will be returning next year. I attended so many shows all across Seattle between the 26th and 29th of September, that actually, I didn’t make any shows on the final day, the 30th because I was so tired. My boyfriend, our friend Scott and I were that wiped out. I have a sneaky suspicion this 4 day rally contributed to the cold I’m battling now (which is terribly lame btw).

DAY 1

Machinedrum

Jimmy Edgar (bloody blinding light show to accompany an awesome set)

DAY 2

Outfit post! Black Milk Phoenix Leggings. Actually Black Milk clothing was like a staple for me this festival. I pretty much lived in leggings and boots.

Shlohmo @Neumos

Tipper @Showbox at the Market

Mimosa @Showbox at the Market

DAY 3

Erykah Badu & the Cannabinoids @the Paramount

Between the Paramount and the aftershow at 2AM we went to the Baltic Room and saw Teengirl Fantasy and Nosaj Thing.

After Party with DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu @Q Capitol Hill

DAY 4

Eprom @Showbox Sodo

Bonobo DJ Set @Showbox Sodo

Also saw DJ Shadow after Bonobo at the Showbox Sodo that evening.

I’m pretty happy about everyone we went to see. I was pretty set on seeing Mimosa and he delivered the bass harder than I expected. It was so fantastic. It was nice to be in an environment that hasn’t been tainted by the “party-raver-bro” crowd that we saw at Paradiso festival. dbFest is an entirely different experience and an awesome way to experience the multiple venues that Seattle has to offer.

Thoroughly an awesome experience and I’m so stoked for next year. But for now, I might be good on festivals until next summer.

Paradiso Festival at the Gorge

Paradiso was a much needed break from the month of June, which has been given unflattering names due to the amount of work everyone in my company has to finish before the end of it. June was such a blur of 50 hour work weeks, leaving work only to come home and work more, much needed dinners and drinks with friends on Capitol Hill, and weekend escapes to the other side of the mountains.

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alcohol + glow sticks + black milk skeleton leggings = awesome ideas.

Avicii & Knife Party & Above&Beyond were the highlights of it all for me.

There was a beautiful moment when Above & Beyond was playing. A remix of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’ blared from the main stage speakers, and nothing in that moment could have been more perfect. I was exhausted from dancing for 8-9 hours, curled up next to my boyfriend, surrounded by all of my lovely friends, in a state of bliss. Work was nowhere in my mind, just the present and what was happening then. It is more than the music at these events that I care about. It’s the people I care about that I get to share it with.

On a less sentimental note, I can’t listen to Skrillex anymore after that weekend. The bros killed it. Nothing but ‘Bangarang’ and ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ all bloody weekend ruined it.

Onto the next thing though! Decibel Festival in Seattle in September with more friends will be wonderful, and will hopefully attract a crowd of the not-so-bro type.

Daydreamer: New Music Love

When I watched this new video by Flux Pavilion, it was like Depeche Mode met dubstep, and the outcome was phenomenal and not what one would expect. The imagery is so very Depeche Mode.

I am a huge Depeche Mode fan, they’re music had such an impact on me in my high school years. I have seen them live twice. They will forever be #1 to me.

It’s fitting that I would hear this song for the first time today. I was in a very nostalgic music mood, listening to Depeche Mode, the Smiths, Mogwai, Pixies today. ‘Daydreamer’ brings a new direction to dubstep, with some nostalgic imagery for me. It’s fresh, and I dig it.