Horse Face and Snake Bands

Can I get a big round of HEE HAW directed at Dave Grohl, for crying out loud? First it was his braying face clamoring for camera time next to cool guest host Christopher Walken during nearly every prime-time station break leading up to the Foo Fighters' appearance on Saturday Night Live. Then he shows up on the Grammys with Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, and Steve Van Zandt singing "London Calling" in a tribute to the late Joe Strummer. If my local exit poll was any indication of how the national viewing audience felt about the tribute--fake accents and all--then just as many of you creamed your dungarees as crapped them over the sight. For the figurative record, I crapped. Even though days before, an over-excited Foo Fighters publicist had sent out a breathless press release drawing my attention to the fact that Grohl would be part of the honorary get-together while he cooled his heels waiting to see if either of his bands would win for "Best Hard Rock Performance." Foo Fighters won, by the way (for those of you who were watching the special two-hour block of Cops instead), with "All My Life," while his abandoned Queens of the Stone Age didn't with "No One Knows." Foo Fighters were also up for "Best Rock Song," but Grohl lost to his pal Bruce. HOWEVER, not before he got a chance to ham it up with Joan Rivers on the red carpet as he made the obvious retarded joke about being "rock hard." All together now: HEE HAW.

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You know how you see folks all the time at their jobs and they're just the nicest, quietest people, and then you see them on stage in front of their band and they're total rock stars? That was the case with 764-HERO's John Atkins, whose patient Cha Cha bartender persona gave way to that of a powerful frontman. Multiply it by 10 and you've got the energy and charisma of These Arms Are Snakes singer Steve Snere. Known as "Little Steve" during all hours off stage, Snere turned into a wild man during his band's opening set last Friday night at Chop Suey, and I wasn't the only one in the audience whose mouth dropped open, such was the transformation. Also reaching new heights of stage presence were billmates Cobra High, who yet again topped themselves with another great performance. The four-piece gets my vote as sexiest band in Seattle, and I had to go sit on the bench in the ladies' room to cool off after singer Justin's transformation from quiet doorman and barback to key-pounding hot daddy. (Oh, to be 24 again....) Given Cobra High's new spin on prog rock, it was cool to see an appreciative Kurt Bloch rocking out in the front row. The band and the Yes-loving producer are meant for each other. Minus the Bear headlined to a wildly appreciative audience, who got an encore out of a band that usually doesn't grant any. I like Minus the Bear's policy on that. Just play it all at once, and if you think the audience will demand an encore, announce that the next three songs will be the encore part of the show but that you're going to remain on stage because the whole leaving and coming back thing is embarrassing. Oh yeah, and don't play for more than 55 minutes total. We don't all have bad tattoos on our legs to camouflage any future varicose veins caused by standing for hours on end watching bands.