May 26th, 2009


Hey Everybody, Here Comes The Choo-Choo!!!!! (Sasquatch 2009)

I was going to call this post:

St. Vincent Singing "Hey ... Everybody ... Here Comes The Choo-Choo" & 97 Other Awesome Things I Saw At Sasquatch 2009

But that was too many characters for the Subject Line. Fascist.

Without further ado: the 98 things I loved at Sasquatch, in no particular chronological order:

1 - Waking up at 6am after being up until 2am watching The Melvins 1983, Green River, and The Melvins Perform Houdini at the Showbox.

2 - A shower, which would prove to be the last time I would be clean on this endeavor.

3 - a cigarette, a glass of iced tea, and a trunk packed with all of my camping essentials (and none of my emergency car-breaks-down essentials ... priorities); all the while waiting for Michael and Brittany to arrive on my balcony at 7:30 in the morning with the sun already out of bed.

4 - The drive. A little Built to Spill, a little Schoolyard Heroes, a little facial contortions to will myself awake all the way to Vantage.

5 - The camp. I was in section 1, meaning that I was parked next to five port-a-potties and two wash sinks that would run out of water by Monday morning. Never once did I find my own way back to camp while drunk.

6 - The Timing. Made EXCELLENT time. We were on the grounds by 11am, which is exactly when I wanted to be there.

7 - Substance Abuse. Shared a little something with Michael and Brittany before they made the long trek to find their friends at section 30 I believe. That sounds like a long way away from section 1.

8 - I noticed, once my tent was set up in front of my car, that when I parked originally, my tires were pointed so - should my brakes fail - my car would roll right over me inside of my tent. I briefly thought about turning the wheels to face my neighbor's tent, but decided to kick down the parking brake and hope for the best.

9 - The Oppressive Heat. I'm not going to lie to you, I was ailing when I got there. Heavy drinking on Thursday night during bowling gave way to a major hangover and a lack of quality sleep on Friday morning, which led to me not taking a nap Friday afternoon, which led to pitchers of beer at Pike Place Brewery, which led to The Melvins, which led to awake with Jack In The Box at 2am, which led to a lack of quality sleep and not so much a hangover but definitely dehydrated, which led to The Gorge and 70-80 degrees of heat at 11am. It only got warmer. I have just now stopped sweating. Sit breaks aplenty on the way inside, in the shade, with the other party people in the place.

10 - The Comedy Tent. I'm also not going to lie to you, this place was like a second campsite during my trip. I avoided years of skin cancer chemotherapy by plopping my ass down during the formative afternoon hours under that shade-producing haven.

11 - Nick Thune. Hahaha, he called it Sas-crotch! Also, Dear Texas, thank you for all the instruments.

12 - Maria Bamford. Nick Thune was on at 2:15. I never left. Maria Bamford was on at 3:30. She's just as pretty as ever, with her Miley Cyrus t-shirt and her long blonde hair. Oh, and she's just as crazy as ever. But in that good kind of way where you never know if she's going to make out with your belly button or stab you in the jimmies. I like that in a woman. Old Mac Donald Had A Pterodactyl, with a BGRORRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, here ...

13 - Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. I went Yeti Stage on this one to catch a glimpse, then I got some food and prepared my first drink. Ehh, they weren't as cool as their name would indicate.

14 - Todd Barry. 4:45. Unfortunately, the Comedy Tent was located a hop and a skip from the Wookie Stage. That's when some band known as Shearwater was causing a bit of a ruckus. Todd Barry, in only his soft-spoken, smart-ass way, asked, "Can someone tell them to keep it down, I'm trying to fucking kill in here." Oh, but you are killing, Mr. Barry! You are funnyman number 1!

15 - Animal Collective. I hauled my ass over to the main stage for the first time at 5:40 to see Animal Collective. Shit man, I had trouble even finding a seat on the hill. ANYWHERE on the hill. I'm convinced that 99% of the festival was there to see this band and the other 1% were off having unprotected sex while listening to Animal Collective on iPods. It's what I would've done. I wasn't in the mood to tangle with the crowds, so I went off and mixed another drink.

16 - Smuggled Booze. I was a little worried while walking and taking sit breaks on my way into the venue. I had this plastic bottle of Malibu, minus the Malibu, plus an equal amount of Bacardi 151. Oh, and no masking tape to tape it to my leg because I'm an idiot and fucking forgot! My last-ditch effort - upon learning that gas stations don't readily carry masking tape - or indeed tape of any kind - in their Food Marts - was to jam the bottle down the back of my pants like a Jack Bauer and his gun. I felt like the biggest sore thumb in the universe; I just knew I was going to get caught.

17 - Not Getting Caught. No pat down, no nothing. I brought a shopping bag, emptied all contents of all pockets from my cargo shorts into the plastic bag, and since the line was so full of people, I made it through without even so much as a pat-down. Worked again like a charm for day 2. Day 3 saw a minimal pat-down, but not behind my back; and I didn't even bring booze the third day.

18 - Bottles of Coke. The first one I got came with a cap. Then, they instituted some anti-cap ordinance that I was unfamiliar with (and failed to ask about). My assumption is either A. they didn't want people trying to recycle them; B. they didn't want us all flicking one another with them, taking out some eyes or whatnot; C. they wanted to royally piss off those of us who bring our booze in the backs of our shorts by making it difficult to properly distribute the booze throughout our bottles of Coke. Funny thing is, they didn't stop people from bringing in outside bottles with caps on. I'm not making this up.

19 - On the second day, when I absolutely refused to wait in a buttfuck of a line at the General Store on the way to the venue for a cheap $1.50 bottle of water, I opted to buy one inside the venue. I received no bottle cap. Here's the thing: I don't like to fucking hold shit when I'm at the Gorge. I also don't like to fucking spill shit all over myself when I'd rather be drinking it. I like to stick my bottles of water in my fucking pocket and drink it at my fucking leisure. So, I know you're going to respect me less for this: I found a used bottlecap that managed to reasonably fit my bottle and that managed to reasonably not look entirely disgusting. Yes, it had some dirt on it. But, after I took it to a sink, washed it out in cold and hot water, I found it functioned just like a fresh cap that WASN'T riddled with disease. On a related note: I've had the runs all day today.

20 - The Decemberists. They played the entirety of their new album. The entirety of their new album is fucking astonishing. Consider your debt re-paid.

21 - I may have fucked up here, though. This is still the first day, mind you. Animal Collective followed by The Decemberists on the main stage, sounds like a good time, right? I'm on my second 151 & Coke, feeling pretty good. I decided to take the Yeah Yeah Yeahs off because I've seen them multiple times. I passed by the Wookie Stage on my way to, I dunno, get food or something, and saw Mos Def there. I wedged my way to some sort of viewing distance and had a fucking BALL with Mos Def. Then and there I made a promise to see him live the next time he's in town. Those 10-15 minutes made me a believer that you can indeed see rap music live and have it not be a yelling mass of shit.

22 - James Pants. Dance Tent (formerly known as Comedy Tent), in the P.M. Imagine techno music done with instruments (and, yes, a synth machine). Fucking A, was that ever a party. I would've stayed for the Crystal Castles and totally E-ed out, but I had to hit the Kings of Leon. Still, I'll say this, James Pants did a techno'ed version of The Doors' "Touch Me" that he claimed was his favorite song and just might have made it mine too. He also made up a song ON THE SPOT. I don't know if it was actually made up on the spot, but it sounded badass so I'll take him at his word.

23 - KOL. Yes they did Sex on Fire, no they didn't do Soft, yes they did Four Kicks and Crawl. I can't remember much else. Molly's Chambers and/or California Waiting? I know there's at least an 'Or' in that last sentence. I was a little drunk, sue me!

24 - Being a little drunk. I checked out the bottom of my Malibu bottle and it looked like there might have been a shot, two at the most, and I didn't think it was necessary to waste another bottle of Coke on so little booze. I was wrong. There was probably between a fourth and a fifth of the bottle down there. Nevertheless, I switched to $9 cans of Corona, 12-ounce cups (they claimed were 16oz) of Coors Light, and Coors Light tallboys. Every station I walked to had different beers and different sizes, so fuck me man, I forgot where they kept the PBR. They should've had PBR as the ONLY beer! I still can't believe I bought a $9 12-ounce can of Corona ... it was either that or Heineken! I ended up going home with that 151 still in my bottle, my buzz dying on the walk home.

25 - Being a lot drunk. During Kings of Leon - headliner for the first day - I was all over the place. I tried to find a place to sit, and that place was on some gravel near the bottom of the hill. The seating was ideal: fairly close to the band, no people blocking my sightline, I wasn't hurting anybody! Then some dickwad in a yellow shirt that said "Security" on the front made me move.

26 - Scars. So, when I moved, I realized that this gravel section was angling down. Kind of like a hill might angle down. I realized this AS I started to fall to my grim death. Well, not death so much as a shitload of scratches all down the front of my left leg. It stung to apply sunscreen the next two days.

27 - Sunscreen. I had that shit caked on me for three days straight, and I still came away from The Gorge a little red in places. No burns though, so I can touch myself and not scream like a bitch.

28 - Walking home. God damn that walk to the campground takes fucking forever. Being in section 1 doesn't fucking help either, as it's the closest section to the actual Gorge itself, but the furthest away from the Venue. Plus I had no flashlight, and went the wrong way three times.

29 - The Teepee. I finally realized: when you see the Teepee, that's the direction to walk. Some people actually BUILT a fucking huge teepee at the entrance of my section of camping. They were my hero on more than one drunken stumbling occasion.

30 - Early wakers. I was KINDA hungover on Sunday, but more than anything I was fucking dehydrated. I also had to pee when I got up, and the sun was beating down like Chris Brown through my tent. I didn't want to move and there was a line a mile long to get into the five Port-a-potties. So, I improvized. I peed into an empty water bottle, filling the whole thing to the top with warm, dark yellow relief. Then I got to lay around for another hour or so.

31 - Early To Rise. I got out of my tent, sat in my car (which was much cooler with the windows down, as long as I sat in the passenger's seat to avoid the Sun Side), nibbled on some pasta I brought from home, had a fist-full of pretzel sticks, and a shitload of this gallon drum of water I bought in Vantage for a quarter of the price I would spend on water inside the festival.

32 - This did have its advantages, however, as I was feeling better after ingesting water. I made it into the venue by noon. That is by far and away the earliest I've ever made it inside the Gorge.

33 - Three Bands In One Hour. Mad Rad kicked Day 2 off at 12:00 on the Yeti Stage. The Stranger suggested I see them, but Mad Rad sucks hard dick. They're like the Beastie Boys, if the Beastie Boys got all hard and erect at saying shit like Motherfucker and Tits. They're the reason why I hate seeing rap music live. Then, on the Main Stage there was Mike Watt and The Minutemen ... oop, I mean Missingmen. Mike Watt is this old dude, and the band is just band of three - including him - and they rocked pretty hard. 12:25 was Viva Voce, a girly band that rocked harder than most girls.

34 - Comedy Tent. I was seduced once again by the Comedy Tent's shade production. 12:45 was supposed to be the People's Republic of Komedy - a sketch outfit, I'm assuming - but 12:45 came and went along with all the minutes up until 1:10 before I had enough.

35 - "We're Street Sweeper Social Club. Street Sweeper Social Club. We're not a band, we're a social club." Boots Riley said this in between nearly every song (or some kind of variety of that). Oh, did I fail to mention they're Tom Morello's new band? The awesome live rocking capabilities of The Nightwatchman along side the awesome rapping capabilities of Boots Riley (of The Coup). They did a rock version of Paper Planes that is still kicking my ass to this very second. To think, if I hadn't gotten bored while sitting in the Comedy Tent, and if I hadn't checked out the little blurb talking about Street Sweeper Social Club at the very moment they went on the Main Stage, I might have missed the third best non-comedy performance I would see at Sasquatch 2009.

36 - The Walkmen. Also at the main stage. They did "The Rat" and then I got bored and checked out the Easy Street booth.

37 - The Henry Clay People. High entertainment. They were on the Yeti Stage at the same time as The Walkmen. I spent way too much time watching The Walkmen and not enough - only 10 minutes or so - watching The Henry Clay People. Their final song was a medley of songs from Built To Spill's "The Plan" to The Who to The Rolling Stones to God knows what else. I need to check them out.

38 - The Red Wine Boys. Todd Barry and Jon Benjamin. They did the Comedy Tent and I saw about 10 minutes of them too, but they weren't on when they were supposed to be on. Fucking Comedy Tent fucked my shit up in Day 2, and I couldn't get inside because there was so many people in there. They had this video montage of "their trip to Maine". Yeah, it was just a bunch of pictures of dicks. Big dicks, small dicks, hard dicks, coming dicks. I don't know what I think about that.

39 - Fences. I read that the singer is really good. I envisioned a poor-man's Jeff Buckley. I got a poor-man's Jeff Buckley. They were plagued by sound problems - dude's guitar kept producing some gnarly feedback and he was visibly upset with the sound people there. I noticed quite a bit that the Yeti Stage had Shiti Sound. Get it together, Sasquatch.

40 - St. Vincent. I love this singer so much. I read about her in Rolling Stone two weeks ago, downloaded her album last week, and saw her live this weekend. Imagine if P.J. Harvey and Sasha Grey had the most amazing sex I've ever seen two women have; then had a baby girl, neglected it for the first three years, then taught it guitar. That sounds like a put-down somewhere in there, but in my head she's just a ravishing beauty. I left early though because I wanted a good seat for Aziz Ansari (mostly because I wanted a gooder seat for Zach Galifianakis).

41 - Aziz. I was stuck sitting behind some annoying group of Christian boys with their adult guide. The tallest one of the group - sitting RIGHT in front of me, prohibiting me from stretching my legs even a little bit - texted his mom, "I'm watching the Indian guy from Parks & Recreation". Then, after the show I saw him text her back saying, "He was pretty funny, a little crude tho." I wanted to punch him in the back of the head. You go to see "The Indian Guy from Parks & Recreation" and then get put off by him doing questionable material.

42 - For your information you fucknut, Aziz was fucking MURDERING your whole entire bible-thumping family so get fucked!

43 - RANDY! Aziz brought out a character from a movie he's doing called Randy. Basically, it's him only if he was a really shitty stand-up comedian who only did cliched jokes about sex. He had this great bit at the end where he did his impression of him getting a blowjob in the supermarket. Each joke went the same way, he'd start to say something related to the place he was at (like the supermarket) and then look straight down at his crotch and yell in surprise (as the blowjob was presumably taking place). It was pretty funny; he had the audience yell out venues for these hypothetical blowjobs.

To be continued ...