The Metro Gnome

Well, you didn't read about it in those Seattle propaganda rags (the Times and the P-I), but the Gnome used his "Home Anti-Aircraft Kit" to take out three Blue Angels during Stoopid Seafair. Kaboom! That'll teach those flyboys to interrupt the blissful Saturday morning sleep of a troll-like music fanatic. Especially after a hard week of show- and party-hopping. OK, the weekend's straight-folk festivities did attract a blimp and a battleship, which added a delicious post-millennium tension to the Damien Jurado, Pedro the Lion, Death Cab for Cutie indie-pop fest down at the Pier's second stage on an absolutely stunning Thursday evening. But even with such accoutrements, as both Damien and Pedro's David Bazan noted, the sunny seaside setting wasn't exactly providing the proper backdrop to their gloom-'n'-doom songs—although the Gnome noted that anyone made too despondent by the music could easily take a long walk off a short pier. Besides, the ultraweird Jurado, who played most of his set solo, attempted to lighten the mood with a sing-along: "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring." Certainly an odd choice given the beatific weather, the looming destroyer, and the dirigible putting about overhead, but hey, whatever. Pedro the Lion started strong, playing some of their snappier tunes and getting toes tapping on the weathered dock, but soon slowed and lost your wrinkled correspondent to the beer garden back away from the stage. (An aside: Why aren't more beer gardens actually planted with lovely fauna, rather than simply consisting of a roped-off area? Beer and garden—two soothing words that we've screwed up by putting together.) Death Cab reversed their recent course and focused on their more rockin', less ponderous songs, much to the delight of a weary crowd and God Himself, who graced the band with a dazzling sunset over Puget Sound. Hallelujah.

Saturday's Rear-EndFest was low on the locals, but the two Seattle participants used the occasion to quash a long-running feud. With a resuscitated Harvey Danger scheduled to start the day on the main stage, Murder City Devils frontman Spencer Moody appeared and fooled the crowd into thinking he was Sean "Flagpole Sitta" Nelson. After pulling off the trick—made easy by their cousinlike resemblance—Nelson and Moody shared a hug. Awww. Later, the newest crap metal super act, Papa Roach, dedicated a song to their new favorite band, the Devils!

Anyone who missed last week's Ladyfest can pick up a new compilation CD from the now-trying-to-be-hip K-Tel label. After the Fair features 16 post-Lilith tracks, including three by artists with local ties: Sleater-Kinney, Jen Wood, and Heather Duby. The Gnome's checked out the disc and it's OK, but it's no Rock 80. You betcha!

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