Bluegrass Boys

These little boys performed at Doe Bay Fest a few years back under the name Brother for Sale. They play with their parents as the Crow Valley String Band. They played Doe Bay again last summer as Brograss.

Bluegrass is the heavy metal of folk music, if you follow me.  Whatever name they play under, these boys shred.


An Arts Snob Attends Disney On Ice

When a middle-aged white man complained on Twitter with a picture of one of my favorite graphic novels captioned “Can you believe they expect us to buy this stuff?” a woman replied, “It’s not for you.” So before I review the Disney on Ice “Follow Your Heart” show I need to disclose that Disney-themed ice shows are not for me.

I am an admitted urban snob who has worked tirelessly to protect my daughters from the Disney princess cult and made a niche writing about sharing the art I like with my kids rather than spoon-feeding them the idiotic drivel our culture tells us is the only stuff safe for their consumption. My taste is high-low eclectic, running from ballet and opera to heavy metal festivals and comic books, but if there is one unifying thread, it is almost always noncommercial.

I associated figure skating with hired thugs and baseball bats until my daughter discovered Yuri!!! On Ice and I found myself driving to Shoreline twice a week for skate lessons and studying the merits of heat-molded boots. When I got an offer for press tickets for the whole family to attend an ice show, I overcame my knee-jerk response of “I’d rather have my eyes picked out by crows,” and accepted the tickets because I knew my daughter would want to see professional figure skaters live.

What happened next will astound you (sorry, couldn’t resist.) Continue reading

Crocodile Kids

My husband was in a band all through college. Seattle had just hit peak grunge, and competition for gigs was fierce. He played around town in lots of the smaller clubs, most of which no longer exist. The Crocodile was one of the important venues back then, as it is now, and they never got to play there.

But my daughter did Rain City Rock Camp for two summers. So she’s played the Crocodile twice.

Doe Babies Forever

October is a favorite month, filled with birthdays, anniversaries, and that bestest of holidays, Halloween. But in a few more weeks, the winter gloom will start to sink in, the holidays will start to feel like pressure, and I’ll start thinking about early bird tickets to summer festivals. I’ve taken my kids to lots of them, but nothing compares to Doe Bay Fest, where grown ups are almost as welcome as the kids.

Stank Baby

That time my daughter’s friend from rock camp pulled her up on stage at a music festival. That day at Doe Bay they danced, but earlier that summer she taught my girl the importance of Stank Face. For those who don’t know, it’s the ugly face you make when you’re getting down and the music is more important than looking pretty.

Adra Boo, then of Fly Moon Royalty, is still a favorite at Doe Bay (playing music at the fest and teaching at the writing camp). She also writes for The Stranger, and perhaps most importantly, mentors young women in music through Rain City Rock Camp.

Wet Dog

One summer, I was invited to go camping in the San Juans. My dog was so old that I worried about leaving him at home alone. So I brought him with me. It rained so hard for those two days the waterproofing on my tent gave out. I had to leash the dog to make him leave the tent to pee, and when he came back in, he coated the entire inside of the tent with mud and the scent of wet dog, a scent that also pervaded my car for at least a week afterward. His toe nails punctured my sleeping pad. It was the last time I ever took that dog camping. He died a few months later. I’m so glad I took him with me to the island.

50 Years of Jewels

Milestone birthdays inspire reflection. Especially when the milestone in question is 50 years, and Jewels are being reflected. This year, Jewels, the collection of three gemstone-themed ballets by George Balanchine, turns 50. I’ve been watching Pacific Northwest Ballet for nearly half that time – I fell in love with ballet at PNB’s Nutcracker in 1993. Continue reading