Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello (aka the Nightwatchman) attacked Seattle establishment the 5 Point Cafe on Twitter on September 26 after being denied a "special room" (a room that doesn't actually exist, fact fans) for his entourage, because the bar was at capacity. The acclaimed musician and activist had just performed a benefit concert for 15 Now with Audioslave bandmate/Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at El Corazon.
After getting turned away, Morello tweeted, "Five Point restaurant in Seattle is the WORST. Super rude & anti-worker. Shittiest doorman in the Northwest. Prick. Spread the word." 5 Point owner David Meinert (a Rage fan, by the way), was not amused and put Morello on blast on the business's Facebook page. "For the record Tom Morello—The 5 Point is totally pro-worker. We try to pay more than any other small restaurant, and on top of the higher pay, we offer health insurance, paid sick days, paid time off, retirement and profit share. Sorry if you had an issue with our staff, but typically our staff is awesome, and when they are not, it's usually a reflection of the customer. Act like a prick = get treated like a prick. Rock stars don't get special treatment at The 5 Point."
The doorman in question, Eric Roach, described the scene at the 5 Point when Morello and his crew rolled up near 1 a.m. as a madhouse, with one bartender and one waitress, their nerves fraying, trying to serve a full house. Roach says Morello didn't seem drunk or drugged up. "In fact, he didn't come off as being a jerk, other than that he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer," Roach said. "One of the first things out of his mouth was 'Does the owner like Rage Against the Machine?' I said, 'Probably, but we're full right now.' Normally I try to be witty with my answers, but the whole party kept trying to get in. 'Isn't there someplace in the back you can put us, away from everybody?' I said, 'No, man, it's not that kind of place. We're really small; I don't have any room for you.' At the point where he said, 'We're gonna go to IHOP,' I said, 'Great. IHOP's up the street. They're a lot bigger than we are. Have a good time.' He said, 'I'm gonna tweet you.' Then he actually did tweet about me. Whatever..."
Roach said the whole exchange lasted about five minutes and then the entourage left. "The whole time, I kept thinking there was a hidden agenda, knowing that he was there supporting 15 Now and how David [Meinert] was adamantly against [Kshama] Sawant's approach to the minimum-wage increase. It doesn't seem like much of a coincidence to me."
A subsequent tweet by Morello made conciliatory gestures, but even those had conditions regarding Meinert "fully embrac[ing] #15Now." If this incident proves anything, it's that even lefty-activist musicians can act like obnoxious prima donnas.
APHEX TWIN'S SYRO IS SELLING LIKE MAD IN SEATTLE RECORD SHOPS
The release of Syro, Aphex Twin's first proper album in 13 years, is a big deal, and the hype machine's revved up nicely to hail its arrival. Syro is neither Aphex Twin's best work nor his worst. It's a solid collection that bears his beloved trademark skittish, eccentric rhythms and effortlessly gorgeous melodies that seem at once alien and unbearably human.
The Stranger's Kyle Fleck correctly called Syro"one of his most open and accessible, delivering a crowd-pleasing set of futurist electro, alien acid, and mutated machine-prog." It even features a track—"s950tx16wasr10 [163.97] [earth portal mix]"—animated by the "Apache" breakbeat, one of the hoariest, most overused samples in electronic-music and hiphop history. Good to see Richard D. James hasn't lost his perverse sense of humor. My current favorite Syrocut is "PAPAT4  [pineal mix]," with its oneirically woozy synth motif and erratically staccato beats, but Aphex full-lengths have a tendency to grow and mutate on you the more you listen to 'em, and it's likely new revelations will hit over time.
With event releases in electronic music such as this relatively rare, it seemed relevant to check in with Seattle record stores to see how Syrois selling after a week or so on the market. Consider the results below more fuel for your "vinyl is back!" conversations.
Everyday Music: 24 LPs, 22 CDs. Wall of Sound: 10 LPs, 3 CDs. Sonic Boom: 22 LPs, 19 CDs. Silver Platters: 20 LPs, 20–30 CDs. Easy Street: 17 CDs, 5 LPs. Spin Cycle: 19 LPs (Spin Cycle doesn't sell CDs). Zion's Gate: 0. Note: Syro entered the Billboard 200 at number 11; SoundScan tallied 23,000 copies sold in its first week.