Tonight in Seattle:  

Line Out posts a few words about REVERBfest

I was extremely impressed that the Stranger set aside it's long-standing grudge with Seattle Weekly and acknowledged on Line Out that REVERBfest was a success. Mad props to music editor Jonathan Zwickel for the write-up (and yes, Oaxaca does rock!).

I did sense a certain reluctance in the writeup, with quips like "Small crowds made getting from one venue to another no problem" and "went over surprisingly well for a first-time event" certainly falling under the heading of "faint praise" in my book. But what was stranger (haha) to me was the vitroil with which he went after many of the local bands (calling out one band for playing "Terrible, terrible music," another as "annoying as a sugar-rushed ten-year-old with a toy piano and an inflated sense of self," and yet another as "There’s just not much to it besides a hairdo and an attitude.") I'll let you guess which band earned each of these acccolades, or click through to find out.

Perhaps those descriptions were apt, and the bands would have received them at any show... but I couldn't help but feeling like he served up the reviews with an extra smattering of vitriol because the bands played at a Weekly showcase.

Overall, it was a super cool move to acknowledge rather than ignore (or mock) the event. But still, I hate the idea of local bands taking the hit. What do you all think?

I thought that was cool, too. I also think all of us who put ourselves out there as musicians should be prepared for negative press; it just comes with the territory. It hurts to see, of course, especially if it's by someone of influence or whatever, but in the end it's one person's opinion. Knowing he's not just going to gush over everything he sees perhaps helps people take his favorable reviews more seriously. It's great to support local music, but that doesn't have to mean refraining from serious criticism just because a band is local.

And I didn't see it as extra vitriol because of the Weekly association; I saw it as someone seeing a whole bunch of bands specifically because they were all playing a festival together, and perhaps going out on a limb in checking stuff out he might not otherwise. Some of it worked, some didn't.

The Seattle Weekly (Hatfields) / Stranger (McCoy's) rivelry is longstanding and mostly one sided, and also very boring.

I do give props to JZ for his post, but it would be awkward to not cover something which by most accounts was a great sucess and SO MUCH FUN and obviously had the best interest of Seattle's Local Music Scene in mind.

I also love the spirit of Seattle Bands like the great showband Partman Parthorse who took his sour comments and posted them on their website like a cub scout badge of courage! That rocks.

"I saw it as someone seeing a whole bunch of bands specifically because they were all playing a festival together, and perhaps going out on a limb in checking stuff out he might not otherwise. Some of it worked, some didn't."

Excellent point, Levi.

I thought the Stranger did a great job -- and the tone is what you'd expect. Some parts were fair... other parts were harsh but festival crowds sometimes make me kinda cranky too.

I saw partman parthouse and thought they were hella good.

they had me at "sugar-rushed ten-year-old with a toy piano and an inflated sense of self."

i couldn't have said it better!

but over all, the festival was a good thing for ballard and the music scene. the stranger will always have their capitol hill block fest.

I see Jonathan Zwickel EVERYWHERE. Him and I seem to go to the same events quite often. Although, I don't ever say anything because the one time I did, he gave me a weird face. Ha.

In regards to the whole the-stranger-said-this-opinion, I usually theirs with a grain of salt.
edit: Now that I listened to a few of the bands he reviewed in a negative light, I actually have to say I agree with him on at least a few...

I agree it was nice to see a Stranger writer cover a Weekly event and it was the music editor who did so nonetheless. However, I don't think the beef is necessarily squashed.

If you click on the link for Reverb on Line Out's "Friends of Line Out" blog roll, you'll get a funny surprise. The link goes to a page that reads: "There's No Happy Here" in big print with a song repeating the aforementioned phrase. Maybe I'm missing a oddball musical connection by those zany Stranger folk and one of yous can clear it up (yes, I just typed yous), but I read that as a quasi insult.

I made a special trip just to attend Reverb and it was AWESOME! I loved that there wasn't a big local headliner such as Common Market or some other bigger, small local group. The emphasis was on the musicians, most of which were of excellent caliber and smaller in star power compared to other local groups with a bigger following.

The fact that it was in Ballard and that it was spread out across coffee shops, bars and record stores made it even more unique and gave Reverb a kick ass small-town feel. Overall I thought it was a great way to put the spotlight on the bands that make the local scene work. Because as we all know, the Seattle music scene isn't about the Death Cab, Blue Scholars, Schoolyard Heroes and Gossips of the world.

Sure those bands are great and they deserve all the success they have received. But in my eyes the local scene is about the Whore Moans, Ms. Leds, Dusty 45s, Mark Pickerels, D. Blacks and Partman Parthorses that are out there. Those are the bands that are playing the bars, giving the kids the rock, pouring out their hearts with their music and working their asses off for our benefit. Those are the bands that Seattle's music scene special amd that’s where Reverb excelled, by allowing those bands a chance to shine.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. Thanks for allowing me to vent my spleen. Forgive any typos, I am horrible at visually checking my typed ramblings.

Travis nails it.

Also, I would like to point out that E. Grandy also mentions Reverb in his FITS column in the print edition today, and he thinks Triumph of Lethargy Hopped Up on Goofballs and Hijacking Your Riding Lawnmower in the Nude was totally awesome. I only caught the end of their set, so I'm mostly reserving judgment, but I think I'm leaning toward Zwickel's take.

I was walking into downtown Ballard during the Triumph of Lethargy set. It was LOUD. Loud like, the little girl next to me in the crosswalk was holding her ears and crying.

progress, but too bad the stranger wasn't willing to mention reverbfest until after it happened.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.