Saturday, March 25, 2006

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!

I feel another milestone has just been reached in my American assimilation: I've just had Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for lunch. And what's more, I enjoyed them. A marvelous combination of sweet and salty.

In the past few weeks I've been to more gigs than I probably have done in the past two years. It started off with a bit of luck on a Sunday night; me and Pat went out for a quiet post-Oscar-night beer in Belltown and ended up in Rendezvous. Two bands were playing in the attached Jewelbox Theater, so we thought we'd help out the local music scene. The two bands were Trespassers William and The Stares. Both played quite mellow, chilled out music with female-led vocals. Of the two bands, I seem to remember being more impressed with Trespassers William. Good soundscape.

On the back of that success, and through talking to a friend of the one of the bands we found out that Isobel Campbell (formerly of Belle & Sebastian) was playing the Triple Door later in the week. So, we went.

To be honest, Isobel wasn't that good. She didn't talk to the audience until right near the end of the gig. It's like she doesn't really want to be on stage. However, her support act was Magnet, who is just a Norwegian guy with a guitar. But he also had some magic looping boxes which means he builds up songs... it's very cool. And he also talked to the audience, he's quite a cool bloke. I was guessing that Magnet might call himself that because he was called Magnus, but I've just read that his name is Evan. Never mind. Anyway, if you like KT Tunstall and/or Coldplay, you should check out Magnet. Oh, and a word about the Triple Door. It's not some inch-deep urine filled indie-dive, it's like a combination of a posh restaurant and a theatre. So, you get waiter service to get you beer. It's all very couth.

Hmm.. This is got to be my longest post ever, but I'll carry on... Right, next on the gig list was the Stranger's Big Shot, a battle-of-the-bands style thing for local up-and-coming bands. It was held at Neumos, which is a proper gig venue, although not urine-filled, luckily. The four bands up for the prize were The Emergency, Romance, Tennis Pro, and Speaker Speaker. The night ended with a set with, presumably local stalwarts, Visqueen.

The Emergency are a heavily 70s-influenced rock band with more than a smattering of the Darkness about them. Except better. The US-flag flares on the lead guitarist were something special.

Romance are basically Interpol with strong Joy Division influences. Don't get me wrong, they were good, but they were nothing new. "Paris is Burning" seemed to stick in my head, though.

Tennis Pro were probably my favourite band of the night. They're like an American version of the Kaiser Chiefs, except more tongue-in-cheek. They were a lot of fun. "We put the Punk in Punctuation", "Taking your mom home tonight". You can't help but smile!

Speaker Speaker were the deserving winners of the night. They're a Weezer-esque geek indie-rock band. And also very good.

Right, briefly at the end, I'll just mention that I saw the Ian McFeron band at the Triple Door last night. He's quite country, but not in a bad way. Disturbingly, he's younger than me and has a CD out. I hope the time to start my rock career hasn't past me by!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snowboarding skillz... or not

I'm off to see the Stranger's Big Shot battle-of-the-bands style thing at Neumo's tonight... and then tomorrow it's an early start, as we're going to go down to Crystal for some snowboarding action. Let's hope that I do a bit better than this:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Okay... There was the idea that we'd go for a bit of after-work snowboarding tonight. So we could leave early, Pat and I got into work at 6.30am this morning. Unfortunately, due to the first picture, it looks like heading up the mountains would be a bad idea!

Now, apparently it's got windy this afternoon, so much so that the SR520 bridge has closed! Looks like we're going to be stuck in Redmond for good bit longer now. Dammit!