Folklife 2007, Day 1
OK, let’s back up a few days to..

Folklife 2007, Day Minus 2
Stage Managers meeting 6:30 pm. I thought it was the next day.
Merde

Folklife 2007, Day Minus 1
Called Chandler, the Production Manager, to ask if I still had a job.
He laughed.
He told me because I missed the meeting that I couldn’t have pepper spray or Samurai Swords. Readers who have followed my earlier exploits know that swords equal power and power is the only thing performers respect. Although, once I mentioned Tazers to the sound guy and emcee, I had their respect.

Folklife 2007, Day 1 (redux)
I’m waiting at the bus stop, trying to do my thing for the environment, when I’m surrounded by a pack of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Witness for the Prosecution #1 offers me a magazine for future perusal. Hustler? National Geographic? Nope, the Watchtower.
So, what are my options?
1) A quick violent outburst
2) A slow protracted violent outburst
3) A delightful combination of both
I politely (sic) declined their generous offer and went back to huffing my rubber cement jar. An uneventful bus ride follows.
Folklife, for those of you blissfully ignorant, is a 3-4 day (depends on how many fingers you can count on) folkmusichippiegatheringdrumcirclemultiethnic … multiculturalfamilyfriendly … drumcirclescreamingbabynutjobencouraged festival that I have somehow managed to avoid for the past 20 years. Oh, I popped my head down here for an instrument auction years ago and provided gear last year, but I make it a point to stay away from large crowds unless I’m well paid and backstage. The money’s ok, but there’s nowhere to hide.
As soon as I hit the Seattle Center grounds, I see friendly faces.

ASIDE # 1
2 questions remain on an endless loop playing in my brainpan:
The first is: WHAT WAS I THINKING? (WWIT)
The second is: WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN? (WTWTCPH)
These questions will pop up at regular intervals.

So, upon seeing Ann O’Dowd, I say to myself, “What’s the worst that could possibly happen?” Ann’s got my back. I’ve got friends here. People know me. They know better than to place me anywhere near a drum circle, clowns and/or mimes, patchouli or a beer garden (if I can’t join in)! I find myself stage-managing without the benefit of any weaponry whatsoever (today, anyway). I’m at the Rainier Room, an indoor stage that had bad bluegrass, Indian (East) Dancing, French cabaret, Celtic, Hip Hop and Balkan music. The Hip Hop excursion included a pair of girls who wore wings and reminded me of the Faeries from Mothra movies. The rest of the evening promises Russian Balalaika, more bluegrass and Hungarian and Andean folk musics. Supposedly, there’s a staff party afterwards if you have a hospitality endorsement on your laminate (which I guess I don’t). Do I crash the party or don’t I?
Film at 11.

Day 1 wrap up
The first band was horrible. Kids playing bluegrass (which is admirable) poorly (which is inexcusable). Well, that’s really not fair. Chances are that you’re gonna suck when you first start playing (law of averages. Actually, John Bishop, jazz drummer extraordinaire, claims he played great the very first time…), but come on, play outside where the amusement park can hopefully mask your sound. 3 standout bands were a mandolin quartet, the Hungarian ensemble and the group from Ecuador closing the evening.
Went home.
Went to bed.

Folklife 2007, Day 2

Have I ever explained Seattle’s weather micro-system? It goes like this…
Rain.
Sideways rain.
Rain that falls upwards.
That’s pretty much it. There are beautiful sunny days. Here’s where they are:
Beginning in June, it’s a toss up if it’s going to be nice. When I worked the Summer Nights at the Pier concert series, load in and the build began June 1. Maybe it rained, maybe it didn’t.
The 4th of July historically rains. Then it’s really really nice until 10 pm on Labor Day, at which point the heavens open up and precipitate to biblical proportions. After that, it’s ok until October, then repeat.
Thanks, you say, for this bit of meteorological misinformation. But why, you ask, did you waste the minute of my life that I’ll never regain to feed me such tripe.
Because I can. Because you’re reading this. Because yesterday was one of those incredible wonderful days that we wait 10 months for. Because the deluge was waiting for me when I woke up.
Because, for the most part, Folklife is an outdoor festival.

ASIDE # 2
Confession time. It is, in fact 2 months since I started this report. I feel bad because I feel like I’m neglecting you, dear readers. Although it’s my sworn duty to keep you up to date in the day to day activities of your intrepid reporter, I ask myself, “Self, what do these wonderful people give a shit about my miserable life that compels me to do this again and again? I mean, for the most part, I can’t stand myself so why should they? How many could I possibly owe money to? Would they rather be watching Mister Clean commercials? Picking up dog shit?”
That being said, I’ll summarize…

I finished the festival, got paid, went home.
Kept on building the studio.
Worked the Fremont Fair, got paid, went home.
I’m leaving Monday for the East Coast. Going on tour with Peter Himmelman, tour managing, doing FOH, driving, babysitting.

More later.
I promise.

Luck
pj

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