Tracking everything from the Arena to Bumbershoot to the Tractor.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank every one of the Bumbershoot attendees who slinked over to the Seattle Weekly booth at the Main Stage at Memorial Stadium to enter a drawing for a Metro Gnome Gettin' It Good T-shirt. You're all winners in my book—but of course you won't all win a shirt!

The real action wasn't at the booth, but on the stages, naturellement. Especially when Queens of the Stone Age rocked the Key, er, the Rock Arena. That's where a lusciously underage-lookin' lady ran on stage to lock lips with the Queens' keyboardist during the band's bee-listeringly loud 'n' raunchy set. Come to think of it, the Rock Arena stage rocked all weekend, with Pavement kicking out the jams and even kickin' in a few indie-rock classics like "Cut Your Hair" and "Summer Babe." Cibo Matto used the stage to spread the love, nearly filling the arena with groovers who pogoed along with Yuka and Miho and their merry band of happy hip-hop hybridizers—they made the Gnome feel like a little girl. They also made Krist Novoselic drool; he was spied backstage taking photos and schmoozing it up with Cibo bassist Sean Lennon.

Over on Main Stage, Sonic Youth continued what's becoming a B-Shoot tradition. The perpetually hip New Yawkas used the crowded stadium to test out mostly new, mostly instrumental material. Their musical plate tectonics seemed to cause atmospheric shifts. During Sonic Youth's set, the weather turned from partly cloudy to foreboding, and then, as they scoured up a five-minute noise crescendo, the skies parted.

B-Shoot spawned some amazing club shows. The Gnome lurked at the Two Bells Tavern Saturday night when Robyn Hitchcock and Grant Lee Phillips (of Grant Lee Buffalo) played an intimate acoustic—and unamplified—set. They did Beatles and Velvet Underground covers, but Phillips nearly stole the show with his falsetto during a dip into Smoky Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears." In another unannounced appearance, the great Emmylou Harris stopped by for the opening night of the No Depression anniversary party at the Tractor, where the country music legend joined her guitarist Buddy Miller in a duet of "Love Hurts" that moved the Gnome to tears. They were, of course, tears of joy. You betcha!

You can reach the Metro Gnome at metrognome@seattleweekly.com

 
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