I've been meaning to promote a new healthy obsession of mine, even if the relation to my broader work for Pelting Out seems tenuous. I'm a big fan of Atlas Obscura. If you're not familiar with what they do, you should poke around their catalog of over 10,000 places across the globe. The unique locales and stories they collect are right up my alley. In addition to the website, AO has plans for world domination. Or at least hopes of opening compelling "Societies" in various cities. Such as NYC...where they began. LA. Chicago. You get the idea. Thankfully, Seattle's also launched an Obscura Society. And I'm starting a new gig with them as a Field Agent, developing local events that will offer some unique insights into Seattle's quirky awesomeness. Stay tuned for details related to my first events in early 2017...a walking tour of Seattle musical influences in the '90s...a dichotomous tour of the Klondike Gold Rush influence on Pioneer Square and the site of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition originally meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that rush. The history I've found in putting these ideas together fascinates me. Odds are it might have the same effect upon you.
I've been somewhat remiss in posting here the last few weeks. Grand plans delayed not derailed...in part because of my AO thinking...along with the prep work needed to head out on my current trip. My current struggles with the in-flight WiFi over Wisconsin are just part of the journey to NYC. I've got equal parts research and running lined up. Running-wise, I'm doing the TCSNYC Marathon on Sunday. Research-wise, I'm also neck deep in plans for a few busy days of interviewing and exploring. Check back for some shared fruits of those labors. I promise.
Here's hoping your own gig also currently fills you with great promise.
I moved to Seattle 20 years ago this week. I saw more than my fair share of shows back in those days. Even though that era was so overburdened by a focus upon the Seattle scene, this City's clubs and bars filled me with memories. Those days continue to come up in conversation - fondly, more often than not. I just had a long sought after conversation with a source this week that largely began with us articulating our recollection of music and the scene here in the 90s. Whatever the style or the venue, those of us who grew up going to shows will probably always use those filters.
That's partly why it was such a delightful reminder to catch a show at Neumo's on Capitol Hill last night. Not because it was an epic show - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit felt a bit deflated. Isbell admitted playing gigs both for Amazon and on "the radio" earlier in the day. Isbell's become a critical darling for his first solo effort. I was certainly there because I'd played that album ("Southeastern") dozens of times while roadtripping this summer. I didn't have a connection with Isbell's earlier band (Drive-By Truckers). But I surely recalled my prior sentiments about Neumo's. Hence the delight.
So if I have a point, it's somewhere amidst staying out until 1am on a school night, seeing Neumo's through the filter of when it was just Moe's with the terrifying clown motif, thinking back to my recent research roadtrip when Isbell was on almost constant "shuffle/repeat," and just generally digging the energy of a nostalgic flashback. Since so many people on this particular day are focused upon a very different sort of look back, I'm glad to have a legitimate reason to look fondly backward.