Gratefully Dead by Dean Belder

Full disclosure, I was never a fan of the Grateful Dead.  The music never appealed to me, but it doesn't mean I never appreciated what they stood for.  

Today they would have a very hard time existing considering monopolous ticketing systems, strong worded contracts, copyright protections and boatloads of cash. It's the very seam reason I think Jerry Garcia would be turning in his grave this weekend.  

At the outset, he and the rest of the band embraced their fans. They embraced the technology that allowed sharing.  For them it wasn't about getting paid but about being heard.  It's the debate that's raging music today, what is more important?

The Dead as it seemed were pirate pioneers. Enabling a generation of youth in the 60s and 70s to share the music freely, and it placed an immense value on those recordings, it also ensured a dedicated and loyal fan base, they were connected to the band they loved so much, and the band was rewarded with sold out concerts for the next four decades.  

This weekend however is a complete money grab.  The remaining members ceding to corporate interests. Selling extra concerts, exclusive pay-per-view, and limiting concert goer's ability to make the recordings that helped keep the bands fans loyal. 

Jerry was never a sell-out. To the end he remained true to his ideals of artistry, performance and the bands fans.  

Even though I've never been a fan, I can't help but comment as it's a reflection on the industry today. A band having a final concert not for a send off to their fans, or a tribute to their band-leader, but as a way to make one quick final buck.

In my experience the way that usually turns out is a realization that the fans are willing to be milked for more, and it explains why so many bands have multiple retirement tours.  

Jerry's dead.

Youngblood Hawke at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Okay, so I missed posting to my blog on saturday, got wrapped up in good times, and good tunes.  Here's Youngblood Hawke playing the End Zone Stage at Bumbershoot Saturday August 30th 2014

Nada Surf at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Last show of my weekend was Nada Surf on the Fountain Lawn stage at Bumbershoot, Monday September 1st 2014, at 7pm

Bomba Estereo at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Columbia's Bomba Estereo play the Fisher Green Stage at Bumbershoot Monday September 1st 2014, at 6:15pm

Twin Shadow at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Twin Shadow take the Fountain Lawn Stage at Bumbershoot, Monday September 1st, 2014 5:15pm

Mexican Institute of Sound at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Mexican Institute of Sound play Bumbershoot, Monday September 1st @ 4:15 pm

DarkhaBrakha at Bumbershoot 2014 by Dean Belder

DarkhaBrakha from Kyiv, Ukraine play Bumbershoot, Monday, September 1st, 2014 2:45pm

The Reverend Horton Heat at Bumbershoot KEXP Music Lounge. by Dean Belder

Reverend Horton Heat plays the KEXP Music Lounge at Bumbershoot Monday, September 1st, 2014, 2:30pm

Hoba Hoba Spirit @ Bumbershoot 2014 by Dean Belder

Hoba Hoba Spirit from Morocco play Bumbershoots Fisher Green Stage, Monday September 1st, 1:15pm

Give Up the Funk... For Bootsy at Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Bootsy Collins plays the Fisher Green Stage at Bumbershoot, Sunday August 31st 2014, 10pm

Mission of Burma play Bumbershoot by Dean Belder

Mission of Burma play the Fountain Lawn stage at Bumbershoot August 31st 2014, 7:15pm.

Negativland by Dean Belder


I’ve been a fan of Negativland for nearly twenty years now, hearing them for the first time shortly after graduating from high school in the mid-1990s, I initially didn’t know what to think. I was really into electronic music at the time, but most of what I enjoyed was dependent on a beat, which was completely lacking in Negativland’s output.

I persisted, and Negativland became a major influence in the way my own artistic endeavors would shape up, especially when it came to appropriation and copyright. 

I wasn’t surprised when I saw them in this year’s Bumbershoot lineup, they fit with the arts and culture that the festival has been promoting for the last 44 years, but they were sandwiched between two artists on a stage set up for specifically for EDM artists.

Shortly before the set began, a group of kids, expecting more traditional ‘music’ began chanting for the DJ, at which point Mark Hosler responded with “you guys aren’t going to last ten minutes, you’re not going to like us”. 

He was right. The kids left before the first ‘song’ ended, along with several others. There were some people there who knew what to expect and were genuinely excited.  Negativland didn’t disappoint. As irreverent as ever, they brought their brand of sonic collage, and social commentary, not missing an opportunity to dig on Chipotle one of the festival’s corporate sponsors. 

I enjoyed seeing the group, perform, and in many ways brought my own journey full circle, knowing that one of the reasons I am here is because of the influence they had on me in my youth.  

Young Karin by Dean Belder

Young Karin are a mellow electronic act based out of Iceland, They played the Pavilion stage as part of Bumbershoot's EDM lineup, August 31st 2014, at 4:00pm

Red Fang by Dean Belder

Red Fang bring some METALLLL!!! the Fountain Lawn Stage at Bumbershoot, Sunday August 31st, 2014 3:45pm

Kishi Bashi by Dean Belder

Kishi Bashi, plays Bumbershoots Fisher Green Stage, Sunday August 31st, 2014 3:15pm, and yes the Banjo is a Drum.

We Are Scientists by Dean Belder

We Are Scientists play Bumbershoot, Sunday 31st of August 2014 1:45pm,  Fisher Green Stage, Seattle Center

Have some grace, an open letter to Shawn Hamm. by Dean Belder

Fuck off. Seriously just go fuck off. If you had paid attention to the thing that started this all, you’d have noticed that the photographer Rohan Anderson, simply wanted credit for his work, not payment.

We photogs know very well that the majority of bands get paid very little, and have to deal a lot with people downloading the music, but for the vast majority of photographers life is even worse. We often shoot shows for free, or for next to nothing, like the bands we don’t have the luxury of doing this outside our day jobs.

It’s not a privilege to shoot a band in concert, often times depending on the venue, stage setup, and lighting it can be a pain in the ass, doubly so when we have to deal with prima donna dicks like you.

Read More

Bumbershoot puts Vancouver to Shame by Dean Belder

If Vancouver wants to actually call itself a world-class city it has to act like it, and stop kowtowing to a market more concerned about property values, than quality of life.  In the modern age, to be world class means to play host to events that appeal to people of all ages, and all walks of life.

Read More