I shopped extensively for New Years Eve shows and initially dismissed The Paramount’s offering with headliners The Presidents of The Unites States of America, as I am not a huge fan of their music. The rest of the lineup, which included Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground, The Saturday Knights and Monotonix eventually won me over. I figured I could enjoy them all and still get back to the U-District in time to see my ultimate NYE midnight show goal: A Gun That Shoots Knives at the Blue Moon.
My favorite NYE shows usually take place at steamy packed bar venues. At The Paramount, I walked in and right up to the stage barricade through the sparse audience listening to the talented Vince Mira and The Roy Kay Trio.
Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground was next, and it was nice to see them on a stage large enough to comfortably hold them all. The perfect New Years Eve band, Kay Kay creates and spreads festivity and community and the audience warmed appreciably.
Had The Saturday Knights not played this show, I would have skipped it. I’ll admit I saw them in October mostly because drummer Trent Moorman (Head Like a Kite) and guitarist Thomas Hunter (Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground and Wild Orchid Children) were accompanying. This time I was able to forget their bands and see Trent, Thomas and Dave Martin (Slender Means) as the ideal catalyst for the force that is The Saturday Knights. Perfectly executed songs rolled out over the growing audience that wanted more, as did I when the Knights left the stage and we were left to prepare for Monotonix.
The barricades surrounding Monotonix’s equipment were moved and the crowd closed in. Most of what is expected from a Monotonix set occurred: hairy nudity, shrieking, a violated trash can, a temporary kidnapping and a roving drum set. The Paramount’s size didn’t allow for Monotonix to lead everyone out to the street, and although they didn’t have many available climbing options, their fuzzy punk music is reason enough to see them live.
I mentioned my dislike for The Presidents of The United States of America. I saw them a few times live in their early years and just didn’t get it. Heavy rotation can be cruel, and I was regularly faced with songs my ears tried to reject. Time heals, I hoped and I wanted to hear PUSA this New Years Eve with a fresh appreciation for a much-loved Seattle staple. I tried, but didn’t make it through two songs before turning to hug a friend goodbye and fleeing to the lobby doors.
I’m sure PUSA would not have wanted me to stay. I’m sure they are terrific people and would have wanted me to get out of there as quickly as I could, stopping only to grab/gulp another friend’s beer (my first of the night) on the way out the front door to find a cab to drop me in front of the Blue Moon at ten minutes to midnight, which is exactly what I did.
Great music, steamy windows and lots of friends welcomed me at the Blue Moon – it’s wonderful walking into your neighborhood bar on New Years Eve when everyone’s already tanked and your apartment is less than a block away. I dumped my coat on the pool table pile and headed toward the stage, where A Gun That Shoots Knives and their fans were creating a holiday-worthy ruckus.
AGTSK played well past midnight; I slacked off in my smoke machine duties, took a lot of photos, was surrounded by friends and began 2009 exactly as I wanted.