Sam Jayne = gone

The Love as Laughter frontman explains his exodus.


Graceland, 262-0482, $8 8 p.m. Wed., Nov. 21

IN A COFFEE SHOP, Sam Jayne nods and smiles and attempts to tell the large, curious window why he's moving to New York City.

"I think I just got as much out of Seattle as I could," he says. "And I don't want to continue doing the same thing I've always been doing forever. It's pretty simple."

He's lived here his whole life; it's time to go. The window is quiet. He's not the first, and he won't be the last. This town has a push and pull more powerful than the tides.

"I love Seattle, and I don't have any problems with it except that it's constantly being homogenized. It's time for a change; time to roll the dice," he says.

The window faces west; the Pacific Ocean swims somewhere in the distance. In a few weeks, he will be in a different coffee shop, facing a different window—and in the distance, a different ocean.

"New York is the kind of place where you can get lost. You can disappear, or you can participate. You can go back and forth."

The window is silent. Through its glass, blocks of city lights spread and then stop almost immediately. In the distance, a structure that long ago pronounced this place a city of the future seems now to be only joking.

He says he'll miss the Space Needle, his favorite restaurants, his job, people- mostly people.

"I'm inspired by people that take risks. Trying, because of art, to fuck things up. Really actually going out on a limb to bring something to people and to change the way it is. That's just always how I've looked at how you should go about things. And I don't see that happening as much here anymore. People don't step out and take risks."

Then he too becomes quiet, and anyone who's listening starts to understand what he really means, why he really wants to go. He talks about his latest record, Sea to Shining Sea (Sub Pop) as if it made itself, like it came out of nowhere. But in the same breath, he conveys how much more of himself he put into it, how he didn't cover that up, and how nice it feels to be open to the opportunities that come with that exposure.

"I've actually been trying to become more vulnerable. Whereas before, it was really easy to drown everything in a wash of guitars, I think it's important to get out there and be vulnerable in front of a bunch of people by myself and just sing songs. That's more of a challenge to me now, rather than just trying to rock the fuck out or some shit. Which is totally different than what I would've said two years ago or a week ago, even. I just want to be out there and be honestly presenting as best as I can. Writing has become more important to me than music. There's more that I can say that way rather than just trying to blow people away with some guitar solo."

He talks about planning touring schedules and arranging recording; this move will require work. Drummer Zeke Howard lives in Portland, bassist Brandon Angle is also in New York. They'll work it out; he's sure that, somehow, they will.

"Whatever I want to do, I feel like I have an obligation to show it to Seattle. It's kind of like showing your family what you're up to," he says. "I have really strong ties here."

And the window understands.

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