Monday, April 20, 2009

I have joined Pandi's team, it seems

Pandi & The Sunnyside, one of the bands I liked so much the other night on my Poetry Scores scouting mission in Seattle, has posted up a video of their performance that night at Conor Byrne Pub.

It's posted on Pandi's personal MySpace page. If you want to see what you missed, just pause the music player that pops up when the page loads and play the top video loaded in the "Band Members" field. (The one where Pandi is wearing a dress that looks like gorgeous Victorian drapes.) The song is titled "Camera," which makes sense for a band that calls to mind Camera Obscura.

I don't believe you can see me, sitting contentedly, drinking delicious local beer in the company of the brain trust of the Asian American Journalists Association. Pandi, I was told, teaches kindergarten to the child of the national treasurer of said association, who did not herself appear to be Asian American.

Nor, at this unfortunate time in our profession, is she a working journalist. She had been breaking news editor for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which bit the dust in its print version almost exactly one month ago.

The breaking news editor with whom I enjoyed the show, Candace Heckman, added color to the paper's own report on the end of the print road.

The Seattle P-I's staff has been in limbo for two months. After the closure announcement, breaking news editor Candace Heckman pulled bottles of Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey, Wild Turkey bourbon and George Dickel Tennessee Whisky out of a bag and set them out at her desk.

"I'd been saving that for a while," she said. She'd just sent a "farewell" e-mail to the staff that said, "Come by the city desk for a drink: bring your own glass."
I sat with a number of P-I veterans that night. I noticed they tended to say they had been "laid off" rather than had their jobs vanish into thin air out from under them. I can't blame them. After all, they did work for an 146-year old newspaper that was Seattle's oldest business.

Speaking of business, Pandi is on it. Having read my blogpost about the show that night, she reached out to me and asked me to join her "team" in asking the programming director of Folklife 2009 to get Pandi and her band off the waiting list and onto the gig.

"THIS IS MY YEAR to play," Pandi urged. That sounded determined. So I did my bit to help the team, writing the following note to The Folklife Man:

Hi. This past weekend I saw Pandi & The Sunnyside at Conor Byrne Pub. I liked them along with the whole bill and did a blogpost on the night.

Pandi herself was working to get her band into Folklife 2009. So though I do not live in Seattle (I live in St. Louis) and I don't have a detailed sense of your local scene, I have been playing and writing about music for twenty years (my band Eleanor Roosevelt has received a modest amount of exposure in the folk rock vein) and The Sunnyside certainly seem like a band worth showcasing.

Certainly, if they were in the festival, it would be added incentive for me to return to your beautiful city for the event. Either way, please add me to your mailing list for future announcements. Maybe I'll see you in Seattle.

Sketch of Pandi from her MySpace page. "Some guy drew this of me on a napkin," she notes ... "kinda creepy, kinda cool."

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