music

50 years after death, Jimi Hendrix continues shaping Seattle music -- as same racial inequities persist

SEATTLE — He’s not onstage, but Jabrille “Jimmy James” Williams is busting out the deep cuts. It doesn’t take much prodding to get one of Seattle’s premier guitar players — a certified Jimi Hendrix aficionado — on a roll, recounting with love tales of lost jam sessions and other Hendrixian legends that burn as brightly as a flaming Stratocaster.Even his stage name, a pseudonym Hendrix himself once used, is partly an homage to the Seattle-reared music icon. “Jimi Hendrix represented everything that has to do with the word ‘freedom,’” James says in a phone interview. “People want to put him in a...

How the Soundtrack of the Sixties Demanded Respect, Justice and Equality

When Sly and the Family Stone released “Everyday People” at the end of 1968, it was a rallying cry after a tumultuous year of assassinations, civil unrest and a seemingly interminable war.

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Here's Why Roger Waters Is Using His Tour to Urge Voters to Oppose Far-Right Brazilian Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro

Roger Waters, the 75-year-old British rocker who co-founded Pink Floyd back in 1965 and performed on classic albums like Wish You Were Here, Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, hasn’t been shy about discussing political topics. And this month, during a tour of Brazil, Waters has spoken out about Brazil’s presidential election—urging his Brazilian fans to vote against Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate infamous for his racist, anti-gay and authoritarian views. Unfortunately, Bolsonaro (who is running with the Social Liberal Party against Workers Party candidate and former São Paolo Mayor Fernando Haddad) stands a very good chance of winning.

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Plagiarists or Innovators? The Led Zeppelin Paradox Endures

Fifty years ago – in September 1968 – the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin first performed together, kicking off a Scandinavian tour billed as the New Yardbirds.

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How 'Noise Pollution' from Rock Music Can Impact the Ecosystem

Despite being one of the best-selling albums of all time, ideology from AC/DC’s “Back in Black” album has gone unchallenged for nearly 40 years. The album’s closing track posited a testable hypothesis, asserting with rock-star confidence that “Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution.” Opinions may vary from person to person, but little scientific evidence has been evaluated to determine if rock music is noise pollution … until now.

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Bringing Back the Funk in the Heart of Trump Country

Funk is one of those quintessentially American genres of music that has been exported the world over. George Clinton, Parliament, the Ohio Players, Bootsy Collins, Zapp, Lakeside, Platypus, Brides of Funkenstein, Klymaxx, Slave… the list goes on. If you don’t know these artists, you have heard them. They’ve been sampled by everyone from N.W.A. to Justin Bieber; Notorious B.I.G. to Bruno Mars. James Brown is the genre’s father. Prince is perhaps its most celebrated '80s son.

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What Is It About Music and Drugs?

For centuries, musicians have used drugs to enhance creativity and listeners have used drugs to heighten the pleasure created by music. And the two riff off each other, endlessly. The relationship between drugs and music is also reflected in lyrics and in the way these lyrics were composed by musicians, some of whom were undoubtedly influenced by the copious amounts of heroin, cocaine and “reefer” they consumed, as their songs sometimes reveal.

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It’s Time to Tear Down the Music Festival Boys Club

Even though much of the country was in a deep freeze during the first week of January, there was at least one ray of sunshine: the 2018 Coachella lineup announcement.

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Too Much Christmas Music Really Can Drive You Bonkers, Psychologist Says

We’ve hit that time of the year when Christmas music is everywhere. Nearly two weeks before Thanksgiving, more than a dozen radio stations had already started playing a constant rotation of holiday music. Walgreens and CVS employees experience a nonstop barrage of Christmas songs on repeat. In the UK, you can’t pass an hour without being assailed by the strains of Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody.” If it all begins to feel a bit maddening, you’re not imagining it.

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The Woke Slim Shady - Understanding Eminem in the Age of Trump

October’s 2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards were a big night for Cardi B, DJ Khaled and Kendrick Lamar. Between them, they more or less swept the board: Cardi B took home five gongs, Khaled and Kendrick three each. But the night’s big story, at least as far as most news outlets were concerned, was The Storm, a “cypher” freestyle filmed specially for the event by Eminem: four minutes of beatless invective aimed at Donald Trump that variously took in immigration, corruption, gun control, white supremacy and the NFL controversy, rapturously received by everyone from J Cole to Snoop Dogg.

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Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS Is One of 'Most Admirable' Displays of Resistance in the World

Today we spend the hour with the world-famous British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. In recent years, he has become one of the most prominent musicians supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Waters is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in Long Island, despite attempts by Nassau County officials to shut down the concerts citing a local anti-BDS bill. Despite this, Roger Waters has continued to speak out. Last week, he wrote a piece in The New York Times titled "Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates." In the op-ed, he criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of BDS. Roger Waters joined us in the studio on Wednesday.

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