My Bumber-day #1 featuring Telekinesis, Eugene Mirman, the Old 97s, and the Long Winters

DJ Spooky by Jeremiah D. Johnson

{photo of DJ Spooky by Jeremiah D. Johnson}

Arriving later than I wanted to, I swiftly ran from the press gate across the Center to catch Telekinesis’ KEXP Music Lounge session, and as always, their tight pop hooks and charming melodies did not disappoint, and I cursed my love of Rhett Miller, knowing that I’d have to choose him over Michael Lerner and co’s fun pop beats (Bumber-schedule conflict #1!).

Next up I hit Flatstock, and of course found dozens of posters I’d be proud to hang in my apartment (including the ever wonderful Seattle Show Posters). Flatstock is always a Bumber-highlight for me, despite my general dislike of buying posters for shows I did not attend (but I generally make room for posters for shows I wish I had attended).

After Flatstock, I sauntered over to SIFF Cinema and caught four delightful shorts that won Best Grand Jury Prize at SIFF earlier this year, featuring a wonderful animated short called Photographs of Jesus, about a photo warehouse where people constantly ask for zany photographs that don’t exist, like ones of dodos (extinct in the 1700s), one of Hilter at the 1948 Olympics, and of the moon landing, but with 12 other people on the moon. Also featured was a very wonderful and very short documentary called The Herd, which starred a deer who wanted to be and believed it was a cow. It was just as endearing and cute as you might imagine.

Next up, I got in line incredibly early to see one Mr. Eugene Mirman and “Mystery Guest”. I caught Mirman’s set at the Tractor earlier this year and fell in love with his sometimes cynical and sometimes completely honest delivery. After an hour of waiting in line and a while of seating, the audience found out that the “Mystery Guest” was Sarah Silverman, who was either trying out new material or just didn’t really care, and was not that impressive, though at one point she was running late and trying to get off stage, and tripped and fell and dropped the microphone, and no one could tell if it was an accident or on purpose, and no one could hold back at least a chuckle. Mirman commanded the crowd, and unfortunately for me, repeated quite a bit of his material from the last time I saw him (though it was still hilarious, especially the whole bit about how God is actually a 10 year old boy with high functioning autism).

After that, I ran over to the main stage to catch one of my all time favorite bands, the Old 97s. They never disappoint, and played all the hits, and even though their set was an hour long (normally much too long for my taste), I wish they’d played for twice the amount. I was lucky enough to get to see them play a “secret” set at the Tractor last year, under the moniker “the Satellite Riders”, and I know that nothing will ever compare to that, especially a giant stadium show, but that’s sort of the beauty about them – they can command and own any stage and setting, whether it’s a tiny bar or a huge stadium sized crowd of Sheryl Crow fans.

After an hour of Rhett Miller’s crooning (and one scarfed festival burrito), it was off to the highlight of my day, the Long Winters – a band who we in imaginary land love dearly, and who hadn’t played a public show within the Seattle city limits in over a year. John Roderick introduced the band as Sebadoh, and then opened with a 10 minute long 70’s rock jam version of “Bride and Bridle” (normally a haunting country-esque number). J-Rod talked about how the Long Winters have been on a break so that they could grow their hair, but when the album was done, they’d cut their hair and looks like Elementary school teachers again. The audience was treated to a new song entitled “Not Moving to Portland” (which is officially my new favorite song title) that hopefully we’ll all be hearing very soon. After playing, Roderick asked that if anyone recorded the song, that they run it by him for confirmation first, and that no one should blog it unless they write for Three Imaginary Girls (!). Aw J-Rod, we love you too. They played quite a few favorites, such as “Scent of Lime”, “Sound of Coming Down”, and closed with a gorgeous 10+ minute version of “Nora”. I spent their entire hour set grinning from ear to ear, and couldn’t stop smiling as I walked to the car in the rain.

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