I’m sure everyone has heard of folklife, it is a festival that happens downtown. So many people go and it’s always a great time. This festival is so well known that this year (2013) there was about 220,000-230,000 people that showed up. It was a 4 day festival; full of music, food, and amazing people. Even though it wasn’t very nice or sunny outside there was still a great turn out. A little rain can’t stop people from having a wonderful time with their friends and family. Folklife started 42 years ago; it was mostly acoustic fiddle and banjo affair. I honestly love how this festival is continuing throughout the years, and more is being added to it. If you haven’t attended folklife yet; try it out next year! You will love it.

West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club invites kids to fish next Saturday

Next Saturday (June 1st), the West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club invites kids to Seacrest for its annual free pop-up “fishing pond,” 8 am-11 am. The announcement and photo are from WSSC’s Greg Boyd:

It’s time again for the annual West Seattle Sportsmen’s Club Free Kids’ Fishing Pond at Seacrest Park. Gather up your kids (ages 14 and under) and bring them on down for some great fishing fun. We’ll have cane poles for the kids to use, bait and the pond all stocked up with trout for the kids to catch and bring home.

There will be canopies over the pond so don’t let any possible rain scare you away.

Seacrest Park is located at 1660 Harbor Ave SW. It is just down the road from Salty’s and shares the same parking lot with the foot ferry and Marination ma kai restaurant.

If you have any questions please see the calendar at our, email us at or call Greg at 206-818-4469.


Previously published; on the West Seattle Blog

Taylor Swift wins 8 trophies at Billboard Awards

Another day, another domination for Taylor Swift: She was the red hot winner at the Billboard Music Awards.

Swift won eight of 11 awards, including top artist and top Billboard 200 album for “Red.” She told the crowd: “You are the longest and best relationship I ever had.”

She also had a colorful performance of her hit “22” – starting backstage and working her way to the main stage on the back of a bike with help from a dozen background dancers and a flurry of red balloons.

Justin Bieber also performed – twice – and was also a multiple winner with three awards, including top male artist, social artist and the fan-voted milestone award, beating out Swift and Bruno Mars. When accepting the latter – where boos were heard – he alluded to the tumultuous weeks he’s had in the public eye.

“I’m 19 years old; I think I’m doing a pretty good job. And basically from my heart I really just want to say it should really be about the music, it should be about the craft that I’m making. This is not a gimmick,” he said. “I’m an artist and I should be taken seriously and all this other bull should not be spoken.”

Bieber performed with and solo when he sang “Take You” in leather pants, a leather vest and a black shirt that had one sleeve, as blue laser lights beamed.

Miguel, too, had a show-stopping performance, though he seemed to kick a fan when he jumped over the crowd while singing his hit “Adorn.” The R&B singer seemed to have landed part of his body on one woman, who walked away, and kicked another, who held her head low.

Maroon 5 and fun. were also nominated for 11 awards and walked away with one win each in pre-telecast announcements. Gotye and Rihanna had the second-most wins with four awards each.

But the awards show, airing live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC, is less about the trophies – which reflect success on the Billboard charts – and more about the performances. Selena Gomez sang her seductive new hit, “Come & Get It,” while Chris Brown danced around the stage to his latest single, “Fine China,” though his voice began to crack during the performance. Duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also performed their massive hit, “Thrift Shop,” which won top rap song.

“First and foremost, gotta thank Goodwill, gotta thank Value Village,” Macklemore said to laughs.

Kid Rock, who presented the award, sparked controversy when he told the crowd, “Let’s give it up for people lip-synching under pre-recorded music.”

Mars and his band kicked off the show in silky red suits that matched their silky dance moves, with bright gold disco balls hanging above them during a performance of the upbeat and old-school flavored “Treasure.”

Nicki Minaj won the first award in the live telecast for top rap artist, beating out Drake, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Psy.

“I definitely did not expect this one,” she said, wearing a bright red dress.

She later performed “High School” with Lil Wayne and gave the rapper a provocative lap dance onstage.

Prince, who received the icon award, closed the awards show with a melody of his jams in a turquoise and purple ensemble. He sang, dance and rocked on the guitar.

Madonna won top touring artist, dance artist and dance album for “MDNA.”

“Thank you for supporting me for three decades. Without you I truly wouldn’t be here,” she said.

Pitbull made two appearances, one with Jennifer Lopez and another with Christina Aguilera. His hit with Aguilera, “Feel This Moment,” samples A-Ha’s “Take On Me” and Morten Harket came out to sing a line from the song.

Comedian-actor Tracy Morgan was the show’s host, and he dressed as Psy in a bright yellow suit when the rapper-singer was onstage to present an award. They had a dance battle to Psy’s new single, “Gentleman.”


AP Music Writer

previously published at

The best and brightest of Seattle’s young filmmakers

“Do you have an IMDB?”

“No. But I have a business card.”

Already, I can tell I’m in way over my head.

Two boys whose combined age is still more than 20 years less than mine are talking like two Hollywood directors taking lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Budgets. DSLRs. Raw film. Editing houses. The work of Guillermo del Toro.

I guess they don’t call it National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) for nothing.

The four-day festival, now in its seventh year, draws some 10,000 people and young filmmakers from around the world. India. South Africa. Greece. Norway. And, of course, Seattle.

Leo Pfeifer, 15, a freshman at Ballard High School, is showing his documentary, “74,” about the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state.

Chase Crittenden, 16, a sophomore at Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue, will present his short feature, “Lost and Found,” about a father and daughter’s relationship after the mother disappears under suspicious circumstances.

It’s wonderful to sit with two young men who can see their goals as clearly at Mount Rainier on a spring day.

It also made me a little suspicious.

“Once an hour, people ask me how old I am,” Crittenden said. “I look like I’m 12, but I think like I’m 40.”

“It’s an obstacle to overcome,” agreed Pfeifer, “but once you come with a camera and serious questions, that all changes.”

So they relish the chance to hang out with kids who, like them, live and breathe film. NFFTY is the young cineaste’s dream weekend, with awards and exposure and the smell of possibility as strong as that of the popcorn in the lobby.

“Those three or four days are the best days,” said Pfeifer, who attended last year. “I felt inspired. Youth filmmaking is a niche thing, and having all these people like us is amazing.”

Crittenden’s parents are both film fans, so when he was assigned a book report that could take any form, he chose to make a movie. A parody of “Romeo and Juliet,” for example.

At 12, Crittenden was making films on VHS tapes, transferring them to a mini DVD and then editing them using Final Cut Pro 7.

Last summer, Crittenden attended a two-week camp put on by the Seattle Film Institute, then joined a team on the Seattle 48-Hour Film Project, which put him with adults who taught him a lot and didn’t mind having him around.

“We were on the same plane,” he said, “because we only had 48 hours.”

His film, “Icebreaker,” won The Spirit Award.

His father, a jury consultant with ties to the film industry, put him in touch with a filmmaker named Hakim Quest, who agreed to mentor Crittenden, have him on-set for a small feature he was working on in New York City, and be his writing and producing partner on “Lost and Found.”

Crittenden spent time last fall and over Christmas break working on it.

“I directed it and produced it, sent it to Atlanta, edited the raw film and went back and forth 11 times until we had a master,” he said. “Turned out amazing.”

When Pfeifer was nine, he asked for and got a video camera for Christmas. He made little videos with his friends for a few years, and then in middle school, attended a camp put on by The Film School in Seattle.

“That is where everything sprouted from,” he said.

He made a documentary about the camp, and found his passion.

“I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling in different mediums,” he said. “But there are so many possibilities with film.”

Pfeifer’s “74” is his third documentary. His first two were made for a “Student Camp” competition put on by C-SPAN. His second film, “Who Owns Free Speech?” won first place from C-SPAN and was accepted into NFFTY 2012.

“74” is told through interviews with State Rep. Jamie Pedersen, footage of rallies and Pfeifer’s narration.

“Documentaries are an uphill battle,” he said. “You can’t write it. It’s about how much you learn throughout the process; just talking to people who are genuine and care about the issue translates to the viewer.”

If you have good footage and can tell a compelling story, he said, the editing comes easily. But even with technology speeding everything up, he said, “People don’t realize how much work it is.”

All this, while still keeping up with school.

“It can be overwhelming,” Pfeifer said. “But if you make time and you have a passion and love and believe in it, you make time.”

Crittenden wants to make films forever. You sure? You’re 16.

“Forever, yeah,” he assured me. “I have my whole life planned out.”

Same with Pfeifer. High school, then college, and always film. He handed me one of the aforementioned business cards: “Leo Pfeifer. Filmmaker.”

“There’s something about it,” he said. “I can’t see any other path.”

Previously published on;