I just can't say enough good things about good ol' KEXP. Talk about giving listeners a bang for their independent-listener-sponsored-radio buck: I get not only a great radio station (on your Seattle or NYC radio dial or streaming interhoot), but a new FREE song sent to me EVERY DAY via email, concert reviews and photos, exclusive live in-studio performances, and...FREE CONCERTS! Last night I went to the Mural Amphitheater, underneath the venerable Space Needle to see Blitzen Trapper and Throw Me The Statue, jointly and graciously offered to me by KEXP and the Seattle Center.

Because I am a Slow Eater, I missed most of Seattle's Throw Me The Statue's set, which was too bad because their last couple of songs sounded pretty good.

Like SilverTeeth last Wednesday, I thought HEY, you guys sound lots better live than on your recordings. This is always a good sign, as you can always do something about your recorded product, not so with a live performance. If you suck live and do not have tapes and AutoTune and a large smoke machine to cover your lack, well, S.O.L. I do have a favorite Throw Me The Statue song, "Hi-Fi Goon":

I thought it was awfully cute to see some kids asking for autographs after their set. Aw.

I found a nice little grassy place to sit in the front for Blitzen Trapper's set. The crowd was pretty diverse -- mainly hipsters, used-to-be-hipsters-but-grayer, young hep families with little funky kids, curious urbanites and tourists, hippies, and Seafair refugees -- and all quite pleasant. There was no assholery about, which was always well-appreciated by me, Crank.

I have to mention this about Blitzen Trapper, because it truly confounds me: how did these guys get an "indie" tag to their music?? I don't hear it! Like, I really don't hear it -- to me, they are a pretty damn straightforward modern folk/country/rock group, with an emphasis on "country." I don't hear the quirkiness in them that I would expect in alternative/indie music. I do hear a long traditional music theme there in the songs -- I think Neil Young, '70s country pop bands like Poco and Pure Prairie League, John Prine -- but freshened, with a nice edge, lacking the languidness or coyness of country-pop. I hear what I wish country pop were now, instead of the vapidness of Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood or whatever else is pumped out by Nashville's slick slime machine. Blitzen Trapper plays very American music, and I mean that in a very good way -- a nice combination of musical traditions and literary nods, sort of if John Steinbeck's novels were a sound, with a jet flying overhead. I like 'em.

The show begins and this is my view:

Which quickly becomes this:

Uh oh! Dancin' Alert! Better get some picture takin' in!

Oh boy. Here's Bow Tie Daddy, all drunk and playing air guitar, cruising for youthful indie tail. BOO!

The kid with the camera looks like the Cameron Crowe character in Almost Famous, huh? He was getting autographs too. Aw.

Portrait shots! WOO!

More people are rocking out and coming up to the front. My view is now:

Nearing the end of the set, time to shoot a vid. Sorry for all the heads; I am short and my sandals were flat.

And that is that! Err buddy had fun, the band waved goodbye, the sun lowered in the sky, and we all dispersed to wherever we all came from, Seattle-ish represented here. Thanks again to the bands, the Seattle Center and KEXP!