Posts tagged The Monarch Review
Steve Earle Talks Death, The Wire, Guitars And Leaving Home

American singer-songwriter, Steve Earle, is a living legend. Between his decades touring the country, playing his jangly-heavy guitar for audiences thirsty for stories of the road and dust kicked up, and his years acting on hit television shows like HBO’s The Wire and Treme, Earle is known for his folk wisdom and sharp tongue. He’s a veteran of the Texas, New Orleans and Nashville music circuits and he’s a staple for those combing through the decades of Americana music greatness. I caught up with Earle to ask him about the first time he picked up a guitar, what it was like leaving his parents at an early age to pursue songwriting and what he’d like to experience just before he died.

Read More
Valerie June On Brad Pitt, Banana Candy, Etherial Portals And Time

Valerie June finally has free time. After a life working odd jobs and steeling moments to write songs, the lilting, butterfly-voiced Americana singer has room to make her art, unfettered by traditional responsibilities. And, she says, this is the best thing she could have hoped for. June talked about this newfound resource and the freedom it offers her ever-evolving creativity. She also talked about the time she met Brad Pitt (and nearly passed out), what her favorite candy was as a kid and how she grew up singing gospel music with family and friends all around her.

Read More
H.R. Of Bad Brains On Headaches, Human Rights And Speeding Up Songs

Paul “H.R.” Hudson is the longtime front man for Bad Brains, a group founded in 1979 and often credited with creating the original hardcore sound. Through fast, energetic songs and snarling, high-pitched vocals, Bad Brains raced through shows as their fans moshed all around them. Bad Brains also often played reggae between the punk rock. And after decades in the scene, the band only plays reggae at shows today. This fall, H.R. (short for Human Rights) is releasing a new solo record, Give Thanks, a reggae-inspired album filled with the uplifting music he’s made his signature. I caught up with the front man to talk with him about the origins of Bad Brains, what they talked about as they were creating a new sound and what it was like for H.R. to get brain surgery later in life after enduring a series of terrible headaches.

Read More
Sonics Great Detlef Schrempf On Music, Money And Matrimony

It’s been 20 years since Seattle SuperSonics legend, Detlef Schrempf, suited up in the green and gold, but that hasn’t stopped the former All-NBA player from making a home in the Emerald City area (Bellevue, technically), where the German-born sharp-shooter lives, plays golf and works at an investment firm, Coldstream Capital. I caught up with Schrempf at Third Culture Coffee in Old Bellevue to ask him about the music he listened to when he hooped, his favorite Seattle bands in college and who decides on the soundtrack in an NBA locker room.

Read More
Talib Kweli On Freestyling, Reading, Black Star And Lauryn Hill

If you came of age in the 90s or early 2000s, backpack or underground hip-hop was likely a large part of the music in your favorite CD binder (and later your iPod). That being the case, one of your favorite rappers was likely Talib Kweli, the Brooklyn-based emcee who rose to fame with his brother-in-rap, Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) and other fellow mic rippers like Common Sense and The Roots. Since those years, Kweli, who plays Nectar Lounge July 27, has solidified himself as an important voice when it comes to socially conscious ideas and practices. To preview his upcoming Emerald City show, I caught up with Kweli to ask him about those early years, if he read a lot as a kid and when he first began to write and perform.

Read More
HUMP, SPLIFF, Love And Advice: A Conversation With Dan Savage

Dan Savage, bestselling author and nationally syndicated sex advice columnist, likes to laugh. The pleasant outbursts were sprinkled throughout our conversation. He laughs when praised and he laughs when asked to offer up his thoughts on a grand idea like love. His is a comforting laugh, not one of nervousness or deflection. Rather, it’s a laugh of largess and enjoyment. A laugh in response to the very real, very odd world looming all around us. I recently caught up with Savage to talk about his touring amateur pornography festival (HUMP), his new cannabis-inspired film festival (SPLIFF) and to ask, yes, what he thinks love is.

Read More
Lavender Country’s Patrick Haggerty On Music, Love And Life, Itself

I didn’t have the heart to tell Patrick Haggerty, front man and songwriter for Lavender Country, the first openly gay country band to release an “out” album, that I wasn’t gay, though he lovingly assumed I was during our conversation. But not telling Haggerty about my sexuality is beside the point, of course. As you’ll see in the interview, it doesn’t take sexual orientation to make for kinship. By the end we were saying “I love you” to one another. Haggerty’s is a story of artistic success devoid of financial gain. But, later in his life, after a series of events unearthing his talent and story, Haggerty’s fame is on the rise. I asked him about that and much more.

Read More
Spin Doctors Front Man, Chris Barron, Talks Comfy Sweaters, Befriending John Popper And Writing Songs

Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, residents heard a lot about Chris Barron, the fun-loving, golden-voiced front man for the famed 90s rock band, Spin Doctors. From rumors spreading about the blond singer crooning from his window atop Farrington’s music shop near the library to hearing about his myriad poems depicting odd characters and indelible, quirky turns of phrase.

Read More
Ten Quick Questions For Chuck Klosterman

New York Times Bestselling author, Chuck Klosterman, who we wrote a Monarch Drinks With feature about in 2012, has written a new book called, But What If We’re Wrong? It’s a close examination of concepts that society holds to be obvious but maybe aren’t quite as clear as they seem. And in the spirit of the question, we caught up with Klosterman to ask him a few quick ones of our own.  

Read More
The Monarch Drinks With Marco Collins

Okay, so we just drank water. Well, I was finishing off an iced latte from a coffee place up the street. It was early – we met around 11am at Obasan, a quaint Japanese place in Queen Anne that has, coincidentally, my new favorite noodle dish: Yakisoba with tofu and no mushrooms. Marco Collins, the former Program Director for The End and expert with chopsticks, ordered the tuna rolls and teriyaki chicken.

Read More
Strength In The Blues – An Interview With Cornel West

Born in Tulsa Oklahoma, Dr. West has studied at Harvard and Princeton, has been a civil rights activist, a pastor and currently serves as the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton. He has received more than twenty honorary degrees as well as the American Book Award, and he has appeared on television programs like The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Known for his Socratic approach toward the issue of social justice and his devotion to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. West himself has authored more than a dozen books, including his landmark texts Race Matters and Democracy Matters. His latest, Hope On A Tightrope, was released in November. For these reasons, and many more, I have come to speak with him.

Read More