Only The Music is Dark

petzlFifteen years ago, I spent three months in India. Before I left, my husband gave me two gifts – a really nice pocket knife, and a Petzl headlamp. Both proved invaluable. Although the knife was later stolen, I still have the headlamp, and I still use it. It has accompanied me to multiple continents. I’ve used it on night hikes, to find the bathroom at state campgrounds, and harvesting vegetables from my back yard late in the season. It’s one of the best gifts my husband ever bought me. He ended up buying one for himself, too.

But when we were packing for our recent trip to Eistnaflug, the heavy metal festival in a remote fjord in Eastern Iceland, I pulled both headlamps from the pile on our bed of things to be packed.

“You don’t think we’ll need them?” he asked in the voice of careful doubt men reserve for moments when they suspect a woman has lost her mind.

“We’re not going to need them,” I answered.

When I left the room, he put them back in.

“They don’t take much space,” he said, tucking his headlamp into his backpack as I pulled mine back out and put it in a drawer.

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Ticket Season Part Four: What I Bought

Spring is ticket season. Season ticket season, that is. I’ve already talked about the temptations of season tickets to Seattle OperaPacific Northwest Ballet, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. The truth is, I will try to attend as many performances by each of these worthy organizations as I can, but I did not buy season tickets to any of them. What did I ultimately spend my own money on? Continue reading

Doe Baby


Doe Bay has a slogan that says their music festival is for kids and adults can come, too. I’ve been to many music festivals around the Northwest and abroad, and the tiny Doe Bay, in addition to being a great place to hear next year’s hottest new bands, is the most kid-friendly.

The festival is tiny in part to maintain that wholesome family feeling, and partly due to the limitations of island septic systems. Tickets are almost impossible to get unless you stay at Doe Bay Resort in the off-season and buy tickets while you’re there. The folks who put it together also throw the Timber and Timbrrr festivals, which share a lot of the same great music and laid back atmosphere, but without the ticket scarcity.

(I know you’re not supposed to post pictures of other people’s kids on the internet, but I love this picture from Doe Bay Fest several years ago. Whoever this kid is, they’re not a baby anymore, and there’s no way they could be identified from this picture so I hope it’s okay just this once.)

Summer of Silence

Dancing with Adra Boo onstage at Ra Scion's 2014 Doe Bay Fest set.

Dancing with Adra Boo onstage at Ra Scion’s 2014 Doe Bay Fest set.

Last summer was all about the festival. I walked down the street to the Fremont Solstice Fair, traveled to a remote fjord in Iceland for Eistnaflug, to a remote island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca for Doe Bay Fest, and rode the bus to Bumbershoot, dragging my kids along to three out of four. When I left my day job, I knew that one of the sacrifices I would have to make, at least initially, was live music. There was no justifying the cost of tickets plus babysitter, especially when I am sometimes paid to cover shows. I would have to limit myself to work-related concerts.

As a result, I stopped following the concert calendars, which resulted in my missing many new releases as well. It’s just easier to miss shows you don’t know about. Then the kids were off for summer vacation, and it’s hard to seriously listen to new music with kids running around, so for the past couple months, I just let music go. During Solstice I hung out at the block party, but didn’t catch any shows; I followed Eistnaflug wistfully on Twitter, and plugged my ears at any mention of Doe Bay. Timber was supposed to be my Doe Bay consolation prize, but the dates conflicted with a family event.

At least I could count on Bumbershoot, I thought.

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Shameless Summer Festival Post

And I haven't even told you about Doe Bay yet.

And I haven’t even told you about Doe Bay yet.

I considered calling this post “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” or more accurately, “Shameless Self-Promotion.” But since I’m being shameless, I thought, “Titles that can be construed as sexual get the most hits, so what the hell, let’s go for the click-bait.” Anyway, I’ve been doing a little writing outside of this blog this summer, and I’m kind of proud of some it. So today I am reblogging myself. Below you will links to some of the things I’ve written lately.

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