From The Valley it was on to a completely different kind of
coolness courtesy of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. This
was the best set I saw from a non-mainstage act all day. Not only
was Thao cute and quirky, she interacted with the crowd and told
funny stories, and man could she play guitar.
She took to the stage wearing a Thao beer clock like a necklace
and later told a funny story about how she thought the clock was
cool because it had her name on it. Backed by a solid rhythm
section, she twirled and danced while singing. Her voice is like
a more tolerable Bjork.
At one point during her set she played guitar with a toothbrush.
It was the best toothbrush guitar playing I have ever
seen. Although to be fair Thao is the only person I’ve
seen play a guitar with a toothbrush.
We left Sweet Water 30 minutes into their set (and admittedly, I
was a little downtrodden after seeing SW’s poor performance) and
walked to the Sky Church to see local power rockers The
Valley. It was a beautiful day outside so we decided not
to go inside of the dark Sky Church and instead sat on a bench and
watched the band’s set outside on EMP’s large video screen.
Every time I see the Valley (this was my fourth time) I wonder
why they aren’t a huge band yet. They play a hybrid of power rock
and metal, they always deliver solid shows and they don’t sound
like much else out there right now. The Sky Church set was just
like the previous The Valley sets I had seen before: loud
As I watched them on EMP’s video screen, I had a vision of being
at QWest Field for a big Monsters of Rock type of concert and The
Valley rocking the faces off of thousands of fans while being
projected onto a big Daimondvision-style screen. That’s one of the
great things about Bumbershoot, you get to see the next big thing
before they hit it big. And with The Valley I think it’s
only a matter of time.
From Grynch we headed to see Sweet Water, a
band that I have fond memories of and whose sophomore CD
“Superfriends,” which was released sometime in the mid ‘90s, I
still rock today.
The last time I saw Sweet Water was at Mercer Arena during
Bumbershoot in 1995. The band was loud, the songs were pure rawk
and I immediately became a huge fan. The group disbanded sometime
during the 1990s and reunited last year. Unfortunately, since I
live in Wenatchee, I have not been able to see any of the reunion
gigs so I was ridiculously stoked to see my teenage rock heroes
Unfortunately I was extremely let down. First off, they were
performing in the Exhibition Hall, which has the worst sound of all
the Bshoot stages, so they had that going against them. But I
figured I could be forgiving if there was poor sound, these were
some of my teenage idols after all. But sound issues aside, the
reformed Sweet Water just simply weren’t as good as the old Sweet
Water I remember.
The singer had about as much charisma as my big left
toe. The guitar player sounded decent, but his stage
presence needs a lot of work. The band was playing the songs from
my youth, but they weren’t the same as I remembered them. So much
for that nostalgic trip down musical memory lane I was hoping for.
Maybe I’ll catch them again at the High Dive or a smaller club and
they’ll be better, but Saturday at Bumberhoot just wasn’t
Sweet Water’s day.
The first day of Bumbershoot is over and I’m happy to report
that, aside from a small disappointment, things went rather
smoothly. One of the great things about the festival is its variety
and I was able to take in a little bit of art, comedy and plenty of
When my friend and I arrived on the Seattle Center grounds the
first notes of music we heard were the familiar sounds of “Black
Hole Sun,” only guitars drums and a screaming Chris Cornell weren’t
delivering the goods. It was another Seattle group, Das
Vibenbass. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stick around for too
long because Grynch was about to take the stage.
Seattle rapper Grynch was the perfect choice for who to see
during the sunny early afternoon. His flow was smooth, he brought
out a few guests (local rapper D Black and another local rapper
whose name escapes me at the moment) and he was able to own the
stage while performing.
Grynch is relatively young (he raps that he is
21 in one song) so it was not only cool to see such a fresh talent
play to a large audience (likely the biggest he’s been in front of)
it was cool to see him not get swallowed up by the size of the
stage, or audience, because sometimes the sparse stage presence of
an MC and a DJ can’t carry a set. But Grynch simply owned his time
I didn’t create a Bumbershoot guide this year. The closest thing
you’ll come to getting a Bumbershoot guide out of me is my
schedule, which was posted earlier this week (it’s been modified
since I last posted it, so
check out the updates if you like).
But just because I didn’t create a Bumbershoot guide doesn’t
mean there aren’t BShoot guides out there. So here are a few I have
been reading in preparation for this weekend.
The Kitsap Sun has listed a bunch of acts to look out for
The Seattle P-I has a whole
page dedicated to Bumbershoot stuff.
I have yet to get around to writing my second review for last
week’s Radiohead show at White River Amphitheatre (here is
first review in case you missed it), but that doesn’t
mean I forgot about the show.
One of the highlights of the show was when Thom Yorke and Jonny
Greenwood flubbed up “Faust Arp” twice and after one of the mess
ups they broke into Neil Young’s “Tell Me Why.” The funny part
about that song was Thom mumbling the lyrics because he didn’t know
all of them.
Well, Radiohead played in San Francisco a few days after blowing
me away (again) at White River and the performed a cover of “Tell
Me Why” in full. Here’s the video:
Because the post about the Oasis/Jay-Z feud has me feeling all
nostalgic for 1996 (“Wonderwall” was the jam back then) I wanted to
share the below video for Oasis’ new single “The Shock of the
It’s actually a pretty decent song. But am I the only one who
thinks it sounds a little like something former Oasis tourmates
Kasabaian would put out?