Posts in Essay
Chronicles of Country Music

Ken Burns remembers sitting in a tiny editing room, sobbing, as he put together his latest documentary, Country Music. In fact, the acclaimed filmmaker says, there are often a half-dozen boxes of tissues in the office for him and his staff to use as they pore through old photographs and emotional testimonials—content they choose from to tell intimate stories about impactful time periods, iconic structures and significant cultural movements in American history.

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“It takes me back to feeling like a left-out teenager,” says beloved Seattle singer-songwriter and new mother, Shelby Earl, when speaking about her recent experiences using Facebook. “Feeling like someone’s relationship looks healthier than mine, or their music career looks like it’s thriving more than mine. In our regular lives, we compare ourselves to other people, but not as readily. We’re not seeing so many people and what they’re up to all the time the way we do with social media. It can make you feel like you’re the one doing it wrong.”

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EssayJake UittiBARE
A 30/30 Vision

Seattle music producer Ryan Lewis, one half of the Grammy-winning rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, remembers telling his elementary school class that his mother was HIV-positive. Julie Lewis, now a 35-year survivor, contracted the virus in 1984 from a blood transfusion during the complicated birth of her first daughter, Teresa.

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Opportunities To Succeed

San Francisco Mayor London Breed knows the importance of community support at the right time.

A native of the Bay Area, Breed grew up in the Western Addition housing project in San Francisco. However, an internship with the nonprofit Family School when she was a teenager helped change her life.

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Artists In Residence: Macklemore Helps Seattle-Area Youths Gain Experience In The Music Industry

WHEN BEN HAGGERTY WAS 7 YEARS OLD, he already knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. The Seattle-based emcee/rapper, now better known as Macklemore, was aware even at this young age that he wanted to be onstage with a microphone, hearing his voice boom through speakers as he shared his music with an audience. Now, 28 years later, in the midst of his Grammy-winning career, Macklemore is helping to make similar dreams come true for young musicians through The Residency, a music-education program born in the city where he made a name for himself. Macklemore’s work with this program, which is supported by Alaska Airlines and other local organizations, reflects his broader interests in giving back to his community and providing opportunities for aspiring musical artists.

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Path of the Storm

It’s late in practice Thursday afternoon, and the Seattle Storm has just finished scrimmaging. Team members, legs tired, sweat dripping, line up around the basket to take free throws. It’s in these worn-out moments when mental and physical precision are key, after all. After a round of shots, Storm coach Dan Hughes brings his squad in for one more talk before dismissing them for the day. Practice is over.

But not for Breanna Stewart.

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Like guerrilla outposts packed with tallboy Rainier cans and old guitar cases, the venues invite people out of  their apartments to fill small rooms and play at open mics across Seattle. In Fremont, Mo’ Jam hosts weekly improvised group jams. In Capitol Hill, Capitol Cider hosts regular open mics in its basement. In Ballard, Conor Byrne has long kept its open mic going. In Wallingford, the Seamonster is an oasis for jams. And in  Columbia City, the community has turned the open mic into an art form.

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EssayJake UittiSSE
A little stop along the Texas highway where Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean stayed while shooting the 1955 film "Giant."

In tiny Marfa, Texas, the buildings across the skyline don’t get too tall. The comfortable little town is about as far away from glitzy New York City or Los Angeles as you can get in most respects. But, in one way, the hamlet shares a little bit of history with those international metropolises. In 1955, maybe the most famous trio in Hollywood history graced the dusty streets of Marfa to make a movie.

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A Changing Of The Guards

In the final home game of the 2017 season, the WNBA Seattle Storm caught a promising glimpse of its future. Although the Storm lost that game to the Phoenix Mercury, the Storm’s young star guard, Jewell Loyd, scored a career-high 33 points and raised many eyebrows, including those belonging to teammate and shoo-in Hall of Fame point guard Sue Bird.

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The Perfect Storm: WNBA Team the Seattle Storm Ignites Social Justice

Traditionally, professional athletes aren’t known for speaking their minds, though that’s beginning to change. Their personal opinions often remain private to protect an endorsement—or three. Of course, there’s the apocryphal story of Michael Jordan saying, “Republicans buy sneakers, too,” when asked about a political opinion he did not want to give. But there are professional athletes who speak their minds and stand up in the face of social and political injustice. And they’re often women.

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The Dirty Little Secrets That Keep Morning Radio Thriving in Seattle

It’s about 10 a.m. on a Monday, and Carla Marie and Anthony have just finished their four-hour morning show on Seattle FM station, POWER 93.3. But the day’s work isn’t over yet. Their producer, Hoody, has a caller on the line for the duo’s regular signature segment, “Dirty Little Secret.” The call patched into the studio is from a truck driver from Washington who has six girlfriends in six different cities around the country on his route. The titillating details might make your average person’s jaw drop, but your average person isn’t tasked with being quick-witted and chatty on a daily basis.

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EssayJake UittiThe Stranger
Seattle’s Free Community-Based Festivals Are Wrestling With a Cash-Strapped Future

There’s no shortage of music festivals in the Pacific Northwest—least of all in the Seattle area. With a population of just over 650,000, the city supports an unusually large number of festivals, from Bumbershoot to Capitol Hill Block Party, Doe Bay, Timber, and many others. This week the city will experience perhaps the most ambitious effort yet: Upstream Music Fest, the Paul Allen brainchild featuring 300 acts and panels on everything under the sun.

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