Have the homeless finally taken over the Seattle Center? No, silly; it’s the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Once a year the smells of curry and feet converge upon the Seattle Center, giving the indigenous homeless population a brief respite from all of the dirty looks.

On any given day at the Seattle Center, if a soiled and shoeless person is carrying a cup of change while pushing a shopping cart full of found objects, he is a homeless person. On Memorial Day that person is a musician and the junk in his shopping cart are his instruments. Because let’s face it, the lack of funds with which to purchase proper instruments should not be an impediment to your inner musician. Be creative!


That old Samsonite suitcase in your basement can become a bass drum. Own a washtub? Of course you do! Pop a hole in that bad boy, attach some rope and a long stick and you have a washtub bass. Got a saw? Drag a bow across it and listen to the voices of angels. Nothing in your basement? No worries, just play a string of your own saliva. At Northwest Folklife, anything goes! (Note: The author strongly advises against showing up with an iPhone based instrument. This violates everything the anti-establishment has thus far established.)

So gather ’round in your finest dust bowl chic attire and let us all reminisce back to a simpler time when the economy was in the tank, unemployment was sky high and poverty was …wait a minute …

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