Seattle's Supremely Lovable Adra Boo on Pride and Playing GAYEXP

Seattle’s Adra Boo is supremely lovable. Just ask anyone who’s spent time with her in any creative capacity. She’s buoyant. She’s thoughtful. She’s honest. And she’s integral to the Emerald City music community, whether she’s fronting a project like Fly Moon Royalty, emceeing a festival like Timber! or giving advice on the side in the green room. We caught up with the musical dynamo to preview the gig and to ask her who she’s listening to these days, how her identity as a queer woman informs her art, and when she started singing.

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
LEFT AT LONDON ON BEING YOURSELF, NO MATTER WHAT

Seattle’s Nat Puff – aka Left At London, aka l@l – makes beautiful, often spare pop music. And while the songwriter is open about very personal things in her life, like depression, mental illnesses and her identity as a trans woman, Puff’s music is more than the sum of even these vast and nuanced parts. Her song, “Revolution Lover,” off the Transgender Street Legend Vol. 1 EP, sounds like an early Kanye West track with high-register samples and it’s followed up with the acoustic and drum-driven, “I Split My Ribs Open,” featuring the beloved renowned rapper Open Mike Eagle. Puff’s first EP includes the bubble gum sticky, “Felt Like I Had Died,” and hearing it, you know Left At London is destined for great sonic things. We caught up with the artist to ask her about recording her very first song, spending time in a mental hospital, writing poetry and what the idea of love means to her.

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Seattle’s Merrilee Rush Looks Back at Her Hit "Angel of the Morning"

Just over 50 years ago, the song, “Angel of the Morning,” hit the national airwaves and turned Seattle’s Merrilee Rush into a household name.

The song, composed in 1966 and released in 1968, rocketed up the charts and has since been recorded by dozens (read: countless) of other artists. Rush, who came up in the Emerald City, singing popular teenage dances in local venues, lends her giant, golden voice to the track, which has since been placed in television and movie soundtracks like 1978’s Fingers, starring Harvey Keitel. We caught up with Rush, who recently turned 75, to talk about her origins as an artist in the Northwest, how she came to sing the iconic track and what she learned throughout her career. 

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
The Cult's Ian Astbury on His Life in Music

Ian Astbury speaks slowly, methodically. The front man for the historic British rock band The Cult, which plays Monday at The Moore Theatre, is thoughtful when he recounts his early introduction to music. For the Liverpool-born artist, the Beatles played a big role in his beginnings as a songwriter, but then his horizons expanded as a result of his exposure to David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. The Cult, which has significant collaborative connections with bands like Metallica, The Clash, Guns ‘N’ Roses and the Beastie Boys, has also been an influence to so many bands following their lead.

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
Interview // The Longer I’m on this Boat: A Conversation with Sierra Golden

Northwest writer Sierra Golden composes bare-knuckle poetry. Reading Golden, who was born in Alaska and spent summers fishing commercially, is like pulling up galoshes, throwing on a coat and preparing for a back alley brawl with the elements. Hers is a keen eye for worn things and linguistic gut punches. With her astonishing collection, The Slow Art, in tow, Golden has proven her poetic prowess through storytelling and unique details, which is exactly why we wanted to catch up with the author and talk with her about what she learned living on boats for months, how fishing informed her physicality, and if she ever felt in danger at sea. 

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Culinary Change Agent

For Los Angeles–based chef Roy Choi, who is often credited with spearheading the modern high-quality food truck movement, and who has dedicated his life to feeding people of all walks of life, real societal change happens with each basket of produce sold and each plate of food served. Choi’s TV show, Broken Bread, which launched in May, aims to prove this point.

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Music Heals: Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus on a Lifetime of Addiction

New Jersey-based songwriter, Patrick Stickles, has led a life oversaturated with substances. From the age of five, he’s been on drugs in some form or another. The verbal, eloquent musician, who fronts the band, Titus Andronicus, however, is candid about his experiences. He’s an open book, nervous but unashamed to speak on his experiences both as an artist and as a user and consumer of drugs, both elicit and prescribed. We caught up with Stickles to talk with him about his decades as a drug user and to ask him how making music helps him cope with his addictions and his neurodiversity. 

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
The First Nurse Featured on TED Talks Launches Society For Nurse Entrepreneurs, Innovators

Rebecca Love, the first nurse to give a TEDx talk and the founder of many businesses including HireNurses.com, spoke with us about her inspirations, why she became a nurse and how the support from her mother, who is also a nurse, changed her life and likely the lives of many others.  

The Massachusetts-based nurse is as passionate as they come. In one way, she is driven by a myriad of projects and the dream of helping all nurses find a better way to do their job. But in another way, Love is driven by a single idea: to elevate the public perception of nurses to ensure that the job of bedside caregiver doesn’t go extinct. 

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SIFF PRESENTS DOCUMENTARY ON PRISON BASKETBALL TEAM

Produced in part by NBA All-Star and former Seattle Super Sonic Kevin Durant, Q Ball profiles a handful of men whose crimes range from domestic abuse to gun possession to murder. While many of their crimes are severe, Q Ball paints a picture of at-times broken people in real need of love, support and rehabilitation. Prison, after all, is a place where people should reform and at San Quentin, for many, that reformation happens through sport and competition.

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ReviewsJake UittiSSE
Rainn Wilson on Music, Education, and What Bands Dwight Would Listen To

Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the acclaimed American TV show The Office, is a Northwest treasure. The writer, actor, and comedian, who grew up outside Seattle, is bright, eloquent and goofy. He is compelling and odd. And, this month, Wilson will host an eclectic night of entertainment May 30th at the Paramount Theatre to support Mona Foundation, an organization that works to fund education and educational programs in impoverished, underserved areas. Wilson, who has worked with the foundation for years, says that education is a fundamental reason for his own success and, as a result, he wants to pass that gift on to others. To preview the May 30th event, we caught up with Wilson to ask him about his love of music, when he first heard The Clash, and what he’s exploring these days, creatively. 

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
Storytelling & the Silver Lining: Neko Case Invites Us Into the "Little Apartment" Of Her Songs

It’s hard to imagine that someone with such a powerful voice can be so understated, but that’s exactly how the great Neko Case comports herself in conversation. If you ask her about her range, the startlingly beautiful-voiced songwriter will say her voice isn’t that powerful, differing to others she adores. If you ask her about her intricate songwriting, she’ll compare it to a card table with puzzle pieces strewn all over. And if you ask her about her dog — who recently saved her life (more on that below) — she’ll coo and call him a good boy! This is what it’s like to talk to the stunning musician, who we caught up with to preview her upcoming show on June 1st at The Gorge Amphitheater with Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris. 

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
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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Victoria Legrand of Beach House on the Sacredness of Fireflies and (Much) More

Baltimore, Maryland-based dream pop band, Beach House, will play Seattle’s Moore Theatre on May 8th and 9th. That means for two evenings, the city will be vastly enriched by the group’s fantastical sounds, which are part-Goth waltz and part-glittering sonic castles. Beach House, which formed in 2004, released its latest LP, 7, a year ago. The album features an array of songs that offer the mind a cloud-hammock to lay in and explore existence in a more pleasant state. To preview the upcoming shows, we caught up with Beach House’s front woman, singer and keyboardist, Victoria Legrand, to talk with her about her origins in singing, how Beach House has stayed together now for 15 years, and what she remembers most from conversations with her fans.

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Q&AJake UittiKEXP
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.

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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.

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