sistawendy: (wtf laughing)
Friday: dinner & rekkids with m'boy. If I don't play Rumors and Aja for him, he won't hear them.

Yesterday: a beautiful day of little projects I'd been putting off, mainly for beautification.
  • Did all of my nails for the first time in months, in obnoxious pink for spring.
  • Re-dyed my much-loved and much-abused "hippy bag", which is an older Coach bag and therefore beautifully designed and made.
  • Hit the Hill because I had time to kill and I wanted to pick up a used CD of Soundgarden, again for m'boy. Sure enough, I found a copy of Superunknown*. Or rather, another one; I know I used to have one and I'm not proud to say I must have gotten rid of it at some point.
  • Had a couple of beers at the Wildrose and chatted with the cute zaftig blond who tends bar there. We both lamented how unnecessarily dead Seattle is during the winter. I brought up Pride, natch - it's Christmas for the 'Rose - which is bound to have extra meaning given the current political situation. I gently reminded her that we're all in this together.
Last night: Techno from the Sweatbox crew, starting with Dane Wilson. It was some sweet acid stuff with some lovely eye candy - ahem, but I was pretty tired despite napping earlier. I caught the last train north out of Sodo station at 0037. Moral: If I'm going to do that, don't eat dinner so early and maybe caff up. I'm geezing out, mayunn.



*Fun fact: I believe that [personal profile] cupcake_goth and I were at the same Soundgarden show at Bumbershoot in 1990, more than ten years before we met. I know I went to a Bumbershoot show of theirs in the early '90s; I just can't remember which year.

It's fun to think about what might have happened if I'd met her then, but it's probably best that I didn't, given that I ran headlong away from myself a little more than three years later when I met the future Ex. I can't imagine [personal profile] cupcake_goth being pleased about that, and besides, she had her own stuff to deal with back then.
sistawendy: (dolly)
Four days is a long time for me not to post. My excuse? Too much fun.

OK, Thursday night wasn't that fun because I spent it aggravating my carpal tunnel. Believe it or not, that isn't dirty.

But on Friday night, the Tickler & I went to the Upstream music festival, which is basically 300+ musical acts taking over a couple of dozen venues in Seattle's Pioneer Square. (This, by the way, is a canny move by Pioneer Square businesses. This area is one of the sketchiest in town, and can surely use some good publicity.) The festival itself? Worth the ticket price, in my opinion.

Here's the lowdown on the bands we saw:
  • Twin River from Vancouver - They were on a stage devoted to Canadian artists. They call themselves "garage pop", and that's pretty much what it is. They pulled me in the door by sounding a lot like Neko Case around '02, but then they got jangly & rocked out, which is fine with me.
  • Seattle's own Evening Bell. Their blurb was precious, describing their sound as "psychedelic country noir", but damned if they didn't end up being my favorite new (to me) artist that we saw. Some of you People in Black might enjoy them.
  • WIBG at the storied Central Tavern. Their blurb? Unintelligible, which kind of matches their sound: Dead Kennedys meets the Doors meets Led Zeppelin meets, says the Tickler, Mudhoney. We kept listening (with ear plugs) mainly for the WTF factor.
  • Hip hop with DJ U No Hu - Not really my thing, but the dance off featuring the Massive Monkeys B-boy crew was definitely the Tickler's thing. (After our exhausted night at her place she insisted that I watch videos of international B-boy competition as we ate her deluxe oatmeal.)
  • Astrocolor - Canadian funkateers. Stop laughing. I liked them, and they brought a much-needed queer vibe.
  • Dancing to local techno hero Pezzner, about whom I've written many times before. He brought it, and the fabulous view from the stripped-down space on the 18th floor of Seattle's oldest and lovingly preserved skyscraper (completed 1914) was icing. That's how you end a night like that.
One not-so-great thing about the festival: we discovered that we weren't supposed to bring any bag bigger than a clutch into the venues, even though that was unevenly enforced. We had to check our bags at the stand that Upstream had set up. 10 out of 10 for security, but they could have handled the communication & convenience better.

And on a sad note, the Tickler lost one of her two cats. No more shall I hear gay feline sex of questionable consensuality. The surviving cat is the kinky one, and I gave him many swats just above the base of his tail, which he loves.

Went to see the second Guardians Of the Galaxy with m'boy. I would have skipped it, but Ex saw it without him and he was miffed about that. It's everything it should have been, so if you're into that kind of movie, see it.

Went to [personal profile] gfish's annual Eurovision party, where alcohol numbs the pain of spectacularly bad attempts at pop music and eye-forky staging. This year did not disappoint. I won't spoil it for you, but the consensus in the room was that Europeans aren't like us. What really makes that party for me is the quality snark from the local audience. If the US ever enters Eurovision, I believe it's our sacred duty to get kicked out by pulling a Devo or NWA.
sistawendy: (weirded out)
My son asked me last night, "Have you ever heard of a musician called Prince?" Clearly I'd neglected his musical education, so I remedied that right away. Oddly enough, I used to be way more into Prince than I am now. I annoyed grad school housemates with how much I played him. He wasn't my culture hero - for that matter, neither was Bowie, as you could reasonably expect - but he brought the Funk to rock like no one else, and that was why I loved him. I gather that he managed that in part though successfully fighting the music industry's racism. What the old white guys running the industry did to Nile Rodgers in the '70s Prince did to them in the '80s. Sweet, funky karma.
Heaven help me. I've paid for OKCupid and gotten back on the horse with dating sites in general. I guess running into M at Hot Flash Inferno affected me more than I thought. Sure, I have women I'm dating, but do I have someone I can call when I'm feeling down? No. Am I living alone? Yes, except for the lumpy teenager behind me. Q.E.D.

I suppose that if I do find Ms. Right, the kiddo's living situation is going to get changed again. He may or may not be genuinely thrilled about that. So far it hasn't been as bad as I expected. He'll usually do what he's told, but he must be told, and he often does it wrong. So far he isn't making good use of his quarter off school.
ETA: I gave Inga the big, black Lelo Smart Wand her first serious use last night. The results weren't mind-blowing, but they were the most promising of any vibe I've used to date. In Inga's defense I must say that I quit early due to ick-induced fatigue. Clearly more research is needed.
sistawendy: (taco madonna)
I punked myself with the Guerrilla Queer Bar night: it's tonight, which I can't make because of m'boy, not last night. So I drank one nice beer in this (of course) hipster joint and walked around my old stomping ground* of Ballard.

I knew Easy Street Sonic Boom Records was there, and as soon as I walked in, I saw something on my to-buy list: Lucius, Good Grief. As soon as I walked out, I saw that Bop Street records had moved across the street. As I drew near, I could hear Underworld's "Two Months Off". Even though all I could see was vinyl - vinyl all the way up to the top of a high ceiling - and I have no turntable, as I said to the dudes behind the counter, "You play Underworld; I walk in your store." I walked out of there with a used CD of Moby's 18 and the business card for a place that sells turntables.



*I lived in Ballard, in the northwest corner of Seattle, from '94 to '98, right before all the old Scandihoovians either died or sold out. The Norwegians may be gone, but their legendarily slow, crazy driving lives on after them. I wonder if you can still hear sea lions barking at night.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
OK, the long version: for the party that the Siberian Siren is throwing imminently, she wanted the table that her sweetie AJ assembled in a storage space in a building the SS manages. That means the table was six blocks from her swank new place. Okey doke, so last night the SS borrowed an SUV, and secured the services of a gay dude and me.

The table is tall (AJ, who does most of the cooking, is 6'.), heavy, and non-decomposable. The gay dude & I took one look at the table & SUV together and thought, 'Uh oh.' We gave it the old college try, but there was no getting the table into the car. Luckily, it has wheels. Good, solid steel wheels.

Six blocks of pushing, steering, breaking stuff, and giggling later, the SS & I weren't sore, but we were nearly deaf. Those wheels were loud. It's a good thing Capitol Hill residents expect quiet after 2200.

I promised the SS I'd drink all her booze tonight because a) I earned it last night and b) since the Siren doesn't drink much anyway because she's the Worst Russian Ever.

Unrelated music squee: Of Montreal, the whole Skeletal Lamping LP. Oh. Em. Gee!
sistawendy: (flirty hippy)
But first: I didn't make it to the waterfront Ferris wheel with m'boy. The weather was acting questionable, and I asked him if he still wanted to go, and he said no. So of course it got sunny. Two weeks from now, without fail.

I did, however, make it - late - to Sky Cries Mary at Neumo's this afternoon. For you non-locals, Sky Cries Mary was a Seattle band active from the late '80s until early this century. They reunited for the weekend, complete with crew & visuals guy, to play a benefit for a band member with cancer. I've been a fan since I heard them on KEXP (then KCMU) in the early '90s, and I've seen them live at least three times in the past. The best I could describe SCM's sound is psychedelic rock.

In brief: they've still got it. Front woman Anisa Romero has aged enviably both vocally & visually, and her hubby Roderick Wolgamott, well, still can't carry a tune in a washtub, but I gather he was quite a songwriter. Roderick wore a Norwegian flag tie and braids with his full beard, in the best Seattle hippie tradition.

Being Sunday afternoon, this was an all-ages show. There were some actual honest-to-goodness children there, but I'm pretty sure the median age in the SRO crowd was in the low to mid 40s.

I'd forgotten how big that band is: the number of people on stage was usually seven, but it ranged from three to nine, and included the recipient of the benefit.

It kills me a little that I a) showed up late from dropping m'boy off at home* and b) had to leave early for zappy. I might not have been so late if I hadn't stayed awake too late pursuing an MBSO unsuccessfully. They sounded terrific, and I could feel the love in the room. And I did get to hear a lot of my faves, fifteen feet from the stage. Aw, yeah.

I hope they never play Seattle again for the reason that they did. But if they were to show up again, especially with new material, I'd be very there, not that I think it's likely.



*Of course I offered to buy him a ticket and of course he said no. Neither crowds nor amplifiers are his thing.
sistawendy: (blue corset)
It looks as if I'm nearly four months late to the party on this - [livejournal.com profile] sirriamnis is surely way ahead of me because her band has played there - but the Josephine, where I've been to one awesome party and a couple of truly bizarre music shows, is closed. Like CHAC before it and probably lots of other places that were more low-cost art venues than commercial concerns, it's the victim of noise complaints from neighbors.

The good news: The residents, who are all artists, aren't being evicted. The building isn't being sold or remodeled (yet). The residents are mulling plans for what they can do with that space, and there are other spaces cropping up. (See article above.)

The bad news, and plenty of it: The new spaces, possibly including the Josephine itself, won't be for music.

What did I love about the Josephine so much? The no-budget, DIY, BYOB atmosphere. The cRaZy art all. Over. The walls. The shrine to Josephine Baker at the back behind the "stage". The proximity - it was just a walk over Phinney Ridge from my place.

"But stuff like this happens all the time," I hear you say. "Why get your undies in a bunch this time?" Because Seattle is hemorrhaging cheap art spaces, and especially cheap performance spaces, especially in the constricted midsection of the city where people can live practically without cars. Those spaces have always been a big part of what makes big cities worth living in. If they go away, this town takes one more giant step toward being Bellevue minus parking.

ETA: There's a reason why nobody outside Washington state has heard of Bellevue.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
Much circumflatulate. So exercise. Many work. Wow.

The circumflatulation is of two varieties, one bleepy and the other scientific. I'm wondering how long it'll be before I chafe against the limits of Ableton's intro SKU. More news as events warrant; they really don't right now.

Work is driving a wooden stake through the heart of my MongoDB installation. There's a reason why it's the butt of jokes.

I've returned, and not exactly in triumph, to OKCupid. Gawd, what horrors await?

I wish sleep were one of the things I'm getting done. My upstairs neighbors have a mysterious preference for getting up at 0600 on Wednesdays, and their alarm wakes me up. I need to have speaks with them. I have felt doodads for furniture legs and will happily install them myself is need be.
sistawendy: (dolly)
You know how I got Ableton last week? Yesterday I bought off of Craigslist the other half of what I need for my diabolical plans: an Alesis QX25 MIDI controller. It's in front of me right now. I've got it talking to Ableton, knobs & all. [livejournal.com profile] ionan came over last night and imparted seekrit nollij about making choonz. (He's an audio engineer with a DJ alter ego.) There shall be blood bleeps!

But! New Year's Eve! Party #1: small & cosy with [livejournal.com profile] ack_yeahright & the Burning Man buds from '11 & '13 plus crazy delicious eats. Party #2: Off to [livejournal.com profile] nerdvana for a bewildering array of alcohol, MOOers, MOOers by association, and the cuddle puddle in the harem pit. ([livejournal.com profile] tfabris, if you're reading this, the chicks dig you for a long list of reasons. Don't deny it.) I'm sad to say that [livejournal.com profile] tithonium & [livejournal.com profile] loree are calling it quits on their NYE parties. I agree with their reasoning, but it's the end of a golden era. Yeah, I have other places to run around in my underwear and get into and out of trouble, but it won't be the same.

2014 sucked so hard for so many, but my year was pretty good. Shhh! Time for bullets!
  • There was the Vampire Ball where I met Temptress who then romanced me silly and continues to do so.
  • Funny Lady plugged me into the poly community. Naughty behavior ensued.
  • There was goddamn Burning Man with the fabulous Beavers. (Naughty behavior with them kind of goes without saying.)
  • I regained two nieces.
  • My son continues to grow up.
As for this year, to quote the hella tough [livejournal.com profile] eeyorerin, Excelsior!
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
Spent a quiet Christmas Eve & morning with my son nomming the ham he requested. There was a sunny walk around Green Lake, and no complaints from m'boy until I wore him out after two miles.

My present to myself? Ableton, the cheap SKU, on sale. I may be inflicting bleeps & beats on people before too long. It's kind of addictive, and it seems to be quite capable & well-designed.

Christmas Dinner at chez [livejournal.com profile] ionan. I have partaken of honest-to-goodness Christmas goose. I have to say I had my trepidations because I'm not crazy about duck. If you imagine a cross between duck & ostrich, that's what goose is like. It's rich, red meat: delicious, but not to be eaten in large quantities.

The highlight for me, though, was the pie that [livejournal.com profile] ionan's wife J made from ingredients she brought back from their recent trip to Brazil. That was intense, passion-fruity goodness right there, made with unsweetened passion fruit concentrate and condensed milk that J swears is different from what you find in North America. Indeed, people brought so many desserts (including me, thanks to a neighbor at the old place) that I'm kind of maxed out on dessert until I dunno, maybe summer?

I'm currently at work taking care of a few easy loose ends, nothing serious. It's a ghost town here even though we're officially open.

No Temptress tonight; she's still sick. Maybe I'll go out tonight or maybe I won't, but tomorrow night is definitely a queer girls' night out at Kremwerk - after, of course, an earlier gathering at the house of a certain couple who recently returned the area. Oh to the yeah.

Next week: Sunday night through Wednesday morning I'll be at the old place in Kirkland. I plan on walking Bigpuppy enough, preventing my son from wrecking the house, and making sweet love to Ableton.
sistawendy: (drama)
I hit the Decibel Festival for a night of house at the Hot Creations showcase in EMP's level 3. I did dance my little white booty off to the openers, especially Shadow Child.

The headliners were Angelenos Lee Foss & Anabel Englund. (The latter couldn't look more L.A. if she tried.) Pity I didn't get to hear them together: there were technical difficulties that sent a sound guy scrambling across the dance floor as Foss held down the fort in a fashion that, well, didn't thrill me. I was tired from two successive nights of six hours of sleep, so I took that as a cue to leave, shortly after midnight. Yeah, maybe lame, but at least I had a blister on my heel when I got home. That's always a good sign.

Oh, and I got home not on the E-line as planned but courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] ionan and his lovely wife, who rolled up as I was waiting for my bus at Aurora & Denny. Naturally, I gave them my extended Decibel lowdown as payback for both the ride and the many fantastic bleepy tracks & suggestions that [livejournal.com profile] ionan has passed to me over the years.

Good: EMP has not one but three first-rate music venues of various sizes. Bad: Their drinks are priced to match. Therefore you can rest assured that booze didn't cloud my judgment of the tunes; I barely had any on principle.
This afternoon: an open house at [livejournal.com profile] evillinn and [livejournal.com profile] ravenmimura's in Lake City. The place was covered with his art, some of the smaller pieces of which he was giving away. (!) I had the perfect place on my living room wall for a cartoon with the caption "Hand Staple Forehead".

But the piece that made me ask [livejournal.com profile] ravenmimura "How much do you want for this?" was a spoof of the famous "We Can Do It!" poster from World War 2. In place of the usual wholesome female defense industry employee is a lady with long, curly horns issuing from her temples, looking back at the viewer over her left shoulder, upon which she's resting a mace. She's wearing shoulder-length leather gloves, a tattered black coat, and nothing from the waist down. The lettering in the caption is a faithful reproduction of the poster's. This print is now hanging in my living room. I told [livejournal.com profile] ravenmimura that it's a wonder all the kinky women in Seattle - and we all know there are a great many - haven't beaten his door down for prints of that.

We watched babyvision. It's nice to do that with my People in Black. The little boy tried to climb, as much as a 9-month-old can, onto my big, black equestrian boots; he was fascinated with the shiny leather. Since all the adults present appreciate nice boots, we all approved. And it's fabulous to see [livejournal.com profile] evillinn breast feeding like it ain't no thang, because it isn't.
Checked in on [livejournal.com profile] cupcake_goth because I was in the neighborhood. Really. She assures me she is eating her vegetables.

Best. Weekend. Ever.
sistawendy: (dolly)
This entry is in two completely unrelated parts.

Part 1: last night at the Decibel Festival. I only went to one of the "showcases" even though there were, I believe, three going on at EMP alone; others were going on elsewhere in Seattle.

First opener Luke Mandala did the deep house thing right, with just the right amount of melody. My boots were not in the dryer. I'll concede that I felt the urge to dance to him more than the other two artists on the bill, including the headliner. I felt a little sorry for the skinny white boy with EMP Sky Church's Cinerama-sized screen for visuals behind him and Simian Mobile Disco's copious gear under wraps in front of him. He comported himself well, though. I ran into local promoter & label owner Ramiro Gutierrez, who in addition to being a righteous dude is Mandala's publisher. Yet another reason to buy his rekkid.

The second act on the bill, Robert Babicz, seemed lazy in comparison. Even with sparer, more electro-flavored beats & melodies, it seemed to me there were times when his gear was controlling him rather than the other way around.

Headliners Simian Mobile Disco came from outer space with sinister alien insect larva grooves that entered through my ears and ate my brain. Entered? More like crashed. They were kind of loud, and the Sky Church's sound system delivers in both quality and quantity. Nevertheless, they were happy-making in a way that I never heard before from them or anyone else. Sadly, I had a work sitch and sore feet, despite sensible boots, so I scrammed early. I'll definitely be checking out their new LP Whorl, along with Luke Mandala's and Aphex Twin's latest. (No, Aphex Twin did not play Decibel, and I'd be surprised if he ever did.)

What's up with the large number of skinny women at Decibel? And I don't just mean toned, I mean downright skinny. In terms of feeding my insecurities it's worse than Burning Man; maybe being naked or nearly so makes them look less skinny.

If you're wondering where Temptress was, she hasn't been feeling well lately and bleepy isn't her thing.
Part 2, the Goth garage sale at chez [livejournal.com profile] theda & [livejournal.com profile] balzacq: I showed up 90 minutes after it opened, deathly afraid that all the best scores would be snarfed. I needn't have worried. I came away with as much as I could carry, within budget, of things I needed and liked. In fact, I'm wearing a sleeveless black taffeta dress with a knee-length circle skirt for Decibel because I got Bigpuppy's tan hairs* on the black dress (What else?) that I wore to the sale.

I don't see my Goth peeps as often as I'd like. As I explained at the sale, I'm a slave to the rave, so I end up going to things like Decibel, Burning Man, and Seacompression instead of the Merc or Ceremony. (A moment of silence for the Vogue, no matter how cheesy you thought it was. It was the trans-friendliest joint in the city for all the years I went there.) Yeah, the sales used to happen more often, but the truth is that these days I need my money more than I need the clothes.

It was good to see [livejournal.com profile] icprncs & [livejournal.com profile] morthael back where they belong. They're not allowed to leave again.



*She's part Doberman & part German Shepherd, so she has black hairs & tan hairs with a grey undercoat. She sheds hairs to make anything you're wearing look bad.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
I just bought a ticket for Deltron 3030, playing the Showbox on November 5th. It was [livejournal.com profile] ionan who turned me on to them with one of 407 (!) songs on a DVD that he gave me for my birthday a few years back.
Remember the house that I pay for but don't live in? The fridge therein needs replacing for the second time in four years. Morals:
  1. Don't by models with the freezer in the bottom because they're more expensive to repair, and
  2. Don't buy Samsung appliances.

Attempting world domination. I'm being deliberately coy about the details because I'll be surprised if it works. Much frustration, some expense.
sistawendy: (Prius)
But first: a lovely lunch with [livejournal.com profile] randomdreams and [livejournal.com profile] manintheboat at Coastal Kitchen. I'd never met Mrs. Random in meatspace before, and I have to say it's striking how well matched they are. The cuteness doesn't just burn; it incinerates.

Right after lunch, I got in my Sanctimobile and headed north for Cut Copy.

But second: I stopped for dinner at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe on 4th Ave. W per a former co-worker's notably vocal recommendation. They do diner food, including vegetarian, quite well; I'm sorry I didn't save room for a shake. And I'm pretty sure I have the platform boots that I spotted in their decor.

Wandered through downtown Vancouver (more about that anon) to the lovely Stanley Park. I have to say, though, that Marymoor Park in Redmond is a better outdoor venue: the Malkin Bowl is smaller, hillier where it's inconvenient, and hemmed in with tall conifers. It's also hard to beat sunset at a concert at Marymoor.

The openers? Vancouver's own Bear Mountain. They don't suck; I think I recognized them from KEXP. I may have to pick up their rekkid. Be advised that these guys apparently listen to Erasure, recent Daft Punk, and a whole lot of old disco.

Our heroes from from Australia sounded excellent, barring one technical glitch. They don't have a whole lot of stage presence, but the crowd warmed up to them eventually. It's hard to resist a groove that solid, and I danced through every song when I wasn't using the tilted port-a-potties. I smelled a little weed, but I encountered no jerks because Canada. I was happy they were happy to take my Yankee cash for drinks. On the way out, I remarked to (of course) a young cutie with flame-red hair that I might make it back to Seattle by 0100. She expressed surprise at the hardness of my core. What?

Fashion observation: Even though it was a sunny afternoon and a clear evening, there were lots of women at the concert in gumboots, and at least one man. It was the defining fashion of that crowd.

Civil engineering fail: Canadians, or at least British Columbians, don't seem to have embraced the freeway concept as much as their neighbors to the south. Their freeways end at or well away from the edge of the central city, which gets an A for esthetics but a D for convenience. I also question their signage. I managed to wander off of 99 in the dark on the way back to the US and spent half an hour going through Richmond and the airport. That's much harder even in L.A.'s concrete tangle, and yes, I drove there for the first time exhausted at 0130. A stop sign in one direction with a stoplight crosswise? Bad call. And guys, left turn lanes are your friends on Vancouver's many long, wide, straight arterials. Don't get me started about the reversible lanes with no dividers between them.

In summation, Canada is a land of many contrasts I'd do that kind of trip again, but I'd stay overnight and not go alone.
sistawendy: (mad woman)
I came back from zappy yesterday evening, ate dinner, and contemplated a couple of hours to myself that I hadn't planned out. I hadn't exercised in a while, so I thought I'd go for a walk over Phinney Ridge and back. As I was ogling what [livejournal.com profile] stroppy_baggage calls real estate porn on Palatine Ave., I thought, 'I wonder if there's anything going on at the Josephine. After all, it's only ten blocks away.'

The Josephine, if you'll recall, is the artists' residence & studio cum performance space. It's got to be the last grungy, DIY, BYOB, ungentrified place to regularly party or hear music in the whole damn city. Indeed, I used to live in Ballard, and I've watched NW 65th St., where the Josephine is, become progressively newer, shinier, and pricier. Add in wacky murals on the walls* and you know why the Josephine has a place in my heart.

I asked the three people hanging out by the door what, if anything, was going on. Experimental music, they said. So I chip in some dough and see some young man fiddling with a laptop next to spinning prisms and lenses a la Buckaroo Banzai. I never did find out what that setup was for**, because the young man then set up a camera to shoot video of Ivan the alto saxophonist and Christian the trombonist playing what could perhaps just barely be called outside jazz. At various points Ivan removed his mouthpiece, and Christian scraped the pieces of his disassembled straight mute. At the end of one set, a cat could be heard (but not seen) meowing insistently. The dozen or so assembled all laughed. Overall, that experience is to music what Rorschach blots are to painting: interesting & thought-provoking, but not the kind of thing I want in my apartment. I left before the show was over - Hey, I needed to go to bed. - but I'm not sorry I went.

Seattle, I love ya.



*They got rid of Josephine Baker from the back wall behind the "stage"! Why? It's the Josephine, fer cryin' out loud. They also painted over some others, and there was less stuff adhered to the walls. I can't help but wonder if the fire inspectors had paid a visit.
**Even more like Buckaroo Banzai.
sistawendy: (mad woman)
The Coming of Mom has arrived, finally. After picking Mom up at the airport yesterday & a necessarily quick tour of my lake place, we headed over to the east side to pick m'boy up from Dr. Kidshrink and then head over to What the Pho in Bellevue, one of the nicer Vietnamese places around. It didn't occur to me that Mom doesn't know how to use chopsticks. Ah well, she managed to ingest the pho solids and appeared to enjoy them. She says I "preach" too much to m'boy. Hmph. I can't help but wonder how she'd handle sixteen years with an Aspie ADDer. (I forgot to remind him to take his meds, so he freaked out and called & texted his mother several times. She was Not Pleased. Oops.)

After getting her installed on the folded-out futon Davenport with an air mattress, she conked out at about 8:00 last night - she'd arisen around 2:00 AM Eastern, which is 11:00 PM Pacific the previous day. I'm surprised she made it as late as she did. So, I bopped on over to the Agora for something from [livejournal.com profile] gfish's cocktail engine, homemade egg nog, and way too much good food. Out of deference to Mom I was home by midnight.

Today? Handel's Messiah by the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall - her idea. I got us decent seats in the middle of the orchestra section, so we were more or less at eye level with the soloists. The soprano, Amanda Forsythe, had an amazing voice and hypnotic eyebrows that seemed to say, "How you doin'?" I could hear the director's feet as he lunged during the Hallelujah Chorus. I want the mezzo's dress. Badly. I took Mom back to the green room to meet [livejournal.com profile] kathrynt, who's in the chorus.

Then on to Dahlia Lounge, where Mom remarked on the prices but we had a fantastic meal. I had the tuna & falafel, which I liked better than her bread pudding, but still, the food & service were definitely up to scratch. I hadn't been there since about '04.

There's something very satisfying about spoiling one's mother, especially after not seeing her for over a year and a half. I'm tempted to rank today up there among the best dates I've ever had.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Several of you had for years recommended the Lucifer's Lounge, the lounge and swing night at the Mercury. I put it off and put it off, until the last one ever rolled around last night. To my delight (and slight chagrin because I was in my work clothes), nearly everyone dressed for it: lots of 40's- and 50's-inspired clothes. The music was exactly as advertised and not really what I'd seek out ordinarily, but damn, I saw people I hadn't seen in years. I got my social on in a huge way. Yeah, I'm regretting not going earlier, and missing the Cheers-in-black that was (is?) the Mercury.

My other reason for being on the Hill was around the corner from the Merc: Simian Mobile Disco played Neumo's with its fabulous sound system. I missed SMD the last time they were in down, and I was determined not to do so twice in a row. I was not disappointed.

SMD is pretty close to the sweet spot on the fun vs. respectability curve. They lack the classicism and structure of Orbital that I love so much, but they make up for it with mix mastery and beat-driven goodness. I've heard SMD described as "bug music" because of their occasional glitchiness. I'd call it "music for bugs who want to bop 'til they drop".

The first half of their set was taken predominantly from an earlier album, Attack Decay Sustain Release. If you don't have that, get it. The second half was their latest album, the more abstract Unpatterns. I loved all of it. I can't be the only one in the crowd who detected a nod to Daft Punk in the long accelerando at the end of their encore, "I Believe".

In the grandest techno tradition, our two heroes from England were facing about 135° away from the audience. The lighting could best be described as evil: eight LED arrays usually strobing, and at times painfully bright and rendering the performers invisible from a distance. It all worked together, though.
sistawendy: (dolly)
I was invited to not one but three parties on Saturday night, so I went to all of them. Duh.

The first was the newest experience for me: [livejournal.com profile] shivana's parents' tree-trimming party. Everybody brought an ornament, and everybody gave a little talk about its significance. (I brought a little circuit board that I designed three jobs ago.) It was very... poly and pagan. I didn't get to socialize all that much because of the organized activity, but I must say [livejournal.com profile] shivana looked absolutely ravishing in a black velvet strapless sheath.

My Shallow Fashion Details: Off-the-shoulder little black dress with the one sleeve made of lace, red fishnets, black pointy boots. Why so conservative?

Because StartupCo's holiday party was next. We took over Sazerac in downtown Seattle. My company sure knows how to party. And even the nerdiest people cleaned up real pretty. I was too late for the food, which is a pity. Loud band was, as [livejournal.com profile] tithonium points out, loud. Unlike him, I don't let hearing damage get in the way of a good time.

The last stop of the night was at ex-co-worker B's, at a party that he advertised as a shitshow. Well, yes, I overindulged. I lost most of yesterday to recovery (and, of course, Homestuck). I took that a bit too far, even by my standards.

Tonight: Simian Mobile Disco at Neumo's. See you there.
sistawendy: (dolly)
Yeah, I got my fangirl on in a big, big way: Orbital last night, part of Seattle's wonderful annual Decibel Festival, a gig that I've waited for for lo these many years. I probably haven't danced that much in one night outside of Burning Man. My back and feet are still not 100%, and I wore comfy boots.

They played most of their new album Wonky, and many of my favorite tracks from their first two albums. I was glad they did their mash-up of their hit "Halcyon+On+On" with "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" and "You Give Love a Bad Name". Another hardcore fan moment: they did part of the long, weird, and wandering "Are We Here?" from Snivilisation, made live show-friendly. Take that, n00bs.

This was a polished, professional show complete with well-matched visuals at the Paramount, which for non-Seattle folks is a big old movie palace from the 1920's that was beautifully renovated by an ex-Microsoftee. Pro tip: if you want to hear the treble, you can't be under the balcony.

The crowd? A few people in full raver gear, some grizzled fans the same age as the band (including your humble correspondent), but even more glammed-up women in their late twenties. The organizer of the Decibel Festival, Sean Horton, says that Orbital is what got him into techno, and I overheard a guy at the show saying that, too. They really are a worthy gateway drug. Their most artistically ambitious & successful album, for my money, is In Sides, but the one that speaks to my heart is that nugget of pure ravey goodness Orbital 2, affectionately known to fans as the brown album. Happiness is meeting people who totally get that when I tell them.

Postscript #1: There's somebody out there who's been waiting longer than I have. [livejournal.com profile] xaotica tried to sneak into RCKCNDY (Remember?) when she was 17 to see Orbital, but she got stuck in a window, landed on the ground bleeding, went home, and cried. She didn't get to see them live until last night. It was good to see her there, not least because she looked fabulous.

Postscript #2: I got offered a drink by a man I'd just met. Flattering, but I said no because a) I'm just not that into men, and b) I'm trans and don't want to end up dead in an alley.

Postscript #3: Catching the 358 can always be exciting, but near midnight it's even more so. A very drunk woman and her boyfriend (?) got on in Belltown and held the bus up while he talked her off the bus. He said, "Let's go home."
She said, "Where's that, the bushes?"

Postscript #4: Oh yeah, the opener: a fellow in a suit with a laptop named Paul Chambers. I felt a little sorry for him because the crowd wasn't very large at first, but he acquitted himself quite well, I thought.
sistawendy: (dolly)
Last night I went to the Dead Can Dance show at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Yes, half the people there were wearing black, and I'm sure all my friends were in there somewhere. I have to confess two things: 1) I'm a latecomer to DCD fandom (as I am to so many things), and 2) I probably haven"t been to nearly as many live shows as even the average person there.

That said, DCD is the most polished pop live act I've ever heard. They sounded fantastic. I caught my mouth hanging open a few times.

They did play material from their new album, which comes out on the 14th, says KEXP. Pretty good, and in the same ethereal, Near Eastern-inspired vein as their earlier material; it reminded me of Sky Cries Mary in their more accessible moments.

Those of you who've been fans longer than I have know that DCD broke up because they hated each other. I was close enough to look for evidence of that, but none was obvious to me. They seemed to enjoy themselves as long as they were facing the audience. Brendan Perry seemed to be the one in charge; Lisa Gerard didn't speak the entire time.

After watching her sing, Lisa is now a candidate for my #3 straight girl crush, after Kate Winslet and [livejournal.com profile] cupcake_goth.

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