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Last night the Sorrento Hotel hosted the Night School event 12 Writers, 12 Musicians, 12 Conversations, described by One Pot's Michael Hebb thusly:
12 intimate conversations between past and present Bumbershoot writers and musicians, nestled into 12 resplendent and well-mic'd hotel rooms. Voyeurs can expect spontaneous song, life-changing conversation about the arts, and well stocked bars.
I was one of the writers having a conversation with a musician and one of the voyeurs wandering around the resplendent seventh-floor suites watching other people talk. I saw some amazing things, including but not limited to:
*John Roderick, in a bathtub and naked save the makeshift manties he'd fashioned out of Mr. Bubble, conversing with Spencer Moody, who sat on the nearby toilet in the loveliest pink pants
*Writer/performance poet Storme Webber and Visqueen's Rachel Flotard—two of the ass-kickingest women in town—conversing in a swanktastic sitting room against a backdrop of a glorious Seattle sunset, where they engaged in a charming, almost subconscious game of one-upswomanship (after Flotard recounted her wealth of experience urinating in plastic bags, Webber whipped out her poem about being fucked by a train)
*Tilson playfully berating the small crowd of cocktail-sipping gawkers who'd gathered to watch him converse in a drawing room with writer/performer Rachel Kessler, who sat behind the keys of the room's grand piano while Tilson splayed himself across the closed lid to deliver his rants. (Sample Tilson quote: "I am not a musician! I am not a hip-hop artist! I am a hypnotist who hypnotizes people into believing I am a musician and a hip-hop artist!" Sample Kessler quote: "I've spray-painted a sheep.")
*Handsome David Bazan singing a handsome song, handsomely
Full list of writers and musicians here.
My conversation was with John Osebold and Rob Witmer of the band "Awesome", and involved the three us (plus guitar, accordian, and groupie) in a king-sized murphy bed (truly, the murphiest bed I've ever known). Undoubtedly, we were paired up—at least in part—because Awesome! recently produced a show about which I wrote a less-than-positive review. This fact was subtly introduced by audience member/certified Stranger Genius Jennifer Zeyl, who screeched "YOU WROTE THAT TERRIBLE REVIEW OF 'WEST'!" and struck me with a king-sized pillow. (If we'd been at the batting cages, maybe she'd have struck me with a bat, but we were in a hotel, so she struck me with a pillow. Lucky me, unlucky her.)
This instigated a bit of talk about "Awesome"'s show and my review, culminating (for me, at least) with the proclamation of an audience member, a friend of mine and "Awesome", who said the following:
"I've talked to many people who saw the show and none of them liked it and none of them could tell you. This is Seattle. And you're friends with everyone."
I salute you, truth-speaking woman. I say that not to twist the knife in "Awesome" (the members of which don't feel stabbed anyway), but to address the hazy cordiality into which all humanity can sink when confronted with art made by friends.
Thank you for opening your seventh floor to all of this, Sorrento. It was super fun.
Cross-posted on Line Out, because it name-checks so many music folk, who played music.