I’m going to be honest with you – I don’t know a lot about Macklemore. I know that he’s a Grammy award-winning artist from Seattle, and one of the people behind the song “Thrift Shop,” but that's all. So when photos announcing Macklemore’s free show at Neumos circulated my social media feed yesterday, I wasn’t too stoked to get out of bed.
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There’s a common trope among musicians and music fans involving the popularity of music, or lack thereof. One person might decry another’s favorite artist as “too mainstream,” disqualifying or invalidating their output by that metric. A fan of grunge music whose favorite band is Nirvana might hear that the band has become overplayed and lost its edge due to success, and that real, hardcore grunge fans only listen to a garage band formed in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1991 that nobody’s ever heard of. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some seem to directly associate obscurity and quality.