When I saw this gawjuss show poster from CMRTYZ turn up on Instagram, I first went, "WHAAT??" and then I went "WHOOOOOP!!" and then my brain got all happy and excited like a kitten on Ritalin. Three super-fave bands -- garage groovers Acapulco Lips, pithy punks wimps, and the marvellous multi-talented Mikal Cronin playing at the Tractor? I AM IN! IN IN IN IN IN and IN! For just three bucks and an RSVP, Red Bull Sound Select offered Seattle the Best Tuesday Night Ever with this show, curated by Sub Pop and hosted by another cool local band, Dude York! Dude York gave away a giant Valentine's Day chocolate thing! (As always, click on the photos to enlarge, and click on the Flickr links for more!)

After resigning myself to not winning the chocolate, I was so happy to finally get to see Acapulco Lips play. The band and I share a deep and fanatical love for all that is garage rock, old and new, so it was no surprise to me that guitarist Christopher Garland offered up the most exquisite crunch n' fuzz via that kickass Fender Mustang. Lead singer and bassist Maria-Elena Juarez, decked out in a teeeeeeny tiny vintage "mod stewardess" minidress, confidently led the band (including Riley Plumb on guitar and Davy Berruyer on drums) through a set that was a little surf-y, a little '60s classic girl-group pop, but with the solid grit of GARAGE throughout every song. Acapulco Lips takes all their retro influences and filters them through the NOW, making music they like and that we like. I see good things coming their way.

Acapulco Lips, Tractor Tavern, Seattle 2/18/14 Flickr set

Dude York proved themselves generous once again, giving away a Michael McDonald DVD and their Actual Treasured Comic Books to a very nice woman who tried to stump them with a movie question. Well, OK, she took one comic book and then they threw the other two out to the audience members. We can all be happy the band doesn't collect large concrete blocks or something.

Next up, my dear wimps, Rachel, Dave, and Matt! I've probably seen and photographed this band more than any other in the last year or so, and it's been a real pleasure to see them build on their many strengths as performers and songwriters. The crowds get bigger and more enthusiastic each time out, and the word is spreading that wimps are neat-o. There is something just really satisfying listening to a band who play short and utterly to-the-point songs about being uncomfortably sleepy, contemplating taking one of the dog's Prozac pills, or looking the mundane aspects of life square in the face and semi-celebrating their ridiculous, repetitive horror. I hear they are also Paul McCartney's dog's favorite band. You can quote me on that, but I will do nothing to back that up, just lettin' ya know. Buy their stuff.

wimps, Tractor Tavern, Seattle 2/18/14 Flickr set

I wish I could have grown up to be a musician like Mikal Cronin, for I admire what he does that much. I mean, what can't this guy do?? Great singer, with great range, pitch, and feeling? Check. Great songwriter, with an impressive range of musical knowledge to draw from and an impeccable feel for construction and melody? Check. Multi-instrumentalist? Check. Equally adept at delivering the sweetest harmonies and the wildest, thrashiest, smashiest guitar slam? Check-a-check-a-check. Plus -- PLUS!!! -- he has fantastic flying hair and is a nice dude. It makes me very happy to see him succeeding, with his last album for Merge Records, MCII, doing very well indeed and on many of 2013's "best of" lists. Sometimes good guys don't wear white!

I stayed up front enjoying the show and photo-ing until the crowd mirth impinged on my personal sense of well-being, and I took my leave to the side. It was a happy crowd, I gotta say, and to that I further say, RIGHT ON!

Mikal Cronin, Tractor Tavern 2/18/14 Flickr set

Thank you mucho mucho MAX to Devin Floyd and Bob Snyder at Red Bull Sound Select, Michelle Cable, Nate Watters, Dude York, Sub Pop, the Tractor, and of course the bands -- Acapulco Lips, wimps, and Mikal Cronin!