On Friday night, in a basement on Capitol Hill, a bunch of Seattle punk/DIY/etc bands who are mostly too young to remember the '90s got together to pay tribute to that decade in popular song. The occasion was a 30th-birthday party for Benji from My Parade (and formerly Bow + Arrow)--happy birhtday, Benji!--so at least one other person there remembered these songs from the first time around. Anyway, jokes, I'm old, kids these days, lawns, etc. It was a really fucking good time.
This was the merch table.
I was in and out--this was a dry/all-ages event, so if you wanted a drink, you had to duck out for a minute and grab one elsewhere--so I missed some reportedly good stuff, including a thrash cover of Nirvana's "Breed" complete with crowd surfing. The first thing I did catch was Neighbors doing a slightly scrappier pop-punk version of Lit's annoyingly catchy "My Own Worst Enemy" (fun fact: the original is largely considered to be one of the earliest egregious uses of AutoTune to mask a lack of talent). There was a cover of the Deftones' "Bored" preceded by much down-tuning of guitars. There was Half Gift doing a naggingly familiar song led by a catchy, discordant guitar hook and female vocals--I should have recognized it; it was the Daria theme song, which they performed with perfect deadpan "excuse me"s and an extended guitar outro.
Nirvana and Fatboy Slim after the jump . . .Haunted Horses played a pretty straight cover of Hole's "Violet," which bled into an unrecognizable take on My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep," which transitioned into the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight." There was Alanis Morrisette and the Goo Goo Dolls and Veruca Salt. There was one guy rapping Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" over a heavily distorted drumbeat, like Zeigenbock Kopf was fucking his laptop to death; halfway through the song he said "I hope you guys like drum and bass, because there's only four words to the whole rest of this song." He closed with the best quip of the night: "Hey, guys, we all love the '90s, right? Remember when the Beastie Boys freed Tibet?"
Moody new-wavish band Stephanie cracked jokes as well, shouting out Soy Bomb, "dancing baby," "Cop Killer," and the Bloodhound Gang, and teasing the bass line of Better than Ezra's "Good" before playing the Smashing Pumpkins' 1979 (complete with drum loop) and the Cranberries' "Dreams" (sadly incomplete without weird Celtic wailing at the end). Secret Colors did a typically ambient, swirled-out version (in the dub sense of the word) on Modest Mouse's "Dramamine." Don't-it-chillwave duo USF did a cover of Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" with a vocal track provided in absentia by Purple and Green diva J. Green; the guys' live loops and percussion fell out of sync for a bit during the bridge, but they managed to pull it back together for the last big rave-up, and it was an endearing kind of sloppiness anyway. The Last Slice of Butter closed the night with a bass and drums take on Nirvana's "In Bloom," a reminder that Kurt was a Melvins fan before he was a rock god.
This was actually the second '90s cover night done at this place, and I'm kicking myself for missing the first one. Apparently that one included, among other things, a cover of Folk Implosion's "Natural One" by dark-groovy punks Flexions, back when they were still a two-piece. That would've been rad. I'm already fantasizing what I'd like to see covered next time.