Thursday night at Chop Suey saw the iPod-powered acts No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Bobcats, and DJ Not So Good mixing it up with the live-instrument antics of Teeth & Hair and Feral Children. Feral Children were a near miss for last issue's "The Young Ones," a list of bands you'll be hearing about in 2007. I predict we'll be hearing a lot from Feral Children over the course of this year too. I'll probably regret saying this, but what the hell—Feral Children are the next Modest Mouse. Like that band, Feral Children hail from the fast-developing rural suburbs, and express those familiar feelings of loss and encroaching gloom that come from such futureless places. Their live show transforms the melancholy indie rock of their self-released EP, Eternity Emergency, into something raw and loose, propelled by boozy percussive jams in which singer Jeff Keenan bangs wildly on, among other things, an emptied keg. Their trucker caps, tattooed sleeves, and unkempt beards make them look like actual truckers rather than studied hipsters, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least a couple of them know how to hunt and/or go shooting on regular basis.
On Friday night, DJ AMS (Andy Sells of FCS North) held court at the (tragically) soon-to-be-razed Bus Stop, playing an expertly mixed set of '80s freestyle, unreleased LCD Soundsystem, and Japanese hiphop for the early crowd. Next stop was the inaugural edition of Pleasure Boys, a new monthly night happening every first Friday at Sugar featuring DJ Ate My Baby, Dee Jay Jack, and guests. The DJs are fighting an uphill battle to bring some freshness to the prematurely stale club, and if the mix of people gets as wonderfully random as their choice of tunes—Soulwax bumping up against Toto Coelo—they might just pull it off.
Also bar hopping that night was Jeremy Cooper of now sadly defunct band Display, (Stranger scribe Zac Pennington once dubbed them "the most significant musical force to ever creep their way out of the glorious cesspool that is Everett, Washington"). Jeremy's back in town after a long, post-meltdown stint in Portland and is working on assembling a (new?) band and making music again, thank god.
Over at the War Room, Rags2Riches is still going, despite the absence of Seattle DJ phenom Four Color Zack. After opening sets from DJ Naha and Fortune Kiki, DJ N8 held down the headlining spot with the kind of populist selections and attention-deficient mixing that would make the erstwhile Four Color Kid proud. Among the crowd at the War Room were Fourth-city DJs Introcut and M'Chateau, whose popular hiphop weekly, Stop Biting, is rumored to be moving to Thursdays at the Baltic Room in the not-too-distant future. I ended my night with a brief visit to a near-stranger's apartment, where I witnessed a coked-up fight between a local record-store employee and the apartment's resident for control of her record player and extensive collection of new wave LPs. She eventually won and we all got a good dose of that other November Group.
Neumo's was packed for a benefit show with the Shins' James Mercer on Saturday night. The KEXP faithful—including more genial yuppies than your average live audience—stood in rapt, reverent silence as Mercer gently strummed the life-changing chords of "Gone for Good," "Phantom Limb," and "New Slang" (note to singer-songwriters: Nothing injects a crowd with quiet sobriety quite like the specter of muscular dystrophy).
Finally, in more death-of-the-neighborhood news, Seattle's venerable (or is that venereal?) den of after-hours iniquity Egg Room closed this weekend without so much as one last blowout party. Over the years, the space hosted afterparties for and DJ sets by such acts as !!!, Erase Errata, the Rapture, the Presets, Mars Volta, the Faint, Spank Rock, Bloc Party, and countless others. I DJ'd there several times, made out there considerably less, got slapped there once or twice, and ingested more bad things than I care to remember (luckily, I don't remember everything). The mysterious forces behind the place tell me that the closure is due to increased heat from everyone's favorite liquor control board, but that they're looking for new, hopefully lower-profile digs. In the meantime, late-night revelers can try to find the elusive Cafe Un-American, a speakeasy so exclusive that they wouldn't let me in the one time I tried to go—the door guy said they were full to capacity for Texas hold 'em, which frankly doesn't sound like that good of a party.