I’m hitting the pause button on Fall Line Fest recap posts to give another piece of writing the tender loving care it needs, but I thought I’d take a quick moment to share my current productivity music: Cupid’s Head, by Swedish-born, Berlin-based producer Axel Willner (nomme de guerre, The Field).
Ever wonder what it looks like when an alley cat tries to gatecrash a music festival but is repeatedly denied entry by a volunteer who can’t resist adding insult to injury by taking pictures and speaking in Eric Cartman’s “No kitty, this is my pot pie” voice? Well, wonder no longer.
A stink eye for the ages, if you ask me.
When I reported for duty at Gallery 5 just before 4 p.m. on Saturday of Fall Line Fest weekend, my first task involved hovering around the door and making sure this little guy/gal didn’t sneak in. It was heartbreaking work, but the official doors-open time hadn’t arrived yet, and the cat didn’t have valid I.D., so there wasn’t much I could do. A short time later, I helped Positive No drummer Willis Thompson unload gear from his car, kicking off a cycle of load-in creation and tear-down destruction that, much to the delight of my ad-hoc bosses Tracy Wilson and Kenny Close (also members of Positive No), stayed on schedule all night long.
It was a great experience.
So as it turns out, trying to encapsulate my Fall Line Fest experience in a single post is preventing me from writing anything at all about it. That’s no fun. I want to share a bunch of pictures, I have a great video of No BS! Brass Band covering “Thriller,” there’s a cat story… it’s just too much to cram into a single serving. So I’m heeding the advice issued in The White Stripes’ “Little Acorns” and taking things one at a time.
My very first Fall Line Fest experience came via Kopecky Family Band, the Camel’s Friday night closer. I made it to the Camel just as the preceding act was tearing down — right on schedule, to everyone involved’s credit — which gave me the opportunity to watch the venue’s stage side clear, start to fill in again, and eventually become crowded with gold-wristband-wearing, excited, eager-to-sing-along supporters whose enthusiasm was rewarded handsomely.
While the highs of the show were certainly high (I’m speaking literally here — as you can see from the picture above, certain members of the band would climb things at particularly elevated moments), the quietest moments are the ones that have stuck with me most.
See that menacing-looking bloke in the Jurassic Park shirt? That’s my brother-in-law Brian. He’s married to my sister and plays guitar in the Chicago-based metal outfit, Czar. I’m exceedingly proud to report that one of the tracks on Czar’s upcoming album No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive (due out November 5) just got exclusive premiere treatment from Revolver Magazine.
So fantasy football is back.
Oh, how I’ve missed the delightful mix of illusory agency and total helplessness that comes with trying to guess which NFL players are going to perform well each week. Oh, how I longed for the ineffectual rage that builds up when an offensive coordinator pretends one of your running backs doesn’t exist, or when one of your receivers is used as a decoy for, like, an entire season. And who can resist those paralyzing conflicts of interest that arise when your fantasy team would benefit if certain members of your actual team did poorly?
Be still my beating heart.
Yes, fantasy football is back in all its frustrating, time-sucking glory (I swear a Fall Line Fest post is coming at some point), and I just had the pleasure of watching both my teams go down in flames in week two. But I’m trying to take a more detached, zen-like approach this year, and I have the perfect theme song for my long-overdue attitudinal shift.
Are you as excited as I am about Arcade Fire’s reemergence?
Have you listened to the David Bowie-laced “Reflektor” yet? Have you tried out the song’s crazy webcam-enabled video? Did you hear that James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem produced AF’s upcoming album, a two-disc affair frontman Win Butler is billing as “a mash up of Studio 54 and Haitian voodoo”? I mean… there’s a lot to be excited about in there.
All that excitement bubbled over for me on Tuesday, when a limited-edition “Reflektor” 12-inch single went on sale at BK Music. So shiny. So limited in quantity. I just couldn’t help myself. I made the trip to Midlothian Turnpike and was successful (I still haven’t opened the thing, though — it’s too pretty), but oddly enough, I walked out of BK all amped up about something else entirely.
As July was winding down, WHEN I WAS STILL IN MY 20’S — Where does the time go? — I got to sit down and chat with a truly wonderful group of disco-punk-playing people who, together, go by the name of Toxic Moxie.
In my book, the very best way to listen to an album for the first time is to load the thing up on the ol’ iPod Nano and go for a run that’s as least as long as the album’s (no pun intended, I swear) running time. My mind is clear, my attention span is uncharacteristically long, endorphins are flowing, I can crank the thing up as loud as my eardrums will let me… it doesn’t get much better on planet Earth, as far as I’m concerned. I had one of these perfect runs a couple weeks ago while giving Goldrush’s debut full-length Greatest Hits a first listen.
It’s all happening.
The music portion of Richmond’s brand spankin’ new Fall Line Fest kicks off later this evening, and with dozens of acts spread across two nights and four venues, fun times are sure to be had and new favorite bands are waiting to be discovered.
Coming up with a plan of attack for events like this is always an adventure within itself, and a few intrepid Richmond bloggers have posted handy previews that can help you navigate the weekend’s events:
A coworker recently lent me a copy of The Jungle, a book I’ve managed to avoid for 30 years either by chance or, more likely, by ignoring a series of well-intentioned high school and/or college reading assignments.
Bad English major. BAD.
But I’m getting better! I read Hard Times on the way to Greece earlier this year, and I started making my way through The Jungle early last week. Almost right away, I encountered a paragraph that was totally unrelated to meat packing or the plight of the downtrodden factory worker but was instead a totally insightful take on the magic of live music.