Seattle 2015: Day 3

Posted: April 15, 2015 in My Seattle-Related Concert Experiences

Day 3: Saturday, April 11

I’m doing this post in two parts, because too much stuff happened on Saturday.

Things got rolling early, after a grand total of maybe six hours of sleep over the previous two nights. I met up with Leighton Beezer and his friends at the notorious 5-Point Café, located near the Space Needle. I liked the place right away, given some of the stickers on the wall (see below for an example.) Leighton is one of those people I have to meet up with every time I come to town…in addition to Rob Morgan and Jack Endino. As an aside, we had gotten our dates mixed up and Leighton called me at home the previous Saturday wondering where I was. My wife answered and said it was for me. I asked who it could possibly be given I never use the land line. “It’s Leighton Beezer,” she said, “from the Thrown Ups.”


Meanwhile, back at the 5-Point… Leighton introduced me, or actually re-introduced me to Five. He plays bass, I think, in one of Leighton’s improvisational musical collectives. In fact, I did see him play a few years back in Belltown, and yeah, they were great…45 minutes of improvised deafening noise, but crafted (is that the right word?) beautifully. Five and I chatted and I immediately entered him into my phone contact list for a couple of reasons. One, he’s a cool guy and two, I now have a person named Five in my contact list. Oh, before I forget, while members of our party were still filtering in, the waitress asked if more people were coming because otherwise she might have to move us to another table. I counted up and said, “We have Five…literally.” After a typically awesome experience with Leighton and friends, I was excited to get Cat Day rolling.


[Ladies and gentlemen, Five.]

See, I’m highly allergic to cats…like they literally make me sick. Dogs, no problem, but I can’t be in someone’s house who has cats for more than a few minutes. And, apparently, everyone in Seattle owns cats…and I did not know this. It only took 13 trips here to figure that one out.

So post-Leighton, I made my pilgrimage to Rob Morgan’s house…Rob is one of Seattle’s original punk rockers. He’s an artist, a musician, and well…he’s Rob. That’s all I can say, and I love him. Since Rob has cats (of course), we headed out and drove around Ballard, while we listened to his friend and former Squirrel Kevin Crosby’s new record, Money What Money? Rob’s on it, as well as Baby Cheevers (Google him or read my book…Cheevers is a legend.) Rob and Kevin described the record (at least I think they described it this way) as a parody of Frank Zappa doing a parody of Sergeant Pepper’s, sprinkled with some obscure Squirrels references. The record is, well it’s great, and fucked up, and ridiculously creative. At one point during the recording, Kevin said the producer would not approve of him using a duck squeak. So he found another producer.

photo (1)

[From left: Rob Morgan, Kevin Crosby, Senior Dorkinger holding Kevin’s CD.]

Afterward, I headed back to Capitol Hill to re-interview Vaporland. I say re-interview, because I talked to those folks a few months back by phone from Philly. We began that chat at midnight (9 pm Pacific), and I think we talked for about an hour. Great interview…lots of funny and insightful banter. And then after I was done, I couldn’t find the mp3 file. I’ve done hundreds of interviews, and I’ve never lost a recording. But this time I did. It sucked. Fortunately, the Vaporland folks were more than cool about it…as Seattle people tend to be, and we informally talked about doing it again live, the next time I headed to Seattle. And so we did.

If you aren’t familiar with Seattle bands, they’re basically all the same people playing in various incarnations. So it goes with Vaporland, with a twist. Take Love Battery guitarists Ron Rudzitis (aka Ron Nine) and Kevin Whitworth; combine with ex-TAD bassist Kurt Danielson, add the Fluid’s Garrett Shavlik on drums, and singer Katie Scarberry…and you end up with…

Vaporland 2

[Vaporland. From left: Kevin, Ron, Katie, Kurt, Garrett. Unfortunately, I forgot the pup’s name.]

Vaporland begins with Love Battery’s base of heavy, melodic psych-influenced rock, and adds British blues of the late ’60s along with Kurt’s post-punk influences. Katie’s singing and percussion brings yet another element to this band. So this is not Love Battery re-boot. Listen to their eponymous debut record, issued on Van Conner’s (Screaming Trees) Strange Earth label. (

Oh yeah, Ron has cats, so we did the interview in his garage. He brought out some chairs and a portable heater and Katie served us some coffee and then things got rolling. I would say it went better than the original phone chat…lots of great stories, insight into song writing and influences, and of course that Seattle humor. Please, though, don’t tell me everything happens for a reason. That expression can make me violent.

After that, I drove up to Edmonds to catch the ferry to Kingston to see my friends in Before Cars. (Stay tuned for Cat Day, Part 2 coming up tomorrow…or some other day.)


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