The Funhouse got rid of their pool table. They also acquired some more pinball machines and built new booths. I was sitting in one of the new booths when an inebriated step-dad tumbled into me and told me to move. Then he sat next to me and touched all of the things that were placed on the table in front of me: a bottle of beer, a phone and two waxy crumpled balls of paper that had been in my ears. My eyes grew wide from surprise and he walked away. Seconds later the guitar player from Tit Pig was yelling for the door person, notifying him that the drunk person was annoying. High five, guy!
All of the bands had ruled so far. Botherations play extremely competent punker music that I'll stoop to call a cross between Christian Death & Bad Religion. I'm stooping because comparisons are dumb to make. I was involved in a three minute conversation on the patio about how good the drummer is. The Pharmacy is quickly becoming my favorite band in town. I had shivers when they played "Chinese Finger Trap." Of course the Unnatural Helpers were as wonderful as usual. As Tit Pig sound checked, I went outside because it was so loud. Soon after Lacey came outside and made the finger helicopter motion which meant we were leaving. Apparently Sean Evoy kicked the inebriated step-dad in the chest as he chose to climb the stairs during Tit Pig's set. I was told that he was flung into a wall with great force and collapsed to the ground. Somebody lifted his arm and it dropped lifelessly when released. Lacey's not wild about death, so she was in a bad mood for the next hour. Travis Ritter called an ambulance. Tit Pig played on.
As soon as we got outside, I noticed two girls yelling at each other in the McDonald's parking lot twenty feet away. Then the yelling became punching and hair pulling. I became a zombie and walked closer without thinking. Some people tried to step in but they kept fighting intermittently, arguing about one of them calling or not calling the other one a "motherfucking dirty ho." There was so much traffic, the McDonald's parking lot was crammed full. Somebody remarked that all of the traffic was from the Katy Perry show at the Key Arena. Soon the fighting started again with more intensity. One of the girls started yelling that she wanted to stop. The other girl stood up while picking a clump of her hair off of the ground. She walked away while repeatedly yelling, "Yeah, that's right!" to nobody in particular. As she passed me she put the clump of hair back on her head.
Seconds later an obvious panhandler approached and asked if he could ask me a question. I could only answer, "Another one?" It's no wonder why I hardly ever leave the house. The only question I could think to ask was, "I mean like people, who's fighting and what for?"
In the last week, I've heard NightraiN & Atomic Bride mentioned at least six times each in different (or the same) conversations. I figured I'd ask roughly the same questions to each band so we can all go ahead and get an idea of what is happening in the world of music today. It's insight, for free! NightraiN first:
Can you please explain to me what you're going after musically? Rachael F: I think we're going after your mom, musically. Maybe your hot ass sister. She digs pre-programmed midis on keyboard and dancing in polyester. Aside from that I think we try to connect with our audience through driving rhythms and soul-like harmonics. Our destination is balls deep. Selena: To express our diverse musical influences and create our own voice and unique sound which we have dubbed “Locomotive Punk” that is sort of a punk/funk/soul fusion.
NighTraiN: "Like the cheap wine, son! Hop on it, mother fucker!"
When did NighTraiN form? Selena: We were formed approximately 3.5 years ago for a stage production called "Hot Grits."
What are your prime musical influences? Rachael F: Ike Turner, Parliament, ODB, The Dictators, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, ACE, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Grace Jones, Diana Ross, Cee-Lo, Dolemite, Chaka Khan and Rufus. Selena: Glam punk like the New York Dolls, Motown, James Brown and classical jazz. Nicole: Blues, Florence and the Machine, Kurt Cobain, Christina Aguilera, and The Wallflowers.
Me: I want to write about the song "In The Air Tonight". Lacey Swain: The one about his wife getting raped? Me: Huh? Lacey Swain: That song is about his wife getting raped. Me: HUH?
Sometimes things appear more interesting when you imagine how they may have originated. There's a rather well known urban legend that claims the 1981 Phil Collins hit "In The Air Tonight" was written about a man who witnessed another man drowning. Apparently the man didn't do anything to save the drowning man and Collins made mention of the incident with these lyrics:
Well, if you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand I've seen your face before, my friend But I don't know if you know who I am Well, I was there and I saw what you did I saw it with my own two eyes So you can wipe off the grin I know where you've been It's all been a pack of lies
I remember, don't worry.
Some tales have Collins watching the man who watched the man drown, seeing it with his own two eyes. In that case, Collins is just as guilty of not helping. The best part of the legend reveals that before the song was released, Phil Collins gave front row tickets to the man in question and sang the song directly to him. Phil Collins singled him out in front of a crowd of, you know, 5,000,000 people.
But where on earth did this story come from? Somebody invented it! Somebody somewhere just decided that this was the case and told some people who told even more people!
Phil Collins isn't really sure what the song is about himself. When asked about the legend, Collins told the BBC World Service, "I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, 'Did you really see someone drowning?' I said, 'No, wrong'. And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It's so frustrating, 'cos this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know."
But what if Phil Collins maybe found the incident too traumatic to deal with, repressing the memory? That also would take care of the fact that it's the only song that he's written of which he cannot explain the origins. Also, the song "Sussudio" is about a woman in Yelm, WA who stole change from MDA collection cups on convenience store counters, eventually amassing a fortune with which she began the natural and organic food company known as Amy's Kitchen.
It looks like we've got a wet blanket on our hands in the form of a disgruntled Baltic Room neighbor who—surprise, surprise—moved within blocks of a nightclub and thinks it's too loud. A large number of complaints, apparently from one individual, have led SPD to make a series of visits to the club lately, most recently on Wednesday night during Decibel's Mary Anne Hobbs show. I received an email from Decibel's Sean Horton outlining the situation:
On Wednesday April 13th 2011, from approximately 10pm until 1:10am, we were continually threatened by the SPD with a possible shut down and incarceration when we were clearly under the 90dB noise ordinance limit (readings came in at an average of 75dB through out the night, while standing directly out front of The Baltic Room at 1207 Pine St). We monitored the volume all night and I can say for certain that had the police been monitoring the volume with their own dB meter, they would have come to the same conclusion. If we're under the limit, how are we breaking any law and how can we be threatened with a shut down/incarceration if there's no police evidence that we were over the limit? Until we get an actual reading from the police, this sort of threat is unjustified.
Det. Mark Jamieson, SPD's media relations officer, implied that as long as the club continues to work with the city that the issue can be worked out in a manner agreeable to all parties involved. Their criteria for determining what is an acceptable noise level, however, is a little ambiguous. The legal dB limit on the books is not the only factor used when determining if the volume is considered excessive. Other factors are based largely on the officers discretion, such as their general sense of the noise outside the club and whether or not it can be heard directly in the complainant'(s) residence, Jamieson said.
Events will continue to happen at Baltic Room, but will the SPD be on hand monitoring dB levels all night? Talk about a buzz-kill. Hopefully the new sound-proofing measures will alleviate the issue before things escalate any further. It'd be unfortunate to see the opinion of one person threaten the entire sustainability of a club that has done so much to up their game in terms of renovations and quality bookings and has become a vital spot for electronic music in Seattle.
The new venue, Fred Wildlife Refuge, which is presented by Can Can, located on Capitol Hill, and described as "A 2-Story, 1960s-era photo/production studio, art gallery & artist clubhouse," opens Thursday night with: Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground, Can Can Castaways, The Heavenly Spies, and more. Also of note: It's Wildlife-Themed Attire Required. See pictures of the space here, and tickets here.
FRED Wildlife Refuge is a privately-run, collaborative art center that includes a photo studio, art gallery, performance/rehearsal studio (for physical arts), scene shop and a private event facility for rent. A refuge for Seattle's most inventive and innovative artists FRED challenges creatives to break away from their normal routine and venture into unlikely collaborations with artists of disciplines other than their own. FRED will provide space for collaboration among (but not limited to) music, dance, physical performance, literary artists and visual artists to enter into cross-genre partnerships with the intent of adding new repertoire to Seattle's already vibrant art scene.
Thursday, January 13th 6 pm to 9 pm. The artist is Matthew Nichols. Matt is the brainchild of Mabuse Industries, and he makes really, really weird stuff. I believe he is going to do some sort of popsicle installation that slowly melts and ruins his own art. The show is one night only, and there will be libations while they last. More HERE.
Thursday, January 13th 9 pm to 2 am. Dumb Eyes' presents: PENETRATION a Capitol Hill Art Walk After Party. Special guest projections and live interactive video experiments by Frank Correa and Nick Bartoletti. DJ set by Christian Petersen. Prism glasses will be provided. More HERE.
Thursday, January 13 5 pm to 8 pm. Jesse Higman: Illuvium: A Live Painting Event. Jesse Higman will be demonstrating the technique he invented to create the paintings in his current show. Detail and photos of the process are at this link. Often volunteers are asked to help with various steps, creating an interactive experience. Jesse Higman is attracting the attention of everyone from the Seattle Mayor's Office to the Smithsonian Institution. Higman might not have expanded on his artistic career if it weren't for an accident in his teens that left him a quadriplegic. He says, "I have been impacted so undeniably by tragedy and great fortune that I began curiously studying the processes of life and how things happen. A disability necessitates mechanical adaptations, amplifying my natural desire to engineer." More HERE.
See all the listings for tonight's Blitz, The Capitol Hill Arts Walk, right HERE.
Last night, my friend Lauren kept flashing these obnoxious blue and red lights that were essentially a less harmful laser pointer, but still blind-worthy flashlight. It was a dark room, so it was easy to tell when the little lights were activated. Closer inspection revealed that they were rat-shaped. Miniature light-up rats. "They're Party Rats," she claimed. Lauren isn't a writer, but all night long she was claiming "they're ideal for night blogging!" At first, I thought she was making it up, being her funny self. But she was serious. "Ideal for Night Blogging" was a selling point on the package of these Party Rats. What the fuck is "night blogging"? Don't people who "blog" use their smart phones anyway? Aside from us old school concert note-takers, who still resort to the ol' pen and notebook (which is note-taking, not blogging), I don't know why anyone else would need the assistance of a little light-up rat. They'd probably be cool at a rave though.
Don't have plans for New Year's Eve yet? Well there are nearly 70 options right here! And even a few more party listings have come in since press time:
Wig Out With Lushy at the Orient Express Lushy and DJ Vodka Twist will be playing in the bar car of the Orient Express! It's a wig party, too, wear your best fake hair. Private rooms are also available. Orient Express, 2963 Fourth Ave S, 682-0683, 9:30 pm.
Pony's New Year's Gala With DJ El Toro, go-go studs, champagne, "shenanigans, and midnite smooches!" Pony, 1221 E Madison St, 324-2854, 9 pm, free.
Champagne Life Black & Silver NYE Bash Ring in 2011 at the Red Lion Hotel's Grand Ballrooms with DJs Kun Luv, Hitmann, Po'Lo, Quietstorm, and Kim. Also featuring Darrius Willrich and Danny Welsh. Dinner is served at 8 pm, the party starts at 9 pm. VIP tickets and tables are available; cosmopolitan attire required. Red Lion Hotel, Grand Ballrooms, 1415 Fifth Ave, 971-8000, 8 pm, $20-$75.
New Year's Eve 2010: A Celebration to Remember With DJ Headache, DJ Marty Mar, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and party favors, and two full bars. VIP packages are available; "dress to impress." Copper Cart Cafe, 113 Bell St, 239-0830, 9 pm, $20-$35.
Last night I had a chance to check out the Nightmare Cabaret Before Christmas, a burlesque/variety show currently playing at the Belltown Underground Events Center. It's kitschy, it's cute, and it's more fun than most of the burlesque I've seen in this town. I can recommend it, even if you're not a fan of the movie. You can get tickets here, which you should.
Are you ready for next week? Tempting turkey and vocal vegans and creamed corn clam casserole and forced smiles and awkward hugs and distended abdomens and too much/not enough booze and cigars? After you've had your fill of family and food next Thursday, get your grateful self down to Odd Fellows West Hall for an evening of pure gay delight in Ben DeLaCreme's Homo for the Holidays—featuring the dazzling DeLaCreme, sync masters Cherdonna & Lou, slide-show savant/haiku hero ilvs strauss, and bur/boylesque superstars Fuchsia FoXXX and Paris Original, plus a special guest star each night (see list below)!
In the words of ilvs strauss, who will be playing Jesus Christ, "[Join us] as we pay homage to Winter and Queer Culture, Chanukah and Christmas, Reindeer and Snowpeople, the open definition of Family and the general sentiment of Love." This year, the show runs Thanksgiving and Hanukkah weekends, as well as Christmas Eve. These tickets go fast. Get yours here.
November 25: Jinkx Monsoon November 26: Victor Janusz November 27: Sylvia O'Stayformore and Tor December 2: Miss Indigo Blue December 3: Waxie Moon December 4: Sarah Rudinoff and Nick Garrison December 24: The Shanghai Pearl
Every single Halloween party happening in the city is listed in this week's paper on page 65. But the online version (posted right here) has just updated with even more options!
Sun 10/31 THRILLER PARTY AT PLUM BISTRO Featuring DJ T Top, Prince vs. Michael, food, and drink specials. Plum Bistro, 1429 12th Ave, 838-5333, 10 pm, free.
Sat-Sun 10/30-31 FIRST ANNUAL BIG MARIO'S HALLOWEEN PARTY AND LOOKALIKE CONTEST "Dress up as Big Mario and win big prizes" including a $250 tab at Mario's. That's a lot of pizza. Big Mario's, 1009 E Pike St, 922-3875, free.
Sat 10/30 PROCESSION OF LOST SOULS COSTUME PARADE AND CONTEST Show of your costume in a parade down Broadway! It starts at 7 pm at SCCC Plaza at Broadway and Pine and will head north to Republican Street. SCCC Plaza, Broadway and Pike, all ages, free more info here.
Click here to see 'em all! And if you know of even more things to do, leave the information in the comments. Hooray for choices! Hooray for Halloween! Hooray for America!
4 days and counting. Are you ready? There's some stellar costume ideas over at Drunk of the Week. Wiccans, pagans, and a shit-ton of good ideas in Questionland. Oh, and if you don't know WHERE the hell you're going, you better go read these.