The Underground

A few Wednesdays ago, I walked down to The Underground Lounge in below 20 degrees Fahrenheit weather, testing the effectiveness of my Uniqlo Heattech top.  I stepped through the door more South of the two, marked “The Underground Live,” to enter directly into the performance area.

Excited to finally hear my friend’s brass quartet, I didn’t even mind the cold draft coming in as the door opened and closed with more people.  I thawed quickly enough with body heat from the many enthusiastic audience members but it must have been challenging for the brass musicians to play in the cold.

To the bathroomsI couldn’t quite put my finger on it but there was something whimsical about The Westerlies.  Was it Riley Mulherkar (trumpet) and Andy Clausen’s (trombone) matching chambray button-downs, red pants and brown dress shoes?  Was it Willem de Koch’s (trombone) jaunty bass lines?  Was it Zubin Hensler’s (trumpet) effusive enthusiasm for the ensemble that I had heard much of?  Maybe it was Andy’s rosy cheeks?

Perhaps it was the visual configuration reminiscent of a music box, only with a row of four Seattle boys similar in height, instead of a twirling ballerina. The inadequate lighting cast shadows over their faces if they stepped back and the slide of the trombone hit the frame of the red curtains as I feared, but the small corner stage was not too big, not too small and just right for The Westerlies.

Why the t.p. dispenser is so far from the toilet, I know not.The Underground women's toilet

Go through the door dividing the live music area and the lounge to get to the men’s and women’s bathrooms.  The music from the lounge interferes with the performance when the door opens so try to avoid going in the middle of songs.  I waited my turn to use the women’s restroom and found that the corners were occupied with a small sink, the toilet and cleaning supplies under a bench.

The Underground women'sI stuck around a bit for the following group on the double bill because our men’s room correspondent substitute, Dave, happened to be playing bass with Adam Kromelow.  The pianist’s original piece about his pot brownie experience augmented the high school/college basement party-like vibe of the place, with plastic cups full of beer around and the sense that the place needed folding chairs.


Miks from Latvia tells us how to say “Where’s the restroom?” in Latvian —

Kur ir tualete?