September 7, 2010 at 6:58am
The 40th Bumbershoot Festival is done and gone. I'm sure no-one will mind terribly if I abandon my pointless blurbs of randomness and make an effort to actually say something.
I mentioned after the first two days a sense of disappointment in this year's festival. Not for want of good music or good weather, but something both less tangible and more substantial.
Bumbershoot means a lot to me, on a number of levels. It is years of memories. It is sun and rain and noise and sweat. But mostly it is a feeling, and a sound. It is the ability to close your eyes and hear the joy of hundreds of musicians and artists at every turn.
Listen: Nouela Davis is smiling so hard you can hear it in her voice, even as she belts out piercing anguish in a minor key. The two pianos of People Eating People pound out under her and around her, and she is struck with amazement at the size of her crowd at 12:30 p.m. on a Monday. Someone yells that she is beautiful, and she cannot even react, but to start another song.
Listen: the strings under Chris Pureka's fingers sparkle with beauty and regret, and a pedal steel guitar belts a siren song over and through her. She last visited the Seattle Center as a busker of unfortunate circumstance, scrambling for dollars, and now she sings through a microphone to the dozens and dozens who would rather hear her stories than keep out of the rain.
Listen: The Clientele captivate an audience with their '60s tinged songwriting, and at the edge of sound you can hear half a dozen audience members falling in love with their keyboardist on the spot. A stone's throw away, Trampled By Turtles make a banjo and a mandolin as punk as any guitar. The Meat Puppets spent an hour doing exactly what they have spend the last 25 years doing, and they are adored for it.
Over here someone tries to hand you a flier. There a crowd shouts for encore. Across every step of every path of these grounds, someone is laughing or talking or simply themselves as they travel from stage to stage. Raindrops are pattering across your umbrella and there is a sizzle as they pull your brick of potatoes out of the fryer, and Jenny & Johnny are singing another song together, because that's what makes them happy.
Listen: Bumbershoot is happening all around you. The superstars may be mumbling and shuffling their way through songs you've heard a thousand times in yonder stadium, but that's not where you know you need to be. You need to bask in the middle of it all, surrounded by nothing but the sound of a thousand people experiencing joy and love and music together.
So that was my Monday. And I hope it was yours, too, in one way or another.
Off duty rules.
5 Things To Do, All Ages, Arts, Benefits, Best of Olympia, Best of TAcoma, Bobble Tiki, Books, Chainsuck, Classical Music, Comedy, Comment The The Day, Community, Concerts, Condemn or Allow?, Contest, Day Tripper, DJ/Electronica, Events, Facebook, Fashion, Federal Way, Fife, Fircrest, Food & Drink, Future Things Are Coming, Games, Genius, Gig Harbor, Green Crush, Happy Hour Hug, Holidays, In Their Words, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Keeping Up With The Coffeehouses, Lacey, Lakewood, Media, Military, Milton, Music, Nerd Alert!, Night Moves, Not Cool, Olympia, Outdoor Addict, outdoors, Photo Hot Spot, Podcast, Pop Culture, Poster of the Day, Puyallup, Radio, Retail, Rocket Science, Ruston, Schools, Screens, Sex, Shout Out, Spanaway, Sports, Steilacoom, Summer Tip, Sumner, Tacoma, Theater, Tightwad, Travel, Twitter, University Place, USO, Video Hot Spot, Volunteer, Web/Tech, Word
Looks delicious! Thank you Jackie for share ^^
Banff National Park is a breath of fresh air. A small mountain town with world class facilities...
Too many cover-bands play at The Swiss.
Wohoo! Love this and great work! From one Assyrian to another I congratulate you and am rooting...