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notes from Bumbershoot 2012

An iOS upgrade had me looking at the backlog in my Notes app—I had a set of notes marked as "local", which predated the automatic synching with iCloud and so were all more than two years old, so I was checking to see which I could throw out. Among those were my notes from Bumbershoot 2012, and though Saturday's and Monday's notes were largely unremarkable, I liked most of what I'd jotted down for the Sunday sets. So I figured I might as well post the notes here for posterity. Adding some comments now in brackets and italic.

Eighteen Individual Eyes
[I think this was my first time seeing this band, though I'd heard some songs on KEXP already]

  • Kinda beefy hard rock

  • Good clear vocals [Irene Barber is seriously a great singer, this isn't giving her credit enough.]

  • Some good melodies too

  • I think I want them to be better than they actually are; they're not bad, definitely like them, but they're rather middle of the road [That's a harsh comment for me; while I think they never quite gave me whatever I was hoping for, I also think they were better than I was giving them credit, here.]

  • Crowd was so quiet between songs, the band remarked on it; but people did seem to be staying and paying attention, so that's a good sign

  • Maybe it was just my earplugs, maybe the sound mix, but I couldn't hear the backing vocals at all

Katie Kate
[This was my second time seeing Katie Kate, and I briefly introduced myself after]

  • Trent Moorman drumming

  • Opened with "Copenhagen", abbreviated, as an intro

  • Diva singing and hard-edged rapping—illustrated by split hair, black buzz cut one side, long flowing French-braid blonde on other [Easiest to see in this photo and this photo on Flickr]

  • "Body Princess"

  • Again with "Aspirations": sweet gentle sung half suddenly breaks into burst of hard-beat fast rap to finish

  • Confidence and talent to pull it off

  • But not everything is split like that; "Cracks in the Speakers" is straightforward emo

  • Cover of "Running up that Hill"

  • Her voice isn't as full and rich as Kate Bush's, but whose is? Decent cover, did it justice, and if her voice is a bit thinner it's still good and strong

  • Followed with another instrumental

  • "Dirty Amazon" [That should be "Bad Amazon"]

  • Give her one more album, she'll really make an impact [See, I was saying this nearly a year before I got to hear her next album! And if only it were true, but sadly it did not get the attention it deserved.]

  • Finished with new song, sounds great, looking forward to more


  • Hard-driving hard grunge

  • Really this fits in with AC/DC and other '70s to early '80s metal

  • Intense ferocious performance

  • Third track "the new one"?

  • Packed audience, Seattle still loves Mudhoney

  • Some complex bass lines (and drum work) in addition to the at-times intricate guitar work, this isn't just fast and loud

  • Half-sung half-shrieked vocals, but not the screaming/croaking of more hardcore styles

  • The singing is really the most basic/simple element, and it's where the emotional heft lies

  • Funny little moments of band interactions, such as dealing with guitar trouble; music may sound seriously ranty, but they don't take themselves too seriously

Niki & the Dove

  • Electro-pop duo

  • First song, "oh these guys!"

  • Vocals kind of like Lykke Li, is it just the Swedish accent? Little lighter toned, though.

  • Mostly electronic, keys/synths/gear, but pair of toms for live drumming too

  • Right, know this one too

  • Sweet singing, bright keys, but some lurking darkness in synth bass/drums; not just sugary pop

After Dark [the late-evening electronic showcase sponsored in part by Decibel Festival]

  • Sponsored by Trinity Nightclub

  • Hall stinks of pot smoke, which it didn't last night

  • Seems to be a fuller crowd at 10:30 than last night, but that makes it look like more people standing around instead of dancing

  • DJ Mia

  • Set the scene with the opening to Star Trek, went into hard pounding techno/house

  • Kinda bombastic

  • Left early cause of pot smoke

You can see my small set of Bumbershoot 2012: Sunday photos on Flickr. I have more photos for Saturday and Monday, as well.

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