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Friday, September 6, 2013

Jack Endino's Earthworm and Why Hippys Are the Best People on Earth

Jack Endino with Endino's Earthworm at Hempfest 2013

Seattle has been fortunate this year when it comes to music. There have been so many band reunions, comebacks, and super groups formed, that there is simply no way any one person can make it to every show. So as we dive into Uproar Festival this weekend, many of us will reflect on our own history. Lots of us will be driving to the Gorge, probably blasting Alice in Chains the whole way there, then Jane's Addiction on the way back..."coming down the mountain!" 

 This year's lineup, featuring tons of great old and new Seattle bands, will also introduce lots of fresh new faces in many new bands...all getting along splendidly and always respectful of the footsteps in which they follow.

 Jack Endino is the one person whose mere presence demands that kind of respect. I have been lucky enough to see him play in his new band Endino's Earthworm a few times in the last few months, and something I notice at every show is that there's always a set of very young music lovers, who clearly know who he is, who he has produced, and are in complete awe of The Godfather of Grunge. 

By the way, if you don't know who he is and who he has produced then you're an idiot, you have no business reading this, and I should fire my publicist, but he's a monkey and works for whiskey and banana nut bread, what can I say, times are hard. If you have a spare monkey who can type and has decent taste in music send him on over! 

Patrick Lee Conner, Jonny, and Jack Endino
Photo by Lydia Susanna Conner

Anyhow, I also had the chance to sit and talk with Jack this summer, and that was really nice. Before this last year, the last time we had seen each other was the night Malfunkshun recorded with him, And and I got in a fight in the street in front of the studio. Jack actually had to come and separate us. We were scrapping like little kids. It's always made me laugh thinking about it because he was yelling at us like our dad or something. "You kids knock this shit off," etc. etc.

Xana La Fuente and Andrew Wood
Our street fights were usually reserved for the 4th of July
Luckily Jack's producing skills come with breaking up cat fights

So needless to say it's amusing as well to be able to see him all these years later, and be able to laugh about it while making new memories. He never brings up Andy. I think like a lot of people who haven't seen me for 20 years, or even since before he passed away, it seems like something that will end up being a bummer conversation. That didn't happen though. We talked about his new band and I can tell they make him really happy.

Sam McDonald, Jack Endino, and Jonny of Endino's Earthworm

It's easy to see why. He's managed to hook up with some of the best musicians and coolest cats in Seattle. In fact it was over a year before I was invited over to their secret grunge lair.  The ultra super secret home and studio of band mates simply known as Basment Sessions Demos Seattle.  Jack produces them and jams with them occasionally.  It's rumored that The Mustache himself has graced their studio and Kim Thayil and Tad Doyle are regulars at their now infamous Tequila and T Bone steak BBQs. 
I was only there to deliver some video I streamed recently for them but they were very cool and it was nice to talk to Jack someplace besides a show. 

Basment Sessions Demos Seattle at the Ultra Super Secret Grunge Lair

It's been also nice to get some support from him and his band. They have been really grateful and kind to all the photographers and anyone who has filmed and showed up at their shows. At the last show, I didn't have any cash to get in, and Jack walked up to the front door and said "Are you okay?" to which I replied "No, I have no money" and as fast as Quick Draw McGraw, he whips out his wallet and says "How much money do you need?" and I said, "Oh just door cover."  He paid the $10.00 and then put the rest of the wads of cash back in his wallet after making sure that was all I needed. It was shocking because usually hippys don't carry cash. If they offer to help you, they may offer stuff like vegan food they brought with them to the show, a free beer ticket, or some locally grown smoke.  Or, they may even offer to "produce your album"... (hee hee hee) but never, ever ever, do they open their wallets that quickly and hand you a wad of cash, it just never happens!  This is why hippys are the best people in the world, they are just full of surprises! 

Their music is great. I have enjoyed every minute of every show. Jack has been wowing everyone with his mad guitar skills and side show humor, humbly telling the audience "It took me 40 years to learn how to play the guitar and sing at the same time"... always remembering to dedicate a song to his fallen friend and band mate from Skin Yard, Ben McMillan. 

Jack and Ben in Skin Yard circa. apx. 1988

Their drummer Jonny is a wild man and a wicked drummer, plain and simple. Their bass player, Sam McDonald is a great performer, totally theatrical and entertaining. And they also have Patrick Lee Conner singing a few songs with them, who also sings for the Basment Sessions who by the way are about to release a highly anticipated album on pukish green vinyl.  

Sam and Jonny holding down the Grunge Lair 
all while maintaining their medium gorgeous appearance 
and almost famous status

Thank you Jack for your generosity with your hard earned hippy money, your superb taste in music and musicians - you guys rock my world... and thank you Basment dudes for the BBQ, and also for the peppercorn and sea salt I accidentally swiped, it's saved more than one meal! 

Last but not least, I have some video to share, mine would not upload on here for some reason, but you can go to xana land on youtube to see them here: and if you're a local to Seattle and attending Pain in the Grass this weekend at The Gorge following Uproar, then make sure you check them out, they will be playing Saturday the 7th at 5:00 p.m. right before the Walking Papers

p.s.  Of course they aren't "real" hippys, you know how these stories get embellished along the way!
* there were no hippys hurt in the writing of this blog *

 And to purchase Endino's Earthworm on vinyl as well as the almost famous green puke Basment Sessions vinyl, see the links below! 

Basment Sessions Demos Seattle:

Endino's Earthworm:

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