These Seattle University Salmon are Deep Sea Divin’ for Upstream’s Friday Lineup

This will be my first time attending a music festival and, with over one hundred PNW artists playing at more than twenty stages on Friday, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I’ll be so hyped up that I will definitely need a nap by lunch time. Here’s a preview of what to expect at Pioneer Square this Friday.


At 5:00 p.m., the Main Stage at CenturyLink Field will feature the dreamy power pop-rock tunes of Deep Sea Diver, the band of former Shins guitarist Jessica Dobson, whose sophomore album, Secrets, made waves last year. Later in the night at 10:00 p.m., Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison), the grand-nephew of the infamous jazz musician John Coltrane, will take the stage playing his jazz-inspired experimental hip hop that has garnered international attention.

If you want to keep that pop-infused rock ‘n roll going after seeing Deep Sea Diver, check out Seattle trio Tangerine play one of their last shows before moving to the City of Angels at the Buttnick Building on 1st Ave at 9:00 p.m. At 8:15 p.m., the set just before Tangerine is electro-soul singer JusMoni, whose most recent project, JusMoni as Saffroniaa, is packed with melodies and rhythms from both Cambodian and African origins.

On the same block as the Buttnick Building, you’ll find the Comedy Underground, where newly-signed Hardly Art band Dude York, known for their energetic, pop-powered live shows, and Portland-based indie rock band The Thermals will be headlining the Showbox’s curated set at 8:15 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., respectively.

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If you want to keep the down-tempo rhythms and trance-like flow going after seeing JusMoni, Seattle transplant Christy Karefa-Johnson of DoNormaal is playing the Brick Lane Records stage at Court in the Square at 9:00 p.m. Later in the night at 11:15p.m., Nathan Quiroga and Benjamin Verdoes of Iska Dhaaf (which roughly translates from Somali to “let it go”) are closing out the set with their experimental, genre-bending songs from recent release The Wanting Creature, which deals with loss, instability, and desire.

We’re big fans of J GRGRY over here at KXSU. If you want to dance to some dreamy, dark pop, head on over to the Galvanize Basement on 1st and Jackson at 6:00 p.m. Want to learn more about J GRGRY? Check out my interview with him from last December here! Gazebos will close out the MoWave curated stage at 11:00 p.m., where you can hear the cool timbre of lead singer Shannon Perry against lo-fi instrumentals that are really hard not to love.

Photo by Emma Pierce

Both SassyBlack and ParisAlexa played the KXSU lounge this past year (check out Craig’s feature on Cat of SassyBlack here!), and both will be performing at the Martyr Sauce stage Friday night. SassyBlack (formerly of R&B/hip hop duo THEESatisfaction) is the solo project of Cat Harris-White, whose recent release, No More Weak Dates, made waves in mainstream media. She’s got a new release, New Black Swing, slated for release on June 23, 2017. Her psychedelic, bluesy music is sure to stick with you for days after seeing her live. 18-year-old singer-songwriter ParisAlexa infuses her tracks with powerful lyrics and infectious melodies, all while looping her voice to create a song on the spot. Check her out at 9:00 p.m., followed by SassyBlack at midnight.

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Other artists to see on Friday include FKL, Jamie Blake, WILD POWWERS, Bill Laurance and Great Grandpa.

Before the local music kicks off, the WaMu Theater at CenturyLink Field will feature several hour-long discussions on the themes of globalization, data & analysis, streaming, and industry collision. You’ll be able to hear Macklemore talk about his global success within a local context, as well as Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready talk about how artists can achieve their goals. Here’s a few sessions you might be interested in:


From Smurfs to Star Trek: Composer Ron Jones on the Business of Music (Keynote)

Emmy- and GRAMMY-nominated prolific television and film composer Ron Jones will open the Friday Summit at 10:00 a.m. After decades of writing memorable music (Star Trek: The Next Generation, anyone?), he now trains young professionals at his new recording facility, SkyMuse Studios. In his talk, Ron Jones will discuss how even the most successful artists will need to figure out how to hustle across industries.

How Local Artists Go Global and Global Artists Stay Local (Keynote)

Macklemore will close out the Keynote sessions Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with an in depth conversation that explores how he and Ryan Lewis were able to bring their unique sound and brand to the world. Journalist Elliott Wilson will be interviewing Ben Haggerty about the many opportunities and challenges facing artists in today’s landscape. 

Become the Music: Figure Out What’s Most Important To You (and Your Audience)

Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) & Ron Jones will sit down together twice—11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.—and tap into their collective decades of experience creating music, and discuss what every artist needs to understand about achieving your musical goals. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame DJ Marco Collins will moderate.

The Community of Music: Cultivating Creative Spaces to Foster the Next Generation

Twice on Friday—11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.—Seattle University music professor Dr. Quinton Morris will be joined by representatives from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture and musician Daniel Pak (Kore Ionz) to discuss how professional artists can become teaching artists, can participate in the creation of creative community spaces, and can help foster the next generation of arts and culture in their communities.

Faces in the Crowd: Filtering Through the Key Players

Tacocat bassist Bree McKenna, David Price, and Shea Chappel from the artist management team Votiv will talk at both 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. about how, when, and why an artist should begin to build a team to support their needs.

Check out all the Friday Summit sessions here!

EMMA PIERCE | Probably napping | KXSU Music Reporter

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