Friday, September 12, 2008

FREEDUMB day ONE - Sept.11

Made it to Freedumb Fest! The Black Casl is a big house on a lot of land that feels like it’s way out in the country even though you drive through some kind of suburban development to get there, then turn down a bumpy dirt driveway about a quarter mile long and there you are. There’s a pond, some kind of gazebo platform in the yard, and a bonfire area. Lots of trees all around.

I set up my tent before it becomes completely dark, grab some coffee and pasta. Justin’s made a bunch of evil Uncle Sam coloring pictures and there are plenty of crayons so everyone can enter the coloring contest. There’s also a nice poster of evil Uncle Sam pushing a bald eagle into a grave with his foot and shoveling dirt on top. Most of the crew from Birmingham seem to have made the trip out and there are a few other tents up.

I’ll try to summarize some of the performances, but there’s no way I’ll give everything the time it deserves, and this was just day one. Honestly, everyone was amazing. I’m not playing tonight, so I’m just an audience member. DRUMS LIKE MACHINE GUNS kicked the festivities off at 9:11PM sharp. Loud and headbanging like always. Instead of a HYLAND HOLOGRAM set, the band fractures into solo projects tonight. CARZ WILL BURN, MINCEMEAT OR TENSPEED, and DICK NEFF. Dick Neff set was particularly awesome, Lance looped and layered up gross farting noises made using some kind of kids’ “slime” stuff, building up to a wall of noise that he played drums over, then did a “dance number.” MINCEMEAT hit a killer groove that had everyone moving. CARZ sounded super-powerful.

UH OH SPADES did some pumped synth jams. GASHY was spooky and great, especially his dirgey cover of “You’ve Got The Whole World In Your Hands.” Of course the closing act and highlight was THIS IS MY CONDITION with DAN KOZAK. TIMC is Craig playing drums and guitar at once, knocking out riffs on the guitar strings with his drum sticks. Dan plays sax, flute, harmonica, etc. This is a totally inspirational and powerful performance, really really something special. There are only about 20 people there but everyone knows they’re witnessing something special. Craig and Dan are really on fire, inventing new ways of playing their instruments right before our eyes. At one point Craig’s effects pedals are acting up and making weird noises, so he plays them by picking up the pedal and dropping it in rhythm.

Because of the good time planning the show this night ends way before the crack of dawn. Probably by 2:30AM or so. Most people still in the house seem like they’re going to keep the party going the rest of the night but I decide to retire to the tent for a bit. Some reading and then a really good night’s sleep. It’s so peaceful sleeping in the tent and the temperature is pretty nice, maybe a little warm but definitely cozy. Day 1 of Freedumb Fest down.

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