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Fierce in Seattle: Here We Are Now, Entertain Us


a blogumn by Kelli Bielema

circa 1992. the author. the musician. the legend.

I feel STOOOOOPID! And CONTAGIOUS! … those lyrics not quite as gentle as something Cole Porter may have penned, but nonetheless, defined the music and attitude of an era. In case you have never turned on a radio or prefer Wagner to Wolfmother, the tune I quote is Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and the period is grunge.  The epicenter of this revolution was Seattle. 

I was in college when this music scene took off, and it was electrifying how it captured my generation.  I’m loathe to admit I had an active wardrobe of dresses, flannels and Doc Marten boots and would freshen my angst with a dab of patchouli—but I did shower and clean my long, purposefully unkempt mane.  I rocked out to Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Hole, as well as L.A. bad ass chick rockers, L7. Whenever I hear “Alive” by Pearl Jam I recall drinking pitchers of Leinenkugel Red in DeKalb, IL and singing along to Eddie Vedder in the key of Cher (listen closely—they kinda sound alike sometimes!).   I remember how I used to think Seattle was so cool. Everyone there is in a band, intense, and bound for stardom with no potential of selling out.  I never could have imagined then that I would live here now.  I also never woulda thunk I now want to be in a band! 

After dedicating my post-high school life to the dream of being a working actor, I came to terms with my dissipating desire about 4 years ago.  While I love to perform onstage, I found work in front of the camera tedious and less than spontaneous and the business to be aggravating at best.  The only creativity I felt I had left was picking a really good audition outfit, and quite honestly, I could never do that too well.  There’s something about a live audience that is seductive to me. When I’m on fire, knockin’ their socks off, killin’ em, there’s no feeling like it.

Whether or not I actually gather the brass cojones to get out there and start rocking out with my cock out (not sure where all the male genitalia analogies are coming from, considering I don’t have any), remains to be seen.  Until then I can get my rocks off at late night karaoke at the crappy Chinese restaurant up the hill.  But then, when you’ve got a live band behind you, a crowd wanting you to rock them like a hurricane, now that’s more than a feeling. Perhaps I’ll post on Craigslist.  Female vocals seeking….hmmm.   I’m not looking for fame or recording deals, but rather, a loyal following and a bitchin’ pair of boots.