What the hell did we do to piss off Bebel Gilberto? The mercurial Brazilian songstress releases one of 2000's most alluring albums, Tanto Tempo (Six Degrees), then teases Seattle with tour dates that she cancels at the last minute. The Gnome hasn't felt this much anguish since trying to land a date with a flaky gal named Jessica back in '92. Gilberto ditched a scheduled appearance at the Showbox late last year, then popped up on the club's listings in the February 11 slot. Last week, came word from her label that Gilberto had scrapped her whole tour due to her "exhausting worldwide concert and promotional schedule over the last eight months." Next she'll announce that she won't be coming to Seattle ever again—but she'd still like to be friends.
Superdrag honored their date, playing Friday at the Crocodile. Loyalists cheered the Knoxville band, though some grumbled that the downsizing to a trio meant that this wasn't the same Superdrag they knew and loved. Frontman John Davis made up for the lack of a second guitarist, bending notes and extending jams and pushing each power-pop song to speeds that blurred the melody and rhythm. Selections from Superdrag's new In the Valley of Dying Stars didn't thrill the crowd as much as those from the band's two Elektra releases. But Davis earned extra credit for skipping the hit, "Sucked Out," instead encoring with a cover of the Replacements' "Bastards of Young." In a silly side note, members of Super Deluxe were spotted in the crowd checking out the band, but no one from the Supersuckers showed up.
Saturday was also hopping at the Crocodile, where the club's Frank Nieto celebrated his birthday with a semi-private party in the back while acts from the weird Michigan label Le Grand Magistery entertained in the showroom. The main draw may have been Momus, but the Montreal group Stars didn't care; the openers played a succinct set of electro-pop, drawing from their fantastic, subtle new disc, Nightsongs. They also offered up their wispy cover of the Smiths' "This Charming Man," much to the crowd's delight.
JAMPAC is launching a preemptive strike against another pesky legislative effort in Olympia to ban explicit lyrics. The activist group is encouraging music fans to contact Representative Pat Lantz (email@example.com) and suggest that she refuse to hear arguments for House Bill 1316. . . . A report here a few weeks ago suggested that the incoming Easy Street Records in Ballard is associated with the store of the same name in West Seattle, which an employee there had confirmed. The new joint is actually part of the Kirkland Easy Street, a different company with the same name. . . . Though no acts have been announced yet, dates for another Yo Yo A Go Go have been confirmed. The fest will kick off July 17 in Olympia, the capital of the great state of Washington. You betcha!