Tag Archives: Blue Scholars

Hollis Wong-Wear for Billboard Magazine

photo cred | Behzod Sirjani

One of the best parts about writing for Yow Yow! is having the opportunity to interview individuals that I admire and individuals that do something completely different with their craft than I do. We were thrilled to have Hollis on the blog earlier this year as part of our “Women Who Are Making It” series. We always knew that she was going to be a big deal someday and she’s well on her way to getting there. Recognized for her chorus in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “White Walls” along with being an all-around icon in the Seattle music scene for her work behind the scenes on their music videos and working with Blue Scholars, Hollis is a woman of many talents. She has her own band, The Flavr Blue, which I listen to daily and now she’s got an article by Billboard Magazine. You can read it here.

Congrats Hollis! No one is more deserving than you and we’ll be rooting for you every day.

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Meet: Hollis Wong-Wear

Hollis 002

photo cred | Janae Jones

This year, our series of “Women That Are Making It” is something that I am most proud of because we are featuring strong, ambitious ladies that are running the world with their wit, talents, and knowledge. When I first heard Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ latest track “White Walls” on the radio for the first time, I had to know – who was that girl singing the catchy hook? After doing some digging, I quickly found out that not only was Hollis Wong-Wear living in Seattle, but she was also an alumni of Seattle University who was a senior when I was just a freshman! From that point on, there was no question. We needed to get Hollis on Yow Yow!

Q: I heard that you first got started in music and the arts by writing poetry. How did this come about for you and what was your inspiration behind it?

Hollis: Literature and reading have always been central to my life. I started reading at a freakishly early age and was always the girl that was posted up at the library after school. The librarian in the children’s section at the Larkspur Library by my elementary school was my homie; she saved the best and latest books for me to check out first and tear through. I was the first one in the county to check out Walk Two Moons when I was in 2nd grade, an accomplishment I have clearly not forgotten! Because I honestly felt a closer affinity to books and reading than I did to most of my peers, I have always identified as a writer first and foremost. The necessary solitude of a writer mirrored the isolation I felt as a kid.

I grew up in the Bay Area and my life was fundamentally changed by an organization called Youth Speaks, which organized poetry slams and spoken word performances and showcased immensely powerful young poets and famous poets on the same stage. It ignited me. I felt empowered to write my own story and perform it in a raw way – I had always been theatrical. I left the theater behind to pursue performing my own words, and because of it, grew into a performer and writer who saw community and social justice as my catalysts and centers. Performing spoken word poetry as a young person is the foundation of my identity and work as a writer. 

Q: From poetry, how did that lead you into music? Is this the direction you always thought you would head in? Did you have any other career aspirations that you saw for yourself?

Hollis: I sang a lot in choirs growing up and have always loved music, but didn’t feel like I had a true talent for it. My mom attempted to cultivate me as a pianist and failed miserably; I didn’t have the passion or the discipline to be anything better than a competent beginner.

I only started doing my own music when a girl I had met through Youth Speaks in Seattle, Madeleine Clifford, and I became fast friends, bonded by our shared biracial experience, love of hip hop, and ferocious politics. We looked around and saw an absence of women like us making music we wanted to listen to. So we decided to do it ourselves. We parlayed our poetry into rap fluidly, and performed as Canary Sing for five years. We were bold, political, lyrically deft and a lot of fun. Performing with my best friend made the plunge into music much more manageable as we learned how to make music and navigate the music scene together. Both of us are unsure of whether we would have ever made that leap without our friendship to enable it.

I still have tons of other career aspirations that I still entertain: professor, novelist, education policy specialist, music video producer, public radio producer… I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be creative and make a difference. I still hope that, even as I continue to place more and more of my eggs in the music basket. 

Q: You graduated from Seattle University when I was just a freshman. Being in a music-centered city like Seattle and even more so a neighborhood like Capitol Hill, did that help your involvement with music at all? Did you spend your weekends frequenting Neumos or the Showbox? On a typically weekend at college, where would we have found you?

Hollis: Going to school straddled between Capitol Hill and the Central District was a huge part of my education – learning the history and the culture and the tension of Seattle, growing a rich network of artists and community members, and being in an urban environment. I went to see hip-hop shows at Neumos and Chop Suey regularly, and wrote in writing circles and read at open mics at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. I was a serious student during college so you could find me in the library quite frequently, but I was also always off campus: freestyling in the back seat of a friend’s car driving through Lake City or on Maddy’s back porch in the Central District; eating late night treats in the International District; studying at cafes on the Ave. 

photo cred | Seattle Peach

Q: You’re producing music videos for Macklemore, running operations for Blue Scholars, and at the same time are recording music, yourself. What does a typical day look like for you?

Hollis: There’s no such thing as a typical day for me! I am a nomad. I typically wake up at 9 AM and start immediately with e-mails, then will go off to do a variety of things: meetings, recording sessions, work sessions, poetry meet-ups. I also tutor high school students for SAT/ACT test prep and general enrichment, so there’s some of those sessions sprinkled in there. I’m anywhere from Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill to Greenlake to West Seattle. Over the last couple of months, I have made sure that I am in the studio working both on my solo material and The Flavr Blue’s new music every week for a significant amount of time. 

Q: How did you get hooked up with Macklemore and the Blue Scholars?

Hollis: I met Blue Scholars through an Isangmahal poetry open mic where Geo and I were the featured performers. I was so nervous; I knew every syllable of their self-titled LP and was hugely inspired by their music. Geo was hella nice and I felt so cool that he remembered who I was a week later when they headlined Quadstock. We ended up hanging out two summers later in New York City and I was friends with Geo and Saba ever since. When they changed up their management to handle it themselves, they hired me to do coordination and communications, which allowed me to quit my non-profit communications job and essentially freelance full-time. It’s been 3 years since that happened.

I met Macklemore through my friend Gabriel Teodros and Khingz, who were huge early supporters of Canary Sing. Canary Sing actually opened for Macklemore at a show at Chop Suey in 2007 or 2008 (we’d then open for him again at Showbox in 2011). But I didn’t really get to know him until he, Ryan Lewis, Zia Mohajerjasbi and I worked tirelessly for months on the “WING$” song and video. It was such a huge process and learning experience for all of us, and I became really close with all of the guys through that. It was great in particular to grow a friendship and a creative relationship with Ben, who I consider one of my closest friends. 

Q: At 25, not many people can say that they’ve performed on stage with mainstream acts like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in front of thousands? What is that like? Is it something that felt natural to you or did it take some getting used to?

Hollis: I feel grateful that in my young life as a performer I’ve gotten to perform on some pretty impressive stages that have made it so that performing, say, on the main stage of the Gorge for Sasquatch isn’t a harrowing experience. At 19, Maddy and I performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for Brave New Voices, the national youth poetry slam; we performed in front of over a thousand opening for Saul Williams two years later. Performance has always felt natural to me, and more than anything, it’s confidence and comfort on-stage that makes a performance truly great. As long as I know exactly what I’m doing on stage, I feel good. If anything, I need to combat my overly analytical, totally lucid mind, and appreciate and take in the experience that so many performers wish they had. It’s a crazy lucky thing that I’ve been able to perform on the stages that I have and hopefully will continue to in the future. 

photo cred | Janae Jones

Q: Tell us about The Flavr Blue. How did you guys get together? How long have you been performing with each other? This summer, fans can catch you at Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot. How does it feel to be performing at two of Seattle’s major music festivals?

Hollis: The Flavr Blue was originally a duo—my bandmates Lace and Parker—and they invited me into the studio to sing on the last song of their debut EP. The studio happens to be in the house where my boyfriend lives, so I was frequently on the couch right outside. We made that song, “In My Dream,” and suddenly the debut EP of a duo became the first half of a debut LP from a trio. Right away there was a natural chemistry between the three of us: they were heavy into production and experimenting with vocals, and I was interested in writing solid, fun pop music after having recorded hip-hop and acoustic R&B for years. It was a musical departure for all of us, and we realized that the three of us had a great synergy to make The Flavr Blue a thing. That was two years ago. And we’re still growing and learning so much.

It feels like a great accomplishment and a huge challenge to perform at Block Party and Bumbershoot. It’s my first time performing on music stages at both festivals, and they’re the big ones for local bands: Neumos stage and Fischer Green. We are determined to put on a spectacular show and it’s definitely pushing the limits of what we’ve done in the past. I’ve learned a lot about live show production in the last half-year and look forward to growing the experience of The Flavr Blue as more performance opportunities emerge. 

Q: Should the audience expect any surprises from your set at all?

Hollis: We’re performing four completely new songs with surprising instrumentation, and we’re working on a really stunning visual show. Hopefully it all translates! We’ve felt so grateful for the support we’ve received thus far. 

Q: I hear you are originally from the Bay Area. San Francisco is becoming a fast favorite for me after Seattle of course. Can you let us in on some of your favorite spots?

Hollis: Oh man! Too many awesome places in the Bay Area; hard to say what my favorite spots are. I’d say one of the most underrated neighborhoods and one that shaped my teenage years was the inner Richmond and Clement Street. Burma Superstar, Genki crepes, Green Apple Books, and King of Thai Noodle II were all regular haunts of mine. My favorite venue in the Bay is probably the New Parish in Oakland. 

Q: How does your family feel about the career path? Are you all a musically talented bunch as well?

Hollis: My family is very supportive of now, although it was definitely an adjustment for my parents during college that their academically motivated, for-sure-headed-for-grad-school daughter was making hip-hop music. My mom in particular has always wanted for me to go to grad school and be educated and successful, but over the last year both of my parents have recognized that the work I’m doing is groundwork for a veritable career; that I’m not a drugged up deadbeat just because I’m pursuing music as a vocation. It was a gratifying moment to invite them to see me perform with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Fillmore in SF, then invite them again two weeks later while I was tour managing the Blue Scholars for their winter tour.

We are not a particularly musical family honestly. I’m the only person in my immediate and extended family on both sides that’s pursuing music as a career. 

photo cred | Artists For Artists

Q: You mentioned to me that you are currently based in Seattle (since you’re not touring) what are you most looking forward to this summer in the city?

Hollis: Sun and work! I am so busy. But this nice weather has been really great and allowed me to relax in between tasks much better :) It will be really cool to be at Seattle’s two biggest festivals as a performer and a fan.

Q: 2013 has been an incredible year for you and we’re only halfway done! If there is one accomplishment that you are most proud of so far, what has it been?

Hollis: Thanks so much. It’s hard to pinpoint. My bandmates frequently make fun of me for being “unimpressed” and “uninterested” while I move through my life. Sometimes I think I overcompensate for the potentially overwhelming amount of things going on by being super level-headed and not getting particularly excited about what’s going on in my sphere. But weird things will pop out at me sometimes. Like when I saw that the Billboard Awards had nominated “Thrift Shop” as a video of the year, and I was like… “I produced that! Holy shit!” Or when I was going on about how intense and stressful my summer was going to be, a friend of mine said, “So, you’re basically performing in every major music festival in the Seattle region this summer.” And I was like, “Oh shit. Yes. This is basically my dream come true I think.” 

I’m actually extremely proud that “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring my friend Mary Lambert is on the verge of going platinum and has become a watermark for the year of progress on gay rights that we’ve had. It was a gorgeous union for me of my musical spheres and my poetic past, as I met Mary as a youth poet in Youth Speaks and was able to introduce her for her feature on that song. I am immensely gratified by that collaboration and the fact that a young queer musician and spoken word artist whose work has touched me greatly has broken into the mainstream. So dope. 

Q: Hollis, this year on Yow Yow! we are focusing on the life of a 20-something and being a recent post grad transitioning out of college. What advice do you have for young adults our age and moving into the adult world?  /// In a city like Seattle, teenagers are always trying to break into the music industry whether it is on the performing or the booking side. I started booking when I was still in high school for the Kirkland Teen Center and I wouldn’t have gotten there if it weren’t for the adults already involved in music helping me get my foot in the door. What advice do you have for people who aspire to work in the industry?

Hollis: I think we’re in an amazing time to be a young person. More than growing a career in one path, it’s more about growing your capacity, particularly in the creative sectors. In music, success is equal parts artistry and entrepreneurship, which means we have to be original, inspired, and savvy in order to prevail. It’s a great challenge. I also encourage all young people to have purpose in their work – a drive and a passion, but also a motivation larger than self. No matter what your focus is professionally, there is always a way to connect it to a larger cause, to be aware of how what you do in the world can either silence or empower people with less opportunity. All people are capable of teaching and of learning constantly. It’s easy for us to be isolated in the age of social media even though there is an illusion of immediate connectedness, and to be instantaneous experts because we have the latest technology or we can Wiki really fast. Truly great work takes time to cultivate, and humility, and thoughtfulness, and exertion. There’s no replacement for it.

There’s also no need to rush. Working with intention is way better than hurrying down a road you didn’t want to go down. I used to think that I was too old at 22, 24, even 26 to be an emerging artist; if it was supposed to happen for me to be well-known or successful, it would have happened already. Not true. I’m so glad that I’m the age I am now, with the self-knowledge that I possess, where I can really focus on the work I have to do. It took me those years out of college to try new things and struggle financially and fail gloriously and build the relationships that now have proved fruitful for me as an artist and a human being.

I facilitated a panel conversation and Jake One, arguably Seattle’s most renowned hip hop producer, had an amazing insight that spoke to me greatly. He attributes the success to the relationships he forged in his early years as an artist with people who were just as earnest and ambitious as he was. As his career grew, their careers grew; they grew together, probably exponentially so. We are nobody without our people, our networks, and the genuine relationships we form with our peers that aspire and inspire to new levels of greatness. It’s better to not look so high into the stratosphere and get disheartened by the gulf between where you are and where and who you want to be ideally, and instead look at ground level at who is doing the work and has the passion and fire you have, and let those people push you up. 

photo cred | Ashley Genevieve

Q: At this point, what is next for you? You’ve accomplished so much coming out of college already with your multiple projects. Are there any solo projects in the works or things going on outside of music that you are pursuing?

Hollis: I appreciate that even though I feel like I’m really at the beginning of what I hope to do. I am working on a solo EP and honing what my individual sound is like. I am grateful to be working with my friend Budo, an amazing producer, on that end. The Flavr Blue’s new EP is something I’m also really excited to release to the public. It will be kind of crazy to see what happens when the video for “White Walls” is released to the masses. I’m not really sure what’s in the cards for me, but I definitely feel like it’s now or never, ya know? I’m working hard to be ready for whatever comes my way. 

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PHỞ LIFE By Townfolk

This video by Blue Scholars’ Sabzi was released earlier this week, but I’m just now mentioning it.  It’s about Pho and various Pho restaurants around Seattle and Vietnamese food and drink references. I think the Kickstarter is to raise money so that they can release a line of posters and stickers.

I mostly just think any video dedicated to Pho in general is hilar.

How very Seattle…

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Seattle’s Blue Scholars Go On Tour

I’ve never really been a huge fan of Blue Scholars, but I do like this tour poster a lot.

Source

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Spokane High School Teacher suspended for giving out lyrics by the Blue Scholars

On the first day of school, a Shadle Park High School teacher handed out lyrics to his students from the Blue Scholars song “Commencement Day.” The Blue Scholars are a widely known hip hop group based out of Seattle and recently performed at this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party. The teacher has since been put on leave and school authorities are investigating the situation further.

A snippet of the lyrics from the song:

Brother sister please don’t believe the bullshit they said.
Fuck the pledge of allegiance and arrogant teachers

Source

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Capitol Hill Block Party 2010: Recap

I don’t believe that there will any other weekend this summer that will be able to top this one. I did not have a 3-day pass to the block party, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t on the hill all three days. I also decided that since I wasn’t doing any interviews or committing to any projects for this year’s block party I was going to have fun with my best friend. Unfortunately, that means no street style photos :( There are photos everywhere though! They can be found in this Flickr group that was made to collect the pool of photos from this weekend.

Friday: DAY1

Yeasayer: First off, Mayor Mike McGinn mispronounced their name while introducing the band. Bad start. Yeasayer was actually one of the bands that I was really looking forward to seeing ever since my friend Max got me into them. I don’t know where this performance went wrong, but it did horribly. The sound was way off. We weren’t too far away, but it always seemed too muffled. Their inability to impress us made us go elsewhere.

Holy Fuck: Holy Fuck was one of the many bands that blew everyone away at Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend. The reviews were so good that they named them as the band that stole away the entire show – even from MGMT. Last year, I had the opportunity to see Holy Fuck perform at San Diego’s Street Scene and they immediately became my new favorite group. They have a way of doing things so effortlessly. There’s a lot that goes into their sound, but they manage to pull it off w/ ease considering how complex all of it is. If you ever have the chance to see Holy Fuck live, please do it. It might just change your life. Don’t believe me? Read the reviews!

MGMT: When word got out that MGMT was going to be performing at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, young college students and jr. high preteens all over Seattle were about to shell out their money for a chance to hear “Electric Feel,” “Kids,” and “Time to Pretend.” They were the only songs that they knew. You could tell that the majority of the crowd weren’t even fans because they were unfamiliar with their new CD “Congratulations.” I wasn’t even close to MGMT during their set, but there were people around me that were still asking who the band was halfway through the set!

At the end of the night, Holy Fuck won over my heart once again. Sorry MGMT, I wasn’t feelin’ it.

Sunday: DAY 3

Blue Scholars: They’re local favorites and they have performed at nearly every single venue in the area including my own high school. Mayor Mike McGinn took the stage once again to claim that they were his favorite rap group. Meanwhile everyone’s thinking “you can get off the stage now…” haha For my first time seeing them, I would say that they are so-so. They know how to get a crowd going and they realized that they weren’t at any music festival. They were at the Capitol Hill Block Party so they needed to make it more hipster friendly, which they did by pairing their raps with The XX’s “Intro” [I loved] and Modest Mouse’s “Float On.” After awhile though, I had had enough about hearing the 206 and 808 area codes repeatedly.

The Dead Weather: What an experience it was to finally get to see The Dead Weather perform. There was a lot of hype swirling around them considering they were the band to close out the Capitol Hill Block Party. What I liked about them was that they were very different from all of the bands and artists that came out this weekend. They were fucking rock stars and they just didn’t give a shit about anything. For the most part, Capitol Hill Block Party had a very upbeat, poppy, energetic atmosphere surrounding it, but The Dead Weather wasn’t afraid to get dark. Alison Mosshart, hair in her face and owning that stage was terrifying. At the end of the night I didn’t really feel like I was at Block Party anymore, but maybe at a satisfying end to a beautiful funeral. The Dead Weather has made me write sentences that I didn’t even know could make any sense at all.

Now I would like to commend a special group of people at the Capitol Hill Block Party. They are the most dedicated fans you have ever seen. They sacrifice their hunger, thirst, and bladder. However, they leave the show feeling the most satisfied out of anyone though. A couple of bruises mean nothing when you get to be up against the fence for the entire day watching your favorite artists perform on the main stage. For that, you deserve some sort of an award or something.

Congratulations, I hope the stench and discomfort were worth it!

To view the rest click here

I’d like to finish off this lengthy post with some lessons learned from this year’s experience:

  • Never let your friend pee in a water bottle if he refuses to go to the bathrooms and loses his spot. He must hold it. The pee will get on you.
  • It beats the vom though.
  • Be polite. If you are moving through the crowd, say “Sorry” and “Excuse me.” like your parents taught you to. Do it with a smile and no one will even think twice about giving you a back hand to the face.
  • Avoid pushing through the crowd to the front with a chain of people behind you. If everyone had the opportunity to be closer, they would. Let’s not be selfish now.
  • Make friends with your neighbors! They’re awesome.
  • Dress appropriately. Don’t over-do it.
  • Don’t puke. No one likes the vom.
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My Seattle: Fave Local Hot Spots

Just in time for summer! I’ve lived near Seattle my entire life, but just recently I have spent two years actually living in the city. Even though I consider myself a local, there is still so much that I don’t know about it. I still get lost in areas that I have been to more than a dozen times. I am still in awe every time I drive across I-5 and I look out over the water into the city. Seattle is considered a major city in our country, but yet it isn’t major to me. It’s not extra special, it’s not extraordinary, it’s just home. It is a city with 26 sub-neighborhoods that no one knows about. It is also the city that is widely known for incessant rain, but is underrated in terms of  its well-known music scene. For the record, I hear it rains more in New York, but it just rains off and on here for a longer amount of time.

Here are my favorite places slash things to do in Seattle no matter what season it is rain or shine. I’ve also asked some of my friends for their opinions on places as well. I’ll try to make this as less cliche as possible.

Best Boutique: Sway and Cake

1631 Sixth Av, Downtown
(206) 624-2699, SwayAndCake.com

They have your usual array of designer jeans, but they also offer the latest trends and looks straight from the runway. You can expect high quality clothing at this boutique ranging from accessories to casual wear to the perfect dress for your night out on the town.

Best Happy Hour Food Menu: Wasabi Bistro

2311 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121

(206)-441-6044    wasabibistro.net

I have heard that Umi Sake House was better, but Wasabi Bistro will always always be my favorite. They are my ultimate go-to place when I need a sushi fix. Currently, they are closed for remodeling, but I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone who wants to have some of the best sushi in Seattle. (If not the best)

Happy Hour is everyday from 4-6pm and includes a special happy hour food menu where many of their items are half off.  I suggest:

  • Seattle Tempura Roll (It’s basically their special)
  • Pork Gyoza
  • Miso Soup (I feel it compliments all the food you’re eating and helps it settle better)

Off the happy hour:

  • All nigiri sushi in general? (try the seared salmon, which isn’t listed on the menu, but you can still order it. It’s the best!)
  • Grilled sockeye salmon w/ sweet soy glaze
  • Gozilla Roll
  • West Hollywood Roll

and for dessert: the chocolate lava cake or tempura ice cream in green tea or vanilla.

photo credit here

Best View: Kerry Viewpoint

This is the only spot in Seattle where you can look over the entire city and see absolutely everything! It’s beautiful during the day and at night. Located in Queen Anne, Kerry Viewpoint is the perfect setting for tourists, prom groups, and weddings.

Best Park: Cal Anderson Park

1635 11th Ave

Located just three blocks away from my school, this park is my favorite in terms of both distance and location. It is right in the heart of Capitol Hill and a prime spot for the summer during the day and in the evenings.  It also definitely has some characteristics that other parks do not have such as the ginormous fountain, the kiddie pool for the little ones [I’ve decided that people of all ages are readers to this blog] the random DJ with all of his gear spinning beats by the tennis courts and the weekly dodgeball games that occur every Tuesday and Friday at 9PM.

Best Outdoor Museum: SAM Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Avenue, Belltown

When I attended the opening day of the park back in January of 2007, not all of the installations had been completed just yet. I plan on making my second visit to the park this summer. While Cal Anderson is your typical idea of a park, the Olympic Sculpture Park allows you to venture outdoors for your art fix. The Seattle Art Museum is an incredible space, but in this park nothing is confined. You’re in Seattle and along with enjoying the view of the art, you get to take in that fresh air and the rest of the cityscape. This is also a great location for snapping photographs.

Best Gag Gift: The Erotic Bakery. [pun intended]

323 N. 45th St, Wallingford
(206) 545-6969, TheEroticBakery.com

You have no idea how difficult it was to choose a safe for work picture rather than a not safe for work picture. For one of my best friend’s 18th birthday, I decided to buy her a cake that she would never forget. I don’t think I should go into great detail discussing it, but I will tell you that the “Happy 18th Birthday Hannah” frosting was accompanied by a very large member. The Erotic Bakery does cakes, cupcakes, cookies, whatever and they are absolutely shameless. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Before leaving with my friend’s scandalous birthday cake, the sales girl at the counter asked me, “Would you like some extra cum? It’s only a dollar.” Bottle in hand and already in motion, I politely declined.

Best Hidden Finds: Thrift Shopping at: Atlas Clothing, Goodwill, Crossroads Trading Co. Red Light, Value Village.

Buying clothing at regular price is overrated. Buying clothing that has already been worn by someone else and resold again is awesome. Finding some amazing pieces at thrift stores will guarantee you that no one else will be wearing it at the same time as you.  Thrifting means you get to mix in the old with the new and allows room for DIY. You don’t have to feel bad about altering your purchases because if you mess up – well you didn’t pay that much for it to begin with.

Most Fun to be Had: Capitol Hill Block Party 2010 – July 23-25

No words can describe how truly amazing this experience will be this year. Two years ago, I attended the festival with my best friends where we watched performances by Girl Talk and Vampire Weekend. We danced our asses off in the smelliest of smelly crowds, but we loved every second. If you’re looking for a great time, buy a one day ticket or a three-day ticket for $60 [that’s a steal!] and watch some great performances by musicians including MGMT, Blue Scholars, Holy Fuck, Yeasayer, The Dead Weather, and many more. You do not want to miss this.

Best Dance Partner: Scarf Man

You will find him at every notable Seattle event. If he is not at a Seattle event, you are clearly wasting your time at a place you should not be at. If he is there, attempt to introduce yourself to him. I say attempt because my friends and I have decided that we have no idea where he has come from. He doesn’t understand what we’re saying and we do not understand him, but we both understand scarves. Just go with it.

Best Random: The Gum Wall on Post Alley

I just found out today that we aren’t the only city that has one. Bummer. Before you question why I have this on my list, I’d like to remind those of you that have seen this that not everyone has been to this special area. Believe it or not…it’s not widely known by everyone, but it is very cool! Admire up close, admire from afar, make disgusting faces, or participate.

Best Snacks: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, Dicks Burgers, Cupcake Royale, Street Meat, Old Frozen Custard

You will never go hungry in Seattle. Never. *I should retract that statement…

Best Seattle Festival: Seattle Pride – June 27

This was a tough call especially because I adore Bumbershoot, Folk Life, and the Bite of Seattle, but hands down Seattle Pride. Everything is over the top and extravagant, but I guarantee that you will have an incredible time. The fashion is like you have never seen it before. The dancing. The music. The happiness. You can’t help, but smile at everything surrounding you.

I think we had better close this out with twelve different categories. I asked my friends to share some of their favorites as well so here are some of them below:

To shop:

  • Elliott Bay Book Company [Capitol Hill]
  • Milagros

To eat:

  • Pho Than Brothers
  • Honey Hole
  • Oddfellows
  • Cafe Presse
  • Pike Street Fish Fry
  • Rancho Bravo

To hang out:

  • The Garage
  • Alki Beach

Coffee fix other than Starbucks:

  • Cafe Vita
  • BauHaus
  • Porchlight
  • Stumptown

While Seattle is a wonderful city, take the time to get to know all of it. Seattle is divided into a number of neighborhoods and each neighborhood has something different to offer. My favorite places are Fremont, Queen Anne, the University District, the International District, and of course my home, Capitol Hill. There are plenty of things that I have left out of this post because they were overly touristy or things that just slipped my mind, but feel free to do your own research as well. There is always something new to discover about Seattle and there are always things that people will enjoy more than others so don’t just take my word for it.

Have a great summer!

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Out on the Town: 5/21

Sorry this is so small – you get the jist. Quadstock is over and the University of Washington is the last school to finally host their music festivities. This year, their special guest is Common along with James Pants and Kore lonz. Really though, it’s basically Common. That will probably be an incredible show so mainstreamers of UW celebrate! I’m not exactly sure if non-students can go, but the school is so big they probably won’t even know. Don’t take my word for it though. Last year they brought Built to Spill and Ra Ra Riot. Two years ago, UW featured an all-star lineup of Seattle locals including Blue Scholars, and my favorites Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and Minus the Bear. It was an amazing show. I’m really glad that I made the trip to go see them because it was totally worth it. The best part? It’s completely free. When I went two years ago, I got in just fine, but I’m not too sure if they are still doing things the same way.

Source

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Rumors Rumors

Those planning Capitol Hill Block Party are petitioning to make this year’s festival into a 3-day festival instead of the usual two. Supposedly this extra day is to accommodate the requests of …. wait for it…

MGMT

and Blue Scholars. Oh shooot the masses will invade Block Party this year.

Source

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Free UW HUB concert on the Lawn

I could’ve sworn I did this post this morning.

Built to Spill and Ra Ra Riot will be performing. The concert will run from 3-7 PM and it is absolutely free.

Built to Spill sounds like Death Cab and Ra Ra Riot reminds me of The Kooks.

If you’re not from UW and you don’t care for those bands you may not want to make the trip but if you’re already at UW you might as well!

The lineup isn’t as good as last years, (Blue Scholars, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Minus The Bear) but I am awfully fond of my Seattle bands!

In comparison, I think Seattle University’s Quadstock with headliner Talib Kweli totally owns UW this year.

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Occupation: Hip Hop Producer, Day Job: Student

Earlier this week, I ran into my friend Marcus (who I would later find out goes by his stage name as well: Marcus D.) who reminds me of Elan Wright from Danger Radio. I promised Gelesia Boo that I would send her a picture so I snapped one on my phone but then him and I got to talking and I learned that he was actually a music producer, and a very talented one at that.

He is a full time student at Seattle University and a music producer who shares the same passion for hip hop as I do for Seattle’s local bands. Maybe someday we can hook something up together haha

He’s produced for Seattle’s very own Blue Scholars and worked with many underground hip hop artists within the area.

Check him out on his website and music on Myspace. You won’t be disappointed.

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