By Dusty Henry, Arts & Entertainment Intern
On June 19, the remaining members of God’s Favorite Beefcake took the stage at Ballard’s Conor Byrne Pub to pay tribute to their deceased band mates who were among the victims of the Café Racer shooting last month.
“Ladies and gentlemen we’re Mom’s Favorite Sextape and we’re totally f***ed,” said accordionist and vocalist Snuffaluffagus, announcing their new monniker.
The six band members whooped, yelled, and danced with every song in their set. The eerie swoon of Katie Mae Glutz singing saw and the clanking of spoons played by Dumbelina, the Queen of the Bimbos, fit the abstract concept of the band which sought to celebrate rather than to mourn.
Two of the band’s members, Drew “Shmootzi The Clod” Keriakedes and Joseph “Mashuguna Joe” Albanese, were shot and killed randomly by gunman Ian Stawicki at Café Racer in the University District on May 30.
Even with all the foot stomping sing-a-long melodies there was still a sense sorrow in the lyrics, especially in the first song of the set, “River of Booze”, which was the last song Keriakedes wrote before he was killed.
“Swimming through life through a bottle of booze,” Snuffaluffagus sang, “All my days I’ve been searching for home.”
God’s Favorite Beefcake was just one of 19 bands and solo artists to perform in “Innocent When You Dream: A Tribute to the Departed,” which sought to raise money for the families of the victims of the shooting. The performances rotated back and forth between the Conor Byrne and the Tractor Tavern.
The variety of acts represented the diverse music community as well as the eclectic nature of Keriakedes and Albanese’s personalities. The evening contained everything from the instrumental, brooding surf vibes of The Correspondents performing at The Tractor to the sweet, bluegrass harmonies of duo The Gloria Darlings at the Conor Byrne performing at the same time.
“I don’t want to get too somber,” said acoustic singer-songwriter Sean Hurley before performing early in the day, “but I’m glad to see we can pull together to do this.”
Hurley, who said he typically plays Café Racer, reflected briefly about Keriakedes at the beginning of his set. Searching and stumbling for words, he ended up settling on “he was a great guy.”
“I loved Joe and Drew so much,” Katie Mae Glutz said during the set, after which the band rushed into a quick song where the whole band yelled “I love beer!” in dissonant notes.
As the set went on the songs got more and more obscure, often making sexual references in lyrics and in jests between songs. Every once in a while, however, there would be a brief moment of sentimentality.
“Those two brothers knew how to live like they saw the writing on the wall,” Snuffaluffagus said of deceased band mates.
Before closing out their last song, Snuffaluffagus named all of the members of the band, ending with a triumphant declaration of the final member – Shmotzi the Clod. Everyone in the Conor Byrne stomped their feet, screamed, and clapped their hands at this announcement and tribute.
The band then played their final song, ending on the line “it ain’t easy being human some days.”