The last night of tour was upon us and the feeling was alright. Arriving in cloudy Seattle, it seemed the perfect spot to end this epic week. The Sit & Spin is this glorious restaurant/laundromat/venue. A unique venue indeed with game boards plastering the wall in the hallway and umbrellas and upside down tables with lamps coming down from the ceiling.
There was a nice and friendly Seattle crowd filling in as Saxton was spinning his mix. The band took a while to warm up to the room and this show was a bit mellower than the other shows in the week, especially compared to the Portland show on the previous night. The small space, while intimate, perhaps created a trap for the sound they were trying to expand.
The second set opened with a beautiful unfamiliar tune. Fingerball went to ask the soundman, Erik what the song was called. We should have known... "New Song." We were trying to think of a name for this particular New Song and came up with "Mirage." Maybe it will stick.
During the second set, I began to feel sad because I knew this was the last set of my trip. What a wonderful feeling to want more! The set ended with a powerful "Kamuay." I had asked Murphy during the set break what this word meant. Kamuay is an Indian myth or tradition of taking a stone, crystal or other sacred possession and embedding it into the owners instrument. As the instrument was built in this way, the soul was built in and this helped to allow them to transcend through the music. Now that's just beautiful and it was a wonderful thing to think about as I left the Sit & Spin that night.
STS9 | April 7, 2001
Sit & Spin | Seattle, WA
Set I: Evasive, Mischief, Your It, Ramone & Emiglio, Wikachikana
Set II: New Song, Freak +, Favorite Melody, Kamuay
Following the Sector 9 show at the Sit & Spin we went down to the "Loft Party" - an event of such ridiculous porportions. Wyatt Dexter shares his thoughts on the event.
Loft Party 4.7 - 4.8.01
Funky Joint Headquarters | Seattle, WA
After the beautiful beats stopped pouring out of Sector 9's sweet, but short, Seattle show, the heads emptied out onto the street everyone singing the main theme from "Kamuay" (Ba da do do dooo), you could tell that this party wasn't ready to stop. And it didn't. There was an infamous loft party in the works. We all piled in the van and headed to the loft for a stupendous aftershow with Rockin' Teenage Combo (RTC) and friends.
For those of you not familiar with Seattle music scene, Funky Joint Productions has been helping to spread great music around Seattle for the past couple of years. Last Saturday night was one of these great nights. For those of you not familiar with RTC, they are a jazz-funk trio that has been rocking Seattle and the west coast for a while now. Paul Kemmish on bass and Dara Quinn on keys represented the trio on this night. Sitting in with them were Thaddeus Turner on guitar from Maktub, Chris Littlefield, also from Maktub, on trumpet and Kevin Sawka on some of the sickest drums I have ever seen. As well a rotating cavalcade of Seattle musicians laying it down till the early hours.
The loft filled up and the after hours city vibe picked up as the show started. Mellow at first, all the musicians were feeling out the music and each other. In no time they were out of the gates and pumping. For Kemmish on drums it was his first show with RTC and their songs, but you would have never known it. He effortlessly nailed changes and stops that would have taken others many practices to grasp. He exchanged many smiles with Turner on guitar who was laid back in parts, just laying down a funky comp with the wah, and then wailing and soaring in lush landscapes of music. The horn would then take his solo, talking with that trumpet through the aid of effects and drawn out melodies. At times I would think that the guitarist was playing a line, only to realize that the trumpet was making those unusuall sounds. Dara just dancing at points and then bringing the house down. As well as the musicians on stage, there were also many Seattle area musicians in the crowd, proving that this really was the place to be.
About two hours or so into it, with the crowd really into it now, the musicians started to rotate through the keys, bass and guitar, but the drummer never left, he wore out three bassists that night and two keyboardists. They began to tansition into more of a drum and bass kind of sound, absolutely soaring at times and downright funky at others. Friends, I wish you all could have been there to witness the drumming. The only other person I have seen do what this kid was doing is Zack Velmer from Sector 9. [The band should have been there by the way, but opted instead for the long drive home. I can only imagine what Murphy and Phipps would have played with this drummer.] At one point he was holding down a sick beat, firing on all cylinders, but only with his right hand, with his left hand he was pumping a barbell into the sky and doing curls. Now I really had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
The music continued literally 'til dawn, with the musicians playing mostly straight drum and bass towards the end, some of the craziest breakbeats I have heard come out of a human. [Sidenote: after the drummer finished at dawn, he then went into the studio with Skerik's band Crack Sabbath to record that afternoon.] With about ten of us left, we all reveled in the seven hour dance party that had just taken place. Really the aftershow put more of a display than the Sector 9 show, which left everyone kind of hanging. From about two until six-thirty this joint was jumpin' with some of the best music around. This new style of playing is truly amazing. When we look at electronic music and beats there is a very ordered and repetitive style of arraning the music, especially the beat. But when we take it back the other way, through a live context, then the musicians can feel the groove and accent it live and with more nuance. A few bands have begun to test these waters and what we are hearing is beautiful, disonant, danceable, cerebral, energetic, and calm all at once.
Get out there and see something like this, it will truly knock your socks off. Thanks to the musicians in Sector 9 and at the loft for taking us to next level, and big thanks to Brian and Funky Joint for making it happen. A magical evening with great friends, new and old, and music, mostly new.
San Luis Obispo