The Metro Gnome

Your stubby little correspondent loves a party with free grub and flowing booze, and of course some musical accompaniment to wash it all down. Last Wednesday's Best of Seattle fete at the Showbox brought a smile to the Gnome's crinkled lips, what with a smorgasbord of chicken satay and spanakopita, not to mention fantastic DJ sets from members of the Tasty crew and from Se�El Toro, a.k.a. Weekly columnist Kurt B. "Two Ears and a Tale" Reighley. Eschewing the decks was Plastiq Phantom, the one-man electronic manipulator, who flew in from San Diego and scurried from Sea-Tac to First Ave just in time to thrill the crowd with squiggles and blips. Various attendees could be heard groaning about the Best of's dot-com theme, but then many of the revelers earn their paychecks from local tech companies; spotted were cool cats from RealNetworks, Amazon, Disney's Go Network, and BootlegTV.

Thursday night brought the opening party of Change Music's music fest and tech conference at I-Spy, where temperatures inside the barely ventilated space soared to 180 degrees—at least that's what it felt like to the Gnome, who prefers more temperate conditions. Still, the open bar and buffet of pakora-type veggie pockets and tortilla chips did the trick, as did an opening set by DJ KO, also known as Kento from IQU. (Why do party planners insist on serving multi-culti food when they know that everyone prefers cocktail weenies and mini-pizzas, and why aren't French fries considered buffet-worthy? Huh?) At any rate, the Gnome felt the oncoming threat of spontaneous combustion or at the very least some uncomely perspiration, so your scribe bailed before sets by Him, Zeke, and the Supersuckers and skipped over to the Moore to check out the Sonic Youth show. Now our noise-rock heroes had some trouble selling tickets to this gig, which was originally scheduled for the more capacious Paramount and almost got downsized to the Showbox before promoters settled on the Moore. Guess all those songless, spaced-out explorations at Bumbershoot in '98 and '99 scared people off. But 1,000-plus fans were thrilled when Mr. Thurston Moore ambled onstage and mumbled, "This song's called 'Schizophrenia.'" Yowee! With Jim O'Rourke adding more more more guitar to Thurston's and Lee Ranaldo's squalls, the SY crew cruised through classics and newer stuff, and it was all good, as the Gnome's homies like to say. During "Kool Thing," Kim Gordon, stylish as always in pink knee-length skirt and black tank top, flailed and danced, leaving her bass duties to O'Rourke. Ms. Gordon also warmed this correspondent's gnarly heart by playing the breathless and brash Experimental Jet-Set tune "Bull in the Heather." Do they still got it? You betcha!

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