Last week, my classmate/friend/biochemistry lab partner, Shauna, and I were emailing back and forth about a lab report that was making us cranky when she concluded one of her emails with something like, “On a more fun note, would you want to see Pert Near Sandstone at the Tractor in Ballard on Thursday? . . . It’s a fun bluegrassy band.” My immediate thoughts were along the lines of, “Ha, she has lost her mind- I don’t have time for that. Has she forgotten we have a biochem exam to study for? I have way too much to do. And that will cost money.” But then we submitted our lab report a full 46 hours early (which never happens), so I felt a little better about my massive to-do list and asked her about this silly bluegrassy band. She told me they are from Minneapolis (she’s from Minnesota), and then during our biochem lecture she pulled up their website and showed me this:
Of course I wanted to go. And of course I still thought this was an unreasonable idea. But I went home and looked up Tractor Tavern in Ballard (because I couldn’t remember the name of the band) and saw that it would be “American Stringband Music” and that there were two other bands playing…and immediately sent Shauna text saying I was in. The next day I told another friend/classmate, Andrea, that we were going, and she looked at me like, “Have you lost your mind? Have you forgotten how much we have to do?” And then during a
really semi productive afternoon study session we had, Andrea asked what time the show was, I answered, and she responded, “Wanna pick me up?” Um, absolutely.
Suffice it to say that this was the best decision Andrea and I (and Shauna, too!) had made in awhile. We met Shauna and her boyfriend at Tractor Tavern just as the opening band finished playing, and we all debated whether we were at a shindig, a hoedown, or a hootenanny. It was decidedly a hootenanny. Also around this time Andrea declared that she should have worn flannel, and she and I repeatedly said to one another, “I’m so glad we came.”
Pert Near Sandstone came on and I was in heaven. I felt like I was at a Big Smith show/at Silver Dollar City/in Seattle all at the same time. And it was awesome. They even had a harmonica/washboard playing clogger. Amazing.
(Sorry for the terrible photos.)
The music was great, the band was fun and entertaining, and the crowd was clearly having a great time. It was so nice to be out with friends, on a week night, in Ballard, doing something non-school related.
Shauna had seen Pert Near Sandstone before (I think? at a festival maybe…) and her boyfriend, John, was actually born and raised in Minneapolis and had seen them several times, so they were both having an especially great time. I think John even made friends with some fellow Minnesota folk. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be friends with this guy?
Haha, reminds me of home, and I love it. Also, notice the variety of cowboy boots hanging all around as part of the decor? Super fun.
After the Pert Near set (shortening the name = basically a groupie), a bluegrass band called Polecat played.
I also loved them. Maybe more than Pert Near. Andrea was not in agreeance because they had a drummer/drum set, which is a valid point. However. Their fiddle player was phenomenal. Seriously, girl could play the fiddle. Great stage presence, too.
So fun. We only stayed for a short part of their set, but they are Washington local so I will most likely drag Andrea with me to see them again.
Shauna and John headed home when Andrea and I left the show, but Andrea and I decided to walk down the street to our favorite Ballard spot (as if I’ve been out in Ballard more than twice, HA), The Sexton.
Seriously, I love this place. Love the ambience. Love the decor. Love the music. They serve beer in a mason jar and also have gorgeous cocktails which are fun to watch being made. Andrea said her wine was less than stellar this time around… Minor detail? I’m sure we’ll be back.
Anyway, a great night was had by all. I was super tired the next day, which was not ideal, because I really did have to be majorly productive on the school front, but there were no regrets. I tweeted that it was the best decision I’d made in awhile, though not too high on the responsible scale. Sometimes being responsible is just overrated. Even my mom approved of my irresponsibility after I emailed her the brief recap: “Sounds like a good time. I always like to hear when you go out with some people…Good to hear you’re making friends, at least acquaintances…” Haha, thanks Mom.
And thank you, Shauna, for the invite; Andrea, for coming with; and John, for wearing overalls.