Bumbershoot

Neko Case

Neko Case

More Neko

More Neko

We took a day off from the campaign trail to take in the Bumbershoot festival on Saturday in Seattle.  With an all day line up of huge acts most of which are goingn on at the same time, it was hard just to choose, much less keep up.  Here’s what we did see.  Neko Case kicked off the first day on the mainstage.  Besides being a New Pornagrapher, she’s also a NW transplant and has maybe the most haunting voice in the business.  She spent most of her time delivering Fox Confessor Brings the Flood songs, but also unleashed a couple of new ones which were great.  After running to feed to meter in our rez car, we returned in time to catch a bit of Grynch on the main lawn, a new hip hop talent from the NW, and it may just have to do with the fact that we love repeating his mc handle.  After snagging more than our share of RockStar freebies, we caught the legendary Lucinda Williams.  She delivered a bunch of classics (like Joy) and covers, including Bob Dylan, Lil’ Son Jackson, and AC DC’s TNT-era “It’s a long way to the top”.   Sitting in Memorial Stadium we were definitely stoked.

Although we were bummed that we had to miss the thunderous rock of The Valley but they’re local (at least for now) and we promise to hunt them down the next time.

Lucinda Williams on Saturday

Lucinda Williams on Saturday

We also had the good fortune to run into kindred spirits at the Washington Bus project whose progressive agenda and get-out-the-vote activities are meant to increase political participation all across our wonderful state.

Washington Bus staff

Washington Bus staff

We couldn’t keep up with everyone we wanted to see like M.Ward, the Walkmen, West Indian Girl, the ever groovy Kinski (we caught them last Bumbershoot) and even Sherman Alexie (we just wanna be your chocolate topping!).  On the other hand, we did catch the full Band of Horses set, which was fortunate since lead singer Ben Bridwell annnounced during the show that some guy was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him and sure enough, she said yes.  For some reason, we had to fight the urge to go out and buy a Ford Edge. 

We also caught just about the full Nada Surf show which was awesome despite the cold weather.  They played a greatest hits list of songs including Hypersonic, Always Love, and Whose Authority, all of which rocked.  Of course since we had to race like old-time (pre-diabetic) scouts back to the stadium for the Beck show.   We managed to get close enough to be impressed AND confused by his choice of hatwear which we can only describe as “vintage undertaker”.  Of course, that aside, the set was great, from the soft sounds of “lost cause” to the loud encore (and VERY bright — what’s with those flood lights? we’re pretty sure we all looked like x-rays a few times that night) ending with “E-Pro” (hey that used to be our ringtone!). 

On the way out we saw that the lovely RockStar girls were handing out free (well, not handing out as much as pointing at) RockStar drinks that had settled at the bottom of a bunch of 30-gallon cans, so of course you had to roll up your sleeves and fish around in the dark with about 30 other arms and hands all snatching at these tiny cans in -30 degree water with icebergs floating in it.  But did we mention that they were FREE?  totally worth it.

Sounds like we missed some good stuff from Saul Williams who decided to dedicate his set to Chief Seattle, which means that we now have to check out William’s new release, “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust”. 

Our favorite Bumbershoot line overheard on Saturday came from one very enthusiastic !!! (Chk Chk Chk) fan who was trying to convince his friend to come with him to the !!! show (which conflicted with the Beck show) with unassailable logic that “while Beck may be great and all, he is no Chk Chk Chk”.   ‘Nuff said. 

Lucinda rockin away

Lucinda rockin away

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