May 29th, 2004

beach, outside


tonight I broke internal policy and went to the Folklife Festival. My friend's mom was in a band playing there, which was the reason for the exception. While her band played, there was contradancing, which was really confusing. Even though they tell you what to do, the caller is speaking a specialized language. There were enough experienced people there (well, most of them. we seemed to be among the minority of rank amateurs) to make it work. But, in it's own way it was pretty neat. The idea is a system of partner exchanges between two lines moving in opposite directions and it's kind of amazing that it works. Of course, I was confused most of the time. Even when I remembered what was supposed to happen next, I didn't know when.

In one song you meet/dance with half the people in the room. I kept thinking about how it would function as an instrument of socialization, people coming into town from far flung farms to meet their neighbors, possibly falling in love with a momentary partner while spinning to the music of fiddles.

A couple songs left me dizzy and ready to spectate.

Being the first night, Folklife didn't seem overrun with hippies. Maybe it was the rain? There were even a couple of kids in formalwear. Seems like a weird pre-prom activity.

We left the festival and hung out at Mecca for a while. Food was ordered from the bar. A guy tried to convince us to come to his Ramones Tribute Band at "Punklife." I'm otherwise engaged, but according to him, it will be fucking awesome and something of a surprise. You heard it here first kids.


I should probably go to sleep. Tomorrow will be lengthy with the trip to and from the Gorge for the Sasquatch! music festival. I think that we're going to try to be there early, since I'm more interested in the bands at the beginning of the day than the headliners.

wide open spaces

we were on the road to the great middle of washington by nine thirty in the morning on saturday. fueled by too strong TNT espresso and without CDs we made it across the lake and through the rain and mostly past the mountains and rolling fields with cattle. What I didn't realize was that the Gorge is in George, Washington. I don't have proof that it's the worst use of wordplay in urban nomenclature, but it must be in the top ten. I guess they figure that the natural beauty will induce forgiveness.

The theme of this year's Sasquatch! festival was "windstorm." The lights and microphones were swaying dangerously throughout most of the day and sugar from elephant ears was often in the air.

We saw a number of bands including harvey danger, ben lee, visiqueen, cat power, the long winters, new pornographers, sleater-kinney, built to spill, the shins, the postal service, the roots, thievery corporation. (highlights in bold). Obvioiusly, best Postal Service live performance of the year. I wish that I had an understanding of what was going on on Jimmy Tamborello's end of the stage with the PowerBook and mixing tools.

The place had really cleared out by the end of the Thievery Corporation's set. Perhaps it was the cold and relative shortage of warm beverages. Perhaps it was the arrival of twin reggae performers for the last half. Nevertheless it was easy to get out of the parking lot and back on the road for the long drive home with slightly less rain and much more darkness. Somehow I ended up in the front passenger seat and felt the need to stay awake for the whole ride home. I guess it's a personal safety mechanism.
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