Saturday, September 17, 2005

09.17.05 Train Tour: Well I Went To School in Olympia, and Everyone’s the Same (or something like that)

All I really knew about Olympia before I arrived was the above line from a Hole song, which as I recall, didn’t have the most flattering things to say about the town. I also knew that bands like Hole had come out of the area, and that Olympia had been a hub of the Riot-grrl movement that I so admired in high school. (I was never a huge Hole fan but I did make my high school sweetheart wear a Hole shirt to the prom under his tuxedo jacket because it matched his pink hair ;)

At any rate, I was really excited to show my underground-music-movie in an underground-music-loving town, and my enthusiasm was met equally by the 75-or-so people in the crowd at the awesome Capitol Theatre. Just as I had hoped, Olympia rocked!
(Rad Volunteer Staff at the Capitol Theatre)

The Capitol Theatre is a funky old single screen movie house, sort of a mix of the grandeur of the Castro with the hip factor of the Roxie, for you San Franciscans out there. It’s almost entirely volunteer run which means that the folks there REALLY love movies and that always helps.

One of the small miracles that happens “on the road” happened in Olympia. Since I didn’t really know anyone in town, I was planning on staying in a hotel. This was a bummer, of course, as that would have pretty much eaten up any money that came in from the show. I was saved by an email that I received the night before I left SF. The email came from a gentleman named Arrington de Dionyso, an avante-garde jazz and rock musician/performance artist, who had recently played in Israel at one of the Tel Aviv clubs featured in the documentary, and was hosted while there by one of the band members from Punkache. Though he is touring for much of the year, Arrington happens to be in Olympia now and he offered to host me. He is the only other American I have met who has been to the Patiphone club, let alone performed there, so it was really special for me to have him at the screening and to get to hang out with him (and his adorable daughter) a bit.
(Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijun)

Olympia as a city has the vibrancy that I felt was lacking in Eugene, and its location on the shores of the Puget Sound adds to its physical beauty. The people I met were awesome, too. Lon, who helped set up the show and promoted the heck out of it (you rock, Lon!), arranged a dinner with Helen from the Olympia Film Society, and his son Sasha and Sasha’s friend Gus and my host Arrington and his daughter and everyone was so cool, So you mix good people and a good city and a good screening and it’s pretty much a recipe for good times!
(Instruments at Arrington & Allison's place)

P.S. Train ride between Olympia and Seattle, along the water, absolutely fucking gorgeous!

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