moments before the wind.

May 5, 2007

can still burn your fingers

Filed under: authenticity, country, folk, indie, live shows, music, news, rock, writing — alimarcus @ 8:00 am

Last night’s Elvis Costello show at the Sunset Tavern was a benefit for 826 Seattle, the quirky, fun, and incredibly dedicated tutoring center fronted by a Space Travel Supply Store.

Quirky, fun, and incredibly dedicated? Sounds like 826 has found their musical counterpart. I’m not sure if the idea for the benefit came from 826 or was a secondary decision, but there could not have been a better chosen figure for celebration in their presence. And I feel like I am qualified to say this because not only am I a huge Elvis fan but also I am an 826 volunteer.

Think about it this way. What would you expect the audience to look like at an 826 benefit? Bookish, plastic frames, slightly less casual clothes, clean-cut-yet-subtly-hip seriousness of people who appreciate serious art. Add a tie and there you have it – the audience you’d expect at an Elvis Costello tribute concert. A marriage made in heaven.

It was a packed house, sold out in under an hour. There were 15 bands, each doing one to three songs. Even the selection was hyper-indie selective, only rarely would a group allow the audience the pleasure of doing one of Elvis’s smash hits. Highlights:
-both versions of “Indoor Fireworks”
-“Living in Paradise” sung in octaves with an acoustic guitar
-“Miracle Man,” because it’s currently hanging on my wall also
-The intense wordiness that I hear as Costello’s magic touch, filtered through all these other bands…it was like American Idol, seeing how the various singers would attempt to do what seems to come so naturally to the writer. Some did a really awesome job. It reminds you od Elvis’s brilliance, because you don’t realize how complex the music is until you try and perform it yourself.
-This beautiful Gibson guitar that one of the performers used. I think it was a Hummingbird.

By the way, 826 SeattleΒ is one of the best things. Period. If you don’t know much about it or what they do, please visit their site and check it out. Space travel is just the beginning.Β They are always, always looking for volunteers in one way or another, and I have never had a more rewarding experience. I was not asked to make this statement. It’s really true.



  1. yes! it was a great night.

    > I’m not sure if the idea for the benefit came from 826 or was a secondary decision, but there could not have been a better chosen figure for celebration in their presence.

    btw the event was cooked up and organized by a fellow named paul from the band the transmissionary six. a few performers thanked him from the stage, and i asked him about it after that. his comment to me: “it just seemed like a really, really good idea. so i just called a bunch of people and they said yes.”

    my fave – robert deeble’s “green shirt”, although his “indoor fireworks” was awesome too.



    Comment by Liz Furnier — May 7, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

  2. Yes! And Robert Deeble was the guy who played with my friend Jeremy Summer, who is the Whisky Swillers ( with my friend Adam Borkoski who is also in the Old Bay Warblers with me! Jeremy was the reason I heard about the event in the first place, and you’re right, that version of “Green Shirt” was phenomenal. According to Jeremy, that was the best they’d ever played it.

    Comment by alimarcus — May 7, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

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