I embarked on a solo, cross-country tour of sorts. Combining my love of travel and music, I visited popular music cities. I cashed in credit card points for plane tickets, purchased an Amtrak 15-day rail pass and hitched rides with family. The selected locales were Seattle (Grunge), Detroit (Motown) and Memphis (Blues, Rock and Roll, and a little Country).
First Stop: Seattle, Washington
Day 2 continued (read about the first part of the trip)
I waited until I arrived in a city to search for live music events. My little bit of spontaneity. Imagine my surprise when one of my favs, Brian McKnight was playing at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley. I snagged one of the last tickets to the show. During two hours, the multi-instrument playing, Grammy-winner performed hits from his 13 albums (yes, 13) such as Back at One, Anytime and Sweeter. It appeared that I was the only one singing at the top of my lungs. Guess it was a more reserved crowd. I scored a photo with the R&B legend. Night complete.
I packed my last day with excursions to the EMP Museum, Space Needle and Top Pot. Founded in 2011, the Electronic Music Project (the museum is referred to simply by EMP) is dedicated to contemporary popular culture. There were two major exhibits I wanted to experience—one, about a band that became the voice of a generation, and another about a boundary-breaking, badass entertainer.
Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses documents the group’s origins, rise to popularity and the impact of Kurt Cobain’s untimely death. The installation’s curators expertly illustrated Nirvana’s unmistakable stamp on society through popular milestones such as the band’s appearance on MTV’s Unplugged to less visible artifacts like fan club letters, bank checks and personal notes.
Hear My Train a Comin’: Hendrix Hits London chronicles Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise across the pond to his unprecedented, flaming guitar performance at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival. Dozens of magazine articles, promotional posters, costumes and interviews vividly depict his shrewd, trailblazing path.
It was also pretty cool to walk through the birth of a new medium in Spectacle: The Music Video exhibit. Anyone who watched MTV when the network actually aired music videos, can appreciate the cinematography and life-size replicas of influential mini films such as a-ha’s Take On Me (taaaaakkke meeee onnnn).
I came, I saw and I conquered the Space Needle. Amazing in person. Phenomenal view. I can see why more than one million people visit the landmark each year.
Last stop before heading to the airport was to grab some of the “best doughnuts in Seattle” for my family from Top Pot. I have a major sweet tooth. The pastries were tasty, but they weren’t slap-yo-momma-good. At every turn in the airport someone was commenting on my confection booty. I had to guard them like precious cargo. I’m not even gonna get into TSA checking my hair. I can’t…
In the coming weeks, I’ll tell you all about my jaunt to Detroit, the home of Motown. Until then, au revoir audiophiles!
Check out the Seattle photo gallery