Through the help of friends who threw together a quick-style benefit after Plan B got nearly everything they owned ripped off out of their van a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco (see last week's Some Candy Talking), $1,900 was raised to help the band begin to replace some of the super important things that were stolen, including an Mbox so James van Leuven can finish his record. A borrowed digital camera can now also be compensated for and software and drawing tools are on the way.
It was nice to see Sam Jayne in town, celebrating his 30th birthday with shows in Olympia and at the Vera Project, and at parties with friends galore. He's a guy whose arrival truly deserves a ticker-tape/confetti parade. Maybe next time?
They were before my time, but damn if Seattle doesn't love their Young Fresh Fellows. In fact, a 21-track salute called This One's for the Fellows comes out on May 7, featuring the Figgs, the Maroons with Stephen Malkmus, the Presidents of the United States of America, Robyn Hitchcock, the Silos, the Makers, the Groovie Goulies, the Black Panties, the Mendoza Line, Visqueen, and loads of other fans. The CD release party is also on May 7 at the Crocodile and let's just say the entire world of anybody who is a fan of the Fellows will either be performing or attending. Oh, and to make sure nobody's britches split once the tributes start, the Young Fresh Fellows will kick off the night by going on first.
Speaking of Visqueen, before he hit the road with the Shins, Phil Ek was producing a follow-up to Rachel Flotard/Ben Hooker/Kim Warnick's exuberant power pop debut, King Me. The bits I've heard so far sound amazing, so get ready for a new record to fall in love with. (Until Ek is finished with his Shins duties, Visqueen is currently on tour all over the West Coast.)
I've also heard a bit of the new Vells full-length, and I can say that it sounds like nothing any other band is doing in this city--and I like it so much it almost makes me ache. That Tristan--he of the sweet stinging voice--can turn a phrase that'll stick in your head for weeks.
A band called Phobophobe claims to have a discovered a truly original sound formed of "dark, moody psychedelia mixed with lo-fi noise, sprinkles of prog, and anti-optimistic lyrics." They also claim live performances feature the drummer "simultaneously playing keyboards, singing, and NOT making it sound like absolute crap." We'll be the judges of that, right? Phobophobe opens for the Blessed Light next week on May 1 at the Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater.
Have you heard of the Mirabeau Room, which opened Wednesday, April 21, in the space that held the beloved Sorry Charlie's for so many dang years? It's the new project from David Meinert, Jeff Steichen, and Mandy Park. Check out www.themirabeauroom.com for the skinny and all that other pertinent information. I think it's pretty safe to say that no one was happy to hear that Sorry Charlie's was to be turned into a high-class nightclub, but the outcome remains to be seen before any conclusions can be made.
Here's another tidbit to throw into the pile of news, rumors, and gossip that is shaping up to be this week's column: Cobra High claims to have recorded a song that clocks in at the three-minute mark, quite an abbreviated time for a band known to have recorded some pretty excellent long-ass tracks in the past.
I'll sign off with an early warning: You may already be enjoying your April skies, but if everything goes as planned, expect to hear about a night happening mid-June where a bunch of Geminis get together for a show featuring local bands covering Jesus and Mary Chain songs. What can I say other than it'll be just like honey?