We're still recovering from this past weekend's journey to the borscht belt. It's hard to sum up 3 days of non-stop music amid the surreal back drop of Kutcher's resort and a really quite eclectic crowd of festival goers. Brian and Liz have already thrown up some great photos from the past weekend and I'm only just now getting to posting a few of my own along with some brief videos....
The best act I saw all weekend was Growing. I didn't know a thing about them before their set but they put on a really amazing show comprised of layers upon layers of percussive guitar. Usually this kind of stuff can get too noodley for me but they were able to carve out some nice structure out of the chaos.
Among my fellow FMU pals there seems to be some consensus that Todd Trainer, the drummer for Shellac, was by far the best entertainer out there... Looking like the fifth member of motley crue, Trainer subscribes to the Charlie Watts school of playing the drums economically albeit in a far more bombastic fashion - and with considerably more show-biz flare. More so than anyone else he was able to channel the Las Vegas vibe of the Stardust Ballroom.
Also memorable: the Wooden Shjips (whose recent "Volume 1" comp on Holy Mountain has been getting a fair amount of airplay in these parts) put in a really good set as did Dinosaur Jr. Most surprisingly to me, I enjoyed Om quite a bit. I'm no metal fan but the second half of their set consisted of some 50s-cabaret-jungle-drumming with mallets against some great bass work. Jason reports that their recent release on the sub pop singles club is also in this vein so I'm going to check that out.
Other highlights: seeing Eric Sermon trying not to pay attention to the giant stuffed bear in the audience at the EPMD show, a great Sunday morning pub quiz hosted by a British guy whose extremely thick accent made the music trivia nerdery even more challenging (I think we came in fourth), and seeing Trent + Marty Mcsorley launch their new band / art project ("FREAK THE SQUARES") in which they play sound installations at rock festivals (video provided in the slideshow). Honorable mention: going to the local diner early in the morning and slowly realizing during the course of the meal that the tables next to us were populated by the unlikely combination of Michael Rother, Brian Gibson from Lightning Bolt and the Bionic Chicken, a staple of Kutsher's entertainment from years past (photo provided from his hey day).
Unfortunately we will not be archiving any of our ATP broadcast but a few of the artists have approved release of their sets as high quality MP3s for the FMA so check back here over the next few weeks as we post things gradually.
Hats off to Barry, Deb & the whole ATP crew for putting on a fantastic festival. It was a blast.
Thanks to Scott + Mike for a few of the above photos including the one documenting Mike's first ever trip to Wal-Mart.