Saturday, November 26, 2011

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Monday

Last one from Bumbershoot.

Electronic soul. Very different! The lead singer had a phenomenal voice, and the music was mostly upbeat. Great way to start off the last day.

Grand Hallway
The lead singer from Grand Hallway has performed with The Maldives before, and I knew he was a wonderful artist. He has a fairly high voice, kind of sounds like heaven. They were enjoyable, but unfortunately, a lot of the music is repetitive sounding.

Two young ladies, a drum set, keyboard and a guitar from Seattle. They are self-described dream pop. The EMP Level 3 stage was a good fit. I rather enjoyed their music. It was pretty dreamy, but then they'd break into these runs and just rock out with so much passion!

Greensky Bluegrass
A bluegrass band. I was a little disappointed. Or maybe just tired. They play around here often.

Girl-fronted rock band. Pretty good. Nothing spectacular, unfortunately.

My paper says I saw Sharon Van Etten, but I don't remember her. Maybe we went to the Starbucks lounge instead. I'm telling you, free drinks! Almost their whole menu!

Vendetta Red
AGGHH! VR is getting back together, agggghhh! Okay, it's not that big a deal to me, more just that one of the old rock bands is back together. Kind of a nostalgia thing. And although the audience for them was small (they've been broken up since 2006, none of the young kids know them), their fans are still rabid. Not many people, but enough for lead singer crowd surfing, apparently! So much energy, and I was surprised to remember a few of the old songs (they played at WWU a few times). Their bassist is the guy from Schoolyard Heroes (moment of silence for another AWESOME disbanded Seattle band). Glad to see they're back at it.

Two more Decibel Festival bands: SPLATINUM and Truckasaurus. Okay, we pretty much skipped the latter...The former were dressed in these wacky robes, and at one point brought their toddler on stage. Adorable. Also, pretty entertaining for electronic music.

Ended Bumbershoot with a beautiful (visually and audibly) show by Phantogram. They're actually electronic too, but this one was out under the stars by the fountain (perfect!) The key to electronic music: having a SINGER, instead of just DJ's. The lead singer gal for this band makes sweet sweet music. Check them out on Spotify. I love "Mouthful of Diamonds".

And that was it for Bumbershoot! A lot more local acts, fewer bands I was psyched to see, but discovered a lot of great music. Best shows of the festival: DEFINITELY Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Presidents of the United States of America, Astronautalis, STRFKR and Mad Rad. Hip hop definitely shined in 2011!

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Sunday

I know, I am WAY behind on these. But honestly, who finds the time to blog?

The Lonely Forest
Great local band, finally making it. These guys are from Anacortes, and I saw them play when they were still in high school (I think) least, I was still in college :) They had a single out on the radio this summer on 107.7. I really enjoy them!

Mad Rad
Holy fuck. I'd heard of these guys, but not their reputation. They're a rap group from Seattle. With names like P Smoov, Buffalo Madonna, and Radjaw, and DJ Darwin...their songs are titled things like "Party Mountain" and "I Want Your Blood"...whatever you do, SEE THEM LIVE! Because they bring it like almost no one else. Their music is nasty and crazy, almost exclusively sex, drugs, and craziness. And the crowd goes WILD. A couple of them work at Neumos, but not too long ago, they were all kicked out and the cops called on them there. They were banned for some time. This is how crazy these MC's are.

I have them marked down on my paper but I don't remember seeing them. Tells you a lot...

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Ah, yes, we went to see this amazing singer while downing free Starbucks at the lounge. The Starbucks Lounge is awesome...Probably drank like $20 worth of drinks for free, plus had a good view of their stage. Jessica Lea is only 22, but she sings like she's seen a life of heartache. She recorded her first EP at 15. Depressing, but beautiful and poignant music. And she play guitar, which is always nice in a female singer/songwriter.

This band is made up of four young ladies. The music a'ight. I probably bobbed my head. Not terribly memorable, though.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
We arrived an hour early, and STILL had to sit in the top bowl of Key Arena. Mack "sold" that place the fuck out! What a show to remember. These men are Seattle boys, bringing the local hip hop scene to an increasingly national stage. Macklemore, 3 years sober, sings often of his experiences with drugs and alcohol, growing up as a white kid who loves rap, fidelity (with his very long-time girlfriend), and had a hit single this summer about his obsession with Nike's and disgust for consumerism, called "Wings". It's rap with brains. And he brings the party just as hard as Mad Rad. Ryan Lewis makes the magic happen, laying down the beatz.

One more Decibel Stage guy. Probably liked him better than some of the others, but again, my heart's not in it with DJ sets.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oddest massage experience ever.

Okay, I know I'm over a month past my last update, but I just had to relay this story.

I bought two daily deals because it was such a steal. $30 for a 90 min massage. It's a block from Cafe Flora, so I thought "decent block, won't be a bad place to go" and the description of the salon didn't make it sound off or anything.

My appt was for 6pm. Got there on time. Had a hard time finding it because it was on the backside of the block-long building of various shops. Cute boutiques, a cupcake store, etc.

The salon is definitely one of those "I go there because I know it's there" places, not some place you drop by because it looks nice from the street. It was kind of run down and poorly lit. There were only 3 chairs, it was all in one smallish room. And it was a weave and braids salon. I was the only whitey there. Which, I know, is not a very sensitive thing to notice, but EVERYONE stared at me when I walked in.

The masseuse was the only male in the salon. Which also makes me kind of uncomfortable.

The massage area is partitioned off from the rest of the salon by a fake wall in the back of the room. The wall didn't go to the ceiling, there was about a foot and a half of clearance, so I could hear everything going on in the salon. Not very relaxing. The space was incredibly small and dim!

I got headphones for "soothing music" because he didn't have speakers.

There was a mini fridge and microwave in the massage room.

OH! And when I walked in, there was a little dog, I pet it and the masseuse says "Yes, that's Action Jackson. He'll be in there, too. He has a little bed under the massage table. He's my service dog."

The masseuse had several gold front teeth and long braids.

I swear I am bruised all over (you can't see them but my skin hurts to the touch all over) because, despite asking four times, he gave me the most painful deep tissue massage I've ever received. After I asked for a Swedish massage. I told him I was sore from a workout the day before, but nevermind that.

I had the feeling something wasn't quite right with him socially. At one point I said my mid-back was really tight, and so he needs to go easy on it, and he responded (I got this a few times) "Oh yeah, I'm really good at disarming the nerves." and went on digging into the muscle. I've never had my kidneys massaged, but I'm pretty sure that's what hurt so much.

At the end of the massage, he said that the massage is designed to remove [long list of "toxins"] from your muscles, so be sure to drink lots of water to flush the system. I don't remember the list of toxins, except "herbs and spices" were the last two he said. I know you're supposed to try and flush your system after a professional masage, I just thought herbs and spices were funny. They weren't meant to be funny

I felt sorry for the guy, he just seemed so odd, I gave him a normal tip. He saw what I wrote on my check and said "Well, for customers who give me a tip over $10 (which I was giving), I like to give them one of my Auntie's homemade soaps" which were for sale in the front display case, along with cheap rhinestone jewelry. So, although that was weird, it was pretty nice. The soap smells really good.

And then he walked me to my car.
Oddest massage experience ever. Not relaxing whatsoever.