The heart of rock and roll has stopped beating.

Like any respectable hack columnist, the Gnome started the new year with a host of resolutions, but these avowals never made it to the light of print due to circumstances beyond control (including a drunken, surly copy editor). At any rate, it's time to share, and this li'l guy's got a whole lotta plans for the big '00. First, to find and possibly kill the people who turned some poor country station into the Point, which boasts in its copious TV ads that it plays "Music of the '80s," like "the Pretenders" and "Huey Lewis and the News." Ack! The last thing Seattle needed was another example of how wimpy and weak-kneed this once dangerous city has become. Yes, those 29- to 38-year-old females will have something to listen to while waiting out egregious traffic jams on the way to their lucrative high-tech jobs in Bellevue, but oh, the humanity! Huey Lewis?!

Number two on the Gnome's list? Convince creative local musicians that cover songs should be played sparingly, if at all. Case in point: last Friday at the Crocodile, where a convivial gathering of accomplished Seattle songwriters threw off the shackles of their own creativity and acted silly. Ken Stringfellow read from a children's book. He and his bandmates in Saltine played predictable, shaky versions of the Kinks' "Death of a Clown" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold." Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger led a group that featured members of Alien Crime Syndicate and the Nevada Bachelors through a turgid take on "Nothing Compares 2 U," or however Prince writes it. (This Toyota Supra-group did feature the welcome return to the stage of guitar commando and ex-Western State Hurricanes frontman John Roderick.)

Another goal came to mind only Saturday night, and the Gnome's not sure what to do about it. You see, after shelling out a cool six bucks to see the much-ballyhooed (in this paper, anyway) Red Stars Theory at the Breakroom, your Shrinky Dink-like scribe and an almost full house were treated to 25 minutes of the band setting up, 20 minutes of the band packing up, and a brief 30-minute (or so) set sandwiched in between. All seven songs sounded lovely, of course, but left the Gnome feeling unsated and maybe even like he didn't get his money's worth. Boo hoo. Oh yeah, that's part of the resolution too: Stop whining! You betcha!

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