Friday, July 1, 2011

The rain applauds

Restricted Area

Last weekend, my friends and I (and more than 6,000 others) swarmed the Berkshires for the second annual Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival. Despite some rain, we had a blast. Here are some of my favorite memories of Solid Sound 2011:

  • Wandering over to MASS MoCA on Thursday, hearing a bit of soundcheck, and climbing up into the "All Utopias Fell" exhibit overlooking the grounds. Being able to explore the deserted Airstream trailer in the company of friends, lounging around and spinning tunes, was the best (pre)fest kickoff I could have hoped for.
  • Playing giant instruments in the Wunderments gallery
  • After a power surge briefly knocked out the stage lights and sound on Friday night, the swell of the audience filling in the missing lines of "Radio Cure": "Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable."
  • Neil Finn joining Wilco for a cover of Split Enz's "I Got You" on the heels of Wilco's own "I Got You." This is something my friends and I have long dreamed of, and when it happened we were beside ourselves. I hope at least some of the performers on stage heard the frenzy of shrieking excitement coming from our corner, as well as the raucous singalong. Well, maybe I don't hope for that last part.
  • Late-night samosas from Samosaman!
  • The Handsome Family performing "So Much Wine," in Courtyard C
  • Jeff Tweedy dunking both of his sons in the dunk tank ... numerous times
  • The artisanal pencil sharpening of David Rees
  • Free bags of chips and Garrett's popcorn
  • Taking part in Rob's poncho rainbow photo shoot in between showers on Saturday
  • Holding up a $3.50 tarp from the Family Dollar during a torrential downpour on Saturday evening, snug and dry and belting out song hooks and choruses for forty minutes.
  • Picture with John Hodgman (proving that Evonne is a master of predictions)
    • Seeing a Glenn Kotche solo performance for the first time in years, with the added bonus of complementary background videos. I've missed "Monkey Chant"!
    • Liam Finn's sans-microphone pop-up performance in the Nari Ward gallery, among giant orange foam snowmen
    • Pronto synththily covering the wonderful "Paris 1919" by John Cale
    • Watching Thurston Moore and Nels Cline play with such intensity as Pillow Wand. (Which, incidentally, some of us think would make a good name for a vibrator.)
    • Relaxing in the sun for Levon Helm's festival-closing set, singing along as the huge ensemble performed "I Shall Be Released" and "The Weight"
    • Escaping to Williamstown for a wonderful Sunday night dinner at a new restaurant that hasn't had its official opening yet
    • Witnessing body shots at the Artery
    • The leisurely time eating and drinking and talking in the Albany Airport wine bar on Monday evening as friends drifted away one by one (or two by two) for their flights
    Solid Sound 2011

    Solid Sound 2011

    Liam Finn

    Solid Sound 2012, you're on.

    Solid Sound 2011

    No comments: