What a Croc

Posted by Brandon |

I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the band The Long Winters one night at the Crocodile Cafe.

It was just John Roderick and Sean Nelson with an acoustic guitar and some kind of percussion on stage playing a handful of songs off of their first album, When I Pretend To Fall as openers for They Might Be Giants. In the middle of the song It'll Be a Breeze, Roderick sang with the utmost sincerity the lyric "I am a tree, build a nest in my hair". I heard the line loud and clear and thought it was pretty lame and I smiled, but I let it go. Death? also heard the line loud and clear but immediately let out a big, strong laugh that pierced the semi-silence.

As soon as the song ended, both Long Winters looked at each other and I think it was Roderick who said with a bewildered look on his face, "that song wasn't intended to be funny." We both snickered because it was clear that he was not happy at all with her laugh, she had just insulted his pretty (crappy) poetry. Intended or not, that line was funny because of the seriousness in which it was delivered. Sometimes it's fun to laugh at "Artistes".

Today, the Crocodile Cafe, the great Seattle music institution that was small and intimate enough to facilitate this anecdote and many, many others for many, many people, closed it's doors. It's just another sad and disheartening day for those of us who love old Seattle.

Chances are, the Croc will be back, hopefully this is just temporary. But would it really surprise anybody if this truly is the future of the Croc?

Photo by Flickr user TPLY.


Whit said...

Shit. We went there to see Mason Jennings when my wife was 8-months pregnant. Jennings sings the greatest song ever in regard to pregnancy and we went and sat in that smoky bar in that one booth in the back corner with some other really pregnant woman.

The Decembrists opened. It was awesome.

I hope it comes back strong.

Jesse said...

Crappy poetry? Sure, I can see that. However, I have a hard time believing that he was that offended by it. The John Roderick I know would have laughed it off and sent shit right back at you. It must have been an off night.

frogger said...

Yeah, I'm guessing Roderick's "not supposed to be funny" mock-hurt was over the head of this blogger. Snickering at one (out of context) lyric is some real freshman-class music journalism.

Brandon said...

I'm telling you, they were clearly taken aback by the laugh. It was not mock-hurt. They got over it quick, they were fine. But at the time, he was most definitely surprised to hear laughter at that moment.

Neither of us were trying to make a statement about their music, in fact, I liked their set for the most part and I'm a mild Long Winters fan today. We just both thought the line was A) supposed to be funny and B) funny because he sang it so seriously.

One has to admit, that's a pretty funny line taken out of context. Hell, even in context it's a pretty funny line.

Replicant said...

Hate to hear that. I saw some good shows there.

I've heard similar tales about Sean Nelson when I lived up there so that doesn't surprise me.