29 June 2009

Long hot summer days

The title of this blog* is the song I'm listening to off of Sara Watkins' eponymous debut. She's the fiddle player from Nickle Creek and her first album was produced by Led Zepplin's John Paul Jones. Sound interesting enough for you yet? Here's the track. It's pretty awesome.

I've gotta tell y'all something. I've been running this blog now for almost a year. It'll be exactly a year come the 4th. Yes, that's right kids. My blog was Born of the Fourth of July. But when I started it I didn't have a job. And then when I actually got a job I had a lot of downtime which I used to blog. I figured if I'm gonna spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer with only 2 hours worth of shit to do then I might as well Rock some things in my free time. Well, it's been a while since I Rocked something, ain't it? You know why? Because NASA apparently wants me to do shit on the clock now. How absurd! I've been busier than hell recently. If y'all know me at all you know that it takes some doing to get me to work past the 5 o'clock whistle. I've been at work until 7 PM or so at least 4 times in the last 6 work days. Before that I was at work at 7 AM! What kind of shit is that? But it's okay. I'm just getting adjusted is all. So that's the reason that my blog presence has been somewhat wanting as of late. I know, you've heard it all before. But them's the facts. So, instead of calling it quits, I'm going to have to start blogging on my own time. I shudder to think.

Anyhow so aside from being busy at work it also seems like since the summer started I've not really been home for more than an hour without being asleep (which is also MIA). Anyone else catching some of this action? What's up with that? Seriously, for the last two weeks at least it seems like as soon as I get home from work someone is calling about dinner or a bar or hiking or something. Not a bad problem to have, I think.

I've also met a girl or two in the past month, which should be a great thing. Of course we've all seen how well I deal with women so let's not go picking out drapes or anything. I'm not even sure if they're actually interested. Who saw that one coming? God I'm a schmuck. I'd totally be joining a dating site right now if it weren't for the fact that I'm trying to save money to buy a house. This is turning out to be an ordeal. The house-buying, I mean. And I guess the women thing, too. Natch.

Speaking of relationships, everyone say congratulations to Colleen who just got married! And she met her beau on the nets! So should the day ever come that I have discretionary income again I'll be begging her advice on how to best approach the e-dating situation because she obviously aced that shit. Also, read her blog because she's totally awesome. With any luck I'll be getting to meet her (and The F, er, H) in a couple of weeks when she sees Sonic Youth in Birmingham.

*It's also a perfect way to describe the ridiculous heat wave that we've been experiencing here. OH MY GOD.

19 June 2009

A man in a gorilla suit

I'm gonna go ahead and knock out the last of my Sasquatch! posts. Took me long enough AMIRITE?! I actually just sent an email today to one of the folks we met up there who's asked us to come visit him in Portland. I may take him up on that. I hear good things. Anyway so here are my notes from Monday, May 26th- the last day of Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Horse Feathers:
- All strings = awesome
- Like Great Lake Swimmers
- Kind of repetitive
- Better served in small venues
- Probably not a 'whole CD' band
- Hell yes play the saw! (Gotta love it when folks play the saw, right?)

These folks work hard to sound good.

Bishop Allen:
- Party music
- Good energy
- Catchy
- Good
- Uke!
- Probably better cause I'm drunk (Maybe my favorite note from the whole trip.)
- Harvard grads (Yeah, indie party music from Ivy League grads. Vampire Weekend much?)

Gogol Bordello:
- Fucking packed (It was ridiculous. The rush of people to get in front of the stage was mad.)
- Rock
- Pogo (I was jumping like I was 14 again and watching The Supertones.)
- Crowd loves it
- Awesome hot dancers (Always adds to a show.)
- No talking (My only complaint. They didn't even introduce songs!)
- Lots of sweat
- Lots of it (You pack 300 people into an area the size of a tiny apartment in 98 degree weather and see what happens.)

He hardly stopped moving long enough for photos

It kind of looks like those are my hands and I took this photo with my mind.

Fleet Foxes:
- 20 min late
- Young!
- Start out a capella
- Kind of boring
- Don't sound great
- Mandolin + keyboard = impressive (Playing them simultaneously, that is.)
- Warming up
- Awkward and quiet between songs
- Play well (It ended up being a good show but those guys are the antithesis of rock stars.)

Ahh! It's Sasquatch! Oh, no. It's just Robin Pecknold.

And that's it! Damn if I had realized that I would've just tacked this onto the last post. Heh. Oh well. We left early that day because we had to drive back to Seattle so we could fly out the next morning. So we missed a few acts but no one critical (Ben Harper, meh). As we were leaving:

Check out my sweet armband tan

As always feel free to look at the rest of the photos. You've seriously at least gotta check out the pics from the drive over there. Here's a preview:

So that's it for my trip to the great pacific northwest for Sasquatch! What do y'all think? Seems like a pretty good time, doesn't it? Now who wants to go with me next year?

14 June 2009

He's a large out-of-focus monster

Time for my notes from day two of Sasquatch! Music Festival. Let the record show that this was Sunday May 24th and I am in fact a total lazy-ass for just now getting around to putting this on my blog. Natch.

The Walkmen:
-Dude talks like he sings
-Sounds good
-Brought on horns from Calexico
-Triangle rock!
-Like to see 'em again
-Need to listen more often

-Lots of people in this band (7?)
-For some reason I expected them to be Spanish
-Lots of instrument switching
-Tons of energy

The Avett Brothers:
-Look different every time (Probably the fourth time I've seen them and they literally change their look every single time. Beard? Not this time, sucker! Long hair? Other brother, bro!)
-Open with "Laundry Room" (I think this is my new favorite of theirs.)
-So fucking great
-Love different arrangements
-Most I've heard 'em talk (They were pretty chatty this time around. Super humble.)
-Problems with bass
-New song? Title track, new album (They closed with "I and love and you" and it's a great track)

One of my favorite photos from the festival

I took a crapload of pics of the Avett Bros

Murder City Devils:
-Hates mic stands (He was throwing the mic stand around the stage so much I was sure that he was going to hit someone.)
-Cute keyboard player
*We only watched them play 2 or 3 songs because the dude started ranting about "faggots and high school jocks" and we couldn't take it anymore

Zach Galiafinakis:
-Attacks the organizers for adverts (Great way to start a routine, by the way. There were stupid Verizon advertisements all over that beautiful venue.)
-Packed out!
-St. Vincent (She came on stage and sang a song about choo-choo trains. It was great watching all these hipsters sing along with a ridiculous choo-choo train song)

Airborne Toxic Event:
-Don't know much about 'em
-Sounds good
-Love women on fiddle (Seriously. It's a condition or something.)
-Only the Boss can wear headbands

He just can't pull of a bandanna like Springsteen
Nine Inch Nails:
-Sounds great
-Awesome lights
-Sitting up top (I was at the top of the amphitheatre for this performance smoking electronic cigarettes* with a friend of my brother)
-Pretty impressive
-Probably better solo (As in I'd like to see them again when they're headlining)

Er, Trent Reznor is in there somewhere.

Jane's Addiction:
-Knows how to work a crowd
-Awesome lights
-Dave Navarro? (Don't know why I didn't remember he was in this band. In case there was any question the answer is no, he was not wearing a shirt.)
-Shreds (Dude is impressive, for sure)
-This is how the pros do it
-I thought PF quit drinking
-Fed booze to the audience
-Talks about sex a lot
-Made a joke about midget fisting (Seriously. It was his segue into "Ocean size". Don't ask.)

Day two was effing awesome. The Avett Brothers may have been my favorite performance of the whole festival. Jane's Addiction was just impressive as hell to see live despite the fact that I've never really been into their music. They know how to put on a damn show, that's for sure. And Zach Galiafinakis was super funny.
"One thing I've learned is that looking like me it's hard to get a table for one at Chuck E. Cheese. Especially when you have a sketch pad. And ice cream truck music blaring out of your Subaru."
If you want to see more of my photos (there are a ton) the full album can be seen here.

*I'll probably end up buying on of these soon. They're so neat! And it seems like they're better for you being smoke free and all.

11 June 2009

Run! He's fuzzy. Get outta here.

Okay folks, here's the deal. You've heard me say on several occasions now that I've been too busy lately to keep up with my blog. At this point we've all gotta assume it's more than that. I mean I only posted like 4 times last month. How lame is that? But fear not, I'm not insinuating that I'm giving up on blogging but more something along the lines of "I'm gonna stop lying about starting to post more often." I think that would be best for all of us. I still haven't gotten around to posting about awesome Sasquatch! awesome Music Festival!! For Pete's sake! That was going to be a multi-part, massive blogapalooza about music and awesomeness but it's become apparent that I don't have the time/willpower to accomplish that goal. So instead what I'll do is transcribe my notes about each band and let you refer to my awesome pictures below for more proof of the awesomeness. I am really glad that I decided to keep a festival diary, lemmetellya. So here are the notes I took about the bands I saw at Sasquatch Music Festival.

First, let me show you our first impression of the main stage at The Gorge:

Beautiful, right? Does that even do it justice?

Now to the actual notes:

Vince Mira:
-Holy shit! (You like how my first note about the festival is utter amazement? Yeah, read on)
-Sounds like Johnny Cash (No seriously, EXACTLY like Johnny Cash.)
-Opened w/ Big River (Probably my favorite Cash song)
-17 years old (really!)
*Y'all have to watch this video to hear this guy. It's short but awesome. I took it with my phone so forgive the quality.

From Sasquatch Music Festival 05.09

AA Bondy:
-Small sound problems
-These guys rock
-Dig the lyrics
-Loud as fuck
-[Camping neighbors] like 'em
-Country song about vampires? I'm in.
-"I slept in my mom's car the other night. It's cool, she has better drugs than I do." (The singer said this at one point and I thought it deserved a quote!)

-Great venue for arena rock
-They even look like U2 (See photos for proof. Singer with shaved head and large, goofy glasses? Check. Guitar player with military cap and sleek sunglasses? Check.)
-Impressive drummer
-"Kindgom of Rust" (Must've been a song I enjoyed)

M. Ward:
-Elaborate soundcheck!
-Opened w/ "Chinese Translation"
-I love "Rave On"
-Violin player from DeVotchka (He joined for one or two songs)
-He's an awesome guitar player (I was surprised by this)
-All Post War and Hold Time (His two most recent albums)
-Maybe one from End of Amnesia (Another of his albums)
-Finished w/ "Roll over Beethoven" (How cool is that?!)

-It makes the people dance
-Carnival Rock
-He sings into two mics? (I've never seen that before)
-Very pretty music
-Finally some clouds (One of the few times we got shade during the days there.)
-They've sold me (I liked 'em before but their live show was awesome!)

Sun Kil Moon:
-Only know Tiny Cities (Their album of Modest Mouse covers)
-Sounds problems
-Probably enjoyable for big fans
-Lots of old people here

Animal Collective:

The Decemberists:
-Hazards of Love (They played the whole album)
-Goosebumps! (I got 'em)
-Margaret doesn't look like I thought she would.
-Neither does the Forest Queen. (Who completely stole the show, by the way)

*side note: It was during this concert (during "The Wanting Comes in Waves" no less) that two people began doing the no-pants dance on a bluff overlooking the main stage. The crowd and the band got a kick out of it until security busted up their amorous entwine. Nothing like sex in front of 20,000 strangers to get the evening started! Picture!

edit: I found equally blurry/kind of obnoxious video of the ordeal. God bless the internets.

Bon Iver*:
-30 minutes late (apparently they'd had some issues getting an inebriated Mos Def to finish his preceding set)
-Started out w/ "Flume"
-Wish he would play standing up (I was waaay in the back, check the photos)
-Some woman singing with him. Forest Queen? (It was indeed the same woman who'd performed with the Decemberists not 30 minutes prior. She's that awesome.)
-I like it when they play songs different than the album (They're prone to some jamming)
-Crowd participation (singalong!)
-Covering Katherine Edwards
-Tech difficulties so they can't perform certain songs? (It was a truncated set anyway because of the late start)

That was all for Saturday (just the first day!). I'll break the other two days up into separate posts so they're more readable and aren't a billion pages long. So I guess this will end up being a multi-part, massive blogapalooza after all. Though expect those other posts soon. Like maybe even later today.

Y'all really should go look at the rest of those pictures though because the scenery out there is just gorgeous. No lie. I love that place.

*I saw Bon Iver play this past weekend in Birmingham with Elvis Perkins making it the second time in less than a month that I've seen both of them play (bragging). The performance in Birmingham was effing awesome and I would definitely recommend that you see them play as soon as you can.

Bonus points to anyone who gets the title reference.

04 June 2009

Shake it like a digital picture

Okay I really have been trying to get a post out about Sasquatch! but I've been swamped, yo. So for right now just have a look at the album I put up. There are about 120 in all. I'll put some of the better ones into the blog entry about the festival. These were all taken with my phone, which has a built-in 5MP camera. As you will see, though, it also has its failures. I've never used Picasa before, but it looks like it's going to work. Please let me know if you have any issues looking at the pictures! Here's a nice slide show: