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Snow Patrol interview next week, and other music stuff

Drumroll please....I've got big news!

One of the sexiest lead singers for one of the hottest rock bands is my special guest next week in The Music Lounge. I must be talking about Gary Lightbody, frontman of Grammy-nominated quintet Snow Patrol, who phoned me this week on a tour break to answer a series of tough questions, like why he refuses to strip off his shirt in concert as he used to before - tough, right? On a serious note, he explained why Snow Patrol took over a year to include Seattle on its tour itinerary since releasing A Hundred Million Suns in October 2008, and he breaks the news on the fivesome's plans for a follow-up recording. Is he comfortable being a sex symbol to both women and men? Has he visited a Gay bar in his new home of Belfast? Can he take a compliment from me, telling him how good he looks in a pair of skinny jeans? The answers, plus personal book recommendations (he's an avid reader) when Gary Lightbody slides into The Music Lounge on October 9. From me to you, he was the coolest, nicest, and most interesting lead singer I've ever interviewed. Don't miss seeing Snow Patrol in concert, hitting the Paramount Theatre on October 14. Ticket information is available at www.stgpresents.org. Look for a review of the show a week later, here in the SGN.

Local rock stars The Blakes celebrated the release of their shiny new album, Souvenir, with a CD release party this week. The trio - Garnet Keim, Snow Keim, Bob Husak - introduced several tracks from the album at Neumos to a crowd of loyal fans, devoted groupies, and media well-wishers (I fall into all three categories). The Blakes have evolved their sound to a more sophisticated blend of rock n' roll, going beyond the call of a scrappy punk act and metamorphosing into an all-around great rock band. I spoke recently with the group's bassist, cutie pie Snow Keim, about the upcoming tour, which snakes its way through the US before landing at the CMJ industry festival in NYC. As Keim was running errands, he told me that The Blakes sold everything they owned to live on the road and play music. He also chimed in about the Gay marriage issue, saying he's glad it became legal in his native state of Maine. Look for the interview, here in The Music Lounge, in the coming weeks. Open-minded as usual, The Blakes actually considered Pony for their CD release party - that would've been fun! Purchase a copy of Souvenir at your fave record store.

Hide your meat sandwiches because Morrissey is coming to town. Music's biggest supporter of non-animal products, who also happens to be a successful solo act following his departure from The Smiths, will launch his West Coast tour at the Paramount Theatre on November 29. Ticket information hasn't been announced yet. Morrissey made music headlines earlier this year when he exited the Coachella Festival stage in a huff, complaining that the smell of meat from a nearby BBQ stand was making him sick - yes, I'm totally serious. Anyway, bring a stash of fruit rollups to the Paramount next month and experience one of the greatest rock vocalists from across the pond.

Speaking of fruit rollups...not often does Benaroya Hall play host to an artist outside of the classical or jazz genres, a shame because the downtown venue - home to the Seattle Symphony - has some of the best acoustics in the city. So, need I mention how privileged we are to welcome Rufus Wainwright to this unique concert space on November 8? The out and proud Canadian just released a two-disc set entitled Milwaukee at Last!!! that includes many of his cherished songs played live at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater in 2007. "Going to a Town", "Gay Messiah", "Leaving for Paris", "Release the Stars", and "Sanssouci" are a few of the tracks featured on the live music disc, while "The Art Teacher", "Beautiful Child", "Nobody's Off the Hook", "A Foggy Day", and "Between My Legs" appear on the video portion of the multi-disc set. Milwaukee at Last!!! is available at stores now, and makes a fantastic prelude to an evening at Benaroya Hall - if you've never seen Rufus Wainwright in person, make up for it in November. Visit www.seattlesymphony.org/benaroya for ticket information.

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