Archive - Jul 25, 2011

Music Monday - #FRFF Recap

So, it is Monday evening after Falcon Ridge. I am exhausted, but there is so much that I need to write, I figure I’ll power through this blog post, and hopefully write another one tomorrow. This one will be about some of the music

We arrived at Falcon Ridge Thursday at around noon. We set up camp, and headed to the quarry to swim and cool off. In the evening, I went up to The Lounge to hear some of the pre-festival music.

I didn’t make it there until around 6 PM and missed the first couple sets, catching only the end of Joe Iadanza, Hugh McGowan, and Marcia Hendricks’ set. Unfortunately, I listened to so much music they all kind of faded into part of the general blur.

The next set was supposed to be Charles Nolan, Chris O'Brien, and David Glaser. Unfortunately, there was a mixup and Chris O’Brien wasn’t there. I was disappointed, since Chris O’Brien was one of the performers I really liked from last year, both in some late night performances on the hill and on the main stage as an emerging artist.

I had forgotten about David Glaser. I had heard him the year before, and really liked his music. Thinking back at this point, the one song that particularly remains in my mind is “House in Baltimore”. It is a great song that I’ll want to listen to more closely again as I write other reflections on Falcon Ridge.

This was followed by a short dinner break. After the break was ilyAIMY. They sang a song entitled ‘Phantom’, talking about the itch that can’t be itched that people who have lost a limb sometimes experience, part of phantom pain, and comparing it to the phantom pain of a relationship that had gone bad. This was followed by a song about ‘Dune’. It was a really good set.

The next set was Brittany Ann, Phil Henry, and Bethel Steele. I had heard Brittany Ann last year at The Lounge and really liked her as well. I think she sang October during that set, as well as Puzzle Pieces. She was one of the Emerging Artists and sang Puzzle Pieces the next day on the main stage and it was this morning’s ear worm.

This was followed by Spuyten Duyvil, another band I really enjoyed last year, when I heard them at The Lounge as well as being one of last year’s Emerging Artists. They did not disappoint.

All of this led up to the penultimate set of Thursday evening at The Lounge, with We're About 9, Pesky J. Nixon, and Anthony da Costa. This was an incredible set. Again, much of the music blurred together, so there aren’t any particular memories, other than one point when Anthony da Costa said something to the effect of, “Okay now, time for the audience whistling solo”. The audience pulled it off incredibly. There were some great songs for singing along, and the audience also excelled there.

I figured I’d end of the evening on a very positive note, so I left before the last set, which I’m sure would have been quite good as well.

Friday afternoon was the emerging artists showcase. Twenty five different performers get ten minutes on the main stage. I had listened to each performer online already, so I had a sense of who was who. One thing that had bothered me was that many of the female vocalists sounded all the same online, sort of a generic female vocalist. However, there were two pretty amazing exceptions.

Bulat Gafarov wowed just about everyone. Falcon Ridge always has ASL interpreters. Typically when there is an instrumental piece, the interpreter does something to indicate what the music is like. When Bulat was on, the interpreter just sat there, leaning her mouth, which was open in awe of the performance, against her hand, transfixed by the performance. Perhaps that is the best way to summarize Bulat’s performance. They only other words would be overused superlatives.

The other performer that I really liked was Paul Sachs. Again, in the haze of the festival, I don’t have the clearest recollection of the songs he sang, other that Dirty Trucks. The rough and ready lyrics matched his voice for a powerful performance. These two performers clearly had to be my two to picks.

Three of the performers from The Lounge were also in the emerging artist’s show case, Pesky J. Nixon, ilyAIMY, and Brittany Ann. In my mind it was probably a three way tie between them, and at this point, I can’t remember who I picked.

I love seeing and hearing many musicians who perform regularly at Falcon Ridge. They have become old friends and their songs have found their place in my canon of favorites. Yet the Emerging Artist’s Showcase has always been a special part of Falcon Ridge for me, a chance to meet new performers to add to my list of favorites. This year, The Lounge further amplified this wonderful part of Falcon Ridge.

To be continued…

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