The Gnome wants just two things in life: the return of the game show Name That Tune (it's time, Hollywood!) and a night on the town that involves both a private party with a Texas songwriting legend and Seattle's most audacious indie-punk band. Well, your shrunken correspondent got one of his wishes last Thursday. First up was Jimmie Dale Gilmore, who came to town to promote his forthcoming record One Endless Night to industry folk. The intimate fete at Fremont's Swingside Caf頳tarted with tasty pasties—that's meat-filled turnovers to you nongastrognomes out there—and ended with Gilmore playing three songs on acoustic guitar, accompanied by some old guy named Orville on slide guitar. The Gnome tried to kidnap Gilmore and sneak him over to visit the Troll, but Jimmie Dale had to catch a plane back to Texas. [Note: Before the Gnome goes off on a tangent, it should be said that our visitor also spent a lot of time chatting with the trio of Seattleites who run his nifty Web site, Jimmiegilmore.com.] Oh sure, but he had time to spend his day performing for Amazon employees, joining a troubling trend that involves musicians passing over the public to play for the world's biggest online record store or whatever they call it. Rumor is that Oscar nominee Aimee Mann and her hubby Michael Penn followed up their sold-out Showbox gig a few weeks ago with a private show for an Amazon audience the next day. Now the Gnome doesn't like to drag out that shopworn accusation "sell-out," but if the glove fits, you cannot acquit!
Still, a short time with Jimmie Dale left this would-be scenester happy as an Ivar's clam sandwich, and soon sent Your Gnomeness out into the wilds of Capitol Hill in search of the Vogue. No, not the nightclub, but the amazingly superfantastic group of youngsters that is unquestionably the spunkiest band in Seattle. The place: Foxes Cabaret. The occasion: a birthday bash for James Morelos, the dapper head of Made in Mexico Records, Pedro the Lion's former label and the home of the Vogue. (This makes him the sharpest talent scout in town.) The scene: Drag queens and indie punks mingling in a friendly setting. Ah, but what of this band the Vogue? Four gents and a lady, all of whom look like college freshmen, play brilliant, edgy songs that fall in and out of grooves as the musicians flail about the stage. And the frontboy shrieks and sings like a young Mark E. Smith. As a French gnome would say: "Incroyable." You betcha!
You can reach the Metro Gnome at firstname.lastname@example.org