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2000 - Concert Dates

2000-01-21 The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA


The Minus Five: Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, John Ramberg, Bill Rieflin, Chris Ballew, John Wesley Harding (on Boeing Spacearium) and Kurt Block (on Find A Finger).
2000-02-18 Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA

Poster / Photo - Subset

Subset photo by Vince Gipson -



2000-02-19 [SUbSET] Rocksport Bar & Grill, Seattle, WA




Baby's got band: Subset, the Sir Mix-a-Lot . meets the Presidents project, mixes rock and rap at West Seattle's Rocksport on Saturday (9:30 p.m., $12).


Since my friend's and I figured this show would be packed, we decided to arrive at the Rocksport very early and make sure we had a decent place in line. The doors were supposed to open at 8:00, so we got there at about 6:00 and sat at the bar for a few beers. Subset was in the process of doing a soundcheck, so we got the benefit of hearing a lot of the little silliness that the former Presidents and Mix bring to the stage. Favorite quote from the soundcheck: Mix went up for about 1 minute, sang a couple lyrics, and then said, "Sound good, I'm going back to my chicken wings!"

Incredible bonus-all the former Presidents were wandering around the club at this time. Dave walked by, saw my shirt (Subset bomb t), and said, "Nice shirt!" One of my friends even commandeered one of the Subset promo posters and invited Chris over to sign it. We ended up talking for about five minutes (my friend's last name is Belyeu, pronounced "Ballew", so those two talked a bit about genealogy for a bit, of all things-apparently Chris' dad is really into that). Chris also talked about the upcoming tour, and the release of a full Subset album after the tour (not an EP, as was the original plan). When Chris mentioned my t-shirt, and told him that I'd been looking for a Quitters' t-shirt, but had been unable to find one. He just said, "That's because there aren't any yet." No new hints there. I thought about leaving at this point-I mean, I finally met Chris Ballew! The evening couldn't get any better.

We went out to get in line at about 7:30, and were pretty close to the front. At about 8:00, the line was around the first corner, and they started to let people in. The opening act, Peepshow, was supposed to start at 9:30, but it was more like 10:45 when they finally hit the stage. Music is a lot about personal preference, but these guys really are not good. They play some sort of glam-alternative-hard rock, and I have NO idea why they've opened for Subset twice now. Someone in Subset must owe Peepshow a favor or something.

But on to the main attraction. Subset got on stage at about midnight, and started with "Something Wicked This Way Comes" as usual. They seemed to play a little different set order, and put most of their fast-paced songs up front-"Beach Rats," "Skinnin' and Grinnin," and "Farmer John" were all in the first 5-6 songs. The crowd was definitely into the band, and they even had someone crowd surfing during "Beach Rats." After the initial songs, they went a little more mellow, with "What the Hell," "What Can I Lick," "Blood From the Stone," and "She Wants You." Mix previewed "Blood From the Stone" with, "This song is about the IRS. Those guys put about 13 inches into Mix." They were a couple more songs in there, but none were new, and keep in mind I'd been drinking since 10:30 a.m. at this point (Duke basketball game on TV-my other obsession), so things are a bit foggy. They finished up with "Cruisin'," and "Get on Up," their little tribute to ZZ Top (starts off with the guitar riff from "La Grange").

Unfortunately, the crowd did not go crazy enough to get them to come back out for an encore-the first Subset show where there wasn't one. Probably partially due to the West Seattle location (definitely not as rowdy as downtown or Belltown), but it also may have partially been the LONG wait for Subset. Most of the people had been there for over 4 hours before Subset even started playing, and waiting forever for the opening act didn't help.

That's it for this show. Stay tuned for another update after the March 15th Fenix Aboveground concert.
--Mike Peterson
2000-03-15 KNDD 107.7, Seattle, WA

Sir Mix-a-Lot made an appearance on Seattle radio station KNDD 107.7 on the 15th of this month. He explained that after the tour Subset will be putting out a single (presumably "Addicted To The Fame" with as Chris mentioned before). This single will be to promote the album which is... as they say... coming soon. There are also plans for there to be a second single after the album is released.

Lucky early morning listeners were treated to a rare playing of a Subset track, freshly cut for the album. "Ribby Rib".

2000-03-15 [SUbSET] Fenix Underground, Seattle, WA




Subset - Sir Mix-a-Lot posse-ing up with the Presidents of the United States Presidents of the United States - raps and rocks at the Fenix on Wednesday (10 p.m., $15 advance). Sir and friends then take their catchy songs and funny show off on a tour.


Presidents, Mix-a-Lot Kick Off Subset Tour

SEATTLE — The emblematic moment came halfway through the set, when Chris Ballew and Sir Mix-a-Lot wondered aloud whether anyone was old enough to remember a band from another era. Bassist Ballew, guitarist Dave Dederer, and drummer Jason Finn then launched into the familiar riff of Devo's "Girl U Want." Sir Mix-a-Lot covering Devo? Welcome to the world of Subset.

Subset, the Emerald City pop-rap collaboration between Sir Mix-a-Lot and the former Presidents of the United States of America, kicked off a West Coast tour at the Fenix last week. Following an opening set from The Briefs, Ballew, Dederer, and Finn took the stage and warmed up. Finally, Mix made his entrance, presenting himself in white nylon and sneering at the audience. The band kicked off with "Something Wicked This Way Comes," appropriately highlighting its strengths: a tight funky rhythm section, textural guitar, and superb raps. But it also highlighted Subset's problem: what to do with Mike Singleton. Singleton, a second rapper-backup singer, seemed out of place on stage throughout the evening, despite the quality of his performance. It seemed as though the group hadn't decided if he's really part of the band or not.

The entire set, however, was rocking, and the crowd was with Subset all the way. Without the string-challenged instrument of the Presidents, the trio is actually quite funky, with Ballew's four-string bass meshing seamlessly with Finn's heavy funk drumming. Dederer's guitar, however, is the most improved element from the Presidents days, much more textural and spare. He left more space in the music, opening up the songs and intensifying their effect.

Highlights of the 90-minute set included "Addicted to the Fame," which included Mix's best raps of the night, and "What Can I Lick," which featured some impromptu onstage dancers getting nasty. This was also one of the three times during the set that saw Ballew playing organ while Dederer took over on bass. Another highlight was "Farmer John," a funky rock number which jarred to a halt for a finger-pickin' country guitar break, leading into a heavy-rock chorus. This is both Subset's musical strength and weakness: It is inclusive. The music goes joyfully from style to style, and the band's energy makes for a riveting show, but on opening night, there was something out of joint.

The encores began with "Movie Clip," a straight-ahead rocker, followed by the introduction of a new song Sir Mix-a-Lot had "just written" the night before. It turned out to be a new version of his classic "Baby Got Back," which elicited the most enthusiastic cheers of the night. To this critic's ears, however, the performance seemed a little craven, feeling less like a joyful new project and more like one-time stars out to reclaim their former glory. Still, the bulk of this overwhelmingly white audience made it clear that they disagree on this point. — Mark Lovre
2000-03-16 [SUbSET] Club 97, Bend, OR

Something Wicked / Farmer John / Cruisin' / What Can I Lick / Beach Rats / Girl U Want (Devo cover) / Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-A-Lot)

Incomplete setlist


Wednesday night, I was working and leafing through the sports section of the Bend, Bulletin. Probably the lamest paper on the west coast, but what can ya do? Anyways, I saw the add for Sir Mix-A-Lot and PUSA...I didn't have to work the next night, so I was free. Didn't wanna go by myself, but a couple friends pulled out at the last minute, and I was going by myself to Club 97...a cool little club in Bend, Oregon. Bought my ticket for 15 bucks, went in, drank some overpriced Zima...listened to the oldschool rap that was playing over the clubs system. 'Baby Got Back' was played, and people went crazy. I was getting pumped, I figured I'd hear some good ole PUSA songs, and a few cool Mix songs.

PUSA came out first, I got up from the bar and walked onto the dance floor, Chris got on the mic and demanded everyone come up front on the dance floor. So we gathered round the stage, as they did a little 'What the hell are we doing on the stage with Sir Mix-A-Lot' routines, and got the crowd ready. I saw Mix walking around on the side, dressed like a pimp, they kicked into Something Wicked, as Mix walked out, crowd went nuts. About 400 people there, around 150 gathered around the stage area/dance floor. For the venue, I thought it was a fine turnout. Anyways, when Mix started rapping, I was rushed back into the early 90's, and it was just, quite cool. The catchy chorus got the crowd going, and they rushed through the first few was great.

I noticed a white guy with short, dark hair bouncing around, doing background vocals. I had no clue who he was, but when he had the chance to sing lead, he sounded quite awesome. I have no idea who this guy is, but he seemed like a pretty cool edition to Subset. Farmer John, Cruisin', What Can I Lick....Beach Rats...those songs stand out in my mind. Lot of crowd participation. They sang a Devo track, something about girls...that was way cool, a lot of slam dancing, a mosh was broken up, but it was getting kinda cool...and some unfortunate souls did some body surfing. Mostly everyone was drunk...

During one of the songs, some somewhat good looking girl hopped up on stage, Mix waved security away, and she spent her time dancing with Mix and Chris....who was behind a keyboard, we couldn't see where her hands were, but judging from his facial expressions, and Mix looking over at him every now and then and laughing...he was getting quite a show. Poor guy.

They announced last song, a chorus of 'Nooooooooo' went out, and when they where through and took a lot of coaxing to get them to come back. Probably 5 minutes of mindless yelling, I damn near lost my hearing. Mix came back, paused by the keyboard, and hit a few notes, breaking into Baby Got Back. PUSA came back on, provided some guitar riffs and heavy bass, and it was way hectic in the crowd. The chick jumped up on stage again, started shaking her 'back'...others followed her. One blonde, with an ammmmmmazing ass, hopped up, and had everybody's attention throughout the rest of the song. Mix even paused a few times, asking her to 'do that again'...she could really move it. With the amount of girls up there shaking around, I thought I was in Mix's video for a second. It was awesome, the version was a good 8 minutes long, and they left for good after that...Chris saying over the mic, 'You guys really surprised us tonight, thanks again'....which was his way of say! ing we wern't a bunch of hicks, and that they didn't expect that kind of crowd reaction. That was fairly genuine, not one of those generic band things that are said to keep the crowd happy...since he said it kinda low and was on his way off stage. That made me happy. The MC came back on the stage, some radio guy, promoted the Tone Loc concert in a few weeks, and thanked us for coming out.

I went over, bought a bitchin' Subset t-shirt for ten bucks, and danced the rest of the night away on the floor, in a drunken stupor. If you read this, and your debating on going to a Subset show...quit thinking about it and GO. You'll have a great time. They made me a fan, not once did I think about 'Peaches' or 'Dune Buggy'...they came out with some fresh tunes, I had a little ache for some all-PUSA vocals during Farmer John, where they had some vocals (and great voice), but I got my fill, and if they churn out an album, it's as good as mine.

Chris Salmon
2000-03-18 [SUbSET] Roseland Theater, Portland, OR



Perhaps my best concert going moment to date was at a Subset show. Subset was a combination of Presidents of the United States of America and Sir Mix-A-Lot. The set itself was so-so, the encore, however, KILLED.

Imagine, if you will, The Roseland in rainy and oh so ethnically diverse Portland, Oregon. The place is 1/2 full with either Presidents fans or Mix fans with a few stragglers who have come to see the spectacle, almost all of whom are white.

The Presidents tear into Baby Got Back as soon as they hit the stage, and Mix starts rapping. All of a sudden this extremely hot girl hops up on stage past security and starts shaking her nice big butt for the boys. Chris Ballew and Mix are so in awe of this girl that they just sit down on the drum riser and let her show off her stuff for about 10 minutes while the baseline and drums continue (Chris playing his two string best he can). She gives them both kisses on the cheek, hops back off stage, they pick their jaws up off the floor, and continue the song right where they'd left off.

velacroix (July 17, 2003)
2000-03-20 [SUbSET] House of Blues, W. Hollywood, CA



Wow! My first time seeing the presidents in action, and it was incredible. There have been a lot of mixed reactions in here about Subset, so I figure I should compare how I felt about them before and after seeing this.

Before: Going into the concert I was really really really hoping that I would be blown away, but I had big doubts, especially with some recent postings. I had listened to all available mp3's and the pain in the grass real audio. Only a select few of rap songs I can proclaim good music ("I wish" by Skee-low & "No Digity" Blackstreet) and Mix seemed to be doing some generic stuff. However, if your like me, you could still pick up some pusa touches here and there. My overall impression was that Mix is dominating the group, but I kept feeling the presidents had a groove going in the background just waiting to bust out. Subset was a group I like because the presidents were IN IT. I hoped the songs I had not heard yet would give me a reason to like Subset besides that.

The Concert: Despite my uncertainties, I was pumped and, wanted so bad to get the most out of the night. Well, got there around 7:30 right as opening act was starting. Damn! Missed my chance to talk to the band before hand. Ah well, I just sat through the band (Beyond Control) in anticipation for Subset. I got frustrated everytime they played another song. Looking back, they weren't bad, especially given that two of the three were 13 and 14. Oh yeah, durring their set, I saw these professional looking guys tapping it with a top notch camera. I asked them if they were doing subset as well, but they said no. BASTARDS! Oh well, I tried. No boot from me either btw. Ok, around 8:40, the lights dimmed, and it was showtime.

Something Wicked- Dave kicked out the bassline to this one from behind the curtain. Damn, no lowrider intro! That was my absolute favorite part of the pain in the grass. Curtain rises, theres Chris! And Dave! Theres Mix! Theres Jason! Theres...... some other skinny ass african american with another mic? WTF? Who the hell is this? I couldn't figure it out the whole concert, but at one point Chris referred to him as "out of sight Mike?" Ummm, ok. Whatever. Someone want to ask about this? Anyways, aside from this curious predicament, the song was great. Much better than the studio MP3 version. The pace is fast, the bass line is tough, right before the chorus Mix and the presidents retort back and forth Something- Wicked- Something- Wicked! Great build up for the chorus, which sounds much better when Mix aint screaming so high!

Beach Rats- Mix opens this by talking about being in Santa Barbara earlier, and telling about what he saw. This song was my favorite mp3, cause I thought the presidents shined the most (especially at the end of the song) At the concert, they just rushed through all the parts dave rocks on guitar. Give our guys more time to rock. Mix really overshadowed in this one, and "Mike" when he kept chiming in.

Addicted to the Fame- Mix talks about his past addiction, which obviously aint crack. Wow, I think to myself, all three of the ones I know right away, I expect the rest of the concert to pick up after this. Not much to say about this one. Mix asks Chris what hes addicted to, and he replies Fayyeyyeyeyeame, and thats about all there is to this song. I know its supposed to be their theme, but its not one that would sell me on this band. The chorus is pretty cool, actually, thats about it.

Just a Girl- Hurray! Chris is talking to us! "hey everyone give me a D.. give me an E... V... O... whats that spell? (Its devo for those of you who have trouble putting letters togethor) This got quite a pop from the crowd. Being 17, I was never big on Devo, just zip it, and thats about it. However, the song was cool, upbeat, and gave the crowd something to sing along too. Probably why they decided to do it so early.

What the Hell- Chris goes to keyboards, Dave takes bass, and Mix talks about waking up next to some dog in bed after being drunk. This song was a little slower, and I suppose the devo energy wore off pretty fast. Chris asked the audience to sing along by repeating "what the hell am I doing here" which I screamed out and hoped others were too. But when they stopped playing the music and held the mike out to us, uh oh! Bad idea. Chris shouts out, come on LA. Finally mix goes, I guess they need the music. "Crap," I thought, how will we get any encore. I don't think it helped that Mike was neither "Out of sight Mike nor Out of Mind." He had quite a bit of SOLO TIME on this one! Beyatch!

Next Chris talked about doing some oldy from 1957. Cool, I thought. Recognized the bassline, but couldn't put a name to the song. The lyrics weren't helping either, obviously they had changed the words (I think) cause I had no clue what mix was saying) Nice rock beat to it though. This is the only song I didn't get the name of (guess thats what happens when your underage and dont get drunk by the second song! haha, no offense. In three and a half years Ill be doin it too)

Blood from a stone- Now mix is complaining about a run in with the IRS! I know that one. This one really begins to shine when Chris sings the chorus. Its not just a repetative bassline either. I like this one.

She wants you...- I think that's what its called. Pretty funny one, the sceam out the title, if thats what its called, then Mix goes up way high and chirps something about spitting on her. It seemed annoying at first, but by the end I liked it. That part was even something I played in my head today. Cool!

Skinnin and Grinnin- Mix asks who's got alcohal tonight. Three people raise their glasses in the air. Shit, we are screwed, kiss any chance of encore goodbye. I had forgotten about this song, it was nice to hear it again. I like the chorus in this one too. Notice a trend? They are the best parts about these songs. At one point Jason "falls asleep on the drums" and Mix wakes him up.

Farmer John- First time I heard this song, and it immediately became on of my favorites. Soft country sounding baseline, with Chris singing a bunch of solo parts. "and Farmer John....Im in love with your daughter" Mix, "which one" The oneeeeeeeeeeee. with the lemon toe!" Then an awsome chorus to this one as well. Seriously, this one rocked. ( I like the way you walk, the way you talk, she wiggle when she walk) I dunno, it was something like that. The words have been slipping, but the sounds are still blasting in my head. This is better than anything I have heard yet, and was one of two songs I took away really remembering.

We cant stop- Dont remember hardly anything about this one at all, so I will take some time to talk about what else was going on. Nice, big crowd, but not packed. I sat about 6 ft from the stage. Chris e dressed the nicest with a button shirt, and a regular stringed guitar with the word COW on it. Bubba cow? nah! Dave had bleached hair, Man is he skinny! He looked allright with a tshirt, jeans and a belt. Jason was covered by his drums, but I can tell he has short hair. Mix had on a rebok shirt if you CARE which you probably dont, but I remembered it so I thought I would share it.

What can I lick- Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. The song that sold me on Subset. Chris goes back to keyboards, and Dave on Bass. Its much slower paced, not like anything I heard before. Maybe thats why I like it. The opening had soothing mellow grooving feel, seemed like I knew it already. Chris does some great stuff on the keyboard! He has a ton of time on this one to show off, and it was awsome. See, when Mix shuts up, the presidents need more time to make use of their incredible fill in talents. But it was the Chorus (surprise!) that is what has been playing heavily in my head since the concert ended. "what can I lick to make you feel better? What can I lick to make it real? What can I lick to make you feel better? What can I lick to make it real?" My typing cant do that justice. You can read that in a million different ways, but let me tell you it just flows! My favorite song by far. Any cd they release with this song is worth buying it for me.

Ribby Rib- At this time I shout out ribby rib, and weather they hear me or not, Mix announce hes gonna teach us about evolution. Dave starts it off on guitar, Chris follows with those classic vocals. Its different then Casper, but not in a bad way. Then Mix comes in, and I feel that it really loses a lot. The chorus still holds it togethor, especialy the shouting out of "Together Now"

Baby got Back- Mix starts talking about should they stop, and without waiting for the crowd to say something, Chris says, "I think we got one more song. Mix, why dont we just make one up" Mix then goes over to the keyboard, hits a few keys, then eventually pounds out the bassline to baby got back. Well the crowd freaks, and they are suddenly LOUD! well, its about time. I must admit, I know the song was huge, but I never memorized more than a few of the words, so I just watched the crowd on this one.

Lets go Cruisen- Time to packe up.... Uh, maybe not... The crowd actually is holding up their hands chanting one more song, one more song. Allright, this one was pretty generic with the earlier stuff in the concert. I dont remember much more than that. Had some rock out parts to it. Afterward, Chris reminded everyone they are called subset, and said confidently "We'll be back. Definately be back" Hmmmm, interesting. I dont know if I buy that though.

The curtains close, and dont open again. (at least I hope not, cause I wanted to stay longer but my ride was leaving) I bot a Black subset T, with SUB on top, SET in the middle, and A stick of dynamite on the bottom. Nothing on the back. Only bought one, sorry ;)

After- My final impressions are that Subset actually has some good songs, and just need to release an album. I know if I and everyone else had been familiar with the songs, the energy level would have gone way up, and not rely on Chris and Dave jumping up and down to get going. I also think that some songs need more solo/instrumental time, they should include the lowrider intro, and get rid of that Mike guy ( he really looked ridiculous, and no one knew why he was there). Afterward I heard people with mediocre things to say about the band. Most seemed to be fans of the presidents, but their were definately some Mix along followers there. It was interesting to hear comments from the unbiased. In the end, I had a blast, and would love to do it again. Like with all presidents stuff I have had, the more you listent to it, the better it gets. Probably why you seattle people have shows that seem to get better and better. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this, and that you are really envious of me.

Ben Gurner

2000-03-22 [SUbSET] Nicholby's, Ventura, CA


2000-03-23 [SUbSET] Galaxy Theater, Santa Ana, CA



Punched in the face and loving it. Man, they rock. Too bad the promotion for the tour positioned this as PUSA concert. They didn't play one song, so the kids were not sure how to react. A lot of the younger generation rarely venture out to see someone they don't know. But soon Subset was pounding into everyone's head that this is the freshest rock/rap combo out there. They are clean, sharp like a razor and shift beats just like they did as PUSA - but with 10x the power. Sir Mix-a-Lot grabs the lyrics by the throat and tosses them out like a popcorn machine out of control. It's hard to bang your head and be unable to control your dancin' feet at the same time.

They have emerged better, tighter and harder. I LIKE it. - Greg Young
2000-03-24 [SUbSET] Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA


2000-03-26 [SUbSET] Rialto Theater, Tucson, AZ


2000-03-29 [SUbSET] LaSalle's, Chico, CA


2000-03-30 [SUbSET] Maritime Hall, San Francisco, CA

Poster - Subset      Poster - Subset - 00


2000-03-31 Palookaville, Santa Cruz, CA

Something Wicked / Beach Rats / Addicted To Fame / Girl U Want (Devo Cover) / What The Hell / Movie Clip / Blood From A Stone / She Wants You / Skinning And Grinning / Cruising / Farmer John (Cover) / We Cant Stop Us / What Can I Lick / Ribby Rib / Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-A-Lot)


Audience Tape

2000-04-01 The Usual, San Jose, CA


2000-05-12 The Sit And Spin, Seattle, WA

"the sound check song" / Suck Or Shine / Rot In The Sun / Poodle Mouth / Wither Without You / Clean Machine / Hopeless (Rub It In) / ??? / Drunk On The Sweeping / Black Shadow / Don't Forget To Remember All The Good Times

The Giraffes


""we had our first practice last night and I had goose bumps on the back
of my head the WHOLE TIME!!!! it is my dream band...." Chris Ballew - Days before the show


I went to the show at the sit and spin. The giraffes ended up headlining. which was upsetting cause i wanted to catch a different show. anyway I don't really remember what was played. A few chris and tad show songs and some tycoons stuff. A few giraffes songs. I don't think there was any pusa songs. i might be wrong. Chris was dressed in all black with white sunglass. most of the people there came to the show to see stan ridgeway. I told a few people who the giraffes were. when i mentioned the presidents they all remembered them. Many people left after stan ridgeway. there was still a nice size crowd. the show was about 45 mins or so. Chris said that there will be more shows. he also mentioned that they formed on monday. bye now

I know he has done the first two songs with the chris and tad show. clean machine was a tycoons song. the last song he has done with both the groups. I know that someone was recording cause they had this mic up on a stand near the back. it looked all professional. chris might know what was up with that if someone asked him.

2000-05-13 The Showbox, Seattle, WA

"Improvised Tune" (ala Supergroup) / In Spite Of Me

Orchestra Morphine, with Jimmy Ryan Mandolin. 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m Sunday at the Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $15 in advance through Ticketmaster


Chris Ballew: I got up to sing one of Mark's songs, and then I made up a song on the spot in the spirit of the Supergroup thing that Mark and I did, where we improvised songs onstage. The song I sang of Mark's, which was "In Spite of Me" from Cure For Pain, really choked me up, I could barely get through it. Luckily, I got to do two nights with them, so the second night, I was a little more together, but it was really intense. It was really intense to stand there and hear the songs coming off the stage and Mark was gone. The absence, the void, was really obvious. It was pretty intense.


Morphine puts a smile on Sandman's work - Melanie McFarland

The band will play on. And that's just what Morphine's late frontman, Mark Sandman, would have wanted.

Orchestra Morphine proved beyond a doubt that Sandman's music can not only stand on its own but also flourish in the hands of great musicians for years to come.

Saxophonist Dana Colley and percussionist Billy Conway were joined by their friends from Boston's music scene, making Morphine's signature sparse, dark sound blare joyfully into the night. The show wasn't sold out; then again, who would have wanted it to be? You don't jam a room to the gills for a family affair.

Orchestra Morphine isn't touring to mourn Sandman, who died at 46 while performing in Rome last July, but to celebrate his humor, his compositions and his love of music with full, exultant flare.

This show was Morphine, sunny side up. Opening with the upbeat "Eleven O'Clock," Colley took on vocal duties as fellow sax blower Russ Gershon, trumpet player Tom Halter and bassist Mike Rivard held up the song's sexy, driving riff.

It was the perfect way to segue into a set that turned even the moodiest tunes into bright sing-alongs. "Like a Mirror" introduced vocalists Laurie Sargent and Christian McNeil, who teamed up on a few songs - to great effect on "I Know You Part III" - but evenly alternated roles throughout the night.

It wouldn't be honest to say Sandman's vocals weren't missed; there's no way that voice can be replicated. But McNeil's soothing baritone did justice to sexy jams like "A Good Woman is Hard to Find" and the Hypnosonics song "Wig," while Sargent lightened the heavy, dreamlike feeling of "Rope on Fire," adding to its ethereal quality.

That was a rare feat in a performance of sweltering horns and lilting percussion. "The Way We Met," understated and lingerie-sensual on record, swelled with the abundance of sounds, graduating it from a sexy love poem into a full-blown ode.

The hour-and-40-minute concert was heavy with selections from "The Night," although Orchestra Morphine did reach back to play a couple of songs from the past.

Ex-President of the United States Chris Ballew joined them onstage for the encore to improvise a tune, as he often did with Sandman when the two played together as Supergroup.

It was appropriately called "Plug Into the Dark," and had the audience laughing and amazed at his off-the-cuff composing skills. First, though, he purred "In Spite of Me" with Jimmy Ryan Mandolin, stumbling a bit over the words but maintaining its spirit.

It was difficult not to cry, especially since the rest of the evening was so smile-filled.
2000-05-14 The Showbox, Seattle, WA

"Improvised Tune" (ala Supergroup) / In Spite Of Me


Orchestra Morphine, with Jimmy Ryan Mandolin. 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m Sunday at the Showbox, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $15 in advance through Ticketmaster
2000-06-08 The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA


The Minus Five: Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, John Ramberg, Bill Rieflin, Chris Ballew, John Wesley Harding (on Boeing Spacearium) and Kurt Block (on Find A Finger).
2000-06-24 Experience Music Project (EMP), Seattle, WA
Dave will host a talk on the impact of technology on music June 24. It is expected that Dave will comment on the recent controversies surrounding mp3s and Napster. Dave is no stranger to the classroom - Before joining Chris Ballew to form the Presidents in the early 90s, he was a school teacher! The "Experience Music Project" museum is opening in Seattle soon. with a three day rock festival. June 23-25. Several of The ex-presidents' musical pals will also be play during the three day period. This includes Beck, The Young Fresh Fellows, and The Fastbacks. It is highly likely that some of the Prezzies will make guest appearances during these acts.



1. Introduced by Krist Novacelic (Nirvana)
2. Something Wicked (This one kicked ass! Was much better than when I heard them do it at The Fenix last December).
3. Beach Rats (Not one of my favorites, but good none-the-less).
4. Blood From A Stone (OK, I'm not sure about a couple of the titles of the songs, maybe someone can help out here).
5. In The Zone (Here's another I wasn't sure of the title, but was one the highlights of the show in my opinion. It started out with they guys playing ZZ Top's "Tush" and Mix saying all he needed was a long beard. It was almost like they'd just taken parts of "Tush" and threw in parts of one of their songs and mixed them all up to see what would happen. VERY killer!)
6. Ribby Rib (Chris introduced this one. Always fun to listen to).
7. Skinnin' & Grinnin' ((Mix intro'd this one by saying something to the effect of "there are lots of kids here today, so we're gonna talk to the adults and just disguise it a bit").
8. Farmers Daughter (Mix intro'd this one by pointing to one of the cameramen onstage and saying (once again, this is paraphrased) "this is my friend John. He used to live in Spokane and had a farm, but he left there to go to school and now he walks around with a camera" then he asked Chris about John's daughter to which Chris responded with some comment about her figure or something (sorry, it was a bit much to try to remember it all). The crowd seemed to really enjoy this one!).
9. Baby Got Back (they started this one by bringing out what looked like a toy keyboard and Chris & Mix pretending to try to get it to work. Mix then told Dave to play the song they were working on in the studio, so Dave played the beginning of "Old MacDonald" or some kids song like that and said "You mean that one?" and Mix said "No, the other one" so Dave kicked right into "B.G.B." and the crowd went nuts! It was definitely the biggest crowd pleaser of their set).

There was some chit-chat by Mix, and a little by Chris and Dave in between songs, and at one point Mix commented on Jason their "drunk drummer". Way to short of a set, but well worth the $18 clams and 2 hour round trip drive!

Stigmata Martyr
2000-06-30 Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA


The Giraffes


All righty, I did get to see the Giraffes on Friday, and it was an amazing show. At the time I only had the first album (I rectified that by purchasing TDAFWY on Saturday), and what I was expecting from the show was definitely NOT what was up on the stage. I was expecting the more organ-based, trippy-kind-of-pyschedlic low key stuff that I heard on the first album. What I got was almost more of a Presidents-light--very guitar based (except for a couple songs), and a little more uptempo. In fact, they didn't play a single song off of the first album, and only 2-3 were from the second!

I didn't get a song list, but the ones I remember are:

"Drunk on the Sweepings" (from TDAFWY) "Munkey River" (yeah, BABY! Gotta love the old PUSA tunes--this one sounded very similar to the version you probably know) "Suck or Shine" (I think this is a Chris and Tad tune--does someone know? Either way, it was a really catchy--my roommate was singing it for most of the weekend).

The Giraffes actually opened the show, so they only played for less than an hour. Chris was his usual silly self--unfortunately I can't remember any of his song intros. Too much beer after the show, as usual.

Interesting sidenote--there was someone else there taking pictures, so I asked him what his story was. Turns out he's good friends with Chris' wife, and Chris was letting him shoot the Giraffes show for his portfolio. Nice guy.

And before anyone asks, I don't have a bootleg setup, so I didn't make a recording. However, my roommate did take some pictures, so if they turn out (he thought the lighting might be a little low for his filmspeed, or something like that), I'll see if I can get them posted someplace.

That's it for now.

2000-07-13 The Showbox, Seattle, WA


The Giraffes with Shuggie and Great Lakes. tickets $5


SHUGGIE, THE GIRAFFES, GREAT LAKES NW(Showbox) The next time someone starts on a "rock is dead" tirade, buy them a ticket to see Shuggie. If watching these guys doesn't restore your faith in the power of pure, unadulterated rock 'n' roll, you might actually be dead. Joining Shuggie are two fine bands featuring "former members of": The Presidents' Chris Ballew takes the stage with his new(ish) outfit, the Giraffes, and Robb and Ben from the Nevada Bachelors continue on in Great Lakes NW. BARBARA MITCHEL
2000-06-25 Screaming Trees, Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA



Built To Spill, Ann Wilson, New Strychinine (featuring Mudhoney, Scott McCaughey, and others),The Fastbacks, Young Fresh Fellows (featuring John Wesley Harding and Robyn Hitchcock)
2000-08-11 Sit & Spin, Seattle, WA


The Giraffes
2000-09-04 Bumbershoot, Seattle, WA

Stay With Me / Zero Friction / Don't Forget to Remember All The Good Times / Good Morning Tycoon / Thursday Night / Clean Machine / Queen Of Eyes / Rot In The Sun / Suck Or Shine / Poodle Mouth / (Everything Is Turning Out) Great / Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney cover) / Hopeless (So Rub It In) / Some Postman Is Grooving

The Giraffes show

2000-09-11 Queen Anne Tower Records, Seattle, WA

The Presidents did a little promotional show(?) at the Queen Anne Tower Records

"As a final bit of prerelease promotion, the Presidents appeared at Tower Records to meet the fans and sign autographs. As the clock struck 12 their new album "Freaked Out And Small" would be released across the world. In addition to meeting the band, those lucky bastards in attendance also got an exclusive poster and a limited edition 12" vinyl of "Jupiter" by The Presidents."
2000-09-14 Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn

Tiny Explosions / I'm Mad

With Duff McKagan

Pro-Shot Video


G N' R's Duff McKagan Joins Presidents For TV Show

(9/18/00, 12 p.m. ET) - Former Guns N' Roses member Duff McKagan joined the Presidents Of The United States for their appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn on Thursday night (September 14).

McKagan played bass, freeing up Presidents' frontman Chris Ballew to play keyboards on the song "Tiny Explosions," the first single off the group's new reunion album, Freaked Out And Small. McKagan also played bass on "I'm Mad," which was taped for airing on Kilborn's show on election night (November 7). The song is, according to Presidents' guitarist Dave Dederer, the group's "only political song ever."

McKagan's bass playing can also be heard on the studio version of "I'm Mad." Dederer tells LAUNCH that his longtime pal inadvertently evoked the sound of his former band during the recording on that song. "It was great," Dederer says. "He played this little intro lick on it and it was just straight out of 'Welcome To The Jungle,' and of course, I didn't say anything until after he left because I didn't want him to fix it. He said he, he called me about a month later and he's like, 'Yeah, Dave, I was playing that song, that 'I'm Mad' song, for my old bass tech McBob and he said, "That's 'Welcome To The Jungle.'"' And I said, 'That's right. Gotcha!'"

Freaked Out And Small was released last week on the Music Blitz label. It is the Seattle band's third conventional release and its first since 1996.-- Neal Weiss, Los Angeles


"Wahoo, just got back from the taping with Kilborn. Seriously most people at the taping came for the Presidents, its true! Someone in line even knew about subset, amazing! On the way out, someone recognized my fanedition shirt too, and it turns out its someone from Musicblitz (not Keri) who attended the show as well. Anyhow, the tapping for the show started out with the band playing!!!! It appears they do the bands first, and not when Craig actually introduces them. (He introduced them as the presidents, and later corrected himself with "of the united states of america." GUess first impressions stick) Anyhow, Late Late show is a small little set, and I was so lucky to sit in the front row on top of that! So being about 10 ft away from the Orgatron, I started beaming so long my cheeks are still hurting. So the band comes out with Duff, and all with a lot of energy. They get a huge pop from the audience, then Dave does sorta like a mock "In 5... 4..." Like how Chris did for the video, then stops, and then they bang out Tiny Explosions! Chris was grinnin, and singing, and playing, and it was great to watch. Dave was rocking hard on the guitar, and chiming in on vocals, and Jason was in the back, pounding out the beat good as always. Duff had lots of energy too, and didn't look out of place really, cept Im sure no one will immediately know who he is. Afterwards, they all played I'm Mad. Oh yes, they played 2 songs. Don't worry, although Im Mad will not be on tonights show, it will be shown on election day they said. Obviously they did not cuss us all out at the end of the song, but Chris started up some grunting and such which sounded a lot like on the CD itself... I thought Dave was doing it. He probably is on the CD, but Chris sounded just like it. Afterwards, they smiled and waved, and didn't stick around for the show. However, the crowd response was incredible on both songs!!! I hope that inspires just a few concerts!!! PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAASSE!!! Anyhow, they never taped the audience, so you won't see me, but you might be able to hear me, I was cheering pretty loud. Times up, gotta go." - Ben Gurner
2000-09-18 WEB - Yahoo Chat
Yahoo Chat session with all 3 Prezzies.
2000-09-19 WEB - Chat with CB and Fans
2000-09-21 Orange Recordings showcase, Satyricon, Portland, OR

Poster - Giraffes (Chris Ballew) - 2000 - PUSA / Presidents

The rockin' record label - Orange Recordings held a show case gig. Performing were The Giraffes and The Gentlemen...

Orange Recordings showcase. Featuring The Giraffes and The Gentlemen.


by Ron - The big cheese at Orange Recordings

Well the show was a huge hit...I took everybody out to dinner before the show (bands, families, distributors and friends - $$$$ wow!)............anyways we had a HUGE turnout and I was told the following Monday that the president of NAIL Distribution asked it's employees to list their top shows of the weekend from the fest............Well, the Orange showcase was at the top of 5 or 6 lists and in the middle of other lists...meaning we were one of the top rated shows at NXNW for NAIL!!!!!.............excellent!.....................

As far as the show itself....Jason [Trachtenburg] went on first and had the entire club at attention...his daughter, Rachel (age 6) kicked it out on the drum kit while his wife, Tina, ran the slide projector to the Jason told some really off kilter jokes, his daughter was giving him cymbal shots to let the audience know that "that was a horibble joke dad".....funny, and unbelievable to say the least...So many people came up to me after the show saying what a genious Jason was!...........

After The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players got off stage, The Gentlemen hit the stage with Duff and Dave playing a sit down acoustic set...a very mellow but rockesque set, with a great size crowd to boot....It definitely gave folks a chance to cool down after the Trachtenburg set!....after a very short pause,

The Giraffes rolled out the old Hammond organ and hit the stage runnin'....All of the staples were played with more might and energy than any of the other bands at that NXNW fest!........By this time I was well stoked about the show and everybody that was able to catch it!...I know a few people here had thought about making the trek out there for the show, and I hate to say it but, it wouldv'e been worth the $1,000 to hang at that show....
2000-10-01 "World Tour", Jupiter Studios, Seattle, WA

Nuthin But Love / Blank Baby / Jupiter / Tiger Bomb / Jazz Guy / Meanwhile Back in the City / Superstar / An improvised song (while the tapes were changed) / Death Star / Tiger Bomb (Dave broke a string on the first take so it was played a second time for the cameras) / Last Girl on Earth / Tiny Explosions / I'm Mad / Headin' Out

"World Tour" taping.

Pro-Shot video. Available on DVD
2000-10-28 Fundraiser, Independent Media Center, ?

The Giraffes do a fundraiser for the Independent Media Center

2000-11-08 ASCAP showcase, Sit-N-Spin, Seattle, WA

ASCAP showcase - Free Show.

The Giraffes

With Zen Guerrilla and Automatic
2000-11-18 Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA

I Got The Bloo / Jilted On The Tarmac

"I was at the Young Fresh Fellows show at the Crocodile last night. Mr. Ballew was in the audience as usual so I expected a cameo on stage. Between YFF's set and their encore, Chris jumped on stage and played two songs with Tad from their upcoming album. ("I got the Bloo" and "Jilted on the Tarmac" I believe...)

At the end of these two rokin' tunes, Mr. Ballew christened the set as "the Chris and Tad release party." Fun was had by all..." - Bjohnny

Young Fresh Fellows, and Chris and Tad

2000-11-30 The Breakroom, Seattle, WA

Jason Trachtenburg record release party.

The Giraffes
2000-11-21 Bumbershoot, Seattle, WA

Some Postman

Incomplete setlist

The Giraffes Show
2000-12-08 The Showbox Seattle, WA

The Stranger Christmas Party.

The Giraffes