Neko's meltdown; psychedelic rockfest to invade Seattle!

Wow! Two implosions in two weeks; maybe the Kingdome or Microsoft had something to do with Seattle's unusually volatile music scene. Though it didn't blanket the media anywhere near as snugly, Neko Case's Saturday night CD release party at the Tractor detonated—and not because of her dynamite voice. The country hopeful from Tacoma went on a mid-set tirade about an ex-boyfriend who turned up at a recent show because his new fianc饠was a big fan of Case; meanwhile, sound problems visibly gnawed at the singer throughout the show. Then, after only about an hour of sharply executed stuff, a blast of feedback caused drummer Joel Treeblood to walk off midsong; a brief, nonpercussive encore concluded things without a bang.

Those who didn't get enough of Case can find her on a new Tom Waits tribute, New Coat of Paint, on LA's Manifesto Records. She dusts off "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis," sharing the bill with Lydia Lunch, Lee Rocker, and the late, great Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Psychedelic-rock fans will be thrilled to know that the fourth annual Terrastock is rumored to take place in Seattle come November. The fest started to help out the underfunded 'zine Ptolemaic Terrascope and has landed in Providence, San Francisco, and London in past years, with acts such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Seattle's own Green Pajamas, and many obscure psych-rock practitioners filling the bills. No word on a confirmed date or bands for this year's shindig, but stay tuned to the Gnome for details.

Unfortunately, the pesky editors here won't hold the paper back to include results of the grand finale of the Britpop Invasion—with the Catherine Wheel, Travis, and Oasis—but your knobby show-hopper has surveyed the results so far. The Welsh group Gorky's Zygotic Mynci (don't even try pronouncing it; you'll only embarrass yourself) shocked a Crocodile crowd two weeks back, playing a zany set that updated the Beatles while maintaining a charmingly lo-fi aesthetic. Another Welsh act, the Stereophonics, incited mixed reactions at the Showbox last week. They inspired a few guys wearing baseball hats to break out their lighters, arena-rock style, but incited grumpiness in others, who noted the Rod Stewart-like delivery of frontman Kelly Jones. Fortunately, headliners the Charlatans played a unanimously pleasing set to finish off the night, mixing tunes from their woefully overlooked bit of splendor Us and Us Only with favorites from their previous five discs. The Gnome'd hoist a pint to his mates in the Charlatans any day. You betcha!

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