Friday, August 12, 2011


RAFFI: We entered Seattle knowing about as little of the city as we did Portland, which turned out to be a really great and “weird” experience. Our first taste of Seattle was at nighttime to the tune of an extremely annoying song by Owl City, called, not surprisingly, “Hello Seattle.” Once we got that out of the way we checked into our Motel 6, went to sleep, and headed back toward the city the next day. Our first stop was at the Experience Music Project museum, a big steel, oddly-shaped structure designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, to see an exhibit my parents have always talked about called “Experience Hendrix: The Evolution of Sound.” The exhibit was really everything a Hendrix fan could ask for, as it documents Jimi’s youth growing up in Seattle to his beginnings with mid-‘60s R&B acts and finally to his time in London that allowed him to fully realize his potential as a musical innovator. In addition to his well-documented history, the exhibit has on display several of Hendrix’s most famous guitars, including a few of the ones he burned or smashed and the one he played at Woodstock. Even if there is three feet and a glass panel between the surveyor and the guitar, I felt really exhilarated to be so close to something that has had such an incredible impact on the world, the same feeling an appreciator of art might receive standing in front of a Van Gogh. Another great part of the exhibit was this mixer that walks you through each separate audio track (vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, percussion, etc.) of a Hendrix song, allowing you to really understand the complexity of his music and exactly why is he so influential as not only a performer, but as a musician. After the Hendrix exhibit, we walked through another exhibit chronicling the history of Nirvana, almost an afterthought to the coolness of Hendrix; however, the Nirvana showcase turned out to be very great as well and gave me a stronger appreciation for a band that spearheaded an entire musical scene—grunge—and gave life to Seattle. Regardless of the fact that I’ve never really gotten into grunge, it seems like gold by comparison to today’s shit, which, between Li’l Wayne and Katy Perry, sounds like a combination of bad ‘80s music, bad rap music, and, the clincher, techno. Wow—what is our generation thinking? After the museum, we roamed the outdoor/indoor market at Pike’s Place and the streets of Seattle’s downtown. In addition to the original Starbuck’s located at Pike’s, I think we saw at least 10 Starbuck’s in the span of, like, two square blocks. Neat. At the end of the night, we ascended the famed Space Needle to look out over the Seattle cityscape, a fantastic end to an enjoyable day. In summary, Seattle was very cool. I just wish I had had more time to see more of it—less of the commercial, touristy areas and more of the areas where the hip, young urbanites congregate.

No comments:

Post a Comment