This weekend's monsooning weather seemed just right to stay in and mourn the passing of our favorite Beatle, which we did by watching the same tribute package run 89 times an hour on every major cable station and humming our own sad, choky little version of "My Sweet Lord" over and over to ourselves. Even those sick to death of hearing about the influence and importance of the Fab Four (now down to a sadly unalliterative Fab Two) should have taken a moment to acknowledge this lovely, unassuming man, who knew when to talk and when to shut up (an amazingly underrated virtue) and always did, as our friend Steve noted last week, make a much better-looking hippie than the rest of them. . . . We realize you tune into this column for gossip about things you don't already know, so we'll shut up now and get on to the bits: Though, as mentioned, we weren't willing to brave the elements so much this weekend, we did catch a few shows, and those we skipped, our readers were kind enough to fill us in on. From the lovely Rebecca Young comes this disgruntled Ryan Adams report: "My friend Lisa and I are the mothers of four children under the age of 4, so we were thrilled that Ryan was going to hit the stage first. We could see him, skip Delbert and Shelby, have a cocktail at the Cloud Room and be in bed at a decent hour. We were squirming with anticipation. Enter Ryan. Without a word, he launched into 'New York' and should have had the audience in the palm of his hand. After that, it became clear that he was pouting (pissed you weren't the headlining act, baby?) and was performing solely to fulfill his contractual obligation (the show started just after 7 and finished at 8 on the dot). Not a bit of soul, not a bit of emotion, and NO dynamics. Not a word to the sponsors (and this is a benefit, remember, to help the homeless), the audience (Hello? We paid $42 per ticket), or the radio stations (and Seattle radio's been damned good to Adams). Nada.
Instead, he played a heartless show, threw lit cigarettes around the stage so that the guitar tech could run around and clean up after him, and, finally, turned his back to the audience and finished the show singing to his drummer. Who played drums? Oh, we're not sure. Adams didn't bother to introduce the band. Ryan, you sucked. You need a good spanking." . . . Now, a little switch from the over- to the underexposed: We realize that Georgetown is a ways away, people, but really, you just don't know what you're missing. Friday night's Industrial Coffee show featured drama-school dropouts the Dark Places, I.C. veterans New Luck Toy, and the Cripples, a local art punk/neo new wave outfit that several intoxicated audience members mistook for a reincarnation of the Knack. What the room lacks in acoustic perfection and, well, an actual sound system, it makes up for in garage-y warmth and loud, loud charm. Saturday night, Industrial neighbors Stella's Pizza hosted a show of their own; frequent Mudhoney billmates and underground punk stalwarts Leatherface and local up-and-comers Lure of the Animal set up shop in the front window and played for pie eaters, Boeing engineers, and old-school rockers. Word from one of those old-schoolers is that the show was, again, loud, loud, loud. Bet the Boeing dudes thought so, too. . . . Now that Wilco has toned down the twang and streamlined its audience to a packed venue full of roots-rock purists with experimental hearts, there probably isn't much they could do that wouldn't delight the adoring masses. Wednesday night's performance at the Moore featured fans on their feet; a guest appearance by one of Seattle's favorite sons, Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey; plenty of old songs from DOON's personal Wilco fave, Being There; and a smattering of unreleased new songs. At one point, frontman Jeff Tweedy noted that his audience seemed to know the new material
quite well and thanked them for "um, downloading our new album!" Soon enough, kids, you'll have the real thing in hand. The band, whose fight to find a new label since being dropped by Reprise has been an ongoing music world soap opera, has found a new home with quirky Atlantic subsidiary Nonesuch, host to such noncommercial acts as Laurie Anderson and Phillip Glass. Meanwhile, Tweedy is working on the soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's project Chelsea Walls, and a documentary on the whole label debacle and making of Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, titled I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, is being prepared for release. . . . Speaking of being dropped, there's been an artist bloodbath of sorts at many major labels. Here's the most recent casualty list: Warner Bros. has axed Rod Stewart and Sinead O'Connor; Atlantic said goodbye to Poe, Tori Amos, and Collective Soul; TVT dumped Nashville Pussy; and E-40 and Too $hort are off Jive. Ouch. . . . Saying so long of their own accord are Sub Pop's token Canadians the Black Halos. Guitarist and founding member Rich Jones announced last week on the band's Web site that, after seven years, he's leaving to join metal band Amen in L.A., prompting second guitarist Jay Millette to announce he would be quitting as well. Vocalist Billy Hopeless countered with an online character- stripping bitch fest of his own against Jones, much to the chagrin and/or entertainment of their many Web-savvy fans. No word on whether a final show scheduled for Dec. 22 in Vancouver will still happen. . . . This is fun: Joey Ramone's upcoming posthumous album, Don't You Worry About Me, will include a cover of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." The record, to be released on Sanctuary on Feb. 19, will also include a cover of the Stooges' "1969." . . . Word on the street is that
Loveless Records' Vendetta Red have been beating off the major-label offers with a stick. We'll let you know when we find out who the lucky winners are.
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