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MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/7/17: SNOW-VANA
Feb 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The city on Monday was a temporary paradise of whiteness and silence and joy, a sign that brighter spirits and brighter times are indeed still possible. We’ve also got the latest of our Washington’s righteous fight back against that Washington; potential good news for oil-train opponents; the Port of Seattle’s now ex-CEO defending his record; and the most epic version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” you’ll ever hear.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 8/2/16: NOW SEATING
Aug 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Some King County bureaucrats are floating the (quite improbable) idea of moving county government functions out of downtown Seattle, so its buildings could be sold to developers. It’ll probably never happen but I’m still against it. Our other topics-O-the-day include one Central District businesswoman who’s NOT leaving; a way out of the false dichotomy between NIMBYs and free-marketeers i/r/t “affordable” housing; wildfires getting close to Hanford; the (obvious) problem with bus-only street lanes; and Amazon’s stock price exceeding that of Exxon.

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/22/16: RIP CITY RIP-OFF?
Jun 21st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A Portland sportswriter sees the TrailBlazers hiring the ex-Sonics announcer, and imagines a secret plot to ship the NBA team to Seattle (apparently a secret to everyone in Seattle). In more fact-based reportage, we view more Cobain-sploitation coming across the USA; trouble for Virginia Mason Med. Center; K Records trying to right its fiscal ship; the rise of the “upper middle class” (aka the people all those “upscale” products are aimed at); and political organizing for renters.

COBAIN + 20
Apr 5th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

Twenty years ago, a sensitive soul apparently felt overwhelmed by the role thrust upon him (and by the addiction he apparently felt unable to overcome).

At the time, he had become the Biggest New Thing in the music business.

At the time, there was such a thing as the “music business.”

Since then, his infant daughter has grown up. Many of his friends and colleagues have continued to make music; others have gone into political activism, accounting, retail, and other endeavors.

The term “rock star” now seems to be applied more often to tech-startup CEOs than to musicians.

The recorded-music industry is now about two-fifths of what it used to be (by sales), and shrinks further every year.

But the Cobain Cult keeps going strong.

People still “re-imagine and re-invent” the man into almost completely fictionalized idealizations. He has been depicted as a demigod, a crucified martyr, a conspiracy victim, a badass, a weeping giant, a rocker, an anti-rocker, a Voice of a Generation, a idiosyncratic loner, etc. etc.

Even in the first days after his death, this had gone on. As Ann Powers quoted C/Z Records owner Daniel House then:

He’s turned into something that represents different things for different people. I understand the press is going to be all over it, but I wish they would leave it alone completely. Because that attention is why Kurt died. He had no life, no peace, constant chaos. He had become a freak.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/23/13
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

city of seattle via slog.thestranger.com

  • You know that big palatial boulevard the politicians have promised to turn Seattle’s central waterfront into? It now looks like it could become something else. Like, a highway with as many lanes as the viaduct (or more!), only side by side and on ground level. (Via my ex-housemate Fnarf.)
  • The Feds want to crack down on The Art Institutes. They charge the chain of for-profit art schools (including a major Seattle branch) with…

…fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.

  • UW scientists recorded, then time-compressed, the sounds made by an Alaska volcano just before it blew.
  • Congrats to the local makers of the Carter Family graphic bio-novel for winning (er, co-winning) a major industry award.
  • Nice to see Seattle Weekly regaining some of its old form, even if that includes its old cranky-baby-boomer bashing of the Stranger and youth culture.
  • As expected, the living members of Nirvana played at McCartney’s Safeco Field show.
  • Alas, it’s illegal to ride down Capitol Hill streets in an office chair.
  • MillerCoors wants the Feds to investigate the Wall St. bigshots’ manipulations of aluminum prices.
  • Do you know the difference between North and South Carolina? Nike didn’t.
  • Why can’t Third World people speak for themselves on the “global stage,” instead of questionable, self-appointed spokespeople such as (the highly corporate-connected) Bono?
  • R.I.P. Helen Thomas, first lady of the White House press corps and the textbook example of a “tough dame” who speaks her mind and never gives up.
  • While (or because) nobody was looking, Yahoo quietly shut down the pioneering search engine AltaVista.
  • Business Insider posted a promo spot for a Milwaukee TV newscast circa 1980. Frenetic stock music! Jump cuts! Reporters in the field! Huge “mini” cams held by muscular cameramen! Typewriters! That’s infotainment.
  • Do you or someone you know listen to too much Coast to Coast AM? Still? Then follow this handy conspiracy theory flow chart.

the reason stick at blogspot

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/2/13
Jun 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

joshua trujillo, seattlepi.com

  • There was a remembrance in Cowen Park marking one year since the Cafe Racer tragedy.
  • Unlike some of the “radicals” fighting against low wages at fast-food joints, I actually patronize fast-food joints. And I want the fine people who prepare my meals to be properly compensated for the fine work they do.
  • The FBI investigated the song “Louie Louie” for two whole years, only to find a simple love lyric made unintelligible.
  • Will legal pot in our society lead, invariably, to corporate pot?
  • To Microsoft’s regret, it just can’t get people to say “Let’s Bing it.”
  • Our ol’ pal Gillian Gaar reports the “Welcome to Aberdeen: Come As You Are” sign might come down.
  • Who, besides “out o’ sight, out o’ mind” NIMBYs, benefits from the suburbanization of poverty?
  • A Cheerios commercial features a nice interracial family. The usual dorks and trolls respond as you’d predict.
  • Lawrence Lessig would like a Democratic Party that’s less beholden to corporate funders.
  • Texas: future Democratic stronghold?
  • Some people will miss making fun of Michelle Bachmann. I won’t.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, once billed as “Chicago’s Picture Newspaper,” is firing all its photographers.
  • No, Ms. magazine, the 10 most important things American women could not do before the 1970s wold probably really include more important things than “read Ms. magazine.”
  • Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s a battleground of democracy vs. shady dealmaking.
  • WikiLeaks dude Julian Assange sees today’s Google as an increasingly reactionary gang of government-butt kissers.
  • Let’s close with a haunting look at a run down (but still open!) tourist site, the Flintstones theme park in Arizona.

messynessychic.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/14/13
May 14th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

factmag.com

  • Somebody thought it would be cool to try to laser-etch a phonograph record onto wood. The result sounds a bit like the early, dial-up-connection versions of RealAudio.
  • Item: Indoor pot growing uses lotsa electricity. Comment: You mean stoners aren’t the purest-O-the-pure eco-saints? Next thing, you’ll be saying electric cars and wood stoves aren’t pure-green either.
  • Oh, Those Kids Today! #1: Monica Guzman insists today’s under-30 folks aren’t entitlement-obsessed narcissists, but rather are “people waking up to their own power and not being willing to compromise it.”
  • Oh, Those Kids Today! #2: Young adults are even driving less than prior generations. How un-American can ya get?
  • The Legislature’s special session could see a Dem-controlled State Senate again. Maybe.
  • Seattle teachers who refused to administer standardized tests have achieved a partial victory.
  • Just last week, we bemoaned the idiotic prose and strained “corporate hip” attitude of KOMO’s “young skewing” local website Seattle Pulp. Now the whole site’s dead, without even leaving its old posts alive.
  • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 126): No. But we should have the final, final answer (for this year at least) on Wednesday. Don’t get your hopes back up. But hold on to the love.
  • Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Plunder thought it would just be keen n’ dandy to play tracks by Sonics-purist and Seattle’s-honor-defender Macklemore in their arena. Nope, no way, uh-uh, no siree bub.
  • Might Microsoft buy Barnes & Noble’s Nook ebook hardware operation just to kill it?
  • Amazon’s fledgling in-house book publishing operations might expand to include “literary fiction,” whatever the heck that means anymore.
  • Disappeared local institution we neglected to mention earlier: the Green Lake Baskin-Robbins.
  • Weird crime story of the week: “Woman who killed ex with insecticide-laced Jågermeister pleads guilty.”
  • It’s illegal but it happens anyway: denying employment to people for the sin of being in debt due to being unemployed.
  • Katy Evans at the Tacoma group blog Post Defiance notes how indie live music has become a more complicated, bureaucratic, and problematic biz, especially in towns like hers in the shadow of bigger towns.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: The paper’s own reporters have to pay for website subscriptions to their own work. Except they can “opt out” of it if they insist.
  • You remember how the New Orleans Times-Picayune went to only three print issues a week? No more. They’re now putting out newsstand-only editions on the four non-home-delivery days, just like the Detroit papers are.
  • Talking into computers and expecting them to understand you has always been, and apparently will continue to be, little more than a screenwriters’ conceit.
  • Anthony Galluzzo at Salon wants you to stop the hipster-bashing already. He says it’s old, tired, and becoming classist.
  • Jim Tews, who describes himself as “a decent white male comic,” insists that most white guys performing standup are not sexist boors.
  • No, Rolling Stone readers, Nirvana is not the fifth worst band of the ’90s. That would actually be Sugar Ray.
WHY YOU HAVEN’T HEARD MUCH FROM ME LATELY (RANDOM LINKS FOR 12/6/12)
Dec 6th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

nanowrimo.org

I participated in National Novel Writing Month again this year. Came out of it with most of the first draft of something I’m tentatively calling Horizontal Hold: A Novel About Love & Television. More details as I come closer to making it presentable.

  • There’s one of them online petition thangs out to try to persuade the CBS Radio Stations Group to keep KPTK-AM and its “Progressive Talk” format on the air.
  • Bruce Pavitt’s put out an Apple “iBook” about the Nirvana/Mudhoney/TAD tour of Europe in 1989. And he’s talking about how he sold Sub Pop as a brand signifying coolness to two continents.
  • The Seattle branch of Gilda’s Club is keeping its name. This is news because other outlets of the drop-in cancer support organization aren’t keeping the name. One reason: some young adults these days don’t remember who Gilda Radner was. That’s almost as sad as cancer itself.
  • Daily Kos contributor “MinistryOfTruth” has some advice for Republicans trying to rebuild their party: “Don’t have a base of idiots.”
  • Steve Fraser at TruthOut, meanwhile, wishes to remind you that the so-called “fiscal cliff” is, like so much else, a political invention.
  • The business-press buzzword of the month: “Insourcing.” GE’s restarting work in some previously abandoned appliance factory buildings; and Apple’s assembling some iMacs in the U.S. with plans to expand. Just don’t expect this to be the one answer to the unemployment crisis. Factory work these days is so automated, and CAD/CAM design work can make it so efficient, that there’s not that much labor in the cost of a lot of stuff, no matter where it’s made.
  • Finally, let’s all reflect (and refract) in the glory that was gay marriage license midnight madness at the Console Color TV Building (King County Admin) downtown, Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Actual gay weddings start Sunday.

kirotv.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 11/6/12
Nov 6th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

ward sutton

‘Tis election day. The most infuriatingly nervous day of the year, or in this case of the quadrennium. (I believe that’s a word.)

The polls, even the progressive leaning polls, predict a tighter race than I want. I want Obama across the board over Mr. Lying One-Percenter Tax Cheat Hypocrite in previously “red” states, and all victorious long before the Pacific Time Zone results show up. If I can’t get that, I at least want an Obama victory big enough that even the partisan-hack dirty tricks in Ohio and Florida (and even here) can’t threaten it.

Back to randomosity:

  • Lynn Stuart Parramore at AlterNet insists that liberals need to expand their potential base, to reach out to the whole of America. Yes, even to stop stereotyping white male Southerners.
  • Postcard collector Lisa Hix has some lovely examples of cartoony “attack ads” from the women’s suffragist era.
  • Bob Quinn, who started a one-man needle exchange program in the U District in the 1990s, has apparently died. I have no further information on this, however. (UPDATE: Here’s more.)
  • Microsoft staged a real-life fake “invasion” theater piece to launch the newest version of its Halo video-game series. The mock battle essentially involved all of the European micro-state of Lichtenstein. Cue references to the Bloom County version of Bill Gates trying to get a date by boasting about owning Norway.
  • UPDATE: The Cobain-Love stage musical, threatened last month, is now an official no-go.
  • The state Dept. of Transportation is holding a naming contest about the big machine that will dig the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. All entry names must be female, presumably to avoid the obvious phallic jokes.
  • Boeing’s next jetliner model might have folding wings, to fit in better at crowded airports.
  • Thirty-six percent of the cigarettes sold in Wash. state may be “contraband” (i.e., sold without state taxes). These will, of course, kill you just as dead.
  • John Naughton at UK weekly The Observer says the big book publishers have played into Amazon’s hands in the past decade or so. Actually, they’ve played into the hands of their own conglomerate owners who cared only about the short-term Almighty Stock Price, to the long-term detriment of the business itself.
  • If Disney buys Hasbro, as has been rumored, they’d not only get the rights to Battleship remakes, but also to the role-playing game franchise Dungeons & Dragons. You’ll recall Hasbro bought Renton game company Wizards of the Coast, which had bought D&D during its peak years.
  • R.I.P. Mac Ahlberg. The famed Hollywood cinematographer had directed a few of his own films while still in his native Sweden. One of these was the erotic classic I, A Woman and its two sequels.
  • Occupy Wall Street protesters had rigged together some bicycle-powered generators during their marathon protest. These devices proved handy for neighbors during the Hurricane Sandy blackout.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of marketing products “For Women” is brought to you by Honda.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/26/12
Oct 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

amidst-the-everyday.com

“Amidst the Everyday,” a project by photographers-artists Aaron Asis and Dan Hawkins, aims to reveal “elements of the unseen urban environment.” You go to places around town, scan QR codes (etched in wood!) at various buildings, and receive images of their hidden treasures. (Above, one of the unoccupied-for-decades upper floors of the Eitel Building at Second and Pike.)

  • I’m not disillusioned by the news of a potential sitcom that would carry the title Smells Like Teen Spirit. (The show concept sounds more like a ripoff of Family Ties, which is also something we don’t need.) However, I am at least a little disillusioned by the news of a potential Kurt and Courtney stage musical, which would be licensed by Courtney Love via Britney Spears’ estranged ex-manager.
  • Lester Smith, 1919-2012: The Mariners’ original principal owner had, in partnership with Hollywood star Danny Kaye, a number of business endeavors. They ranged from rock-concert promotion to direct-mail marketing. But Smith (or Kaye-Smith) will always be legendary for stewarding KJR-AM during its 1955-80 golden age as Seattle’s Top 40 (or “Fab 50”) powerhouse.
  • The Seattle Times‘ free ads for Rob McKenna caught the LA Times‘ attention; not to mention a less-than-kind portrayal in the SeaTimes‘ own “Truth Needle” department.
  • The next step up from bicycle lanes: physically separated “bike tracks.”
  • Knute Berger reiterates what I’ve been saying about the waterfront development scheme. Let’s not let it be “sanitized by good intentions.”
  • Dominic Holden would like you to know the biggest reason for legalizing pot. It isn’t for the stoners (and it sure ain’t to shut up the stoner evangelists, which had been my reason).
  • Joe Copeland takes up the continuing legacy of Floyd Schmoe, one of the greatest people I ever met, leader of Seattle’s Quakers and hands-on advocate for peace and reconciliation.
  • The next hurdle toward getting the NBA back in Seattle has been overcome. That hurdle is Commissioner David Stern, whose butt will be out of that particular chair by the end of next season.
  • A major casual-games convention may be leaving Seattle.
  • UK film blogger Petra Davis looks back admiringly at the still-underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 20 years old this year…
  • …and, with the winding down of the World’s Fair semi-centennial, our pal Jim Demetre has some kind words for the (mostly justifiably) forgotten It Happened at the World’s Fair.
  • In other film news, the Columbia City Cinema is being reopened (yay!). The new owner has repaired all the previous owner’s not-up-to-code “renovations.”
  • Note to Amazon Kindle users: Buy all your e-books while you’re physically in the same country, lest you be targeted as a Terms of Service violator.
  • Today’s dire-threat-to-America’s-youth story comes to you from a California high school where boys and girls alike are invited to join a “fantasy slut league.”
  • Penguin and Random House are in merger talks. This is bad news, since book publishing is one of those industries that’s too consolidated already.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of products marketed as “For Women” is brought to you by Fujitsu and its “Floral Kiss” brand laptop PC.
  • Among all the slimy, sociopathic, and bigoted things Republicans are saying and doing these days, add this overt racism by Sarah Palin.
  • Pseudonymous Daily Kos diarist “bayushisan” wishes gamer culture had fewer macho jerks in it. (The same, of course, can be said about athiests and “skeptics,” online comment threads, U.S. politics, and even atheists and “skeptics”.)
  • Paul Karr loathes the dot-commers’ worship of “disruption” as a sacred concept, and the Ayn Randian me-first-ism behind it.
  • The BBC notes that “creativity is often intertwined with mental illness“…
  • …and Simon Reynolds disses the “modern dismissal of genius” in today’s “age of the remix.”
  • Earthquakes can’t be predicted. That hasn’t stopped a court in Italy from convicting seven scientists who failed to do so.
  • Community organizer “B Loewe” believes you should not get into lefty causes to feel good about yourself, and you shouldn’t try to be your own, or your only, emotional “caregiver.” Instead, you’re to practice prosocial interdependence as both ideology and a way of life.
  • Someone says something nice about so-called “hipsters!” They’re credited with helping bring back Detroit (the place, not the car companies).
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/14/12
Oct 13th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via kathrynrathke.blogspot.com

All good tidings and shout-outs to my fellow Stranger refugee and prominent commercial illustrator Kathryn Rathke. She’s created the new official logo for Wendy’s restaurants. The deceptively simple mascot caricature took three years of client approval and market testing.

  • I’ve now read ThoughtCatalog.com’s “23 Things To Know About Seattle.” Yep, it’s dumb.
  • Did Paul Ryan “borrow” his story about naming his daughter “Bean” from Kurt Cobain?
  • The anti-gay-marriage campaign: lying full-time, lying from the start.
  • Note to “guerrilla marketers”: Spray-painting your logo on Seattle sidewalks is illegal.
  • America’s fastest growing religion: none of the above.
  • Once again, “For Women” product advertising proves to be an exercise in ridiculousness. (Today’s example: beef jerkey.)
  • The late UK children’s entertainer (and original Top of the Pops host) Jimmy Savile has been posthumously outed as a serial assailant of underage girls. Some of his victims are hounding the BBC to learn what the broadcaster knew, and didn’t do, about his crimes.
  • Despite what my ex-boss Mr. Savage might imply, a teenager doesn’t have to be gay to be bullied to the edge of sanity. This is what happened to a 15-year-old girl in the Vancouver suburbs, who took her own life after posting a YouTube video showing how she’d been harassed and bullied online.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/8/12
Oct 8th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

kurzweilai.net

  • Did the U.S. Air Force really think up plans for a supersonic flying saucer in the 1950s? And would it have been practical (i.e., would it fly)?
  • What does it mean to be “indie rock royalty” these days? It means you can play Radio City Music Hall and still have to share a studio apartment. Speaking of which….
  • KEXP’s pledge-drive playlist of the most important records of the past 40 years is essentially a canon of “indie” music classics, plus a few “mainstream” mentors. Nevermind predictably tops the listener survey. The list is top-heavy with the Pixies, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., New Order, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. The list’s only surprise is its paucity of female artists. The top woman-fronted act, the Pretenders, appears at spot #51.
  • A HuffPost blogger disparages Vancouver as “No Fun City,” a place where nightlife is essentially nonexistent. I can recall ages ago when I looked up to Van as having the bars and live-music venues Seattle could only dream of having. Since then, Seattle has vastly changed while Van has, if anything, become more moribund.
  • The Olympic Peninsula’s northwest tip has no teen vampires, but it is an ideal spot to measure climate change with solid empirical data.
  • Even “underground food market” dining operations (one-night-only food courts) have to have health permits.
  • Nintendo’s next game machine will be a tablet. It will also stream video content to TVs. It could be big.
  • Amazon’s paying a cool billion to buy the Paul Allen-owned buildings it occupies in South Lake Union.
  • Stalking and harassing apartment residents is no way to sell cable TV.
  • Seattle’s next would-be mega-developers? The Bill Pierre car-selling family.
  • Can the waterfront tunnel be built without massive city subsidies (that the city really doesn’t want to pay)?
  • Stranger staffer Kelly O tells a San Francisco website “12 Things You Should Know About Seattle.” These things include (too much) pot, (endangered) graffiti murals, and (yummy) street hot dogs.
  • White cops shooting at nonwhite civilians with little or no true justification: it’s not just happening here.
  • I had a boring and/or miserable time in the Boy Scouts. But, as we’re all learning, it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
  • CNN contributor Simon Hooper asks if we can finally get over Beatles (and James Bond) nostalgia now.
  • A self-described “middle aged punk” gives forth a back-in-my-day-sonny lament, nostalgizing about getting beaten up by jocks.
  • Don’t look now, but Walmart workers are trying to organize.
  • Having solved all of the world’s other problems, 60 Minutes sics its fangs on the designer-eyeglass-frame monopoly.
  • Today in right-wing sleaze, two GOP senators are asking defense contractors to fire thousands of people just to make Obama look bad; while Arizona is suppressing the votes of up to 200,000 Latino-descent citizens in the name of “cracking down on illegals.” Also, a Legislative candidate in Arkansas says parents should be allowed to put “rebellious children” to death.
  • The University of Idaho’s getting the world’s biggest collection of historic opium pipes. Hey, you gotta have something to do out there.
  • Forbes contributor Steve Cooper believes content-based websites could make more money by directly selling stuff on their sites, instead of running low-profit ads for other companies selling stuff. That biz model might work for sites focused on entertainment or lifestyle topics (music, food, bridal, travel, etc.). For local newspapers’ sites, it’d be a tougher fit.
  • Don’t look now, but rain (remember that?) might finally appear locally later this week.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/3/12
Aug 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

google earth via rhizome.org

  • Clement Valla at Rhizome.org finds beauty and “the universal texture” within the mistakes of Google Earth’s 3D geographical simulations.
  • The musicians’ union would like to create “sustainable” opportunities for local club bands (i.e., gigs with decent pay). Considering how fiscally precarious so many bars and clubs are, this may be a challenge.
  • Amy Rolph at SeattlePI.com, trolling for weird items on Amazon to laff at, found a CD of “lullaby renditions of Nirvana songs.” Rolph calls the electronically-rendered music “creepy.” I call it more like a failed attempt to update the shtick of Raymond Scott’s old Soothing Sounds for Baby LPs.
  • It’s not that “oldies” music is selling more these days. It’s that present-day music is selling less.
  • When classic films meet know-nothing online reviewers, magic happens.
  • Apple has again become the world’s #1 personal-computer maker, if you count iPads as computers.
  • At last, a new job in this town that doesn’t require programming experience. It’s the making of fake poop, to demonstrate new third-world toilet designs for the Gates Foundation.
  • Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet believes today’s Republicans are “a truly toxic aberration,” an outfit that can only win elections by voter-suppression and other dirty tricks.
  • The “future of news” gurus have long claimed that media companies only needed to hustle for all the web hits they could get, and ad revenue would naturally follow. That’s turning out to not be the case; especially with tablet and smartphone users.
  • Here’s one Russian guy’s idea of how humans could live forever, for just $50 billion in startup costs:
  1. First, invent remote-controlled, humanoid robots.
  2. The next generation of the robots would contain transplanted human brains.
  3. By the year 2045, people’s memories and personalities would be transferred as software into robotic brains. (As we always say with stories like this, “Nothing can possibly go wrong….”)
THIS IS WHAT IT HAS COME TO
Feb 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

A scene from the 2008 Japanese film Love Exposure (dir. Sion Sono).

ALL THEIR PRETTY SONGS
Sep 21st, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

by marlow harris, http://seattletwist.com

Tuesday’s Nirvana Nevermind 20th anniversary concert at EMP was a total blast.

Even if you weren’t there, thanks to the live stream from, er, Livestream.com.

You can still view it. Though you might want to fast forward some parts. Thanks to band set-up breaks, it took three and a half hours to get through the original CD’s 13 tracks and 10 other Nirvana songs. Each tune was re-created by a different combo. (The exception: the Presidents with Krist Novoselic; they got to perform two, nonconsecutive songs.)

The evening started off with a total sonic blast, as the reunited Fastbacks (above) completely nailed “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Singer Kim Warnick, like many of the night’s performers, had known Kurt Cobain.

Warnick’s also an ex-roommate of Susie Tennant, the longtime local music scene promoter and publicist. (Tennant had staged the original Nevermind release party at Re-bar.) Tennant has gone through a cancer scare (thankfully apparently over); the concert was a benefit for her treatment and recovery.

The Livestream page had a chat-room corner. Some chatters made snide insults about Warnick’s middle aged appearance. (Just the sort of “fans” Cobain had vocally denounced.)

All the performances were loose, spirited, and enthralling, true to Nirvana’s own rough and tumble gigging.

My own faves included, in no particular order:

  • Visqueen’s full-blast “Territorial Pissings;”
  • new band Ravenna Woods’ sped-up “Breed;”
  • the Long Winters’ emo-y “Something in the Way;”
  • Shelby Earl’s soulful “All Apologies;”
  • Pigeonhed’s eerie “Heart Shaped Box;”
  • Steve Mack (the local boy who made good across the pond with That Petrol Emotion) blasting through “Serve the Servants” with his current band Stag—and with a bleeding head (!).
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