Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Bumbershoot Day Three

Kate and I did Bumbershoot up right yesterday.

We got to Seattle Center and immediately got passes for Tribe Called Quest (which was the big Mainstage closing act last night) before going to stand in line for my boys Speaker Speaker. I'd been excited about them being part of Bumbershoot all summer and I'd hoped they'd have their album available because I knew they'd been working on it but they made several references to it not being out yet. Guess I should check their website more often! It was so sweet as we milled around before the show started to see them with friends and family. I saw at least one of their moms. At one point during the show, between songs, Colin took pictures of the audience. It's always great to watch a band that is happy to be there, and Speaker Speaker are totally endearing in their enthusiasm. They played the hits from their EP and a selection of new material that I liked pretty well, though I have to say I like their faster stuff best. Kate and I were having a good time when we ran into a friend of hers from Orca (a year ahead of Kate, so is off at middle school this year) and her step-dad, also at the show, which made it even more fun for Kate.

They were running a bit fast and the show ended early but that allowed me to get Kate some roasted corn on the cob and find her a bathroom, hit the cash machine and whatnot before getting in line for The Briefs. Bigger crowd (in all ways, lots of freaky tall guys at that show, all of whom were drawn like magnets to stand in front of Kate), a couple of guys were hauled out right away for dancing or something. The bouncers at this venue had zero tolerance, which was pretty retarded for punk shows where the kids just want to dance. There was lots and lots of pogoing, because you're clearly not hurting anyone if you're just jumping up and down. Eventually some of the kids formed a circle pit and basically formed a conga line, but hey, at least they were allowed to dance and move and honestly, the bouncer who was set to guard their section seemed friendly and amused (probably because it was clear there were no troublemakers at this show). Who do we run into at this show again? Kate's friend and step-dad.

After The Briefs we went to the Pacific Northwest Ballet, just for a change of pace. The place was crawling with little girls and their assorted guardians, let me tell you. The line stretched around the building and while we were told we were "iffy" to get in from our place in line, the line grew at least half again after we joined it. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get seats together but we were seated in the balcony, had a good view, and sat together no problem. Two short arrangements were followed by a longer piece called Lambarena which interwove and combined traditional African music with Bach (available on CD, apparently). Kate was confused by the weird symbolic pieces, but at least Lambarena had a lot of movement and interesting things happening.

After the ballet, I was starving, so Kate and I agreed to grab some food and head over to spread our beach towel out on the grass at the Backyard stage, a secluded little nook of a stage that was just perfect. Nouvelle Vague were playing and they were FANTASTIC. They played all the hits (Teenage Kicks, Too Drunk To Fuck, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Making Plans for Nigel...) and new arrangements from the new album (Ever Fallen In Love, Dancing With Myself, Bela Legosi's Dead, Human Fly, and the especially ironic Heart of Glass...which I'd heard Blondie perform on Day One.) It was so much fun! Of course the old punksters who recognized the songs from their original incarnations were hooting and clapping, but a lot of the older folks who seemed to be expecting an evening of soft jazz without all the curse words started filing out. Ha! Of course, who do we see? Why, Kate's friend and step-dad! They join us and Steve and I strike up a conversation because we clearly have similar taste in music. He's hoping to catch the English Beat later, I'm going for the nostalgia of Tribe Called Quest... but the girls have other ideas. Tianna is The Veronicas' biggest 11-year-old fan and can't wait to see them. Kate was intent on joining her and I gave up hope of seeing anything else.

So, off we go to The Veronicas. The Veronicas are like twin Australian Avril Lavignes. The crowd was made up of teenage girls, some boys, and creepy old guys. Kate and Tianna took off to plant themselves right at the front, in front of the stage. Two wildly excited almost-11-year-olds jumping up and down in front of the stage (dressed in pink, no less) got a lot of attention. The Veronicas pointed, smiled, and waved at them multiple times. Other teen girls in the crowd pointed and cooed to each other. Other parents smiled indulgently. As Steve said to me during a break, "A day of culture, wiped out in minutes." The Veronicas announced they'd be out to sign autographs and I watched the security scramble, as this was apparently news to them. Of course all the little girls desperately needed their posters signed (and Tianna had her Veronicas CD with her already) so we traipsed across Seattle Center to join the line for autographs. It was our good fortune that the autograph tent was right next to the stage where the English Beat were playing, so while waiting I got to hear them do a few songs, including a cover of Monkey Man.

Once the girls were satisfied and photos aplenty had been snapped, Steve and I bid our farewells and I dragged Kate off to see the last 20 minutes of Tribe Called Quest, most of which was a disappointing 10-minute chant about how they sure were in Seattle, Seattle, Seattle, Seattle was rocking it, Seattle, Seattle. Boo. However, the crowd was frenzied and leaping with hands in the air and roaring with approval, so I think I was in the minority in my opinions. After long waits for the Bumbershoot shuttle and our connecting bus (it took us two hours to get home after exiting Tribe Called Quest) we made it home. A long, long day but what better way to spend our last summer holiday?


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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

I'm amazed John and I never saw you. We were apparently at many of the same events. We caught the ballet – in the balcony, same as you – loved Nouvelle Vague (my favorite rendition, which sadly the crowd near where we were sitting didn't seem to know, was their quiet acoustic version of the Smiths' "Sweet and Tender Hooligan"), and of course we saw the English Beat. (YAY!) The Beat was performing with special guest Lyndval Golding of the Specials, so they performed quite a few excellent Specials tunes. It was skatastic! —Jenny

Anonymous Amy Jo Says:

I love your posts about the fun you and your daughter find. You sound like a very cool mom!


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