Sniff sniff. The Gnome weeps about the pending departure of the Weekly's own Jackie McCarthy, who leaves along with music biz hubby Pat "Mr. Seattle" Riley to seek out the warm weather (and join the beautiful people) in the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Jackie did hard time here at this wacky weekly, introducing a couple of new words into the paper's lexicon: "pop music."
"Pop music" of the verse-chorus variety was in short supply at the first night of I-Spy's Lickit!, the newly opened club's Saturday night dance event. Despite a no-show by supposed headliner DJ Sneak, I-Spy's three floors sported nifty spots for dancing and sitting (the top floor is even decked out with restaurant booths), and even niftier music: House ruled the main floor, dubby stuff the second, and breakbeats (slow and fast) the top. The music wasn't cutting edge, but it sure was fun—especially given the presence of the Emerald City's beautiful people.
This elusive group of glamour hounds has been making the rounds of late, hovering around ARO.space, where lovely Brit songstress Dot Allison dropped by for a meet 'n' greet then played one of only five sets of a US mini-tour. Nice music, but Dot's a little stiff in the stage presence department. Just a few nights later Seattle's own songstress (translation: sings songs, looks gooood) Heather Duby made her maiden voyage with a band at ARO.space. Or, as she jumbled the shopworn phrase, her "virgin voyage." Ahem. Anyways, Ms. Duby and her six-piece backing band—if you include the male backing vocalist, whose pulse stopped midway through the first song—zipped through six tunes from her Sub Pop debut, Post to Wire. The Gnome found the Duby Brothers and Sisters' set surprisingly polished, if less than inspired, bringing to mind the ethereal pop of Sarah McLachlan and the electronica-fied Madonna. Other attendees' reactions ranged from rapture to disgust, which just goes to show: Everybody's a critic.
Except at Stereolab's supercrowded Showbox appearance, where everybody came to express their love to the Lab. But before the Gnome rhapsodizes about the droney masterpieces or drools over the sexy gnomettes onstage and in the audience, it must be noted that opener Papa M—led by Tortoise's Dave Pajo and featuring underground guitar god Alan Licht—threw off its postrock shackles and ripped through a set-closing, nonvocal version of the Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn." Absolutely Biblical! What then of Stereolab? If you weren't part of the sold-out crowd, you missed a doozy. Lots of dots, loops, Tim Gane guitar spaz-outs, and "do do do" harmonies from Laetitia and Mary. The space-age bachelor pad was filled with sharp-dressed hipsters, save for the twirling hippies who took a wrong turn at the last Phish gig and ended up in the Showbox's bar area. You betcha!
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