Last Saturday, the KEXP community gathered to celebrate art. This edition of the monthly Audioasis showcase series at The Sunset in Ballard benefited Artist Trust, a non-profit organization that supports independent artists from Washington State. Opening the night was Seattle’s Ravenna Woods, a band featuring acoustic guitar, xylophone, percussion and the voices of Chris Cunningham, Brantley Duke and Matt Badger. Keeping up the energy, and from Portland, came punk World’s Greatest Ghosts, inviting the audience to dance with their infectious power pop mixes. To close the night, local garage trio Little Cuts performed an all-out set that made everyone rock in their spots.
Based on a more primitive and elementary sound, Ravenna Woods had a magnificent performance. The leading voice of Chris Cunningham combined with the simple but great instrumentation from the three-piece made for an upbeat set that was well received by the crowd, with their song “High Places” being one of the favorite of the night, as the guests sang along with them. The band was happy to perform for Artist Trust because of its way of connecting with the community and supporting independent artists. Members also shared their own story, saying the Ravenna Woods was formed when Cunningham traveled overseas to The Republic of the Marshall Islands to teach music classes. He decided to experiment with a more conceptual music type, something aside from typical instrumentation. Demons and Lakes, the band’s first album, employs very natural content that avoids artificial sounds.
With a completely different style, World’s Greatest Ghosts brought to stage a mix of pop with punk rock that made everyone dance. The band said that they were at the end of their tour and also very happy to contribute with Artist Trust. Brothers Casey and Jesse Laney started this project back in 2006, gaining recognition thus their atypical way of making music that led to an spot in this year’s SXSW Music Conference.
Culminating the night were the Little Cuts. Formed recently by The Shins‘ guitarist Dave Hernandez, Drew Church and Curtis James, the band is influenced by Seattle’s traditional rock style and post-grunge, as they create their own take on retro garage music. As expected by the full house of fans, Little Cuts rocked the night with a fully energetic performance. The trio has been playing for only a year and a half, even though they have known each other for a longer time and each have their own separate projects (The Shins, The Cops, and Old Haunts). To them, being part of the Audioasis Benefit Show was very meaningful because it was an opportunity to support the work of independent artists.
Sheila Siden, Director of Development of Artist Trust, talked about the non-profit organization, expressing how significant independent art is to community as it allows artists to have an individual voice to define their own work. She also added that “Art is not about aesthetics; it is about new ideas and innovation.” Adding that no market can define the true meaning of art.
World’s Greatest Ghosts