Monday, December 29, 2008


Seattle to Germany: We are Beard Pop

A German television station produced a 28 minute documentary about the music scene in Seattle. I think I speak for most of us when I say, "FINALLY!" And oh yeah, where's your German engineered local music scene documentary, Portland? Sure, plenty of Seattle rock stars are moving to Stumptown, and MTV even made a visit. But seriously Portland, what else do you have to offer besides rivers, shoe companies, affordable housing, good food, a burgeoning arts scene and Starfucker? The Germans obviously overlooked all that when they decided to make this half hour masterpiece about the Emerald City.

If you're using Windows 95 or have some other problem that prevents you from watching YouTube, here's a brief summary:

Weird Euro intro music, shots of water and rain. Iconic Seattle landmarks (read Space Needle). Cut to Grand Archives song. More shots of rain, beards, people looking hip. Mat Brooke lights a cigarette and walks into his bar. Whoa, you can't smoke indoors in Seattle! Mat slams some Jack Daniels. German guy starts explaining what Seattle is. Obligatory cut to "Smell Like Teen Spirit." "Our practice space definitely floods all the time. Maybe that rainwater seeps into the music." - Jesus, er Robin from Fleet Foxes. More Seattle musicians talk about the weather. Robin makes a joke about looking like a salmon fisherman. Cut to shots of ferries. Now the Germans reveal that Mat Brooke helped write and record Everything All The Time by Band of Horses, then freaked out and opened a bar. Cut to Grand Archives rehearsal. Whoa—the Grand Archives guitarist wraps his guitar pedals in cool scarves. Is this the next big trend? Commentary on how being indoors makes you more creative. Fleet Foxes smoke cigarettes outside of Neumos. Robin says he's going to die in Seattle. Holy shit, the Germans cut to Soundgarden. Then the Mudhoney guy says he was stoned back in the hey-day of Grunge. Robin doesn't really feel influenced by Nirvana, saying he was 8 years old. Cut to Sub Pop headquarters. Kurt Cobain wrote his address on a wall and they cut it out and framed it. Sub Pop lady talks about how it's important to acknowledge Northwest artists. Cut to crazy old Mudhoney clip. Mudhoney guy is the shipping clerk at Sup Pop. Holy full circle! Now Mudhoney guy is really freaking out. He says he heard that Robin of Fleet Foxes wants to get in touch with the roots of his parents' record collections. "I don't understand this generation at all" - Mudhoney guy in total disbelief. Now the Tiny Vipers chick tells us she kinda gets Kurt Cobain, but now he's dead. The Germans let the Tiny Vipers girl take them out into the woods... of course they did. Germans love girls in the woods. Tiny Vipers talks about spirits and ghosts in the woods. She makes a weird noise with her mouth, "coo chooch." Seriously, she's still in the woods talking about stuff. Spaces, dark, empty, I don't know... cut to Tiny Vipers playing guitar. Still in the woods. I can only imagine kids in Germany going nuts when they see a girl playing guitar in a lush forest, but this is totally bizarre to me. Cut to shot of Cafe Vita. Grand Archives guy makes another weather comment about Seattle. Now they are showing a Grand Archives practice sesh. Can't tell if the audio is them playing live or from their CD. Seems to be a mixture. One thing I am sure of though: the Germans did some tinkering here. Now they are talking about the Cha Cha Lounge. Name drop Modest Mouse, Murder City Devils, Tiny Vipers. Robin from Fleet Foxes. Now Robin talks about when he was 18—wasn't that like 3 years ago bro? How old are you anyway? Robin laments cool places being bulldozed for condos. Bummer. Cut to montage of coffee house shots. Show striped sweater bro with beard drinking coffee. Lonely H talks about beards and hair. These guys are like 15. Okay, I guess they are 18+. They haul their own gear into a van. Montage of Seattle scenes with Band of Horses in the background. Mat Brooke says his bar is like Cheers, Everybody Knows Your Name. Now they talk about softball. WTF?!?! Another Band of Horses song? I seriously don't understand what "Great Salt Lake" has to do with softball. Weird German juxtaposition. Okay, back to Fleet Foxes. Shot of Robin slapping a Sub Pop sticker on his guitar case. Now FF are playing onstage at Neumos. Mark Arm calls the new music "Grange." Cut to shots of Robin and Mat laughing about it. More of FF at Neumos. Now the concert is over and Robin and Skyler reflect. Wow, they loved it. Great crowd. Mat pronounces Grunge dead. Some dude says "110% heavy fucking metal. Metal to death." Mat lights cigarette and says "they couldn't have proved my point any better." Documentary fin.

Or just watch it for yourself:

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Even though they didn't interview Sharat, it's a pretty good documentary. Obviously a shot of S dot Reddy pounding a brew or two at Cha Cha would have brought this thing to the next level. Bro even speaks German! I would've loved a visit to the Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground house. Also, how could they not include (some band from Seattle that you really really love) in this documentary?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's Danish, not German. But all stereotypes still apply.

Anonymous said...

Starfucker rocks my world..the German's should have had their song " German Love " as the theme to documentary.

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