Whoops, this slipped through the cracks for a while…been busy traveling to Pittsburgh, reading papers, stimulating young minds with my dazzling intellect, etc.
Hipsters watching Timbre play yet again.
Paper Route rockin’ the theremin.
The crowd was definitely into it. A very high energy show…
…which was only helped by numerous trips to the mini- drum-set above the piano.
Children 18:3 bringing their uniquely fun, cheesy, trash-punk to a sweaty tent somewhere at the festival.
Eisley packed out the Gallery Stage, complete with people lining up around the sides of the tent.
And put on what was perhaps the most solid show I’ve heard from them yet.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that earlier in the day, their little sister put on a quite decent acoustic set…
The always sultry Over the Rhine came on last, for their second set of the festival.
Ex-VOL Kenny Hutson tore it up, as usual.
All in all, a very solid show–and it was great to hear some drums again, after the last, stripped-back show we saw them at in NC. Oddly, the MC spurted on stage after the set and called it a night, despite rumors that there was at least a three song encore planned. By that point, if nothing else, everyone around us seemed royally tired out…and OTR’s famously prickly attitude toward music festivals and the events’ accompanying foibles had already been fully displayed that evening. Who knows.
There was more going on the next day, but we had to be back in DC before too long. And so it was time for the 16+ hours back to the east coast.
After coming from 98+ degree weather in DC, the cool 80s of Illinois farmland were quite welcome to wake up to. By the end of the week, the organizers were claiming it was the best weather they’ve enjoyed in 25+ years. I was quite willing to take it–especially with so many dirty hippies nearby.
We had to go into Bushnell to find some propane for the stove graciously lent to us. It was the kind of place where the store clerks called down the aisles to ask customers where was the best place for us to go…”You at that festival?” the young lady at the farming supply store five miles outside of town (past two houses, left on the paved road–not the stone one, and then you go around a long curve…) asked me. “Yep. You ever been?” She shook her head, a smile on her face. “Nope.”
The conversations we participated in during the week were, to say the least, thought provoking: “Prophetic Activism” to “Ecoterrorism,” “Understanding the Middle East” to “Songwriting…” We stumbled into this particular talk about “Reimagining Church” during our lunch hour with two crazy guys, Peter and Brad, who overtly express a commitment to social justice and community building in some unusual ways. It ended up being one our favorite discussions.
Speaking of unusual characters, Jim Fitz was an anabaptist farmer who decided to become a peacemaker. As in a human shield. In the midst of military conflict. Needless to say, he had my attention.
Because twenty some stages wasn’t enough…
Shooting some skateboarders doing tricks behind a wire fence…
mewithoutYou was as engrossing as ever, with a great selection from their discography. Aaron was as awkward as ever, but his twitch always comes across as one of humility–and his recent attempts to plumb the works of both the Sufi mystics of his youth and Christian beliefs of today and arrive at some sort of conclusion has my full sympathy. Alas, the next day would show not everyone shared my perspective, in the only truly awkward moment of the week…
The Lost Dogs put on a rollicking good show, full of their Traveling Wilburys -esque sensibilities. All of the members had been on and off the stage the rest of the day, supporting each other’s solo acts. Which was a repeated trend we saw at Cornerstone, one that I’ve never seen at a festival before. Bands/labels/music scenes sort of adopted each stage and just hung out there all day, helping out everyone who came on. It felt almost more like a musical residency, at times, than an agenda-packed festival. And that was a good thing. Anyway, the, umm, rather more mature audience around me was quite appreciative of the Lost Dogs’ (much bantered about) reliance on reading both old and new lyrics from music stands strategically sprinkled around the stage.
The band from my childhood that sealed our decision to come to Cstone was up next–but that’s a post unto itself.
Excuse my return to fanboy mode here for a moment…
For those that haven’t heard the rumors, Sixpence is reuniting. At least for a few shows this summer (none of which are near me). That said, if they bring Dale Baker and/or JJ Plascencio, my bank-account will be (even more) screwed. Because then I would simply have to go to Cornerstone, as I’ve been threatening to do for years.
That said, my greater hope is that they record again. Leigh’s solo album pretty much sucked (sorry for the French, but it was simply maudlin at best) and Matt has been laying low, apparently. But together…wow, it was great. He’s still one of my favorite songwriters of all time (up there with Linford Detweiler) and when coupled with Leigh’s Beautiful Mess-era singing…it was awesome.
Speaking of awesome, I just recently purchased the Iona Live from London DVD, thanks to Amazon Christmas money (thanks, you know who you are, kind benefactor). I’ve tried unsuccessfully to see this band everytime I travel abroad, so this is a welcome addition to our paltry DVD collection. Their tweaked synth pads are still the benchmark of organic keyboard sound for me, and the interplay between the Uilllean pipes and prog-rock sustained guitar is phenomenal. Not to mention that lady can sing. Wow. She has one of the fullest, yet clearest voices I’ve heard in rock’n’roll. The visuals to the two disc set are pretty darn good as well, although far from perfect due to a camera angle that intermittently displays a small static line and the utilization of a bad black and white cut every few shots or so. That said, I heartily recommend it for anyone who enjoys the band. As for the rest of you, check them out.
You can watch Radiohead perform the entirety of their latest album by linking off here.
And you can download some great live Muse here.
And you can watch Charlie Brown and friends lend some sugar here.