Sunday, August 4, 2013

Interstellar Rodeo Festival in Edmonton Day 2 July 27th 2013

Saturday was day two of the Interstellar Rodeo Festival and the first band of the day was the Mike Plume Band. My buddy Hurl and I made sure to be there early as we weren't going to miss Mike Plume. This was my seventh time seeing Mike Plume perform. Mike started his music career here in Edmonton but is now based in Nashville, so it is always a treat to see Mike Plume play in town. I was really looking forward to his performance as he has just released his first new album in four years. His newest album is called "Red and White Blues", and I couldn't wait to hear him play some new tunes from the album. Even though it was an early start of 12:30 in the afternoon, there was a great turn out for his performance. And as always Mike didn't disappoint, playing an hour long set mixed with new stuff and older material. The new songs he did from "Red and White Blues" were the title song the great sing along song "Coming Home Again" and "Five Crow Silver". My only complaint I have is about his set is that I was really hoping to hear the song "Live It Up Until They Lower me Down" also from his latest album. But he made up for that by playing his Stompin' Tom Connors tribute song "So Long Stompin' Tom". That song will always bring a tear to my eyes as Stompin' Tom was one of my all time favorite musicians. Oh ya, Mike also did a really cool version of the song "More Then A Game" from his 2009 album 8:30 NFLD. A great set, even if it did rain through out his whole set. Which made Mike Plume make the comment "if any farmers are in a dust bowl and need some rain, book us to play, and guaranteed it will rain". This was also the first time had seen Mike Plume with a steel guitar player in the band. Another great show by Mike and band.

Mike Plume.

Next band up was a band called The Good Lovelies from Toronto. They are a trio consisting of Caroline Brooks, Sue Passmore and Kerri Ough, who play a country/folk style of music. I had never seen or heard of the band before, but looked in to seeing what they were about beforehand and saw that it was three ladies playing together. Hey, nothing wrong with checking out three good looking ladies playing music. The ladies put on a good show and their in between song banter was full of funny stories. I thought they put on a good show.

Good Lovelies.

Up next was Kurt Vile from Philadelphia, a musician that I have heard about but never listened to before. Seems he has been very hyped in the last couple of years. I was looking forward to seeing and hearing his music, as I heard he had a psychedelic feel to his music. And his latest album "Wakin On A Pretty Daze" has been talked about a lot as well.

I know there were quite a few people at the festival looking forward to seeing this guy. Well, with the sky overcast and raining off and on, it was getting to be a little bit of a downer afternoon. When Kurt Vile came on stage with is massive head of hair hiding his face and him strumming away and singing awful, this wasn't shaping up to be good. After about three lo-fi downer songs, I had heard about enough and just wanted to go sit in the bushes outside the venue with the rain falling on me and stick a needle in my arm. This just really felt like heroin music to me, like something you would want to listen to while you nod out your trying to keep your chin from hitting your chest. I was not impressed by his set at all, to say the least. I can say though, by the end of his set he has started to rock it up a bit, which when he was rocking reminded me a bit of the band Pavement, that was a little better. Nonetheless, can't say I cared for him too much. He had a great turn out for his set and a lot of people seemed to enjoy him. As the day went on, I talked to a few people and always had to ask " what did you think of Kurt Vile?". The answers I got were always, they either loved him or absolutely hated him. I would have to lean to the latter myself. I do have to admit though, it did make you talk about his performance, and that's half the battle, to have people talk about you. So maybe, after listening and knowing his music, maybe he will grow on me. I just find it real hard to see me buying any of his albums in the near future.

Kurt Vile.

Next band up on this cloudy afternoon was M. Ward. Another band I had never seen before, and anything after Kurt Vile was going to be an improvement. M. Ward has been a busy guy of late recording with She & Him, the super group Monsters Of Folk and his own solo release that came out last year called "A Wasteland Companion". M. Ward plays what I would call some greasy rock n' roll. He put on a great show with a few covers thrown in, one of them being the Buddy Holly song "Rave On". All and all a good set.

M. Ward.

Next band of the afternoon was Danny Michel and The Garifuna Collective. I had heard Danny Michel's name around, but again had never heard his music. My boss at work had said that he was good and then talking to my brother a few nights before had seen them at the Calgary Folk Festival and said the same thing. So I made sure that I would be up front to see them. And wow, am I ever glad I was!!! Danny had an amazing band from Belize in Central America backing him up, not only were they talented but one of the guys was even playing turtle shells as an instrument. Now there is something you don't see every day. Danny is such a engaging musician and a hell of a guitar player, singer and song writer. I was so amazed by the performance of Danny and The Garifuna Collective. The day was overcast, rainy, and just not a nice day til they hit the stage, then the clouds parted the sun came out and everyone grooved, danced and sang along, so fucking amazing. I can't say enough about this show. If you had to compare Danny and Garifuna to anything it would be Paul Simon';s "Rhythm Of The Saints" kind of music. After the show, I felt so fucking good, happy and had just seen a show I will not soon forget. Then they announced that Danny and band would be in the autograph tent, well, I was already determined to pick up his new album, now I was getting the chance to meet Danny and The Garifuna Collective. The line up wasn't bas so, I lined up and met the guys. I had such an awesome conversation with Danny Michel that really made me appreciate him and music and the whole concert experience. This is why you checkout bands you may never have heard of before, because once in a while, you get your mind totally blown away by and amazing music experience, and this was one of them for me. Thank you Danny Michel for being who you are and look forward to running into each other again, cause like you said "this won't be the last time we talk". Unbelievable music experience. Thanks!!!

Danny Michel and The Garifuna Collective.

Autographed album.

After Danny it was going to be some tough to top that, and no would could. Next up was Sarah Harmer, I was outside the venue chilling having a smoke, then a few beers and just thinking about what I had just experienced, so therefore I paid no attention to Sarah. Missed it, and have no regrets. After Sarah it was the last band of the night, local electronic punks/weirdos, Shout Out Out Out Out.

This was my fifth time seeing Shout Out Out Out Out live, and seeing them live is way better then there albums, to me anyways. Lead singer Nik Kozub is a bundle of energy during his performances, as the rest of the band too. Always a fun band to see live. Having said that, a lot of people left the venue when they came on. Don't get me wrong, there was still a good crowd to see this Edmonton band, but after spending all day outdoors in shitty weather, the place did empty out quite a bit. We stayed for the whole show, and it was a great performance by Shout Out yet again. A band you really do need to see live. Good times!!!

Shout Out Out Out Out.

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