Hi-dee-ho Music Pals –
Listen here: https://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/see-you-in-seattle
Well it’s lovey dovey Valentine month and time for some more beautiful music. This month we are highly pleased to feature AAIIEE– See You In Seattle. These guys have been around forever, but I just met ‘em. I figured out they existed because they played up at Darrell’s at The Gum’s debut. Didn’t go, saw the Facebook invite, said wot is AAIIEE and ended up buying See You in Seattlewithin minutes. Even though it was late in the year, they still made my Top 10 for 2012. I think it is just great and if I had it more than two days before I made my list they would have been higher. Who else can deliver a song that has an opening line “ I want to ride in the Bubbleator” with such conviction? No one – that’s who! Ain’t gonna happen. Now I know that some of you are thinking novelty item for tourists at this point, and god knows there is some novelty appeal here, but all World’s Fair stuff aside, this is a damn cool record by a rockin’ band. It is raw DIY punky pop action. It sounds great in my car. When I talked to Johnny Vinyl, he said they originally planned to get it out for the 45th anniversary of the World’s Fair. They got done in time for the 50th. Close enuff, right? They have a great video for Boris S. Wortz, who all Patches Pals are hipped up to. Theirbandcamp page has buying options and they have a web page where you can learn how to pronounce their name correctly (and more)! They’re even on Facebook – go Like ‘em.
They are “probably” playing on Saturday, Feb. 9th at Snoose Junction, a pizza place (with 8-12 types of Absinthe) at 10406 Holman Road in (Seattle) Greenwood-ish. Hell. Think I’ll go.
In other news, Jim of Seattle is getting some great reviews and working on a second video for his album, Howie is in the midst of a video for “Smithsonian Institute Blues” from my album (which has been getting great reviews – “Tom Dyer Human Pot” is the funniest), Rob Lawrence (son of late-PJ Steven) may be working on a video for “I Am Fretless” (also from my album), Jeff Kelly has started work on the next PJs (unless it is a solo Jeff record) album, the fabulous Alec K. Redfearn of Rhode Island, USA has consented to contribute some racket to my next record and exhuming The Colorplates CD will probably take me longer than I planned on – what’s a boy to do?
For March we have no clue what we are doing but will likely come up with something.
Official AAIIEE Press words:
After over 30 years together, the band “aaiiee” is finally releasing their first full-length CD. Despite decades of habitual laziness, procrastination, and long periods of inactivity, this herculean labor of love is now complete!
“See You In Seattle” is aaiiee’s proud and thematically rich paean to “Century 21”—otherwise known as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Additional “old Seattle” references (Boris S. Wort, Jones’ Fantastic Museum) complement this epic undertaking.
“See You in Seattle” presents twelve fun & finely wrought tributes to this halcyon era. We hope you enjoy the ride!
1. “Monorail” – The futuristic mode of transportation built for the Fair.
2. “Bubbleator” – The clear, spherical elevator that carried people into the “World of Tomorrow” exhibit in the Washington State Coliseum during the Fair. The lyrics actually describe the later incarnation of the Bubbleator in the Seattle Center Food Circus (now the “Center House”).
3. “World of Tomorrow” — Inspired by the “World of Tomorrow” exhibit, which combined an optimistic vision of the 21st century with the threat of nuclear annihilation.
4. “Space Needle USA” — The Space Needle was the Fair’s most visible symbol and centerpiece. Fifty years later, the 605-foot saucer-topped tower remains Seattle’s iconic landmark. This song begins with Eddie Carlson’s napkin sketch of a space-age tower, and captures the optimism and enthusiasm that accompanied the design and construction of the Needle.
5. “U.S. Science Pavilion” – A “tour,” if you like, of exhibits found at the U.S. Science Pavilion, a complex comprising several buildings and a big hit at the Fair. It was later renamed the Pacific Science Center.
6. “Johnny Vinyl Went to the World’s Fair When He Was 3” – Need we say more?
7. “Boris S Wort” – “The second meanest man in the world.” If you grew up in Seattle in the ‘60s and/or ‘70s, you know who this is. But for those not in the know, Boris S. Wort was the nemesis of J.P. Patches (very popular local kids’ TV show host), and this song will probably sound like a foreign language to you.
8. “Gayway” — The Gayway (later changed to “Fun Forest”) was the Fair’s midway, with rides and amusements. The song also delves into Show Street, the “adult” section of the Fair, which was near the Gayway. Show Street included attractions such as “A Night in Paradise,” Gracie Hansen’s Vegas-style showgirl revue, and “Les Pupees de Paris,” an adults-only puppet show produced by Sid & Marty Krofft (future masterminds of “H.R. Pufnstuf”).
9. “Northwest Trek” — A trip around the State of Washington.
10. “Dingwall & Spilhaus” — Ewen Dingwall oversaw and managed every aspect of the Fair, and was two-time director of the Seattle Center. Dr. Athelstan Frederick Spilhaus was Commissioner of the U.S. Science Pavilion.
11. “Polar Star Intro (Universal Love)” — This introduction is a spoken word piece from a record sold during the Fair. An extremely optimistic preview of the 21st Century, where technological advancements will lead to “no more wars” and “Universal Love.”
12. “Polar Star of Love” — Inspired by the “Universal Love” spoken word piece, this one features Lar’s supersonic love machine.
13. “Come to the Fair” — A bunch of things one might have seen at the Fair.
Aaiiee was formed in 1981 (shortly after Ronald Reagan took office) by Jeff Larson and Johnny Vinyl, who had previously performed together in the punk-pop band The Missing Link and the punk Cleavage (with Duff McKagan). Johnny also played with Radios (1979) and can be heard with The Macs on the “Seattle Syndrome I” compilation.
Eventually aaiiee recruited drummer Dave Shumate, who along with Scott Dittman and Al & Kurt Bloch made up the Cheaters, fixtures of the late ‘70s Seattle punk club The Bird. Soon after Dave joined, aaiiee discovered Craig Flory, who had been toiling in eastside cover bands and jazz fusion groups.
Aaiiee debuted at the UCT Hall in the summer of 1981 on a bill with the Fastbacks and U-Men (also their first gig). Initially, the name of the band consisted of a symbol (see above) and a pronunciation closely approximating a guttural scream. The name of the band confounded the press, who attempted phonetic spellings (Aieee…, Eeeegh, reHerrr, Unheiii!, EEEE) and descriptive names (No Name, and That Band that Uses a Symbol for Their Name). The name prompted one journalist to declare, “I will NOT draw that stupid symbol.” It should be noted that the band chose a symbol as their name long before Prince tried the same thing. Had he consulted with them first, they would have warned him of the commercial limitations of such a moniker.
Aaiiee’s early shows were usually with local punk bands, sharing the stage with Silly Killers, Fastbacks, U-Men, The Living, 3 Swimmers, Children of Kellogg, Gary Wilson, and more. Those who attended these shows were sometimes confused and even angered by music that went beyond “guitar, bass & drums.” Craig often alternated between cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and synthesizer in one set. Local publication The Rocket described their early songs as “hyperkinetic circus music” and “jaunty mini-marches.”
The current lineup of aaiiee is Jeff Larson, Johnny Vinyl, Brent Petty and Greg Stumph.
Brent took over the drum throne in 1991 after Dave left to attend school in California. He had previously played in Sway (with Kim Warnick), Nood Hood Bood & the Tiles, and reportedly taught U-Men drummer Charlie Ryan how to play his instrument.
Greg Stumph is “the new guy,” having joined aaiiee in 1992. (Craig Flory had taken leave, being in high demand for paying gigs.) Greg was added on second guitar after the band had performed as a three-piece for a while. He had previously played in The Crows, co-founded by former U-Men John Bigley and Charlie Ryan.