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Moonlighters of the South Sound music scene

Musicians who play in more than one band

Ali Baker, left, performs in Grayskul's band, in addition to her main band Full Moon Radio, pictured here in 2013. Photo credit: Winter Teems

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Everyone knows that musicians have to be a certain level of crazy to be in the field. They have to sacrifice normal hours, humility and pieces of their very soul to survive on stage.

Then, you have musicians who play in more than one band. You know those are the certifiable ones. The music is in their blood, and there is nothing that will stop them.

Let's look at a few crazy South Sound musicians who moonlight with multiple bands. Next time you see them perform, remember, they have been taken over by a power greater than themselves, and you should probably kiss their boots.

First, we have Ali Baker. You know her from Full Moon Radio - she's the one with the sultry, hard-hitting vocals, the great fashion sense and she dominates on bass guitar. But, outside of the rock world, Baker has a place in hip-hop.

Starting with a little chorus and riff, and working with friends and fellow musicians in the hip-hop scene, Baker's singing and guitar playing is now featured on Grayskul's new album, Zenith, in a song called "There is No Edge." Since that recording, Baker has accompanied the group to SWSX, and most recently, Bumbershoot. 

"Full Moon Radio is like a different vibe, different kind of music," Baker reflected. "They're kind of similar though, both collaborative and high energy. ... With Grayskul, there is deep subject matter - school shootings and gender issues - straight into the heart of our society. I'm so super stoked to be in both, because I love hip-hop and rock and roll so much - it's awesome."

Another musician that straddles bands is Don Stewart. Not only does his day job keep him busy brewing beer at Engine House No. 9, he's in - count ‘em - five bands. 

Tacos! has been Stewarts main focus the past few years, with a full-length vinyl released just this month, but he also plays in Mico De Noche; Perfect Bombs (ex-Bacchus members); Migas (Texas-based w/Helltrout member); and a back-burner acoustic studio collaboration with Ye Olde Growth, featuring other moonlighters from Mico De Noche, Lozen and Helms Alee.

"I try to keep the bands separate, and that's usually no problem as writing is a group effort," Stewart said. "As long as there's different people I write with, there's no crossover. With that said, I have always played in heavier bands, so there's that similarity. I'm also currently playing different instruments in all the bands, which helps, and keeps it interesting as well."

The South Sound has numerous other moonlighters (Cody Foster - C.F.A., Furry Buddies; Jon Merithew and Olivia Love - C-Average, Mosquito Hawk; Jerry Ziegler - Demon Dogs, Hartwood, Fitz of Depression and more), and there is not enough room to give these talented musicians more recognition.

So in the meantime, comment on our website or Facebook - Who else is crazy enough to have multiple music projects?

And, check out Full Moon Radio Sept. 20 at The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia, and Tacos! Sept. 25 at Wildrose in Seattle.

You can see Grayskul's "There is No Edge" featuring Ali Baker, live on KEXP, below. ...

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