Joan Jett may not give a damn about her bad reputation, but folks 'round these parts should probably think twice about behaving like cheetahs in a field full of hobbled antelopes. It's the commencement—not the fin—de si裬e, my peeps. Now the Gnome's quite aware that blunts and hip-hop complement each other exquisitely, but the crowd at the Moore for last week's Wu-Tang extravaganza seemed like it was trying to reenact the big pot-burning scene from Saving Grace (or any Cheech and Chong movie, but they need to be boycotted in light of Mr. Chong's godawful beer commercial in which he slobbers all over respectable ladies). Reports from backstage had some of the Clan doing their part to contribute to the smokescreen. But hell, at least RZA, Method, and Raekwon were in the house; while Wu-Tang made the trip from Staten Island, Lawn Guyland's De La Soul pulled out of their mainstage slot at Bumbershoot, with management mysteriously claiming that one member couldn't make it, so the whole deal is off.
Speaking of no-shows, Dilated Peoples blew off their gig opening for D'Angelo at the Pier Sunday, choosing to stay in LA when offered a high-profile radio appearance. No matter: The new soul master nearly packed the 3,000-plus seats, and about 2,997 of the attendees came as much for the bod as the music—hence the cries of "Take it off" directed at the unfazed singer, who removed his shirt and teasingly hinted that he'd slip out of his pants. A Gnome gnotifier spotted one older woman stomping her foot on the dock and shouting, "Right now. TAKEITOFFRIGHTNOW. I mean it!" It's official: D'Angelo is quite sexy.
Now that we've covered drugs and sex, let's turn to rock 'n' roll, where the behavior at another Crocpot/'80s cover night/JAMPAC benefit at the Crocodile wasn't so much bad as bizarre. Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, and Green Apple Quick Step's Ty Willman launched into something they later called a "grunge medley," including a rousing snippet of "Love Buzz." Novoselic looked like he was having a ball, and hey, given the cause for the party—he's the founder of JAMPAC—he could do what he wanted. And he did. Almost as mind-boggling an event was the late-night appearance of No. 13 Baby, who'd just played a whole set of their dead-on Pixies covers at Sit&Spin. Besides the double-duty, the band had to break in replacement drummer Jason Finn, who supposedly only got in one practice before the busy night.
The one place where everyone acted like well-adjusted adults, oddly enough, was at Resonance's five-year anniversary at the Baltic Saturday. Guys in suits and gals in dresses made it seem more SoHo than SoDo (we're all South of the Dome now; it's gone to Heaven), befitting the local lifestyle mag's glossy feel. I wonder if D'Angelo has a glossy feel. You betcha!
You can reach the Metro Gnome at firstname.lastname@example.org