Seattle Bids Twee Adieu

Tullycraft at the Crocodile
This was my first visit to the new Crocodile since it reopened a couple weeks ago, and it coincidentally was Three Imaginary Girls‘ first party at the new/old/legendary Belltown digs.  The old Crocodile Cafe was like an old pair of shoes you don’t want to get rid of. They’re worn and ratty, but their comfortable. The new Crocodile is like a new pair of shoes that look really cool, but they’re just not broken in yet. It’s a great space, with great sound and sight lines, but, for better or for worse it certainly isn’t a dive anymore. Where the old Croc was dark and dingy with little nooks an crannies, the new Croc is wide open and very very shiny.  Boat were just taking the stage as I walked in to what seemed like a packed room, but after getting passed the bar we were able to pretty much walk right up to the front of the stage. I hadn’t seen Boat since the Reverb festival last fall when they passed out confetti and shakers to the audience. Actually Boat haven’t played out much lately, they have been holed up down in Tacoma recording new songs for their third album and they trotted a few of them out last night. Maybe it was because they were playing so many new songs, the band seemed a little hesitant at times, not their normal Boat selves.  Maybe it was the bright lights of the new Crocodile or that awful smell of new carpet and paint that seemed permeate the air.   They were still fun, but maybe a little rusty. Dare I say though, every new song they played is a keeper. Now when is the new record coming out?  In the meantime, here one of the new ones they played last night, it’s called Setting the Paces (We Want It).

This night was kind of special because Tullycraft were playing there last ever Seattle gig.  They’re not breaking up, but the band recently announced that they were going to stop playing live, to allow for more time with other endeavors like goat farming and adult bookstores.  Because of this being kind of like the band’s farewell, it seemed like they should have been headlining this show instead of playing as an opener.   Tullycraft no longer doing gigs is entirely self-imposed of course, so they could always change their minds.  Even though they haven’t played many shows here in the last few years, they will certainly be missed. They are certainly an a-typical Seattle band, and their brand of indiepop is something that Seattle could use a lot more of.  Known for putting the wee in twee, they’re not afraid to be cute, but they’re also not afraid to be cutting.  The set was loads of fun from sing-a-long to the melodica fueled Take Away the Makeup to the trainspotting of songs like Twee and Bored to Hear Your Heart Still Breaks.  Bassist/singer Sean Tollefson plays a three string bass, one more than the guy from Morphine, but I think he only needed one string, because he seemed to only be playing one of them.  His vocals were a little hard to hear either because I was too close to the stage in a dead spot, or it was the mix.  The rest of the band certainly sounded more muscular than when I had seen them previously, with both guitars turned to at least ten.   Maybe they were trying to discard that dubious twee label…nah!  Tullycraft are playing one last show down in San Francisco for Popfest on 23 May at the Rickshaw Stop. We’ll miss you Tullycraft, I guess there will still be the records, but it’s not really the same as live.

Tullycraft Setlist: Stowaway | Georgette Plays a Goth | Josie | If You Take Away the Make-up | Dollywoood | The Punks are Writing Love Songs | Every Little Thing | The Secret History of Devil’s Paw | Bored to Hear Your Heart Still Breaks | Our Days in Kansas | Twee | Miss Douglas County
mp3: Tullycraft – Twee (from Beat, Surf, Fun)

mp3: Tullycraft – Bored to Hear Your Heart Still Breaks (from Every Scene Needs a Center)

You can get a bunch more Tullycraft mp3’s over at their website as well as actually buy some of their records, which you should of course.

I stayed for most of Awesome’s set (With a name like that, they’re just asking for trouble), but I just wasn’t feeling Awesome. Their modern day take on Oingo Boingo and They Might Be Giants didn’t really grab me, but my kids would probably love them with their songs about the ABC’s and 1,2,3’s.

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