Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday night at the Sunset

I contacted Mike at the Sunset a few weeks ago and he was kind enough to toss a Friday night our way. All I had to do was fill it. No problem, right? I put an email out to the usual suspects and we'd have a killer show in no time.

Or so I thought.

I sent an email to two bands I wanted to play with, the Young Sportsmen and the Doll Test. I heard back from Wesley of the YS who said they couldn't do the show. They had reasons they couldn't yet divulge, which turned out to be them hanging it up. Scott from DT said they couldn't do the show.

I emailed Kurt and Sgt Major, who said they couldn't do the show. Emailed Jim with the Tripwires and they couldn't do the show. I tried Nick with the Riffbrokers (no response), Gregg with the Small Change (couldn't do it), Erik with the I Love Myselfs (busy that night) and I think that was it.

What now?

I looked on the Seattle Powerpop page for some ideas and came across the Knast, a powerpop/indie trio from Seattle. They got back to me and were able to do it. I asked AJ from the Knast to help out and he enlisted the services of a band called Wallpaper from Auburn. Finally, a lineup!

Fast forward a few weeks and it was Friday and time for the show. Shortly after arriving, a whole bunch of Sean's friends made it out. Let's see: Cam, Pasha, Natalia, Diane, Chuck, Gary, Andi, and Chuck's brother. Later on, some more of his friends came. It was a big ol' Love In for Sean. Pretty cool.

Showtime was late as one of the Knast ran late. But they took the stage and they were pretty good. Kind of garagey, kind of loose, kind of like the Strokes, but all in all, not bad. They had the crushed velvet jacket, tight striped shirt, skinny jeans look down pat. Big lambchop sideburns and feathered-just-right hair, you know the drill. People dug them, and rightfully so.

We took the stage next. I set up stage right. Don't know why. Most times, the bassist prefers to be on the high-hat side of the drummer (stage left if the drummer is right handed). I guess it's so the drummer can see the bassist as the drummer is looking towards the high-hat. For whatever reason, I've set up on stage right for many many years. It doesn't really matter to me where I set up. Unless I'm at the Sunset, that is.

You see, about 5 feet above the corner of stage right is this light can hanging from the ceiling. It fires off the heat of 1000 suns directly onto where I stand. Every time. Any season.

In other words, it's hot as a mother up in there. Anyway, my whole point is that as much as I love playing this place, I sure hate that corner of the stage. Meanwhile, Chris got up on stage, cool as a cucumber (maybe even cold!) in his little track jacket. I don't even think he broke a sweat. Me? I was drenched by the end of the first song!

We played pretty well that night. It helps that the Sunset has great stage sound so you can always hear what you're playing/singing. We were fairly tight and the mistakes were kept to a minimum. I had a fun time and I think the people enjoyed it as well.

Wallpaper took the stage next, though none of us were even sure if they showed up. Turns out they were, they were just stealthy about it.

When I researched them, I saw they were "signed" to a label. It's a small local, but it's a label nonetheless. They had some impressive gigs on their resume, as well as a reputed following of "kids", per AJ's description.

As they took the stage, it was clear that these guys were youngsters. They were a 3 piece, with drums, guitar and guitar (and some bass). They did the ol' instrument switcheroo a few times during their set. They dressed like college kids trying to dress like college kids who weren't trying to look like they were in a band, but obviously were in a band. One kid had a haircut so bad that it seemed to be an anti-haircut, and I'm not even trying to pick on him, but if you saw him, you'd agree. But, kudos to him for having the balls to pull off that haircut.

They played some rock that was good for what it was, but it wasn't my thing. The kids dancing on the floor were all dressed in what looked to be prom dresses, but not quite. They looked like they'd fit in selling Doc Martens on Capitol Hill. I half expected Austin Powers to come on stage and say, "Oh, behave!" Their music was kind of psychedelic, kind of jangly, kind of catchy and kind of grungy. But, it did work, and the kids loved it.

So, all in all, it was a good night. We got paid, we played with new bands, and we played the Sunset on a Friday night. Thanks to those that were there, and hopefully some of you that weren't can make it another time.

Next up for me: playing bass for Static Radio and the Scheme at the Skylark.