In my book, this is the one cultural marker that counts: landing a spot on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Modest Mouse may have been saved from Lollapalooza (sorry, I'll never recover from the many mudslides suffered at the Kitsap Bowl in Bremerton to endorse the brouhaha without prejudice, even if Morrissey was to play at that festival), but besides Good News for People Who Love Bad News having already been certified gold with sales well over 500,000, the band will debut, on Conan, the song "Ocean Breathes Salty" on Wednesday, July 21, as another mark of their continued success.

David Letterman had my heart from 1982 or so, when I used to skip college to watch his daytime show, until I realized my dream of sitting in his audience back in 1999. I was there with former Stranger staffer Neil Pineschi and a purple-haired Diane Perini--the legend who made the Breakroom so kickass in its early years and then moved to New York and had this crazy idea called the Siren Music Festival--seriously, it was her own damn idea--which turned into the gigantic, peerless New York summer rock 'n' roll extravaganza that's happening again this year on July 17. Anyway, all three of us actually got a couple seconds of Letterman airtime, too, because the guy in front of us played "Stump the Band" or some other audience participation folly before the tiniest Christina Aguilera made her debut with "Genie in a Bottle." On that same show, Jenna Elfman played the drums (while her thong underpants reached singlet proportions), and Chris Kattan showed off his perky butt. Again, I digress. After that experience, however, it was Conan who put hearts where my pupils should be, so bravo, Modest Mouse.

What else? Oh, thank you to the night staff of the lovely Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel (located across the street from Anthony's Pier 66 and the booze-cruise dock) for allowing me and some girlfriends, including a couple "tour wives," to have an all-night girly party with no complaints. The accommodating crew even produced the keys to the long-closed gift shop at 2:30 a.m. to retrieve some Mylanta, which helped quell some temporary retching--thus saving the night, mid-party, for a gathering that went on till sunup. Though boys attempted to gain invitation after last call, only one was temporarily allowed in (because he could argue politics while remaining cute and drunkypants), just after the Mylanta kicked in. Walking in the door, he looked around the room and asked rhetorically, "What is this, the Lifetime Network?" "Oxygen," we corrected.

I nearly shot soda water out of my nose several days ago when a certain singer for Smoke and Smoke began a sentence directed at me with, "I know you're probably not a fan of my band...." Not a fan of his band? Smoke and Smoke, which also includes the duo who made up one of my all-time favorite local bands, godheadSilo?! (I guess we all know that a certain someone who happens to sing hasn't read a word I've written for the better part of 10 years.) As I've said time and again, the loud and frenzied music of godheadSilo's Skyward in Triumph remains a seriously beloved album, one I turn to when I need to calm down (as I've also said before right here in this paper), the same way that Ritalin was supposed to work on the brains of extra-busy kids. Smoke and Smoke will play all the way out in Ballard at the lovely Sunset Tavern (that's a $37 cab ride round trip from Capitol Hill, before tips) with the Marked Men and Stab Master Arson on Saturday, July 17. I'll be there, bells on and earplugs in, and perhaps a certain singer should check out the front row--where I'll be standing, just as I was when his band played Chop Suey a few months ago. That was the night when my hair was newly blond, and if I remember correctly, there was a shout-out to Derek Fudesco or Dann Gallucci or some other former members of a certain singer's defunct band, just before he fell down on stage and I laughed and laughed and laughed.