Photos of My Hometown: Seattle March to June 2020

I stopped writing when COVID-19 hit. I just didn’t feel the drive to write. 

The concert scene had dried up around the country.  I got 3 shows in, in the first week of March. I was in attendance at the last show at Neumos.  The headliners Brent Amaker Deathsquad knew how big of a deal this event could have been so in front of a 50% capacity crowd they put on one last send off before the order to shelter in place was put in place by Governor Inslee the following day.

When it became more and more apparent that not only were any plans folks had made for concerts, festivals, or conventions going to be put on hold indefinitely, but also the world would forever be changed by the virus spreading across the globe affecting the most vulnerable in our communities, I got nervous.  I feel like everyone was a little optimistic in the beginning.  We always wanted “time”, “time” to pursue hobbies, to exercise, to develop a skill, and now we had “time”.  The world is having a mini “Oldboy” moment.

It’s been 3 months, and I’m just tired.  COVID-19.  Racial Tensions.  Protests.  BLACK LIVES MATTER!  The world is different.

I think I circled back and I’m optimistic again, but who can tell what else 2020 will have in store for us?

Here’s a photo recap of Seattle from March to June 2020:

(Bands in the first 4  images: Leone, Summer Cannibals, and Brent Amaker Deathsquad)


Do Anything Cool Lately #2

Escape Pod Log 13.

It’s been 13 days since catastrophe hit the space metropolis, Seattle.

It’s hard to believe that what started as a minor leak in the giant protective glass dome escalated to a full evacuation of the massive interstellar city.  After 13 days of floating in open space, I’ve slowly become accustomed to this new lifestyle.  It’s isolated, but not alone.  It feels overwhelming and sudden, but as long as the power continues to remain active within the pod, it’s easy to remain hopeful that we can return to the city and continue life where we left off.  Lines of communication have remained unfettered by the disaster.  The abundance of water and rations in the pod were never an issue.  Corporate run supply lines have been developed, creating an active delivery network to individual pods no matter how far they drift from the prime disaster site, and if supplies were needed immediately, each pod is equipped with an “exploration suit”.  The suits allow for evacuees to leave their pod and explore for a little over an hour.  

While we float in space it’s hard not to turn to the arts as a way to cope.  Cope with the hours spent floating.  Digital interaction can keep us connected, but I find myself listening to music files I haven’t heard in years.  Five “albums” I’ve felt drawn to in this time of contemplation are:

1.) Father John Misty – Off-Key in Hamburg – 2020
The only officially released live album of Father John Misty released as a charity album on Bandcamp to help artists in need in this hectic time.  
Check this out: I Went to the Store One Day

2.) Grandaddy – Sumday – 2003
I first heard this album while walking around Everyday Music.  It’s a great indie album that probably flew under a lot of radars. 
Check this out: Now It’s On

3.) David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars – 1972
Lyrically this whole album is fascinating.  The opening track, “Five Years” should be more than enough to hook you into hearing this whole album all the way through.
Check this out: Suffragette City

4.) The Ataris – Hang Your Head in Hope – 2011
If I had a pop punk band guilty pleasure, that I would go to a concert and scream sing all their songs, it would be The Ataris.  This album is unique in that, it’s just the lead singer, an acoustic guitar, and each song was recorded in a single take.
Check this out: All Souls’ Day

5.) Jakob Dylan and friends – Echo in the Canyon soundtrack – 2019
A collection of covers that will make you remember (if you had forgotten), how great the creative spirit was in Echo Canyon in the 60’s.
Check this out: Never My Love

I hope anyone who reads this log entry stays safe and takes time to rediscover music.

(To anyone who doesn’t get it, we’ve been in self quarantine due to Coronavirus for 13 days.  Here are 5 albums I’ve been falling in love with while we’ve had time to step away from society for a little bit.  I always liked old Sci-Fi stories so I pictured a great space city just getting blind sided by a major catastrophe, and everyone being forced to change their plans in order to cope, which is essentially what happened here. Stay safe everyone!)


Do Anything Cool Lately? #1

(In between show reviews and interviews, every two weeks “Do Anything Cool Lately?” will be a compilation of short thoughts and musings I’ve had while attending a number of shows in the Seattle area.)

On DEFY Kings of Crash…
(Above Image) Don’t get me wrong, I love that Randy Myers is the new DEFY Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, but I feel like we missed out on a real “Hero’s Journey” style storyline for Randy.  My only knock against DEFY since I’ve been a fan of the company has been how erratic some of the company’s main storylines can be. Randy made a passionate speech where he pledged to get the title and within a month and a half he got the title. To really build his story, I would have thought he would have lost this first attempt, Schaff go on an epic title run, with Randy coming back more focused and dedicated at getting another shot, and then at a big summer show Randy try again and gain the title after re climbing that mountain. Randy winning the title clean was probably one of DEFY’s biggest title picture twists since the company’s inception.

(clockwise from above left) Entendres, Early Warnings, The Bitter, Corbin Louis

On how expensive it is to go to concerts regularly…
In February, I went to 4 concerts between the 13th and the 27th:
– Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands
– Marshall Law Band at Chop Suey
– The Early Warnings Album Release Show at Barboza
– Atomic Rust at Cha Cha Lounge
The combined ticket price for all four shows was $21.

On Early Warnings’ and The Bitter’s debut EPs…
I recommend checking out the debut EPs from local Seattle bands, The Early Warnings, and The Bitter. I would describe The Early Warnings as a mix of classic rock, country rock, and a little bit of dream pop. Their debut EP “Breakfast Club”, exemplifies the qualities that made me a fan of their live show, well balanced musicianship that support the very strong vocal style of lead singer, Danica Winkley.  On the flipside, The Bitter is Seattle’s next big afro punk band.  Folks who’ve seen their live show, would compare their music style to Rage Against the Machine. Their debut EP “Venom and Rage” feels like a frank and angry post punk critique of government and society at large mixed with stories of growing up in pre gentrified Seattle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more of these two bands in the years to come.

(Clockwise from top) Divine Comedy Club, Grace Stuewe, Goodwill Gold

On Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands 2020…
Of the bands that performed at Seattle University’s Battle of the Bands 2020, I believe Goodwill Gold, Grace Stuewe, and Divine Comedy Club are ready to make a play at the Seattle music scene. Obviously, stay in school and get your degrees, but I wouldn’t mind seeing these bands perform more around the Seattle music community. Divine Comedy Club felt like psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s mixed with modern dream pop (the drummer really stood out to me). Grace Stuewe played a lyric driven style of indie pop mixing guitars and synths. She was the only one with physical CDs on sale at merch (I bought one).  Goodwill Gold ultimately won the competition with a rock style that bordered on punk, in line with a number of bands currently playing around the current Seattle music scene.