September 12, 2006

BumberMusic, tweens, paraphenalia, vodka in the bushes, and what's in my I-Pod.

The weekend before last, I went to Bumbershoot, an annual music festival here in Seattle. Saw loads of great music, including Zero7, Steve Miller Band, Kanye, Atmosphere, Tribe Called Quest, Speaker Speaker, Sonja Kitchell, etc.

The first night, my friends and I decided we'd better use Kanye (who we don't care much about, honestly) as a dry-run for Tribe (who I would bleed one of my closest friends to death just to see). You know: get there early, see how hard it is to get a good position on the floor, yadda yadda.

We got into the stadium two hours early for the concert and people were already sprawled out on the astro-turf, claiming positions for the concert. We rolled our eyes at each other, stepped across a sea of bodies and posted up somewhere relatively near the stage. It was only then, after sitting down and making some room for ourselves, that we looked around.

We were SURROUNDED by pot-smoking pre-pubescent kids. Nearly all the girls were wearing jean skirts and tank tops (sooo impractical for astro-turf sitting!). The boys tended to all look the same: baggyish holeyish jeans and t-shirts with either flip flops or oversized cartoon shoes and slightly off-center hats.

It wasn't the fact that these kids were less than half my age that threw me off -- I mean, c'mon, we were at Kanye West -- I get it.

What shocked me was all the glass pipes they were smoking out of -- in broad daylight. Isn't that a little balsy?

I've never understood the desire to use paraphenalia when smoking pot. I mean, what ever happened to a good, old-fashioned, disposable joint? Pretty amazing. But fortunately, Seattle is a pretty pot-friendly city. No arrests or confiscations were made, and the tweens got nice and bleary-eyed and blissed out pretty much the whole night. And that meant they did pass around curly fries, which was awesome...

Anyway, after a half hour or so of chiling on the Astroturf and sizing up who we'd have to knock out to get to the front of the stadium when the music started, we decided we'd have no problem blasting through them all a few minutes before the show started (really, they were all about 100 pounds), so we hit the beer garden, giving up our spot. This proved a steller idea at first: An hour later, we were buzzy, fuzzy, and back at front, enjoying the show (with a clear view, too -- another benefit of going to concerts with children). The downside? 5 dollar plastic cups of Miller Lite keg beer. Spendy, cheesy, and not that tasty. Blew 50 bucks in about 30 minutes on those for 3 of us. Not cool.

The following day, we returned, though we refined our technique. This time, instead of driving to Bumbershoot, we filled up a travel coffee mug with vodka and bused down in the afternoon, eliminating drunk driving and the beer-garden spend. After stashing the carafe in some bushes outside Seattle Center and praying no industrius bum happened across it, we dashed in, caught some shows, and ate.

Later, we retrieved the alcohol, untouched, from the bushes and brought it in to the stadium, where we caught Atmosphere.

[In college, my friends and I were in love with an Atmosphere song where he sings: "I'm gonna be bigger than Jesus/ Bigger than wrestling/ Bigger than the Beatles/ Bigger than breast implants/ I'm gonna be the biggest thing to hit these little kids/ Bigger than guns/ Bigger than cigarettes.".

One of these friends was a guy named String. String had a real first name, but didn't go by it, because String just fit. Picture a pale piece of string, approximately 6 feet and 7 inches long, standing on end. Now give it a medium-high voice, too-short jeans, a Hurley t-shirt, and imagine it never stops talking. That's him.

Anyway, String is a classic college character, and the Atmosphere song reminds me of him because he used to always mix up the first few lines, saying "Bigger than JEEEZus, bigger than ELVIS!!" in this enthusiastic, nerdy twang. Good stuff.]

Back to the point: After Atmosphere came Tribe, and we were very close to the stage, which was really phenomenal. Highlights include:
1. Asking a few of the kids around me if they knew who Tribe was before the concert started and them saying they have no idea... they're just here for Atmosphere, then realizing they weren't even born when Tribe dropped their second album.

2. Knowing all the lyrics.

3. Swinging (and then accidentally releasing) a t-shirt above my head, losing it in a sea of hip-hop-loving bodies, never to be seen again.

4. Nearly getting in a fight with a bouncer in an attempt to get backstage.

5. Being saved by a female bouncer after nearly fighting the male one in an attempt to get backstage, then nearly crying when I told her they were the only group I'd get arrested trying to meet before she told me I should probably leave and stop saying that, lest I actually get arrested.


What's in my IPod, CD player and head these days:

Sergio Mendez "Timeless" -- a collaboration between Sergio Mendez and (of Black Eyed Peas), and a blending of my favorite genres of music: bossa nova, samba, jazz, hip hop, and soul. I seriously can't stop listening to it. Infectious rythms, talented vocalists including Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and India.Arie, and some of my favorite rappers including Q-Tip, Black Thought and Chali 2NA.

It's a fusion you don't hear too often, but I hope there's more of. And it's rocking my world, a.m. to p.m..

Download it here.


Chuckles said...

Sounds like a good time. I saw the Comedians of Comedy last night. Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Eugene Mirman and Morgan Murphy. I recommend this tour to everyone anywhere. Although maybe not wingnuts. There is a bit of Bush Baiting.

jali said...

Wait - Q- tip and Phife...and the other dude (can't remember his name)? OMG - how was the show? What was the scenerio? (supposed to be a lil joke for you Tribe fans)

I would love to see them! Jealousy rears her ugly head. Seattle gets all the fun.

missy&chrissy said...

vodka in travel coffee mugs is the way to go...

and you totally sold me on sergio mendez' "timeless" checking it out tonight!

Trebuchet said...

Yay, all!

Yeah, I am seriously considering a ticket to Tribe's tour shows -- not sure where yet, but somewhere requiring a plane ticket, certainly. They were that good.

M&C: Can't wait to hear what you think. I like track 4 and 15 for rocking out to, but all of them are pretty fabulous.

missy&chrissy said...

yea, #15 (yes, yes, y'all) is officially one of my new fave songs. thanks for the suggestion!