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.