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Bumbershoot 2010 Blog: The Moondoggies

The Moondoggies

The Moondoggies


The summer festival season always ends on a breezy Pacific Northwest note with Seattle's long-running Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival over Labor Day weekend. The Alternate Side asked Seattle alt-country rockers (and MTV $5 Cover stars) The Moondoggies, who release their sophomore album Tidelands on October 12 on Sub Pop's Hardly Art imprint, if they'd blog about their rainy Bumbershoot adventures. Frontman Kevin Murphy kindly obliged:

We seem to have good/bad luck in our band.  While some bulls**t seems to always go wrong, it's always somewhat workable.

The morning The Moondoggies left for New York [for CMJ to play for a radio station] we got bad news: Bobby, our bass player, was in bad shape. As luck would have it, our friend Jesse - the ONLY person to ever fill in for Bob - just so happened to still be in New York for CMJ while the rest of his band, The Maldives, came back home to Seattle.

So this past Monday, when we played Bumbershoot,  Bobby was sick again and unable to make our early, live, on-air performance, déjà vu kicked in. Considering we had no idea until that morning that we'd be sans Bob, and that we'd never played some of the songs acoustic,  it was great, I started to actually enjoy the chaos. Sometimes it's the best way to do it. Later I met a member of Booker T.'s band and mentioned that we were essentially “practicing” live on the air. He said it's “all practice."

Later on a festival stage, after a very soggy Seattle performance which Bobby miraculously made (I don't how the crowd felt, but I heard some weird technicle issues during our set), we caught half of Jenny and Johnny’s set. But because of having to run around to get our gear into the van it was a little random. What I did see was great. For me and the rest of the guys, it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment to share a stage, in a sense, with the one and only Booker T., who came on after them. The person who had told me it was "all practice" was Jeremy Curtis, the badass bass player for Booker T.

When someone tells you that they play with Booker T. the first reaction is "NO S**T? Booker T.?" They blew my mind. Anybody who can intro a song with the line, "I first heard this song from my friend Bill Withers when he was working in an airplane hangar; he played this for me one day" and go straight into "Ain’t No Sunshine" has my attention. But you got me at Booker T. The guy is a legend and he still puts on a great show. And, yes, he played “Green Onions” and, yeah, he killed it.

Bumbershoot is a local institution and I came here in high school to catch all the bands that usually played the 21-and-up shows, so it feels right to finally have gotten the opportunity, rain or no rain.

-- Kevin Murphy, The Moondoggies

The Moondoggies will play New York's Mercury Lounge on October 27. You can download their single "It's A Shame, It's A Pity" from Tidelands here.