Aca-Scuse Me?

Shows like Star Search and American Idol have changed the way America discovers singing talent. There have been plenty of variations of the talent show genre such as America’s Got Talent, Duets, X-Factor and The Voice. Each show has their own niche or twist but The Sing Off may be the toughest one of all. It’s one thing to sing by yourself, it’s another to harmonize groups of people together with no backing instruments at all. Pentatonix is the group that took away the first place prize in the third season of A capella singing competition The Sing Off. The singing whizzes sold out the Showbox SoDo in 2012 and are back this year to do the same.


The quintet is out of Arlington Texas and consists of Scott Hoying (lead vocalist), Kirstie Maldonado (female lead), Mitch Grassi (harmony), Kevin Olusola (vocal percussion) and Avi Kaplan (bass).  Whats particularly striking about the group is how young they are. Maldonado and Grassi are only 20 years old, and Grassi was in high school when the third season commenced.

Non-musicians may not be familiar with the term “Pentatonix.” The group is named after the world’s most widely known five-note scale and is also a play on there being five members in the group. Known for their covers of well-known pop songs, Pentatonix released their first album PTX, Vol. 1 in June of 2012 and a Christmas EP quickly followed, November the same year.

Pentatonix will be performing in the northwest on May 5th at McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom in Portland, May 7th at The Knitting Factory in Spokane, and May 11th at Showbox SoDo in Seattle.

Listen to The ‘Burg this week for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.


Not Too Close

As Alex Clare’s website points out, you can tell a lot about someone by asking them what the greatest album ever made is. What is Clare’s answer? The album that first comes to his mind is Radiohead’s OK Computer. But upon further thought, Clare admits that OK Computer may be the best album ever made based simply on production, but musically, it isn’t his top selection. After musing over a couple different choices Clare decides In The Key of Life by Stevie Wonder is the greatest album ever made.

Agree or disagree, it’s clear that Clare has great tastes regardless and it’s no wonder he has exploded all over the electronic, alternative and pop music scene.

Alex+Clare+AC04Alex Clare first caught the attention of the masses when his smash single “Too Close” was used in an Internet Explorer commercial. That commercial may have single handedly saved his career and any musical aspirations he had.

A strict Orthodox Jew, refusing to perform on the Sabbath and high holy days, Clare was originally signed with Universal Island Records. After the label discovered how truly devoted to his faith Clare was, (he had to decline an opening slot for Adele because it was at Passover) the label dropped him. A lack of significant album sales and radio play also contributed.

It wasn’t much later that Clare received the call from Microsoft and his career did a 180. The success of the commercial and single lead to Island Records “groveling” for Clare to return to the label.

Alex exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ”They were groveling and very apologetic, it was brilliant!”

Originally from London, the hometown of dubstep, Clare is known for his infusion of dubstep and electronic sound into alternative music. Fun fact: Clare dated Amy Winehouseamy-e-alex in his early days as a musician after meeting her at a performance in North London.

Clare grew up with guitar-based songwriting and perhaps the electronic influences in his music can be explained by the production team of Clare’s first and only album The Lateness of the Hour which consisted of Diplo and Switch.

Alex Clare will be playing in the northwest April 25th at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, April 28th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Canada, April 29th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 30thth at The Knitting Factory in Boise.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg this Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.