Tag Archives: Tacoma Music

Guest Post. Concert Review: Stephanie Anne Johnson

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On May 22, 2015 I had the pleasure of listening to Stephanie Anne Johnson in her performance entitled, Jazz Life Evolution at the Tacoma Youth Theater, located on Broadway in Tacoma. The intimate performance began before a small audience as she sang favorites such as The Girl From Ipanema, Henry Mancini’s Moon River, Billie Holiday’s Them There Eyes, and a moving performance of Georgia On My Mind. As she invoked the musical stylings of Ray Charles and Billie Holiday, her smooth and melodic voice rang. She ended the first act with a song from her Portland Opera performance of Show Boat, Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine. The first half of the concert provided audiences with delightful songs that provoked them to dance in their seats when she kicked up the pace and sway to and fro when things slowed down.

In addition to performing jazz classics, Johnson also entertained the audience with performances from musicals such as Porgy and Bess and The Wiz. It was hard not to mouth the words to Summertime. Her stand up bass player, Nate Omdal, collaborated with Johnson to arrange a stylistic version of My Man’s Gone, taking George Gershwin’s song and adapting it to their cool style of jazz. Omdal had also wrote charts for the show.

The jazz quartet accompanied perfectly with her soulful voice. In addition to Nate Omdal on the stand up bass, the jazz quartet included: Chris Carlson on the drums, Todd Hollenhorst on keyboard and Navarre Herrara on guitar. Their performance synced with Johnson’s amazing voice and provided excellent stage presence before the audience.

No one in the audience would be able to forget Johnson’s incredible closing song from the musical, The Wiz as she sang Believe in Yourself. With heart and soul, her love and passion for music filled the air from the beginning to the end of her final performance, moving eager listeners to hear the message in the song. Applause lingered as she exited the stage, hoping for an encore performance. With her second album entitled Hollatchagurl, and her appearance on The Voice, one can expect to see an up and coming successful career for Stephanie Anne Johnson.

– Renee Lishka

Renee Lishka is a graduate from the University of Washington Tacoma. She lives in Tacoma with her husband of twelve years, two daughters Laura and Emmy and a cat named Bentley.

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5 Question Friday With Patrick Smith From Splatterhouse Wreckords

Tacoma has always had a constantly changing music scene. If you go to a random bar in Tacoma on a weekend, you don’t know what sort of music you might find. It could be one lone girl with an acoustic guitar or it could be a full on punk band with a style all their own. Patrick Smith knows that Tacoma is full of great musicians. That’s why he started Splatterhouse Wreckords. He took some time out of his schedule to join us for 5 Question Friday and tell us a little about himself, his label, and his bands.

1. How did Splatterhouse Wreckords get started?

Splatterhouse Wreckords has been a work in the making for a while. The label got its official start in September of 2011 when my buddy and I finally agreed on a name. The first band to release an album on Splatterhouse Wreckords was Tacoma’s own Sok and the Faggots with their release “Shit Happens When You Party Naked.”

2. What makes your record label different from others?

I try to run Splatterhouse Wreckords band friendly. I choose bands that I like.  Having bands on my label that I personally enjoy motivates me to do as much as possible to help that band succeed.  I also don’t believe in changing the direction a band wants to go with their albums. If I trust a band enough to offer them a contract with Splatterhouse, I trust them to make the right decisions in the studio.

3. Who are some of the bands on your label?

Sok and the Faggots – Tacoma

facebook.com/sokandthefunguys  

reverbnation.com/soknthefaggots

Bass Line Bums – Austin

facebook.com/basslinebumsstin

reverbnation.com/basslinebums

Load Levelers – Seattle

facebook.com/pages/The-Load-Levelers/262768289879

Angie and the Car Wrecks – Centralia

facebook.com/angiecarwrecks

angieandthecarwrecks.com

Latex Willer – Croatia

facebook.com/Latex.Willer 

wix.com/latexwiller/goinpsycho

Here are some of our upcoming projects:

Live split with Angie and the Car Wrecks and the Hard Money Saints.  The album will be recorded on May 19th at the Grayland Community Center. Come check out the show and party with the bands.

We will be teaming up with Psycho a Go Go Records to release a split EP. The album will consist of a band from their label and a band from my label. Both bands will record 5 new songs for the album.

We are also working on our second compilation album. The album will be called “Splatterhouse Massacre 2, Sloppy Seconds” and it will include bands from Splatterhouse Wreckords and other bands from around the world.

4. What excites you about the Tacoma music scene?

Tacoma has a great music scene. I think the thing that excites me the most about the music here in Tacoma is the support bands get. There are some great venues in the Tacoma and greater Tacoma area that know how to treat a band while they are playing. Bands in Tacoma also get a lot of support from the fans. Show goers in Tacoma know how to have a good time.

5. In your opinion, what’s the most underrated band in Tacoma?

I think underground music as a whole is underrated or unrated. Some of the best musicians in the world play in underground bands. That’s why I do what I do. I love underground music and I want people to hear it. I will continue putting out music till I am dead and my ashes are in a PBR can on someone’s shelf.

 

You can find Splatterhouse Wreckords at:

splatterhousewreckords.com

facebook.com/pages/Splatterhouse-Wreckords/235553086463584

dyingscene.com/labels/splatterhouse-wreckords/

 

I’d like to thank Patrick for joining us. And as always, if you or someone you know wants to be part of 5 Question Friday, write me and jackcameronis@gmail.com and tell me why.

–          Jack Cameron

Ten Miles of Bad Road

Ten Miles of Bad Road

I first met Nate Kirby in 1996. He had just moved up to Tacoma in hopes of catching the grunge scene, but had arrived a couple years too late. He was working at a T.G.I.Friday’s. He was a musician and he needed a bassist. I knew one. And in that way, I’m somewhat responsible for his first Tacoma band, Vuja De. While I was friends with many musicians, I didn’t know many songwriters and those I did know weren’t very good. Nate was the first friend of mine who I thought wrote good songs.

Vuja De lasted for a while. They played a few shows. They were a fixture at the Antique Sandwich Company’s open mic Tuesdays. They rented a house on South 38th Street and had parties that I’d have trouble describing both due to the things that happened and my intoxication at the time.

Eventually Vuja De fell apart and over the years Nate formed a handful of other bands and sometimes just played shows by himself. When he wasn’t playing his own songs, he’d do covers like a country version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”. He once did a cover of “I Want You To Want Me” that had the crowd at the Antique roaring like they were at a rock show.

Most recently Nate became part of a band called Ten Miles of Bad Road. When Nate first told me about this band, he said, “This is the first band I’ve ever played with where I feel like I’m the least talented one in the band.” And indeed, this is the first band I’ve seen Nate in where he isn’t the clear star of the band. Ten Miles of Bad Road isn’t like Nate’s other bands. It’s a bit darker. It’s gritty. It’s the sort of music you’d use for a montage of a party you don’t remember. And it’s fun. These guys clearly like playing as much as people like watching them.

Nate’s band mates, Jakob Jess, Alex Hosea, and Justin Hosea help create a sound that isn’t country and isn’t rock and isn’t rockabilly. It’s something else. This is ass kicking music. These guys don’t show up to the party. They are the party.

Now it’s fair to say that I’m friends with these guys and that I’m probably a bit biased about them. But I also would never endorse a band I didn’t like. Even if it were a friend. Because honestly, a real friend will tell you when you suck. Just as a real friend will get the word out if there’s something to talk about.

Of course writing about a band is like talking about food. You really have to experience it for yourself. Luckily, Ten Miles of Bad Road have just released their first music video and their album is coming soon. I’ve posted the video below. It’s been a long time coming, but Nate Kirby and Ten Miles of Bad Road have arrived.