September 1-3, 2012
By Chuck McCammon
My Labor Day starts with a slight dizziness that I hope to be relieved of by the time I get outside my apt. No such luck.
I walk down for coffee and sit and drink my caffeinated beverage, then manage to head home and fall back asleep for a while. During this time I receive a text from Nada’s High Potentate: extra coverage needed at Bumbershoot, Seattle’s annual music and arts festival. Score!
I head down to Seattle Center and ease into the stream of strange and familiar sights and sounds on the festival grounds, bummed to learn that I’ve already missed Ty Segall, a punk rock ‘n roll ass-kicker from San Francisco who’s new album is out on our very own Sub Pop Records.
Inside, Bumerbshoot is a perspiring goo of festival friction. Still wobbly from my self-diagnosed “vertigo” issues, I run smack dab into an old friend from my Humboldt days. We have a brief and slightly awkward conversation that leads to a hasty goodbye and general well wishes for our separate futures (this is not unlike an earlier meeting many many years ago in which we ended up in her bedroom with the same clumsy results…to this day its one of those nights you wish you could get another chance at.)
So it’s off to wade upstream muttering to myself, “will this be a confession piece where I scam a ticket from NadaMucho.com and then not even write anything? Because what is worth writing about on this Labor Day in which Skrillex, who I’m definitely not waiting around for, is headlining?”
Well, what was worth writing about was Omar Souleymann, who’s afternoon performace of traditional Middle Eastern songs sung in Kurdish and Arabic was surreal. Imagine 500 white folks dancing at a Syrian dance party telling themselves “no, really we, like this! We really do! Ive been following this guy since ’94 actually. What? You don’t know him, c’mon get w the program…sheesh!” (And by the way. Mark Arm from Mudhoney was one of those 500, which is awesome.)
Thirsty now and needing a break after dancing with Souleymann and a half set from LP, an L.A. singer-songwriter who’s lended her talents to pop icons like Rihanna (“Cheers”) and Christina Aguilera (“Beautiful People”), its off to Jabus for an adult beverage.
Moving on I catch The Vaselines. (Oh wait, before that I run into another female acquaintance with whom I have a relationship with only in head. As my story goes, we are happily together going to shows and baseball games and eating grilled foods with a Japanese touch.) Acquaintance (who is practically married) and I hangout in the beer tent listening to The Vaselines for awhile and get a good kick out of seeing Krist Novaselic playing the accordion on “The Man Who Sold the World.” He did hit a few sour notes, but who cares? This is the guy who tossed his bass fifteen feet in the air live on MTV and it hit him in the face. Let’s cut him some slack.
Read what Red had to say about Bumbershoot 2012 Day 1.
Chuck McCammon is a musican. And also a Dude we know.