Prom Kings

Les Savy Fav ring in the New Year, high-school style.



Graceland, 206-381-3094, $15

9 p.m. Tues., Dec. 31

YOUR HIGH-SCHOOL prom was soggy streamers in the gym, Strawberry Boones in the backseat, unfortunate hairdos, and eagle-eyed parent chaperones. Alas, you can't go home again, but why not aim for the next best thing? Scotch on the rocks, "festive" dress code, and the dissonant disco-punk fuzz and buzz of post-rock superstars Les Savy Fav work for us. The Brooklyn-by-way-of-Rhode-Island-School-of-Design quartet headlines a New Year's Eve prom happening at Graceland, with support from Pretty Girls Make Graves, the Vells, and various promlike activities. Singer Tim Harrington—whose fondness for fancy outfits, from full sea captain regalia to clingy wrestling singlets, is nearly as well documented as his ferociously commanding stage presence—took a moment to reminisce on prom dates and New Years past, with bandmate and frenchkiss records (LSF, the Apes, Sean Na Na) founder Syd Butler.

Seattle Weekly: Tell me about your very best and/or very worst New Year's Eve ever.

Tim Harrington: My best New Year's Eves ever were 1988-1993, when I would watch WPIX, Channel 11, in New Jersey, which aired Red Dawn every year.

Syd Butler: The worst in recent memory was when I first moved to New York in '96. I was out with some friends and walking to different parties in the East Village, and a man pulled a gun on me. He didn't ask for money, just pulled it out of his coat pocket, looked me in the eye, and pointed it at me. My heart was pounding. I slowly turned and walked away. Later that night, still freaked out, we walked to Chinatown looking for some "crazy" Asian super-party. They wouldn't let us in. It started pouring cold rain. We had to walk home, no cabs.

What was your high-school prom like?

TH: I can't remember who I took to my high-school prom, but there was a lot of debate among my friends about whether to go or boycott. In the end, I went—I believe in votes, not vetoes. After the prom, a bunch of us went to the Jersey Shore—classic prom move—where after drinking on the beach, several of us had an orgy. Well, more of a toe fetish party. One guy got a blow job at a toll booth. The theme was some Eagles-type deal.

SB: I had a picture-perfect senior prom. No comment.

Would either of you have changed your date if you could?

TH: [I could have gone for] Seth's prom date, Katie Egan—I hear she was cool—or maybe the toll-booth guy's date. If I could do it over again, I'd want the theme to be "Only come if you hate high school."

OK, so what's your favorite holiday of the year?

TH: I enjoy Ash Wednesday.

SB: Thanksgiving. All the good without the bad: Food, family, friends, the weather is good. No guilt related to presents. No returns. No lines.

Are you the kind of people who make New Year's resolutions?

TH: I don't do them, and when people ask me what mine are, I usually tell them about how I heard Jonathan Potterman on NPR with a Shearson Lehman investor talking about whether grunge was back.

SB: Yes, my favorite—calling people on the handshake. For years, it drove me crazy when I would receive the "dead fish" handshake. Now I ask for a better one. This year . . . learn Spanish.

What do you two want to be doing when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st?

TH: Screaming at the top of my lungs, covered in sweat, falling down, dancing, kissing, dancing, falling down, covered in sweat, whimpering, affecting ambiguous poses, transforming from an old man to a baby New Year.

SB: Have the crowd explode with happiness to welcome the new year and at the same time have a quiet kiss with [my girlfriend] Amy.

What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations for 2003?

TH: I hope the whole world gets really into being confused.

SB: Stay alive. No smallpox for me, please. Continue to build frenchkiss records. Eat well.

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