I’m back with another double post that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, a recount of and some thoughts about Memorial Day Weekend.
I was very excited for this weekend for several reasons. There would be great camping with some of my favorite people, a full day’s worth of music that was largely new to me, and then the IO Awards at Benaroya Hall to cap it all off. First, Sasquatch.
When my sister Emily first suggested a bunch of us buy Saturday Sasquatch tickets, I probably was familiar with 3 or 4 of the bands out of the 12 hours of music that would be happening that day. Part of the great birthday present my girlfriend Brittany got me was a package of burned cds of almost all the bands playing at Sasquatch when we would be there, a primer of sorts so I knew what to expect, and listening to these just got me more pumped. As I’ve said here before, I pretty much come from a jazz background, and haven’t listened to very much of anything else, although my horizons have definitely expanded in recent years, and this was an opportunity to open my ears even more.
Saturday at the Gorge did not disappoint. Artists like Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, Miike Snow, Broken Social Scene, Vampire Weekend, the National, and Brother Ali all were top notch, and obviously seeing all of them at the Gorge in beautiful weather was an amazing experience (camping was incredible too, but I’ll stick to the music here). From noon to midnight, I can’t remember a single act that I was honestly disappointed with, and they all had their own style and sound, not to mention incredible amounts of stage energy. I was really impressed with all the bands’ ability to put on an awesome show and really get into it, often with little or no pageantry or flash. Everyone seriously rocked their sets, but there was nothing lost in the execution of the music, and these are things I think I could think about more often when I play.
Monday night was the first ever Inside Out Awards. All in all, it was an immensely impressive event that Lucid’s David Pierre-Louis pulled off, and it was fun, at least for a small part of the night, for Brittany and I to feel a little fancy walking around the Benaroya Hall lobby. Hardcoretet didn’t win, but there was even some fun in that; after hanging out and joking around with our friends in Gravity, who beat us out for the mixed-genre album award, a tongue-in-cheek feud was born, and I hope it goes for a while. You win this round, Gravity, but next time!
Most importantly, I hope that this first time around for the Inside Out Awards was an experience that can both be improved on as an event as well as a catalyst for increased musical activity in Seattle. It definitely gave a snapshot of the incredible musical diversity here, and if listeners continue to seek out new venues, new bands, new artists, and new music, the scene will benefit. I think it’s important to recognize that one of the possible negative side effects of emphasizing any particular community, whether it’s jazz, rock, sculpture, poetry, or anything else, is that the circle tightens, and even though the bonds inside that community get stronger, it begins to isolate itself. That being said, the Inside Out Awards event was a fun celebration of what we have going on here in Seattle, and I for one was energized to look ahead to the future!
So that was Memorial Day Weekend. Stay tuned for another post soon about the Polyrhythmics, the band I’m in that recently took an Oregon mini-tour of our own, and come celebrate Solstice this Saturday the 19th at 7:30 at Cafe Solstice(!) with Dead Zerious featuring Andrew Swanson, IO award winner and subject of this week’s Better Know a Badass on www.hardcoretetmusic.com.