Mardi Gras Mayhem – Brass Bands, Beads and Crawfish Boils

Mardi-Gras-2011Two things that we love here at Brown Paper Tickets: Mardi Gras and brass bands! And there’s no other brass band that we love more than our buddies in Tubaluba. They marched with us at last year’s Gay Pride Parade here in Seattle and proved, without question, that they are the hottest, funkiest 2nd line brass band this side of the Big Easy.

With Fat Tuesday fast approaching, it’s time to start making your Mardi Gras plans and if you’re in Seattle, you’re in luck because Tubaluba are not only hosting a Mardi Gras bash at The Tractor Tavern but are also hosting a party bus that will take you to FOUR other Mardi Gras parties around town.

Mardi Gras revellers will meet at The Tractor Tavern at 4pm and then head over to Lower Queen Anne’s Tolouse Petit where Tubaluba will perform between 5 and 6pm. The party train will then head to the Capitol Hill neighborhood for KEXP’s Mardi Gras Bash at Havana Social Club. Next, is the Fremont neighborhood where Tubaluba will play at Nectar Lounge‘s Mardi Gras party. After Fremont, Tubaluba will head to their final destination, Ballard, where they will lead a parade down Ballard Avenue at 10pm, culminating in Tubaluba’s headlining performance on the Tractor Tavern stage. Your ticket to the party bus will get you admission into ALL these incredible Mardi Gras parties, complimentary beverages (including water), snacks and a commemorative Tubaluba Mardi Gras T-shirt. These tickets won’t last long so GET YOURS NOW!

Of course, for those of you not in Seattle, there are a ton of other Mardi Gras events going on nationwide, including, naturally, the home of Mardi Gras: New Orleans. We wanted to share a few of our favorites so you can start making party plans in your own neck of the woods.
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GIVEAWAY: Nectar Lounge Brings Earth Day for All Ages to Seattle!

(Just want to win tickets to the Earth Day extravaganza? Scroll to the bottom of this post!)

It’s always a treat to work with our neighbors over at Nectar Lounge! The venue/bar is a fantastic spot, committed to sustainability, good times, nightly events, and patio beverages. For this Earth Day weekend, Seattle can have it all, with all-ages activities and music during the day and of-ages party action during the night at the Fremont Earth Day Festival — and all it sets you back is $15 or an old bike. Proceeds benefit the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation.

While the party for grown-ups goes all day and all night, the daytime is geared toward kids and families, opening at 11 a.m. both days this weekend begin with a dance party, going into a special performance each day at noon: Bubbleman (a bubbleman) on Saturday, then the Not-Its (kindie rock!) on Sunday, plus some Earth Day-themed activities to keep them busy.

Later, once you’ve gotten a sitter (or if you don’t have kids and you’re just ready to party), the of-ages happenings start with a chill but fun-loving, diverse lineup of folk, R&B, reggae and more, including songwriter Sarah Christine, acclaimed jazz/funk/world collective Snarky Puppy, and improvisational rocker Nefarious Jones, spread over both Saturday and Sunday nights for a full weekend of eco-minded grooves. The full line-up is available here.

Snarky Puppy in action:


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Feel the Love This Friday!

Northwest Lovefest began in the same Seattle neighborhood as the Brown Paper Tickets flagship office. It’s a community-based music and arts festival that began in 2010. What originally started as a celebration of the artistic talent residing in this eclectic neighborhood has now expanded its vision and scope to include like-minded talent from throughout the Northwest.

The goal of LoveFest is to provide an affordable alternative to the high-priced, fenced-in music festivals that have become the norm. They have lowered advanced ticket prices this year and with the help of TerraPass, will be neutralizing the carbon waste from their generators. They also donate a portion of each ticket sale to offset 50 miles of carbon per person. Last year they offset 9.3 metric tons of carbon waste from the festival. Through these environmental efforts and by lowering the admission price, LoveFest gets closer to their goal of being all about ‘love for the environment and love for one another.’

This year’s festival will take place on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 in Magnuson Park. Preview shows will take place in the months leading up to the festival. These shows will give folks a taste of the incredible musical talent that will be hitting LoveFest stages this summer. The kickoff show will take place at Nectar Lounge, this Friday, February 10 and will feature live performances from Cody Beebe and the Crooks, Perry Acker and Redwood Son. You can pick up advanced tickets right over here.

Get out to Nectar and support Northwest LoveFest, a true community, music and arts festival – powered by love!

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Dance Your Cash Off for 826 Seattle

At first glance, the Greenwood Space Supply Company just looks like a lowly purveyor of space travel-related goods. But it has a little secret: it’s part of 826 Seattle. All their proceeds go to their programs, which include drop-in after school tutoring, field trips, in-school programs and writing workshops for youth ages six to 18, all free to public school students. They’ve also published 14 anthologies of student writing, giving 264 talented kids a chance to be a published author.

Founded by local author and teacher Teri Hein, 826 Seattle was originally founded as Studio 26. In 2005, Studio 26 was invited to become a chapter of 826 National, an organization co-founded by author, philanthropist and McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers that has a similar mission: helping youth with their writing.

Since their inception, 826 Seattle has helped over 10,000 students with 2,000 volunteers giving over 40,000 hours. They helped 2,481 students in the 2010-2011 school year alone, all thanks to strong community support.
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Do the Ska – Coast to Coast!

Ska music a blend of Caribbean mento and calypso with the American r&b and jazz that Jamaicans were hearing from New Orleans radio stations, emerged in the late 50s and is considered to be the grandfather of reggae music. It established the walking bass line and accented upbeat that would become the foundation of the reggae beat but unlike the laid-back vibe of reggae, ska was high energy dance music. This was indicative of the celebratory feeling pulsing through the Jamaican populous. Jamaica received its independence from the UK in 1962 and the upbeat ska sound became the soundtrack for independent Jamaica.

Many of reggae’s stars got their start in ska. Bob Marley & the Wailers started out as a ska group. Jimmy Cliff, one of the first Jamaican singers to reach an international audience was a popular ska singer, even showcasing the music at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City. But, there’s one group that provided the music to many of the best known ska hits: The Skatalites. The original lineup of the band broke up in 1965 but they reformed in 1983 due to renewed interest in ska music and have been touring ever since. Only two of the original Skatalites are still playing with the band, vocalist Doreen Shaffer and saxophonist Lester Sterling. Sadly, original drummer Lloyd Knibb just passed away on May 12, 2011 but the new band keeps the spirit of the original ska sound alive.
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Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars

The best music is born out of oppression. From reggae out of the Kingston ghettos to the Delta blues of the American South to Serbian brass bands, music can serve as a tool for the underprivileged to express their rage and misery but also their hope and optimism for a brighter future. For a modern day example of what I’m talking about, just listen to the music of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars.

The group hails from the West African country of Sierra Leone, a country that had been plagued with war throughout the 90’s. Their hometown of Freetown had remained relatively safe throughout most of the war-torn decade. However, on January 6, 1999, rebels invaded the city as part of a bloody campaign: “Operation Kill Every Living Thing.” This sparked a mass exodus as thousands fleed Freetown for neighboring Guinea. Many ended up in refugee camps. It was in one of these camps that band leader Reuben Koroma and his wife Grace joined forces with Francis John Langba (aka Franco).
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