Paula, who is originally from Seattle, informed me that the above statement about the origins of the city is the traditional mnemonic for remembering the names of pairs of downtown Seattle streets. It turns out we never actually had to deal with those downtown streets, but I thought it would make a cool subject line for a blog post.
I'll write more about Seattle later on. First I wanted to tell you about our gig in Astoria.
It was a rainy yet scenic drive there from Portland, after spending the night on K and Paula's floor. We listened to Thelonius Monk and Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time while winding slowly along highways 103 and 202. After my post from the Sea Star internet cafe, tanning salon, and Dish Network dealership, Carol Newman interviewed me and our host, Paul Hoskin, on her show, Arts Live and Local, on KMUN.
We were all really pleased to see how much work had gone into promoting our performance -- in addition to the radio spot on Carol's show, and the flyers posted all over downtown, we were written up in the local weekly and monthly newspapers. We had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant downtown and, when we came out, we stumbled on a traditional small-town high school Homecoming parade, complete with a pep band playing on a flatbed truck, pep squads cheers and throwing Halloween candy, the Homecoming court, and clown cars careening around.
The performance space at the Astoria Visual Arts Center was like an aquarium, exposing the band visually through its glass walls to any curious onlookers walking by on the street. After Amar's thoughtful opening set, we gave my personal favorite performance of the tour. The audience was attentive and listened hard and even laughed a lot!
Our host, Paul, went the extra mile making us feel welcome, and shared a wealth of information and stories about new music in NYC and Seattle going way back. It turns out we are just the latest in a succession of Bay Area performers to play his Creative Music Series. I hope we'll be back soon.
Amar's blog has more about our experience there on Friday, and includes pictures.