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23 Jun

No, I’m not getting a tattoo.

That’s not the kind of branding I’m talking about.

Since it’s been summer for officially…almost 2 weeks…all I’ve been doing is cleaning my house for Libby’s grad party last weekend, general planning for Ledger next year (EIC WHAT WHAT!) and Internet-ing. Okay, that’s not a verb, but I’m making it a verb for now.

I figure with my free time this summer (whatever goddamn free time I DO have), I’ll increase my overall presence on the web. And some of your may think that it’s a complete waste of time and bandwidth, but I’ve come to find out that it most certainly is not. I’m not saying that I’m going to get a website, because that costs money, but with all the different networking sites where I exist, it adds up.

Just revamped my YouTube account:

Don’t judge me.

I’m serious. I kind of love vlogging, and with my recent mega foray into Nerdfighteria for Chris’s class (in which I got a 4.0!) I’ve seen how connective it is. Not that I will stop blogging, but vlogging is a completely different kind of thing – since you get to see people and their gestures, and hear their voice and tone. And YouTube is kind of awesome. I mean, I met Hank Green technically because of it. And I found this video:

Tres Piece never gets old.

Anyway, I love YouTube, and I insist that if you pay more attention to the parts of it that aren’t adorable cat videos (although those are always nice palate cleansers) or Miley Cyrus music videos. YouTube isn’t just a website, it’s a community.

I’ll actually be posting a video eventually defending my proclaimed status as a hipster, because so many people hate them. There are also several other videos on the docket that I’ve brainstormed:

1. Why I love Nerdfighteria
2. Doctor Who
3. 4th of July – why I love America, but would gladly live somewhere else
4. Camera nerd
5. The mega awesome WAStravaganza we have planned at the end of July and beginning of August.

I should probably fill you in on that, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

What else have I done to rebrand myself? Well I’ve updated my Tumblr to match the YouTube.

I do love Tumblr. It’s like Twitter but not limited to words and links. I think I may have said that before, but I need to reproclaim it now. And today I got a Dailybooth, because I’m that narcissistic. Not really, but I figured, why not?

Now I just have to get on that internship thing and getting more photography gigs. I’ll need to set up my own Facebook fan page for that, and maybe get my business license, so I can write my lenses off on my taxes. I do have Lindsey and Chris’s wedding next May. Right, oh shit. I really want that lens.

Speaking of lens – LOOK WHAT I FOUND THIS MORNING. I can’t tell if it’s legit, or if all the things he’s selling are pieces of shit. Seriously, $2100 for a 5D Mk I and two awesome lens, one of which is normally at least $1300 by itself. This would be the ideal package though, right? A shiny new 5D and the wonderful wide angle with the most badass telephoto? Except in this guy’s photo of the equipment, the 70-200mm doesn’t look like the 70-200s I’ve seen. It’s all black. Hmmm. I’ll keep this in mind. I’ll just keep checking craigslist. I don’t wanna get scammed or stabbed or anything.

Internships – yeah, about that.

I’ve been scouring the internet for good ones, and sadly enough I’m too late for any summer ones, which I guess is fine because I’ll be preparing for next year (EIC WHAT WHAT!) and going to a bajillion shows. Have I introduced you to my schedule? These are all the shows I WANT to hit up this summer. And that’s not including what may come up randomly on the schedule. Except I don’t think I’m gonna go to the Capitol Hill Block Party. If I’m not getting in free, I’m out. That’s basically how I feel about most shows lately. Except for WAS.

Now I’ll get to the most badass part of my summer, except for the part when Laura gets home. Well, directly after Laura leaves to go back to New Jersey, I’ll be embarking on an as-yet-undefined-number-of-days trip to San Francisco to see my beloved We Are Scientists. It will be me, Adrian, her friend Ashley that I’ve never met, Renee, Amber, Dolores, and Jenn in San Fran. I’ll drive down to PDX and meet up with Adrian and Ash on August 6th so we can all drive the 10-hour drive to San Fran from there, cause the show is on the 7th. Like I said before, I don’t know how many nights we’ll be staying, but I think that we may end up staying at the Ritz-Carlton and split the price. It was $100 a night! And with 4 people, it would be about the same amount as paying for a hostel, but it would be infinitely cooler because it’s the damn Ritz-Carlton.

So we’ll be in San Francisco, WITH A CAR, so we will have some mobility, even though the public transportation in SF is quite awesome as I remember from high school. Of all the things to do in SF – GO TO AMOEBA, EAT IN CHINATOWN, and of course SEE WAS with all my cool peeps (or as Adrian has started calling us, “slores.”)

I think I’m done, but I have one last thing to add.

The Editor of Crawdaddy! Magazine just emailed me about doing on of these showcases, and I have to pick out 5 photos to showcase. I can’t pick my 5 best. Some of the ones I’m thinking of are:

I there are any that you think are awesomer, let me know.

❤ Abby

I shouldn’t have titled the last post the way I did.

7 Feb

Because that title belongs to THIS POST. Oh well.

Sorry I didn’t write this yesterday, but I can’t for the life of me remember why I didn’t besides the fact that I was editing pictures a lot, making pie crust, roasting bananas and sweet potatoes, and putting it all together to make a pie. It took most of the afternoon. I forgot the half stick of butter in the filling, but it’s beautiful and tasty just the same.

See? Tasty.

But I didn’t actually post this blog because of pie. No, I saw Editors (NO ‘THE’) on friday. Hells yes.

After an incredibly long day in Olympia meeting with senators and taking photos of our student government being all government-y, and missing the rally that we originally went for (balls!), Lindsay and I left Tacoma at about 6:10, and surprisingly, we made it to Seattle in…40 minutes. On a FRIDAY. It was a sign. Things would be going our way the rest of the night. And when we got to the Showbox, there was parking, and we had plenty of time to kill before getting in line – seeing that the line was hella short. We went over to a Starbucks, merely because we both had to pee, and chillaxed for about 20 minutes before walking back to the line. Soon after, this girl sporting a wicked awesome jacket with an all-over newspaper pattern got in line behind us. Her name was Kathryn, and she’d trekked up to Seattle from Portland to see Editors because Portland wasn’t on their list of tour dates. That always sucks. We soon got to talking, which made the wait in line so much better, and we found out that she’d painted an oil painting of Tom and was planning on giving it to him that night.

Yeah, pretty badass, right?

Kathryn was quite the character, talking about Tom’s face and Chris’s face, but in a way most people wouldn’t mention. She even asked me after I told her I wrote and took photos for a music blog, “if I give you my email address, could you send me the bad pictures?”


“I could paint them.”

“Oh, yeah.”

It was funny.

Once we got into the venue, Lindsay, Kathryn and I got up close and personal with the stage, and it was pleasant wait until the obnoxious teens behind up decided to sit on the floor, inhibiting me from moving. And to make matters worse, they were all touchy feely couples that wouldn’t get off of each other. Yeah, blech. AND, there were these girls standing right off the side of us that were obviously drinking. They spilled all their shit all over the floor, and Kathryn didn’t want to slip on anything so she picked up their bottles and went to go throw them away. Unfortunately a security guard saw and came up to Lindsay and I asking if Kathryn had been drinking. Having been standing with her the entire time, we obviously told him no, and a few minutes later Kathryn came back into the crowd. It was weird, because last week a similar thing happened at a completely different juncture where someone questioned whether or not people I was with had been drinking. I swear to god if someone accuses me of being drunk, I’m just going to stare at them and be like, “do I look like I went to the hospital? Do I look dead?” Sure, I’d be being hyperbolic, but so what? Anyway, that was quite tangential.

The show was absolutely amazing. The first opening band was kind of forgettable, the second wasn’t bad, kinda liked them, but since friday I haven’t stopped listening to An End Has A Start and In This Light and On This Evening. Jesus christ those titles are long. It’s getting kind of tedious to type. But I already posted a draft of my review on Popwreckoning, so it should be up by tomorrow.

It’s like Editors is a completely new band to me. It was that great. Tom is all sexy crazy on stage, teetering on his feet and grasping at the mic, and Chris is just… *phwoar.* Sadly enough I didn’t get that many good ones of Chris because I was standing in the front middle by Tom until right before I couldn’t take pictures anymore. But I do like this one. I like it in black and white, cause before it was REALLY red. The lighting was quite saturated that night, but it was still way better than last week’s Cribs show.

This one’s a little soft, but I like it. It was one of my first shots during the first song – the title track from their last album.

Tom is so much fun to shoot, because he is so charismatic on stage. When you hear Editors, you expect the frontman to stand in one place and not jump on the piano (he didn’t do that on friday, but I’ve been told he does periodically).

Some chicks behind me after I moved to take pictures of Chris got in a girl fight. Well, a little one, but it was still feisty and loud. No eye-gouging or hair-pulling, but their was a shove, and then the obnoxious chicks rolled their eyes and kept acting like idiots.

I LOVE Chris’s Rickenbacker. It’s real similar to Chris Walla’s red one, but black. I want it. And I want to learn how to play a synth. That would be pretty cool, because you could make so many different noises with one soundboard. A Moog to be exact. That would be swell. If I could play a synthesizer, I’d feel like one cool jive turkey.


After an hour and 45 minutes worth of fabulous tunage, including the encore, we tried to grab the set list, but sadly someone else snagged it before us. We went outside and stood by my car to wait and see if Editors were going to come outside. I called mom, and she told me that we HAD to leave by 12:30, seeing that we didn’t get home until almost 2:30 when we saw Phoenix and she flipped out. I was completely ready to not listen to her and wait as long as I could with Lindsay and Kathryn to meet them. Besides, it was only right, because I didn’t want to leave Kathryn out there waiting by herself before she walked to Cornish to stay with her friend for the night. Not that Pike Place is sketchy, but it’s more fun to meet bands when you aren’t by yourself.

Thankfully, at just about 12:30, Chris, Tom, Russell and Ed walked around the corner in the parking lot. Being a little shocked at how sudden it happened, Lindsay and I sat at my car for a couple minutes while Kathryn waltzed right up to them and gave Tom her painting. Linds and I felt kinda like creepers for a bit, but then we walked over and asked Kathryn wanted me to take her picture with them.

Then that opened up the conversation and made it less awkward. After a short bit of introductions, I asked if they liked Seattle, and Ed and Russell mentioned that they’d been up to Capital Hill for a sandwich and coffee. They couldn’t remember where, so Lindsay said something about Starbucks, and they said something about how you can’t go to Starbucks because they’re everywhere. Then Lindsay said something about being embarrassed, and Chris was like, “well I’m holding a jug of milk, so you can’t be that embarrassed” (but in his wonderful Nottingham accent. Tom’s got the sexy singing voice and Chris has the sexy speaking voice. Le sigh.) Ed had a box of Flax cereal too, which was possibly the most random thing ever. We thanked them immensely for coming to Seattle, and said our goodbyes, making sure not to get all fangirly walking back to my car. That lasted until after we hugged Kathryn goodbye and got in my car. Then we went a little nuts with excitement.

I mean, last week I brought Andrea to her first show, and this week I was with Lindsay when she met her first band. Sure, I’ve only met Phoenix before Editors, but it’s still heartwarming to know that I helped them do that.

Well, I’m off to do homework. If you’d like to see the rest of my pictures from the show, go HERE

❤ Abby

They’re Ridiculously Awesome.

28 Nov

(This was posted on PopWreckoning this morning.)

As the first part to a tribute to Northwest music, the Showbox lit up Pike Place Friday night with local favorites The Lonely Forest of Anacortes, and Telekinesis and The Globes of Seattle. Just to say how much Seattle loves their locals – even before the doors opened up, the line curled around the block as horse-drawn carriages rode by on the rare rain-free night.

The Globes were up first. Lacking a record deal, but with nothing lacking in the talent department, The Globes were a great way to start the show – bringing in a mixture of shoegazing guitar rock and raw indie pop. Guitarist Kyle Musselwhite provided almost Thom Yorke-like vocals next to lead vocalist Erik Walters’ high-energy wails, bassist Sean McCotter’s low-key vibe and drummer Marcus Ourada’s excellent beats. They were just experienced enough to have the charisma to hold the room, but with just a little more stage time, they’d be just as charming as the two bands that followed. And with their first LP coming out soon, The Globes are one of Seattle’s emerging indie acts that show the promise of what our region has to offer the next few years.

After The Globes’ short half-hour set, Telekinesis came to set up their equipment, with one rare addition. My friends and I were standing right off to the left of center by the stage, and I swore Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie was tuning his Rickenbacker. I turned to my friend and asked, “Is that Chris Walla?”

“No, it can’t be. It’s gotta be some guy that looks totally like him.”

“That’s Chris Walla. I’m not kidding. Look.”

And I must tell you; my friend is a diehard Death Cab for Cutie fan, so she of all people should know who and who isn’t Chris Walla. But this time, I was right. Chris joined Michael Lerner (a.k.a. Telekinesis) and his touring band for this one-night Seattle engagement. Just because. Lerner later mentioned Chris as one of the people who was responsible for his record being released. He said that, “he made me write this record.” Signed to Merge Records in early 2009, Lerner has been touring for most of the year with David and Jodie Broecker and Chris Staples as his live band, and the unconventional stage lineup threw me off a bit, but made the night more interesting. Lerner sat at the drumkit as he sang on most of the songs, and the unexpected cameo by Walla excited the crowd like they should be on a Friday night at 10 p.m.

I would have liked to have heard “Awkward Kisser,” just cause it’s such a damn cute song, but Lerner played the lot of the songs off his eponymous debut released in April – a few highlights being “Tokyo,” “Coast of Carolina,” and “Foreign Room.” My sister especially liked “Calling All Doctors,” with its distinctive hook of a repeated “twitchin, twitchin.” There were a couple songs where Lerner got up off the drums and stood with his acoustic guitar by himself while the rest of the band lounged on the floor. “I Saw Lightning” was a perfect example of a Seattle ballad – heartfelt and not overdone. Like one of those songs you can sing to your girlfriend at an open mic and not sound too amateurish.

And I must say how epic David Broecker’s mustache was. It truly was amazing.

Right on schedule, headliners the Lonely Forest graced the stage at just after 11 p.m., right as my feet started to ache. The Showbox had become even more crowded than when we first arrived, which again shows how much buzz this band has gotten with the locals. Lead guitarist and vocalist John Van Deusen actually started off the set with “can I get a shout out to Anacortes!” and the room threw up their arms and cheered with pride.

The Lonely Forest manages to bring together emotional piano pop with heavy, complex indie rock, without sounding generic in the slightest. Their newest album We Sing the Body Electric, released on Burning Building Records earlier this year, is easily one of the most dynamic and, dare I say, best of the year. Van Deusen, along with guitarist Tony Ruland, bassist Eric Sturgeon and drummer Bradyn Krueger started off the holidays just how they should be – full of vigor. By halfway through their set the Lonely Forest had the whole room jumping to the sound of Ruland’s badass guitar licks and Van Deusen’s weathered voice with tracks from We Sing the Body Electric, “Two Pink Pills,” and “Tomato Soup.” They also played “Soil Silt and Clay,” from their first LP, 2007’s Nuclear Winter, a concept album about the world ending and the protagonist’s escape from destruction through space travel.

One of my favorite songs of the night was “They’re On To Something,” a fast and guitar-heavy track with a shy piano line and the perfect beat for the lively crowd to dance around to. But it wasn’t until towards the end of the night where most of the people surrounding me on the teeming floor sang along to “We Sing In Time,” the undeniably catchy pop song with a killer building hook. Once the band stepped off stage, people immediately started shouting for an encore, and as it’s become standard practice, The Lonely Forest walked back out for not one – but two – songs for an encore.

You’d never think that Van Deusen spent time in rehab and Ruland almost died after a stint in the hospital two years ago. But then again, with how much passion The Lonely Forest has both on their record and in a live setting, one has to wonder where they get their fire.

More news of the good nature

20 Nov

I also got a spot on the guest list for another gig in Seattle, this one on 11/27 at the Showbox at the Market. Featuring these bands:

The Lonely Forest


The Globes

The Showbox at the Market. November 27th. $10 advance, $12 DOS. Be there or be square. I will be. For free, with my photo passes BITCHES!

And btw, I did get a +1 for the Rooney/Tally Hall/Crash Kings show, so that’s another good thing that happened in the last couple days. I finally got the contact information for Deck the Hall Ball, so hopefully *crosses fingers* he gets back to me soon about a possible list spot. Good god that would be awesome. I’m pretty sure I’d piss my pants if that happened.


And 107.7 The End is doing more Deck tix giveaways this week at 9am, 2pm, and 5pm every day starting monday morning. Cause by now, you know that the tickets are sold out. Sadly enough. But come on, it’s Muse. I would be disgusted if it hadn’t sold out as quickly as it did.

Mkay, that’s all I had to say. I was thinking of going to see Brandi Carlile tomorrow night at a free in-store at Easy Street, but I have far too much to do and I didn’t feel like braving the ridiculous friday afternoon rush hour. And two shows within a week’s time is pretty good for me.

Off to listen to brain-orgasm-inducing live recordings of Animal Collective I acquired two days ago. God I love them. If you haven’t noticed that already.

❤ Abby

The Swell Season “Strict Joy” Album Review.

12 Nov

(This has already been posted on PopWreckoning, but I thought I’d post it here anyway to spread it around as much as possible.)


It’s almost not fair that the U.S. never got to experience Glen Hansard before 2007’s “Once,” because as of 2009, he has a 15-year history of making great bluesy-folk Irish rock with his band The Frames. And his experience mixed with 21-year-old Czech songwriter Marketa Irglova’s unsullied piano and vocals, the two once again creative a dynamic and poignant album, Strict Joy, following their 2007 Oscar win for “Falling Slowly” from the film “Once.” On their second record together, The Swell Season has expanded their musical and emotional repertoire without going too far out of their original intention.

Strict Joy opens on a bluesy Van Morrison-like tune, “Low Rising,” which was an odd choice to open the album, as its somewhat repetitive melody doesn’t hit me with a strong sense of what the album is going to encompass. And to be honest, the rest of the album doesn’t sound a whole lot like “Low Rising.” It’s a cool instance of showing the breadth of Hansard and Irglova’s songwriting, but I would have embedded it in the record as a nice change up, and started the record on track number two, “Feeling the Pull,” as it sounds to me like a sunrise. Like waking up to a sunny day with frost on the windowsill. That shows more what the album is – joyful, but still with those cold moments.

“The Rain,” “Feeling the Pull,” “High Horses” and “The Verb” provide the upbeat core of Strict Joy, which is what makes it different than The Swell Season’s first effort in 2006. This album isn’t nearly as melancholy, although it does have its moments. Stand out-tracks include the choir-laden acoustic ballad “In These Arms,” “Fantasy Man” led by Irglova’s slow lilt, and the Frames-esque throwback “Paper Cup,” which features a great guitar solo that almost sounds like Spanish finger-picking and Hansard’s soulful rasp.

Strict Joy also features a diversity of instruments and mixing, with more strings, harmonica, and even some more high-tech mixing on “Two Tongues,” and an almost Celtic-folk vibe on “I Have Loved You Wrong.” Strict Joy shows how an unlikely pairing can come together in such a way that makes perfect sense. Hansard and Irglova don’t sound like a couple of people who just got together to make music, they sound like they’ve been making music together for much longer than you’d expect because of Irglova’s age. But that may be just a sign of the group’s musicianship and undeniable chemistry. Strict Joy isn’t quite as fresh as the Swell Season’s first effort back in 2006, which people forget preceded “Once,” but just as beautiful. I’d like to see where they go next, now that the songs aren’t as strongly engrained in our minds as the story of “Once,” whether it is fact or fiction.


❤ Abby

Grizzly Bear w/ the Morning Benders @ the Moore Theatre

17 Oct

[This was just posted on Popwreckoning, so feel free to go there too. ]

I arrived at the Moore Theatre last night just in time to get my Will Call tickets right when the doors opened. Thankfully – since it was one of the rainiest days of the year in Seattle, which is saying a lot. I stood out in the lobby for a bit before they opened the doors for us to find our seats.

I – along with a few other people – trickled into the old theater through the corridors myself in the box seats, the others spread around within the theater. A few guys came and sat in the box a few rows behind me, discussing whether or not to get drunk.

“We can’t drink beer down here? Let’s go mingle. Let’s go drink beer,” the first guy proposed.
“Okay, dude. Let’s go drink beer,” the second guy responded.

By that point, the historic Moore Theatre was pretty empty. Actually, most of the people didn’t arrive until halfway through the openers, the Morning Benders from San Francisco.

Personally, they were a big part of the reason why I went to the gig. I saw them in July of 2008 as openers for my favorite band We Are Scientists, and from then on I wished to see them again.

Unfortunately, when they came back to Seattle this October, someone decided to break into their van some time before the show and steal some of their equipment, among other random things. But had I not known that, I wouldn’t have thought otherwise, because they were totally at ease on stage. Kicking it off with a low-key version of “Damnit Anna,” one of the peppier songs from their debut Talking Through Tin Cans, they were just the right compliment for Grizzly Bear – the headliners. But the rest of the songs were new ones from their upcoming release, Big Echo, which doesn’t yet have an official release date. I caught a few of the titles of the new songs, and my favorites were “Hand Me Downs,” an upbeat song more reminiscent of Talking Through Tin Cans, and “Stitches,” a slow, heavy ballad. “Stitches” actually kind of mesmerized me. And sitting by myself in the box at that point, I could just bask in the sound and listen. It was nice.

The Morning Benders’ sound was more mature than the last record, which makes me excited to hear all of Big Echo. But even though their new stuff sounded more mature, the Morning Benders still had the same charm they had last time I saw them. All of their guitars may not have been labeled “Britney Spears,” but drummer Julian Harmon had the familiar sticker on his snare. Not sure what it means. I’ll have to figure that out one day, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

The Morning Benders were very gracious openers, as front man Chris Chu repeatedly thanked Grizzly Bear for bringing them on this leg of the tour, which gave everyone a nice impression of the band. But I don’t think they got the love they deserved because like I said earlier, most of the people got to the venue late, just in time to see Grizzly Bear. At the end, Chu thanked the crowd “for coming early to see us.” That’s not early, that’s on time. Everyone else got there late.

But they did come to see an amazing show. Grizzly Bear was amazing.

Normally I don’t like sitting in the theater at gigs, but in this case, the Moore was the perfect venue for it – large, but not too large so it’s still intimate. And the haunting vocals from Daniel Rossen, Ed Droste, Chris Taylor and Chris Bear worked perfectly with everyone seated. It’s not the kind of music you dance to, more like the kind you just listen to.

And that’s all I had to do – listen.

And Grizzly Bear surely brought in the crowd. The guy sitting next to me had heard of them just that day, and lived in Pullman. He drove 4 hours to see them. Wow.

I’ve never seen a more dynamic group of musicians. First hearing them on Veckatimest a couple months ago, I would have never guessed they could pull off all the layers of sound they achieved on the record the same way live. But they did. Droste would switch from keyboard to guitar to mandolin, and Rossen switched from keyboards to guitar. But Taylor was the one that stood out to me in his multiple instrumentalist skills. From bass to flute to clarinet and bass clarinet, and another odd instrument that I couldn’t name if I ever tried. It just added an eerie ringing sound to several of the songs.

Speaking of the songs, Grizzly Bear played a nice mixture of songs from Veckatimest and 2006’s Yellow House, which lent itself to the range of sounds they created on stage. Starting off the show with “Southern Point,” it was just the right amount of energy to get people excited. Not only did they sound great, but also there were Mason jar lights set up all along the stage hung from stands, creating a wave of lights to go along with the psychedelic indie rock.

Some of my favorite tunes of the night were “Fine for Now,” “Little Brother,” and “Lullabye.” But what got the crowd going most was “Two Weeks,” Grizzly Bear’s biggest hit yet. Besides, it’s the easiest to sing along to. But the biggest song of the night, and the one that really gave me goosebumps with all the slow buildup, Taylor’s constant switching of instruments, and soaring harmonies from Droste and Rossen was “I Live With You.” I could see people all around the theater bobbing their heads to the music that filled the extremely tall Moore.

Droste actually said towards the end of the night, “Are you guys getting vertigo up there? I was up there earlier, and it’s weird.” The second balcony is quite tall, and most of the time requires binoculars, but it sounds just as good because of the acoustics of the theater. From where I was sitting in the box on the main floor, the heaviness of the bass actually made my glasses shudder and eyes blur for a second.

After the “last song,” everyone got on their feet to applaud for the encore, except a select few that actually thought it was the end of the show. But a couple minutes of applause later, the foursome walked back out on stage for one last song, “He Hit Me,” from the Friend EP. It was a perfect way to end the show, finishing at a little before 11 p.m.

Now all I had to do was wait for my ride to get there. But while I waited, I stood outside the venue for an hour and mingled with the other fans waiting to meet the band. I still have yet to do that, as I have an odd fear of meeting bands. Not sure why, but I really need to get over that.

Maybe next time.

[Addendum: I really need to get over my fear of meeting bands I like. I was literally waiting in the lobby, Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes was there. Like, seriously. And afterwards, I could have easily gone up to Chris or Julian or Tim of the Morning Benders and said hi, but I’m lame. And as I was waiting outside for mom with the rest of the Grizzly Bear fans, I was hoping both bands were coming outside to meet people, but I’m an idiot and didn’t realize that the Morning Benders had probably already packed up all their gear and brought it to their hotel to avoid getting ripped off again from an asshole Seattleite. But when Grizzly Bear did finally come outside like 45 minutes after the show, I froze. Like, my mouth dried up and I couldn’t say anything. Ugh.]

❤ Abby

Bumbershoot, finally

9 Sep

It’s wednesday, and I’m a terrible person for not posting this AS SOON AS I GOT HOME MONDAY. But my head hurt and I was tired as hell.

But I’ll try not to go on too long about the bands themselves, because that’s what my articles for Popwreckoning are for. That’s partially why this took me so long, because I was busy writing up my recaps for them. Hopefully, they’ll be up in the next couple days.

I’ll start from the beginning –


We started with Katy Perry, mainly because Libby wanted to. I figured I should to diversify who I was seeing that day to include a somewhat comprehensive recap. But surprisingly, the second half of her set was really fun. Sure, I was surrounded by tween girls and horny teenage boys, was weird, but fun enough for 1 in the afternoon, which felt like far too early to really get into anything. And Katy Perry ACTUALLY kissed a girl. It was hilarious, because one of the security guards lifted her up with her explosion of tutu coming from her butt, putting his face in her ass, as she leaned over the front rail to kiss a girl. O.O Scandalous! One of the chicks standing behind me actually shouted, “OMG SHE KISSED A GIRL!” Wow. Shit your pants who don’tchya? Katy Perry did make her way through a cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” which was actually quite fun, because I was singing along to that one, only thinking of the scene in Shaun of the Dead when they were all beating the zombie in the pub with pool cues to the beat of the juke box. It was remotely entertaining on her part.

That’s what Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head was for – having fun. Libby hasn’t listened to their stuff, but I dragged her along anyway. I’m SO glad I did, because they were awesome. A friend of ours said they were better the last time he saw them, but I didn’t care what he said. They were so much fun with their infectious songs about sexy facial hair and holding hands in the shower. After that, I really want to hang out with them. Like seriously. They’re basically all my age, and I saw a few of them walking around the festival for the next couple of days, so I contemplating going up to say hi. But I think I need to figure out a way not to fangirl at everything. If I want to be in this business, I have to chill out and not act like a goofy fan. But I will DEFINITELY be going to see them again when they play in town – which shouldn’t be that far off, since they live here.

But really, there’s a song about sexy facial hair – “Beard Lust.” Seriously. AWESOME.

Okay…I can’t remember what happened next. I think we…um…went shopping? No! We went to the Northwest Rooms so I could show Libby the walls I put up in the art galleries. She didn’t find it nearly as cool as I did, but she did sit forever and draw stuff on the walls covered in butcher paper. I can’t draw, so I didn’t find it nearly as amusing. There was this guy posing for people to draw. He was only wearing underwear.

Next was Matt & Kim. Holy crap they were awesome. I didn’t hurt that they were so genuinely happy to be there. I don’t think you could find a more joyous and humble band. Kim did not stop grinning and Matt pumped up the crowd, with the mere instrument of his keyboard. Keyboard and drumkit. That’s all it took to start a huge dance party on the Broad Street lawn. And it rained, quite a bit actually, but it didn’t matter, because after Matt had started the opening riffs for “Daylight” several times, the rain STOPPED. They even broke out into a short homage to “Final Countdown” by Europe. Seriously. It was so much fun, but not too crazy because the crowd wasn’t ginormous that we didn’t get pummeled by crowd surfers. But there were a fair share of those – even in the somewhat small crowd compared to anything the main stage produced. People were throwing tortillas for christ’s sakes! The taco stand was right outside the Broad Street Stage, so it was fitting. At one point, Matt was like, “are these tortillas? Someone must have told you, because tacos are my favorite food. Really all sandwiches.”

So someone threw a sandwich on stage at the end of the set. Really. A wrapped-up sandwich.

We ran into a couple chicks from PHS who got Matt to sign their stomach inside the Center House before we got food. And then we realized I didn’t have my wallet.

Yeah, I didn’t have my wallet. So we used Libby’s money to buy food, got our hand stamped and went out to the car to see if the wallet was there. At that point, we didn’t have main stage passes and didn’t really want to go see anyone else that night, and it was already past 8, so we left and went back to my aunt’s house so I could write about all of saturday’s wonderful festivities.

Oh! I almost forgot! When we were standing around doing…something…in the middle of the walkway that afternoon, THIS GUY and THIS GAL was standing right behind me.

Yeah, I was standing THIS close to THAT amount of famous. I didn’t even say hello, and I felt starstruck. I mean holy balls.


Now sunday was much rainier than saturday. Like, there were puddles all across the ground at the mainstage, and the steps were slippery, and the ground at the Broad Street stage was soggy. It was WET. But no matter, Cold War Kids were awesome anyway – and again – as it poured down rain, and they started playing “Hang Me Up To Dry,” the rain fucking STOPPED. It was so perfect, yet again. Weather, sometimes you amaze me. But anyway. The crowd for Cold War Kids were very low-key, which wasn’t the greatest, but the band sounded AWESOME. At one point, the lead singer was like, “I see now that the sun’s coming out, clothes are just coming off of people.” That’s what happened. After we all started stripping off our rain jackets and hats, he took off his jacket and overshirt. It was perfect.

When thy were done, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were on in half an hour, so we hung around inside the main stage for awhile, shopping, drinking from the free water hoses, etc. And then Karen O, Nick Zimmer, and Brian Chase took the stage. I’d missed out on their performance at Sasquatch, and I got a SECOND CHANCE. When I saw that they joined the lineup, and literally jumped for joy. Literally.

I’m SO FUCKING GLAD I got to see them, because no one’s energy can rival that of Karen O’s. An Nick has got to be the coolest person ever. He’s like the living representation of a Tim Burton character. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfectly coifed hairstyle. It’s like a cross between Robert Smith’s crazy ‘do and RPattz’s unkempt mess. That’s the only way I can describe it. But they were A-MAZING. Everything from “Date with the Night” to “Skeletons” to “Maps.” It was all good. Karen O has got the most inexplicable voice though – you got her melody drawl in “Maps” and her almost orgasm in “Date with the Night.” That’s kinda what it sounds like. But again, it was all AMAZING. Before they started playing “Maps,” and we all knew it was coming, because Nick switched to an acoustic, but before they started playing, Karen O was like, “this song is about love. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Seattle – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Seattle – love.” And she put her hand over her heart. It was both an “aww” and a “rock on” moment at the same time. And to top it all off, the crowd was great too. We were all dancing and crowd-surfing at 2:30 in the afternoon. They should have been the headliners instead of Jason Mraz, that’s all I’m saying.

After the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we went and got some lunch from the Magic Dragon inside the center house, while tiny chicks danced to the Jonas Brothers in the kid’s pavilion. It was weird. I told Libby, “it will be the end of days when the Jonas Brothers are playing Bumbershoot.” Hehe.

But then I realized that my camera’s batteries were dying. I kept the camera off for awhile, but then noticed that I didn’t have the amount of power in my batteries that could take pictures during the Vivian Girls and Jason Mraz. So before the Vivian Girls even started, I got my hand stamped, quickly walked down to OfficeMax on Mercer to pick up some batteries. It only took me twenty minutes total, so I made it back in time to catch most of the Vivian Girls’ set. They were pretty good. Great album, not a lot of energy, so Libby got bored. But I got some good pictures. And you could really tell the difference in the crowd from yesterday’s Broad Street performers Matt and Kim and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head to the Vivian Girls on sunday. Not a lot of brightly colored pants on sunday. But anyway. Libby was bored, so we left before they ended to go shopping for a bit and to wait in the stand-by line for Patton Oswalt. We met these two guys and this lady names Melinda. It was funny, because one of the guys – Ian – had a couple chinese symbols tattooes on his arm, he was wearing “Southpole” gear, and had just gotten another chinese symbol in the black henna (which is really bad for you.) So I figured he was a douchey frat boy. But no, we all got into a nice conversation waiting in line, and he’s a theater guy, who was just in Fiddler on the Roof. It was weird, but my sister and I were pretty sure he was trying to hook up with Melinda’s daughter because Melinda was asking him about contacts for her daughter for modelling and acting. He told her a couple people’s numbers, but then was just like, “here, give me my number.” Melinda was pimping out her daughter, unknowingly. Haha.

Once it was time for everyone to pile into the Charlotte Martin theater, the security guy counted off the standby line, and literally, it cut off right after us. We just barely made it in, and I was so thankful, because Tommy Johnagin and Patton Oswalt were so fucking funny I almost pissed myself. Patton’s set was a lot of the stuff from the album he just released, but I didn’t care. I’d already had a great couple weeks of funny, and this was a nice way to finish off the laughter. I didn’t end up seeing any other comedians on monday, but that’s okay.

Back to the music. So Jason Mraz wasn’t bad. He really wasn’t. He started out kinda boring. I really only went because Libby wanted to go, and I wanted to make her happy. It took me awhile to get into the music, because it was really chill and kinda slow – again, I questioned the scheduling. But the ladies LOVE Jason Mraz. All the chicks standing around me went NUTS for him. But in all honesty, musically, he’s really good live. Like a younger, hotter version of Dave Matthews, but not headliner-of-Seattle’s-biggest-music-festival-good. It just didn’t fit. But once he got into the more up tempo songs, and a cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” I got into it. I was dancing, chatting it up with the girl next to me, singing along. It ended up being fun. Not any insane moshers, that’s for sure.


Monday, another rainy day. And this day started out a lot rougher than the previous two days. We arrived about an hour later than we had been, and our trusty parking garage was all full. It was those damn Black Eyed Peas that filled our garage. So I drove around for 20 minutes looking for parking, temporarily parking in a $9 garage before realizing that it closed at 6:30. WTF? So I drove some more before settling on the $15 at the Fisher Plaza, where we parked last year. It wasn’t empty, but not super full, so I was satisfied.

I got there just in time to see Say Hi, which was one of the bands I REALLY wanted to see. And I ran into Jenn, one of my WAS buddies from the interwebs. Say Hi was good, and I got some fine pictures. I just love the lyrics Eric Elbogen writes, about vampires, Star Wars, it’s so random, and so funny. The bassist, I think his name was Andy, was pretty damn hot. Eric said at the beginning, “Andy, ask me something.”

“Um, why did you change your name?”

“Something that doesn’t put me on the spot. Dangit, two gigs and you’re already screwing up!”

Apparently, he was new to touring with Say Hi, which used to be Say Hi To Your Mom. I don’t know why they changed their name, but I’m glad they did, because Say Hi To Your Mom is a mouthful. I especially loved “Sweet Sweet Heartkiller,” one of the songs off “Impeccable Blahs,” which was all about vampires. Hehe. OMG TRUE BLOOD! Wait, stay on topic.

Libby was volunteering monday, so she didn’t get to see anyone until Franz Ferdinand that night, and Laura showed up, which I wasn’t aware of until sunday. It was nice, because I didn’t really have a lot of people to hang out with, and having Laura there, even if she was feeling low, helped. But I didn’t actually get to see Laura until after Mirah, who was AMAZING live. I walked over there by myself, which was okay, because her music is a very personal, organic experience. With such a tiny voice, comes such an interesting, powerful energy. She had everything from the violin to the clarinet to some crazy sitar-looking thing in her band. And at the beginning, this was pretty funny.

“I wore this shirt, it’s from 1985, from when we used to wear half shirts. Remember half shirts? Now it’s kind of like a quarter shirt.”

It made me laugh. But Mirah has such a beautiful instrument, and I could tell by the way people just shut up on the lawn. That was the kind of performance you had to be quiet to enjoy. I’ve come home to download even more of her stuff.

I think I might have rushed through the last bit of this, just to get to the bit about FRANZ.

Okay. Franz. We got in line quite early, and still the main stage was uber crowded when we got in there. Laura’s foot was hurting, so we sat for a little bit before I ventured down into the mosh pit 15 minutes before they went on stage. I made me way as close as I could get without being rude and shoving people out of the way. I don’t like being rude. But once they started, I didn’t even care anymore. I was dancing, and shoving people, but then again, so was everyone else. Started out with “No You Girls,” then “Dark of the Matinee,” then I can’t even remember what order everything else went in. The security guards sprayed us all with water because people were getting out of hand. They needed us to chill, but nobody chilled. I think it was “Bite Hard” next. I don’t even know.

All I know it that Alex Kapranos is a GOD. Good lord does he have a sexy voice. It’s been 5 years almost since I saw them at the Key Arena, and this was SO MUCH BETTER. The Key Arena sucks for live shows. But Alex, Nick, Bob and Paul all jumped on stage, all energetic and fantastic, and I don’t even care if I’m sounding like an uber fangirl right now. I’m allowed to, aren’t I?

Halfway through their set, my feet were starting to ache from jumping so much, and “This Fire” started, and we all started jumping. You couldn’t not rock out to “This Fire.” All of a sudden, I felt a sharp THWACK on the back of my head. I’m not sure if it was the guy’s head or his foot that hit me, but I could barely make out a floating body above my head as I tried to un-dizzy myself, holding into my throbbing head. At that point, I tried to make my way out of the mosh pit, but it was useless. So I kept dancing. I didn’t care if I had a concussion, it was FRANZ! Five minutes went by, I was still having fun, but my head hurt like a MOTHER. So I gave into the pain and squeezed my way out of the pit, afraid of getting clobbered by another crowd surfer.

But then I couldn’t find Libby or Laura, and started freaking out. My head hurt, I was missing the band I’d come to see, and I didn’t know where the fuck my sister was. Eventually, I found them, and they tried to get me to go see a medic, because I overreacted and said I might have a concussion.

Libby: “Are you dizzy?’

Me: “No.”

Libby: “Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes.”

Libby: “Are you overreacting?”

Me: “Maybe.”

Libby: “Are you telling the truth?”

Me: “Probably.”

Libby: “She’s fine.”

And I took a swig of water from the free water refills booth and danced for the rest of the set in the middle of an open area next to this old guy with a fisherman’s cap on. I was contact high, and it was marvelous. I didn’t even care that my head hurt, I had a good amount of air by then, which is what I was missing in the middle of the mosh pit. But what was so cool – at the end, the finale of Franz, they played an extra long version of “Lucid Dreams” with the electro outro. Libby and Laura and I were doing everything from the electric slide to the macarena to random raving dance moves – and I’ve never even been to a rave.

It was so awesome I didn’t even care that I couldn’t stay for Modest Mouse or Metric because Libby had to be to school the next morning.

It was just…awesome.

❤ Abby