So here I am, living the dream in Alabama the Beautiful, profitably engaged in one of my largest projects in quite a while. Only a few months ago, at the height of my underemployment, I was spending sleepless nights tossing and turning and wondering if I was going to lose my home, my access to health care, everything. As consolation, I made what seemed like an extraordinary leap of faith at that time and went ahead and purchased advanced tickets for September's Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, even before they had announced the lineup and before I had any reason to believe that I'd be able to actually afford to go by September.
The latter seems far more likely now than then, although everything is impermanent and subject to change. But further, today Bumbershoot announced their 2012 lineup.
No to sound like 19-year-old Penn State University student Sharon Esperanza ("There's not a single band I want to see," she sniffed to the press last year after the 2011 lineup was announced, "and I haven't heard of most them."), but I'm a little underwhelmed. Tony Bennett as the headliner? Skrillex? And is there anybody in 2012 still interested in hearing what Jane's Addiction has to offer? Seriously, the lineups on the mini-festivals I've arranged for myself (e.g., Rocktober, and March Madness) have been better than this.
On the other hand, the 2012 headlining lineup of Bennett-Skrillex-Jane's Addiction is still better than last year's Hall and Oates, Wiz Khalifa, and Ray LaMontagne lineup, and I still managed to have a great time last year. The interesting bands, at least to me, are those on the undercard, and this year's undercard includes M83, whom I'll miss when they play Atlanta next week during my scheduled Monday Night Zazen, as well as Passion Pit, Low, Fruit Bats, City & Colour, Damian Jurado, Ana Tijoux, and AM with Shawn Lee. Plus dozens of bands of whom I've never heard, and half the fun of a big festival is discovering new artists.
Also, if bigger is indeed better, then the 100 or so bands booked for Bumbershoot are far better than the mere dozen bands announced for Atlanta's Music Midtown festival, which will be headlined by Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters and upon which I've already decided to forego.
So I'm still excited and looking forwarding to Bumbershoot, if for no other reason than to enjoy the Seattle weather in the shadow of the Space Needle and celebrate the realization that despite what seemed like a catastrophic career set-back, I've somehow managed once again to land on my feet.