KEXP Suggests: Sound Off! Semi-Finals #1 at the MoPOP Museum 2/9

Local Music, KEXP Suggests
02/09/2018
KEXP

For 17 years, MoPOP’s Sound Off! has highlighted the best up-and-coming musicians in the region. Our track record is excellent: This “battle of the bands,” which brings together the best under-21 artists in the area, has been a launching pad for groups such as The Lonely ForestNaked Giants, and Manatee Commune.

The premise of Sound Off! is simple: Each Friday night in February, four competitors will gather for a concert at MoPop. One band will advance to the finals, which take place on Saturday, March 3. (As an added bonus, KEXP’s Audioasis will be broadcasting live from that main event!)

The 2018 event kicks off tonight, Friday, February 9th, with our first round of semi-finalists: Dreadlight, JawzillaMaiah Wynne, and Strawberry Mountain. Here’s some info on what to expect.

[ Photos courtesy of MoPOP Museum ]

Dreadlight

This Portland-based alternative rock duo has been called “pleasantly headbangable,” which is a rather apt description. Guitarists/songwriters Kandra and Toria, self-described best friends who first met in high school, have honed a grungy sound with bewitching harmonies, taut grooves, and raucous guitars. Like every great band, however, Dreadlight’s foundation is sturdy songwriting that works just as well acoustically.


Jawzilla

After being suspended in third grade, Jahlil “Jawzilla” Kirby received an Ibanez guitar. Talk about silver linings: To this day, the producer/musician, who’s also a member of Seattle alternative hip-hop troupe MunkBizz, uses the instrument to write songs. Accordingly, his approach to hip-hop is fresh and eclectic, perhaps because he also cites Guns ‘n Roses, Flatbush Zombies, and the Temptations as influences.


Maiah Wynne

“At the root of all my songs I try to write with intention,” multi-instrumentalist Maiah Wynne told MoPop a few weeks ago. “I just want to reach people and help people.” That’s evident in the hushed indie-pop crafted by the Gresham, Oregon-based songwriter. Not only does her music incorporate acoustic guitars, piano, and percussion, but it highlights Wynne’s voice — a dusky, delicate instrument brimming with emotion.


Strawberry Mountain

Carter Prince originally intended the Seattle-based quintet Strawberry Mountain to be a side project of his band Moon Human. However, this new group (which he founded with his sibling, piano teacher Mikey) quickly made a name for itself. It’s easy to see why: The prolific Strawberry Mountain Credit favors ferociously creative psych-rock spliced with frayed guitars, abstract samples, and riotous electronic work.


Tickets to tonight’s show are $14 for the general public, $10 for students with ID, $9 for MoPOP Members, and $5 for Teen Tix Members. (Online tickets available here.) Doors are at 7:00 PM with the show starting at 8:00 PM.

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