Last night I was lucky enough to be able to catch the Seattle stop of the Geek Girl Tour, which is the Northwest leg of Marian Call’s tour, with The Doubleclicks opening. I had missed Marian’s previous Seattle show because I couldn’t get out of work and across the bridge to Seattle in time. This time I was more determined and left work at the vastly conservative hour of 5pm to make the drive.
If you click that link you’ll see that Bing estimates the drive will take 24 minutes. The drive-time estimate displays along the 520 said 30 minutes to Seattle. We seemed to be flying along at a fairly good clip until we crossed the 405 and approached the bridge, where forward progress nearly halted. In reality it was an hour before I cross the bridge’s threshold on the eastern end. So I guess it was good that I left early.
By the time I’d parked my car in Fremont (that’s with one ‘e’1), on a street and not in a parking lot, which is exceedingly weird for someone who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, went to school in Santa Barbara, and now lives on the Eastside, where there are vast acreages of parking lots and where street parking, let alone parallel parking, is a myth that driver’s education teachers use to scare their students, I was famished. Conveniently, I saw the sign for Uneeda Burger and, as I did, in fact, need a burger (OMG! I bet I’m totally the first person to make that joke!), I went in and chowed down on a #6 ‘Monsieur’ with a pint of Odin’s Gift Ruby. It was so good that, should I ever find myself in Fremont again, I would find it highly unlikely that I would consider eating elsewhere. I then spent fifteen or so awkward minutes standing around in the café of the venue, staring at my phone, before they let us into the main hall.
The main hall of Fremont Abbey is a very neat place for a show. It’s an expansive room with wooden floors, a high vaulted ceiling, and stained glass windows. It gives the impression of a simple church, but without any permanent furniture. The room was arranged with a half-circle of chairs, a small stage, and an array of recording equipment, both audio and video. The event was being recorded, in HD, for some unknown purpose. We all scrambled to find seats and soon things were getting started. In retrospect, it probably would have been better if I’d sat somewhere out of the view of a camera but, well, that’s how it goes. I was staring into one pretty much the entire time.
First up was The Doubleclicks, two sisters from Portland who perform an ubergeeky folky guitar/ukelele/cello-based music. I have to make an admission: I don’t go to shows to see opening acts. I don’t think that I’ve ever looked up an opener before going to a show. Thing is, I’m often pleasantly surprised. I saw Spoon and Mates of State open for Death Cab in Los Angeles. I also saw an acoustic Harvey Danger set before a They Might Be Giants show in Seattle. Those were good examples! Going into last night, I didn’t know anything about The Doubleclicks. My loss, for not having discovered them earlier. They were hilarious, in a self-deprecating, genuinely nerdy way; and this appeared to be the perfect crowd to perform nerdy music for. (I don’t know what it says about me that I laughed hardest at the practically-snarled line “and their primarily windows based computers”) As is the case with those surprisingly amazing opening acts, I was sorry when their set ended. I just hope they keep releasing more music that I can keep buying.
After The Doubleclicks, out came Marian Call and serenaded us for a joyous several hours. Her voice, impressive in recording, is astounding in person. She jumps around between jazzy and folky and bluesy and operatic with wild abandon. She’s also delightful to watch, whether she’s dancing around or conducting or shaking one of those rain stick things or using an old typewriter as a percussive instrument. We all sang along about karaoke and zombies and had a grand time. The evening ended with thunderous applause.
On the way back through the totally fucked streets of Fremont and Wallingford (seriously. click that link. what the hell kind of roads are those?), I got lost and somehow found my car surrounded by wasted youths in the U District. Luckily I was blasting Ensiferum at the time and they stayed back from my car. I returned home without further incident.
I had thought it would be cool to try to help promote the show, so I posted this to Twitter
. Shortly thereafter, I got this reply from Marian Call
who was, apparently, counting. This is what happens why I try to do things