Sun, Rain, Music in West Seattle

So, I headed back over to West Seattle on Sunday, riding a packed bus from the U District with what turned out to be a rowdy high school math academy class. I knew there were some more bands I wanted to check out at the West Seattle Fest.

Kristen Ward was just starting her set at the Alaska Stage when I got there. I’ve heard Kristen opening for Mike McCready’s Shadow ‘86 and Flight to Mars side bands at least a couple times in the past. I really enjoy her music, which also tends towards Americana (I’m thinking a double bill with Mark Pickerel, who played Friday night, would make a great show). Great voice, great band and great song writing.

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Oh, yeah.  Did I mention she’s beautiful?  A lot more guys were taking pictures than usual.  One of whom walked by me a couple times without saying anything, then slyly snapped my photo before he left!  You’ll also notice Kristen has a very young fan club.  At one point there were at least 7 little girls and one boy lined up beneath the stage, literally looking up to her.

Check out Kristen’s music on her main website and MySpace page.

Kristen also brought out the sun.  That was not to last.  This is summer in Seattle.

I went over to the California Stage next to catch another woman who has played with Mike McCready at his benefit shows – Kim Virant.

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Kim’s been rocking out Seattle for some time now, and is always great.  Here’s a clip of her singing Crystal Clear from a gig at the Tractor Tavern in May:

After Kim’s set, I headed back to the junction, and decided to head over to the Easy Street Records booth. 

After finding I was so close to being broke buying the $10 cd after Mark Pickerel’s set Friday night, I decided to try to sell the video card I bought on eBay that didn’t fit my computer to REPC on Saturday.  I got, guess what? Oh, yes. I got $10 for it, and guess I was lucky to get that.  “A PCI card?” One of the guys asked the other.  One of the reasons I should be neither buying nor selling anything computer related on eBay is that I have not a clue what a PCI card is, why it’s so ancient, or what’s evidently replaced it.

So, what did I do with my $10?  Went over to the Easy Street Record booth and spent it all.  What can I say?  I was just going to buy a $2 cd.  Maybe 3 for $5. . .  Boxes and boxes of fairly unorganized cds, with some real gems hidden (well, not real gems or I would have bought more).  Then the record store guy said the prices were cut – $1 a cd, 12 for $10 and I started finding more.  Even though some kind of marching band was going by I could only hear, but not see, that I knew I wanted to be out taking pictures of.  Even though it started pouring rain and everyone crowded into the tent.  “The sky is falling and our prices are falling!” the enterprising record store guy cryed out.

I came out with a very interesting mix, and got props from the record store guy for both my Nils Lofgren pick and for having bought the copy of Real Change news (the homeless paper) I had on me.

OK.  Now I had to find out where that drumming was coming from.  I think, if I’m figuring out their online schedule right, it was the Filipino Youth Activities Drill Team.

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They had been out performing even in the downpour. 

I decide to head back over to the California Stage, where Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers were still playing to a rain drenched audience.  I noticed some of the locals had went back home to change into rain gear.

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Country and Americana mixed with cabaret.

She sang a couple songs about the rain, figuring it’s already raining, so it couldn’t get any worse!

I was thinking I’d head home after her set.  I walked back down to the Junction, but heard another band I liked at the Alaska Stage.

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Green Pajamas!  No, they weren’t wearing them.  That’s their name. A little towards Americana too, but they also lean toward a 60’s psychedelic vibe.

Here they are at the West Seattle Fest, from the West Seattle Blog:

They sang a couple songs about cold nights, appropriately.

As I was near the bus stop, I actually did manage to head home after their set.  A great weekend of music, and I only made part of it.  This is the season.  Keep an eye out in your town or neighborhood!

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