Whoa, doggy. We received a number of Sky Is Falling e-mails from well-intentioned Chicken Littles in the local music industry, telling us that the sneaky bastards over at City Hall were angling to reverse the poster ban unban. Much as local political talk sends us into fits of terrible, unstoppable narcolepsy, we got what we thought was suitably riled up by the inflammatory e-mail blizzard. It turns out, though, that it's mostly based on not much more than a bunch of confusingly written (and, in some points, poorly interpreted) lawyer hoo-ha. Many of the so-called issues put forth in the poster ban modification (now up for a public review period until Oct. 25) are really pretty nebulous and even silly, i.e., "safety issues" like "conflict between traffic signing and posters"—we all know how hard it is to tell the difference between a blue 8-by-11 "Rasputina at the Paradox Oct. 18" and a big red octagonal STOP. Then there's "injury potential caused by signs made of inappropriate materials and hung with sharp fasteners placed low on poles and posts"—again, we understand why adults need a permit to operate that dangerous tool of mass destruction known as a stapler. There is one vaguely legitimate complaint buried in there: "Visual blight is caused by the proliferation of outdated materials and the build-up of temporary signs that can occur when old signing is not removed and new signs are continually posted over old signs." We ourselves have been annoyed by the multiple postings of identical posters—certain bands and events shall remain nameless, but let's just say they tend to occur more frequently in inverse proportion to talent—especially over posters for other events still current and very much deserving of their own space. There are also several truly objectionable bits buried in the lawyerspeak: the height restriction of 6 feet is unduly harsh, and the requirement that all posters feature a contact number does, as
promoter/booker/music-politiker-man-about-town Dave Meinert states, go against the basic right of posterers to express sometimes controversial views anonymously. It turns out, though, that despite all the menacing language lifted from www.cityofseattle.net/td/posterbanrules.asp, the proposed modifications can't, in effect, reinstate the ban. As poor, beleaguered annual permits supervisor John Zavis (who's been inundated with e-mails and phone calls since these e-mails first began making the rounds) told us, they simply don't have the manpower to enforce any of it should the modifications come into effect; they're counting on community cooperation and support to make it happen, if at all. So what lesson can we learn from all this, kids? Don't use oversized Staples of Death to attach your band's or venue's poster, don't paper over crucial traffic signs, don't post 20 at once when one will do, and, for god's sake, don't believe everything you read. . . . Man, politics is exhausting. We happily return to our regularly scheduled programming: silly, petty-minded gossip with little or no redeeming value. First off: A DOON spy enjoying some sweet DJ sounds at Vito's last Friday night found herself in the company of not only what appeared to be a business and allocations manager for ladies of the night (a.k.a., a stone-cold pimp) but, seated right near him, one Mr. Dave Matthews, frat-rock superstar and part-time Seattle resident, "canoodling" with a hot blonde we must assume is his lovely wife, Ashley. Visiting Brits Clinic were also seen rooting around the Westlake Guitar Center a few days earlier, but it's hard to confirm that sighting 100 percent, as the band nearly always appear in hospital scrubs—a gimmick we found entirely unnecessary when enjoying their excellent show at the Showbox last Tuesday. Their off-kilter, Velvets-esque electro-guitar workouts were surprisingly more engaging in person than on
record, and we may finally understand Thom Yorke's previously unseemly fondness for them. . . . Same venue, later that week: the unholy assault that was Queens of the Stone Age. Says Andrew Bonazelli: "At an unseasonably inundated Showbox, there were none of the grunge icon cameos or freaky rainbow strobes that made QOTSA's previous Graceland gig such a trip, so Dillinger Escape Plan ably stole the show. Pumped-the-fuck-up frontman Greg Puciato did a decent Mike Patton imitation, tackling the Mr. Bungle frontman's guest histrionics on DEP's new Irony Is a Dead Scene EP before blowing fireballs above a stunned stoner congregation. The stage setup was kinda cool: Three oval-shaped projection screens, one of which illuminated clasped hands after each song to encourage clapping." Alas, Mr. Bonazelli found the headliners—and audience reaction—somewhat "tepid" in comparison to their now-legendary Graceland outing. If you beg to differ, do tell. . . . N.Y.C. duo and hipster favorites the Moldy Peaches seemed to be doing just fine together, but it seems they've each gone ahead with a solo album anyway. Adam Green's Garfield (Sanctuary) drops Oct. 22, just in time to hype up the folks for his opening slot on Badly Drawn Boy's American tour, while Kimya Dawson's I'm Sorry That Sometimes I'm Mean (same label) follows hot on its heels, hitting Nov. 5. Better or worse than the sum of its parts? We shall see. . . . Everyone knows by now that "Guns N' Roses" will be hitting Tacoma on Nov. 8—we use the quote marks because, of course, only Axl remains; nearly every other original member has gone ahead and formed another band: Slash, local boy Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum (with contributions from Izzy Stradlin) are currently auditioning for a frontman. Think you have what it takes, muchacho? . . . Speaking of supergroup members reconfiguring for better or worse: Billy Corgan's new band, Zwan, is just about done with their debut and plan to play out starting
next month. In case you've forgotten, Zwan features Mr. Cue Ball Head himself on vocals, plus former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, former Chavez guitarist Matthew Sweeney, A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin, and Tortoise guitarist David Pajo. Crazy kids. . . . And finally, if neither Rebecca Gates, John Doe, Spoon, Mr. Scruff, Jurassic 5, nor Paul friggin McCartney—all playing the Seattle area this Saturday—appeals to you, go ahead and stay home for Saturday Night Live, which will feature host Sen. John McCain and his dear friends the White Stripes.
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