It dawned sunny that day! We did the breakfast/nap thing again, and then woke up later to do lunch with Laurie’s family in Durham, getting back in plenty of time to hit the Afrofuturism talk, which included Chuck Lightning, Reggie Watts, Janelle Monae, and Christian Rich (who were pulled in at the last moment when Mikki Blanco had to cancel) and was moderated by Kimberly Drew. The first thing they did was take apart the term as an end-all-be-all (Monae: “I didn’t get called it until I started making songs about androids and shit.”), and then proceeded to note that the audience was mostly white (Lightning: “How do y’all feel about being called ‘Anglo-futurists’?”) and Moogfesters, even though this was billed as a free event. The term found some use (Drew: “It asserts black people _have_ a future”), but most of the artists just wanted to make good music. All of them felt that these sorts of discussions should be taking place with more African American kids in the audience.
We slipped back to the hotel for a break and hit Bull McCabe’s for a quick dinner. One of the things about Durham is that it has much fewer restaurants/bars per square mile in downtown than Asheville (I know folks, it seems like they’re everywhere, but really). BMC was so slammed from the event happening on their lawn that they’d set up a reduced menu. This worked for them and they seemed to be handling the huge crowd well.
Post dinner we hit the American Tobacco Campus to catch the (also free) performance by Reggie Watts. It was coming on the tail end of a day of family friendly programming with some of the Yo Gabba Gabba crew and various other super-luminaries (too many to list, but look it up because it sounded nuts). Watts braved the threat of rain and got the massive crowd moving and chanting along with him. Exceptional show!
We had to go back to the hotel AGAIN for earplugs this time, but we managed to catch some of Empress Of in the Motorco parking lot when we got back. It was ok, danceable, some cute samples, and very fluffy. A delightful video show behind her. Many Sunn O))) fans were already in attendance under the assumption that this would be packed.
And, initially, as the clouds cleared off, it was packed-ish. As soon as Sunn O))) started, though, the crowd began… thinning. It’s almost impossible to describe a performance. My eyeballs were shaken by audio pressure waves in the low tens of Hertz. Impossibly huge gouts of fog were rolling across the stage and nearly blotting out the clearing sky. Layer after layer of subsonic feedback swam around me. The weaker patrons fled, allowing us to cover half the distance to the stage easily throughout the concert. I don’t think I could ever buy an album, but I will always buy a ticket.
L. was done for the night, so I walked her back to the hotel. I FULLY INTENDED to hit a dance party or two after that, but I sat down and started to change my shoes and LOST ALL WILL.
Next time. I promise I’ll go harder next time.
|comments: Leave a comment|