A sensible person would avoid an early launch into another day of cloudless mid-90’s temperatures. But somehow the lure of an endless morning spent lounging in a frosty hotel room with unlimited trips to the powdered egg buffet starts to lose its appeal. Thoughts of “maybe I do need to see all eleven bands” begin to creep in. And the possibility that the craft beer line could be shorter at 1pm than it was last night is just the nudge that is needed.
They say that thieves come in the night. And apparently, they do. At this year’s opening day of the Moon River Festival, the thief came in the guise of a scruffy haired singer-songwriter playing in the pre-closer slot on the event’s smaller stage. Sandwiched between the day’s two biggest draws, Josh Ritter used a twenty year catalog of incisive songs and a crack band to show how an hour-long set should be done.
Beck and Cage The Elephant’s Night Running tour came rolling through Tampa last Thursday night. And when we say rolling that’s the correct terminology. With nine semi-trailers and countless tour buses carting stage sets, pyrotechnics, and performers around the country, the tour is really more like a mini-festival on wheels. With opening acts by Spoon and Sunflower Bean, five hours of nearly non-stop music on a muggy Florida night is more than anyone could wish for.
Californian sludge-punk pioneers Flipper have been through a number of line-up changes over the years. Tonight’s 40th Anniversary show finds David Yow and Mike Watt playing alongside original members Ted Falconi (guitar) and Steve DePace (drums). Heroin may have taken founding member Ricky Williams as well as vocalist/ bassist Will Shatter and bassist John Dougherty but Flipper lives on.
Rain soaked sing-alongs, inadequate camping equipment and mud (glorious mud); seems I’m getting the full festival experience. It’s pretty exciting too. I’m a tent down and have to sort a lift home for tomorrow but I’m completely immersed in the festival. Maybe I am ‘the outdoor type’ after all. I head towards the arena to see what Kendal Calling has in store for me today.
People go to festivals for a number of reasons. Some, as a good friend of mine so eloquently put it, just want to “eat chips and fall over” while others are there to take in as much music as humanly possible. Now, I enjoy chips as much as the next man (I’m not a monster) but I definitely fall into the latter category. Luckily for me, there’s plenty of music to get stuck into at Kendal Calling.
“I lied about being the outdoor type/I’ve never owned a sleeping bag/ let alone a mountain bike”, sang Evan Dando sometime back in the nineties. Now, while I have in fact owned both of those items, it’s a sentiment that’s still very close to my heart. A good festival is the only way I’ll be persuaded to head into a field with a tent. Yes, the time has come for me to visit the much-loved Kendal Calling.
Downstairs at Hyde Park Book Club on a hot and sweaty day, the venue completely sold out and deservedly so. The anticipation around tonight’s performance is palatable. Miranda Arieh will play bigger venues then this but it feels like the ideal place to finally launch her astonishing debut album, Ferine. It’s an intimate setting where Arieh can reach out, meet us eye-to-eye and really communicate with the crowd.
Truth be told, I’ve never been much of one to “jump to the beat of the party line” and for this, the world should be grateful. So when Belle & Sebastian’s slot at the 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival was billed as “Performing If You’re Feeling Sinister” it was beyond compelling. Real life got in the way of attending all of the three day Chicago based festival, but the Saturday lineup was one not to be missed.
Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis is one of those artists that embodies’ the ‘indie spirit’. He released homemade cassettes in the late nineties, has made a number of albums for Rough Trade, championed underground music at every turn and has still found time to self-publish an ongoing comic book series. He’s in the UK touring with his band Los Bolts and tonight they roll into the iconic main room at The Brudenell Social Club.
Catching a show by legendary alternative rockers The Breeders would probably strike most people as a more than solid way to spend a Saturday night in Chicago. But when that aforementioned band is being hosted at the House of Vans in the West Loop as part of their House of Vans Parties concert series, it elevates the occasion from what otherwise might just be a casual night out, to a distinctly awesome experience.
- Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)