Ballard, 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The Seattle Weekly Music Awards Showcase was in full swing, with thousands of drunken party people . . . er,


Seattle Weekly Invades Ballard

Music Awards showcase draws crowds. Plus: Jane Eaglen, Wedding Singer, House of Blues news.


Ballard, 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The Seattle Weekly Music Awards Showcase was in full swing, with thousands of drunken party people . . . er, enthusiastic event patrons . . . orbiting seven venues. At Mr. Spot's Chai House, the door staff ran out of wristbands, while fans in rasta-colored tams milled outside, hoping to see world/reggae band Wet City Rockers. At every stop, the music was different, but the story was the same: Tim Casey and the Bluescats played to a capacity crowd at the Lock & Keel, and folks lined up outside Conor Byrne Pub, trying to catch a glimpse of the jazz/experimental group Swampdweller. At the Sunset, near midnight, Mohawk-topped singer Alexi Void strode through the crowd toward the stage, like a boxer approaching the ring. She and her Go Like Hell bandmates gave people a taste of their new album, Blood, Smut and Fear ("12 new songs/same shitty attitude"). Outside, a middle-aged blonde leaned against the wet hood of a car, smoking a cigarette, and watched assorted metalheads, hippies, and clubbers walk by. "So many fuckin' yuppies," she sighed. Seattle Weekly Music Award winners will be announced in print and at www.seattleweekly.com on Wednesday, May 10. LYNN JACOBSON


After the loss of Carol Vaness and Vinson Cole (to Indiana University and the New England Conservatory, respectively), the University of Washington music department is recovering vocal prestige with the appointment of Wagnerian über-diva and Seattle resident Jane Eaglen—the Brünnhilde of choice for just about every opera company worldwide that dares to stage a Ring. She'll serve as artist in residence for the next academic year, giving lessons and master classes. Also new next season, tapped for a weeklong visit each quarter and a few concert appearances as Hans and Thelma Lehmann Distinguished Visiting Professor, is violinist Ani Kavafian. GAVIN BORCHERT


The stage musical version of The Wedding Singer—which first walked the aisle here at the 5th Avenue Theatre—opened on Broadway last week to tepid reviews. New York Times lead drama critic Ben Brantley called it "an assembly-kit musical," neither the best nor worst that Broadway had to offer this season. Associated Press' reliable Michael Kuchwara wrote that the show obsessively references the '80s "when time might better be spent fleshing out the people on stage." And Seattle Times critic Misha Berson, who saw a preview just prior to the opening, reported the show improved from its Seattle debut but concluded that "the breadth of its airy, '80s-lite appeal is uncertain." . . . Neil Young's new Living With War is a high-tension album full of heavy chords, angelic choruses, and from-the-hip shots aimed at our administration. Next to Bruce Springsteen's Pete Seeger tribute, it's easily the finest protest record of this year. It's streaming now at www.neilyoung.com, and will be available for download on Tuesday, May 9. . . . Los Angeles–based House of Blues announced last week that it will open one of its signature restaurant/nightclubs adjacent to the Paramount Theatre in 2007. SEATTLE WEEKLY STAFF


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