Best Schoolhouse Rock

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Not enough rock-star interviews begin with the band being summoned from the backyard pool by their father. Such are the curious circumstances in which we have come to know and love SMOOSH, a haywire teacup ride of a rock machine comprising 12-year-old keyboardist/vocalist Asya (pronounced "Aussie") and 10-year-old drummer Chloe, who have already graduated from coffeehouse gigs to the Showbox. Their short, sweet Pattern 25 debut, She Like Electric, not only balances through-the- looking-glass hip-hop nods ("Rad," "Bottlenose") against lovably nonsensical, syncopated chant-alongs like "The Quack" ("That's a song we used to do in the back of the car a lot," Asya explains tellingly), but does so with mind-blowing dexterity and an almost eerie, advanced indie-pop sensibility. When Asya's 100 percent original, boisterous, jazzy Roland organ passages fall into step with Chloe's precise skins—girl cut her percussive teeth with Death Cab for Cutie's Jason McGerr at the Seattle Drum School—two killer points of reference spring to mind: think Mates of State fronted by a grounded Tori Amos. But the heck with that. Before junior high and grade school rear their ugly heads yet again, the girls have plenty of ideas about how to waste away those few precious remaining days of summer: soccer, swimming, and naturally, rocking out.

Asya's Picks

BEST ROCK AND ROLL COFFEEHOUSE: "I like Mr. Spot's Chai House. It's really cool. They have bands there a lot of times, almost every night. It's kind of a distinctive place. A lot of cool people go there to eat lunch."

BEST BEACH: "It's called the Beach Club, by Lake Washington. It has slides and diving boards and stuff, so it's a really cool beach. I dive, but not very high."

BEST JAZZ CLUB: "We went to [Dimitriou's] Jazz Alley once. I went there and saw Pinetop Perkins, and Chloe went there and saw Poncho Sanchez. They also have, like, actual other kinds of jazz, too. We haven't gone there recently. We were there about a year ago. We mostly just go to venues around home, not usually jazz places, but they're fun to go to also."

BEST WEEKEND HANGOUT: "We play soccer games a lot, then we'll come home and there's a candy store near us that we like to walk to with our friends and stuff. The University Village is cool, too. We usually just walk around places."

BEST LOCAL BAND: "I like the Long Winters. I like a lot of the bands that we've played with. I like Sleater-Kinney. We have their CDs and we listen to them a lot. And the Postal Service."

Chloe's Picks

BEST SUMMERTIME LISTENING: "We have this hip-hop CD with a bunch of different people like Snoop Dogg on it. I don't really know the names of the other [rappers]."

BEST LOCAL DRUMMER: "Jason [from Death Cab] is cool. He wasn't in the band at that time. We bought a drum set from him at the Trading Musician, and he said I could get lessons from him. He's one of them. I also like the girl from Sleater-Kinney, Janet [Weiss]."

BEST ROCK VENUE TO FREAK OUT AT: "Some places that are smaller places make me more nervous. Like the VERA Project made me more nervous than the other places we played. I don't know why. Maybe because it was the first big show we played when we got done playing coffeehouses."

BEST PLACE TO HANG WITH THE OLDER SIS: "We go swimming at the Beach Club with my friends and stuff. They have this log and these little things where you can grab on and you walk on it."

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