Not only is Seattle home to the 2014 Super Bowl champion Seahawks, but it’s also home to one of the most prolific music scenes in the U.S. The list of Seattle musicians spans many genres and many eras, and an interesting music / Super Bowl connection is that the owner of the Seahawks, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, also financed Seattle’s EMP Museum originally known as Experience Music Project.
Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1923, and Quincy Jones moved to Seattle as a young boy in the 1940s. But perhaps Seattle is most identified with Jimi Hendrix. Here is a mash-up video of Jimi’s best charting single, his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”.
Hendrix is a tough act to follow, but Seattle also gave birth to Grunge, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was born not far away in Aberdeen, Washington. Nirvana was chosen for the 2014 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, and this is the song that began an era.
A Seattle oddity of the 1990’s was The Presidents of the United States of America. Their biggest hit was “Peaches”, but it’s hard to beat “Lump” for a great hook. After watching the original, check out Weird Al’s “Gump”.
A current Seattle favorite, and feature of an earlier blog post, is blue-eyed soul singer Allen Stone, but at the recent Grammy Awards a big winner was rapper Macklemore. Pardon the language in this video, but nearly a half-billion people have viewed the unpretentious sense of humor of this new phenom.
Last week the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for the class of 2014. You can see the full list and contribute to this year’s fan ballot on the Rolling Stone magazine website. To be eligible for induction an artist or band must have released its first record 25 years ago, but many of this year’s nominees are still putting out new music.
Nirvana is nominated this year; their first single “Love Buzz” was released in 1988. Dave Grohl wasn’t with the band at that time, he joined in 1990, but he has carried the torch as a prolific musician, producer and filmmaker. And here’s “Love Buzz” in case you’ve never heard it.
Chic is also up this year, nominated for the eighth time. Nile Rodgers’ funky guitar was a central part of Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” CD released earlier this year – maybe that will put Chic over the top this time around.
Hall & Oates are on the ballot, and Daryl Hall is planning to add more episodes to his series “Live at Daryl’s House” soon.
The Zombies first became eligible for induction in 1989 (just when Nirvana was getting started!) but are nominated for the first time this year. The classic “She’s Not There” was released in 1964, and “Time of the Season” followed in 1968. Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, the core of The Zombies, released “Breathe Out, Breathe In” in 2011 with some jazz-inflected tunes featuring Rod’s fantastic keyboard work and Colin’s clean vocals. Check out this very retro video for “Time of the Season”, and see the gray-maned men still at it after 50 years.