by Ben Funkhouser
On Saturday, it snowed like crazy. Like a super-ton. My friend Jake and I went to Vera to check out Hawnay Troof AKA Vice Cooler of XBXRX. I seriously love XBXRX, and I’d heard sweet things about Hawnay Troof, so we went. Also, Little Party and the Bad Business were playing, an extra added factor of pure awesomeness. There was pretty much no one at Vera, 14 people came. But still, it was going to be fun, I was sure.
The Wiggins, a one man electro/garage outfit from Texas took the stage (and was the only one out of all three to do so) and played for a good 25-30 minutes. It was fun at times, but really pretty uninteresting. He finished, and everyone looked around for LP&BB. I had been tipped off earlier, that they were going to play IN the girls bathroom. I walk in to look, and indeed they were setting up. I had heard about bands playing in the lounge-y alcove thing between the hall and the bathroom, like SEAHOUSE about one year ago, but never in the bathroom. As everyone crowded in, Casey talked about how it was good that we were all here, and that it was a moment that really suited Seattle, and the all-ages scene. He was right. I felt it too. Being crowded into a bathroom with mostly friends to see an awesome band of positive, nice guys playing positive nice music felt really good. Remember two weeks ago when I told you about their new song, that fucking melted my face off? They played it first. And it was the only song to get played in the girl’s bathroom. The show manager came in, saying that the Key Arena people whose offices were next door had ordered them to stop playing in the bathroom because the noise was bleeding through too much. When encouraged by the audience to continue, they declined, saying that it would be disrespectful to Vera. Much respect. Everyone at the show pitched in to carry all the stuff to a different corner of the building, together, and the show went on. It was its usual fun, but it felt good, that everyone did their part to make it work, and we all did it together. That’s what all ages music is about to me.
Hawnay Troof started at 10pm, early. He sang and rapped over crazy electro tracks, getting us super pumped by asking for screams and audience participation. Then he told a crazy 10 minute story about how his tour, which had been since August, had cost him over $5000 because of cops, U-Haul and other misfortunes, and to buy his stuff. I felt really horrible that the cops had screwed him up so much, for really no reason. Everyone danced along, and sang if they could, to the awesome close catchiness of it all. He finished his super fun set by telling us that we were all having a special experience, close with everyone around us, as a community. We were all friends, and we had fun. That was a great show. That is what going to shows is all about. Wonderful.
Let me take a moment for a quick obituary...
Holy Ghost Revival played their last show on Sunday. This band has been around forever, beginning on the misty Isle of Bainbridge, teenagers with a love for glam and metal. These kids evolved into one of the best bands to ever leave Seattle. As an 8th grader as a 9th grader and a 10th grader, I loved the shit out of this band. For all of my 11th grade year, they had been in Britain, but they helped give me love for music and performance. There won’t ever be band like this again -- they were on 1965 Records, signed by the same agent who’d signed The Libertines, and they still would play house shows, and shows with me at the Fusion Café. These were nice, awesome people. R.I.P. Holy Ghost Revival. I’ll miss the shit out of you.
Ben Funkhouser is a former KEXP programming intern turned weekly columnist. He his column, Oh, Messy Life, will focus strictly on the all-ages music in Seattle. He also is the booking assistant at the Vera Project and writes for Public Access Media.