In other news, the members of Rush found themselves hugely displayed on Safeco Field's JumboTron during a Mariners game last Thursday with their biggest fan, Darius Minwalla of the Posies, sitting right behind his idol, singer Geddy Lee. (Minwalla is the guy who dreams of opening a Rush-themed restaurant called Spaghetti Lee's, which would offer entrées such as "Closer to the Hearty Meat Sauce," "Veal Peart," "Working Manicotti," "YYZiti," "Red Bruschetta," and "Spirit of the Radiatore.") The Posies drummer left the game with a baseball cap signed by his hero.
Oh, and hometown boy Duff McKagan stopped by the Cha Cha that same night in hopes that his pre-Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver bandmate Kim Warnick (they were once in the Fastbacks together) would be tending bar. She was, and the room began to buzz when Duff took a seat next to me and asked if the article he wrote for The Stranger's 2003 "Alternative Student Handbook" back-to-school issue had turned out okay. (It was about his then-current gig--attending Seattle University and studying for a bachelor's degree in business.) When he found out there still was a check waiting for him at our office in payment for that work, he was so excited--but not as excited as when I handed him two VIP invitations to that Saturday's DKT/MC5 show at Neumo's. If you thought you saw him in the balcony, most likely you did--probably with his gorgeous wife popping everyone's eyes out. As soon as McKagan finished his bottle of non-alcoholic Coors, he was out the door to do some babysitting, driving away in an older, classy Mercedes.
Now let's talk about the splendor that is Communiqué, the band opening the These Arms Are Snakes show at Graceland on July 10. Released on the Lookout! Records label, Communiqué's Poison Arrows set the Cha Cha abuzz nearly as much as McKagan had earlier, with everyone wanting to know what band was making the catchy, danceable, keyboard- and guitar-heavy, punk-informed pop coming out of the stereo. They're a five-piece from San Francisco who at times sound like Weezer and the Walkmen, and at others, like the Shins or Green Day. Trust me, Communiqué is worth seeing, so get to the show early enough to catch their set.
Finally, a quick word about sweet little Johnathan Rice's acoustic show at the Crocodile. He sang some heartbreaking lyrics and told a funny story about his 11-year-old brother critiquing his forthcoming album, Trouble Is Real. Only one song passed sibling muster, according to Rice, who thinks his li'l bro is a precocious critic. Next time the singer comes through town, he promises to bring the rest of his band, which will make the full, lush sound of the record more apparent.