The Metro Gnome

This weekend, the Gnome overheard a few conversations insinuating that PJ Harvey's new Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea should've been titled You Gotta Have Heart. Ooh, barracuda. But enough of this '70s revivalism. When The New York Times' Sunday Arts and Leisure section includes a thinkpiece about film dictating our culture, as last week's inevitably did, it's time to circle the wagons. Cameron Crowe and Drew Barrymore (and maybe PJ Harvey) want to romanticize that lamentable decade—well, the Gnome remembers the '70s, and the '70s sucked. Crowe would like us all to go see Almost Famous and sing along with that putrid Elton John song, but the public ain't buying. Charlie's Angels, which opens this week, isn't likely to inspire today's women to run out and feather their hair. PJ probably was following her own muse rather than paying homage to Heart. Let's all pretend—or admit—that we smoked too much dope to remember anything about the '70s and move on with our lives.

At least, let's move on to Seattle music news. Yes, rumors of The Rocket's demise are true. Two weeks back, word spread like a careening snowball: The new publisher's paychecks bounced; the staffers are moving their things out of the offices right now! The biweekly's role in Seattle's emergence in the late '80s can't be denied, and it's sad that the community has lost an institution that brought musicians together, provided a training ground for young rock critics, and gave much-needed publicity to hopeful bands. The closure hasn't stopped Rocket editor Joe Ehrbar, who's landed Peter Blackstock's column at the P-I. (Blackstock's farewell send-off at the Sunset last week was fantastic, with Scott McCaughey, John Wesley Harding, Christy McWilson, and many more singing in tribute to the departing writer, who's off to North Carolina.)

This weekend, Rockrgrl and Terrastock collide on our turf. The former has attracted a bizarre cross-section of promising women-fronted bands and overzealous singer-songwriters who shoulda stayed in their hometown cafe (one performer's press release vowed that her acoustic set would "blow your socks off!" Ahem). Then there's the psyched-out Terrastock, which features this li'l correspondent's favorite local pop outfit, the Green Pajamas (at the Showbox, Saturday, 11:30pm).

Lastly, farewell to Chris Takino, the Up Records founder who passed away last month after a long battle with leukemia. Though soft-spoken, Takino was one of this city's most accomplished tastemakers, signing Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, and Quasi. In a 1999 interview with the Weekly, he summed up his philosophy, one that's been all but forgotten by the major labels. "There are certain advantages to being on the Up label," he explained. "A lot of it has to do with the way you develop bands. I feel like we offer a place for bands to grow." Their music is Takino's legacy.

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

 
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