The Strangest Tribe: the College Course…(Updated)

Posted: February 29, 2012 in The Strangest Tribe: the College Course

This fall, Delaware Valley College will feature a one credit honors course based on my book.  As part of that, my students and I will have the opportunity to interact with some Seattle music people via Skype.  The following folks have agreed to talk to us:

Gary Minkler

Gary has been and remains the lead singer and the inspiration for Red Dress, perhaps Seattle’s most original band.  How to describe Red Dress…  Combine the atoms of James Brown, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and Robbie Robertson in a supercollider.  Then, pour the mixture into a cake pan.  Bake, add Gary’s fantasy storylines as frosting and, voila, you have Red Dress.

Laura Vanderpool

Laura makes up one-half of a duo fronting Capping Day.  Along with Bonnie Hammond, Capping Day existed within Seattle’s late-’80s grunge scene while not playing grunge themselves.  Instead, C-D offered a wonderful acoustic harmonic alternative…and exemplified the atmosphere of musical experimenation that pervaded Seattle during that era.  She also hosted a show called “Audioasis” on KCMU, the University of Washington’s radio station.  Laura now also plays in the Green Pajamas.

Bruce Pavitt

Bruce, along with Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner, became one of the tastemakers within the Seattle grunge scene.  Bruce started Sub Pop Records, the label that gave us Mudhoney, Nirvana, and Soundgarden (and more recently the Shins, No Age, and Flight of the Conchords under current Sub Pop exec Jonathan Poneman.)  Bruce also had an instrumental role in the Olympia music community, championing independent rock music that came from places not named New York and London.

Rob Morgan

Rob dates back to the inception of Seattle’s punk rock community in the mid-’70s.  He, along with a few others, created a music scene out of thin air.  Later he became the front man for the Squirrels, a band that mashed up songs in a creative, irreverent, and thoroughly entertaining way.  Legendary grunge producer Jack Endino has referred to the Squirrels as Seattle’s best band.  Rob may also be the funniest human being on the planet.

John Leighton Beezer

During the grunge era, Leighton created an improvisational punk rock act called the Thrown Ups.  His band exemplified the spirit that was Seattle’s organic grunge scene: a spirit of openness, creativity, improvisation, and–most importantly–irreverent humor.  Like Rob, Leighton may be the funniest individual on Earth.


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