Archive for April, 2007

Big Daddy from Cincinnati

A couple of months ago I was at a Sonics game with a friend and we heard forward Danny Fortson tagged with the nickname “Big Daddy from Cincinnati”. My friend and I exchanged a look of disbelief. Big Daddy from Cincinnati? That’s the best they could come up with? Regardless, it got me thinking about Seattle sports nicknames.

Zoo Tunes lineup announced

Zoo Tunes [site], the fun and popular concert series at the Woodland Park Zoo [site] kicks off this year on June 17th with the Indigo Girls. The line up this year is excellent, with a variety of acts representing a variety of genres. I recommend charming local performer Brandi Carlile [site ] but no matter what your taste in music might be, there’s bound to be someone playing whom you’ll enjoy. Anyway, you’ll be seeing a concert at the zoo and what could be cooler than that? brandi%20carlile.jpg

Zoo Tunes:

  • June 17 – Indigo Girls
  • June 20 – Herbie Hancock Trio
  • June 27 – Brandi Carlile
  • July 18 – Patty Griffin
  • July 25/26 – Pink Martini
  • July 29 – Great Big Sea
  • August 1 – Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
  • August 8 – Robert Earl Keen with special guest Todd Snider
  • August 15 – Old Crow Medicine Show with special guest The Be Good Tanyas

Tickets go on sale May 7 and be forewarned: they go fast!

Monday Agenda: Jarvis vs. Anita vs. Dora

Jarvis Cocker (photo: Flickr user tripwireerin)
Jarvis Cocker (photo by Flickr user tripwireerin)

Jarvis Cocker. Look. You have to see Jarvis Cocker. The man may well be the most underrated musical genius of our time. Josh saw him at Coachella this past weekend (I hate you 4-eva, Josh) and couldn’t stop raving about him (from LAX). And when I was living in the UK ten years ago, all the cool kids were totally into Jarvis and the greatness that was Pulp’s mid-90s opuses Different Class and This Is Hardcore, while the drunker ones were still stuck on 1995-era Oasis. Poseurs. Anyway, the man is a friggin’ genius. He’s sexy, coy, a little shy, highly literate, and very engaging all at once. I really think that when Samantha finally finds herself a man that doesn’t weird her out or have a criminal record, he’ll be an American version of Jarvis Cocker. Or Canadian. Or Botswanan. (Showbox, 8pm, $25)

Viva Voce. But if you’re not into Jarvis, and again, you really should be, there’s the adorable kids of Viva Voce. Fresh off their opening gig with the Shins (and Anita’s tambourine playing on just about every Shins TV appearance), they’re driving up from Portland for the umpteenth time this year. Unfortunately for most of you, the show is “invite only.” But then, I wasn’t invited either, so go see Jarvis instead and tell Kevin and Anita off at the Capitol Hill Block Party later this year. (Crocodile, who knows, I told you it was “invite only” and I didn’t get invited so stop looking at me)

Dora the Explorer/Wonder Pets/Backyardigans Marathon.
However, some of us can’t go to see Jarvis because taking a three year old to a rock show makes you look like a bad father. Well, at least in the eyes of her mother. (my house, this evening, free but bring your own juice)

Delicious! Sugar Shack Baking Co.

This Saturday I had the pleasure of heading into Lake City to meet some friends at the Sugar Shack Baking Co. Even though it’s only on 15th and Lake City Way, it’s still a bit difficult to find. If you’re coming off of I-5, you might miss it since it’s a bit hidden behind All The Best pet store. But seriously, make an effort to find it and go in.

The girls at Sugar Shack make a myriad of delicious looking baked goods. The cookies are large and perfect looking, the cupcakes are frosted with cheeky little dots of frosting that kind of look like flowers, and the scones! Ohmigosh the scones! They’re the lightest, most delicious scones to ever cross these lips. I sampled the strawberry, peaches and almond and the jalepeno and cheddar. I love savory breakfast items so the jalepeno was right up my alley, but I only sampled a part of a friend’s because I got seduced by the light sugary coating on the strawberry scone. I don’t know if I can say it enough, but these scones made my Saturday. They also make a darn good latte (although this is what I hear, since I just got drip coffee, which also happened to be pretty good and not burnt like Starbucks coffee tends to be.) Not only do they serve delicious baked goods, but they also have some darn tasty sandwiches and soups. To sum up: Sugar Shack Baking Co. on Lake City Way and 15th=good. You should go there, and soon. To quote a friend “The first time I came here, I walked out with one of everything in the case. It was the best 20 bucks I ever spent.”

Also, James over at the Seattlest was one of the first to blog about Sugar Shack and the subsequent drama surrounding it’s name. Go check it out.

Not the Fremont Troll

I’ve been living in the area for several months now, and I thought it was high time for me to visit the Fremont Troll. I had a beautiful day, I had a dog on a leash. What I did not have, was a clue. The particular clue that I was missing was that the Fremont Troll does NOT reside under the Fremont Bridge. My dog and I didn’t have to explore for too long under the drawbridge (and it’s a mess down there) before we 1) knew that we were in the wrong place and 2) gave a security guard get his morning entertainment watching us try to find the troll.

Nevertheless, I did fid a weird little green building with more doors than walls. That made it worth while. What’s with this building? When I talked with the security guard (he kindly gave directions to the troll), he guessed that it might have been used for an engineers’ room for the drawbridge a long time ago. When was it used? What did it do? Where did the doorknobs go? Who might have the answers to these questions?!


The ‘boys say howdy to Isaiah

photo by Billy A [flickr]

Former Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback was drafted in the 4th round by the Dallas Cowboys this morning. It’s a little surprising Stanback went that high. He’s an amazing athlete but isn’t a terribly talented quarterback. It’s likely the Cowboys drafted him with the idea of converting him to a position where his athletic ability can be put to good use — like wide receiver or safety/CB.

Good luck, Isaiah. Even though you were kind of a hard-luck guy for the Huskies, your competitive spirit will be missed. Please don’t be mad when I root for your dismal failure if/when you play against the Seahawks.

A little greenery for your weekend

If your garden is looking a bit winter-ravished and bare these days, head on over to the FlorAbundance plant sale at Magnuson Park this Satuday from 10-5 and Sunday from 10-3. This is the largest plant sale in the Puget Sound region with a variety of flowers, herbs, and shrubs from local nurseries and vendors.

We picked up this lovely little carnivorous pot for only $15.

Warren G. Magnuson Park
Special Events Center, (Building 27)
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA

A love letter to Grand Archives


Dear Grand Archives,

I think you probably already know this, but I sort of love you.

I was pretty sure this was going to get serious when I first heard your demo. As I’ve said before, I’d go see Matt Brooke play if it was just him and a guitar singing the phone book, but these songs were something special. I liked how the layered harmonies and slowly building songs made my spine tingle. And then you played your first show, at Neumos [mb], and though you fell a few songs short of a full set and faltered a couple of times, I was pretty much gone.

I fell a little more in love with you on Wednesday, flying back from Utah, listening to “Sleepdriving” over and over a mile above mountains slowly losing their cloak of snow to the spring.

And then there was last night at the Crocodile. I was a little surprised to see that the room didn’t sell out, considering how much everyone’s been talking about you, and I figured that anyone with both sense and ears would be there. (I was glad to see a bunch of people I knew there. My people, anyway, have sense and ears. I knew you did, guys.) Touring with Modest Mouse seems to have done you good–the rounds that you were singing didn’t slip once, everything overlapping and building and making my spine tingle all over again. The people behind me were whispering, “Have you heard these guys before?” “No.” “They’re really good!” “I know!” You made me want to hug everyone around me and then hop in a car and drive for days, and you even played a full set.

It was pretty adorable that you were “out of sorts” from your tour. Out of sorts is clearly the new rock thing to be at the Crocodile. (See also: Central Services last Friday.) And instead of doing an encore you just played a couple more songs and joked about encores. This is another new trend in shows that I like so much.

What I’m trying to say, Grand Archives, is that you’re one of my favorite things about music so far this year, and I hope we never part. Please stay away from saxophones.



Let’s Go To The Movies

For three and a half weeks every year, I live on popcorn and diet soda. Ok, so not really, but I do spend more time at the movies than I do anywhere else (including work – shhhhh, don’t tell my boss). Those three and a half weeks comprise the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). This year’s festival runs from May 24th through June 17th.


Kinski, World’s End Girlfriend, Mono

When World’s End Girlfriend, a solo act from Japan, took the stage on wednesday night, we had no idea what to expect. The set up was intriguing: A man alone on stage with his guitar, mixing boards and Imac. Despite the consistently growing crowd through his set, he remained alone on stage. World’s, in fact, did not even so much as look up at the crowd to see what was going on. It was this intensity and focus, combined with his Sanjaya-esque pony-hawk which kept those around riveted on the performance. And what a performance. The sound began when he stepped on stage and did not stop for over an hour of crazed one-man-showmanship. The music itself kept bringing me back to an episode of Friends in which Ross brings out his keyboard and plays “The Sound.” It was almost as if, being alone, he didn’t have anyone to tell him what was great, what was good, and what maybe should have stayed off the stage. My boyfriend got to the bottom of it when he mentioned this is what he did back in high school, only alone and with the door shut to his room. “Would you have killed to do it on a stage, halfway around the world?” I asked. Needless to say, as we left, we declared him a new genre of music, previously undiscovered: Space Emo.

Next up was a change of pace from local band Kinski. Similar to WEG, they had a space rock flow that didn’t stop often, but this quartet knew just how to rock the crowd at Neumo’s. Each song had quiet moments and swelling crescendo’s which often caught me a little of gaurd, but in a good way. The sound was nothing revolutionary, but it was certainly different enough from your usual Seattle rock band that it made me smile to know that people were out there, changing the scene. The beat behind the space rock sounds blew it up a bit bigger than WEG and helped to wake up the crowd, much of which seemed to be just waiting for Mono to come on. While it wasn’t necesarily my brand of music, it was hard to keep your eyes off the performance of this band–from the bass players use of a bow on her bass to the flute playing by the keyboardist.

Mono Painting

Josh adds: I showed up late and missed both Naomi and the opening acts, arriving just in time to catch Mono. By that time Neumo’s was feeling like an aquarium supply store, warm and humid, and a welcome reprieve from the unseasonable cold April evening. As the crowd packed in for the headliners, the band set up to a low ambient drone. Just as they started playing, a man began painting over the large paper crane mosiac on the left side of the stage. As the band ran through their furious loudQUIETloud fits of alternate contemplation and epic ear-destroying crescendos, he kept pace, reworking the images over and over to match the mood of the songs. From the crowd, a mix of stunned appreciation, violent swaying, and a surprising amount of ululation.

a few more mono pictures [flickr]

p.s. Brian Connolly taped all three bands, the audio is now online for your listening pleasure []

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