After diligently attempting to court national network cable channels for months, Seattle School, the brains behind the Iron Composer series (and 2004 Stranger Genius Award recipients) recently announced the good news that Sony's Game Show Network finally popped the question. While the ink's still wet on the details of that relationship, the partnership ideally would mean boosting the budget, visibility, and talent available to this city's only booze-rific, theatrically bombastic songwriting competition. And in even better news—Seattle School won't have to hit Hollywood pool parties with the Lohans and Hiltons to make it all happen. "GSN has adamantly stated that they do not want to move the show to L.A., but insist on keeping production of an IC TV series here in Seattle," says SS's Korby Sears. "GSN execs were impressed with the organic groundswell the show has fostered in the local music community, and in particular with the wild crowds and mass audience participation that occurs at every show. To maintain this vibe, GSN has stated that they would rather bypass shooting the series at a TV sound stage, and would like to keep filming at a club here in town to maintain that live feel." Iron Composer aim to keep that groundswell afloat for the next round of spontaneous ditty creation/binge drinking on November 12 at the Crocodile. In the final battle of local talent (IC will pull from a national pool of musicians in the future), Lori Campion of the Hot Rollers and Billy Joe Huels of the Dusty 45's fight for the soul of Seattle songwriting from the bottom of a whiskey glass.
In other harmonious unions, Phil Wandscher, guitarist for Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, tells me Ms. Sykes's dulcet voice may find its way onto the next SunnO))) record. The queen of dark country and the hooded warlords of drone will pair for a track together some time in the future. Phil passed along this information after the incessant hammering of SunnO)))'s impressive/oppressive set. The sheer mass of their (mostly) instrumental meditations vibrated various body parts across Neumo's—from my own chest and legs to a friend's suggestion that it actually moved his nasal passages. People experience live music for various reasons, but the most obvious reason to see SunnO))) live is to stimulate nerve endings you didn't even realize existed—sort of an aural acupuncture, if you will. (Also, I have a new love for Japanese power trio Boris, who in addition to using a giant gong that night, smeared Sabbath and the Stooges all over their noise-rock bluster.)
While their vibrations were much milder in tone, the Gris Gris made their Neumo's show uniquely intimate, forgoing the stage for an extended set on the floor, making it feel like we were part of some low-key basement party. I've said it before, but it takes so little to turn a normal show-going experience on its side, and kudos to the Oakland psych band for doing just that... and more.