Sound Off! Semifinals #2 Musicians Bleed Their Way to the Finals

By Alden Nagel

Thee Samedi 2014

At the Sound Off! Semifinals #2 , the entire night built up, transmigrating itself from making one feel like bit of moss on the side of a tree on a warm, breezy spring morning to the hard-rocked, fiery hellfire that the Skychurch was always meant to be. It was fun as all damn. Sound Off! may have just been one of the best, most fun concerts I have ever attended, and, very possibly, one of the best I will ever attend — seriously.

After a late start of more than half an hour, the first act, Manatee Commune, went up to much praise for an act finally starting. Hailing from Bellingham, this electronic artist combines ambience and downtempo, along with some bright, contrapuntal synthesizer action to create a very airy, happy, peaceful, and overall chillaxed feel. Manatee Commune also played both electric guitar and acoustic viola during his live set, which was quite cool.

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Round One Musicians Set the Stage for Sound Off! 2014

​Winner: Laser Fox, Wild Card: Dames

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Sound Off! — the EMP’s annual under-21 battle of the bands competition — didn’t present your stereotypical bands this past Saturday night. The first round of the semifinals gave a little taste of everything.

“Y’all rocking with us?” was the question asked during the first performance of the competition as Tommy Cassidy took the stage. And yes, Tommy Cassidy, we were all rocking with you. The group, composed of the frontman and his band, is a diverse bunch with their incorporation of saxophone and trumpet harmonies into hip hop. If you ever wondered what Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” would sound like with a band, Tommy Cassidy is it.

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My Playlist

​The Little Treasures of TeenTix Press Corps Writer Layne M.

About the DJ: My name is Layne, and I am an inhabitant of West Seattle by week and downtown by weekend. I live a hectic life full of unique adventures and wonderful experiences. I am a city girl so I am used to the hustling, bustling, ever-changing world that is life in general. Though I am usually on the move, there are some things that have stuck with me. I must say, I am very happy that they haven't even been whisked away by the swiftness of the crowds around me. Here are just a few of the little treasures that I hold very dear in the playlist of my life.

1. Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins OK, typically I am not a country fan as I can't really take the boo-hooing of unrequited love. But Marty Robbins has revolutionized the way I look at it with his great story-telling prowess mixed with his “lone ranger” voice. I am simply entranced by Robbins and his stories. Only he can tell a story in a 4-minute song better than most people can in a whole novel.

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A Paragon of Ballet

​Review of The Sleeping Beauty at Pacific Northwest Ballet by Leon J.

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Picture a stage. Picture a baroque-inspired set with tall pillars and marble sets. Purple, blue, and green lighting illuminates purple, blue, and green-dressed dancers as the curtain rises, giving everything a slightly ethereal look. The music swells. The dance begins.

So starts Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of Tchaikovsky's iconic The Sleeping Beauty. A three-act ballet (with an additional prologue) based on the famous fairy tale, The Sleeping Beauty is a paragon of ballet.

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Pick of the Week!

​The Northwest Royale 2014: 2-on-2 Breaking Tournament at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute


The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute welcomes breakers from across the Northwest Region to battle in a unique competition. Each b-boy/b-girl will be randomly paired with a partner the day of the event and then have to dance with that partner to proceed through the rounds. Each dancer will be given a cash amount for participating that they'll then wager in their battles, with bets eventually adding up to their prize for winning.

​The Northwest Royale 2014: 2-on-2 Breaking Tournament Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute February 8, 5 - 10 p.m.

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Weird of the Week!

​The Room Nobody Knows at On the Boards

This weekend, On the Boards offers a theater experience unlike any other — one that involves a miniature set, pig faces, and giant phalluses. Directed by a psychiatrist who has decided to leave his practice to become an artist, The Room Nobody Knows promises to be a show unlike any your own mind could imagine. It has been described as experimental, surreal, psycho-erotic, and bizarre. So if you're up for something a little outside the norm, check it out.

Though the show is technically sold out, On the Boards is offering a waitlist exclusive to TeenTix users for the following performances: Feb. 6, 8:00 p.m. Feb. 7, 8:00 p.m. Feb. 8, 8:00 p.m.

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Not One-sided, Black and White, or Villains and Heroes

​Review of A Great Wilderness at Seattle Repertory Theatre by Anika

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A Great Wilderness tells the story of Walt, played by Michael Winters, who has spent his life counseling young boys out of their homosexuality at a remote summer camp in the woods. Walt is aging, and he is taking one last boy before moving into an assisted living home. This last boy, played by Jack Taylor, disappears, influencing the events that transpire during the rest of the show. This play features questions of aging, religion, and self-acceptance.

From the moment you walk into the theater, you are transported to a cabin in the woods. The set is so beautifully designed, with an amazing number of intricacies, that it is hard to pull yourself out of the play. The team at Seattle Repertory Theatre put good work into ensuring that the show was everything that it could be aesthetically. Furthermore, this is a beautiful, extremely well-cast play. Every single actor seems to have a deep understanding of their character, and the work put into making the show believable and compelling is apparent throughout. Normally, I am kind of put off by an excessive amount of overly-dramatic moments (e.g., frequent crying and deep conversations) because I believe they can get old fast and can make the important moments less striking, but I found that the drama was done so well in this show that I wasn’t bothered by the number of head-in-hands, let’s-talk-about-death moments. The cast is truly all-star, and I think that this group of actors could carry almost anything and do it well, but the writing is so good it could stand on its own as well. Playwright Samuel D. Hunter has written complex characters who are all but dull. I walked into this show expecting to see the story of a fanatic, hard-to-empathize-with, hyper-religious man whose entire life is dedicated to torturing away homosexuality. I imagined that this man would come to realize his wrong-doings with the help of a charismatic, intelligent young boy. This was not the case. Hunter writes characters who reject any and all stereotypes. They are not one-sided, black and white, or villains and heroes. I felt deeply for each character, and I came to understand each of their situations. This show does not feel like an attack on any belief system or group, nor did it seem to present an obvious moral. Rather it presents the audience with a question that is up to us to answer. I highly recommend A Great Wilderness to anyone. I think that it serves as a good catalyst for conversation and is truly one of the most thought-provoking theater experiences that I’ve had in a while. Every element of the show stands out — from the set to the actors to the writing — so please, go and see all three.

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My Playlist

Current Favorites of TeenTix Editor-in-Chief Kali Swenson

1. Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart I sort of forgot about Gary Shteyngart in the time since his last novel Super Sad True Love Story was published. But his silly book trailer featuring James Franco, Rashida Jones, and more caught my interest enough to attend his hilarious reading at Town Hall a few weeks ago and start on his new memoir, Little Failure. Now I just can’t put down my copy (signed “To Kali, with best wishes” with all i’s dotted by hearts next to a rudimentary drawing of presumably my heart with his arrow shooting straight through it), even as I dread its end.

2. Her I’ve seen this movie twice already, with totally different viewing experiences and post-movie conversations each time. It’s incredibly nuanced and thought-provoking, and I keep wanting my thoughts to be provoked. I plan to see this again and again, though I think my wallet will thank me if I wait until its release on DVD/Bluray/however I'm supposed to be watching movies these days.

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Pick of the Week!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail — Teens Special at SIFF

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Ever dreamed of a world with only other teenagers? Well, that world might be hard to find, but a little taste of it can be had at SIFF tonight.

They're hosting a special screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail to which only teens are allowed! For $5 (with or without a TeenTix pass) teens can view the classic film in a fun, interactive, and other-age-group-free way.

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Why Do I Feel Like Everybody is Getting Great Jobs and I Am Just Sitting Here Eating a Taco?

​Review of American Wee-Pie at Seattle Public Theater by Tracy Montes

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Have you ever thought of trying Oaxacan mole flavored cupcakes? Or savory wasabi cupcakes with framboise? American Wee-Pie invites you to discover the wonderful possibilities in life when you open up to new things, opportunities, and flavors.

Lisa Dillman’s American Wee-Pie takes place in a “dead end” town as Zed (Evan Whitfield) returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his mother. As a middle-aged adult, Zed’s life is at the pinnacle of dreariness, with a sprinkle of despair. He is a textbook editor who seems tired all the time. As the play unfolds, little by little Zed learns to open up to new possibilities that will ultimately change his life.

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A Laugh-filled Time, Completely Worth the Hurt the Next Morning

​Review of Upside Downton at Jet City Improv by Griffin Scott-Rifer


Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey. I love all of the drama, romance, and, of course, the beautiful costumes. Jet City Improv’s new improvised take on the show, entitled Upside Downton, has all of these plus hilarious mockery of the show I love.

I know that Downton Abbey is over-the-top dramatic, and Jet City’s take on it made me laugh at that fact. I loved Molly Arkin’s hilarious turn as Lady Eleanor, a Lady Mary-esque countess who won’t reveal who the father of her unborn child is because she was too drunk to remember.

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Jaunty Baroque Rhythms and Just a Tiny Bit of Nirvana

​Review of Seattle Baroque Orchestra Presents 'Dresden Concertos' with Rachel Barton Pine by River Valadez


After walking into Town Hall Seattle and sitting down to watch the pre-performance lecture given by Rachel Barton Pine, a stunningly odd instrument revealed itself: a violin-looking thing with a multitude of strings and an awfully large head stock. What must it be? The viola d’amore! This instrument of the violin string family was born in the 1700s and popularized around the same time.

With viola d’amore in hand, Rachel Barton Pine — player of the night and virtuoso — baroque the house down! It was hard to Handel her amazing performance of Vivaldi and others.

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Music is Meant for Young People

​An Interview with Rachel Barton Pine


Rachel Barton Pine is an accomplished young violinist whose musical interests cross genres, incorporating classical, baroque, and heavy metal music. This Saturday, she will be conducting the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and performing works by Vivaldi, Pisendel, Telemann, and Handel all while playing the viola d’amore. Rachel currently is on a worldwide tour, but Audrey L. of the TeenTix Press Corps got the chance to interview her about her musical perspective and upcoming concert.

Can you describe your musical background? When did you start the violin and how has your career transformed since then?

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14 plays in 48 hours? Hell ya.

​Review of 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival by Alden Nagel

14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival is a 48-hour festival in which 14 plays are written, cast, directed, rehearsed, scored, designed, and premiered all within those two days. The 14/48 Festival at ACT is renowned for its ability to produce a plethora of plays at a breakneck speed, being able to produce them quite well, and put on a great show all the while.

And last weekend — the first of two making up the entire festival — 14/48 did exactly that! The plays, each unique to the nights they were performed, were all very energetic, if not in movement, then in emotion and thematic progress. And they were all very well played-out, more or less. The 14 shows, as a whole, were a solid mix of both comedy and drama. Some were written better than others, I have to admit, but both nights began and ended well, that’s for sure.

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A Zany, Crazy, Unfettered Opera

​Review of Jerry Springer: The Opera by Balagan Theatre by Mobird

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“Want it to be just like old times, with baby Jesus by my side, I want my old wings back as well, wanna get out of this dump called Hell, but first and most importantly, I want a f-ing apology!” So says Satan in this zany, crazy, unfettered opera in which Jerry Springer — of the famously raucous talk show — has a day that is, quite literally, hell. The poor man has to deal with a crazily obsessed warm-up man, guests who act completely insane, and a very annoying inner Valkyrie. That's enough to send anyone over the edge!

However, after dealing with a bisexual man who is cheating on the woman he is cheating on his fiancée with, a man who wants to be his baby's baby, and a red-neck who is part of the tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan, Jerry doesn’t get to just go home and sleep. The Prince of Darkness recruits Jerry to put on a special show for him after our host is shot in order to get an apology from Jesus. Now, there are two rules he gives Jerry: 1) read the cue cards and 2) get that apology. If Jerry doesn’t get the Devil the apology, he will have barbed wire shoved into the most unsavory of places. The Devil really steals the show. Sean Nelson, formerly of Seattle indie-rock band Harvey Danger, plays the Prince of Darkness, and he has a simply phenomenal voice that brings tremendous power and, dare I say, sex appeal to his dastardly role. Costumed in a deep purple smoking jacket, he reminds us all that "everyone must go down" in the end. Between threatening Jerry with barbed wire and awkwardly slow-dancing with God, Nelson as Satan really captured my interest. His range is astounding, and his lung capacity stole my heart. I have rarely seen or heard someone with lungs like his, and that was enough of a treat for me that I'm going to go back to see Jerry Springer: The Opera a second time! Now, this isn’t a show for the novice theater-goer, or for the under-17 crowd. Nor is it a show you would take your conservative parents or your significant other’s family to. This is a show you go to so you can laugh at everyone, relax, cuss your heart out, and generally have a blast. I leave you with the final words of Jerry himself: “It’s been a hell of a day. I’ve learned that there are no absolutes of good and evil and we all live in a glorious state of flux. What can I say? You’re not looking at a dying man here… you’re looking at yourselves in a matter of months or years or whatever. And for better or worse, history defines us by what we do, and what we choose not to do. Hopefully, what will survive of us is love. So, until the next time, take care of yourselves and each other.”

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The King of History Plays

​Review of Richard II by Seattle Shakespeare Company by Bethany Boyd

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What’s the first play you think of when I say Shakespeare? One of the tragedies like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth? Or one of the comedies, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing? Most likely, you don’t think of Richard II, a history play about the life and death of a king of England. Is that memorable yet? No? You’re right. If that was all there is to this play, I wouldn’t have much to say about it. But Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II is one of the most moving Shakespearean plays I’ve ever seen. The poetic King Richard (played by George Mount) starts strong in his rule, but he slowly crumbles as the play progresses. The vulnerable ruler loses everything but earns the audience's attention with a final realization. Set in a classic time period with elaborate costumes, you don’t necessarily feel like you’re sitting through a history or that you’re learning something. Instead, it’s a moving drama with heroes, villains, and action. The set is a single throne that is moved, lit, and used dynamically throughout the play. The simplistic design of the chair with the lights is the perfect portrayal of the play. It’s a perfect piece to set the story around, as the crown and throne go hand-in-hand. As Richard falls from favor, he loses his place, and instead of sitting in the throne he lies, crumbled, before it. Even though I loved the entire production, you should know what you’re getting yourself into; it’s a two and a half hours long history play that is rarely performed. Though there are fights, sabotage, banishment, and even murder, you may find your focus wandering during some parts. If you’re looking for quick entertainment and drama, this may not be the best choice (maybe try The Bachelor). But if you’re up for an investment, you will find this production to be rewarding. Instead of a shallow plot and quick thrills, Richard II pulls you into the king’s story and his head. With poeticism and quick wit, this production is more than just a history play. It’s a masterpiece.

Richard II Seattle Shakespeare Company January 8-February 2

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Only an Inch

​Review of Hedwig and the Angry Inch by Balagan Theatre by Degraceful

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Have you ever seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show? If you have, and it didn’t scare you, then you’d probably enjoy seeing Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Moore Theatre (running for only 3 more days!).

Okay, I know all you’re thinking about right now is “What’s the angry inch?” But I can’t tell you. Not because it’s a big secret or anything — if you ask anyone else (particularly anyone from Jinkx Monsoon’s cult following), they’ll tell you immediately — I just can’t bring myself to type what it is.

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Chloe & Iman + ArtsWest

​TeenTix members Chloe and Iman describe their first trip to ArtsWest

All month long, we'll be sharing these videos of TeenTix members talking about memorable arts experiences, so check back often. Without the financial support of the families who use TeenTix, like yours, these kinds of experiences would be out of reach for most teens. We are working to raise $5,000 by December 31st.

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Oh My Gosh…This is Entirely Made of Paper.

​Review of A World of Paper, A World of Fashion: Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny at Bellevue Arts Museum by Ivy R.

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In contrast to the brutal cold weather on Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane, the Bellevue Arts Museum is immediately welcoming with its warm, fresh, and modern atmosphere. On the third floor awaits your transportation into a vast new world, “A World of Paper, A World of Fashion” to be specific. The first observation of the exhibition to be taken in — simple but significant — are the colors. A wide variety of deep reds, eccentric aqua, and accenting silver and golds are present on these beautiful articles of clothing. Stepping in to view closer (if you’re fortunate enough to not have security breathing down your back) an obvious realization hits, “Oh my gosh...this is entirely made of paper.” Isabelle de Borchgrave’s intricate folds, crumples, and molds make a cohesive collection of clothes any girl would desire to try on herself. Walking through each section is like taking a visit back in time to Greek, Indonesian, Japanese, African, and Islamic cultures. One type of dress that is very prevalent throughout the exhibition is the Delphos Dress (Grecian style wear). A delicately hand-pleated dress that elegantly falls to the ground is accessorized with a thin piece of overlaying silk. Photographs of Mariano Fortuny's designs hang throughout the room, so one is able to witness an almost identical resemblance with Borchgrave’s masterpieces. Who is Fortuny you may ask? Fortuny is, in short, the backbone of Borchgrave’s inspiration in this collection. Think of him as today’s Versace, Fortuny was the leading designer of the early 20th century (Fun fact: influential women such as Natacha Rambova, aka Valentino’s wife, were known to wear his designs!). He died known as a legendary textile and clothing designer, and fortunately through Borchgrave, his remarkable works (originally made with luxury textiles such as silk, velvets, and chiffons) are brought back to life through paper. I guarantee you’ll leave BAM with at least three distinct thoughts after experiencing this exhibition: How long did it take Borchgrave to make all of that clothing? How was it transported there?! I can’t believe that was all made from paper…

So go ahead and experience a history of fashion through the blend of Borchgrave and Fortuny at Bellevue Arts Museum, and leave not only mesmerized but hopefully inspired by the art of fashion — paper or not.

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A Deliciously Great Place to Be

​Review of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-o-Vision at SIFF by Kali Swenson

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Goodie bags are usually given out at the end of a party, but goodie bags are just the beginning at SIFF’s screenings of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in Smell-o-Vision.

The little red bags, containing an assortment of seemingly random items, are the key to a scrumdiddlyumptious time. At first, the contents appear nonsensical, but everything falls into place as soon as the film begins. SIFF has perfectly orchestrated a viewing experience rivaling what Wonka might have created himself.

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