Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper

Make a Scene: Maurice the Fish Records brings first ever showcase to Seattle

Tacoma’s Maurice the Fish Records (MTF) is taking its show on the road for its very first showcase in Seattle. Happening Feb. 23 at the Skylark in West Seattle, 3803 Delridge Way S.W., the line-up features five of the label’s most popular musicians/bands: The Rikk Beatty Band, The North Oakes Project, Amadon, Sevens Revenge and The Lush Tones (who are also organizing this showcase). Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8. Cover is $7 and you must be over 21 to enter.

“You gotta share your music with people,” said Maurice the Fish co-owner Raymond Hayden. “It’s not that we’re going to stop focusing on Tacoma – we just want to branch out and share our music with other communities.”

Hayden said there’s also a sort of higher calling to why MTF is eyeing Seattle’s music scene. “This is not just my opinion, but there seems to be a real sense of community among bands in Tacoma but not so much in Seattle. In the ’90s when there were bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden playing, there was a big community around it but now that seems to have gone by the wayside. We want to help the music community in Seattle by giving a taste of what’s going on in Tacoma so we can work together more. As altruistic as that may sound, it’s the God’s honest truth. The competitiveness doesn’t have to be there; we can help each other.”

Bringing people out to music venues is another plus, and Hayden says this would be perhaps less of a challenge were there more of a solid music community between Seattle and Tacoma. He cited the recent closure of the Tempest Lounge and Mandolin Café as examples of popular music spots that couldn’t keep their doors open, and he doesn’t want to see this continuing to happen.

“Essentially, we want to help keep clubs from shutting their doors. By doing what we’re doing is feeding into the foundation to breathe life into a music industry that’s at best on life support.”

The Seattle showcase line-up was selected to show a range of diversity among the bands associated with MTF and among the bands that draw crowds in Tacoma.

The Rikk Beatty Band – Playing a healthy dose of rock, blues, jazz, Latin, acoustic/ambient, metal and techno, Beatty and company can basically blend into just about any venue and listeners of all ages and types. One of the Northwest’s most technically proficient and inspiring guitarists, Beatty is a wonder to behold onstage. He and his band mates are in the process of rebranding themselves to take the band to the next level and are working on a compilation album for which they just shot a promo video.

The North Oakes Project – One of MTF’s newer bands, The North Oakes Project is a collection of five acoustic musicians including formerly solo artist Heidi Vladyka on vocals. These are truly creative souls who like their music real, raw and in the moment. “When a group of people get together and just play, it creates this feeling and a story,” Vladyka said. “‘Raw’ is the only way I can describe what we play.” The band is currently in the process of rebuilding and recording.

Amadon – Having just released their new, and third, EP "Step into the Light," singer/guitarist Calen Tackett and his Amadon band mates are in the process of preparing for a string of spring/summer tour dates. They’re working very hard on developing cool new merchandise as well as a weekly band podcast. Give Amadon a listen and your hard rock itch will be thoroughly scratched!

Sevens Revenge – This outstanding group of rockers continue to receive accolades for their new album “Distortion of Reality” and recently signed with Tin Star Records to take things up a notch. The band is busy writing tons of new material for their next album and are getting ready to shoot a music video with fellow MTF artist Danielle Egnew.

The Lush Tones – Recent MTF signees, The Lush Tones give a rowdy stage performance to match their funky, rockin’ songwriting. This three-piece outfit is currently finished mixing their new EP and are in the process of setting up tours with a possible gig at Sturgis.