Rocking and Rolling Around Outerspace

I finally visited the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum (EMP/SFM) last Thursday, continuing my free tour of museums. I was a little too early for the Taking Aim rock and roll photo exhibit which opened Saturday, though.

I’m not sure how I resisted it so far. It’s not like I haven’t walked by the wavy, smashed guitar/giant bug crawling over the Sci Fi collage, Paul Allen funded extravaganza on my way into Seattle Center many times. . .


The EMP/SFM is free on first Thursdays from 5 – 8 pm, so I headed over after work, following the monorail line through Belltown (and stopping to snap pictures as I went).


After I checked my backpack (not required, but mine is heavy, coming from work), and checking photo policies (OK without flash), first I checked out the robot in the lobby. Which way to go next? I could have either started out with Sci Fi Museum or headed up to the EMP where a bluegrass band was playing.


Geek that I am, I headed to the Sci Fi Museum. The Captain’s chair was beckoning. Oh, yes, Captain Kirk’s seat and Kirk and Spock’s uniforms. Memories of my childhood now looking antique and on display in a museum.

Yes, that’s right, I saw them in their first run (but I had to be in my pajamas first)! Seems like it was yesterday. . .


I was especially shocked to see how bulky and clumsy the original Star Trek tricorder and communicator were. The cell phone in my pocket (free, with contract renewal) is considerably more sophisticated. . .


Of course there’s more than Star Trek, with other tv series & film memorabilia, and sci fi books and magazines.


Oh, cool! Another blast from the past of my childhood – The Jetsons’ world in 3d. . .

Just perfect for being in the shadow of the Space Needle. . . but, wait. . . it morphs into the darker worlds of Bladerunner and The Matrix. . . What happened to our future?


Then there’s this tripping wormhole appearing on the floor as part of the current Gelatine Lux glass art installation.


Before heading over to check out the rock and roll half of the museum, I looked for the restrooms. . .

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So wonderfully geeky, yet so perfectly the Seattle way of inclusion. . . We don’t want female robots confused on which one to go in. : )

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OK. Time for some rock and roll! The guitar art installation. . .


Ahh, Jimi! Gone too soon!

I remember hearing Hendrix from my older brother’s bedroom in the 60s. . . Yes, I remember the 60s. It probably helps that I was a kid at the time, and took nothing stronger than Fruit Loops or Cocoa Puffs!

Still, this is trippin’. . . It’s like the Twilight Zone. . . How did my childhood end up in a museum?

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One of Jimi’s guitars. a little worse for the wear. . .

Especially check out the videos. There’s a small theater playing his life in 4 or 5 sections.


There’s more, though, including more music from Seattle and the Northwest. Bing Crosby. The Kingsmen. The Ventures. . .


Surf’s up!

That’s not all. . . Wait. . . I’m still in the 60s here. . . Moving into the future. . .


Grunge! Wait. . .Grunge? . . . in . . . a . . . museum already? I just figured out what grunge is about a decade after it happened. I thought I was pretty hip. Nirvana? Pearl Jam? I just went to their show. . .

OK. . . free concert in Magnuson Park. . .That’s history. . .

I’m just happy when the whole band actually plays Seattle (and totally spoiled by all Mike McCready’s charity gigs). . .

Wait. . . Another familiar band. Mudhoney? They’re playing a free gig at Neumos a few nights after this.

OK. They’re not quite so young anymore (who is)? Love the hair thing they got going. . .and Mark’s primal scream!

Still. . . I saw them Monday night. . . and they are not ready to be put in a museum yet. . .


Finally, I checked out the sound lab. There were kids cutting their own records, err. . cd’s? . . .ok, maybe mp3s. . . and drumming on this groovy table!

Farout! . . . but how did my childhood get in a museum?

Mudhoney next. . .bringing me somewhat into the modern era. . .

OK. . . even the band looks confused when I flash peace signs during an anti-war song. . .

I may be out of touch even for the 90’s. . .


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