Sasquatch! 2014 Recap
Day 1: Friday, May 23
By Andy Bookwalter
Now that NadaMucho.com has devolved into primarily pictures of pop stars holding cats, there may or may not be room for an actual music review, but I thought I’d share my Sasquatch 2014 experience anyway.
The thing you want to see when you pull into your campsite at the Gorge (knowing that you’re the oldest person there by about 20 years and hoping you’ll get an old person-appropriate neighbor or two) is a full sized trampoline. Within five minutes of arriving I saw a really drunk passerby do a surprisingly graceful flip. Sadly, he flubbed the landing and landed flat on his back in the middle of the trampoline owner’s tent. Sad for the owner of the tent, that is; I thought it was AWESOME. Security was there in an instant, demanding that the trampoline be taken down immediately. Somehow the camp dwellers convinced them that the actual owner was somewhere else and it would be taken down as soon as he returned. This confrontation repeated itself about once a minute for the next hour.
If you go to Sasquatch, or any show at the Gorge for that matter, I strongly recommend you get NadaMucho.com to get you a press pass, as the media entry is way shorter than the general admission gates. As a result I made it to the Chupacabra stage in time to see most of Eugene Mirman‘s set. Eugene is a great storyteller and extremely funny guy, which is why he’s the voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers. Also, comedians take note: We can tell when you’re telling funny stories rather than “running through material,” and the former is funnier.
Next up on the same stage was Princess, the Prince cover band led by comedian Maya Rudolph and her childhood friend Gretchen Lieberum, who I could of sworn was actually Amy Sedaris, but is not. “Prince tribute band” is probably more accurate, as Princess doesn’t do spot on covers, but very respectable arrangements of Prince songs including “Erotic City,” “Darling Nikki,” and other classics. Here’s some quick Maya Rudolph trivia: her mother was Minnie Ripperton, who wrote and sang the gigantic 1975 hit “Lovin’ You” as a lullaby for Maya.
At this point I was in a rut at the Chupacabra Stage, enjoying a shady spot in a tent, which is probably why I found myself listening to French techno in the form of Yelle. I don’t have a lot of context to work with, but it was definitely the best French techno I heard all day.
While loading up on free Rice Krispy treats in the media lounge I caught Austin’s Shakey Graves, a nominal one-man band with guitar and foot powered kick drum that played folk tinged blues and blues inflected folk. It was groovy.
Then Foster The People happened. The computer program that created FTP did a very nice job, and the committee that wrote “Pumped Up Kicks” came up with a catchy bunch of notes that are criminally easy to listen to, but damn, at the end of the day, Foster The People is just the whitest, most milquetoast thing that ever was. If that’s your thing then I wish you well. Now let us never speak of Foster The People Again.
The exact opposite of FTP is Outkast, and people really go batshit crazy for the recently-reunited Atlanta hip-hop duo. This is one of those times when I write about music I don’t know very well, but Big Boi and Andre 3000 put on a great show, and everyone around me, who I assume were bigger fans than I was, seemed very happy.
One of the main reasons I whined for Matt (Ashworth, Nada Editor) to let me cover Sasquatch this year was Die Antwoord, a South African electro hip-hop act that is heavily influenced by “Zef” culture, which I’m told might translate to “hesher” or “white trash” here in the states. The things that Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er do with language are truly impressive, mixing English, Xhosa, and Afrikaans effortlessly and with lightning-quick precision. Without the creepy visuals that accompany their music videos they are much less terrifying too, and their talent really shone through. (There was still creepy stuff projected behind them, though, just so you didn’t forget that they are freaky and all that.)
It was bedtime for this reporter. After the long hike back to District 9 I was astonished to see that the trampoline was still up.
Read Andy’s Day 2 Recap
Read Andy’s Day 3 Recap