Oh Seattle… in the last week you’ve managed to steal my heart. Not only have the people of Seattle been amazing, but there is good coffee… all over the place. My sister came here her junior year of high school and fell in love with the city… enough to move here and tattoo the space needle on her left wrist. I didn’t understand why until now. This place is fantastic.
So this past weekend has been pretty crazy… much like the rest of the trip. I’m still trying to get over this cold… which is really annoying. We got scheduled to play a feature on KEXP radio tomorrow, a local/international gem of a radio station and not being able to kick this cold sucks. I feel like a fighter going into the ring with a broken hand. Still, go time comes in the morning… so I’ll bring it.
Anyway… to bring you up to date, Sunday was full of good will from Seattleites. We’ve been having a few issues with our lovely tour vehicle, The Duke. It’s making a terrible screeching, wailing, howling noise… sounds like a ring wraith (Laura and John call it ‘The Screech’). Yeah. No fun. Anyway, our good friends in Garage Voice once again came to the rescue with a mechanic to look the beast over. Owen, Charlie and Lucas (knowing the most about cars) dropped Laura, John and I off at Herkimer Coffee on Greenlake Avenue… which I found out is maybe my favorite areas of the city so far. I mean, two fantastic coffee shops and a homemade ice cream joint within one city block of each other. Win.
After doing a bit of writing for my upcoming coffee blog (stay tuned) I received a call from Owen. Not only were they not able to isolate what the noise was… but the entire electrical center console shut down. To make matters worse, because of this, the doors would not open… which basically meant that we needed to find a new way to get our gear out of The Duke. Blehk. So yes… after about 5 hours of sitting, waiting for a ride to the joint that we were set to play, the Conor Byrne Pub, we decided in order to make the sign up we’d need to walk… 2 miles… In the cold. I decided to grab a quick bite from a local store before the journey, and randomly decided to stop into the other coffee shop. While in line I hear this guy in front of me explain to the barista that he’s living in San Francisco, and a bass player. So I was like, “Oh hey! My band and I are up here on tour from the city…” It turns out that he’s a bass player from the San Francisco Conservatory and not only knows who we are, but is friends with a TON of our SF Extended Family. Crazy. Anyway, his name is Schuylar (pronounced Skyler), and he totally came to the rescue. He offered to drive us to our show, and the best part… he’ll be joining The Family up here in his hometown before he departs back to San Francisco. So awesome. On the drive over Owen called me and as I said before… so much good will from the people of Seattle. A guy at a local O’Reily auto parts store not only came out to try to help figure out what was wrong with our vehicle, but took another 2 hours after his shift ended to lend a hand to repairs on our electrical system. So damn nice.
So yes… to the venue. The Conor Byrne Pub is an awesomely hip joint in the Ballard district. A lot of old wood, a lot of whiskey and a great old piano. Very saloon-y. We had no idea how to sign up for the event and soon found out that the Byrne is the most popular open mic in the city. We locked in the opening slot and the rest of the band arrived right on time. We unloaded, sound checked and played. Such a great reception. I think one of the things I love most about this city is that there are a ton of insanely talented musicians and they are all so supportive of each other. Sometimes these two elements don’t go hand in hand… so it’s nice to be in a place where they do. After our set we stuck around for a few hours, saw some great acts and met some more fantastic people. I think the best part about doing open mics like this is that you begin to develop friendships with a lot of the local talent, as you see them at each event. So yes… it was good to see some familiar faces.
Anyway, onto today, Monday. This morning after Charlie and Owen managed to pretty much fix The Duke’s electrical problems, we decided that we’d do something a bit different. We loaded up our gear into the Duke and made our way to the downtown region. Upon arriving we unpacked and loaded back up… on a Monorail. To give you an idea the Seattle Monorail system was built for the Seattle World Fair in the sixties. I remember seeing an old Elvis movie where he sang in one… so the idea was kind of surreal to me. I’ve played a show on a BART train before, but this was a whole new city and a whole new beast. We asked the conductor if he was okay with it and he was amazing. “Of course!” Yes. So, we played Romeo for a bunch of local Seattlites, video cameras a blaring. So much fun. We’ll have some footage up later, so stay tuned.
After the show we headed out of the city and into Bellevue, a city a bit northeast of Seattle, to do some rehearsing for our show at KEXP. Evolution Studios is a really clean, nice space that is perfect for a touring band. For $15 an hour you can’t go wrong… and again, super nice guys. So after about 2 hours of solid rehearsing, we headed home and to bed. It’s now 11pm and far later than is responsible for me to be up, seeing as I have to wake up at 6am for our radio show tomorrow morning. Until next week, be well and oh yes… tune into KEXP 90.3FM tomorrow morning at 9:30am to hear us break into the Seattle airwaves!
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