Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sweet Charity

Oh my, is it the wee hours of Tuesday morning already? Has it really been almost a week since I posted? Shame on me.

Big sloppy buckets of shame.

Poured right on my head.

Right, with that out of the way, onto the folk festival. And a confession: I'm afraid there are no sordid stories to tell regarding mung beans. Or macrame.

Sigh, I can feel my credibility pouring away from me like the shame running down my brow.

Truth be told, it was a most Vancouver festival - very genteel, very well-behaved, very comfortable. Plenty of port-a-potties, ample taps to fill your water bottles, evening salutations from the main stage to the setting sun ("We thank the sun for giving it's light, it's warmth...") and loopy dancing. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the demographic: it's largely a grown up event. Baby boomer ex- (and current) hippies a-plenty, folks in or nearing forty, that sort of thing. There was undoubtedly a hipster yoof presence, but the overriding atmosphere was most definitely that of a great, big funky, tie-dye & tofu picnic.

Mind you, it wasn't all a 60s retro love-fest. I watched with amusement as the mostly middle-aged winners of the Birkenstock 500 (i.e. those festies who'd camped out at the gate to run and stake out prime blanket space in front of the main stage) howled "SIT DOWN!" at the indie kids inching in from the sides during Feist's slot (to which The Kidz shouted back: "STAND UP!"). Chalk and cheese ground together as well when Austrian dubsters Dubblestandart shared a stage with grizzled, veteran folkster Utah Phillips. You could tell each thought the other was a shit.

Oh and the music? Most enjoyable indeed. I bathed twice in the flow of Feist's springwater-clear voice. The Mammals put on a fine, friendly early morning (well, 10:00 AM, anyway) Appalachian-flavoured roots show, their able polymath members (including Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, grandson of uber-folkie Pete Seeger) switching instruments between each other with ease. Dubblestandart pumped out some massive deep beats, but again when I saw them it was under the heavy manners of a workshop compered by an unappreciative Utah Phillips. A most pleasant treat came in the form of Zar, a lovely bunch of polite Danish whippersnappers passionately reviving and adapting their country's traditional fiddly folk music.

The Mammals - Profit (buy here)
Zar - Tusind Tanker (buy here)

However, Dear Friends, these were but sideshows, the jugglers and sword swallowers, if you will, to the illustrated lady, the strong man, the dog-faced boy, and the two-headed cow. For I had the pleasure to see four performances that I enjoyed far more than my indie-punk-metal-industrial-C86-mod-synth-goth-shoegazer sensibilities would allow me aforehand to believe I would.

But you'll have to wait to hear about it.

No, please, stop throwing things! I have a good reason!! It's all for charity!!!

You see, I have signed up to participate in the 2006 Blogathon as part of the team put together by the lovely Lady of Lansing, Bethanne from Clever Titles Are So Last Summer. The challenge is to post a post every 30 minutes during the twenty-four hour period starting at 6:00 AM on Saturday, 29 July. That's 48 posts during the period. Crikey! My contribution to the effort will be two blogbits, and I've decided to share my greatest FolkFest musical epiphanies in at least one of them. And no, my decision has nothing to do with inertia. Although I've now come to realise that procrastination can be serendipitous...

So where do you, Dear Friends, come in? Well, we're looking for sponsors to pledge their financial support to this endeavour. Bethanne has chosen to raise money for Global Fund for Women, a body that efficiently and effectively makes grants to women's rights and justice organisations around the world. To register your support, simply click on this link. Every little bit helps, and I thank you for your generosity. Be sure to check back in at CTASLS on Saturday and watch our team weave a web of musical postings that will ensnare you.

Dear Friends, you must forgive me if I seem a little breathless tonight. You see, I just came back from seeing the bittersweetness and light that is Camera Obscura live and in persons. They were lovely. So lovely. And Traceyanne Campbell is just wonderful. Sigh. I promise to tell you more, much more, very soon, but right now I think I'll hyperventilate if I talk any more about them.

"Oi FiL, wot abaht us wot don't like al this soft stuff yer spewing??" Well, my Dear Angry Friends, I have something for you too. You see, today I got in the post my very own copy of the newly released Sex Pistols' 'Spunk' CD (buy here). Yes, that's right, the legendary, bootleg first album containing raw versions of those classic ditties we all learned at Mother's Doc Marten shod feet. Johnny Rotten's voice, huskier and rougher than on 'Never Mind The Bollocks' still brings a shiver to the spine. It also features original bassist Glen Matlock, Steve Jones having done both lead and bass guitar honours on 'Bollocks.' But that's for the trainspotters out there, not you hard lot wanting to pogo a go-go...

Sex Pistols - Feelings (No Feelings)
Sex Pistols - No Future (God Save The Queen)