Sunday, July 26, 2009

keep your head up kid

i know we can swim/ but you've gotta move your legs (pela, augustine)
the capitol hill block party 7/25/09

one of my favorite parts of living in seattle is all the summer festivals. even though they can be hot, sweaty and crowded, they are also, in my opinion, made of love. maybe i'm weird (and i'm quite certain that i am), but i enjoy wandering around aimlessly and getting lost in a crowd. i also really really enjoy discovering bands that are completely new to me but nonetheless re-ignite my excitement about live music (see: sleater kinney, minus the bear, blitzen trapper, kings of leon...) more on that later.

on saturday, i rarely had stretches longer than 15 minutes without music to listen to (not that it was always *good,* of course, but it was there). i also loved that, because i am over 21, i had the option of spending the hottest part of the day inside neumos, standing in front of a big fan and drinking free water (nothing beats free water).

my favorite band by far - and the one band i was really excited about seeing this year - was the thermals. they put on a great live show and never fail to put a smile on my face. hutch, the singer, doesn't talk much, which is actually kind of refreshing and their 3-minute long songs make for a really fast-paced show. they are also obviously fans of the early 90s - they played awesome covers of sappy by nirvana and basketcase by green day (full disclosure: both of which i was singing along with!) they ended with now we can see, and the song began with the drummer joining hutch and kathy for the hand-clapping part and then waving to the crowd before racing back to the drum set to play the rest of the song. the rain that had been threatening to fall also started during this song, and seeing live music while rain falls and breaks the heat wave is now crossed off my list of life goals. people all around me were like children, opening their mouthes and trying to catch some of the rain. it was great!

so now back to the band that i unexpectedly fell in love with - pela, who are from new york city. go figure that all the bands i enjoyed were ones that the stranger didn't like (unless it's a good thing to say that the "lead singer is a balloon... filled not with helium or pee but with serious emotions." uh, ok). i was kind of surprised to find that they have only been a band for a few years, because, honestly, the way that they played and fed off the crowd made it seem to me that they had been around forever. and while i was watching them, i decided that the kind of music i really love is rock n' roll that makes me smile and want to clap my hands - music that sounds like it was made to play in an outdoor ampitheatre on a hot summer night. kind of like - dare i say it? - pearl jam. if that is uncool, so be it. and, yes, i am comparing pela to my favorite band. the stranger would probably agree - after all, their description of pela's singer could easily be applied to eddie vedder.

upon further exploration, it seems that pela is a favorite at KEXP. (and where was i last summer when they played at one of the free shows at the mural ampitheatre? argh). there are no less than 3 in-studio performances to listen to, each one better than the last. i especially like the acoustic performance from this past may, which suggests to me that they may be coming out with a new album soon(!!) their tour page doesn't list any upcoming shows, but they seemed to like playing in seattle (the lead singer kept smiling at the crowd and said this is such a rock n' roll town! i love it!) and i hope they'll be back soon. i will definately be there.

be yourself, every one else is already taken - from the bathroom in neumos.

1 comment:

Kristine Rosenborg said...

I already like the sound of Pela because they said Seattle is a Rock and Roll town! YEAH WE ARE! I wish I was there... Your blog though made me feel like I was. I would have LOVED to feel rain on my face during a concert.
Love that Oscar Wilde quote...