Seattle Twist wrote about the Seattle Tattoo Expo coming up this weekend. I'm definitely going. There are going to be some good bands this year and of course it will be a great place for my favorite kind of people watching: cute boys with nice tattoos.
I haven't been to a tattoo expo before because I have always felt like I might feel a little out of place at one, considering I only have two tattoos. But why do I care? I mean, it's not like there will be some sort of hall monitor making sure all attendees are properly outfitted in head-to-toe ink. I'm attending on Saturday and I'm looking forward to seeing the bands Nashville Pussy and Throw Rag.
Location: Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center (map and directions)
Date and Time: August 8-10 (Friday - Sunday) 12pm-10pm
Price: $20 (supposedly it's $15 advance, but with all of the service charges, it still comes out to almost $20 online)
In the meantime, if you're looking for something fun to do in Seattle this weekend:
- Shoreline Solarfest
- Bite of Seattle (not my favorite festival, but if you're in the neighborhood it might be fun to check out. Free admission.)
- SeaFair Indian Days Pow Wow
Century Ballroom has all sorts of different dance nights for straight people, too. I randomly stumbled in there a couple of Thursdays ago for salsa night. My friends and I were walking around Capitol Hill one night and we passed by Century Ballroom. We heard the lively music and we just had to check it out. That night I attempted to salsa dance with a very patient stranger who probably had very bruised toes the next day from me stepping on them repeatedly. The best part of salsa night at Century Ballroom was there were a lot of available dance partners. I have gone to swing dance events in the past where they claimed "no partner needed" but everyone else came with a partner and I did, in fact, need a partner. I was pleased to discover there was no need to bring a dance partner to Century Ballroom for their salsa night.
Warning: There are images of naked bicyclists in the below video.
I warned you, but you watched the video anyway, didn't you? If you want to be a naked bicyclist in the parade tomorrow, get details at the Painted Cyclists website.
If you want to keep your clothes on and just check out the parade, it starts at noon, but I suggest getting there a lot earlier than that so you can get a good spot to watch the parade. Tips and parade route from Seattle Times:
Here's a tip from parade veterans. People tend to cluster at the front and middle of the parade route. The best viewing is often found along the second half of the route, around North 34th Street near Stone Way and along Northlake Avenue North, near Gas Works Park.The parade is quite popular and gets very crowded. If you're driving, please note that parking will be impossible. If you can, take the bus or ride your bike. I promise if you ride your bike they won't make you get naked.
The parade begins at noon Saturday just west of Fremont at Northwest 36th Street and Third Avenue Northwest, heading east along Northwest 36th, then it turns down Fremont Avenue and continues east on North 34th before taking a jog onto Northlake Way, ending at Gas Works Park with the Gateway.
After the parade, be sure to check out the Fremont Fair, which continues through Sunday. There are many craft booths and lots of food. Bring cash because not all booths take cards.
Location: Fremont District
Date and Time: Saturday, July 21, 12pm
Georgetown Music Festival this Friday and Saturday. Be there or be square.
Girls Rock! The Movie is a documentary about a camp for girls that teaches them how to play rock and roll, then the girls get to perform in front of an audience.
Since the camp first started in Portland seven years ago with a handful of students, it has grown tremendously to a year-round program with three sessions in the summer. Now they’ve gone international, with camps popping up in places as different as Mufreesboro, Tennessee and Sweden. What follows is a list of those camps who have aligned themselves with the Portland camp under the Girls Rock Camp Alliance banner, at which girls can expect a similar experience and curriculum.
Girls Rock Camp seems to be grooming little girls into becoming their own little Sleater-Kinneys. It looks like a great film to me. Directed by Arne Johnson and Shane KingWatch, the documentary shows the insecurities these young girls have going into the camp (one girl admittedly hates herself) and the empowerment they learn in the camp that it's fine to "sweat like a pig, scream like a banshee, wail on their instruments with complete and utter abandon, and that it is '100% okay to be exactly who you are.'" I wish I had learned those valuable life lessons a lot sooner in life. I especially wish I had learned them at a rock and roll camp!
The fact that this camp originated in Portland, with another camp coming to Seattle, makes me love the Northwest even more than I already do.
Location: SIFF Cinema (at the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall 321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center)
Show Dates: March 7 - 20 (show times and buy tickets here)
Price: SIFF Members $8, Non-Members $10
Last weekend I went to Portland for Zoobomb Minibike Winter V. It was awesome. It was crazy. And best of all, it didn't rain. Zoobomb is a bicycle club in Portland in which members and friends dress in costumes and ride minibikes (child size bikes) down the hill towards the Portland Zoo every Sunday. Once a year for the past 5 years, they have hosted the Zoobomb Minibike Winter Olympics, with events such as Ben Hurt Chariot Wars, minibike limbo, live music, bicycle dance troupe performances, and general silliness and fun.
The bicycle festivities took place Thursday - Monday. I arrived in Portland late Saturday morning just in time to grab some food at the potluck brunch. I was really impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of the local bicycle folks I met at the Zoobomb event in Portland. They all are open and enthusiastic to invite other bicycle enthusiasts to join them for their fun bicycle activities. Many bicycle clubs have strict rules about becoming a member, but the Zoobombers seem to hold the attitude that all who love bikes are welcome, and that's an attitude I like.
After brunch, we all rode to the first event of the day: The Ben Hurt Chariot Wars. In order to compete in the chariot race, competitors needed a bike with a trailer and two people: one to ride a bike and one to stand or sit in the chariot being pulled by the bike rider. All chariots were custom made beautiful monstrosities designed in the vein of the mutant bike culture.
The race had rules, but it turned into ridiculous mayhem to the point where I was not really sure what was happening:
The winners were the last team standing.
This guy did not win, although he had spirit trying to ride on a tire that could no longer technically be called a tire:
After the Chariot Wars, I needed a break and took off and got some dinner. I met up with the festivities again that evening at a warehouse space. The weekend Zoobomb events took place at different locations all over Portland, and event maps were distributed which displayed the best bicycle routes to each location. The evening's entertainment including music, dancing, a fashion show, live music, and a performance by the Canadian bicycle dance troupe the B:C:Clettes.
The next day I showed up at Sunday's first event location by the river downtown ready to watch some bicycle limbo and a performance by the Portland bicycle dance troupe The Sprokettes. Things didn't get started until later in the afternoon and I had to head back to Seattle, so I begrudgingly headed home just as the blindfolded minibike race was about to begin.
Last weekend was the first time I have bicycled around Portland, and that town truly lives up to its reputation as being one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the nation. The Minibike Winter Olympics are over for this year, but if you are interested in going on the zoobomb, they do it every Sunday evening. You can check the zoobomb website for details.
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From the description of the event at Brown Paper Bag tickets:
It is called SeaCompression because it is in Seattle and it rhymes with Decompression, which is a similar event held in San Francisco every year. The idea behind the party is that people have a hard time adjusting to real life after attending Burning Man, and this party revisits the euphoric party atmosphere of the festival. See pictures of some of the people who attended last year's Seacompression here. More pictures here. This is a fun event if you like dancing and techno. I like punk rock, but I have attended this event and I had a great time despite the techno. The crowd is generally liberal professionals and artists in their 20s - 40s. Wearing "burning man attire" is encouraged, so you will see a lot of neon fake fur and skimpy outfits.Come decompress from the great dust storms of '07 with over 25,000 square feet of performance, fire, music, and art! We expect major theme installations from Flight 2 Mars, Black Rock City Animal Control, Dead Letter Camp, just to name a few; dozen of DJs and live musicians on three sound stages; an expanded art gallery; chill spaces galore; a video festival; and more!
When: Saturday, November 10, 7pm - 2am
Where: Sand Point Magnuson Park, Hangar 30
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
SJFF is a real festival of juggling and hacky sack, two hobbies united at last. I had no idea there was ever a need to unite the two. Perhaps there is a rivalry between jugglers and footbaggers, like the rivalry between skiers and snowboarders, skateboarders and rollerbladers, bloods and crypts, republicans and democrats, the French and everyone. SJFF organizers explain:
SJFF was created to bridge the gap between jugglers and footbag players (hacky sack) and encourage everyone to use all four limbs. The Festival, which is open to the public, features games, workshops, contests, two live performances and in-depth access to top professionals in the juggling and footbag world.SJFF is in its 6th year. Past performers include Artis the Spoonman (famed by Soundgarden), and Nanda, an amazing dance troupe I saw perform earlier this year at the Moisture Festival.
This event takes place next month, November 16-18, at the Ravenna Community Center. More details can be found on their myspace page. I'm guessing you should not attend this event if you have an aversion to getting beamed in the head with some sort of small ball.
I checked out their website, and it commanded me to RUN, DRINK, and PLAY:
- Run. The Brew HA HA 5K Run & Walk is a 5K race on Sunday morning. Registration is at 8am and the race begins at 9:30am. It seems to be the Seattle spirit to attach some sort of athletic activity with drinking beer. It's the Seattle way. You can even run with your dog.
- Drink. You will have a choice of over 70 beers to sample. You can view the list of beers that will be available here.
- Play. There will be vendors, kids have a designated play area and can enjoy activities like Lederhosen making, and no one will want to miss the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest which takes place on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm.
The Decibel Festival seems to finally be getting the publicity it deserves, although it has a different feel from previous years. Going on its fourth year, the festival has grown to an international performer line-up in 9 venues over 4 days, starting Thursday Sep. 20 - Sunday Sep. 23. This festival was created by the same group of friends and colleagues who host the super fun Laptop Battle annually. Unfortunately, there will not be as many laptop performers at the festival this year as in previous years, including one of my favorites, m.0. But, there are some great deejays to check out.
The music you will be exposed to at the Decibel Festival is not the typical electronic music you hear after-hours at cheesy dance clubs. These musicians have taken everything annoying about electronic music (repetition of annoying sounds, excessive heavy bass, samples of bad vocals, etc.) and thrown all of that out, taken what we know about music theory and thrown that out, too, and they have created something that sounds entirely new. And it's good. No, it's great.
Attention World: Seattle is way beyond grunge and, hopefully, finally shedding this outdated stereotype of the Northwest music scene. Being a town filled with talented musicians, it makes sense to be a city on the forefront of the next music revolution. Why is Seattle such a mecca for great musicians, consider its population is fairly small? I'll tell you why: the weather sucks in Seattle. There are plenty of rainy days to sit inside a warm and dry home studio and drink coffee/beer and create awesome music. It also makes sense that Seattle is a city gaining recognition for innovative electronic music, considering Seattle is home to many tech companies, including a company you might have heard of called Microsoft. The Seattle-based tech companies draw a huge population of tech savvy employees who influence the culture of the city. Third graders in this town do not beat up kids for wearing glasses and being computer geeks.
Tech Geeks + Crappy Weather = DECIBEL FESTIVAL!
The artists I will be purposely checking out are Recess and Jerry Abstract. These two have been an integral part of the Seattle electronic music scene, and they are fantastic musicians. In fact, the first time I heard Recess, I actually stopped talking to my friend mid-sentence, and said, "Oh my god, who is THIS?" Sunday night I will also be checking out The Raster-Noton Showcase because I personally just can't get enough of German influenced electronic music.
To get the line-up, check out the Decibel Festival Schedule.
Although I am disappointed to not see as many local Seattle artists on the festival schedule this year, I am happy this event continues to happen every year.
"Hey, wanna go to Bumbershoot?" chirped my San Franciscan visitor through the phone.
Duh. Of course I do.
Bumbershoot is an annual music festival held for the three days of Labor Day weekend at the Seattle Center in Downtown Seattle, where you will find famous Seattle landmarks including the Space Needle and EMP. Although there are usually some big names at the festival, including Wu Tang Clan and comedian Janeane Garafalo this year, most of the artists who perform at Bumbershoot are college radio darlings, rarely touched by mainstream media regardless of how awesome they are. My favorite this year was Lyrics Born, a band whom I had previously only heard one song.
The performers of The Can Can did an abbreviated version of their show on an outside stage late in the afternoon by the big fountain in Seattle Center where kids frolic in the water. Moms and dads, don't worry, the show was as G-rated as a Disney cartoon. The Can Can band was really amazing, and I was in awe of the flexible female dancer's... flexibility. There were also male performers, which is generally not typical for modern burlesque performances unless the man is an emcee. Very cool.
The one performer who seemed to be lacking any skills to keep my attention was a woman who simply shimmied up and down the stage. I am guessing her performance was limited to the fact that she couldn't do a striptease in a G-rated atmosphere, but burlesque has evolved into more than just stripping. Burlesque involves a talent of, if nothing else, dance and movement, and the only thing this girl could do was wiggle her hips as if she learned everything she knew about dance from taking one belly dance class.
Overall, I was impressed with The Can Can's performance and I recommend checking out one of their shows located in Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA.
There is a lot of sharing of ideas in burlesque, and I am deeply into sharing ideas as opposed to stealing ideas. I recently viewed the burlesque acts at the Moisture Festival, hoping to get some inspiration for make-up and costumes. Oh, man, there were some GREAT made-up mugs and terrific costumes at the show. My favorite act was a dance troupe called Nanda, which consists of four delectably fit men. They are awesome. Words cannot begin to describe their awesomeness. They fought and did flips and then fought in slow motion while tearing off clothes and then they synchronize danced their way into my heart.
Another act I loved was The Aerialistas. These girls are totally hot and can defy gravity, which makes them even more hot. The guy sitting behind me remarked gleefully after every trick, "Oh no they didn't! They did!" Oh, they most certainly did, gracefully swinging from hoops and silks suspended 15 feet above ground while swimming through the air in perfect synchronicity. The whole experience of watching The Aerialistas perform made me want to go to circus school.