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Originally published September 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Page modified September 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

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Macklemore can pitch it; women who can inspire

Rising Seattle hip-hop star Macklemore a hit at M's game; Women of Inspiration hold annual event; in praise of independent radio stations; and she can sing like the King.

Seattle Times staff columnist

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"It was a strike," Macklemore told me. "It was close, to the right a little."

The pitch looked good to me, and to the entire section of his fans who filled a special section at Friday night's Mariners game to watch the Seattle hip-hop artist throw out the first pitch.

"I was nervous, once I realized how far 60 feet and 6 inches is," said Macklemore, who is Ben Haggerty offstage. "It was much further than I thought."

In the second inning, a line of 100 happy fans gathered for a meet-and-greet with Macklemore and his musical partner, Ryan Lewis.

These are heady days for these guys. Their new album, "The Heist," drops Oct. 9. They leave for a world tour in two weeks. And their new song, "Thrift Shop," released last week, cracked the Top 40 on iTunes in a day.

The duo designed a baseball hat — covered in Kingdomes — to commemorate the evening at Safeco. ("A little bit of the old, a little bit of the new," Macklemore said.) Fans had them autographed, along with shirts and sneakers and laptops and one baseball mitt.

And Macklemore showed himself to be quite the sneakerphile, identifying one fan's Air Jordan IIIs to the year (1988). Who knew?

Last in line was Macklemore's mother, Julie Schott, who is still processing the lines, the autographs, the girls who fall down running to get a glimpse of her son, and the guys who stand before him and sputter with admiration.

"Isn't it hilarious?" she asked.

But ask about "Same Love," Macklemore's musical plea for the legalization of same-sex marriage — in which he mentions an uncle and his partner — and Schott's grin softens: "I cried the first time I heard it."

Inspiring women

Another night, another sports venue, and another reason to be Seattle proud: The Seattle Storm and business partner Moss Adams held their annual Women of Inspiration on Thursday at KeyArena.

This year's roster: Paula Boggs, the retired general counsel at Starbucks; former state Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge; former Seattle Storm player and new Ph.D. Kate Starbird; and former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Patty Stonesifer.

Stonesifer, who lives in Washington, D.C., is helping to archive the first 10 years of the foundation while serving as vice chair of the Smithsonian Institution, where U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is chancellor. (She calls him "Chief.")

The event also paid tribute to former honoree Kathi Goertzen, the much-admired news anchor who died Aug. 13. Her daughters, Alexa Jarvis and Andrea Jewett, made sure to be there.

"We do these things as much as we can," Jewett said, "because she would."

Radio sounds

The golden rule of good DJ-ing? "Pick whatever music makes you feel good."

For Sonya Arbuckle, a senior at Highline High School, that means Bright Eyes, MGMT, MIA and Cat Stevens.

Arbuckle was part of the Toyota Free Yr Radio program, which partnered kids from the all-ages arts nonprofit The Vera Project with KEXP deejays like Sharlese Metcalf and DJ Chilly.

The Vera kids had weeks of training, then ran their own stage at Bumbershoot, introducing and interviewing bands, making announcements and playing their own mixes.

One surprising bonus is that the kids left understanding the importance of independent radio stations. The music really does matter.

"They really get it," said Kerry Murphy, who has been helping with the program. "It warms the cockles of even the coldest hearts."

Sing like the King

Anyone off the street can squeeze into a blue jumpsuit and sing "Burnin' Love." But not everyone can impersonate Elvis like Helen Anne Gately.

Before her karaoke set at the Elvistravaganza at Bumbershoot, Gately, of Seattle, said that what makes her stand out — aside from being a woman — was her song choice.

"I like the movie soundtracks," she said. " 'Rock-A-Hula Baby' from 'Blue Hawaii.' 'Spinout.' They're more obscure and they're rockin' songs."

Gately has been singing Elvis songs since childhood.

"They're happy songs," she said. "Unless it's something like 'In the Ghetto.' "

Names in Bold appears Tuesdays. Reach Nicole Brodeur at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.

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