All Photos by Dan Gonyea
Author: Haley Parsons
It was a sweltering night at Chop Suey, but Seattle’s music fans toughed it out with the help of some electric fans to catch a sweet three band set on Sunday night. It was a good night for the local music scene as two darling Seattle bands, Biblioteka and Special Explosion opened the show for American Pleasure Club.
Biblioteka surprised me! Which isn’t to say I was expecting them to be bad, I was expecting them to be good, but they were excellent. Frontwoman Mary Robins had the “Cool Girl Who Plays Bass and Has Bangs” look down to a science and the whole band seemed to love jamming together. Their sound was very instrumental-oriented, with simple but easy to move to riffs. They played “Raspberry Jelly”off their forthcoming album, and it seemed to me that it started off as the perfect sitting-in-your-bedroom-after-a-summer-day-spent-with-friends type of song but took an edgy turn towards the heavier side in the last minute, which was a unique twist.
Special Explosion played next and were absolutely the band I was most excited to see. I got really into their most recent release, To Infinity,earlier this year and had been dying to see them ever since. Let me tell you; it was worth the wait. They came on when it was starting to cool down, and the stage was set perfectly for the sleepy, yet electric harmonies of Andy and Lizzy Costello. The band played “Fire” and “Skeleton” amongst other tunes, but my favorite was “Cats”. I was overcome with emotion when I heard the verse, “I’d like you to like me/more than you’d like to”live. There’s something so special about hearing a slow song full of yearning like that in person. Special Explosion had a humble stage presence and connected easily with the audience, especially when Lizzy admitted how nice it was to be home for a bit while on tour. She said she hadn’t done anything that day, “just ate sandwiches and laid in bed.” Perhaps it was all that well-deserved rest that made their set such a hit. The last spectacular moment was when all the lights in the venue shut off during their final song, but Special Explosion just kept playing. As they finished, the lights turned back on, and everyone there was bonded by the odd experience.
American Pleasure Club (fka Teen Suicide) wrapped the night up with a rundown of their best hits and a broken guitar string. “haunt me (x 3)” was a hit amongst the crowd along with “new years eve” from their 2018 release, A Whole F***ing Lifetime of This. They swayed between lo-fi ballads and more amped up headbangers until guitarist Dan Windsor’s guitar string did the inevitable and broke. While they tried to get the incident sorted out, lead singer Sam Ray mumbled into the microphone while his wife and keyboardist, Kitty Ray told knock-knock jokes. After it was fixed, the band was back in business and wrapped up their sweet set without incident.
Even with the heat, blackout, and broken guitar string, it was a beautiful night for live music. I appreciated all the little bumps in the road because it helped humanize all the fantastic musicians on stage and bring out the best in the incredibly understanding and supportive crowd.
If you want to support these local musicians, give them a like on Facebook!
Plus, you might want to show American Pleasure Club some love too! Here’s their Facebook and their Spotify.
Find more pictures from the show on Dan’s site!
HALEY PARSONS | Found myself a little nostalgic for Sundays in high school | KXSU Music Reporter