It's not as if the Pacific Northwest has ever really been starved for musicians that have a knack for writing indelible melodies and crafting ebullient pop songs, but it was still something of a thrill when Seattle five-piece Ivan & Alyosha burst onto the scene. After releasing a couple EPs, Ivan & Alyosha came out with All the Times We Had, their proper debut LP, in 2013. Much of the writing about the band highlighted the Beatles-esque tendencies they have, which is fair, but Ivan & Alyosha are about so much more than worshipping Paul McCartney – their music emerged from the outer edges of the late '00s Seattle folk revival, exploring similarly rootsy territory, but finding equal inspiration in iconoclasts like Harry Nilsson, Andrew Bird, and Alex Chilton.
For over 15 years, the Intelligence has established itself as a sardonically witty, bracingly dynamic band, blending garage-punk, New Wave, psych, and noise-rock into a consistently compelling stew. The Intelligence first made its mark in Seattle, setting itself apart from the indie pop, folk-rock, and singer-songwriter journalings that marked the trends of the mid-aughts.
To commemorate this 2019 summer, we’ve compiled a couple of playlists with some of the bands we’ve been lucky enough to host here at Alma Mater. We’re forever grateful to work with such a diverse range of talented musicians, and are looking forward to continuing the endeavor to bring Tacoma great live music.