My first show of 2008 kicked off with a memorial for a music venue and for a friend ...both of whom left too soon.
A few weeks ago I had planned to go see Robin Pecknold, the lead singer of Fleet Foxes, perform at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle but instead went to the Northwest Film Forum for a live rendition of Andy Warhol's version of A Clockwork Orange. In retrospect I wish I had gone to the Crocodile instead because as it turns out it was the last ever show to be performed at that particular venue. The following day the owner called all of the employees and said that they were shutting their doors forever ...due to financial difficulties. The sudden closure of the club left a lot of employees hanging and scheduled bands I am sure had to be compensated something for the cancellation of their shows.
The Crocodile has been a staple in the Seattle scene since 1991 and although I never went to the Crocodile during its grunge heyday and I did not attend any of the shows that bands like Nirvana, Hole, R.E.M. and the Beastie Boys played there... I will miss the many a nights spent there watching friends of mine play with their various bands and parousing the booths of various local indie artist at I Heart Rummage.
With the passing of the Crocodile Cafe I decided that I was going to do a tribute show to some of the bands that I have heard live there. Admittedly I can't remember who they all are so I had to go with just a few bands that I was coherent enough to recall. I think that the last live show that I went to was The 88. It was the first time that I saw them in person. Afterwards their entire entourage spent the night at my house and not only are they a kick ass powerpop band, they are the nicest guys ever.
I know that I have also seen several Beep Repaired bands there including one of my all time favorite Seattle bands, the now defunct "math rock" ...with emphasis on the word "ROCK" band Wimbledon.
One show that sticks out in my mind the most is Kimya Dawson's (pic at right by Jeff R Williams). It was the first time that I had seen her perform live and I was completely awestruck (practically to tears) by the power, honesty and heart that she pours into her music. I wholeheartedly believe that Kimya is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. I have known Kimya by name and face for several years although it wasn't until right around the time that I first saw her at the Crocodile that I knew she played music. We both partied ...a lot... and lived off and on in the same small community of Port Townsend so some of her lyrics strike at the core of a lot of people from that town. Our friends are interwined into her songs ...and sadly not all of their stories are flattering or worth putting on a pedestal, but fortunately Kimya avoids glorifying them and tells it like it was and in some cases as it still is ...and sometimes it is just plain crazy.
The last time I saw Kimya was just last week in Port Townsend. It was kind of ironic because many of our old friends were there and I got to finally see the movie Juno for the first time. Ellen Page, the lead actress in Juno, hand selected Kimya Dawson and her band The Moldy Peaches as the kind of music that her character would listen to. It was definitely cool to see the movie in Port Townsend. The irony was that day I had been hanging out with people whom are mentioned in some of the songs in the movie, particularly the song that plays during the credits.
But it was all too unfortunate that we were in town for a group reunion forced upon us in the most tragic of circumstances. A good mutual friend of ours passed away very suddenly over the holidays. Robert was an extremely talented musician and a devoted father to his two year old son. It is truly one of the saddest interpersonal losses I have seen in a long time, and I spent the entire week in Port Townsend with our friends, family and widow. Over the years too many of our friends have died from an overdose or other sudden death. I was hoping to play some songs that Robert was particularly fond of to include with this week's playlist, but it was just too soon for all of us. However he was definitely in my thoughts and awareness while I was doing this show.
RIP Robert Treibel 1978-2007.
Click HERE for the complete playlist