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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Translated Live 1

"I've slept a 15 hour night. It is officially summer which means one thing... SKA!

-Austin Lovelace"
We tend to cover music in record, other than a few links to some live videos. Their is a reason for it... I'm sure you would rather hear about everything we listen to rather than only my favorite artists (come on, who sees an artist they kindove like live, and pay for it) but who cares. We're here to talk about music and in that case I'll promote some artists while I talk about some of my favorite bands. So lets see how some of your, and a lot of my favorite artists translate live.

I spent the last Saturday (5/26/12) visiting a, growing, local music festival called Meadowgrass; this is one of many folk/country/bluegrass/indie festivals based in Calorado Springs. If you live in a decent sized city, navigable by walking but it takes you 2 hours to walk anywhere important from a large neighborhood, than you probably know what I'm talking about. It's one of those, attract a crowd with one 'big' band and one that you probably should have heard of, kind of shows. Otherwise it's regional acts that people on the festival comity know about, have made a name for them selves in the local scene, or ones that are 'pretty big' in other regions and are just passing through. None the less I wish I could have joined them on Friday and stayed till Sunday, but this time I came for the headliner (I'll get to them soon).

... But before I get into anything else lets go through what I've learned about the scene my city, my dad, my dad's friends, and I hove chosen to include our selves in this weekend (remember that any reference to white people includes me as well).

1. If you were wandering where all the white people in The Springs' where, especially the ones in Grateful Dead/Tie Die T-Shirts, I know.

2. Considering the only black man attending was serving watermelon, racism is either dead or it comes alive in a crowd of white hippies.

3. White people at 'folk' festivals don't jump unless they are doing something that can only be described as Jim Carry, if he was to dance around a spittoon to the tune of a banjo. (or if your a women you might do that thing that naked fan girls did in the 60s, with cloths on)

4.  Not jumping means weird gyration that is off beat to the music the white people are 'dancing' to.

5. Mosh pit means something completely different to white people when their at a folks festival ( although getting trampled is still possible, but they call it 'the jive').

6. That girl you brought that kinda knows the band does not know the band

7. Botox does not stop the gain of cellulite; Stop bringing your 40 year old girl friend to your hipster festivals, she can't dance and she suddenly thinks she's 15!

8. There are women who have trained their children to pull down their shirt to be fed. The baby is 1.5 years old and walking. Don't you think being a feed on demand mother has to end once the baby knows how to get it?

9. It's okay not to stand up when the band is performing (which is good because white people like sitting in their own lawn chairs). Though, it's still cool that all the bands got there applause no matter what.

in the words of one of my friends (who is also white): "White people are goofy" but lets get to the music....

The 'Meadowgrass' Music Festival, Saturday 5/26/12 Colorado Springs CO
Click here for the full, weekend, lineup 

1. 11:00am - The Hopeful Heroins - From & Based in Colorado Springs, CO

Sorry to say that we didn't get to the show on time so we didn't catch their set but I'm including them because from what I've heard they're a fantastic folk/gypsy/soul group. I wish I could have heard her voice live because the two tracks that I've heard on their Facebook blew me away. They have a really full sound even though they only have a violin and an acoustic guitar, but what can you do.

Don't you just hate lazy mornings :(

2. 12:15pm - The Flumps - From Florence, CO/Based in Colorado Springs, CO

We showed up a few songs into their set but by far they were my favorite act of the whole day (even the headliner). I had to run around a little while they where performing so we could find some of my dad's friends who were meeting us there; long story short I only got to really listen to them right around the time the singer said "How  much time do we have? 10 min.? Awwww fooey" (they had some fun up there).

After only listening to them for about 4.5 tracks (great shout out to We Are Not a Glum Lot by the way) I was hooked. A stand out indie rock act for sure. I'm going to be looking out for your next high energy show for sure. Thanks for your music.

3. 1:30 - Baywood - From & Based in Los Angles, CA

--A band that falls into the "ones that are 'pretty big' in other regions and are just passing through" category.--

A kin to Herman Dune this band is another folk duo that loves (each other) to tell stories just to be fun, catchy and to lift any mood that your life has you in. They have an arsenal of pop/folk numbers telling stories about bubble families, (notably) their mutual love for the actress Emma Stone, and more I can't quite remember. I guess that's a good way to introduce how I felt about the music... Their corny banter in between songs leads a good example; ''this next song is new', I suppose your not surprised' ( they were new to the city so they where playing all new music, their version of an introduction), 'what's it about', 'I suppose this one is about a mutual love of ours', 'should we say who', 'I don't know should we', 'OKAY, it's Emma Stone', 'uh oh I'm embarrassed now', 'uh oh lets just play the song', 'lets'' (of cores I'm paraphrasing). Being one of those groups who's funny because they arrant just makes them a fun break from everything else but they don't have (at least live) what groups like Herman Dune have on every song, which is the feeling that there is something deeper in their song writing.

None the less they got across what they wanted to; in their own words "Two dudes sharing a #bromance and making folk music...". Maybe in the end it's just me not being a fan, yet, because their studio work is pretty good and if your looking for more music in this style here's you ticket.

4. 2:45pm - Grass It Up - From & Based in Colorado Springs, CO

I may have lied earlier when I said I came for the headliner; I came for the main headliner. Not at all saying that this band is a head liner but more of the most important back up band (assuming the others listed before fall under the same category).

Although not at all a tall order for these local legends; well, legends of blue grass (I'm not into blue grass, much at all) but do to repeated visitations by my dad to festivals like these, I know who they are.

I'm lying again, I like this blue grass band (live). Really if your a blue grass fan their essential but if your not (like me) than it needs to be fun and just like a corny name like theirs suggests, they are. It's really just blue grass music but with people who are highly technical in how they play their instruments, I believe I heard something about the banjo player inventing a new way to play?. The banjo player is their Jimi Hendrix no doubt but still the guitarist, you will fear the name Lesley, is a treat too (if you enjoy watching great musicians live). Their just fun to watch and they obviously have fun performing so why wouldn't you tap your foot to it?

5. 4:30 - Alela Diane - From & Based in Portland, OR

Introduced by one of the heads of the festival, this first headliner was essential. I mean, she must have been something amazing to the comity; being the only artist that needed to have a special set up to play. Don't get me wrong I was wowed by her performance but I was also put way off by the placement of it.

I'm sure you can guess that we're dealing with a singer song writer here and one with an amazing voice that matches her honesty, but honesty at that level it gets pretty sad. Singing the lyric about Colorado "When you left me for her, you left me in the snow", is the best example of the turn this festival took with her at the helm.

My mane thought through the whole performance being, 'she would have been such a great opening act', is what should tell you what I wished I would have experienced. I hope that I'm making it clear that I have nothing against her music or her performance, meaning you'd be best to check her out, but her placing was a kin to Bon Iver playing after The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Just a little bit of a bummer if you went only to have fun, but her statement 'It just occurred to me that I write a lot of dark songs, that may not be appropriate for a sunny day like this' should tell you she has a seance of humor about it.

I need to see her again when I know what I'm getting myself into...

6. 6:15 - Big Daddy Love - From & Based in Sparta, NC

The second headliner, introduced as the band that would rock your socks off, is the same band that wants to show you every side of the festival they were invited to. Given their previous act it didn't seem like their enthusiastic introduction, 'pleas join me in welcoming BIG... DADDY... LOVE...', was out of place. Immediately getting the applause, that wouldn't have been appropriate for the last act, they went into a rocker; it was hard to keep me from laughing when the lyric 'my doctor told me to change my ways, but she never told me nothin' helpful anyway', was sung at haste. Spending no time acting as glum as my favorite song in their set, Mortality, which goes something like 'we all gotta deal with the pressure, we all gotta deal with the pain', they had fun every moment they where on stage.

Easily defined as blues, that last song is only a slight clue to what you can expect from them; blues, rock, country, folk, and blue grass all shoved into a compact 2-4:00min is about what you can. As you can imagine there is a lot of variety so the same gos for quality. Trying not to sound to critical of a band that clearly deserves it's fans I would say a lot of their material didn't exactly make me want to listen to anything besides the songs I loved, but that's just the studio. These guys where the best summery I could've asked for and a great last act before the the band that had to close stepped up.

7. 8:15 - Son Volt - From & Based in St. Louis, MO

I promised this earlier given that this is the headliner. The band that was meant to attract people to the festival in the first place.

Half of Uncle Tuplo fame, this band and Wilco have found and kept a consistent audience that will fallow and see them wherever they go and my dad is one of them. Not to say that before the show I had never heard of them before; being my dad's son I've heard all he has from and about this band but I would only call myself a casual fan. They've always had songs I liked but as a band I always thought they where just okay and up until this show, much like Farrar's hair cut, that hadn't changed.

If you ever wondered why it takes so long, a headliner gets all the time the need to set up while every other band gets as ready as they can before they get thrusted on stage. It's the easiest way to say that they got everything up to studio quality and they did a great job of it. They got up on stage picked up their instruments and played their songs just like they did in the studio. Fans got what they came for, which was a louder version of what they heard on CD, but I'm not a fan. I wanted to see this show so that the band could get up on stage and rock out; I was hoping they would change my mind but they where stone cold up on stage. They acted like performing was their job, granted it is, but that's not what I wanted to see. I was given the impression that they would rock the house (tent) down with stories like how they where so loud at The Folks Festival that they drove half the crowd away. They ended up boring me for the first half of the set accept the songs that I liked on record. I didn't go to the  to hear a record or to see men bored by their own music, whether they were or not it looked like it.

It's a big complaint but I did enjoy the second half of the set but it's because I liked those songs on record. The second half was when the front man, Jay Farrar, picked up the guitar and gave me what I was expecting, but only in sound. They sounded great but I still didn't get the active live performance that I was expecting. They changed my mind about their music; I enjoy listening to their records now so I congratulate them on great sound quality but I have serious doubts about weather I want to see them live again.

-Austin Lovelace

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