The Gnome was less than pleased to discover that anyone who was anyone got invited to the Experience Music Project "music industry" gala last Tuesday except for a certain gnarly music scribe. No matter, your wrinkled correspondent snuck in via a vortex in the Northwest Passage exhibit (just below Ann Wilson's onstage costume) and partook in the scenester gazing. What else was there to do, after all? The bar, as one astute observer put it, was "ghetto," serving up a bargain-bin red wine and Monarch whiskey. The least Paul could've done was shell out for some Maker's!
Then again, and I'm paraphrasing Steely Dan here, any major dude will tell ya that cheap booze works just as well at wrangling in the in-crowd as top-shelf. Glimpsed taking in the new museum at the industry party (not to be confused with the black-tie Steven Spielberg deal that took place on Thursday) were: Ann and Nancy Wilson, Steve Fisk, most of the Fastbacks, John Wesley Harding, Spencer and Leslie from the Murder City Devils, Jason Finn, Donna Dresch (n饠Biddle), Gas Huffer's Joe Newton and Tom Price, Bruce Fairweather (of Green River and Mother Love Bone fame); label folks from Sub Pop, Sweet Mother, and Conception; members of Modest Mouse, Welcome, the Briefs, the Catheters, Maktub, and Girl Trouble; Rap Attack founder and Sir Mix-A-Lot cohort Nasty Nes Rodriguez; and cartoonist Peter Bagge. The entertainment wasn't too shabby either; old-schoolers the Viceroys played, and Mudhoney revisited old Sonics tunes as the New Strychnines with guests like Scott McCaughey—who would go on to have a busy weekend, playing with his own Young Fresh Fellows as part of the Memorial Stadium concerts and sitting in with Robyn Hitchcock and Grant-Lee Phillips at the Croc Saturday. He even snuck away from all the gigging to check out the terrific Handsome Family show at the OK Hotel Friday.
The Thursday night red-carpet affair attracted a cabal of Hollywood players and local billionaires (Bill Gates and wife Melinda), but the Gnome sincerely doubts that all those Land Rover owners could stir up as dope a party as the local music crowd, especially not with Sheryl Crow as headliner. Yeesh! I know all those moguls and dot-commers are white 'n' proud, but can't they stand a little cultcha? Paul Allen should've airlifted Cornershop in from the UK and had 'em play Hendrix tunes on sitars. Maybe he was too busy practicing for his two extremely private shows at Sit & Spin, which the EMP mastermind rented out for the weekend so he could jam with Dan Aykroyd and party behind the velvet ropes.
Wonder if big Danny got paid as well as the performers during the opening weekend at the Seattle Center. Word leaked from inside some bands' camps that the remuneration ranged from $15,000 for the sidestage acts to $30,000 for stadium openers, and one million damn dollars for Metallica. And to think that all the Gnome got was a glass of half-assed Cabernet! You betcha!