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Oct 7, 2005

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Volume 33
Issue 40

 
Monday, May 20, 2019 01:54
 

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the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Franz Ferdinand Central closes out with Franz Ferdinand's Metro bus ride, hanging out backstage before their Paramount show and telling Alex Kapranos to wear tighter pants; plus music trivia

What's Franz Ferdinand doing on my bus ride home?!

Did you know Franz Ferdinand rides the bus? Neither did I. But I found this out Thursday night when I was on my way home. At the bus stop on Pine, across from Bauhaus, a group of guys hop aboard the bus and the driver tries explaining to them that their transfer slips are good all night. My head is down and my eyes are closed because I'm dog-tired. But when I hear these guys' accents I look up and it's Franz fucking Ferdinand!! I'm like, "are you fucking kidding me?!"

I'd spoken to drummer Paul Thomson over the phone and we attempted to do a Part Two interview for this week's issue, but it didn't quite work out. I introduced myself to him, and he invited me to join him and the rest of the band at the back of the bus. I go back there and meet the entire band. They had just eaten at Bimbo's and were on their way to the Crocodile Café. Lead singer Alex Kapranos asked me if there was a place to eat unusual food. I'm not sure what he means, and quite frankly I am too busy checking him out, so I dodge the question. As we near 3rd Avenue, I give them directions to the Crocodile and say that I'd be seeing them Saturday night. They were the coolest, nicest guys ever and so laid back. Guitarist Nick McCarthy wore a military-style jacket with his name imprinted on the chest. One of them asked me what my weekend plans were, and before I could answer Nick says, "He's coming to our show, of course!" Of course.

Hanging out in Franz Ferdinand's dressing room and telling Alex Kapranos to put on tighter pants

It's Saturday evening and I'm lazy, perhaps still hung over from the night before, and I'm taking a bus from the Seattle Gay News offices to Dragonfish to meet a dear friend who has planned a night on the town especially for me in celebration of my recent birthday. Franz Ferdinand's publicist sent me tickets for tonight's show, but I found someone to trade tickets with so I could attend tomorrow night's concert instead. I get off the bus by the Paramount Theatre and Alex Kapranos is walking in front of me. I say, "Hey, don't you have a show to get ready for?" Apparently, he has to go back to the hotel for something. He says, "You're coming tonight, aren't you?" I couldn't really tell him that I gave my tickets to someone else. So I say, "I don't have tickets, I didn't get on the list". He pulls out his cell phone and asks, "Plus one?" and I'm like, "Yeah!". Now I'm on the band's guest list for tonight's show. I invite Alex to go out to a couple of Gay bars after tonight's concert and he replies, "Yeah, yeah. I'd like that".

A half-hour after I bumped into Alex on the street, I bump into him again on the second floor of their hotel. I'm having drinks with my friend at Dragonfish and go up to use the restroom. This time, Alex is with bassist Bob Hardy. Alex is wearing a funny hat and asks me if I like it. I say yes, even though it looks a bit odd on him. I ask if he is ready to go on stage with what he has on - jeans, shirt and his funky hat. He says yes, but asks me if he looks alright. I look him up and down and say, "You could stand to wear tighter pants". He says that he actually has a pair of tighter pants in his room. The three of us ride the elevator down to the lobby and I excuse myself back to the bar, and they leave the hotel to go back to the Paramount Theatre.

At 8:00, my friend and I meet Franz Ferdinand's manager in the theatre lobby and he escorts us backstage where Paul and Bob are sitting on a couch and drinking beer. My friend and the band's manager know each other from before, so they catch up while I help myself to a bottle of Heineken and try on Bob's hat. Alex is back at the hotel and Nick is nowhere to be found. Bob tells me that there's a Jacuzzi tub in their bathroom and tells me to check it out. So I do, and suggest we use it after the show. That idea didn't quite pan out for me. I meet Andy, a touring partner of the band. Within minutes, the guys excuse themselves to catch TV on the Radio's set and my friend and I are all alone in Franz Ferdinand's dressing room! We escort ourselves out. After the show, I call their manager to see if we could take the band out for drinks on Capitol Hill, but no dice. Perhaps they are saving their energy for the next day and night. Perhaps not.

Franz Ferdinand gives killer performances at 107.7 The End's 'End Sessions'

Hung over again, I call my friend Tommy (Hedrick from Manray) on Sunday morning and ask him to pick me up for a Franz Ferdinand VIP performance sponsored by 107.7 The End. It's raining and freezing when we arrive at the secret location on Dexter Avenue. We are forced to wait in the cold rain for nearly 40 minutes, but it is worth every second. We are taken inside a small recording studio and situated in a space about the size of a large living room. There are less than 50 of us there. Ten minutes later, in walks Franz Ferdinand. They tear into "Do You Want To" from their just-released CD You Could Have It So Much Better. It sounds amazing! In such a tight, intimate space, you can hear the fingers sliding on their guitars. Nick has this cute side-to-side move he does while he plays guitar. The second song they do is "The Fallen", and again the sound is impeccable. Alex really gets into the tune, punching a fist in the air and growling out the lyrics. And he looks smoking hot in tight jeans and a body-clinging yellow T-shirt!

The group takes a mini-break and allows The End DJ Jennifer White, a total babe by the way, to ask questions supplied by EndSession attendees. We find out that Nick's parents met on Alki Beach, right here in Seattle, where he jollily took himself on a bike ride. We find out that The Beatles and Queen are who Bob would listen to if he could only pick two groups to hear music by for the rest of his life. We find out that the first concert Alex ever went to was Huey Lewis & the News. Paul's first show was Iron Maiden. Nick's was Bad Religion and Bob's was some obscure rock group from the UK. Then it's back to the music. Franz Ferdinand performs a slamming version, the best I've ever heard them do, of "Take Me Out". It is mindblowing! To download it, go to www.107theend.com. You'll hear Alex crack up at the beginning of the song, and that's because there's an inside joke with this being Bob's favorite song and the fact they've played it so many times now. You can also download "Do You Want To" on The End's website. Afterwards, the band signs autographs and I ask Alex if he changed his pants last night and he says, with a sexy smile, "Yes, I did!" Ahhh&priceless!! I swear, Franz Ferdinand is the fucking coolest band on earth. Best wishes Franz Ferdinand! Next time, we're getting into that Jacuzzi.

WIN AN EASY STREET RECORDS GIFT CERTIFICATE

Answer the question below and send in your answer via email or postal mail to win a $20 gift certificate good for merchandise at any Easy Street Records store. Our gift certificate giveaway continues for the next four weeks.

Q: If you stop by R Place on a Friday or Saturday night, what kind of music are you most likely to hear?

Email your answer to sgnmusic@yahoo.com or mail it to: Seattle Gay News, Attn: Music Trivia Answer, 1605 12th Ave., Seattle, WA, 98122. Include an email address and/or evening phone number. No drop-offs or phone calls. Entries for this week's music trivia contest must be received by Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 pm. We will draw one winner from all correct entries at 6:00 pm that same evening. The winner will be notified by email or phone. One entry per person please.

Answer from two weeks ago: Franz Ferdinand was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2004, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Short Music Video.
 

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