Incantation Make-Out Party at the Hideout
All photos Sean Hoyt
People in Seattle are obsessed with summer sun. It's as if after months and months of dismal rain and midafternoon nightfall, we think we deserve something different—something better. This year, winter's gloom extended into July, which, as was pointed out over and over by everyone, just wasn't fair. If complaining could change the weather, we, the indignant people of Seattle, would rule the world.
But complaining doesn't do anything, so why not make out? This was the (main) question asked and answered at the Hideout at last week's Incantation de Soleil & Make-Out Party. "Why do we get angry so quickly? Why do we not stop and think: What have we ever done for the Sun? Have you ever thought for a moment that the Sun has feelings too? That it needs attention? That it needs—dare we say it—Love?" Performance group/freak show (and certified Stranger Geniuses) Seattle School is unafraid of asking the bizarre questions and coming up with the even-more-out-there answers. In this case, the solution (obviously!) was to assemble a band and perform the first measure of the Zombies' 1968 hit "Time of the Season" over and over for two hours, urging people to publicly display affection for the duration, in order to coax out the sun.
At precisely 10:00 p.m., the band began to play. The stands for the microphones—for the song's signature hand claps and ahhhs—had stems of white gladiolus bound to them. In case of suboptimal breath, twinned silver chafing dishes atop twinned white pedestals held hundreds or maybe thousands of Pep-O-Mint Life Savers. A strobe light tried to give everyone seizures. Kate Ryan of Implied Violence, with vacant eyes and a cult-member white dress, clapped and ahhh'd and sometimes screamed; Seattle School's Korby Sears leapt around all scary-charismatic-like, the conductor of the blowing of everyone's mind. Sometimes, recordings of what were said to be signals from a special spy radio frequency played. An older gentleman in a tie-dye with a daisy in his long gray hair sat at the end of the bar transfixed, possibly lost in an extended flashback.
According to tabletop literature (which, at the time, it was too dark to read), hand-holding, hugging, and community-standard-level fondling were encouraged. Those wishing to go beyond the make-out stage were encouraged to "please Get a Room," but to still direct their energy toward the proceedings by aligning their heads to face the Hideout. (The problem of positions in which this would be impossible was unaddressed—Seattle School doesn't think of every question.) At precisely midnight, the band launched into the full-release full version of the song to general pandemonium but only spotty making-out. Seattle still needs some warming up: The next day dawned cloudy and 56 degrees.