Wednesday, May 25, 2016

KEXP: Seattle's Living Room

I needed to settle in with WiFi for a bit to catch up on work so I drove over to the KEXP studio public space.

Plenty of reasonably comfortable couches and chairs, KEXP playing over the nice sound system, espresso counter, this is Seattle's living room.

I got my usual coffee drink, settled in and took care of the electronic work. The WiFi worked fine, so I was able to get done in time to join the group let into the hall outside the studio to watch an interesting performance.

Gerald Collier, Friselle and John Doe each performed some Woody Guthrie material and spoke about Guthrie's influence.
The performance was mic'ed and produced extremely well, the sound we got through the speakers in the hallway was exceptional. A crew of 3 or 4 cameras operators stood and squatted in the middle of the circle of musicians, filming and taking pohotos. We had been warned not to try to take any photos or they'd remove us, so the photos available from KEXP are all I've got. They took enough footage and I'm sure they recorded the whole thing on multitrack equipment so with any luck they'll provide the performance video at some point. KEXP's videos have wonderful sound and clean clear video.
Not that this video has much to do with the performance we saw, but it's a nice example of KEXP's video ouput. Perhaps 30 of us, from geezers like me to 4 year olds being held by their dad all stood rapt and listened. Then the performance ended and we went back into the public area, Seattle's living room. I pulled the laptop out to get back to work in a better frame of mind than usual, I have to say I enjoy getting to hang out at the KEXP space.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fisherman's Village 2016

Carina and I made it to all 3 days of Fisherman's Village Music Festival in Everett. I'd missed it previously and regretted it, they had a great lineup of local talent. We made up for it this year, seeing all kinds of new (to me) bands, different styles, great venues, we had a blast.187
I didn't track band names, no notes or anything. That's be too much like work! That means I have tow work out who the bands are by looking at the schedule and relying on my weak memory. I think this is Bear Mountain based on their late Saturday slot in the historic Everett Theater. Probably.

Bands I know more about or have seen before are easier to track. I recognize Julia Massey and the 5 Finger Discount, we saw her/them at the Anchor pub. Great set! 162

Julia Massey had been highly recommended to me and I'd never quite managed to catch a set so it was satisfying to finally catch them. They're great just like my distant cousin told me. Fun local act having a good time performing for an appreciative audience, Fisherman's Village delivered and then some.

Star Anna played an intense, intimate set at the Anchor. I've seen her at Bumbershoot and looked forward to this set, I'm glad we made it. The Anchor is actually several blocks from the rest of the festival, and by this time (Sunday) our feet were getting sore. We drove the car down to the waterfront and back a few times to save our energy and I'm glad we did. We eventually wore out, but not before seeing Star Anna putting on a show and I suspect we might not have made it without the car to save our energy.


We also got some nice sushi next door at J Ramen and Sushi. That and the tea warmed us up and got us motivated to stay for more music. 


It was a cold and occasionally wet festival, which is unfortunate when there's an outdoor stage. It's still fun when the band is good, like Fauna Shade, for example.
But even for local heroes like Fauna Shade, fewer people show up when it's raining and crowd energy tends to be a little more muted. Harder to be hot when you're cold? Great set and the crowd enjoyed it, but if it had been 20 degrees warmer we'd have all been dancing and moshing and there would have been twice as many people. Outdoor Festivals in the greater Puget Sound area face this risk, at least we had some cooperative evening weather, anyway.
We did get a little bit of action at Zippy's early Saturday, catching Tobias the Owl, a personal favorite, Robert Blake, and Johanna Warren
The indoor stages were great. The historic Everett Theater is an awesome venue.
Plenty of room up front for the crowd to get in close and dance. The Ramblin' Years definitely had us packing the aisles and the front area, dancing and having a great time. 118
Grace Love and the True Loves played a spectacular set at the Everett Theater late Friday night.

They brought down the house, powerful music and powerful vocal performance, tight band with chops, the guitar and horn section are standout and the bass, drums and keys fill in the sound and rive the beat and the whole thing just has us dancing and jumping and yelling, definitely a peak experience.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all of the great bands we saw at Tony V's Garage.
Many of our favorite new discoveries were here all weekend. Skyemonkey, Sundries, Hollers, Cracker Factory, Campion, Sphyramid and Leava all played great sets.
Notice the dude playing a slide in this picture. There were more slide players at this festival than any other event I've ever seen.
I've been writing this post by wandering through my pictures to trigger my memory. This has the interesting effect of generating content in backwards order. Sunday bands are first up in my photo stream, then Saturday, and now I'm finishing up with Friday, the first day of the festival. Slightly odd how the minor tech details can dictate how you create something.