by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
If you hear Nirvana's 'Come as You Are' or Ben Gibbard's voice over the loudspeakers at Sea-Tac Airport while you're checking in for your flight, there's nothing wrong with you. Proceed to your gate.
A cooperative effort by the Port of Seattle, Seattle Music Commission, and PlayNetwork is set to launch January 28, allowing thousands of inbound and outbound travelers to savor a little something Seattle is famous for - um, besides coffee and salmon. We're talking about music. From Quincy Jones to Heart to Fleet Foxes, the Emerald City's long-acclaimed music scene will be deservingly showcased at Sea-Tac by overhead playlists that include rising stars and more established artists with Seattle roots. Gibbard, along with Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Macklemore, and LeRoy Bell are a few of the musicians who'll provide narratives of our city's vibrant music history for all passengers, regardless of cabin class, to listen to. The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative, 'Experience the City of Music,' will also utilize curated videos at terminal and baggage claim areas and a multi-channel web radio player at the airport's free WiFi network for further exposure. This weekend's launch party features performances by Recess Monkey (3 p.m.), Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers (4 p.m.), Fly Moon Royalty (5 p.m.), and the Dusty 45s (6 p.m.) - all free of charge at Sea-Tac's Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall. Additional performances will take place onboard Sound Transit Link Light Rail trains on Saturday, January 28 as well, between 1 to 6 p.m. 'Experience the City of Music' will certainly vault Seattle's position on the national music map to its deserved number-one spot. Suck it, Austin.
The world has its problems, and Seattle has its own. This includes homelessness. An upcoming music event, 'Gimme Shelter: A Benefit Concert to End Homelessness,' takes place February 3 at The Showbox Market and boasts a headlining performance by local act The Dusty 45s. The group's lead singer Billy Joe Huels pulls double-duty as the show's host, inspired by his own brother's real-life story of going from successful Wall Street businessman to poverty-stricken homeless person. Sad, but true. His brother has recovered, though, thanks to the aid of Seattle agency DESC. Located downtown on Third Avenue, DESC is an emergency shelter that provides immediate assistance and ongoing support, such as clinical services, to individuals in need. The February 3 concert will benefit DESC, and includes appearances by The Maldives, Lazy Susan, The Young Evils, Betsy Olson, Davidson Hart Kingsbery, and The Purrs. Visit www.showboxonline.com for ticket information, and go to www.desc.org to find out how you can help end homelessness right here in Seattle.
A month ago, we lost Cesaria Evora. Last week, another diva left us all too soon. Etta James, a tigress of the blues, passed away at the age of 74. Truth be told, I didn't really discover her work until that saucy cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Miss You,' but I caught up very quick after that, let me tell you. In 2006, former SGN music writer Richard Kennedy reviewed Ms. James' sold-out concert at Woodland Park Zoo and captured these words she tossed out to the crowd, 'Seattle is so hip, so Gay, and so cool.' The three-time Grammy winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be most remembered for her touching ballad 'At Last,' which is probably what the angels said when James arrived on heaven's doormat.
Your 2012 Oscar nominees for Best Original Song are songs from & wait for it & The Muppets and Rio. That's it. From a bevy of submitted entries, the music branch of the Academy (of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) only saw two fit competitors, 'Man or Muppet' and 'Real in Rio.' Among the ignored was 'The Living Proof' from the Southern-fried drama The Help, co-written by Mary J. Blige, and Elton John's 'Hello Hello' from Gnomeo and Juliet, plus songs from Chris Cornell, The National, Zooey Deschanel, and Sinead O'Connor. Obviously, the music branch's voting system - much like a gymnastics meet in which members rank each entry by individual point scores - doesn't cut it.
Madonna's 'Masterpiece,' which won a Golden Globe (much to the chagrin of Elton John's partner), wasn't eligible for an Oscar nomination, but it is included in the W.E. film soundtrack that hits record stores on January 31. Composed, orchestrated, and produced by Abel Korzeniowski, who crafted the gorgeous and melancholy music for A Single Man, the W.E. score was recorded at London's ultra-famous Abbey Road Studios with a 60-piece orchestra. 'Masterpiece' is also included in Madonna's upcoming new album, MDNA. I doubt, however, it'll be included in her Super Bowl Halftime Show appearance.
Finally, Radiohead is sold out - even the worst nosebleed seat is taken. The multiple Grammy-winning band, a nominee again this year for The King of Limbs, performs April 9 at Key Arena. Seattle Gay News looks forward to reviewing two of Radiohead's performances, one in Kansas City and another here at home.
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