How does the Gnome love thee? Let Cupid count the ways. First he split town, leaving you in Cupid's adept, arrow-laden arms, and then he


The Metro Gnome

How does the Gnome love thee? Let Cupid count the ways. First he split town, leaving you in Cupid's adept, arrow-laden arms, and then he used pink and red candy hearts to spell out a column's worth of gushy, mushy musical tidbits. Yum!

You may all commence puckering and prepare to kiss the North by Northwest Music Conference and Festival goodbye— or at least its seven-year run in Portland. This decision came after Mark Zusman, editor of the event's largest sponsor, Willamette Week, announced that the alternative weekly would no longer back the three-night, multiple-venue affair. Cle Elum, get your petition ready; La Conner, look busy—Austin, Texas, outfit SXSW Inc. is busy searching for a new host town. No worries for San Francisco's nine-year-old Noise Pop Festival, however, scheduled for February 27 through March 4 this year and deserving of much love for its delicious lineup. Confirmed acts include Beulah, Oranger, the White Stripes, Superchunk, Spoon, and Bright Eyes. For the second year, the noisy weekend will also include music-based documentaries and short and feature-length films as part of the concurrent Noise Pop Film Festival.

Local indie rockers 764-Hero may once again utilize the stricter car pool lanes; Polly Johnson and John Atkins picked up another member. Interim bass player James Bertram split a few months ago, but the vacancy was quickly filled with Robin P. Not only does this new bass man sport a mysteriously brief last name, he also frequently plunks out rhythms for Modest Mouse. Gotta love that. Our own alt-rocking Wellwater Conspiracy, featuring Pearl Jam member Matt Cameron and Monster Magnet man John Paul McBain, recently signed with the venerable TVT Records. Their third album, The Scroll & Its Combinations, will feature guest spots from a pseudonymous Eddie Vedder and Cameron's ex-Soundgarden bandmate Kim Thayil. A rose by any other name still smells pretty darn sweet, but just in case, local roots rockers Willis changed their name to Actual Tigers and signed to Sarah McLachlan's Nettwerk. The label is also home to those heartthrobs in Coldplay.

Looking for something extra-special to do on Valentine's Day? You shy types should check out the matchmaking action at Manray. Seattle Weekly classified reps will be in the house to take your personal ad orders, and one of Cupid's delegates will be there to hand-deliver love notes to your fellow Manray patrons. Cupid knows of one indie rock-lovin', Seattle scene-watchin' couple who got shot in the butt a bit early this year and decided just last weekend to make an honest couple of themselves. Now Cupid's got nothing against the unwed, but in case any of you desire to partake in some nuptials, why wait? Bring your sweetheart to the Seattle Eagle, where newly ordained minister Cathy Sorbo will be hosting an evening of "holy union" vows. Who loves you, baby?

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