Friday, September 03, 2004

Giampino family benefit show

Arsonists Be Damned
Neumo's, Seattle, WA

So there's this guy Scott, right? He used to be a booker at the Showbox, and he's married and has a kid. And then one day some asswipe burns down their house. So now they're dealing with the aftermath, insurance, hotels, etc. etc. and even though every single e-mail report he sends out to the music community says, "We're fine! Really! We have what we need!" the music community responds by saying, "Shutup! We're going to help you anyway!" which is pretty touching considering these are busy people and some are even famous.

The groups playing this show are: The Long Winters, Ben Gibbard, The Girls, The Lights, Preston School Of Industry, Damien Jurado, Big Business, and XXX Audio, in exactly reverse order because the good people must always come on right after you're too tired to stay anymore.

Neumo's filled up pretty slowly, but there were a lot of rock star template people there. Recall that I can recognize when someone is a musician, but I cannot associate them with their band. This is a flaw. I know this. But it prevents me from acting like a goob, so it's okay.

Hey you know when you walk up and say hi to someone who is talking to someone else, and they say hi back but they don't remember your name so you go ahead and introduce yourself to the other person, and they both cheat their bodies toward you a bit to include you in the conversation but then right away just talk to each other so they are physically INcluding you in the group but conversationally EXcluding you, and then you have to figure out the right time to blurt, "well, enjoy the show! bye!" which feels really awkward particularly since they are actively ignoring you? Ya, me too.

My friends and I monitor several characters in the club. The first is a very very tall boy who gets points by starting the evening at the back of the room so he isn't blocking anyone. He slowly loses those points by migrating to the front, but my friend claims that since he is so thin he should get half his points back.

The second is a girl who works as a door monitor. She is wee, in all black, has a flashlight that she brandishes like a billy club, and has fabulous career-obliterating neck tattoos. Every time the back door opens she springs up and makes sure no one is going outside with beer. She is great at her job, which is a good thing if you know what I mean.

The third is an unrelated group of people who, using their strategic attire, are willing Fall to arrive. They boldly wear wool sweaters and knit caps and jackets and dark colors. They are saying to summer, "Summer, your sun has burned us for too long and we are hot. We don't mind the rain. Be gone!" I respect these people, all of whom must be sweating buckets.

As with many indie rock audiences, this one is pretty much immobile. I wonder how it makes the bands feel to see the audience move around to the 80s music that is cranked between sets but barely manage a head-nod for the hard-working musicians. It made me want to advise all of the bands to switch to hip-hop.

Several of the Death Cab boys were there, not just Ben (although Ben accidentally body-checked my friend on the way to the bar). People touched them a lot. It was weird. Oh - OH - and guess who else was there?? Girlfriend to the Stars!!! She was there with Graig so now that's confirmed. She still looked like Marilyn.

The drummer from Big Business reminded me of a certain muppet. They were SO loud that the bass actually shook my bra. In contrast, Damian's set was aggressively quiet. I hope he didn't feel bad when people clapped louder for his cover songs than for his originals. He did play a Death Cab and a Nick Drake song, after all. He seemed mad when he left the stage.

The only good drama came at the end of the night. Two girls and a guy were at the bar trying to close out their tab. The guy was in a snit, complaining loudly and demanding to see the manager. When we asked what was wrong his friends told us that it was "personal" which sounds odd at a bar. A huge bouncer dude was standing 3 feet from them and when another bouncer came up the first dude subtely pointed to the group with his chin - he chindicated. The bouncers stood there looking serious and in control, and we were excited to see the whole thing unfold. But when we turned away for like ONE SECOND the girls had run back into the club area and the boy was GONE. Poof....

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