SASQUATCH – Day 1; a night of surprises

The day started off late, opening with Allen Stone on the Sasquatch Stage. A bad timeslot for such an amazing artist…however he will be on that very same stage in September opening up for the Dave Matthews Band. I have no doubt in my mind he will kill it!

As the wind picked up, Macklemore, an unexpected guest walked onto the side platform to watch his friend perform. He and Ryan Lewis were seen by very few eyes, but those who knew saw them dance, quietly doing the robot in the corner.

Today also marked the beginning of a new era for Sasquatch; adding a new stage that hosted only local hip-hop groups. Three groups played per day. The first performer was Scribes. Although he now lives in L.A. he resided in the Seattle area when the booking was made. We talked at length afterwards about his move and how he didn’t want people to think he abandoned his “home.” Rather, he left to sort through some personal business as well as connect with a few game changers putting together a strong team he can bring back to Seattle.

Macklemore sent out a few tweets asking Sasquatch patrons what they were doing at around 945pm that night, telling everyone how nice the weather was, and leading everyone who follows his twitter on the idea he might just perform somewhere that night. But where? He wasn’t scheduled! Allen Stone and the Maine stage acts came and went…still nothing. He was written-up as a no show by fans.

Some of our good friends closed the hip-hop stage for the night. The Physics showed up to shut it down. Malice and Mario Sweet were singing backup, Sam was on keys, and guest MC’s came and went. This was the first time I’ve seen the entire group together since their Seattle show in February of last year.

As the sun set behind the Sasquatch stage, Girl Talk sent up fireworks. Most of the people in the venue headed to the Main stage to dance.

The time was 1005pm. Girl Talk thanked the crowd and stepped off the stage. The intermission music came up as normal. People started to leave; others moved closer to the stage to see Pretty Lights. A few sang along to the intermission music, which just happen to be Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.”

As the crew quickly setup for the closing act, the stage lights slowly pointed out to the crowd. Within a minute the video monitors turned on revlealing Macklemore’s music video for Can’t Hold Us. “That can’t be right…there was never a music video for that song,” thought some hardcore fans.

That is when it hit them. The spotlights turned on, and standing on a raised stage in the middle of the crowd was Macklemore X Ryan Lewis. People slowly caught on, while fans screamed and made their way to his stage.

The band debuted a new song, Thrift Shop, which many people (fans and not) talked about. Everything I heard was very positive. To put i simply…it banged!

What an amazing start to a long weekend of music.

-dt

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Times Square – Best Buy Theater

Sound Check – Performance – Network

This years freshman cover was a success for the Pacific Northwest. One of their own, Macklemore, beat all odds on the label induced lineup, and made his cover appearance due largely to the outstanding support of his fans voting…over and over.

Having just appeared in the unsigned hype column of The Source magazine the month before, Macklemore took the stage and commanded attention. Spiderman and Superman made another appearance. Their first being Bowery Ballroom.

 

Afterwards, the artists talked amongst themselves, interviewed for various media, and connected with some industry folks. Ray Dalton, a few of his talented friends, and myself then went out to a karaoke bar situated in the East Village. The subway cars filled with accapella music. It was a variable mix of riders. Some sang along, some photographed us on their smart phones, and others just thought we were crazy and ignored our existance.

The night ended late, and New York was just a distant memory as the Macklemore team flew back to Seattle.

-dt

I listen to a lot of music online and I will admit, as a fan in the digital age, I’m spoiled. I read somewhere the other day that the average 10 year old with a smartphone has access to more information than the president 15 years ago, or something like that.

Similarly, anyone with internet probably has access to just as much music as a local radio DJ. While there is much debate on this ease of accessibility, one thing that post-internet fans won’t experience is the satisfaction of owning a library of tangible music. Trips to the record store are like going to the toy store. Literally, back in the day it meant a visit to the KB Toys next to Sam Goody. There’s a sense of pride in owning and collecting CDs, cassettes, vinyls, or whatever ancient technology, that you can’t get digitally. There was a time when I was the coolest kid in elementary school because I had a copy of the Slimshady LP with a parental advisory sticker.

Do The Math was released in 1996 by Tribal Music and is regarded as a staple of Seattle hip hop. I’ve heard it mentioned before from local hip hop heads, to the point where it became sort of an urban legend. It wasn’t until it was available digitally that I finally got the chance to listen to it in its entirety. It baffles me how something so raw and innovative has been kept a local secret. The 24 track compilation is a refreshing break from the mind numbing top 40. If the CD were available at a brick-and-mortar store, would I pay money for it? Hell yes I would. Actually, some guy on Amazon is trying to sell it right now for like 90 bucks. I’ll settle for a free digital download, but it’s definitely not the same.

-Vinny

Really though, listen to this if you haven’t already.

After meeting Raekwon and RZA in New York at Rock The Bells last summer, I found myself talking to Free, a.k.a. Lil’ Free, a.k.a. General Wah. Free isn’t your average member of Wu-Tang. He was one of the original members, and dealt with their earliest business encounters. Sharing a 1-bedroom apartment with RZA and Ghostface Killah back in the early 90’s, he remembers a life without iPod’s and electronic DJing gear; fondly reminiscing about RZA’s first DJ setup–stacks of records on the floor with two turntables on top.

Helping lead the way to Wu-world domination, he also managed his cousin, Ghost, from 1994-2004. It was then, while on the tour bus, he sat up and told everyone on tour he was leaving. With no regrets, Free left the music business for a long while, until he ran into female vocalist, Chanel.

Something unique, something different…”You need to hook ’em,” Free states. “It’s all a psychological game.” Aside from the game, Free also pounds in the idea of strength in numbers. He attributes all of Wu-Tang’s success to the fact that there were so many of them. They came in, took what they wanted, and left.

That’s not the case anymore. Too much free music and general crap on the internet “fatten up the consumer.” This makes Free happy, because he will come in and kill the competition by using his old school mentality on producing and releasing tracks. His history with Wu-Tang and Ghost don’t lie.

Free is working side by side with his new artist, Chanel. He is using his tactics plus what he’s learned a long the way to give her the best possible album release. From what I’ve heard, it will be a successful release at that. Chanel’s voice reminds me of a few very talented singers, but we won’t get into who. Chanel is driven to do her own thing…to make it special, so comparisons will do you no good. Let’s just say she is on mark! You want proof? Listen to the track My Own.

-dt

It’s been a year since we uploaded the first trailer for the documentary, “The Otherside.”

After shooting interviews and concert footage over the last two years, we have found we have too much content to fit into an hour and a half movie. This is a  great thing, but also make its much harder to find the  most captivating pieces to capture the scene and the idea of what we want portrayed.

Vinny Dom has worked night and day to find the best interviews and lay them out in a timeline for what is needed, but most of this footage subsequently transitions into other footage.

What we decided was to take one of the live performances from this film and release that as a sneak peak. It’s true, this film spends a lot of time with Macklemore (from two years ago to today), but it also captures other areas and artists in Seattle hip-hop such as Blue Scholars, Massive Monkees, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Mad Rad, Spac3man, Dyme Def, Eighty4Fly, Grynch, Wizdom and many more.

Each interview has provided us with a necessary puzzle piece to complete this documentary. The clip we decided to release stands on its own. It captures everything we have done and everything we are continuing to do. It combines live performance with backstage footage, b-roll, and interviews.

Thank you for your continuous support. We hope that you enjoy the clip, and spread it around. Let word be known that we are still working hard at creating a masterpiece for years to come. We will release a new trailer that better reflects the finished movie in the next few weeks.

Until then, enjoy The Otherside.

-dt