183086_1698854546089_1079653353_31513741_4507558_n.jpg
photo by Joram Young via Facebook
"The Rolling Stones."
Apologies for the lateness--this post should have gone up yesterday, but I've been busy moving. That's

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A Belated Weekend Report: Carl Craig at the Baltic Room, "The Rolling Stones" at the Rendezvous Grotto, and Rats in the Central District

183086_1698854546089_1079653353_31513741_4507558_n.jpg
photo by Joram Young via Facebook
"The Rolling Stones."
Apologies for the lateness--this post should have gone up yesterday, but I've been busy moving. That's because the first order I got from Kornelis & Seely (which sounds like a '70s detective duo or a yacht-rock band) upon my hiring here at the Weekly was to move off of Capitol Hill, get out there, and learn how the "real" Seattle lives. So now I'm investing my cultural capitol in gentrifying the Central District, trying to figure out where the hell they stock the kombucha at Grocery Outlet, and immersing myself in "real" Seattle favorites like Macklemore and The Head and the Heart (more on that tomorrow). Anyway, those are the excuses; here is the belated weekend report:

Detroit techno legend Carl Craig played a three-hour DJ set on Friday night at the Baltic Room, with Seattle's own Jon McMillion opening. Pitchfork and other outlets found much to love about McMillion's self-titled album released last year, but for whatever reason it struck me as a bit insubstantial--good moods, good atmospheres, but not great grooves or songs. On the ample sound system at the Baltic Room, though, I heard depth and nuance (and bass!) that I hadn't picked up before (I've also upped my ear-bud game for record listening since then), and it might have been that McMillion was playing a more floor-oriented live set to warm things up for Craig. Whatever the case, it worked. The crowd was moving by the time Craig took the decks, and I now feel obligated to go listen to McMillion's album again.

What can you say about Carl Craig? His lengthy (by Seattle club-night standards) set was expertly paced, a long, slow build marked by subtle peaks and valleys. His selection leanded heavily on the catalog of his Planet E Communications label, which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary. Much of it defied trainspotting by Shazam (which, btw, is that terribly bad form?) It was a great show, and when I split around 1 a.m. it still showed no signs of slowing down.

Saturday night was something else, though. It was the 30th birthday of one Tyler Swan (of electro-crushers Truckasauras and dub punks Flexions), and to celebrate, "The Rolling Stones" ("Seattle's rawest Rolling Stones cover band") staged a miniature Altamont in the Rendezvous' basement Grotto. "The Rolling Stones" were Jordan Blillie (Blood Brothers, Past Lives) on vocals, Devin Welch (Shoplifting, Flexions) and Justin Deary (Whalebones) on guitars, Nat Sahlstrom (Chromatics) on bass, a girl on keys who I didn't recognize, and the birthday boy himself on drums. Oh, and they were wearing sailor suits--at least until it got hot, when they started taking them off.

They played the Stones pretty straight, Blillie sounding like himself, not doing a Mick impersonation, but also not adding any extra screech to the songs. It was ridiculously good fun. In the audience, a crowd of dudes wore denim jackets with the Stones' lips and tongue sewn onto their backs; when the horn section (yes, horn section!) came out in a procession, these guys were their security detail. In between the set and the encore, it sounded like they were rattling chains. They played "Brown Sugar," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Get Off of My Cloud," "Honky Tonk Women," and encored with "Beast of Burden." Crazy punks.

Finally, I saw a rat the size of my forearm just cold chillin' outside my new place as I was moving stuff in this weekend; it was standing upright, staring me down, before it casually scuttled off into some vacant lot gully. That was cool. To be fair, though, my forearm is actually pretty wimpy.

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