Matt & Kim ::: Photo by Marcella Volpintesta for Sound on the Sound
[ Editors Note: Bumbershoot 2009 marks the first time a new photog has been on assignment for Sound on the Sound (since Josh was taking pictures for Stereogum), and Marcella Volpintesta was gladly recruited as our second photog for the task. We couldn't be happier with what she came up with! ]
The weather situation leading up Bumbershoot 2009 was ominous. The entire weekend had a forecast of on-and-off precipitation and even a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. Saturday morning’s dark skies blanketed Seattle in an unusually intense downpour that seemed to almost miraculously stop as noon rolled around.
For us the early part of the day centered a number of younger local groups who’ve been making waves lately. A Hey Marseilles set in the KEXP Music Lounge, Sound Off! Winner Dyno Jamz! and then Past Lives at the EMP, and the Perez Hilton-endorsed Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head at the progressively muddy Broad Street stage. For only 2.30 in the afternoon, NPSH appeared to have attracted every teenager present on the Seattle Center grounds, skillfully whipping them into giddy, bouncing dervishes.
Despite the damp circumstances, roaming around on cement paths and many opportunities to retreat inside (or just under one of the many covered walkways) made for a not uncomfortable experience at all. After taking a break inside ourselves for Telekinesis’ KEXP Lounge set (another young local band worth noticing), we caught in full Mayer Hawthorne and the County’s tour opening set, where he confirmed the promise of his debut album A Strange Arrangement. Given the opportunity to catch Elvis Perkins in a more intimate setting than he was scheduled for later in the day, we wound our way to the day’s final KEXP Lounge Session where Elvis Perkins in Dearland played their entire new Slow Doomsday EP for a packed audience.
Local hard-rockers The Whore Moans were intent on bringing something special to this year’s Bumbershoot, souping up their act as a kind of soul-influenced revue with more players involved and new songs composed. Calling it The Whore Moans Present: The Black Atom! it was complete with backup singers borrowed from the Cute Lepers and Mike and Jordan from the Hands guesting on sax and keys respectively. Guitarist Nikki shined in gold sport jacket while the Whore Moans held nothing back in their retro adventure.
As the light waned at the Northwest Court stage, Elvis Perkins in Dearland played their official set to a respectfully silent crowd (in-between hearty round’s of applause of course). Cold War Kids guitarist Johnny came on stage to help out on a couple of songs, among them one of my new favorites, the jangle-blues jam of “Stop, Drop, Rock, and Roll.” Perkins dedicated the dirgey “Chains, Chains, Chains” to the maker of the animated video for the song, Sean Pecknold, who was appreciatively taking in the show off to the side. The mournful songs from Ash Wednesday were nary in sight until a final song to usher us home, “While You Were Sleeping.”
Wrapping up our evening at the Broad street Stage we were interested to see if JRod had managed to pump out any more new Long Winters songs in the weeks since we’ve last heard from him. The band was playing it’s last set with drummer Nabil Ayers who’s moved on to other more business-like endeavors in New York, and as was expected of the occasion the band was goofy and loose. A few new ones did make it into the mix, but nothing really seemed quite firm yet about them, with one song even necessitating stopping midway through for a situation re-evaluation.
Once day one was finally finished, amazingly I wasn’t muddy, cold or disgruntled. While threat of imposing weather had apparently kept many people at home, those who did make it out experienced a rather mild day with minimal sprinkles and even a few hours sun. In addition to enjoying a healthy amount of elbow room so one never felt to crowded, food and ATM lines were relatively short (but not the comedy lines) and there was always a spot to plop down on the grass if you wanted to. On Saturday we reaped all the benefits of a depressed turnout.
Everest ::: Photo by Abbey Simmons
Hey Marseilles in the KEXP Music Lounge ::: Photo by Abbey Simmons
Bumbershoot 2009 ::: Photo by Marcella Volpintesta