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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Seeeeattle

From Eugene to Seattle...

...took way longer than it should have, but we hit some nasty traffic around Tacoma. There were only two things that made it bearable, one was the Steakburger/miniature golf place just north of the Washington border, and the other was this:



Apparently this is the business end of a giant inflatable cat that was presented to us thusly as we crawled through traffic on I-5 North (thanks to Jess, our babysitter, for snapping these pictures...we brought our camera, but of course forgot the cable needed to transfer the shots to our computer, so...more pictures later).

This is the first time any of us has been in Seattle, and in fact I believe it's the furthest north I've ever been. It's so beautiful that it makes Los Angeles (and our back yard in particular) look like a concrete armpit. We rolled into Seattle yesterday (which was Friday...today is Saturday) and checked into our motel, which unfortunately turned out to be kind of crappy and is right across the street from the what seems like the world's largest outdoor mall, with things like a city block-sized Anthropologie store and stuff like that. Fortunately there's a nice street with promising-looking restaurants around the corner and we ate at a place on NE 55th called Thai Family Kitchen that was great...tasteful and clean, in contrast to, say, our hotel. I had a hard time enjoying my spicy beans and squid because of nerves...my stomach was doing somersaults the whole time. We changed into our band clothes and headed out to the Lobo Saloon for the first show of the tour.

I wasn't expecting too much for our first show of the tour. The Lobo Saloon is in a part of Seattle called, I think, City Center, judging by the signs on the freeway offramp. It's on this strange block that's half burnt out and half really really posh and developed. The club itself is just a bar with no stage, just a PA in the corner...and there wasn't really anyone there, just a couple of guys at the bar, and we were really really tired after a drive that should have taken four hours but ended up being seven. So it should have been a bad show.

But it was great! We hit the intro chords for "Spider In The Woods," sounding very very loud in that little place, and we were off. The people who watched were still over at the bar, and I couldn't see them, so it was one of those singing-into-a-void kind of things--but the people who were there were very enthusiastic, and Mary was pounding the bajeezus out of her kit, and I think we did pretty well. Also--one of the other bands on the bill, Johnny Cheapo, were from San Bernardino (!) and the lead singer picked up on our Mr. T's reference in "Eagle Fighting Zebra"--turns out their bass player (who couldn't make it to Seattle, unfortunately) lives on York and Avenue 57! Highland Park in force in Seattle, amazing! You gotta check Johnny Cheapo out, GREAT Clash-style punk rock, played by a guy who looks kind of like Link Wray...we're going to try to book a show with them at T's when we get back home. We also met the guy who was clapping for us at the bar during our set, I think his name was Jeff (I'm really sorry if I got that wrong), really nice guy, told me I was too skinny and need to put on some weight. You don't get that down in Los Angeles...

Today (Saturday) we caught up on sleep, mostly, except for in the morning when we met my old Cal Arts friend Stefan (who apparently knows everyone on Capitol Hill, as far as I can tell). Stefan is an amazing and beloved animator, you must visit his web site. He was also in a band called Soapy Grapes several years ago, which was lead by his eight-year-old cousin, and performed one of my all-time favorite songs: "I Saw A Vampire." You MUST go here and listen to some of the mp3's (scroll down a little bit).

Tonight is the Blue Moon Cafe...gotta go and get ready.

-Eli

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