What the Heck Fest is already laid back and in fact it was so laid back this year that everyone was laying on the grass staring up through the trees into to the sky at Causland Park on Sunday in Anacortes. I missed what was reported as a great show with Anna Oxygen, The Blow, Karl Blau, and Yacht at the town hall. Someone said to me, Everyone was good. They all seemed on. Instead of seeing any live music, I drove to the top of the rocks around Anacortes and looked at water. I watched Syd Barrett videos on YouTube.
On Sunday, I read in the park. Jay Chilcote read from his newly republished book, Ratcheting Down the Melancholic Afterbeat, a funny novel about a young man who falls in love with a woman who rides his bus, and because of the decorum required in mass transit (in Seattle at least) must scheme to reach her. Sam Lohman read his poetry. Rich Jensen discussed Beat Happenings “Bad Seeds,” the irony of youth-movements turned old, and played fragments of pop songs between readers. Matthew Stadler read from Allen Stein. Claire Evans read a funny story from her laptop–a paperless reading seeming not out of place or affected anymore but a matter of practicality.
Phil Elverum read textual fragments such as the grocery lists let by his family, odd notes left in the middle of the night by departing friends, and the lyrics unsingable songs.