Thursday, September 29, 2005

Whole Lotta Music Going On

I've been meaning to recap the Carrboro Music Festival (at least the part I heard) but this week at work has been a bear. I took a bunch of pictures that I'll try to get posted this weekend, but for now I'll at least run down who I saw. The cool thing about the CMF is being able to catch 2-3 songs each from lots of different bands, so since I didn't stay in any one place very long, I can only give a surface impression.

Rode the bike into town and heard
Los Chupacabras at Fitch Lumber as I crossed the railroad tracks on Greensboro St. Looked like at least some of them were still in high school. Pretty good musical chops but I found the lead singer's near-falsetto a little annoying until they did a damn fine cover of Ziggy Stardust - that takes balls and they did a very credible job. One to watch.

Biked on over to the Cradle to catch a little bit of
Farpoint. Their billing as prog rock was pretty accurate and some of them looked old enough to have been playing it since the genre began (that's not a bad thing). Stayed for only one song (of course that was ten minutes - we are talking prog here) before heading back out into the sunshine. Competent - just not my cup o' tea.

On my way back over to the Fitch stage, I stopped at WCOM to catch the
Mad Tea Party from Asheville - sort of goofy, rag-timey, ukelele-and-kazoo-driven fun. Jack Herrick from the 'blers was getting into it off to the side as were a couple of folks I recognized from Shady Grove. I found it to be the kind of thing that is perfect for this kind of festival - really cute and fun for a few songs but really annoying if it goes on for too long.

On to Fitch Lumber and
Destroyed by Kittens, who I was bound and determined to see for the name if nothing else. Rock-y, slow punk-y, I liked what I heard (and saw - cute!).

Still in the 2:00 slot, walked back over to the Cradle but stopped at the Archer Graphics stage to catch the last song-and-a-half from
Fingerpaint - what I heard I kinda liked. Pop/folk, a little jam-band-y - didn't hear enough to form a strong opinion (but certainly didn't run away screaming).

Finally made it back into the Cradle to grab a beer and catch the last song of
Big Mama E and the Cool's set - hate the name but what I heard of the band wasn't bad. Southern boogie, white R&B - Emma's got a good voice and the band makes a big sound. They'll be at Festifall this weekend if you're interested.

Stepped outside to go next door and catch the first part of the
Run of the Mill set. Excellent stuff! Young guys from Chapel Hill with some excellent chops - newgrass at its finest. Their medley of Superstition and Shady Grove was the highlight of my day. Of all the bands that I saw, these are the guys I'm most likely to go out of my way to see again. (You can hear the Superstition part of the medley on their website - it's actually not nearly as good as what they did live.)

Ran around behind Tyler's to the parking lot to catch a little bit of the
Big Fat Gap Band - much more traditional bluegrass. Also very good and drew a HUGE crowd - I was pretty amazed at the number of people that were sitting on the asphalt back there.

I only stopped at Weaver Street for a token appearance during the
Brown Mountain Lights set and to take a couple of pictures. I like them a lot but saw them 3-4 times last fall and wanted to spend my time checking out new stuff (sorry Greg!) but go see them next time you get the chance. Tell Greg that Tony P sent you!

Caught a few minutes of Pittsboro's
The Breaks at the Cradle - I thought I saw them last year at the CMF and liked them but was pretty lukewarm to them on Sunday. Maybe I was just getting hungry.

After taking care of said hunger at Bandido's, I went a little farther afield - reclaimed my bike from the rack at Visart Video and rode down Weaver Street to the old Music Explorium - now Orchid Island Trading Company. There was a neat little cajun band called
T-Monde playing on the porch with a nice little crowd gathered. Stood next to an elderly couple that were sitting in folding chairs until the distinguished-looking gentleman in the buttoned up cowboy shirt (at least mid-70's, around 6 foot 4 and ramrod straight) got up and offered his lady his hand and they commenced to two-stepping up a storm in the street. Lots of nudges and smiles from the rest of us as we all hoped we'd have that much energy (and be so obviously still smitten with our mates) at that age. Good band!

Stopped at RBC Centura for a couple of songs from
the Standbys who I thought were pretty good, if a little generic. I'd just have to hear a little more before deciding whether I wanted to hear even more after that.

Finally decided to start heading towards home before dark since I hadn't been able to find my
taillight, so I stopped off at the Fitch stage one more time - this time to see Eyes to Space, whose description in the program - "Rock and roll party music for the robot intelligentsia" - was enough to get me to stop on the way out. Little bit of Devo, little bit of Talking Heads - lot of fun. Another band I'd be tempted to spend money on.

So there you have it - of course I didn't even touch on the jazz and hip-hop and chamber and folk and every other damn kind of music you can imagine! If you weren't out there with me last Sunday, you really owe it to yourself to make it to the one next year. Hell, it's free, there's beer (at some venues as least) and there are some damn fine bands out there that are worth hearing.


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