A Slice of Fried Gold

Bumbershoot: Day 2

Monday, September 17, 2007
This is going to be a long one.

Also, let me preface this by saying my day by day rundown of Bumbershoot will be impeded by other things I do on the day that are not Bumbershoot related. Thus, it will be scattershot and slow for those looking for tasty concert tidbits. Warning over!

Day 2 of Bumbershoot and Vacation started off early and stressfully. Erik, Sobo, Sarah, and myself woke up at 7 in the morning to walk to the nearby Tully's to do a Fantasy Football draft. After having Football be our primary topic of discussion for the entire previous day, Erik, Sobo, and I had to get in a league together, so we joined a $40 pay league on CBSsports.com. We get down to Tully's, snag our coffee, grab a treat or two, and set up for the draft.

But the internet will not connect! Oh noes! What do we do? Continue restarting hoping it will connect, or just bail and go back to Kelly's apartment and try and work it there, knowing that we had it work before. The draft has already started at this point, so we say screw it and pack up and leave, hastily of course in case we can make it back for our first pick. Along the way, we talk about with our luck we'll miss a few rounds and get stuck with Michael Vick or something, and about how hopefully we have the first pick and we get LT (which would be everyone in the world's pick at that spot so we wouldn't feel bad about missing the pick). We get there, set up, takes a bit to connect, and blammo, we're on.

Sobo, myself, and Erik looking on to our draft

And we did it! We had the first pick and we got LT, and then on the following turn we got Tom Brady and Terrell Owens...probably not who we would have taken, but picks we were fine with. This led to an ultimately very solid draft that we are pretty happy with...so long as LT starts running the ball better. Come on man. 25 points a week...that's all we ask.

No less, after we were done with the draft our crew gathered, and Erik, Sobo, Sarah, Kelly, Mike, and myself went to downtown Seattle for some shenanigans down in the Pike's Place market area. When we got down there we were all famished (even though we had our coffee/snack combo, plus some amazing French Toast as prepared by our incredibly gracious host Kelly), so Mike took us to an Irish Pub to have some lunch. Now two things about this Irish Pub (which I believe was called Kell's). 1) It was good. 2) They have the smallest portions on the planet. This is pretty much the direct inverse of the Brown Bag. It was $10.95 for what Erik and I got, which was a Seafood Pasty, which for all intents and purposes was a really good Hot Pocket full of Seafood, plus a dinky cup of Clam Chowder. Erik and I both agreed that our meal needed to be at least 2 times bigger (if not 3 times) and then it would be satisfactory.

Erik riding a pig and Sobot powering down

After that, we went into the market, bought some roasted nuts, checked out some book stores, and visited the legendary shop known as Golden Age Comics (actually Collectibles I believe, but I don't care, it is what I say it is). It was a good time, but time had been burned through and I needed to get to Bumbershoot to meet up with Amy to watch some comedians. I bid adieu to Sobo and Erik (who were headed back down to Portland after going to the Red Hook Brewery) and walked into the Festival with skepticism running rampant in my brain. Day one was meh, and that was with Sobo and Erik at my side. How could this be as good as that even, especially considering the other day had "better" bands.

Well, I started it out right, with Amy and I rejoining for the first time (make sense of that) to watch Fred Armisen, Brett Weinbach, and Eugene Mirman do some sweet, sweet stand up. First off, let me say that Armisen was probably the guy I was most excited to see (besides maybe Mirman) and he was not funny. Well, mostly not funny. He was just very disappointing and perhaps overly weird for my tastes. Mirman on the other hand was as funny as I expected, and Brett Weinbach blew me away. Weinbach's creepy demeanor and then even creepier impersonation of how creepy he could be was ridiculously entertaining, and he was so off the wall that it was very hard not to laugh hysterically throughout his set. As per usual, Doug Benson (6th place finisher on Last Comic Standing) warmed up the crowd very well, even though he rehashed one joke. Bad Benson! Comedy was a great lead off for the day though, and afterwards Amy and myself walked off with our faces hurting and ready for the day.

This led into possibly the band I was most excited about seeing, which was the Apples in Stereo (I struggled mightily with that sentence, was or were? Who knows.). They are the crafters of one of my favorite albums of the year, New Magnetic Wonder, and their set led me to my first foray into the Sound Transit Stage, as sponsored by KEXP (my Mom's favorite radio station ever). The crowd was moderately sized, but it was an entertaining one as there were beach balls to bounce about in the crowd while the band played. And played they did.

The Apples in Stereo

They were very good, playing a nice mix of new and old (new being what I recognized, old being what I didn't), and managing to play almost all of my favorites (besides Beautiful Machine parts 3-4) and finishing up with 7 Stars and Same Old Drag, which are my two absolute favorites. It was a very good set, although they were rather quiet and I did miss my sweet, sweet vocoder action. They were entertaining, and did not disappoint. Plus, they supplied me with the opportunity to take this excellent picture as seen below.

The Apples lead singer playing his guitar with a Rolling Rock!

After this set, I scurried off quickly in hopes of seeing Michael Ian Black perform his set at the nearby Comedy Stage South, yet it wasn't meant to be as 45 minutes before his set was to begin it was already full. A tear shed for me, missing my old favorite from Ed doing standup. However, with my phone pretty much dead, I decided I should just run back to my hotel and take it easy for 15 minutes or so and let my phone recharge, and then go back to catch part of Art Brut as a fall back.

As I said, it wasn't meant to be for me to see Michael Ian Black. Why was that? Because I was meant to see Art Brut. I came in 15 or 20 minutes into their set, but immediately I could feel currents in the air. This band was it. They were the superstars of the whole Festival, and only the people at the Sound Transit Stage knew it.

The whole band rocked hard, as they had their strangely magnetic female bassist, two guitarists who could shred and played around like little kids together, a drummer who literally did not sit ever and had about as much presence as any drummer I've ever seen..and Eddie Argos. Who is Eddie Argos you ask? Eddie Argos is the singer and frontman of Art Brut, and he was a genius.

Art Brut being the best thing ever

No less, in an hour and 15 minutes, the British rockers tore through 20 full songs, even integrating parts of other songs into them (you name it, Amy Winehouse, Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z...they are a balanced squad of musicians) and taking plenty of time to interact with the audience and have one of the best actual performances on stage, complete with freezes (you'd have to see it to understand), coordinated movements, and full out jam sessions. Argos was the man who controlled the action with his microphone, even leading off nearly every song with "GO ART BRUT!" to immediately be followed with the song beginning (besides once, when the bassist was getting a drink, and Argos instead asked "Ready Art Brut? Ready? GO ART BRUT!). Fantastic stuff. Loved them to pieces.

The man of the hour - Eddie Argos, with bandmates around as well!

After this set, I ran off to meet with Amy, Jason, and Hannah over at the Starbucks stage for Indie Rock genius/whistling God Andrew Bird's set. Of course, this was my first real foray into drinking at the Festival, and it made perfect sense because it was during the most relaxing of all performers. Let me also say, I did not pay attention as much as I should have. After being alone quite a bit during the day, it was very nice to have human interaction, so the four of us drank and joked together through most of the set, while Mr. Bird gave a beautiful performance. I would love to see him again (second time I had a shot at seeing him, first time I took it) and give it my all because he sounded really worth it. However, like I said, we drank, we joked, we had a great time and it was worth every penny and second.

Hannah, Amy, and Jason at Andrew Bird

Amy and I (as per usual, I suck at photogenic)

Next up, they went off to watch Fergie (oh god.) and I went off to watch Anberlin. They were decent, good at what they do, but could have ended the night with Andrew Bird. Afterwards, I ran back to my hotel to rest up a bit and charge my phone again, and then meet up with the crew to go off to Tiny Biggs and have a couple Martini's. Let me note this one thing. Manhattan's are the stiffest drink ever. They make straight alcohol taste like Water. I don't know what they do, but somebody spiked that Alcohol. Jason trudged through one, and those crazy kids went off to do their thing while I went off to meet up with college buddy Eric Maloney and his crew.

Three interesting things happened the rest of the night. 1) I broke my foot/toe/something. My foot is still not right and it is messed up. It may not be broken, but something is not OK with it. 2) I went to a bar that had a huge pinball arcade in it. 3) I had the lead singer of Art Brut buy me a PBR. Needless to say, Eddie Argos is the man. I met both him and the guitarist, and can't even manage to rememeber what I said because I was...well...I was a little drunk. No less, I'm sure I just told them they rocked very hard. So with that said...the wrap up!

Band of the Day!

Duh! It's Art Brut! They totally rocked the house and were the ultimate surprise for the whole trip.

Surprise of the Day!

That Art Brut, a band I found to be strangely meh recorded, could be one of the best bands I've ever seen live.

Disappointment of the Day....

Not having my camera with me when I met Art Brut. The most ridiculous thing to happen to me the whole trip, and I don't have a camera. Sad panda...

Bands seen: The Apples in Stereo, Art Brut, Andrew Bird, Anberlin (A-tastic!)

Comedy seen: Fred Armisen, Brett Weinbach, Eugene Mirman

Food: Delicious again. Gyro! Beer! Thai food! Oh my!

Day Two grade: A

This day was every thing the first day wasn't. Massively memorable. Exciting. Ridiculous. Rested. That last word could be a good excuse for the first day, I wasn't rested. But I don't think that was it. Art Brut would have rocked whenever they played, regardless of how tired I was.

Now with two days down, I'm going into Day Three with a high likelihood of a hangover, probably tiredness, and a sheer buzz from the huge fun of day two. How would it be? Could it match Day Two's awesomeness? Stay tuned to find out!


Patty said...

Go Art Brut!!

Amy said...

What's the difference between a bucket of heads and an icecream cone?

...I don't like icecream.

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