Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More on the Tragic Death of Travis Criscola

From The Queers MySpace page today:

It's been a couple of days but I finally feel up to writing a quick blog. We were out on tour with The Cute Lepers and Poison Arrows. Friday night in Cincy-well Newport,KY technically-but anyway after the show Friday a few of the Cute Lepers and Poison Arrows went out 'partying'. Two guys OD'd. Travis from The Cute Lepers didn't make it and passed away. 23 years old. Joey from Poison Arrows is in ICU or just out of the ICU and is going to pull through.

We're all fucking bummed out. Travis was a great guy and not even a druggie. He just ran into the wrong crowd and they took him down. A few of the Poison Arrows guys were all fucked up and it was all a big fucking joke. Now Travis is dead. I'm totally blaming those assholes cause if they weren't around no one would have been doing drugs. Yeah they didn't hold a gun to Travis's head but they brought that whole dynamic to the tour. I'd be singing 'Cindy's On Methadone' and Portwood from Poison Arrows would be laughing and holding up his methadone tablet in my face. He was on that shit on tour as well as smoking fucking crack and doing coke and drinking whiskey and bragging about it. I didn't actually see them do it but it's nothing to brag about so I assume it's true. I'm calling bullshit on all those fuckers. Big fucking joke wasn't it Portwood? Fuck you. I'm fucking pissed. Why the fuck I didn't kick them off tour I'll never know and I'll forever regret going against my better judgement and not sending them packing.

None of us guys even drink on tour. I know Steve and Rob and Falcon and the gang from The Cute Lepers aren't druggies and Steve wouldn't be around it. Poison Arrows all called me a pussy etc cause I'm more into playing than acting like a fucking idiot on drugs and booze. But this is what the fuck happens. People die.Good people. Go to the Cute Lepers page and leave a comment. I don't have any info on funeral stuff or addresses where we can send cards and flowers. I'll post it on here when I find out.

I still haven't gotten the whole story-they're saying it was pills and booze. For 2 guys to OD on pills and booze would be like winning a particularly sick lottery. I'm assuming it was dope but I guess at this point it's pointless to speculate. All I know is a damn good kid is dead now from drugs. Fucking A it's not shit to play around with. I know-I'm a recovered junkie and alcoholic. Sorry to have to write this and this will start all sorts of bullshit but fuck it. It's the truth on what the fuck happened. If it saves one kid from OD'ing than I don't give two fucks-it's worth it.

As I say I'll put up any funeral info and if you can email The Cute Lepers or leave them a comment that would be rad. They're a great band and great people. Thanks you guys-Joe,Dave and The Queers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I haven't said anything about the Crocodile reopening, mainly because I haven't been interested enough in most of what they've booked to want to go there yet. So I haven't had a chance to check it out. Unfortunately the one decent show I wanted to see was Akimbo/Brothers of a Sonic Cloth and I did indeed miss out that night, because Soundgarden played a few songs with TAD singing. I liked the first Soundgarden 12" and about half the songs on Ultramega OK, but for me I lost interest in the band ironically right when the world started to love them, when they started writing longer slower arena rock ballads and became my generations Led Zeppelin. Chris Cornell's vocals were always a little over the top for me, so I liked the darker and quirkier early Soundgarden stuff and "Hunted Down" remains my favorite song. So check out this vid below of TAD fronting the rest of Soundgarden. They did both "Hunted Down" and "Nothing to Say," sweet! And while TAD's delivery is always rough, growly and a bit creepy, I think it works, and at this point I'd probably rather hear him singing it then Chris Cornell. TAD was and will remain always more representative of what I thought Grunge was, if there ever was such a thing, along with bands like Mudhoney.

Travis Criscola of the Cute Lepers dies

This is very sad news from Steve of the Cute Lepers/Briefs:

"Travis Criscola, rest in peace Early the morning of March 28, in Cincinnati our friend and band-mate Travis Criscola passed away in his sleep. He was 24. Travis was guitarist in the Cute Lepers for the last six months and was the perfect addition to the band as it's developed. He was our friend. His company was always a pleasure. I don't think I ever heard him say a negative word about any one. He was smart, polite and considerate, always interested in learning more about music and playing guitar... he really loved music. He was passionate about music in a way that only other like minded musicians recognize and relate with. When Travis joined the band he would not think twice about jumping on the bus from Olympia and making the two hour ride to Seattle for a spur of the moment rehearsal, and then riding the bus two more hours to get back home. In fact Travis was doing this three times a week up until we left for europe to start our tour. His character and his commitment made him the very best we could hope for in a band-mate and a friend. We're gonna really miss him. We feel that it's appropriate and absolutely not in bad taste to disclose the cause of death of our friend. Travis combined alcohol and pills, then went to sleep and never woke up. It was an accident. Travis was not any kind of a habitual drug user. I'm a man who has left drugs and alcohol alone for over a decade and I just wont work with people who are mixed up with narcotics. It is rare to find a rock n' roll musician in his early twenties who doesn't get caught up in hitting the bars and going to parties on tour, and Trav was just one of those ones who made a really bad decision. He naively took some type of pills on top of the beer he was drinking and that's it. I believe that it would be a disservice for us to leave out this information. People would wind up hearing distorted versions of the truth anyways. Also our hope is that other young musicians, or anyone it may apply to who reads this will learn from our tragedy and perhaps wise up a bit. We're currently traveling across the country back home to Seattle with heavy hearts. Trav's family and his beautiful longtime girlfriend are in our prayers. --Steve"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Snoose Junction Part Dieu

A few weeks ago I went to the opening of Snoose Junction 2, a pizza joint with some serious rock'n'roll scene ties that are totally unclear to me. Tom Price's Desert Classic played (3/4ths of Gas Huffer!), but I unfortunately got their too late and just missed them. Most of Mudhoney was there, all the girls with me sat their in awe and fandom of Mark Arm. It's funny, I've always loved Green River and Mudhoney, but have seen Mark Arm like 100 times out at shows and stuff so it's no big deal, he's a nice guy to talk to. But the girls, man, they still completely loose their shit over him. Anyway, cool pizza joint in a weird spot just off Greenwood and 105th. It's got an upstairs bar, way awesome graffiti influenced painting, strong drinks, and I've heard excellent pizza... but I haven't tried the pies yet, so I can't confirm that.

Oh, and about the crowd at the Murder City Devils

I meant to comment about this last month but forgot. After the Murder City Devils shows, I read later on music forums, particularly The Stranger's Line Out, how people thought the crowd was aggressive or lame. But man, I was up front or around the front most of the time (er... when I wasn't buying drinks) and everyone was laughing, singing along, and dancing--I loved the energy. Sure there was a little bit of slam dancing, crowd surfing and bodies pushing together, but that's to be expected. And it wasn't overly violent or happening that much. Frankly, I welcome the crowd dancing, moving and bumping into each other a bit, rather than get pissed off by it. I've been to too many shows at places like The Showbox and Neumos where the crowd is way too passive or full of themselves to let loose and have a little fun. It's nice to see people still really get into the music and rock the fuck out to it. Check this crowd out from that night, does it look out of hand?

Murder City Devils reunion show photos!

I just realized I never posted my photos to the blog of the Murder City Devils reunion show last month. Duh. This first one of Spencer surfing over the crowd ended up on The Stranger blog, which was very cool.

I had a great time at this show. A bunch of us met at Noc Noc for drinks before it then all went together. I ran into piles of people I knew and had a blast, the band was great, the crowd was fun, and most of the songs I wanted to hear got played. There was one kinda weird part during the MCD's set where Spencer said he had something to say to everyone. Then everyone yelled and cheered. Then he said he was serious, and everyone yelled more, which was funny. Then he seemed genuinely pissed off at everyone for yelling and said something like "This is like a fucking Motley Crue concert" and through down the mic. We weren't sure if the show was going to go on for second. But they played more, with the band seemed all pretty pissed at each other and/or the crowd for a few songs, which I thought was awesome actually, it gave them a great energy. It was weird though to see Spencer get so pissed off about the crowd for going apeshit over the music. By the end he was back into it and was diving out into the crowd trying to sing while crowd surfing. But there was a period where I thought he might just storm off stage and never come back and I never saw anything that could have made him react that way...

The Sweet Spots

What happens when a bunch of punk band veterans decide they need a change of pace? Often it seems they like to explore country and Americana it seems, which is precisely the case with The Sweet Spots (who feature Chris and Melanie from The Gloryholes). But whereas punks gone country often takes a rockabilly angle, these cats do it old school, taking things back to their old timey roots. And it works! I'll be first to admit I don't often listen to music like this, but I've seen the band a few times live now and always had a great time. Check out their music for yourself here.

Jesus Fucking Christ

This is Jesus Fucking Christ at a recent show at the Galway Arms in Seattle. In the last year or so, the Galway in the U-District and the Bit Saloon in Ballard have become small underground music neighborhood outposts, featuring a lot of smaller shows. Which is great!

Jesus Fucking Christ were an Oakland-based hardcore punk band featuring Larry (ex-Rickets/Deadly Weapons), Dave (Neurosis), and Jamie (Pitch Black). Larry recently moved back to the Seattle area, so JFC's shows will happen a lot less often, but the band still plans to continue. Hear them and read more about 'em here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Librarians invade Seattle!

10 Things happily welcomes hundreds, if not thousands, of the world's librarians and library staff to Seattle this weekend at part of the 14th National ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Convention and the 1st National Zine Librarians (un)Conference! In these days where the nation's focus is on Wall Street, banks, credit default swaps and subprime mortgages, it's nice once in a while to focus on something other than money. Like books and libraries, which are often free to the public. Books have taken a bad rap in these Web/online days, but for the first time in a decade, book reading by the American public is up, significantly up. And our nation's public and academic library staff not only are your gateway to books and information, but they constantly strive to help you, America's citizens, have the most complete and up to date access to information. They do this under shrinking budgets, increased demand, and ever growing expensive print and electronic resources. So library staff, we hope you enjoy your weekend here in Seattle and thank you for helping make all of us just a little bit smarter.

Zine Librarians, say what? As the world of zines and small press publications has grown over the years, so have the people that collect and archive it. And some just happen to be librarians or archivists that want to create large historical collections to share with the public. Locally Seattle is lucky to have the Zine Archive and Publishing Project, or ZAPP, which is possibly the nation's largest publicly accessible zine archive. Zines are also collected locally at both the Seattle Public Libraries and University of Washington Libraries. This weekend, congruent with the ACRL conference, a zine librarian conference will be taking place. Yours truly is curating a public display in the main graduate library of the UW called Focus on Zines, there will be Seattle Zine Librarian (Un)Conference Saturday and Sunday at the Richard Hugo House on Capitol Hill, and a Zine Reading at Cafe Allegro in the U-District Saturday at 7pm (1408 NE 42nd Street, alley entrance between University Way and 15th Ave).