HONK!fest West is in full swing and I was lucky enough to catch some of the deconstructed marching band action today at Gasworks Park.

I would never have gone if an old friend from California hadn't come up especially for the festival and roped me in. These folks know how to party.

It brightened a day in which many were mourning the recently slain at Café Racer, two of them artists who would no doubt have reveled in the wackiness and music today and were reportedly beautifully serenaded last night with an opening dirge in Georgetown.

This is Church, a band from Santa Rosa, CA who succeeded in getting even the engaged but reserved Seattle audience excited and how could you not love them? These guys define stage presence (with no stage), charisma with hot solos. I like their rock and roll version of a marching band's skill at playing and moving simultaneously, tight musicianship while rolling around on the asphalt, jamming hard while picking their way through the sprawling crowd.

Not even the dude who takes all his clothes off and hangs out naked (there's always one) before taking off running up the Kite Hill phased these dudes. Or the audience for that matter.

I also liked Titanium Sporkestra, a homegrown band with a punk burlesque look and unique sound, 100% Seattle in their tough, tongue-in-cheek mad blast approach. Who says you can't be hilarious cool and tough all at once and did I mention just plain fun as heck.

Check out Honkfest's site for details on tonight and tomorrow's shows (June 2-3) at Hale's Palladium, EMP Skychurch and Columbia City Theater and GO, you'll be glad you did.

HONK!fest West

Church Marching Band on Facebook

Titanium Sporkestra on Facebook