CPAs Wanted: The Gnome was only joking last week in suggesting that fellow mopey San Francisco songsmiths Mark Eitzel and Mark Kozelek should attend each other's performances since both happened to be in Seattle. But last Thursday, Kozelek showed up at Eitzel's appearance at EMP's speaker series, and Eitzel inadvertently sparked a feud when he reportedly told the crowd there was "no accounting for Kozelek." The dis struck at the notoriously fussy Red House Painters frontman, who used his set at the Crocodile to return fire. A few songs into the performance, Kozelek started muttering about how he'd gone to see Eitzel and been insulted by him, apparently not knowing that Eitzel, incognito in a baseball cap, was lurking in the crowd. Eitzel responded to Kozelek's complaints by shouting, "You suck," between songs. Who knew these two guys could be so entertaining? Maybe MTV should stick 'em in an apartment together for a new reality show— we need more reality shows.
Last week's column also noted that Ryan Adams' Seattle show featured a duet with an ex-Whiskeytown bandmate. Evidently Adams wasn't done collaborating onstage; nme.com reports that a few days after his stop at the Century Ballroom, he had another friend accompany him during a show at LA's Troubadour. It was Alanis Morissette. There's definitely no accounting for that.
Hyping the hype: Seattle and Portland have always maintained a friendly rivalry when it comes to generating buzz bands, though both cities looked to be in a dry spell the past few years. Seattle started the '90s with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Sound- garden, then followed with Hole, the Foo Fighters, and the Presidents, while Portland provided Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Quasi, Everclear, and the Dandy Warhols. In the last few years, Seattle's main entries into the national spotlight were Modest Mouse and the Murder City Devils, and Portland gave the country, um, uh, nothing. Now Portland seems to have regained its edge. Our I-5 neighbors include Rick Bain and the Genius Position, the neo-shoegazers with a sharp-witted debut, Crooked Autumn Sun (they play the Croc this Friday); Swords Project, which a Portlander recently told the Gnome are that city's answer to Godspeed You Black Emperor, and whose show last Friday at the Croc more or less confirmed this description; and the Standard, whose debut will soon be released on the new Seattle(!) label Barbaric Records. Seattle counters with Aveo, a promising outfit that sound more British than most bands from Manchester, and the eXBESTFRIeNDS, whose romp last Thursday at Graceland pushed them into the lead as the band most likely to live up to the hype. You betcha!