Thinking about the national and UK press Seattle's been getting lately about its revived scene made me realize there's something that just has to be said on the topic. Unlike the present, where there are at least five great local bands playing at once every Friday and Saturday night, a decade ago, when the city was experiencing another musical heyday, there weren't that many truly good bands making waves. Sure there were Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Hole, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and Pearl Jam, but have we forgotten that Candlebox had a gigantic hit with that agonizing song about cryin' and dyin', followed up by the equally successful and equally painful "You"? That the deplorably named Green Apple Quick Step was signed to a major that allowed the band to stomp around in garbage sluice throughout their video for "Dirty Water Ocean"? This time around, the old popularity circuit looks far less embarrassing and practically no one stinks. The newly re-formed Presidents of the United States of America, however, must be singled out for their ingenuity--having sat out the blah years, the kooky trio emerged a few months ago looking ready to take on the world again, which they're currently doing. But speaking of the Presidents, last weekend I caught an old repeat of Almost Live! featuring that frenetic band and Governor Gary Locke rockin' out together.
Before he jetted off to Toronto recently, Posies drummer Darius Minwalla revealed another facet of his genius, informing me of the theme restaurant he'd like to open called Spaghetti Lee's. A tribute to all things Rush, the menu would feature "Closer to the Hearty Meat Sauce," "Veal Peart," "Working Manicotti," "YYZiti," "Red Bruschetta," and my personal favorite, "Spirit of the Radiatore," among other hilariously named items. Drummers--so good in so many ways.
With an unbelievably hard-rocking set, Loudermilk ended their months-long tour on Sunday, May 11, with a show at Graceland. Despite suffering from a mean case of bronchitis, singer Davey Ingersoll screamed and sang like never before and the band played the hell out of the songs they've been performing since 1997, before all the label woes ensued. Now ready to get to work on new material for their next album with DreamWorks Records, Loudermilk sang debut The Red Record in its entirety before waving ta-ta to the whole lot of songs, which were written when the guys were teenagers. Word has it that they'll be moving back to Seattle sometime this summer, so give them the warm welcome they should've gotten when they moved here from the Tri-Cities several years ago, ya stinkers. So what if the major labels pounced on them as soon as they got here. Everyone's been through some kind of hell since then and really, it's time we all got along. Besides, they're sweet as pie and drummer Isaac Carpenter's skills boggle the brain.
Finally, if you love pop and haven't yet heard the New Pornographers' latest album, Electric Version, please march straight to your local record store and buy a copy. You won't be disappointed. ("Chump Change" is my current favorite track.) Then go see the band play live when they come to the Showbox on Saturday, June 14, with the hopelessly romantic David Gedge and his post-Wedding Present project Cinerama.