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February 28, 2013
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Macklemore plays free Vail concert Friday

VAIL, Colorado - Prediction: Vail is going to absolutely explode with activity Friday.With the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships coming to town, we're not exactly going out on a limb with that presumption. There's going to be more than 100 of the world's best snowboarders here, including Shaun White.But what you may not realize is those riders aren't necessarily the only reason Vail will be ready to burst at the seams.Among the musical talent for the event, confirmed to play a free show, is a Seattle rapper by the name of Macklemore who is currently trending at levels unprecedented in the music industry for an independent artist. Along with producer/dj Ryan Lewis, Macklemore's hit single "Thrift Store" spent five weeks atop the Billboard Digital Singles chart this year, is currently atop the Billboard Hot 100, and the duo recently sold out a show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.Shaun White was not doing tricks at Red Rocks earlier that day, and the show was far from free. Yet the venue packed in nearly 10,000 for Macklemore.He says his "Thrift Shop" hit was not inspired by the Seattle Music scene in the '90s (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc), when he was coming of age, but he is aware of the overlap"I tried to get into it," Macklemore said in an interview with 92.3/NOW. "Because it was like if you were from Seattle and you weren't into grunge it was like, 'What are you doing with your life?'"The song's official video has the young, white, flowy-haired rapper donning faux fur jackets and one-piece Batman pajamas while carelessly pushing a shopping cart through the isles of a thrift shop. It has 129 million views on youtube.com, and is currently averaging about 9 million per week.Macklemore says Snoop Dogg's "Dogg Pound" albums were more of an inspiration for "Thrift Shop" than the grunge movement, with the "hook" or refrain an homage to late Nate Dogg, a member of the Dogg Pound who died in 2011 of complications from multiple strokes."I remember sneaking, listening to Dogg Pound tapes and (Dr. Dre's) 'The Chronic' and that was the music I grew up with," Macklemore said.The most remarkable part about the song's rise is the fact that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis didn't have to sign a major record deal to see its success."We had conversations, we had beautiful steak dinners in New York City with peppercorn sauce," Macklemore said. "We did it right with the record labels but for the most part what they had to offer us wasn't what we wanted at the time."They did get a little help with distribution, from Alternative Distribution Alliance, an arm of Warner Music Group, but they did not sign a "total package" deal with Warner, says Macklemore."Ryan and I were very adamant about not doing a 360 deal," Macklemore told 92.3 NOW. "Not giving away our merch, not giving away our touring but keeping creative control (and) being able to move when we want to move. ... I think if it makes sense and we can use some of their resources in the future then. ... We'll entertain the idea."Macklemore says the way "Thrift Shop" is being distributed is a sign of the times for the music industry."The fact that a bunch of radio stations around the country are picking up the record from anindependent group is huge, and really speaks to the current climate of the music industry," he said. "It's changing, and it's exciting."Check out Macklemore and Ryan Lewis tonight at the Solaris stage, the snow is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.


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The VailDaily Updated Feb 28, 2013 09:36PM Published Feb 28, 2013 09:33PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.