Skipping Stones RecordsA small indie label with big ideas.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Popfest! New England - 2008 Memories!
William and I are exhausted and invigorated by this year's 5th Annual Popfest! New England that took place in Northampton, MA last weekend. Thanks to everyone who attended and played - it was great!
I had some camera problems this weekend, thanks to contributors Matthew P. and Yoko from the Dream Bitches for filling in the empty spots!
Popfest! New England 2008 Memories:
K.B. from The Up Set is a totally nice guy and has a great sounding CDr release, so go buy it. Also, you should invite The Up Set to play at shows because nothing happens in Maryland.
Surefire Broadcast was awesome as usual.
Lisa and Dan in the background:
The technical difficulty award goes to mat pat, although the specific heats, or specific besties did sound really good when things were working!
Mat Pat / The Specific Heats
Kevin from The Lil’ Hospital plays much better without an Indian chief headdress on. It’s too bad there won’t be any more of that band, it was the best I’ve ever heard them play.
The Utah Rangers did not make it to the Friday show and sat in our driveway drinking a 30 pack of Budweiser from 10pm until we got home at 3:30am. Whew.
Utah Rangers - comfortable at the club on Sunday:
Mark Robinson and his wife, Evelyn Hurley, performed on Saturday as “Cotton Candy.” Everyone got a real treat with Mark’s signature guitar playing and the set was intermingled with spoken word by Evelyn, dramatic performance and television jingles harmonized between Mark and Evelyn, including a Chevrolet and a Lowenbrau commercial. Amazing. Teenbeat is still going strong and Mark has a new comp out which boldly states, “No. 1 RECORD LABEL.” Awesome.
Mark Robinson / Cotton Candy:
Evelyn Robinson / Cotton Candy:
The Smittens were adorable and charming as usual. We still miss Max, but Dana held up the Max doll during their set and he sang along.
The Smittens - dolls! Someone asked - OMG! How much are those? NFS. Dave should really think about mass producing these.
If you flash your popfest staff badge while passing out on the couch at the end of a show, the club manager will leave you alone (Courtney).
The Smittens with Max the doll:
It takes a ton of volunteers to cover the door / back door etc. and to be good Popfest ambassadors – thanks to you all!
Magnus Karlsson from The Charade / Happydeadmen was incredibly grateful to be there and told William that it was a dream come true to come to Popfest and to play. Hopefully he can seize more opportunities to play out live. It was truly wonderful to see him play and to hear The Charade songs acoustic, from his point of view. I have a new appreciation for his music and his lyrics, he really wears his heart on his sleeve.
Magnus with Christine and William:
Jason Bourgeois finished his performance by singing along to a cassette tape of the song “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. Everyone sang along with the harmonies at the end and it was one of the best moments of Popfest. One of his special guests was
Abby Barlow, Lou Barlow’s younger sister.
Jason Bourgeois and Tape Recorder:
Many Swedes fit into small spaces.
Lima Research Society
The other best moment goes out to Sean and Lima Research Society. They performed with a blacklight background, the keyboard / guitar player wore a white cat suit and I wasn’t sure if I was watching a band or attending a revivalists-for-peace prayer meeting. It was full-on participatory music with songs where we sang along “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Get Down” and everyone bent their knees down and stood back up along with the lyrics. It was like the indie pop hokie-pokie. They handed out Magic Juice, we tossed pink balloons everywhere and I felt like a child again.
Lima Research Society - Magic Pink Balloons (which came after the Magic Juice)
Lima Research Society - get up!
Lima Research has another show with Math the Band on November 22 at The Grist Mill Café in Andover, NJ. I guess they’re touring again in January, so you should have them in your town, too!
Math the Band completely blew William’s mind. Believe me, that’s a hard thing to do. They were fucking awesome. Period. Kevin told me how he got their name. He had a badge that said “Math” so when people asked him the name of his band, he just used “Math, the Band.” He had merch before he named his band! How brilliant.
Kevin broke several strings on his guitar and while he scrambled for another guitar, Justine entertained the audience by taking requests and speaking through a retro-sci-fi-robotic vocoder. She said “domo origato” and it was hilarious.
Never look into Christine and William’s microwave.
The Utah Rangers were totally terrific. It was like watching Dieter’s Dance Party.
“Now, we play guitars.”
“Now, we dance.”
Elim and Kristoffer had their friend Magnus join them and the songs sounded great live. Magnus was in the Salty Pirates and a band called "The Weather in Sweden."
They were awesome and I wished that we had set-up a DJ or a dance mix afterwards because everyone wanted to dance, but we were too tired to think about the logistics of doing this. At the end, Magnus said, “Do we have dance party now?” And I felt really bad that we did not! The Utah folks went next door to the meat market dance party, but quickly came back for fear of their lives (and rightly so, the scene in the club next door is scary).
The 500s were blessed with no technical difficulties this year – yay Isaac! Sammie on the Farfisa has the best keyboard-playing moves ever and Jonathan is still amazing singing and playing drums at the same time. Their new song is fabulous. They still wear their custom 500s t-shirts, although they were not washed after the last show with the Besties and they had that not-so-fresh feeling.
bunnygrunt rocks, of course! We stayed up until 5am drinking a box of wine and discussing Turducken. Then we came up with new ones, like the Humachog, which is a human stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a frog.
They were going to wake up early and drive to Ohio. I got up at 9:30 and Matt was standing in the kitchen. Uh-oh. Their van wouldn’t start and had it towed to some godawful local corporate car fixing chain. Fortunately they got it fixed and were on their way, but they felt really bad about not making their show.
Ann from the Dream Bitches and Karen bunnygrunt:
bunnygrunt on stage:
The Toothaches sounded great this year. We listened to their new recordings in their gigantor van and they sound really nice. Rose is the greatest person ever and she cracks me up. We had another Turducken conversation that she raised to a higher level by thinking of endangered species, like a beluga whale stuffed with a wolf stuffed with a bald eagle. Wow. Zimmy and Johnny had expired licenses and could not get served inside so they sat in their van drinking PBR and Sparks and later discovered that they ran their battery down with an iPod. Luckily they got a jump and everything was okay. I walked up to them and some random guys were helping them jump their van. I asked who they were and Johnny turned around and whispered, “angels!”
The Toothaches are playing December 12 at the Middle East downstairs – Cambridge, MA.
Two Toothaches, serious as usual
Swedish people don’t understand that you can have a Christmas tree decorated with Tibetan prayers that is completely unrelated to Christmas.
The Dream Bitches were amazing guests and I taught them how to sew the Popfest Comp
I’m looking forward to listening to their CD, the vocal harmonies between Yoko and Ann are fabulous. Julie has an amazing bass that is clear Lucite. Karen bunnygrunt and I were jealous.
bunnygrunt / yoko
This year we had the most people in our house ever and the place is still packed with air mattresses and blankets. Everyone was a really great guest and the place doesn’t look too bad at all. Someone left a Humachog drawing and someone else drew a Hoboken, which I think is a Hobo stuffed with a chicken. Then Courtney said it was a ho stuffed with a bobcat stuffed with a chicken. The Utah Rangers left a little drawing. On Monday, Elim, Kristoffer and Magnus said they needed gas, so I sent them down the street while I went out for French toast fixin’s at the supermarket. They came back almost 45 minutes later looking completely forlorn. They said they wanted to buy us flowers, but got lost, ended up at the mall and in a bad neighborhood and couldn’t find flowers anywhere. I said, “Oh, no! Not the mall!” They were so cute and I gave them a big hug.
The air mattresses made fine hang-out places when you were exhausted and just needed to lie down. Courtney’s butt and a blanket makes a good pillow.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to putting together the 5th Anniversary Compilation booklet: Mat Pat, Keira, Courtney and Brechin.
The Inclined Plane
Boy Genius - is great live
One Happy Island
The new OHI 7" is fantastic and Colin Clary did a great job producing it.
The Hat Company - Chris Mac filled in on drums
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Legal mp3 downloads:
Morning by The Charade, from their first album "The Best is Yet to
Gravity Girl by superfallingstars, from their first album, "Swimming Across the Sound"
Buy Swimming Across the Sound
Prison Song, by The Besties, from their album "Singer"
The Truth About Stars by The Year Zero, from their album "Oceania, I Will Return"
Buy Oceania, I Will Return
Popp og Co, by Dyrdin, from their album "Dyrdin"
Here is a special treat!
Dream On by Celestial, from their album "Dream On"