Newsletter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS)





Vol VII Issue VI

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Take Back An Evening – Take In a Show at the Crocodile

By Karen Estlund
In a city of sales tax and metropolitan prices, there is one Seattle experience that is worth the price – and it’s reasonably affordable at that: the music scene.

On an ordinary Thursday evening in November when I really needed a break, some friends and I went to see the Decemberists, a Portland based band, at the Crocodile Café in Downtown Seattle. The Crocodile Café opened in the early 90’s when Seattle was the center of the music scene for most of the country. A little over a decade later, it is still a hot spot for up and coming bands.

The Crocodile includes a bar, café, and intimate stage. The stage is situated behind the bar and café in an appropriately darkened room. The room is decorated with snakes and other jungle creatures hanging from the ceiling. In the light, the creatures, which look as though they are made of papier-mâché, give the room the aura of a nursery school. Once the lights are dimmed, they become a subtle accent to the café’s theme.

Like most clubs, the room’s atmosphere was quickly filled with second hand smoke. Kristen Shuyler, fellow iSchool student, remarked that on an occasion at the Crocodile “the room seemed to lack enough air for all the bodies in it.”

There are also few places for people to sit, and at this show, those occupying these seats chose to stand on them. Since standing is the best way to enjoy the show, this is not a huge problem. (Just don’t go when you’re tired.)

The opening act was Laura Veirs, a local Seattle artist. Her music encompassed a middle school melancholy laced with nautical themes. Veirs’ set was plagued by an erratic sound system that produced unstable volume. The problems with the sound system ceased with the second act, Earlimart.

When the Decemberists took the stage, the population of the room doubled. The Decemberists’ music is layered and melodic. The band includes an accordion, steel guitar, and string bass, in addition to ordinary rock instruments. Their performance outdid any of my expectations from listening to their CD. The audience also really got into the performance, which for a Northwest crowd meant that people moved nearly as much as a buoy on calm water.

We arrived home at about 1:30 am. Was I tired? Yes. Did I smell like smoke? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell, yeah!

So, for less than the price of seeing a movie, take in a show at the Crocodile Café and practice your buoy movements.