Bluegrass Boys

These little boys performed at Doe Bay Fest a few years back under the name Brother for Sale. They play with their parents as the Crow Valley String Band. They played Doe Bay again last summer as Brograss.

Bluegrass is the heavy metal of folk music, if you follow me.  Whatever name they play under, these boys shred.


Apollo Past

I discovered the band You Me and Apollo at the first Doe Bay Fest I ever attended. They played one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. I went on to see them three times before they broke up.

So many mind-blowingly good bands split up before they get big, and the older you get, the harder it gets to keep track of all the good music out there. Sometimes I’m surprised to discover that a band I loved three years ago has put out two more albums. Sometimes I’m surprised to learn that they’re gone.

I still listen to the album Sweet Honey. In lieu of a moment of silence, here’s a track to honor all the bands that gave us feels and then went away.


The Family Barber (of Seville)

John Moore and Kevin Glavin in Barber of Seville Photo by Jacob Lucas c/o Seattle Opera

When I saw The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera in October, I declared it my new favorite opera and left McCaw Hall determined to come back with my whole family. That proved easier said than done, but I did it. Here’s how. Continue reading

How a Bill Becomes Law, Constitution Article 1 §7.2

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Why study? Well, I think it should be obvious.

Why Wednesday? It works with my schedule.

Last week I learned about the Origination Clause.

What’s next? Article One, Section 7, Clause 2. Continue reading

Tiger Rag Today

A few years ago, I read the book Tiger Rag and I wondered how anyone could make the cornet a starring instrument. Then I saw Industrial Revelation play at Doe Bay Fest. Ahamefule Oluo’s trumpet solo cleared it up for me.

The Origination Clause, Article 1 §7.1

On Wednesdays we study the Constitution.

Why study? Well, I think it should be obvious that democracy dies when citizens are dumb. I don’t want to be dumb, and I don’t want democracy to die.

Why Wednesday? It works with my schedule.

What’s next? Article One, Section 7, Clause 1, aka the Origination Clause.

Continue reading

A Star Is Born

If you’re into music at all, the number of bands you’ve seen live really adds up over a few decades. From foot-staring technicians to sophisticated performance artists who happen to use music as their medium, there are a lot of ways to put on a good show. But every now and then, you see a true rock star. Some people have an innate ability to reach down and pick the crowd up.

I don’t even like the type of music he makes. But on the Bumbershoot stage in 2014, Otieno Terry was captivating. You would never have known that it was the biggest show the KEXP SoundOff winner had ever played.  The boy was in his natural habitat. He even stopped the show to sing Happy Birthday to his mother in the audience and instead of destroying the effect, everyone in the audience felt part of a special moment.

I pulled out my phone right after his set, intending to buy his album, only to discover he didn’t have one yet. In the years since, I’ve occasionally remembered that show and looked him up, and never found anything. Then a couple weeks ago I found Otieno Terry’s debut album The Woods. It’s still not my kind of music. But I’m looking forward to seeing him perform again. Rock stars always make you feel lucky to be in their orbit.