Jaime of Husbands, Love Your Wives (photo thanks to Tae Rhee)
I spent the last weekend at two very different shows. Friday night, I spent an incredibly frustrating hour trying to get to the Q Cafe using a GPS that didn't know about the numerous road closures, so in spite of my best intentions to, you know, show up on time, we missed the opener, Barton Carroll, completely. Which is the second time I've done that recently, and I feel bad. Sorry, man-- I'll catch you next time, perhaps?
Anyway, we walked in at the beginning of R.B. Reed's set, and everyone in there was dead silent. It was the quietest show I've ever attended, unless you count the symphony, and I don't. R.B. Reed, who didn't have his whole band there (a band that includes Faustine, who is also the Curious Mystery drummer) referred to the set as being similar to band practice, even though there were at least twenty people there watching in silent reverence and valiantly ignoring the jackhammering going on outside (and the occasional whir of the espresso machine.) He did, however, have the stand-up bass and dueling guitars, which created a nice coffeeshop dynamic. If you haven't been to the Q before, it's actually a pretty nice all-ages venue. My boyfriend was sort of bummed out that there wasn't beer, but uh, it's also run by a church (so don't be shocked if you go there and the super-friendly volunteer making your coffee is wearing a ginormous crucifix). It's also an all-volunteer organization. But watch out-- you can't get a cup of water there. You have to buy it bottled. If it was anything BUT a non-profit, all-ages venue, I'd complain. We live in Seattle, not Arizona. And it's not like any of us music fans are exactly rolling in it, either. Ah, well. Gotta make your money somehow.
Jaime of Husbands, Love Your Wives played her set accompanied by Joe Syversen on drums and Erik Neumann (I THINK) on stand-up bass, and she seemed a little disconcerted by the silent crowd as well, asking us if we had questions several times to break the reverent-but-uncomfortable silence. One person asked when the Husbands, Love Your Wives record will come out, but Jaime says it's not for lack of desire, but lack of funds, that there is still no album. We also found out that she has a new sausage maker and was accident-prone as a child.
Saturday night, I headed to the Wild Rose with my boyfriend for the Dutchess and the Duke's CD release party, which was a smashing success. The thing sold out, and frankly, I don't think it would be a bad idea to start booking them at bigger venues like Neumo's. There was only one opening band, Vancouver, Canada-based punk institution Dead Ghosts. During their set, the place filled up so much that when I left the adjoining room where the show was taking place in order to get myself another drink, I couldn't get back to the main room and had to settle for standing in the entryway next to the bar (ok, that's not all bad). Especially since I couldn't see anything from anywhere else. A surprising number of people at the show already knew the words to the Dutchess and the Duke's songs and were bouncing up and down and singing along. The set concluded with the album's closer, "Armageddon Song", which was an appropriate choice, I suppose (and yes, they did the same thing at the earlier in-store performance). I am pretty sure they played their whole album. And if I don't know for sure, it's because I spent a song or two trying to figure out who was stinking up my immediate area.
You know what I'm talking about. There's sometimes that person at the show who needs to invest in some Gas-X, or at least clench the cheeks a little tighter out of respect for the rest of us, right? Well, this person was particularly afflicted and had no qualms about letting 'em fly with reckless abandon. Whoever he or she was, s/he must've eaten something rotten for his or her bowels to produce such a noxious odor. And like, okay, farting once in a crowd is forgivable, but once you smell yourself, you do the honorable thing and either hold the suckers in or go outside to relieve the pressure. Except that this person really, REALLY wanted to see the Dutchess and the Duke, badly enough to stink us all out and take the risk that someone would figure out the person's identity and punch them in the face, because it really was that bad. It was like a steady stream of mustard gas creeping over all of our heads, only this gas didn't kill us, it just made us want to kill ourselves.
Which brings me to one of the ten commandments of show etiquette, people: a hot, sweaty, sold-out show in a small bar is not the time or place for unbridled ass-ripping. I used to think the most egregious show-going offense was the couple who insists upon cuddling and holding each other at a packed show when everyone else is trying to dance/exist/walk past you without getting dirty looks because someone made you let go of Ooky Snookums for five seconds to, you know, flee the crowd and your disgusting PDAs. Lord, I hate those assholes. But I think I now hate Farters more. II have one word for you, Farters, and that's Beano. The temporary humiliation you'll feel buying it at the grocery store is nothing to the lingering humiliation you will suffer at my hands if I ever figure out who you are.