For those seeking a little outdoor fun, while staying out of the sun, Light in the Attic’s First Annual Summer Spectacular offered a great way to find some relief from the record-breaking heat.
The Seattle-based record label, known for its reissue projects like the “Wheedle’s Groove” CD and film covering Seattle’s ’70s-era funk scene, and a lavish box set by iconoclastic singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood, hosted a laid-back afternoon of live entertainment yesterday at their warehouse/record store on a quiet street in Ballard.
Cold beers and soda were inside. Food trucks with catfish and chips and vegan ice cream ruled the parking lot. The record store offered a 10% discount. And the stage was set up in the warehouse’s delivery entrance, the doorway open wide allowing air to circulate, keeping things cool. “A lot comes in and out of this door!” said LITA’s director of operations, Michael Wells (formerly a member of Seattle’s folky Walkabouts).
“We love get togethers!” LITA co-owner Josh Wright explained about the company’s decision to throw its hat into the “Seattle Summer Festival” ring this year, adding that the move to their current, larger location a year and a half ago gave them the space to hold such an event.
The free shindig attracted indie rockers in Sonics t-shirts (the band, not the basketball team), families and children, and the occasional dog. Other local vendors like Sub Pop had tables set up offering other wares.
A promised set by blue-eyed soul due Donnie & Joe Emerson was cancelled due to family illness (though you could still take your picture with a life sized cardboard cut-out of the two). But there was no shortage of live music happening. Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Overton Berry played a set on electric organ, accompanied by standup bass, injecting a light bossa nova swing into “Unchained Melody” and encouraging a sing along to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Alex Maas, of Austin’s Black Angels, performed as a soloist, with a ghostly, keening voice that sounded as if it was straight out of the Appalachian backwoods, accompanying himself on guitar, creating a spooky ambiance. DJ Suspence spun discs in between sets.
If the friendly, positive vibes of the day are any indication, you can expect the Summer Spectacular to return next year.