Hazel, where are you?

I’m sitting in my tiny living room in Philly, listening to songs from Hazel, and Portland band I was a fan of back in those hazy days of the late 1990s. The iPod shuffled up a tune of theirs and I had to go back and play through all their albums. One of the many friends of the Seattle era that I have completely lost touch with introduced me to Hazel. I think a Spinanes show was the first I ever went to, but I was still a neophyte to show-going when I first saw Hazel at the Crocodile. (Or was it Moe? Ah, memory is a soft rock under the flood of time.) Now the iPod is playing the Boog Powell song, and I’m ashamed of my misty-eyed memories of pogo-ing with a plastic cup of beer, something that was as new to me as Hazel. What ever happened to those people? Well, according to Wikipedia, the bassist is the principal of a charter school in the Bronx, and Jody (the female singer) lives in LA, sings torch songs and sometimes tours with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. Pete Krebs, who I know went on to an acoustic alt-country solo work, is still in Portland. There is an impossibly outdated webpage for Hazel at the Sub Pop site, but just a 404 when you click on the ‘Latest release’ link. But one Hazel album is available via iTunes. (You’ll have twice as much luck looking for records of Team Dresch, Jody’s immediately post-Hazel band.) It’s not the best one, in my opinion, but beggars can’t be choosers. Go buy one of their records–maybe some of the profit will filter down to Fred, if he’s still around, and he can buy a new dress. I remember his teetering pirouettes at the edge of stage, a cinder block balanced on his head. Standing below him, I feared for my life, but not as much as I do right now.

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