UMS 2012: Fly on the wall (Saturday)By Reverb Staff | July 22nd, 2012 | 2 comments
Denver Post Features/Entertainment intern Kelsey Fowler is experiencing her first UMS. These are her stories.
Seven coordinated members of a drum line are stealing attention in the corner of the main stage lot while Snake Rattle Rattle Snake readies for its set.
“I don’t know who they are, but they’re good,” someone says of the drummers. Coordinated drumstick flips, swaying in unison — they’re here from Montbello High School to put on a show.
Later, during the Shabazz Palaces performance, a kid who can’t be more than 5-years-old is busting out some moves at the back of the crowd. His robot is pretty convincing, as he grooves more than most in the crowd. Small flecks of gold glitter from some previous show are strewn across the ground, embedded into the tar by soles throughout the night.
Puffs of smoke float up from various points near the stage. Someone lighting up over to the left, over to the right, like some strange Native American signals that got lost, mixed up in this place. There are people on their porches all over the neighborhood, and sitting just outside the gates, enjoying the show without the need or desire for the experience of the thing.
The Hokum High Rollers are back. In the storefront of an abandoned bookshop next to the Irish Rover, the group plucks away at a stand-up bass, clicks and clacks with a real, honest-to-God washboard. It’s something straight out of the South, the 1940s maybe. People dance their way through the crowd gathered on the sidewalk.
Groups of three pose against the solid white of the “UMS” letters resting against the Main Stage perimeter. Some pose funny, trying to imitate the shape of the letters with their limbs, others flash a finger to the camera, or peer out from behind the giant cutouts.
Farther down Broadway, near Gary Lee’s, a dunk tank sits unused, its purpose clear, but its reason for being there hazier. Perhaps it gets more action earlier in the day, when the sun’s still hot.
On the sidewalk near the Hi-Dive, sitting at a tiny folding table, a young woman with a bandana tied around her head delicately punches at tiny typewriter keys on an electric-blue machine. “Pick a Subject, Get a Poem,” her sign reads. Like some baroque fortuneteller, ready to write down words you don’t even know yet. She doesn’t even know yet. To tell you about rolling seas or telephone wires, music or love. Clack. Click clack. Her keys create a rhythm of their own.
Kelsey Fowler is the 2012 Features Intern at The Denver Post, currently studying nothing music-related at Ithaca College. Help keep her in the loop on Twitter.