A few years ago, my friend Babs created a personal motivation game we would implement whenever we felt too lazy to venture out to a show. The game was called "What Would Scott McCaughey Do?" and it went like this: Faced with a decision between a show at the Crocodile and, say, new PJs and freshly laundered sheets, we'd imagine what tireless local music supporter McCaughey would do in such a situation. Of course, the PJs and sheets could wait.

Well, all that dedication and love of music has paid off for McCaughey in spades, because he recently lived out every performer's dream: He played Carnegie Hall with R.E.M., on January 31 as part of a star-studded benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis. Since Peter Buck is also a Seattle resident, I guess that makes two local guys sprinkled in pixie dust (I hear it sticks extra well to honey-flavored yogurt). Until his trial for raising hell on a British Airways flight last year resumes in March, Buck is focusing on a new album with McCaughey's Minus 5 that should be released sometime in July on Mammoth/Malt records. The title of the disc? Bored at the Bed.


The Cha Cha was recently abuzz with chatter about a rumored legal war soon to be waged between the former Murder City Devils and Sub Pop. Details are sketchy, but it seems that Sub Pop feels the band still owes money following its breakup. Others say that the label is retaliating over its failure to procure (with its "leaving member clause") Pretty Girls Make Graves, and is now trying to charge MCD for mechanical royalties, despite the fact that the band still sells nearly 100 CDs per week. And what's up with no one from Sub Pop turning out for Kim Warnick's last Fastbacks show?


Friends and loved ones gathered at Capitol Hill's Baltic Room on Sunday, February 10, to celebrate the life and mourn the recent passing of Troy Bethel, a friend of the local music community. Hosted by longtime friends Jeff Ofelt and Wade Weigel (part-owners of the Cha Cha and Chop Suey), the memorial featured a wall of photos and a video montage of various performances and candid moments from Troy's rich life. Recent L.A. transplant Mario Diaz summed up by telling the crowd, "Although he was never famous, Troy was a star." A two-song acoustic performance from a newly mohawked Eddie Vedder left hardly a dry eye in the house, particularly since it included a Cat Stevens song from one of Troy's favorite movies, Harold and Maude. Many in the crowd noted how Troy would have loved the fact that his memorial service featured enough "star power" to make "the society pages." This is the best I can do for you. Rest in peace, Troy Boy.