Death Cab turns down sex and candy; more noise please.

You all know the Gnome's motto: First things first, dammit! And the numero uno item on the docket today is clearing up the whole Death Cab for Cutie/Marcy Playground rumor floated last week in this hallowed space. Ben from Death Cab burrowed into the mud to confirm that the local pop heroes got invited to the Playground's tour but instantly returned a polite but firm "No thank ya" to the offer. So who took the opening slot? The obviously desperate Blinker the Star.

Second order of business is DJ Shadow and the masterful display of turntable trickery he turned at last week. A few days after entertaining thousands at the Coachella Fest in the California desert, Mr. Shadow tried to bring the party with him, stuffing far too many people into the club and making the Gnome sweat off an eyebrow. It was that hot! Actually, the humidity even got to the cool DJ himself, who had to apologize for a coupla miscues after his perspiration kamikazed the records he was spinning. Shadow's set rocked, with crazy breakbeats crashing into guitars as he cut up tunes from his many fine records. To top it off, the guy brought out the Cut Chemist for a little DJ tag team; the two spun 45s on four decks.

After all that sweaty dancing, the Gnome needed a Bud and some rock and roll. The otherwise good folks at the brand-spankin' new Graceland let your grimy correspondent down, however, failing to secure their liquor license for the Sloan show Thursday night. While this did conjure a joke with some potential—how do you keep a roomful of sober Seattleites amused?—one couldn't help but feel lousy about making Sloan's first gig here in six years a less-than-rowdy affair. The Canadians took things in stride, playing most of their new album but also cranking out the hits; lanky bass guy Chris Murphy introduced one tune by noting, "Well, this is the best song I ever wrote." Sloan (and Severna Park, which opened) brought out the local rockers. Spied in the audience were members of the Fastbacks, Voyager One, Veer, and ex-Sloan labelmate Jon Auer. On the upside for Graceland, the liquor license should be secured by the time you read this.

One last note: Beware! Political forces are threatening Seattle's music scene. Our great indie station KCMU's getting battered around by the UW's bureaucracy; and City Attorney Mark Sidran is trying to go Giuliani on yer ass, and the City Council and the Mayor are too spineless to stop him. Instead of forwarding bogus e-mail pyramid schemes to your friends all day, do the right thing and write to and tell Schell that he's got to veto the noise ordinance. You betcha!

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