Joe and Drew of God’s Favorite Beefcake remembered

photo by Jen Ralston

Today, Seattle is mourning the six people lost in the senseless shootings yesterday. Four were shot and fatally wounded at Cafe Racer, in the University District, and another woman was shot later downtown, all by the same assailant who later turned his gun on himself. The news was tragic in itself, especially considering a recent rash of violence in Seattle, and many friends and family members are grieving their loved ones, but even more so, Seattle has lost members of its vibrant arts and music community. Among the victims, Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albanese — or Schmootzi the Clod and Meshugunah Joe, as they were known — were regulars at Cafe Racer and were members of God’s Favorite Beefcake, a sort of carnivalesque folk group with roots in the burlesque community. The band had performed regularly at the cafe and very recently performed at the Folklife Festival and the Columbia City Theater. Here at KEXP, we’ve been getting lots of calls and emails from friends, family members and fans sharing their fond memories of Joe and Drew. On air today, you’ll hear songs from their projects, including God’s Favorite Beefcake and Circus Contraption. Be sure to give a listen to the songs that they’ve made available on their 2011 album, Witches Bones ‘n’ Whale Skin below. From what we’ve heard, Joe and Drew celebrated life to its fullest and would want everyone else to do the same:

Here’s Shmootzi the Clod and Meshuguna Joe performing “Isabella”:

and God’s Favorite Beefcake performing “Momma Set the House on Fire”:

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3 Comments

  1. Michael Shuler
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I played with Joe in the first version of the Circus Contraption band, along with my friends Elaine diFalco & Dean Moore. He was a quiet but sweet guy, maybe a little lost. He was an old friend of Elaine’s from back in Arizona. While Elaine, Dean & I did not stay with the Circus, Joe did. I was always proud to have played a small role in the history of CC as it grew into an ongoing & internationally-known act. I was glad to see what we started with the band continue & grow. And there was Joe through it all. He really found a place for himself & from all appearances, found himself. This senseless act has shocked a community but also deep sorrow the victim’s friends & families. RIP

  2. jenny
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    my fiancee and i watched these guys about a year ago at cafe racer. they had such fun energy and provided such a happy vibe. my fiancee was instantly moved and asked a mutual acquaintance for drew’s email. my fiancee has experience making music videos and wanted to help make them a music video to help spread their music. we moved out of seattle, life got busy, he never had a chance to correspond with drew, and the project never happened. we were sad to hear of the passing of the 2 musicians. our deepest condolences to family & friends.

  3. Keith
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I had left Seattle before this violence. Today I wanted to look up what God’s Favorite Beefcake were up to. I’m shocked at the loss of these two musicians. I remembered a show they performed in Ballard in 2009, it was awesome. Seattle is less amazing now without God’s Favorite Beefcake. What a tragedy.

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