Though I had never seen them before, I expected good things from King Tuff based on their recorded output, which has the sort of immediacy I enjoy—as if the band were playing inside your speakers—and they delivered.
I had to attend a press screening on Saturday morning, so I wasn't able to make it to the Fantagraphics panel ("Pop Goes Seattle") with Larry Reid or the Danny Bland reading afterward (grunge-inspired novel In Case We Die), but I got to Georgetown just in time for Tuff, and that made my day.
I got a sunburn at the show (fittingly, they played Was Dead's "Sun Medallion")
When I wrote about the reissue of King Tuff's Was Dead in April, I noted that he "swears like a drunken sailor," and that was definitely the case yesterday, but it isn't macho bluster, i.e. Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, but just high spirits run amuck. Aside from his ace guitar playing, Tuff was as charismatic as I hoped, and towards the end of the set, he had the crowd yelling "Pop" after he yelled "Sub" and "Jake" after he yelled "Magic." Bass player Magic Jake, whose outfit recalled Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, also got the crowd to yell "Tuff" after he yelled "King." Near as I can tell, a good time was had by all.
King Tuff in a Sub Pop cap and a sun medallion
Consequently, everything else was a little anticlimactic, but that's no reflection on that event, which was pretty great. And free! And not just the Jubilee itself, but other stuff, too, like the Terminal Sales Vol. VI: Silver Ticket CD compilation.
My friend, Gillian, who attended the "Pop" panel, said that it was short, but good, so I don't feel like I missed too much. Plus, I had just seen Reid a couple of days before at the KCMU 40th anniversary party, where he told KEXP DJ Quilty 3000 and myself about his trip around the Space Needle in a helicopter on Thursday afternoon with Charles Peterson, who was taking pictures of Mudhoney's historic performance (Peterson, a former KCMU DJ, was part of the panel line-up).
Father John Misty at the Neptune, 1/29/13
My friend, Bill, and I still made it to Fantagraphics, where Larry gave us a guided tour of the collectibles on display at the store. Afterward, we saw and/or heard portions of sets from the Baptist Generals (reminded me of the James Gang at times), Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (loud, slow, and heavy), and Shabazz Palaces (sounding sweet with Cat from THEESatisfaction), but I stopped taking pictures, because it was no longer as easy to burrow to the front of the stage.
Original copies of Bruce Pavitt's Subterranean Pop (later "Sub Pop") fanzine
I was sorry to miss METZ and Father John Misty, but I had already seen both acts in recent months—the latter with Rose Windows—so I didn't feel too guilty when Bill, Gillian, and I split to escape the crowd and get a bite to eat on quiet Capitol Hill. I called it a day after that as my deadlines have deadlines, but I'm glad I got to go, and I'm grateful to Sub Pop for putting on such a swell event.