The big finale for The Stranger's local music-appreciation contest, Big Shot, went down at Neumo's last Friday, March 4. And since I was taking some notes--up until the tequila gimlets smeared the ink in my little black book--here's what I have to report. Number of broken arms: One, which belonged to Barfly of opening act the Saturday Knights. Using his good hand to crank the faucet doohickey and oven knob attached to his cast, the surly emcee still brought down the house, as his partner in mic, Tilsen, jumped into the crowd and rapped from the center of the front-row dance party. Number of underage girls onstage: two. The singers for two of the three Big Shot finalists, Mon Frere and Schoolyard Heroes, are both too young to sidle up to the bar, but their voices have aged nicely, as they belted to the rafters that night. Number of musicians doing their best Adam Ant impression: four? Most members of the third Big Shot finalists, Razrez, went all out on the face paint, leaving subtlety to the suckers as they rocked behind a smoke machine. The glammed-out performance wasn't in vain, however, as the band took home the 2005 Big Shot prize--meaning readers chose them over 14 other bands to receive loot (including $2,000 cash), festival slots, CD production help, and more. Congrats. From there the packed house was ready to really dance, which they did to DJs from the Baltic Room's Wednesday night W.I.R.E./ Member's Only crews (at which point I was attempting to get the Domino's Pizza guys to deliver me and a mushroom pizza back to my house). Number of light-up letters adorning the stage: Three, all of which belonged to U.S.E. , the electro-pop band with energy to spare for everyone, who reignited the crowd as the final live act for the night. Thanks to everyone who came out to play, DJ, and party for Big Shot (and my apologies to Domino's).

Speaking of U.S.E., both they and IQU have been asked for use of their music in the upcoming indie teen spoof, Another Gay Movie. IQU's "Dirty Boy" will play in a scene featuring Survivor's Richard Hatch and U.S.E.'s "La Discoteca" will be turned into a crowd sing-along in a gay bar.

It wasn't a sing-along, but cantankerous legend Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me) spent two nights in Seattle last week to promote his new book, The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. In addition to two "readings"--where McNeil chain smoked and acerbically addressed the audience while coauthor Jennifer Osborne and Portland zinester Jim Goad read from the book--McNeil stopped by the Crescent, and answered the question of who really wrote the lyrics to the contentious punk song "Chinese Rocks" (credited to Dee Dee Ramone and Richard Hell). It was Dee Dee, for anyone still keeping tally. McNeil is also working on a book about the makings of his defunct Punk magazine, for those keeping track of that one, too.

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