This sucks. We like Days of Our Nights to be like Chee-tos and Ding Dongs: fluffy fun that leaves you with sticky fingers and a smile. But this has been a bad week for fun, what with three fantastic, well-loved Seattleites (native or honorary) passing away. First, Two Bells Tavern proprietress Patricia Ryan: From all accounts she was a cool, no-bullshit lady, and a little bit of old, pre-bistro/condo/sun-dried-tomato Belltown has died with her. Then Dave Nutall, the Northwest's new Elektra label rep, was killed in an Eastern Washington car accident only two months after coming to Seattle; anyone who hears his name can't stop talking about what a charismatic guy he was, and finding someone who met him and wasn't completely charmed is damn near impossible. Finally, James Billingham, who co-founded Seattle's longest-running drum 'n' bass night, Pressure, and played countless gigs around town, died after a fall from a rooftop in France earlier this month. Having known and worked with him, DOON will personally miss his sweetness, his kind heart, and his total enthusiasm for and dedication to music. . . . On to happier changes: Graceland's Jason LaJeunesse has jumped the fence for the summer, which means he'll be playing with a band instead of booking them. We wish him lots of luck as Juno's touring bass player. . . . In the studio: quirky local synth popsters Poseur with producer Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Les Savvy Fav, and many other excellent bands). . . . The stars, they will be shining brightly for all the hungry peoples of the world: Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Alanis Morissette, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Femi Kuti, Emmylou Harris, Joe Strummer, and many more will play Groundwork 2001's big concert at EMP to benefit the annual TeleFood Campaign of the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization. The weeklong event runs Oct.
14-22, and here's the Web site if you have to know more: www.groundwork.org. . . . Is This It? is the name of both the first track on the Strokes' debut release and the album itself; it's also kind of a good description for their show last Saturday at the Croc. This is not the band's fault—they were plenty good, but the Messiah himself would have a tough time living up to the hype these barely legal prep-school grads have garnered in the scant months since they begin playing their VU-shaded rock to small audiences on the Lower East Side. Now they've got a big ol' record deal, hyperbolic word of mouth, and about four million magazine spreads in every hipster rag touting them as rock's Second Coming. We just think it would be nice if a little of that white-hot spotlight could be shared with the half-dozen other underexposed bands we think are equally talented; this kind of intense media glare too often burns those on whom it focuses its laser. . . . If you're reading this before Thursday the 16th, and you like to think of yourself as a patron of the arts, get your heinie down to the Baltic Room to help raise funds for Signed Stamped Dated: A Typing Explosion Documentary. Those who've seen the Typing Explosion do their thing (at TE "events" or at the recent three-week sold-out run of their play Dear Diane at On the Boards) know they're a local arts diamond in the rough. Those who don't can learn tonight, or come down to see Aveo and Sean and Aaron from Harvey Danger perform while entering to win fabulous (we assume) raffle prizes. . . . Now that VH1 has finally stopped bugging every booker, label rep, and music writer in town about a worthy Seattle outfit for Bands on the Run, that same channel's Rock Across America decided to come see for themselves what we have to offer. The team of roving reporters—fronted by the only woman in America less deserving of her
celebrity than Kathy Lee Gifford, Survivor's Jenna Lewis—showed up in Seattle to document our town's version of a "scene." The crew first hit the Crocodile on Wednesday night, where Lewis grilled owner Stephanie on the ups and downs of running such a venue. Thursday, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the gang continued on to Sonic Boom Records to conduct some on-camera interviews with the store's proprietors, Nabil Ayers and Jason Hughes, where hard-hitting Jenna demanded to know: Are people here still into grunge? And do they continue to come in and buy Soundgarden records? Ayers and Hughes attempted to turn the spotlight on the current crop of local bands, mentioning Death Cab for Cutie and several other name drop-worthy locals, while the counter staff pumped the Briefs and Murder City Devils through the store's stereo in an attempt to save our city from being painted with Nikka Costa stripes and Linkin Park stars. For their trouble, they got a request from the crew's soundman to turn it down. The channel also visited Experience Music Project and the KNDD radio station before loading up the van and splitting town. The episode should air in a week or so, and DOON just can't wait to see how unlike ourselves we look once Seattle's been squeezed through that remarkable homogenizing machine known as the Man.
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