Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Lemonheads and Tommy Stinson bash out the rock in Seattle

Evan Dando of The Lemonheads. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Cat and Andy; photos by Cat

Slacker rock is alive and well.

Not much movement on stage this night, but the lyrics hit just as hard as they ever have once The Lemonheads and opener Tommy Stinson strapped on their guitars at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood on May 17.

We hadn't seen Evan Dando perform since The Lemonheads shared a stage with Soul Asylum at the Warfield in San Francisco in the early '90s. He was wearing a down jacket while playing that night, but only a hoodie this time 'round. The shoulder-length scraggly hair and hunched stance remain alongside his distinct vocals that meld the entire package together.

"My So-Called Life" popped into our heads and we kept scouring the room to see if Jordan Catalano was wedged within the crowd. Someone we met said that Juliana Hatfield's voice was missed on "Drug Buddy," so the MSCL connection was somewhat on target, since she appeared in one episode.

The crowd -- along with photographer Cat Rose -- was fully on board as they sang along to "Rudderless" and "Turnpike Down," along with copious other gems.

At one point, three middle-agers were seemingly reliving their college dorm-room days by pogoging in unison and smiling at each other during one of the songs. Count that as the guys' exercise for the day, they really worked it hard.

Hearing "Stove" brought Andy back to the day he purchased "Lovey" on cassette at Tower Records -- along with Goo Goo Dolls "Hold Me Up" -- in 1990 and was soon blasting those gems in his room.

As for Stinson, he belted out songs from his non-Replacements catalogue and was sarcasm supreme during and in between his tunes. At one point, he wondered why the fuck someone tossed a paper plate at him, and joked with Cat, asking her what she was doing while shooting a close-up of him during a song. It became part of the lyrics in a way and Stinson and people in the crowd enjoyed the moment. Our own Cat became part of the show. Later, he strolled over toward Cat and flashed her a goofy smile.



Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stiff Little Fingers set to fire up US tour for 40th anniversary of debut album

SLF's Jake Burns in Seattle a few years ago. (Andy photo)

By Andy

"Inflammable material, planted in my head...."

Come Oct. 1 through Nov. 6, 2019, Stiff Little Fingers' "Suspect Device" and heaps of the band's other raucous tunes will once again be blaring out of PAs in the United States. From Phoenix to Orlando, the Northern Ireland juggernaut will hit the road for 26 dates to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first album, "Inflammable Material."

"As part of a longer set, we shall be playing that record in its entirety (apart from "Closed Groove" which we don't like much!) ;-)" the band wrote on its Facebook page today.

As a bonus, the Avengers will join SLF for the entire tour.

To me, SLF is all about raw passion, emotion and solid songs that can both fuel your anger and leave you with a smile on your face. You will find yourself wanting to punch walls or even dance around the room. It's about being human. It's life.

For tickets, visit

SLF's Ali McMordie. (Andy photo)

The Avengers. (Andy photo)