On Saturday I met up with Rachel and her brother Jed in the afternoon. We listened to Devotchka working their epic eastern european vibe, soaking up sunlight, and trying to decipher the monster profiles. After a few songs, we were ready to go to the EMP to hear the husband and wife team of Viva Voce. They were pretty awesome, but we missed the promised kazoo performances. When their show ended, we trekked across Seattle Center to tour of the art exhibits, which were all "interesting" if not "good". Statues made of earplugs, a simulated attic, paper burned by glass, a walk-in wasp nest, an asian-styled obsession with cells, and cool mechanical things awaited us. One piece was a fake lawn that growled and shook when stood upon. My favorite rooms were dedicated to rock & roll posters and sound installations (In resonance).
I caught part of Visqueen's set and reconvened with Rachel and Jed for food to eat while waiting to get inside the 826 Seattle benefit. Fortunately for us, we had allies in line. Jami and Whitney had arrived early and let us join them ahead of much of the rather large crowd.
The most exciting part of this event was that the house band ("Transatlantic Orchestra") was actually Death Cab for Cutie. Ben Gibbard provided acoustic musical accompaniment to Dave Eggers's lengthy letter (prose poem?) written from the point of view of an Irish Setter named Steven who is very enamored with forearm-touching and children-tutoring (Wooooo!).
The full band convened to perform various renditions of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" along with Sarah Vowell's story about the song's history. Seriously, you're probably thinking, "could anything top DCFC styled old timey war music?" The answer is their encore cover of "Hungry Like the Wolf" with special guests Mike Doughty and Daniel Handler on accordion played in honor of raising over $18,000 from the wallets of audience members for 826 Seattle.
After the benefit, we tried to get insider information about any hot literary afterparties, but we were denied. Instead, we went to the Bus Stop until people started singing along with C&C Music Factory. The Comet (which is now apparently whitney's go-to bar when in Seattle) provided a welcome reprieve until hunger forced us to cross the street to get fried food at the Frites place by Neumo's (which was having a gay dance party instead of an indie band. weird, right?).
Jami posted a few photos from Saturday, too. [flickr ]