Dear Uptight Seattleite, How far behind you does someone have to be before you don't have to hold the door open for them anymore?Holding On
Dear Holding, I'm getting this recording project together. It's not a big deal. Not a "Look at me, I'm making an album" deal or something. It's just me and Steve-O. A couple of the other Uncles might "sit in," as they say in the biz. Not that I'm in any kind of "biz" here, just working a few tunes. Old-fashioned stuff to some people, maybe, but I happen think that your basic blues-based rock can't be improved on. People may scoff at the Doobies, but since when did it become a crime to be melodic and soulful? Not that I don't like some of the new sounds. I've got a KEXP bumper sticker, and even listen a few times a month. But I have to admit they lose me when they announce "a low-fi trio from Brooklyn," and I can't tell if this band is playing ineptly on purpose or what. Or when tape loops of other people's music became songwriting. Instead of giving into negative thoughts, however, I've decided to spread a little sunshine with my Acoustic Alchemy project. Song ideas have come from all over the place. I'd had a gin-and-tonic on a flight to Denver last month, and was staring out the window, grooving to my headphones, when I got the idea for "Don't You Wanna Rock (On a Plane, On a Plane)?" That's the lead track. Then there's "So This Is Feeling (Centered)," on which we showcase our soft vocal harmonies before firing up a classic slow burn on "Good Enough For Your Love." Because variety keeps the ears fresh, we get a little psychedelic with "On a Rain Book Stain," deliver "I've Got My Blue, Blue Eyes on You" with a twang and a wink, and get a case of the doo-wops on "The Summer's Last Sunday." "Alley Walkin'" is your basic 12-bar jam, and gives the guys a chance to stretch out a little. The grand finale, and I think we should start closing our live sets with this one, is "Rock On Rockin'." I know all of that was a bit more of a detailed peek behind my curtain than I usually offer. It was the only way I knew how to thank you for giving me an idea for another song just now with your question. A song about things that burden us. Big things like broken hearts, and little things like bank doors. My gently defiant anthem about letting go of these things is called "Beyond Nine Strides." Dear Uptight Seattleite, You recently mentioned the practice of biking with a dog on a leash. I'm surprised you had no comment on the ethics of this practice. Biking is obviously a good thing, but with a dog?Looking for Guidance
Dear Looking, Biking with a dog on a leash is something that can move you up or down the Hierarchy of Transportation Righteousness, depending on the well-being of the dog. Up if the dog is fully engaged in the process and is trotting beside you consensually, down if he's panting and fearful. Dear Uptight Seattleite, I'm visiting your city soon. How should I dress for Seattle at this time of year?San Pedro Divorcee
Dear Divorcee, They always tell you to dress in layers. If you think about it, though, what other way is there to dress? At right angles to your clothes? Ha ha, sorry, just joshing around with you there, Divorcee. I think people get way too serious. Sometimes at the library when everyone is staring so quietly at their laptops, I like to put on my Groucho glasses and announce in a stage whisper to the person next to me, "Psst! Don't tell anyone, but I'm a spy from another library!" They might not always seem to appreciate my little attempt to lighten things up, but you have to give people time. To open up their chakras and laugh at themselves. Seriously though, as for your question, I'd like to recommend drab colors. You might be surprised that with all our dark, rainy weather, Seattleites are attracted to colors that evoke wet surfaces at night. But there is something sublimely soothing about wrapping yourself in sensible, waterproof shades of tan, navy, and pine, and marching anonymously along with an army of similarly dressed people. While you're here, I urge you to leave behind thoughts of your own garishly sunny clime. As the afternoon sky shades from drizzles to showers, discover instead the pleasure of disappearing under a dark hood and blending in with the gloom. Have a question for the Uptight Seattleite? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.