Reverb Festival – Music & Art in Ballard

On October 9, I wandered the streets and bars of Ballard.  Wow, does that sound bad. . . I was wandering the streets of Ballard with my $10 wristband for the Reverb Festival, which got me in to see over 60 bands at 10 locations from 2:30 pm to 2 am. Well, at least theoretically. I wasn’t quite that ambitious. I saw 8 bands in 3 bars.

Moshi Moshi

I stopped first at Moshi Moshi. a sushi restaurant offering a discount for Reverb wrist band holders. I had their delicious chicken yakitori.

Roy Kay Combo

After that I went over to Conor Byrne to check out some rockabilly by the Roy Kay Combo. They were good!

Check out their music and where they’re playing next at:

I wandered the streets of Ballard after that to find my next venue.

Street Marker in Sidewalk

I loved the street markers they had embedded in their sidewalks to help you find directions.

Elgin Watch Ad on Building

I also loved all the old ads left on buildings, like the one above for Elgin watches. They were kind of like the Timex of the pocket watch era. Oh, wait, does anyone remember Timex anymore?

NW Ballard & Ballard NW

 In spite of the street markers, I still got a little lost, at one point finding this 3 way sign, which includes both NW Ballard and Ballard Ave NW. . . OK! I know I’m in Ballard. . .

The 2 Bit Saloon

I finally found what I was looking for – The 2 Bit Saloon, a dive bar I probably wouldn’t have been adventurous enough to wander into if it wasn’t part of the festival. That’s OK, the other patrons weren’t so sure about me either. . .

Imperial Legions of Rome

I caught the end of the Imperial Legions of Rome‘s set. They played good and L O U D heavy metal. My hearing may never recover.

Find their music at:

I stayed and listened to some more good and loud music from Hobosexual. Here they are with Concrete Corporate:

Their MySpace page is:

I stayed for the whole set. It was time to head out again after that, while I still had some hearing left! It was also dark and pouring rain. I headed back to the direction of the other venues, not sure which I wanted to check out next, or if I wanted to stop for desert first. Suddenly, I was accosted near a beauty salon by a man who wanted me to see his artwork. He was very persistent, so I went into the Source Salon & Spa . . . and I did like his art!

Red Stickmen Salute Dubya

I later realized from the info card he gave me that it was also the night of the Ballard Art Walk and his opening night reception. I guess he thought I was wandering the neighborhood for art and thought I was dissing his work when I didn’t want to come in at first. Of course, I’m wandering around looking for music venues, and thinking . . . art? . . . in a beauty salon?. . .

According to his card he is TV TommyVision and his website is:

Cupcake Royale

It was still pouring, and I did decide it was time for desert and coffee at that point, so I stopped by Cupcake Royale. I had a lemon drop cupcake, not realizing that it was a lemon drop hard candy on top until it was in my mouth. So I finished it first, even though I probably would have saved it for last if I had known. The cupcake was delicious.

I was back to my more traditional fare of Americana music for the rest of the evening.  Massy Ferguson, always one of my favorites, rocked out  The Tractor Tavern. Here they are with Powder Blue, near the end of their set:

They also won the Seattle Weekly contest for favorite Reverb Festival band and won a trip to Iceland to play in the Iceland Airwaves Festival the next weekend!

Massy Ferguson’s website is at:

I stayed at The Tractor and listened to Lindsey Fuller and the Cheap Dates next. I’ve always been impressed by Lindsey’s songwriting, and the Cheap Dates are, in fact, some of Seattle’s best musicians. Here they are with Big White Lie, a song about Leonard Peltier:

It’s hard to believe Leonard Peltier is still in prison.  It’s been over 35 years. Still no justice.

Learn more about Leonard’s case at:

Lindsey Fuller’s website is at:

The Young Evils

I caught some of The Young Evils‘s set before leaving The Tractor. A bit toward the pop, or indie music, with good harmonies (and Mark Pickerel doing double duty with the drums, having just played with Lindsey Fuller).

Their MySpace page:

It was pouring rain out again (or still). Here’s a picture of it coming down over the Lock & Keel sign on the way back to Conor Byrne.

Rainy Night in Ballard

Time for some Irish Coffee!  Of course, without the cream for me these days.

Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers

I caught the end of Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers‘ set. More great twang!

Her website is at:

Kristen Ward

Finishing off the evening with Kristen Ward and her band (with Simona Bressi on drums, their newest member). Terrific as always, here they are with Faith:

That’s lead guitarist Gary Westlake tearing it up on guitar (including some fancy behind his back playing) and Nate Mulubay on bass!

I had another awesome and rainy night in Ballard!

. . . and I’m still one month, 2, probably going on 3, music events and an Amnesty International conference behind on this blog. . . on this rainy night in the U District.

Yes, I brought some of the rain with me to San Francisco last weekend. It keeps hiding in my luggage. . .


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