Posts Tagged ‘festival’

I Love Music Festivals!

August 3rd, 2015

You know what I love? Music festivals! I love them more than I like bacon on hamburgers. People ask me “Mike, what’s your favorite music festival? Bonnaroo? Coachella? SXSW?” and I say “WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING? I LOVE ALL MUSIC FESTIVALS EQUALLY LIKE THEY ARE MY CHILDREN.”


I tell you one of the things that’s so great about music festivals. Perhaps the best thing about in my mind about music festivals is how they completely remove any chance of an intimate connection between the listener and the music they’re listening to. When it’s just you watching your favorite band surrounded by a few thousand people asking each other “When is Spoon playing? Which stage are they playing? Are they playing this stage? When will this band get off the stage already so I can see Spoon?” I love that.


In the summer, when it’s ungodly hot and heatstroke is a possibility for even the healthy among us, I can go to music festivals and sit in my own sweat as the sun whips me into submission second by second. I also love to watch bands gasp for breath as sweat dries under the armpits of their shirts. BandsĀ are some of the most health-conscious people on the face of the earth. I love to watch them play their music all slump-shouldered for 2/3rds of their set in front of a dwindling but indifferent crowd.


I also love how music festivals are like a giant field party where all the attendees are turned loose like toddlers to get so high they start seeing a God they don’t believe in. It’s like they say: “Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before pills, even more thrills.” It’s almost like that’s the thing many of them enjoy the most about these events! If they can spend a night or two in a tent butt-rubbing a stranger while EDM blasts from nearby, that’s a bonus.


I also like how all the acts I want to see are playing at the same time on far-flung stages nowhere near each other. When a festival has fifty acts, I will attend it if atĀ least two acts I would want to see. The fewer I like, the better! And those two acts will play at the same time, almost always. So I get to miss one, which is always fun to choose because it makes me feel like I’m King Solomon. Some people would say I spent $280 on a weekend pass just to see Sloan. I would say life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. . . unless you have seen Sloan a few times in the past.

All Tomorrow’s Prophet

September 4th, 2014

One of my favorite concert festivals is All Tomorrow’s Parties. I have never been to any of them, but I enjoy the concept of the festival. The idea being that the festival organizers allow an artist of some renown (in past years, the Flaming Lips, Matt Groening, the guy from the Afghan Whigs, the guy from Neutral Milk Hotel, to name a few) decide on who should play the festival. So it becomes their dream festival (or as much of one as can be mustered under financial and logistical concerns). Think of it like getting a look through someone’s record collection come to life, that’s All Tomorrow’s Parties.


I have never been to the festival because they usually occur far from me. Sometimes they are in Los Angeles or New York or London or Iceland. And it’s not like I’m spoiled for festivals, what with Forecastle to the north of me and Bonnaroo to the south. But ATP is a unique one because it represents a singular vision as opposed to other festivals which offer a broad variety.


I’ve given a little bit of thought to what would happen if ATP just rang me up one day and asked me to curate a festival. A guy can dream, especially knowing that the list of acts I would put together would probably draw a total of 150 paying customers. And that’s over all three days. But I made a list anyway.


In no particular order:



The Tubes


Peter Hammill


R. Stevie Moore




Blue Oyster Cult (probable headliner)


Daniel Johnston


St. Vincent (this will be my only concession to the Pitchfork/Stereogum crowd)


Ultramantis Black


Damo Suzuki Network


Yellow Magic Orchestra




Sloan (performing the entirety of Between The Bridges, which is probably not their best or most popular album)


Unknown Hinson


Unknown Mortal Orchestra


Lee “Scratch” Perry


In addition to music, there will be a wrestling tent. Also we’d have a white-rapper tent but I’ll be damned if I’m going over there. I guess my ultimate goal is to make All Tomorrow’s Juggalo Gathering when you factor that stuff in.


PS – The white rappers have to pay to perform. I would have to make money back on the festival somehow. Maybe a few hundred people would come to the festival I put together here. But they would fly in from all over the world. I would make a few hundred music geeks jizz in their pants with this lineup.


As a gesture of public service, I’d hire Ceelo Green to sit in a dunk tank and charge people to throw baseballs at him, with all the proceeds going to rape crisis and prevention charities. I should also mention that there won’t be a target switch for people to hit with the baseballs, just Ceelo sitting without a fence in front of him.