I spent the last weekend with my gay brothers and sisters celebrating Gay Pride here in Seattle. I don’t usually celebrate with the crowds – it’s always too sunny and/or crowded and way expensive. This year I made it through with the company of good friends and some really great music moments.
On Friday, I busted out the camp and Disco for my weekly residency at Seattle’s loudest and dirtiest bar, the Eagle. It wasn’t so crowded at the beginning, but the crowd grew and grew and I paced myself pretty well, if I say so myself! It’s always fun to get away with some of the more campy tracks like “Harper Valley P.T.A.” as done by the Enoch Light Singers or “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite. “Too happy” can sometimes fall flat in a cruise bar, but how could I pass up the opportunity to drop “Heaven Must Have Sent You” by Bonnie Pointer, “Our Love” by Donna Summer (mixes out with Blue Monday, of course!) or “Be Near Me” (Munich Disco Mix) by ABC!
Besides a few jerks who made negative comments and left during my Michael Jackson mini-set, the reaction from the room for the whole night was great and I hope I gave everyone a great start to Pride 2009!
Saturday started out rough – I had to work at 9:30 the morning after DJing until 2 A.M. – Ooof! I took a half day and ended up over at the Artopia Festival in Georgetown, just south of downtown by Boeing Field. First stop was to see my friend Scott Shoemaker’s band, The Quit. I love it when you find out that your friends are more talented than you ever knew. I purchased some great art by Jim Woodring (see below) and some reasonably priced vinyl at Georgetown Records, who recently made The Color Awesome’s list of must-visit Seattle area record shops.
For a Jackson, I got me some Sylvester (StepII!), some Bill Nelson and Mystic Moods plus a very rare 12″ by Maurice and the Cliches called “Soft Core”. Some very expensive pizza, some custard and a disco nap later, I found myself back at the Eagle, but not as a DJ! My old pal Tom Smith brought his own camp in the form of mostly Disco records – which ALWAYS gets a huge thumbs up from me! I had “Stomp” by Brothers Johnson stuck in my head long after the music stopped. I got super drunky and managed not to make an ass out of myself – I also managed to not get laid, but I’m used to that, so I didn’t feel too let down.
Sunday was by far the best of the three days! A bunch of friends and I went to Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Lounge for brunch right on the parade route. As I am not one for crowds, it was pretty nice to look out once in a while to check out the craziness.
After a couple of mimosas and amazing food, we regrouped and went over to The Funhouse, Seattle’s coolest punk friendly club, for their annual Pride party. It’s at the base of the Space Needle where parade watchers and participants end up for a day of gayness. We experienced some of the most unique bands out there right now and danced to some great classics. I danced to OMD, Time Zone, Trans-X, The Go-Go’s and DJ Baby J’s secret weapon, Joan of Ass! It was a friendly environment packed with like minded music lovers – and it wasn’t too crowded.
Hunx and His Punx were the hyped out of town band for the Funhouse party and they lived up to it. I’m going to go with one part Toy Dolls, one part Ramones, one part Ronettes and a dash of helium balloon inhaling. The band was tight, which is always a plus with bands who are perceived as “kitchy”. Hunx is a great front man – his on-stage banter was hilarious and delivered the way friends rib each other during beers. There was even a kissing contest, which if memory serves, Erik won! This band will be so heard of by everyone at the end of the year – it’s fun, it’s original and there were no drum machines.
Drum machines aren’t always bad though! A few of us in the know stepped across to the official festival site to check out another up and coming-I swear to God you’re gonna love ’em-you heard about it here first band called Thee Satisfaction.
Two girlfriends and a DJ who looks like a member of Jud Apatow’s “Jew Crew” – which is to say, totally adorable. Their artist statement pretty much says it all: “THEESatisfaction’s spaceship landed in the heart of Seattle, Washington with the hope of saving it from musical oppression. They became refugees on the planet Mars but escaped the green and purple martians in search of something new. They seek justice, peace and love. Through their music they hope to inspire revolutionary thoughts. Fusing nebula-jazz, intergalactic-soul, and astronomical-a capella they will funk you up. YEE.” Check out a couple of their songs on their myspace and web pages!
The day got more crazy as we walked back to The Funhouse for more dancing, beers and Ononos. I don’t know how to describe them, but the photo is pretty telling on its own. Something of a tribute band to Yoko Ono, but no Yoko songs (I might be wrong here) is what I got from it. Their lead singer, who’s stage name I do not know, is dressed head to toe in a black leotard with tafetta trim and thigh-high black and white American Apparel-type socks. The drummer and keyboard/producer were dressed in white with veils which completely covered their faces as well – think a member of Prince’s Revolution back in the day. With obvious nods to early DEVO, Nina Hagen and other crunchy, early 80’s contemporaries, Ononos had everyone in the room either dancing their butts off, or dropping their jaws in shock and amazement. I am pretty sure after the amount of beers we were drinking that I was doing both! I know two of the three members of Ononos, but I have never seen them like this.
After some dinner with friends and a quick pit-stop by the apartment to get the Georgetown Records shopping trip, it was back to the Eagle for more DJing. I finished out the weekend the way I started it. With the help of a Red Bull I was able to play some of the records that didn’t make it into the set on Friday including a crazy disco version of the Rocky theme and Sparks’ “Tryouts For The Human Race”.
All in all, this will be a weekend I will always remember. Wherever you live, you can become bored and complacent with your surroundings. The weather here was perfect for the day and getting out and seeing (and hearing) new things this weekend has hit my Seattle reset button. With new nights like the upcoming COUNCIL and HARD TIMES and artists like the ones I’ve introduced you to here, Seattle is definitely seeing a turn-around. Young people have a different attitude than the hipsters of 8 years ago. It seems that they are more independent rather that trying to prove themselves to one another. Seattle is growing up and it’s the new kids who are making it happen.