Category Archives: Music

Trampled By Turtles – Folk Metal (?)

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayI met with a good buddy of mine, Chris Slater, the other day.  He just turned 21, so we hopped around town checking out some of the local bars, having an all around good time.  Somewhere in all this, Chris brings up the fact that I’ve posted folk music on my site, that he plays banjo and I play guitar, a new semi talented band perhaps?  Perhaps.

Either way, we both love folk for some of the same reasons.  Modern music can be so produced now a days that it feels put together by a machine, almost in human.  Today’s counter culture has addressed this with the folk genre, a genre fraught with little production values but lots of soul.

Enter Trampled By Turtles, a band my brother Jason showed to me about a month or two ago.  Their style ranges from mandolin led blue grass, to what I like to call folk metal, the opitomy of which is there song “Wait so Long”, the song that got me into them in the first place.

Trampled by Turtles are playing a 21+ show at the Tractor in Seattle on 5/12/11.  I plan on going, and you, whoever you are, should come with me.  If you buy me a ticket in the next week I’ll get you a free copy of my all elusive book (you can’t buy it online).  If you buy me a drink at the show, I’ll give you a free pat on the back.

If you like Trampled by Turtles, be sure to check out these posts: Old Crow Medicine Show, Seasick Steve: Side of the Road Blues, Nicholas Ridout – The Pike Place Busker, and watch the videos of Valerie Lopez and Jason Barrus on my Events Page.

Farewell from S.C.B.


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Best of Ted Talks II

I have spent another week watching Ted speakers, artists and musicians and once again, here I have to present to you the best of the Ted Talks which I have found.  Hope you enjoy.

5. Ahn Trio: A modern take on piano, violin, cello

The three Ahn sisters (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, violinist Angella) breathe new life into the piano trio with their passionate musicmaking. At TEDWomen, they start with the bright and poppy “Skylife,” by David Balakrishnan, then play a gorgeous, slinky version of “Oblivion,” by Astor Piazzolla.

4. Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

3. Renny Gleeson on antisocial phone tricks

In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world — where the experience we’re having right now is less interesting than what we’ll tweet about it later.

2. Jacqueline Novogratz: Inspiring a life of immersion

We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she’s met in her work in “patient capital” — people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.

1. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

If you liked this post and want to see others like it, read: The Best of Ted Talks I, and Ted Talks: Musicians

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayAre you a fan of 20 minute songs?  It should in no way surprise you that I am, when done right.  Why?  For the build up, for the intricacy, they listen like a novel, reoccurring themes and rhythms, their unique ability to descend into chaos and return to order.  For all these reasons, and more, I love Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

They are not held back by conventions, free to play absurdly long intros and outros.  Their music and be haunting, can be beautiful, hypnotic, loud and angry, soft and dramatic.  They are free to run the gambit, and yet they have no lyrics.

If you like this band be sure to check out Music – Mesmerizing and Hypnotic.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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Issaquah Coffee Company Event Coverage

S.C. Barrus at the Issaquah Coffee CompanyI finally, after running two virus scans, a registry cleaner and defraging my computer, got my computer running properly once again.  So, I fixed the errors I had with the video I uploaded, as well as finished uploading clips from the event at the Issaquah Coffee Company.

Once again, thank you to everyone who showed up, and especially to those of you who bought a book.    If you want a copy and you know me personally, just let me know and I’ll give you a copy for $10 (sorry, no discounts, they’re expensive to make).  If you don’t know me, be sure to come by my next book reading event or seek me out on the streets of Seattle or Issaquah because they are not going on sale on line, not for a good long while anyway.  Right now I have a batch of 20 printed, many of them sold, and inside the front cover it is labeled “1st printing”.  Next batch I order will be a batch of rougly 100 and labeled “2nd printing”, and so on, so if you are planning to be a fan for the long haul, be sure to get your hands on an early copy, they might just be a collectors item some day (that’s the plan anyway).  Call me, hunt me down, stop me on the street, look for me at The Issaquah Coffee Company, at Round Table Pizza (for now anyway), just don’t try to get it online or through comments, cause you wont get it.  You can try emailing me, but it wont go through the mail (unless you have a great website, such as The Last Chance Texaco.  Read his story.).

Anyway, below are the videos of me reading excerpts from The Island and the Sea, and Everything Else by the Wayside. The short story “The Hanging Gardens” (which is in the running for the best prose piece of the Bricollege Magazing, I’ll let you know if it makes it when I know) is not here because the camera died midway through the filming of it.  There are also Photos of the event if you scroll way down to the bottom, all of them taken by my lovely wife, Tana, who did a great job capturing the atmosphere of the show.

The Island and the Sea: Part One

The Island and the Seat: Part Two

Guest Musician – Valeri Lopez

Guest Musicians – Jason Barrus and Ian Christensen

Everything Else by the Wayside: Part One

Everything Else by the Wayside: Part Two

Photos – The Night Before

Photos – The Night Of

Thank you Ryan and those of you at the Issaquah Coffee Company for letting me put this on.  Jason Barrus, Ian Christonson, and Valeri Lopez for playing great tunes.  Thank you Steve and Angela Barrus for help financing the printing of the book.  Stuart and Brit Heath, Bret and Shirley Heath, they know what they did.   Thanks Chad Riddout for the camera, Markus Harris for the Cord, Kyle Winkle for the Mic, Sarah Cox for picking up the Mic, and everyone who showed up to listen to me talk for an hour and a half.

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TODAY!!! S.C. Barrus Book Reading at The Issaquah Coffee Company

S.C. Barrus at the Issaquah Coffee Company

TODAY!!! Special Guest's Jason Barrus and Valeri Lopez!

That’s right, TODAY at The Issaquah Coffee Company 5PM, I will be reading excerpts from both of my novel’s in progress and a short story.  We will begin with some adventure in the novel The Island and The Sea. Next a taste of my work in progress of the last three years, Everything Else By The Wayside. Finally, we will end with my short story “The Hanging Gardens”, a folktale.  A few songs will be played before the reading, as well as a song between each story.  It should be a fun time, so be sure to come.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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The Black Keys – New Blues

The Black KeysNew timey blues rock, old timey anthems, they sing about a world gone strange with catchy riffs full of heavy distortion.  The Black Keys, the best mainstream band out there, in this statement I am 100% confident!  But, as usual, why read about them when you can listen.

The Black Keys - Blues RockThey burst with both a fresh sound and nostalgia, an odd combination, to be sure, but one that works well for them, a sound they own.  The only comparable band I can ever think of is The White Stripes, and only because they are both two man bands.  And The Black Keys are better.

One area where this band excels is the variety within their particular sound.  They play blues rock, to be sure, but within  that they have psychedelic anthems, hard rock and grunge throw backs, old timey love songs, all of them thick with rhythm, slippery with it, you cant help but bob your head.

Related Posts: Music – Mesmerizing and Hypnotic, Nicholas Ridout, Seasick Steve

Farewell from S.C.B.

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Music – Mesmerizing and Hypnotic

Emily Wells:

Mesmorizing, trippy music

In the right hands, the violin can be hypnotic, which is most certainly the case here in Emily Wells song “Symphony 2 & the Click Boom Boom”.   Put on some head phones, lean back, close your eyes, just disappear for four minutes.

Sigur Ros

You can’t get much more hypnotic than Sigor Ros.  They are who I listen to when I simply feel like sitting back to contemplate things, often letting the music guide my thoughts (they are a great band to listen to while writing).  Their songs are not necessarily complex, but their rhythm, the epic length of some songs, the unique vocals, and the mysticism  carried with the language, it all works together to create something utterly unique.


M83, named after the galaxy I’m assuming, has a wide range of styles.  Often they sound both ’80’s nostalgic and ahead of their time, but they are always intoxicating.  I often fall asleep to their album “Digital Shades Vol. 1”, but my favorite albums are “M83” (Self Titled), and “Before the Dawn Heals Us”.

Broken Social Scene:

What can I say about Broken Social Scene other than they are fantastic.  Their debut album is very understated, mellow is the name of the game here, and apparently it sounds great at home, but its boring to play live at a show.  Because of this, their sound is much more upbeat later on, though it retains many of the same elements.  I once heard them described not as a band, but as a group hug, and I think that’s accurate.


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