The theory has been put forth that Seattle's often wet and gloomy climate forces residents to excel at indoor pursuits, such as coffee brewing, creating global technology geek empires, and musicianship. Never underestimate the will of a soggy guitar player, for he hath faced the Valley Of The Massive Rain Puddles On The Stage, and fears no man. This determined spirit was on fine display last Saturday as a group of local musicians, promotors, and other music biz folks (partnering with Musicares) decided to resurrect the hastily-canceled Reverb Fest (yoink!, went the funding from Seattle Weekly). The re-imagined Macefield Music Festival in Seattle's hip, fish-scented Ballard neighborhood featured a stripped-down but diverse local lineup at the Conor Byrne, The Sunset, and the Tractor Tavern, and looked to be great success. I was only able to attend at the Tractor for a small part of the day's events, but was suitably impressed.

I was able to catch a bit of The Young Fresh Fellows, a longtime fave on the Seattle music scene. The last time I saw them play I was delighted to hear them cover The Kinks' "Picture Book," and also noted that YFF guitarist/vocalist/band-about-town-guy Scott McCaughey sat a row in front of me at the Paul McCartney concert here this summer. You cannot deny that these are good things, nor the smiles on the happy Tractor patrons as they performed, affable and fun as always. (Click on the photos to enlarge and click on the Flickr links for more!)

After a break for a yummy pulled pork sandwich at nearby Bitterroot restaurant, it was back to the Tractor to see The Blakes, with their punchy powerpoppunk grooviness. I promised the tall and handsome 40-ish dude next to me that I would describe them as "fierce" and possibly even "f*cking fierce," if I would not get in trouble for doing so. Here's to you, buddy. And to you, Other Dude To My Far Right, who was so incredibly stoked at the end of The Blakes set that he was literally vibrating with joy. I was a little worried he was having a seizure, but he was fine.

Well, OF COURSE OF COURSE OF COURSE I had to stay RIGHT THERE for the next set by The Intelligence, because they are one of my all-time-mega-super-gigantor-favorite bands! I never tire of attending live in concert performances by them, and that's a fact, Jack. When I saw them at the Capitol Hill Block Party with my daughter last July, we watched as lead brain bank Lars Finberg scaled the temporary stage to stand on the top, and also got to hear some new songs from their next album. This time, the Tractor attendees got to here even MORE new material (and loved 'em, I'm gonna say) and we watched Lars do a yoga-quality backbend that completely swallowed up his noggin. The band was also fierce with the extra eff, and I left the Tractor a very happy camper. Extra thank yous to bassist Drew Church for being one of the organizers of the event, by the way. Watch for the new album in the next few months, 'cause I think it's gonna be their best yet. I do!

Most of the time I was standing next to another very excited guy doing this, but miraculously I did not lose an eye or something.

Thanks again to the all the good people who banded together to make the inaugural Macefield Music Festival a success, and of course all the bands. Seattle is soggy, yes, but a very fortunate to have you all.