No, the sign hanging at the Crocodile last week wasn't a joke: A BBC film crew shooting yet another documentary on Kurt Cobain really was searching for any locals who weren't all blabbed out on the subject. The Brits, who were in town all week, turned up at the Croc hoping to find willing participants at a show by the Nirvanaesque band from Alabama Verbena, whose latest album was produced by Dave Grohl. (A few in the crowd spread the mistruth that Verbena were in fact a cover band. You ee-diots!) Turned out to be a bust: The limeys confided to the Gnome that they'd run into a brick wall, and they didn't have much luck at the Verbena show. Only a few dozen avid fans came out, and none were of the I-knew-Kurt-and-would-love-to-chat variety. All of this didn't spoil frontman Scott Bondy's fun. Late in the set, he strummed out a few noisy chords on his guitar, then challenged the crowd to a game of Name That Tune. A knowledgeable onlooker figured out that it was a Jesus Lizard song, and Bondy rewarded the winner with a dollar bill pulled from his sweaty shirt pocket.
Well, the British Invasion has ended, sadly with no casualties. During one seven-day period, Seattle hosted the Stereophonics, the Charlatans, and the Catherine Wheel, who played the first rock show at ARO.space since the club changed hands—twice—earlier this year. Then came the grand finale, with Oasis and the pesky opening band that's challenging their dominance back in the UK, Travis, playing a sold-out show at the Paramount. Despite the fact that this Scottish band's album The Man Who has sold two million copies abroad, the crowd's only fervent response came when they played their cheeky cover of Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time." Oasis meanwhile looked less like they were kicking off an American tour than they were pouting about their self-imposed sobriety. Liam Gallagher wore his shades all night and only mustered this uninspired bit of stage banter: "No, you can't have me tambourine. I fookin' paid for it." Big brother Noel came through with an encore dedication to Monsieur Cobain (it was the six-year anniversary of his death), then bashed out a decent cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My." It was a nice touch and possibly unplanned: Oasis' pre-gig set list featured "Helter Skelter" in that spot.
And what, I hear the chorus sing, of Sub Pop's big anniversary bash at I-Spy on Sunday? Well, if the label's really as hard-up as many scenesters continue to jab, then why did hundreds crowd the club's three floors to schmooze and check out Sub Pop stable mates Otto, Gluecifer, the Makers, Beachwood Sparks, the Murder City Devils, and Zen Guerrilla? Maybe it's because Bleach still sells well. You betcha!
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