Moshing to Mudhoney & More in West Seattle

I wound up my Friday night in the mosh pit in front of the stage listening to Mudhoney. Oh, yeah.  Mosh pits.  I remember hearing about them.  A fool and a camera who is three – oh wait, moving in closer, make that two – feet from the stage are not easily parted (fortunately, I had to hold on to that sucker tight)!

So I headed off to West Seattle straight from work.  I figured I wanted to check out some tunes at the West Seattle Fest.  I hopped a 55 which took me straight there and started wandering around the booths.  Unfortunately without a lot of money to spend, but the cd deals at the Easy Street Records booth (in front of the store) are absurdly cheap, if you can squeeze in.  Alas, it only got worse my second pass through.  Maybe Sunday.

West Seattle is a more blue collar part of town, and after the initial shock to my system (people smoking on the street?  a graphic anti-abortion booth?-eek, wait, as well as the NARAL booth), I find I feel more at home.  I was raised working class (and, let’s face it, I’ve fallen to poor). 

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No one was playing the Alaska Stage when I first came in by it.  When I wandered on up California St. to the California Stage, I heard some good jazz music coming from McTuff.

Once I wandered back down California St. to Alaska, started checking out the food booths.  I heard some good Americana/rockabilly coming already from the Alaska Stage, though. It was Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands.

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Really haunting music and lyrics.  Check out some more on their MySpace page.

I couldn’t walk away without a cd for $10.  Next I wandered the food booths again, but wanted to find an ATM for more money first. The one right behind the food booths on Alaska had a long line.  Then I membered I saw a 7–11 on California, whose ATMs I can use for free with my credit union account.  Good thing I checked my balance first.  I didn’t know I was so close to being broke (finally caught up on balancing 2 months of statements today to find the error).  I got out only $20, as $40 would have wope out my account, and decided I’d eat when I got home no matter how late that was, except for a $2 raspberry lemonade, which I brought along to catch the next act.

It was time for Black Panties.  No, not for me!  Besides, I didn’t have any money left for shopping. I just made the mistake of Googling their name.  Oh, my!

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Yeah, pretty much what you’d expect for a band named Black Panties.  They were loud and they rocked.  I haven’t been able to find any video.  Even with adding band and Seattle, all I get is TMI (too much information). I’m sure some guys could keep themselves entertained all night with that search, but it’s not my cup of tea.  Check out their music on their MySpace page.

Fortunately, I didn’t wander off far, and just took my empty lemonade cup to a trash can, then found the crowd had thinned a little and I was even closer to the stage, about 3 feet away, right in the middle. Now, it’s a good thing I didn’t have that cup of sticky lemonade in that mosh pit I didn’t know I was right in the middle of!  That would have been bad.

County Councilmember and County Executive candidate Dow Constantine came out before the band. He’s the one who outed rival and former TV reporter Susan Hutchison as a stealth Republican, with considerably more conservative beliefs than she was letting on.

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Then Mudhoney hit the stage.  I don’t think I could write a description to due them justice, so here’s a video, complete with the Dow Constantine intro, courtesy of West Seattle Blog:

The Money Will Roll Right In!  Yeah! They’re really rocking out and put on a good show. I was rocking out and taking pictures.

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Everyone was having a great time.  The crowd was huge and packed.  I was oblivious to where I was. I’d never been in a mosh pit.  Then this friendly guy started bouncing up and down and bumbing me (photo taken later in the show, after I moved out of the center of the pit).

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Then more people started jumping up and down and bumping and pushing. . . Pretty soon I’m being pushed into people (fortunately, everyone’s happy and understanding).  I’m still trying to take pictures.  Though finding I need to keep an eye out for the action off stage, including people sailing through the crowd.

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OK, I’m getting the picture.  That’s the thing though, I was getting the pictures.  I’m now even closer to the stage.  I’m not sure I would have been there had I known I’d be in the mosh pit, but once I’m this close I’m going to stay!  Especially after some guy a decade younger than me wimps out and says “I’m getting too old for this!”

Hey, all this Generation X stuff is a little too young for me.  I have no concept of moshing. 

Touch Me, I’m Sick? Umm, maybe I could just fix you some chicken soup?

It’s cool, though.  I’m rocking out.  Holding onto my camera and my hat. Literally, after I discovered it was in danger of being snatched and tossed in the air or onto someone else’s head. It was my Amnesty International hat, so maybe I would have passed on some enlightenment.  Nah.  It’s the one with velcro.  I took it off and attached it to my belt.

Of course, me being me, I loved it when the did an anti-war song from one of their recent albums, Hard On For War.  I think this could explain a lot.  It was especially appropriate for the chicken hawks from the Bush administration who gave us Iraq II.  Unfortunately, the Democrats also seem to need to bomb someone to prove they’re not wimps, so now it’s off to Afghanistan under Obama.

Couldn’t find video of that one from Friday night.  This one if from Madrid in 2007.

It may sound crude, but killing people in war is a lot cruder.

OK, enough politics. 

One thing I did recognize.  Oh, sh. . . Someone didn’t really call Freebird, did they?  The really funny thing was Mark had to explain it to Guy, who had mercifully never heard it before!  He just smiled and shrugged.

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It’s 2009!  Can’t they come up with something more original?

Oh, wait. . .to shout out for the next 40 years. . .take your time!

So, I survived my first mosh pit.  Will I come back for more?  I don’t know.  It was kind of scary.

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I will be back to hear more Mudhoney!

More music to come.  I went back on Sunday.  Sorry I missed the Seafair Pirates landing on Alki Beach on Saturday, though!

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