Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hot Music

High Sierra Music Festival was long and hot, but fun and worth the heat and the lack of sleep. I worked on the ambiance crew which means decorating the stages and grounds of the fest. Very fun! For a jungle themed late-night stage hall, I did a lot of cutting, pasting, laminating, and hanging huge paper flowers. Also, with my friends Jen and Angela from the bay area, we made a 10-ft. tall waterfall out of pretty translucent paper and lights. I also spent a few late night hours stringing white lights from tree to tree in a grassy meadow with my good friend Lindsey. Since it is so hot at High Sierra (over 100 degress every day), the coolness of the night is invigorating.

The ambiance crew is really fun in an unorganized way.... there's a huge barn of supplies and decorations and for two days, we just tore through it and went to town! I wish I had more pictures of this. I did not hang the "I Feel Good" that you see above, but it captured how I felt at that moment.

Along with 4 stages of continuous music, there are a lot of crazy sights at High Sierra. These festival-goers are my favorite, and god I wish I was as cool as them. At night, their seahorses light up beautifully and it's fun to watch them cruise around.

There were probably 40 or so bands at High Sierra and I had my eye on the ones with fiddle. My favorite set of the weekend was Chris Thile (mandolin, formerly of Nickel Creek) and the How to Grow a Band, which I stood at front and center. They have great pickers and also a great name and I like their deisgn. At the end of the set, Darol Anger was invited to join, so he spontaneously ran to his campsite and hopped up on stage with his violin. Classic. I love that.

One of my favorite new bands is the Ryan Montbleau Band, a bluesy little troupe from around Boston. They have a dude who plays viola.

Brett Dennen never disappoints, with his soulful, fun-loving, crowd-rowsing songs.

It was really fun to see Raina Rose (above with guitar), a Portland singer who is full of positive light. I listened to her CD in my car repeatedly after High Sierra, passing through Portland for a couple days.

Here is a picture of ThaMuseMeant, a great band formerly from of Portland. The great Enion Pelta plays the 5-string violin, which I got to play at her camp. It's like a violin and viola in one. Her husband, Dave, plays a mean mandolin. I don't think you can see it in this picture, but can anyone tell me why, oh why, does he have a chinrest on his mandolin??

Believe it or not, the girl in this picture above is not me. But as I stood there trying to get a good picture of the band, I was sort of wondering if I was looking at the back of myself, with pigtails, a spaghetti strap tank, sunglasses, and a barrell clasp necklace, so I captured her in there with the band because I just liked her.

On the last night of the festival, I was well-rested and ready to GO BIG. But unfortunately, at 6PM I had one bite from a plate of unlabeled pot cookies. It was so strong that it put me to bed just as the night was starting to come alive. I was mad that it wasn't labeled! Apparently this was so it wouldn't be noticed by festival police, but my feelings are that friend's well-beings should come first and that plate should not have been innocently sitting there going "Eat me!" But oh well. Even though my fun night was squelched, it kind of makes a funny story and it was a learning experience. Beware of festival baked goods!

Listen to this craziness... Ziegy went down to High Sierra a day later than I did and ended up helping out a friend of a friend named Hannah, giving her a ride down from Seattle. They had never met. On the way, they stopped in Portland and were hanging out at Hannah's friend Emily's house. It wasn't until then that they realized that Hannah is also my old friend from Portland and the girl whose house they were at, Emily, is my old roommate of 2 years. Isn't that a fabulous connection? I screamed when I heard. I loved when people come together like that! And I loved getting to see Hannah at the fest.

Unfortunately, Ziegy's VW van did not make all the way to High Sierra and Ziegy, Hannah, Steve, and Stacey had to rent a van after it stalled in the mountains of northern California. So we rode back home in a luxury mini-van. It made for a good adventure for all and it's all covered under warranty. We kept on smiling.

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