Yes, spring is here, which makes the Gnome want to split town and jet off to Paris. But c'est dommage, your grimy correspondent's stuck here in Tacoma North. Still, thanks to the Internet, that Frenchy feeling can be achieved; may this column recommend RadioNova, at www.novaplanet.com, where Gallic DJs spin a crazy mix of soul, hip-hop, jungle, and pop. Fantastique. Of course, you can't listen to Internet radio in your car yet, which makes the Gnome wonder: What are all those local geniuses at Microsoft, Loudeye, and RealNetworks doing? They aren't winning Webbys. The awards, announced last week, featured a prize for best music site, judged by a ragtag crew of Richard Branson, Laurie Anderson, Aimee Mann, David Bowie, DJ Spooky, and the regrettable Courtney Love. Who was in charge of this thing—a 38-year-old speed freak? Where the hell was Carly Simon?! The nominees: Wired Planet, Sputnik 7, Napster, Farmclub.com, and Launch.com. The winner? Napster, bien sr. With the prize money, those kids should hire a good lawyer!
Where was I? Oh yeah—the down-and-not-out-of-town Gnome found a new favorite radio station for those long rides home from the club. It's 1090 AM, classic country. That's right, no fat Garth Brooks or scary Shania Twain. Driving home from Sit&Spin booker and local man(ager)-about-town David Meinert's birthday bash Sunday night at the fab Bad JuJu Lounge, 1090 treated listeners to a much-needed spin of Patsy Cline's "Crazy." What a crazy night 'twas: Prior to Meinert's party, the Showbox hosted a fourth anniversary soiree, complete with buffet and hosted bar. Upon discovering that "hosted" meant "it's all free," Seattle's scenester contingent rushed the bar and began ordering doubles, triples, and exotic drinks. Fortunately, the barkeeps were up to the task: As Police Chief Wiggum would've said, "That's some nice pourin', boys." (And gals.)
The Showbox rocked all weekend, as the 1000-plus fans of The The who crammed into the joint on Friday will tell ya. Upon seeing Matt Johnson's famously bald head, the crowd experienced rapture, and The The responded with a rousing two-hour set. Squirrels could've parachuted down from the ceiling and not fazed a soul during the subdued "This Is the Day," rendered on acoustic guitar and harmonium. The band exhibited awe-inspiring depth, maneuvering easily between all of The The's phases, from abrasive punk to shiny pop. With a little legwork the Gnome has found that these players have a weird combined history: Guitarist Eric Schermerhorn is a longtime sideman for Iggy Pop; drummer Earl Harvin did time with MC 900 Ft Jesus; and Spencer Campbell is a Nashville session guy who has plucked out bass lines for the likes of Kenny Rogerz. Yes, Kenny's updated his name—it's Rogerz with a Z. You betcha!
You can reach the Metro Gnome at firstname.lastname@example.org