Or, that festival where I was sick the whole time.
I was going to do a post dedicated to Merge, but since I was sick, missed several shows, and had to sit the majority of the time, most of my photos are like this:
Waiting for the day party to start.
You can’t see the Love Language really, who are on stage (they played all the hits, seriously, a fantastic set), but there’s Mikal Cronin watching them. And Margaret Cho, the day’s emcee, on the left. I had to hide in the shade.
My favorite film cam stayed in my luggage and I didn’t even turn on my borrowed point and shoot digital camera.
A few musical notes: if the reunited The Rock*A*Teens tour in your area, you should FUCKING GO. Early in their set, a fuse blew and Chris’ voice got really quiet. They started the next song–“Car And Driver,” a total classic–and it sadly suffered the same sound problems. But just as the chorus hit, the band was loud as shit and messy and great again and everyone clapped.
Also the best: Ex Hex (Mary Timony’s new all-girl DC punk band) & the lovely & amazing Eleanor Friedberger (above).
Five years ago, at XX Merge, Twitter was just picking up as a method of online communication. I didn’t have a smart phone, but I was able to send tweets from my phone and had my husband search the #xxmerge hashtag when we were out of the hotel room. When Lambchop played on Friday and electrified the crowd, everyone seemed to turn to Twitter to talk about it. It felt so exciting to be a part of this new way to connect to people online–in fact, we met some really great friends at the show that way.
This year, we had a new way to explore the festival via social media: Instagram. My husband, who was Merge 25’s officical photographer, posted photos in between bands from unusual locations: behind the drum kit, at the side of the stage… And his photos BLEW UP on Instagram. It seemed like the attention was just online, but at Saturday’s outdoor show, where there was a photo pit, he had people introduce themselves to him all day and complimenting his ‘grams. While Twitter was still active, it seemed like Instagram replaced it as the social media platform connecting people at the festival. I wonder what we will all use at Merge 30!
Or, when I scan ALL THE REVIEWS for new music.
I am glad this style of garage power pop is returning, though I don’t know if my old lady ears can stand prolonged periods of bratty pop punk. I like Actual Water’s record Call 4 Fun–but the opening track, about the health benefits of taking the stairs, showcases the band’s humor and songwriting skills the best.
Emma Kupa, the singer for the now-defunct UK pop group Standard Fare, has a few new-ish projects. I keep forgetting to bookmark them after I find them, which worries they do not have the lasting power of SF for me.
Habibi is on the great Burger Records and their songs make me want to have solo dance parties with boxed wine and wooden spoon microphones.