Decibel Weekend

Saturday I drove. Sunday I didn’t.

After enjoying a good night’s sleep, I got a call Saturday about driving one of the Bluetech guys to the party in the park. It was a beautiful afternoon and I wanted to go to the party as well, but I had also been around people the entire previous night and would be again that night, so I had to decline.

With multi-day events like this, Saturday is often the most challenging, whether you’re working, attending, or doing a combination of the two. There’s always more going on than you can prepare for, so you need to do what you can to stay functional and remain in the zone. For me, that means being comfortable. So I didn’t change out of my tube socks and Adidas shorts, and I popped in a DVD to give myself and my passengers a break from the chugging techno we’d been hearing for the last three and a half days.

My first run that evening was shuttling Scuba from the hotel to the Baltic Room. Since he’s from London, I asked him what he thought of the US… the huge cars, ridiculous portions, celebrated gluttony, how is that perceived across the pond? Basically, I wanted to get him to admit we’re fat, and he did not disappoint.

Next I picked up Praveen and Travis from Machinedrum from the hotel and took them to Motor. They told me they were playing another set at Baltic at midnight and could I please take them there as well? Totally doable.

Then I had to head back to the hotel to get Monty Luke and his lady-friend. He was barely in the car when he said, “Batman Begins is one of my favorite movies of all time!” I gave myself a mental pat on the back for nailing it.

Before I made that run, I crossed paths with Cnyce from Soul Clap who exclaimed, “I was meant to ride in this car!” I checked my schedule to see if that was indeed true. Of course, his crew was assigned to the other driver, so I did the herp-the-derp PR thing and told him I hoped we could make it happen. “The schedule doesn’t even matter,” he replied, “It’s going to happen.” Well, a positive attitude never hurt anyone. Just look at Richard Simmons.

I rolled up at Neumos a little before midnight to park and watch Carl Craig and Kevin Saunderson wrap up the D25 Showcase. The Scion tent was packing up as I arrived, so I got better parking than I could have asked for: Parallel parking (instead of back-in) right in front of the door.

“Hello, Neumos? Could you please clear a space right in front of your venue on one of the busiest nights of the year? Also, I want to be able park along the street so my back door opens up to Pike Street. And I’d like to be able to go in and watch two of the pioneers of techno perform but still be able to see my car through the door. And I want meet them when I’m done and drive them back to their hotel. By the way, you don’t know me and I don’t have any money.”

Even my balls aren’t that big. So I was feeling really lucky. Then I managed to run into Cafe Vita right before it locked its doors. The barista said they were closed but gave me coffee anyway and didn’t charge me for it. So I fueled up and watched the Family Guy movie with some passersby.

I was scheduled to pick up Scuba at the Baltic Room at 2. Actually, I was scheduled to pick up half the artists at 2. My partner in crime was covering downtown and the no-man’s land known as SoDo, so I decided I’d be in charge of rounding everyone up who was still on the hill, namely Carl and Kevin.

Kevin and his wife got in first. Neither of them said much. Kevin’s kind of a big guy, so I don’t think he was digging my cute little pink and white bench seats. Carl spent 15 minutes taking pictures outside of Pike Place Fish Fry before getting into the car. Before we even crossed Pike Street, he jumped into the front seat. He was pretty friendly in a king-of-his-world kind of way. My favorite excerpt from our conversation:

CC: Where’d you get the work on the car done?

Me: Glendale, California, mostly. Then I drove it up here after about a year.

CC: You should have had it done in Detroit. We’d have your car lookin’ tight in less time.

Me: Yeah, but then I’d be in Detroit.

I stopped to grab Scuba from Baltic, which is ON THE WAY to the hotel. Seriously. You have to pass it to get to the hotel. There was balking. I don’t take too kindly to balking. However, had I known Praveen and Travis were going to be with him, I might have tried to make two trips without stepping on anyone’s toes. The total travel time from Neumos to Baltic to Hotel Max is less than 10 minutes, but the tension in the air made it feel like 10 hours. A white girl driving two black guys, a black lady, an Indian guy, an English guy, and a hipster from Brooklyn. My car had become a crowded cultural melting pot of noise and flashing lights.

Carl wanted an explanation as to why I made a Barbie Dream Hearse instead of something else. I tried to explain the play on words, but he seemed to have trouble accepting my answer. He suggested I do another theme: Barbie Dream Nurse. I considered buying an ambulance, tricking it out with a similar theme, and driving around wearing one of those tacky vinyl nurse outfits. Then I remembered what a heinous mind-fuck it was just to make the hearse and will table that idea until further notice.

When I pulled up at the hotel to drop off my various herbs and spices, who was waiting on the curb but Soul Clap, asking to be taken to Motor. They had a bunch of chicks with them too, which made me happy, ’cause chicks dig my car. I considered staying for the afterparty, but knew I wouldn’t sleep well if I didn’t get to bed before the sun rose.

Sunday was all about me enjoying some music. I caught the whole Optical 3 Showcase at the Triple Door. The main draw for me was Tycho, but the rest of it was lovely too. On top of that, I made a new friend who did the visuals for the showcase at Baltic Room on Friday. We both had all-access passes, so they stuck us in a box suite where we enjoyed relative privacy and isolation from the plebes.

When that was over, he drove me up the hill to Neumos where I saw Monolake, one of the other main draws at the festival. There was a parking space right in front with my name on it, and I was a little bummed that I couldn’t go grab the car and promote some more. (I live a short walk from the venue, but I have a zero-tolerance policy on driving after I’ve had a drink.) Then again, I was almost out of business cards and I worked really hard on Friday and Saturday and SWEET I CAN DANCE TO THIS.

All-in-all, it was an action-packed and productive weekend. I never would have guessed I could have this much fun, and I’m already excited about driving in it next year!

Addendum: Lots of people took pictures of the car, but I’m only seeing a few on the dB flickr page. If you’re a photog and managed to make it through this entire post, my hat’s off to you and please post your pictures!

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