Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bumbershoot 2007 - Monday 9/3

If I have to crawl to Seattle on my hands and knees, I'm going to Bumbershoot this year. The line-up is massive and amazing. But music festivals are always bittersweet. Though the choice between Art Brut and Andrew Bird is perfectly clear to me, how about between the Wu-Tang Clan and Ted Leo? Here's what I plan to choose and why on Monday.

2:15-3:15: The Blakes
Sound Transit stage
The Blakes know how to start a song, which is key for me, as I generally give the random songs that cruise over to my computer from various mp3 blogs less than 30 seconds to win me over. These guys do it in five, following through with some nice intensified-Jack-White vocals. And I love a good "shake it" song, so "Two Times" is a sure hit, even if they are talking about (gasp!) illegal drug use or somesuch other irredeemable sin.
kexp bbq
chona kasinger
The Blakes - Pistol Grip
The Blakes - Magoo
The Blakes - Don't Bother Me
The Blakes - Two Times
The Blakes - Lintwalk

3:15-4: Bike Rodeo
Fountain Lawn
I can't find mp3s to test out Allison Moorer, John Legend, Shake Some Action!, Schoolyard Heroes, Night Canopy, or Taylor Mac, so the Bike Rodeo it is.

4-5: Viva Voce
Sound Transit stage
A frequent comment about Viva Voce is that their sound is bigger than two people. That's for sure. Intrigued by "We Do Not Fuck Around," I blasphemed by skipping Neko Case (who I'd seen manymanymany times) to wander over to the Wookie stage at the Sasquatch Music Festival this year to check out Viva Voce. I was shocked to see a dude on a surprisingly large drum situation at the front of the stage, and a dainty gal with a guitar next to him, using the amazing Columbia River gorge venue to its best effect: filling it with rock. It was the most fun I've had at a show in years, and I thought I'd keel over with joy when they played their excellent cover of "Eye In The Sky" for the finale.
Viva Voce - We Do Not Fuck Around
Viva Voce - From the Devil Himself [YouTube]
Viva Voce - When Planets Collide
Viva Voce - Alive With Pleasure [YouTube] [YouTube]

5-5:45: The Damnwells
Starbucks stage
I've had tons of The Damnwells' mellow tunes on my computer for two weeks and haven't listened to a one of 'em all the way through. I think they'd be great for Linkin Park/Staind/Good Charlotte types, in that they're about love, but men in fraternities could listen to them. The trouble for me may be that I'm through the horrible pining-for-someone-I-can't-have phase of my life, so these yearny songs are just not very resonant. "God Bless America" is really great, as it appeals to my hate-America-first liberal latte sensibilities, but it's so fucking long, with a 1:20 opening that consists of hitting the "high hat" (that's the metal drum thingie, yes?).
The Damnwells - Sweet Marie
The Damnwells - For My Own Good
The Damnwells - While You Can
The Damnwells - Smile Guy

5:45-6:45: Tokyo Police Club
Sound Transit stage
The "Nature of the Experiment" video was a bit shocking the first time I saw it. I'm old enough to be these lads' mother. Such wittow cute wittow teeny wockows* [pinches cheeks].
Conway L.
Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment [YouTube]
Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow
Tokyo Police Club - Your English Is Good [YouTube]
Tokyo Police Club - Be Good

*Little cute little teeny rockers.

6:45-7:30: Roky Erickson
Starbucks stage
"You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators featured as a breakup song in the movie "High Fidelity." Thank goodness. The temptation for me in unwanted breakups is to put the serotonin-sucking "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt on repeat. So it was nice to have the high-energy "You're Gonna Miss Me" kicking around the 'Net during a particularly painful and prolonged end several years back. Who can be sad when there's an "electric jug"? (Someone trying to listen to a whole 13th Floor Elevators album, rather than just one song, perhaps.)

Roky Erickson was the dream-a-licious lead singer of the 13th Floor Elevators, back in the day. His newer songs are, mm, lyrically simple. Jonathan Lethem used "You Don't Love Me Yet" as the title for a novel about a songwriters with, ah, lyric problems, starting the book off by juxtaposing the lyrics to Erickson's song with the lyrics of "You Don't Love Me Yet" by the Vulgar Boatmen. I can't find the lyrics, though, and haven't bought the book, so I can't elaborate. (Lethem's reading on the Authors on Tour podcast has me intrigued (is the hilarious deejay character a caricature of Nic Harcourt? anyone?).) Erickson's promisingly-titled song "I Walked With A Zombie" is really just that statement, repeated again and again. If you're gonna repeat something again and again, you could do worse. "Creature With The Atom Brain" works in some mad rhymes (why is he acting so strange?), though.

I intend to be amused.
Roky Erickson NYC 6/2/07 01
13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me [YouTube]
Roky Erickson - Don't Shake Me Lucifer
Roky Erickson - Creature With The Atom Brain
Roky Erickson - I Walked With A Zombie

7:30-8:45: The Frames
Sound Transit stage
"Fake" is a great tribute to the double-edged sword of passion and violent dysfunction in relationships. I suspect the smashing of things in the name of "love" is much more widespread than people let on. The Frames' seething, barely-restrained passion underlies all their songs, regardless of tempo. It's great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing these guys.
Glen Hansard of The Frames
Drake LeLane
The Frames - Fake [YouTube]
The Frames - Dream Awake
The Frames - Falling Slowly [YouTube]
The Frames - One Irish Rover
The Frames - God Bless Mom [YouTube]

8:45-9:30: Steve Earle
Starbucks stage
Steve Earle is honky tonky bluesy. I don't usually like honky tonky bluesy (stop waving your guitar in my face, you showoff!). But Earle mixes it up, playing enough Irish jigs and folksy protest songs that it doesn't get dull.
Steve Earle - Galway Girl
Steve Earle - Rich Man's War
Steve Earle - The Gringo's Tale
Steve Earle - Copperhead Road
Steve Earle - South Nashville Blues

9:30 -10:45: Ted Leo
Sound Transit stage
I have a vague sense that I'd been not-liking Ted Leo's loud-rock style since the early nineties. Back then, loud-rock equalled Fugazi equalled one song I liked and JesusGod a lot of boring guitar grinding.

Then WHAMMO! "Loyal to My Sorrowful Country" and "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb. (1954)" both spoke perfectly to the wounded proud-of-what-America-said-it-was-when-I-was-in-grade-school-
but-what-the-FUCK-Republicans part of me, and I gave Ted Leo the attention he's deserved all along. Punk rock in general, which I've never liked, has really aided the politically furious part of me lately. As a 32-year-old yuppie woman, this is demographically awkward.

Ted Leo - Loyal To My Sorrowful Country [YouTube]
Ted Leo - Bomb Repeat Bomb [YouTube]
Ted Leo - Who Do You Love
Ted Leo - Bleeding Powers [YouTube]
Ted Leo - The Gold Finch and the Red Oak Tree

My plans for Bumbershoot Saturday are here, and for Sunday, here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alison Moorer is Steve Earle's latest (seventh?) wife. I haven't heard any of her stuff, but it doesn't matter because I'll probably be over at Bumbershoot's Got Talent.