Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Saturday

I spent more time at this year's Bumbershoot than I have at any of my past ones, and I was less excited about the line up than ever before. However, it really does help to have someone to go with who is psyched to hear music, whether they know the artist or not.

Presidents of the United State of America: We kicked our festival off right with PUSA at Key Arena at 2:30pm. I have put off seeing them, because I know that they play around here plenty and I'd eventually get to see them, maybe for free. I wish I hadn't put it off so long, they put on a hell of a show! So much fun :)

Astronautalis: Raced over to the Fountain Lawn Stage, sponsored by KEXP, to see this guy. He's indie hip-hop, a former battle-rapper white guy who looks like an accountant with a bad boy (note: tattoos) past. He raps about Dmitri Mendeleev and Ben Franklin. I bought two of his albums at Bumbershoot- I didn't buy any other cds the whole weekend, so that's saying something. The guy is incredibly talented! A regular part of every show is to rap about any subjects the audience throws out. Our audience gave him "famine in africa, tarot cards, sea anemones" and a bunch of other things, like 10 things, all of which he incorporated in a fairly understandable rap that he made up on the spot! Definitely listen to him. Also, he just put out a new video for his song, Contrails, with Tegan Quinn of Tegan and Sara.

Emancipator: The first of many electronic artists at EMP Sky Church, as part of a new Decibel Festival feature during Bumbershoot. I was disappointed that only electronic artists were featured at the Sky Church, because it's such a great venue, but I can't think of a better venue for them at the Seattle Center, what with the 2-story digital background and awesome speakers. We only caught the end of the set, but he was pretty good.

Nice Nice: We stuck around in the Sky Church for this set. They were just a little too out there for us, so we moved on.

MarchFourth Marching Band: From Portland, they always put on a great show. Think mini-marching band, with brass and drums, AND crazy stilt walked and other acrobatic performers. A true spectacle :)

Beat Connection: Back to the Sky Church for two more electronic acts. We only caught the end of Beat Connection, but they were good! Ray Dalton, whom I will mention later, made an appearance on a cover song (I think it was Arcade Fire?) that was really great. The BC kids look just like...kids. Like, 17. Maybe they are!

Free the Robots: This DJ probably had the best energy of any electronic artists we saw this weekend. Just really was into it the whole time, and spun a lot of hip-hop beats, and even grabbed the mic a few times. It is SO lame to watch a DJ set when they just stare into their macbookpro and do nothing to connect with the audience.

STRFKR: This was a PARTY. By now it was dark out, and STRFKR (yep, pronounced Starfucker) got everyone jumping around and dancing. It was fantastic!

Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs:
We split up for a bit and I went to Ray LaMontagne for about 20 minutes. He was the featured artist for the evening on the mainstage. I'd heard he can be boring to watch, doesn't engage the audience much. This is true, but it doesn't matter so much when your vocals are mesmerizing and you tour with a great band (slide guitar!) I don't think I'd pay to go see him again unless he was magically playing The Triple Door or some other dinner theater venue. He might also be good at Marymoor on a warm summer night, when you can just sprawl out on a blanket.

Minus the Bear: Haven't seen MtB since WWU, and I remember them being a lot more entertaining. I missed some of their better known songs while at Ray LaMontagne. Then the lead singer revealed that he and his wife had a baby 10 days prior, and he was so tired and it was a miracle he made the show, so I guess I forgive them for the low-key performance. It was just too bad, because I know Robin was really looking forward to seeing them for the first time.

That ended the night at 10:30pm!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Upcoming posts

I know, I've been really lame about posting. But I've been so busy! I will tell you about Bumbershoot, my trip to Portland, and my trip to Bend. Probably this weekend, even. I also have enough music to post another MTME :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vacation 2012

National Parks Road Trip!!!

I won't do this by myself, so I am really hoping someone steps up and is like "yeah, that sounds fun! I'll go with you!"

I want to see Arches and Yellowstone mainly, but throw in a few other locations. I think this road trip route, developed by the U.S. Parks website, is a really good start:


I would probably shoot for late May, or June. I'll have to look into airfare, camping/lodging, and car rental prices, and compare with good temperature and tourist flow. But I'm thinking 12-15 days. :) Probably fly in and out of Salt Lake City, like the website suggests.

Would you be interested in this trip?