Sasquatch: A Few Thoughts…
Sasquatch ::: all photos by Josh Lovseth
Well, it has been weeks since I have logged into wordpress for this website. I haven’t felt inspired or motivated to do much of anything, let alone string together snarky comments about a festival that you paid too much to be at apparently had no trash cans after 1pm. Learn to throw your trash away, you savages! Sometimes life happens. Be kind to your neighbors.
Sasquatch. What can I say? Sometimes I wish a pack of “real” Sasquatches would crash the festival gates and devour roughly 68% percent of the audience. Especially if they are wearing a Native American head-dress or have the acronym “YOLO” printed across their back. Let’s go to the video tape. These thoughts and musings are in no particular order of importance.
1) Did you ever wonder what it’s like to be in REM’s “Everybody Hurts” video during the traffic scene? You know what I’m talking about. The point of the video when everyone gets out of their cars (as if they’re under some enchanted spell) and begins to wander up the open road we call “life.” Luckily for many of you, the desire to know what it feels like to be Micheal Stipe in that legendary nineties video is no more. The first question you asked your friends when you saw them in the festival gates was not, “Hey! How are you doing!?!?” It was “How long did you wait!? What the…..” I didn’t even try to get in on Friday night. I set-up shop in my Saturn while it was parked in Ellensberg and I proceeded to drink alone in an empty motel parking lot. That’s what artists writers bloggers people with no future do.
2) Pickwick, whether it’s your “thing” or not, is better than your band. They are also better than all the bands you listen to. They played on Saturday at noon on the Main Stage this year. If Sasquatch is smart enough to ask them back next year, I expect them to play almost a third of Sun’s rotation daily rotation later than they did this year. Do the math and we’re talking about a slot at 7 or 8pm (on a different stage than the Main Stage).
3) The visual highlight of my day on Saturday was Charles Bradley pretending to fly like a raptor while he was performing. Other than that, his sexual overtures and pelvic thrusts almost turned this 29-year-old heterosexual African-American male into a homosexual retrophile, who craves dark chocolate that can croon to me as I’m eating it. This is a big deal. I don’t even like chocolate all that much (Ironically, vanilla ice cream is my jam…).
4) Craft Spells put out one of my favorite records last year. Make no mistake about it, I also have been known to dabble heavily in The Cure’s discography. I don’t want to start any conspiracies or anything, but sometimes there isn’t a huge difference between the two aforementioned bands and for some reason this didn’t strike me until Memorial Day weekend. Hmmm….With that being said, I genuinely enjoyed Craft Spells set. Their performance can basically be summed up as this:
“Craft Spells started an umbrella jellyfish dance party in all their faux “Fascination Street” glory. It was “Just Like Heaven” as crusts punks, who looked liked they ended up at Sasquatch by way of Burning Man, crowd surfed without losing a single band patch off their cut-off jean jackets. Grown men put their arms around each other and drank Kokanee. All was right with the world.”
5) Most enthusiastic performances of the weekend went to anyone who is signed to Sportn’ Life records. Fatal Lucciuano, Fly Moon Royalty, Spac3man, you name the artist and they were killing it. Lucciuano brought as many audience members on-stage as the party patrol imaginary fire marshall would allow. Spac3man decided that standing up on-stage wasn’t for him, so he got into the crowd and decided to throw some ‘bows like any man of the proletariat would do and continued to perform at a high level. Fly Moon Royalty decided to utilize dancers that were wearing a wardrobe straight out of the ultimate Eighties movie “Heavenly Bodies“ (you need to see this motion picture). There was no dance-a-thon to save a local gym from a corporate takeover like the aforementioned flick. However, Fly Moon Royalty performed like their was no tomorrow. Because my movements were limited for a brief moment due to some delicious blackberry pie, I didn’t get to groove to “Into the Woods” as much as I normally would have. Whenever I see Fly Moon Royalty, that is usually the song that jumpstarts my heart the most. On this particular day another song stole the show. During “Roxy” Adra Boo delivered the line “If you don’t like me, tough titty..” in such a way that you would have a tough time convincing me that it wasn’t the most impressionable line of the long weekend. (Writer’s note: Dyme Def, Fresh Espresso, Grynch and Don’t Talk To The Cops were also tremendous. Basically any act that I caught on the Maine Stage was good.)
6) Dry The River are good. If you saw them at Crocodile in April when they played with Bowerbirds (another solid act) then you already know this. I was concerned that their sound might be ruined by the outside settings/ atmosphere of Sasquatch but I was merely another paranoid blogger wrong. Keep as close as an eye as you can on this band (seeing as they’re from Great Britain, it won’t be the easiest thing to do).
The War on Drugs
7) As far as my favorite set of the weekend is concerned, it’s a toss up between The War on Drugs and AraabMuzik. Two artists that are on opposite ends of the musical spectrum. The War on Drugs sounded so pleasant on Sunday afternoon that I began to hum “Afternoon Delight” (Yes, the Anchorman version) under my breath. It was something about the way there was just the right amount of a breeze to create a delay so perfect every guitar pedal-maker around the globe would shake an angry fist at mother nature. AraabMuzik was ebullient to say the least. I scavenged dictionary.com for another word but nothing else seemed to fit. The tent was thrown into an uncontrollable frenzy. Every bass synth beat sounded like petawatt blast being generated from the center of the Earth. My favorite Sasquatch goers, The Where’s Waldo Crew, were all losing their minds to the sounds with an amoebic-like cohesion. Never have red and white stripes been so breathtakingly beautiful.
8 ) I enjoy the sense of humor offered by Todd Barry. I am familiar with his work (I already knew some of the material) and at Sasquatch he some funny quips. Jokes about IBM computers, being a server in the service industry, becoming a millionaire as a comic. However, he was so chaffed about the noise coming from the Maine Stage (It was Spac3man at the time and it was somewhat justified…BUT COME ON MAN! IT’S A FESTIVAL. LIGHTEN UP!), that he could not and would not let it go. Maybe it was a part of his rhythm as a comic, but every couple of minutes he would revert to old faithful. It was basically advertising for Spac3man. Eventually I left the Banana Shack and went and watched a spectacle that Barry could only hear.
9) Beirut inspired the best crowd group dancing that I saw all weekend. It seemed like a hundred people were waltzing in perfect time with one another. If you would have transformed the venue and the attire of the participants, it would have made for an excellent time period specific dance sequence. On the topic of individual dancing, some guy was committing unspeakable acts of tempo and downbeat debauchery during Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside. I wish I could describe what was happening to you. Better yet, I wish I could post his movements in .gif form so everyone could gather around the illuminated screen and have a good chuckle. Never forget that Portland knows the “secret of the ooze.”
Don’t Talk to the Cops
10) “Favorite Song of the Weekend” goes to Don’t Talk To The Cops “Big Ass Head.” The lyrics had my sides aching from too much laughter.
11) The Sheepdogs < Stillwater
12) Fresh Espresso what the hell was up with all the flour tortillas being thrown around near the front of the stage? has a new album out (Bossalona - prior to their Sasquatch performance this was not true). From what I’ve heard so far, the songs are excellent (especially the title track).
13) The Nelson Twins > Grouplove. In fact, if you have pubic hair and you listen to Grouplove, not only am I revoking your adulthood card, I am asking that the Official Panel of Humanity throw a gear in your evolutionary process and start burying you alive immediately.
14) Two artists that I don’t normally enjoy blew the barnyard doors off of the place: Jack White and Bon Iver.
15) Gary Clark Jr. is a master of all things pick-slide and pick-scrape related. He might be the greatest of all-time. Don’t dispute this.
16) I know this is a festival that appears to the masses, but I think it would be nice to book less (for lack of a better word) “wussy” bands. I’m not saying the festival should be turned into Best Friends Day or Hellfest (although that would make it my favorite festival in the northwest). I’m not attacking anyone’s masculinity or implying that some musical performers are too sensitive personally or artistically. I’m just saying that when Walk The Moon cover Fleet Foxes, I’m convinced a jaded teenage boy with a guitar and a dream dies of cancer instantly. Even if he wasn’t diagnosed prior, he’ll just drop dead on the spot. We can’t let this go on. We need to protect the youth of tomorrow from the youth of today.
17) Music is a fascinating thing. The reasons people listen to it, what they actually hear in comparison to someone else, how it makes them feel etc. I could go in-depth on this but I think I’ll save that for an individualized blog post at a different point in time.
18) The final memory I have from Sasquatch 2012 was watching a boy wearing a unicorn horn prude slow-dancing with a girl wearing a Holden Caufield hat during Beck’s “Lost Cause.” Right then and there I forced myself to leave because I couldn’t have ended my weekend any other way.
19) Stay weird Sasquatch. Sometimes the bright colors are your only saving grace.