The Useful Duck!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

We go to the City

My lovely wife does her best to keep drag me out of my odd little shell.
The latest endeavor was to get me to go to Seattle to see Brian Setzer and His Rockabilly Riot at the Showbox in Seattle.
Now I admit to not being real enthused about the whole plan. It was decided on evening when I was tired and frustrated and for some reason I did not give my automatic, "no..."
At the time I was thinking we would take Lulu and see the Space Needle and the mechanical windup toy shop in Pike's Place Market, and eat at the Mecca Cafe, and perhaps buy some "longhair" music at the used record store up the block.
But then we heard that the Show Box was not an all ages show. Not to mention the questionable ethics of taking a ten-year-old to what could be a pretty wild show. Of course, thinking of the median age of the average Stray Cats fan, what would there be- a walker fight?
Anyway, I did not want to go but I was committed as the tickets were purchased and a groupon for the hotel and dinner was non-refundable and I hate controversy at Christmas time.
So we drove up, meaning my wife drove...
My extreme tension grew with the traffic. When you come over that little hill heading into downtown Seattle and suddenly there are buildings, and cars zipping everywhere, it is suddenly sound and movement and stress. Kind of like the cow going down the chute to to get a big old worm pill down its' throat and a rubber glove up it's rear...
But my wife drove...
First we stopped a the huge Seattle GoodWill. There I passed up a pair of $400 speakers because I couldn't remember the same. I bought a 45 of the "Hovercrafts," because there bass player has the same name as my daughter, (Lulu). There was a wealth of funky album covers but the vinyl was scratched on all of them.
We had a pretty cool hotel.
I wanted to go see the oldest elevator on the west coast but...
The old Rainier Brewery is now artist space and condos.
We had an excellent steak dinner on the Groupon voucher for our hotel. We tipped really well. We saw kids waiting around the block in freezing weather for those stupid shoes.
Then we got a call from my wife's sister. We were to meet her and her husband at the Showbox for the concert. It was something like three hours before the show. She was worried about getting good seats. We looked at each other and out at the folks shivering outside and said we were "waiting on our food."
We played that game until her sister went down and started waiting in line herself. She was first in line.
Finally the guilt got to us and we walked down to the Theater which is new Pike Place Market. It was cold. There were ten people in line. I was dressed warm. We waited a coupe hours. My wife and her sister had a good chat.
Later we discovered that we could go into the bar and wait where it was warm. We found that out 45 minutes before the show. Fifteen minutes after they quit letting people in the bar.
However, the show was absolutely incredible. Brian Setzer absolutely played his heart out. The opening band was good. Setzer played a good two hours straight. The guy is not as young as he once was. The guitar playing was fantastic. Later in the show it appeared that Phantom and Slim came out and played as well. At one point there were dueling Stand-up basses on stage. Setzer even came out and played bass.
We were a little far from the stage. After standing four hours in order to sit for two hours a compromise was made on the seating. We had a table back where the sound was terrible. My wife found a spot close to the stage and her and I saw some of the show up close.
I was pretty amazed at the guitar playing and the energy level. Those guys are old and they were working hard.
I had to think back to 1982 and how bad the local radio music was. The local stations never have been real innovative. I swear KGON was playing the same heavy rotations of Aqualung and Stairway to Heaven with the occasional "Walk this Way," thrown in as variety.
We used to listen to new bands like The Stray Cats on college radio from Eugene, when we could get it. They were high energy and played old songs and were a breath of fresh air when music was dense and over produced and boring.
So anyway... I guess we were just trying to be different and hip. Who knows.
Here is a view of the show.  I got to go to work. Christmas is past...


Oh, I did get the Lego Alien Spaceship and several Lego figures have been abducted. If only we had a lego cow...

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