I arrived at Cupcake Royale at 7 a.m. today (soooo early) to hear one of my favorite hip hop groups, Common Market, kick off KEXP’s Ballard Day.
“What’s up, Ballard?” asked RA Scion to the packed house, and he served up one track with the chorus, “Secede, secede, secede” — in honor of the neighborhood, of course. “Free Ballard, right?” he said to cheers. Massively talented DJ/producer Sabzi (also of Blue Scholars) joked about IM’ing during the performance (he ran everything off his Mac).
This is about half the crowd of decidedly twenty and thirtysomethings. NWSource jokes that KEXP is here to “de-gentrify Ballard for a day.”
This is all part of KEXP’s Ballard Day (that John Richards in the background), which is a reward for the neighborhood’s leading role in KEXP’s fundraising drive last summer. Who knew Ballard is KEXP’s biggest fan? The station is broadcasting live all the way up to 6 p.m., and then a full slate of Ballard venues will be hosting bands and KEXP DJs into the night. (Schedule and map)
Curious Ballardites, hearing the strains of rap music spill out on Market St., poked their heads in the door. (If you were listening live on the radio and heard a dog barking in the background, well, it’s that yellow dog right there.) KEXP members can also get discounts from nearly 20 different Ballard businesses today, like The Sneakery and Hazelwood. And if you’re a Common Market fan, they’ll be holding their EP release party tonight at the Vera Project.
Update: Paul Gibson (who must have been standing next to me at Cupcake Royale) has more photos on his Flickr page here.
Update: KEXP is blogging the whole thing. Lots of photos, too.