Have you ever been to a “house show” to see live music? I’ve been seeing references to them, and I like the idea. Someone with an apartment or house that is large enough (cue the envy) to host a bunch of people and a musician or a band hires a performer and throws a little party. Sounds great for everyone. The musician(s) gets some cash and exposure; music lovers get a nice alternative to a crowded venue.
Jimmy at the Peavine Alley House was well ahead of the trend. He’s got a great house, a big backyard, loves music, and loves having people who love music and food hang out at his place for an afternoon of live music. He’s been doing it for five years, and he knows a lot of musicians. I’ve been to two shows there now, and I’m hooked. Jimmy said I could write about the Peavine Alley House, but he doesn’t want me to spell out its location. Get an invite, do a little digging. I think Jimmy’s philosophy is that if you’re interested in something like that, it’ll work out, and you’ll find him.
Now that my friend Tony and I have launched our Rain City Collective project, I’ll be cutting back on music-related posts here. I figured I’d close out with a few images from the 4th of July party, which was bumped to the 8th since most folks have holiday plans.
I knew that Sarah St. Albin and Anna St. Lee were playing, which is more than enough to get me out of the house. Pat Galactic and The Hinges were also on the official billing. There was also another band scheduled (I’ve forgotten who), but they had to back out. One band’s cancellation is another photographer’s bonus – Elijah Dhavvan of Tobias the Owl stepped in.
I got there at about 1400 and caught Anna St. Lee’s set. I’ve posted a few times in a few different places about her music. I dig it. The lyrics are great. She and Dhavvan frequently sing together, either as a duo or together in the full Tobias the Owl band, and it’s always good. Both are singer-songwriters whose lyrics draw you in. The kind of lyrics that even if you hear them somewhere in the background, you stop and pay attention.
Unfortunately, I then made a big tactical era. I didn’t stop on the way to get my contribution to the potluck, so I dashed off to the QFC, hoping I could get back in time for Pat Galactic’s set. I missed most of it. Caught his final two songs, and now I am anxious to see another one of his shows. I need to send him or Dhavvan a note asking about his final song. It was fast and intense. I am terrible with labeling music genres, but it struck me as having some punk elements, and that it was a style of music we just don’t get all that often. The movie Repo Man popped into my head.
I think Dhavvan took center stage after Pat Galactic. I’ve written about several of Dhavvan’s shows. I’m becoming something of a groupie I think. That’s fine with me. He’s a central figure in this musical community I’ve fallen into, and he’s about the nicest person you’ll probably ever meet. And he makes great music. It’s always good to know when we’re losing our objectivity. I don’t anticipate trying to be the old guy version of the aspiring music reporter in Almost Famous. I won’t be submitting any no holds barred longform articles to Rolling Stone about life on the touring road with Tobias the Owl.
The Peavine Alley House community is made up of a lot of musicians, some current, some just picking up the guitar every now and then. Several of them jumped out front and played for a bit. They were great. I’m impressed by anyone who can get out in front of people, make music, and sing words. I couldn’t do it.
Those adventurous bards then handed the mic to Jimmy for one of the highlights of the day. Jimmy read the full text of the Declaration of Independence and the “We the People” opening to the Constitution. Very cool.
That was a lot of sun for me by then, and I was fading. I packed up my gear and rolled out, just as Sarah St. Albin and her husband were walking in. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be seeing Sarah’s show, but I’m confident there will be plenty of opportunities.
I’ll close this one out with two shots of a neighborhood youngster who obviously likes music and who obviously had someone wrapped around a finger. (I set all of these photos at about 75% – curious to see how they render across different platforms, still debating the best resolution settings to use.)