Seattle and its community have a heavy heart today after losing two of its own residents and musicians. Two members of the local circus-folk group God’s Favorite Beefcake were killed Wednesday after a fatal shooting from an unknown assailant at Cafe Racer in the University District. News outlets have reported that the two victims that died at the scene are Drew Keriakedes (aka Shmootzi the Clod) and Joe Albanese (aka Meshuguna Joe). Joe and Drew were abundant in their talents, their musical skills were often highlighted with their sword-swallowing and other eccentric circus acts they weaved into God’s Favorite Beefcake shows. There were never any shortages of smiles or laughter coming from either of the two —in fact you’d be hard-pressed to find a photo of them without a twinkle in their eye and a sly smile.
The duo were the backbone of God’s Favorite Beefcake coming with the circus experience they learned at Seattle’s Circus Contraption performing troupe, of which they still performed with on occasion. Their wild antics, both on and off stage, were what drew people to the band like moths to flame. That is not to say that Joe or Drew were never serious, they in fact had quite a knack for penning poetic tales of love and loss for the band. God’s Favorite Beefcake was well-known for their high energy shows, but also for their top notch talent. The group had a perfect balance of punk, gypsy, folk, and country that blended into an upbeat circus-folk puree that was capable of a slowed down love ballad complete with mandolin tremolos. Their lyrics vary from punk rebellion to more somber —and eerily parallel— of a murder-homicide (“Daughter of God”). The band had recently played over this past weekend at The Funhouse for Punk As Folk event, sharing the stage with The Bad Things, Professor Gall, and The Red Stitch Circus Phenomenon. God’s Favorite Beefcake was listed as one of the house bands for Cafe Racer according to the venue’s website. God’s Favorite Beefcake recently recorded a live show at Columbia City Theater in hopes of producing a live album. Their latest release was Witches Bones n’ Whale Skin which was released in April 2011. The album includes their catchy “Pig Skin Hat” and “Isabella.”
There has been an outpouring of love and support to the remaining members of God’s Favorite Beefcake via their Facebook wall. With messages from fans that reminisce many entertaining shows that Joe and Drew had put on and their energetic personalities. The light that both Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albanese had brought into this world will not be easily forgotten, and the rippling effect of love and support for their friends and families will continue on.
The band has not yet released a statement regarding their loss. Please visit God’s Favorite Beefcake’s Facebook and send them your message of love and support in this time of need. If you own a copy of their album; embrace it and truly respect the quality of craftmanship and talent of these two lives that were taken from us too soon. Joe Albanese and Drew Keriakedes, you will truly be missed.