"This is Seattle. You could bring Jesus to town and only a couple people would show up." That was the explanation Larry Mizell Jr., The Stranger's own hiphop columnist, gave for the low turnout at the Kool Keith/Slick Rick show at club Premier last weekend. And by low, I mean a giant, airplane-hangar-sized space that was less than a quarter full. (I also overheard one rock type ask if the lineup was possibly akin to a Warrant/Skid Row appearance.) Despite the aerosol art backdrop for the hiphop kingpins, and despite the revived dance party when Keith finally hit the stage close to midnight, my personal highlight was watching the Massive Monkees. Seattle's internationally renowned breakdancing crew performed enough backflips, headspins, and synchronized dance moves to make you realize that the pop culture Olympics happen on our home turf each time these talented athletes perform. (Be sure to check them out at Bumbershoot.)

Speaking of spinning, the Giampino goodwill continues. A benefit for Scott and Ali (the two music-scene figures whose house was recently destroyed by what is believed to be arson) is going down on Sunday, August 22, at the Viceroy. Money from select drink specials will go toward the Giampino Fund, as DJ El Toro plays a mix of classic funk and soul.

Also on Sunday, Kincora is throwing a free show, Hoot 4: Summer Jam, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Former San Francisco residents (or frequent Bay Area travelers) may remember the Hoot moniker from a regular night thrown by Mover's Eric Shea, involving a number of musicians from various genres in a decidedly "anti-open-mic" performance. His influence has moved up north, and tonight's Hoot lineup includes solo stints from members of Love as Laughter, the Vells, Goldrush, and the Femurs, among others.

I caught Gosling's Graceland show last week, and I would try and pin them as one of the next big Seattle acts, except that I fucked up last week when I wrote that they live here. The ex-Loudermilk/ex-Tri Cities boys now reside in L.A., which they reminded the crowd several times at the EP release for their debut under this new name. Whatever part of the West Coast they choose to call home, their bratty, glammy rock ballads sounded great live, for the first part of their set at least (when called back for an encore, the singer apologized for having run out of material to play).

It's no secret that Death Cab, Postal Service, and the Shins are inescapable standbys on alternative radio, but they've really infiltrated the movie business now as well, with all three bands ending up on newly released/soon-to-be-released soundtracks. The Shins are given a shining moment in the new indie romance Garden State (with Natalie Portman telling Zach Braff their song "New Slang" will change his life), and all three acts are on the new Wicker Park soundtrack, with the Postal Service doing a very, ahem, meaningful cover of "Against All Odds."

jennifer@thestranger.com

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