The Cult of Personality still has some disciples, judging by Living Colour's Showbox gig last Tuesday. The Body Glove wet suit was no more, but nothing else seemed to be missing from the '80s rock trailblazers' performance (except a version of "Glamour Boys"). A full house of mostly male, mostly white showgoers stood at rapt attention as guitarist Vernon Reid and co. ripped the place apart, saving their biggest commercial hit for the thundering encore. . . . Thursday night's Placebo show at the Croc displayed a whole other kind of rock-star behavior—and we're not talking about what happened onstage. But first, the lead-in: Besides sending Scottish darlings Idlewild on at the crack of nine, the U.K. glamazons insisted on ripping out the venue's sound system and installing their own (basically identical) equipment. An eager crowd of 107.7 types squealed for singer Brian Molko's Velvet Goldmine-esque baroque star antics and even indulged spindly guitarist Stefan Olsdal's penchant for arms-spread-head-back Christ poses (somebody was a star pupil at the Scott Stapp School of Messiah Stage Moves). Meanwhile, the least glammy member of all, eyeliner-free drummer Steve Hewitt, played his ass off, toiling away in the back with near-bionic skill. It was after the crowd filed out that the real fun began: A ruckus in the girl's bathroom led to the discovery of an addled Molko receiving an oral ovation from a female fan knee-deep in the toilet stall's leaky runoff. The diminutive singer was pissed enough at the fellatio interruptus to holler, "I know the owner!" Too bad it was the club's own general manager, Constance Dorgan, that busted him. . . . Sigur Ros, Part 3 (after this we'll stop, we promise): Last week's show at Irving Plaza in N.Y.C. must have been extra-special; no fewer than eight jaded New Yorkers actually passed out during the course of the event, and it wasn't
due to poor ventilation or bad shellfish. We thought that shit only happened to 15-year-old girls at O-Town in-stores. Still no confirmation on Sigur Ros' Seattle date this summer, BTW. . . . Not many people would put Seattle on the map with other break dancing capitals, but Robyn Hitchcock just might have to add a few lines to his list of local attributes in "Viva Sea-Tac." The Sand Point Naval Base hosted Red Bull's Lords of the Floor well-executed 64-team competition Saturday, and Seattle crews made it all the way to the quarterfinals before giving it up. It eventually came down to L.A.'s Breakers and N.Y.C.'s Boogie Brats, with the City of Angels taking the $4,000 top prize. . . . In a less friendly battle, last Thursday's Prince Paul show at I-Spy got ugly when Sofcon were loudly heckled offstage by fellow locals Oldominion. Sofcon's Jeremy Moss would only say, "It's too bad that jealousy is hurting the scene." We have a feeling this isn't the last we'll hear about it from either band. . . . Proof that we are cultured: We attended both the Daniel Clowes/Chris Ware (those kings of the alt-comic scene) exhibit at Roq La Rue and John Atkins' (that local HERO of the 764 variety) Alibi Room showing of sketches and watercolors. The latter pulled the music biz hipsterati, from Dann Galluci and Meg Watjen to SW's own Julie Butterfield; the former hosted about a hundred more fans than the tiny gallery could stand—showgoers spilled out on the Belltown sidewalk, coming face to face with the Croc's decidedly less artsy-fartsy Mudhoney crowd and, subsequently, turning away in terror. We would love to have our own Clowes signed original; too bad they start at about $1,200 for anything substantial. For now, we'll have to satisfy ourselves by tearing his rendering of Sub Pop mascot Punky out of old Mega-Mart ads. . . . Oh dear Lord, not
again. This week's Entertainment Weekly poses the question: "Will garage rock be music's next big thing?" The issue does feature a cool photo of the White Stripes playing an in-store at Capitol Hill's Fallout Records, at least. . . . And now, the birth announcements: We've got two new kids in town—even if the first one's just a figure of speech and the second one just a figure of syndication. The first? Well, let's just say wave good-bye to math rock, kids, and bid a fond adieu to emo while you're at it. There's a fresh sound in town, and it's harder than Tortoise, a tad more calculated than Trail of Dead. Heavier, more complicated genre, we christen you Long Division. Bands like Texas Instrument, Ruby Doe, and the latest incarnation of Juno are making the new math look easy. If you'd like to try this at home, just take some screwed-up time signatures, attach some amelodic lyrics and a churning, tumbling guitar (just one, please; long division bands are, for the most part, three-piece outfits), and hit the mean streets. Or at least Graceland. . . . Also: KISW wants you to welcome schlock-jock Howard Stern to the airwaves. Stern, the New York-based radio personality known for exalting augmented strippers and making heroes out of stuttering interns, made a decidedly unheralded "arrival" in Seattle on Monday morning when he fielded some lame questions from one or two local television reporters and a couple of future newshounds from the local junior colleges via satellite. Why the disappointing turnout? Maybe it's because Stern and his fart jokes are way past their prime. Or maybe because the press conference was held at 5 a.m. so that it could be broadcast with Stern's usual morning chatter. Funny, we thought there was always a market for bare breasts, scatological humor, and abject humiliation. Why else would we have a column?
Contributors this week: Paul Fontana, Laura Learmonth
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