August 4, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 31
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Friday, Aug 14, 2020



Where It's At
Kelly Clarkson pops to White River Amphitheatre, Nickel Creek brings 'newgrass' to Marymoor Park's lawn
by Albert Rodriguez and Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A&E Writers

Kelly Clarkson w/ Rooney

Sunday, August 6 - 7:30pm

White River Amphitheatre - Tix at / $25-$75

Don't believe in dreams? Talk to Kelly Clarkson about that. From bar waitress to mega pop star, from snagging the initial "American Idol" crown to winning two big Grammy awards, and from girl most likely to succeed to girl who made it all happen, Clarkson is a true inspiration for anyone who never stops dreaming. Like her or not (I'm smitten with the girl), there's no denying she's rightfully earned everything that's come her way in a short period of time. The bubbly cool singer's album Breakaway has sold over five million copies domestically and has produced a string of chart topping hits that includes "Since You've Been Gone" (SGN's Top Ten Singles/Tracks, 2005), "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Walk Away". Clarkson picked up an MTV VMA nomination this week for "Because of You", where she'll compete against Madonna, Shakira, Christina Aguilera and Nelly Furtado.

Clarkson was admired early on by Gay music fans, primarily the drag community who made the native Texan's leadoff single "A Moment Like This" their mantra. Gay men, always on the chase for the next power diva, were drawn to her second single "Miss Independent", which delivered Clarkson her first Grammy nod back in 2003, and the queens have followed her every move since. Interestingly enough, Clarks0n appeared in a Gay-themed film called Issues 101 before she hit the jackpot. It was a 90-minute, student-directed project that took place in a fictional college's Greek system. Years later, Clarkson gave acting another try when she starred opposite "Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini in the straight-to-video (and trash can) flop From Justin to Kelly.

Last fall, Clarkson was forced to cancel her scheduled performance at the Puyallup Fair due to sudden illness just hours before show time. I was bummed and so were fans, some who had already gathered at the fairgrounds. Seattle Gay News gave away tickets to the show, so we really felt bad about the cancellation. But we understood the reasoning and vowed to continue our support of Clarkson, and we recently gave away prize packages to three lucky fans who are joining us at the concert Sunday night. If you didn't win, I'm sorry. But tickets are still available for purchase at any Ticketmaster location. This will likely be Clarkson's final Northwest swing-through before taking a break and recording another album, so don't miss the opportunity to see her in person. Lots of Gay boys and perhaps a cluster of Lesbian devotees are expected to be there. Opening act Rooney will go on stage at 7:30pm. Driving directions and free shuttle details will be posted on our blog site, accessed via our website's main page - A. Rodriguez

Pre-concert CD recommendation: Breakaway featuring "Since You've Been Gone", "Because of You" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes".

Nickel Creek
Friday, August 11 - 7:00pm
Marymoor - Tickets at, $25 and $35

If you're a bluegrass purist, you need to stay away from Marymoor Park next Friday night. Or else be prepared to open your mind - and ears - to the sound of newgrass. Yes, Nickel Creek sports the holy trinity of bluegrass instruments (mandolin, guitar and violin), and they'll drop the occasional reel or two. But their latest album, Why Should the Fire Die?, is much newer than blue.

A quick listen to the brittle, complex harmonies of "Eveline" and "Best of Luck" will lead you to think they're lying about their ages. But these young 'uns - guitarist Sean Watkin is the oldest at 28, while sibling Sara (violin) and Chris Thile (mandolin) are 24 - have been playing together for a mind-blowing 16 years. If Sara's bright, ethereal vocals on the Dylan tune, "Tomorrow is a Long Time," don't move you to tears, then the lyrics to her original stalker-anthem, "Anthony," will move you to laughter: "He says he can't love me, but I think he can; and I told him that just before he ran." My pick is the spiraling, rocking beat of "Helena," although the English major in me can't decide if Demetrius or Lysander sings it.

Thile (pronounced Thee-lay), vocalist and mandolin player, was in town recently for the Acoustic Planet Tour, with fellow Sugar Hill artists Béla Fleck and The Duhks. He brought the house down with his charm and musicianship, not to mention his cute, aw-shucks demeanor. I can hardly wait to hear the trio in person. Bring a picnic, but leave the booze at home; there's a beer and wine garden for those over 21. Seriously, guys, Demetrius gave Helena a lot of crap. - L. Quenzer

Pre-concert CD recommendation: Why Should the Fire Die? featuring "Somebody More Like You," "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and "Helena."

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