Helsing Junction Sleepover 2012 brought out the best in all of us.
Maybe it was the sunshine that lasted all weekend long, the wide night sky dripping with stars, the fabulous Mexican MIJAS dishes. It might’ve been sleeping amongst the pears in an orchard so quiet, you could hear late-night laughs sneak out from the tents of friends new and old. Perhaps it was the encouraging purr of Olympia Coffee Roasting Company‘s espresso machine in the early morning, or being flown downstream by the mighty Chehalis by midday, that made us all smile so wide.
For certain, the Helsing Junction weekend garnered its magic from music: sweet, loud and live.
Friday got a rousing start when Gary May, the man responsible for eight years of festival kickoff and of Supreme Cool Beings fame, took the stage to shake the dust off we wary travelers. He was followed by Craig Extine and the Exiles, who supplied the perfect amount of swelled-heart twang to lower the sun and bring us the night for The Memories to rock hard and Brainstorm to roll in, their outfit providing to be one of the most popular acts of the weekend.
The Curious Mystery lulled the younger folks off to bed with their signature dynamic psychedlia sound, giving way for Hysterics to dominate with a rougher set, lead singer Stephie Cristol writhing at the feet of the arm-swingers up front. Malaikat dan Singa, fronted by throat-singing madman Arrington de Dionyso, closed the musical night down with unbelievably infectious rhythms and shakes- you wouldn’t believe some of the moves coming out of the crowd. Those still geared up to socialize took it down a few notches for some blanket laying and late-night films: Medusa Smack, a video installation by Vanessa Renwick (with a score composed and performed by our own Tara Jane O’Neil) and Roll Out, Cowboy, a documentary about Chris Sand.
Jared Snyder, Alan Alexander’s Real Time Band, The Hinges, and The Solvents reigned as early morning acts Saturday acts, the sun beating down and inviting us down to swim and socialize throughout the long day. The Shivas brought everyone back to blissful earth with a set so dreamy, even the birds stopped to listen closely. (No, really, they were so good.) Doctor Sleep crooning under the willow tree made for a pleasant transition into the cello-lust land of Olympia’s three-piece You Are Plural, who definitely win the cutest merch award for their unique hand-embroidered patches.
Afterwards, T Kette drummed and droned their way into the hearts of the crowd, keeping it fun and lively in their usual style. The Hive Dwellers took their tunes to the willow tree, a comfortable spot for the trio of songsters.