September 6th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

As promised, here are my observations of Bumbershoot 2012, Seattle’s annual big culture buffet.

As others have noted, it was a sunny but not unbearably hot three-day weekend, bringing out strong-sized crowd despite the steeper than ever ticket prices. (It was either charge $50 a day, or go back to having no musical stars bigger than Hall & Oates.)

Behold, my first ever deep fried candy bar (a Snickers). Gooey. Messy. Yummy.

How are curly fries made? With good old American industrial knowhow, that’s how.

They may call it the Seattle Center Armory now, but to me it will always be the Center House and/or Food Circus.

In this post-record-industry age, live gigs are more important than ever to a band’s financial model. So are gig posters, as lovingly seen at the latest Flatstock exhibit.

The historic video games exhibit (still up) shows the young’uns what real entertainment was like, 8-bit style.

But amid all the fun there’s some deadly serious stuff. World Vision International would like you to know AIDS is still devastating much of Africa.

This “House of the Immediate Future” was named after a model home full of futuristic devices at the ’62 World’s Fair. The new one exemplifies affordable-housing designs that could be factory-built, then installed on small real-estate footprints.

A few inflatable rides are no substitute for the late, great Fun Forest.

The Toyota-sponsored “Whac-A Hipster” game. Hipster-bashing has become corporate,and therefore beyond passé.

The heart of the “Put the Needle on the Record” exhibit, a mini-recording studio where you can record your own music and/or voices for a time capsule, is this recording lathe that cuts real phonograph-record masters.

Today’s greatest ETA (“Elvis Tribute Artist”), El Vez, does his massive act with a massive in-house video production (like all the big music stages had this year).

An inflatable icon of the original Elvis stood over two exhibits.

To the right, the Record Store, a display of classic vinyl LPs with DJs and live small combos.

To the left, the Elvistravaganza. Marlow Harris and Jo David applied their kitsch curatorial touch to the World’s Fair’s most enduring celebrity visitor. I contributed my (quite modest) ETA talents at the all-day karaoke stage.

As I departed the Center grounds to the soothing strains of Hey Marseilles, I regretted the many acts I hadn’t seen but felt enlivened and revived by the ones I had seen.

One Response  
  • Marlow writes:
    September 6th, 20122:59 pmat

    Clark, you were a fabulous ETA and your contributions were appreciated by all! Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!

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