Mar. 27th, 2017

ateolf: (Knoxville Boi)
Just got back from Big Ears and Knoxville and now I have the insane task of trying to remember and talk about it all! Had an awesome time so yeah. Let's see what details I can remember. Well, I know we set off on the road Tuesday evening. I'll assume the drive up was pretty uneventful. I don't remember much about it. Except I ate a strawberry moonpie (is this something new?) from a gas station on the way and it was terrible. Thought we'd stop off somewhere on the way but we made good time and got all the way to Knoxville that night. The hotel we had booked for the rest of the nights was full so we went to another one in the same area (ended up being slightly nicer and not quite as cheap as the one we stayed at the rest of the time).

Okay so then we sleep and wake up the next day. I woke up kinda early (so added onto my pile up of days with not nearly enough sleep). Well we head off and go do things. First is breakfast or what I think should be breakfast at this place but they ended up stopping breakfast at the specific time of 10:45 (which was exactly the time we showed up). But the had a really really delicious club sandwich that had benton bacon and gouda so I guess all was not lost. After that we drove around downtown to get the lay of the land and see where all the venues were and to strategize and stuff. Then a swing by a few record stores. There was one that's more of a comic shop that didn't have much of anything, then by this one called Lost & Found that didn't have much but I picked up this cd: Severed Heads: Cuisine with Piscatorial (listening to it now, questionable how wise a purchase it was, we'll see after I've listened to the whole thing). After that we met Mary Beth's friend Erin for some oysters at this place called Shuck. So it was good to see her and hang out and chat and all that. After that we went up to Jackson Terminal to pick up our wristbands and check out merch. My memory of the order of all my merch purchases might be a little off, but we'll push forth and I'll do my best (I'm the kind of nerd to whom that actually seems to matter). I know I picked up a Big Ears shirt and I think I picked up a cd: Sonic Circuits V (labelled as "new electroacoustic music from the U.S., Canada, Norway, France, and England" I'm not even sure who it's connected with in the festival but that description sold me). This record store Wild Honey had their own little "store" area so I checked out what they had and picked up a few cds: Henry Grimes Trio: The Call and Roedelius: Selbstportrait. The restaurant we were at that morning was in the same strip as their actual store but I thought they were vinyl only so I skipped it. This event changed my mind for later. Okay so after that we hit up a few bars. The first one was this one where they brew their own beer but not in a fancy way almost feels like someone's garage on a larger scale. Mary Beth was really into their beer. What was it called? Crafty Bastard. There was a food truck outside which I happened to catch literally at like the last minute and I grabbed some food. It was called Chicken Coop and we had a few chicken sliders that were really good. Also I was gonna get fries but then he convinced me to get the potato spring rolls. Well, I come back and he had just given me both anyway. So the spring rolls were awesome and the fries were too (he gave us buffalo sauce fixin's which Mary Beth especially loved). Then we went to this other bar called Schulz Brau which is another brewery and it's in a little castle building (Erin couldn't remember the name and said to just look up "beer castle"). Their house beers were all German styled. Mary Beth wasn't as into it. Not sure why I'm giving all this detail here as I didn't drink any of the damn beer, but there you have it.

So now were up and about again for Thursday, the first day of the festival! There was some morning stuff but we opted not to go to any and got the chance to sleep in a bit and I got the one night of good sleep the whole time (definitely good considering the days I went before the trip and needing to recharge before the next few days of craziness). We really didn't do breakfast so much as go straight to lunch at this Laotian place Erin told us about called Sticky Rice. It was pretty good, had a pork chop and some sticky rice and fried pork skins. Then we went back to where Wild Honey is and they did have cds (though not a huge section, vinyl is their main thing). I picked up Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Press Color. They did have a lot of pretty awesome vinyl stuff up on the walls, but priced knowing how awesome and collectible it is (don't blame 'em, but wasn't in the market for spending that way, I mean, they had regular priced records too, but those weren't the ones that caught my eye as I usually don't look at vinyl as I don't usually buy it). Next we went across the bridge and drove by where Disc Exchange used to be (back when I was at school in Knoxville, I used to walk down there from the dorms sometimes to buy cds, I walked around a lot back then). The sign's still there. I knew it closed kinda recently. It's now an extension of some baby supplies store. But the sign's still up with a little sign hanging beneath with the current business's name. This was on the way to Basement Records. It was another one that wasn't so great, but I did pick up a couple cds: Ceramic Dog: Your Turn and Om: Conference of the Birds. What did we do next? We figured out parking. Parked right in front of the Mill & Mine (one of the main venues). Parking over there was very very cheap. We ended up walking back to Crafty Bastard (technically in a different part of town but pretty close, really just on the other side of the interstate). This time I tried their apple ginger beer that was really good.

Okay now we start the festival! Back to the Mill & Mine for the opening ceremony. Got to see Knoxville's mayor name drop Captain Beefheart album titles (in a purposefully forceful manner, the guy who started the festival used to run a club back in the day called Ella Guru so she was doing it in tribute to him). Then they had a few kids from organizations that give music lessons to low income children come up and perform. I enjoyed the percussion ensemble. After a bit the first festival performance was Nief Norf. They did a performance of Pauline Oliveros's "Single Stroke Rolle Meditation." They were on the floor amongst us. I could see the one guy rolling a cymbal but thought I heard other instrumentation. Later I saw some more percussion set up around the room. Couldn't see them through the crowd at the time. After a few minutes of this percussion "drone" people started heading out. But a good number stayed. They followed this with Michael Gordon's "Timber" in a hexagon formation of wooden planks in the middle of the room. It was more good percussion minimalism (this one pretty reminiscent of Steve Reich). I had most of my shows at the same Mill & Mine venue that night. Dave Harrington Group quickly followed Nief Norf. They were pretty good. I'd probably lump them as jazz fusion. Parts were reminiscent of In a Silent Way. Sometimes kinda ambientish. There was some shredding but it was mostly good. After that I had a break so I walked down to the Terminal for some food. They had three restaurants with tables and the setup was pretty good and quick. The menus were limited to a few quick things and you paid at a separate table at the end. There was never any waiting and the food was good. I went with Sweet Pea's (a barbecue place) barbecue sundae (no ice cream, just like all of their food including mac and cheese and cole slaw and barbecue crammed in a bowl together, good stuff). I think I checked out more merch as more kept getting added throughout the festival. I think this time I picked up Musica Elettronica Viva: Symphony No 106, Electroacoustic Septet: Seven, and Richard Pinhas/Merzbow/Wolf Eyes: Victoriaville Mai 2011. Exciting stuff. So exciting I'm gonna cut here and continue the first evening in another post!
ateolf: (Robert points the bone at you)
After my meal and bit of shopping (also, found out Lonesome Dove, one of the food vendors, does breakfast so made a note of that as well!) I went back up to the Mill & Mine to see Anna Meredith. She was pretty good. A lot of interesting things (sometimes bordered on whimsical a little more than I typically like, but overall there was more good than bad). The guitarist got a bit shreddy but oftentimes in this Fripp/computerish way that could be cool. I enjoyed it but I didn't feel too bad cutting out a few minutes early to make it down to The Square Room to check out Matthew Shipp & Bobby Kapp. That was REALLY good. Possible the best jazz show I saw the festival (and I saw a few great ones). Pretty free-form, piano and drums. Matthew's playing reminded me of Cecil Taylor in a lot of places. At one point he was reaching into the piano to pluck the strings directly, that was fun. Considered leaving early to get to Blonde Redhead in time, but I knew I was enjoying this more than I would that so I stayed til the end. The Mill & Mine (where most of the shows I saw were) is the northernmost of all the venues and a little removed from the rest. Anyway, I made it up there for Blonde Redhead. I missed their first few songs but that's okay. They were billed as performing the album Misery Is a Butterfly (which I think is kinda mediocre, definitely not bad like the one that came after it, but the least exciting of all their stuff I own, I think there's one song I really like and the rest is just okay). They were playing with a string quintet and their performance was a little staid even given the source. It wasn't a bad show but it didn't blow me away. The came back for a short set after the album and played some new stuff with the strings for half of it and played the rest as just a three piece. They still didn't play anything from before the album in question. They were more energetic as a three piece. I was hoping for at least one older song from back when I liked them, but no luck. Ah well.

At this point I'll take a little break and mention something I realized I forgot. The first day in Knoxville, while scoping out the venues and the lay of the land downtown, we stopped to do some planning/routing at this pharmacy with a soda fountain and got some ice cream stuff. Not really that noteworthy, but I like mentioning stuff. I'll also take advantage of the break to talk a little about the layout of this festival. There were nine main venues (not counting the Terminal which was like the headquarters) spread all over downtown. Downtown Knoxville isn't huge as downtowns go, relatively small, but still a good amount of space to cover when going back and forth between different venues. A few were close together, but the Mill & Mine is a little apart (with The Standard being pretty close). The Knoxville Museum of Art is also a little removed from everything else, over by the Sunsphere (Wigsphere) on the western edge of downtown. So, with festivals there's the standard issue of maybe having to miss some things you'd like to see due to conflicts where something else you want to see is playing at the same time. This setup has the added effect of limiting you not just by time but spacetime as well. If you've got two shows you want to see that don't necessarily overlap but they're at opposite ends of downtown and then maybe you'd have to go to one end and back right after for another show, that limits you as well as you might take up half the show just walking (and you're doing so much walking and standing as it is, all day). Anyway, not as easy to fill in every gap as it would be in other festivals where everything is closer. On the other hand, it does provide a nice atmosphere that feels integrated with the city and intimate in its own way. So that was kinda nice. Give and take I guess. It mostly limits some things you're a little interested in or curious about if they're too soon and too far.

Now we're on Friday. We did get up to make it to stuff in the morning. There was this show I was going to go to real early but we were a little late. I had some time to catch part of it, but I wanted to be early to Matmos. We got some breakfast tacos as well as these biscuit and gravy doughnuts (sounds weird but was amazing) and checked out the merch again. At some point, Wild Honey got some new stuff in so I'll assume it was then and I picked up: Brian Eno: Music for Films and Tortoise: TNT. So I rush down to the Tennessee theater (the biggest venue, and old ornate Orpheum-styled theater) to see Matmos. Well, I felt dumb that I rushed so early as they weren't letting anyone in yet and I had to sit on the sidewalk for thirty minutes (and there really wasn't even a line yet). Anyway, the show was good. Not nearly as good as when I saw 'em at Day for Night (doing the Ultimate Care II show). They were doing an interpretation of Robert Ashley's "Perfect Lives (Private Parts)." They did three sections: "The Park," "The Bar," and "The Backyard." In the first there was a string section and flautist accompanying along with two singers who punctuated with repeating key phrases (spoken but in kind of a singerly way). The one guy did electronics and the other Matmos guy just read the text. In the second part they did a complete wardrobe change and the strings/flute were replaced with piano. It fit with the piece, but the piano was mostly doing a kind of boogie woogie thing. The last section was the best. It was just the two Matmos guys and the one guy was playing acoustic guitar and synth along with reading the text. From what I understand, all the text was based on but different from Robert Ashley's original. After that I walked over to the Knoxville Museum of Art to catch The University of Tennessee Electroacoustic Ensemble. This was really awesome. There were a bunch of musicians spread around the bottom floor in this big open room in these little stations around the room. There were different electronic instruments (one synthesizer, an EML no less) and different acoustic instruments (traditional band stuff). Really enjoyable experimental stuff. After a while the musicians went upstairs where there were other musicians in similar stations in a couple different rooms. So you could walk back and forth between the rooms and hear different things. Towards the end the initial musicians went back downstairs and picked back up again. Even though it wasn't a "real" band (stupid distinction I'm not actually making) it was one of the better performances I got from the festival. They had some cdrs out on a table so I picked one up: The University of Tennessee Electroacoustic Ensemble: Vantablack. I had a good amount of time to make it up to the Mill & Mine so I took a leisurely stroll back up that way. The next act was American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). A string quartet (at least for this performance, mostly). The first piece was just a cello solo. Then the rest of the strings came out. They ended with Charlemagne Palestine's "Strumming Music" with a larger group including a percussionist guitarists and vocalists. They were really good. Modern classical stuff. I picked up their cd Thrive on Routine from the merch table. I probably took a break and ate something like a sandwich from The Tomato Head at the Terminal. Anyway, next was Jóhann Jóhannsson's "Drone Mass" (also performed by American Contemporary Music Ensemble). Jóhann wasn't onstage during the performance but he did come out for the applause at the end. That was also really good. I picked up his Orphée cd from the merch table. Would have gotten a t-shirt too but the biggest they had were mediums (European mediums at that!). Mary Beth had met back up with me for that show and we continued the night together (and the rest just stayed at the Mill & Mine). After a gap we watched Colleen. She was really good. We sat out on the patio and listened watched her sound check through the window. I think we had some tacos from Goose Island's tent on the outside of the venue. Mary Beth was getting very excited 'cuz she was soundchecking all her favorite songs. The set was really good. We got up front and people were yelling at us to sit down. See, this is not a venue with seats. People were sitting on the floor, which is something they did at some of the shows there and not others. If there were seats, I'd understand the complaint. But we ignored them. Other people were standing too. The show was really good. Afterwards we sat outside again and these people approached us saying someone recognized us as having painted murals in Memphis. So yeah, that's not something we've done. But after mentioning we are from Memphis, well they're from Memphis and we talked a bit. They do a podcast about experimental electronic music so I got pretty intrigued. I checked it out later. It's called Sonosphere. Looks like it's got some awesome stuff. Also, the first post was about that Wolf Eyes show here a few years ago. Awesome. Mary Beth brought up my festival so when I had to talk about it I kinda flubbed it up. Anyway, we went back inside to catch Tortoise. They were also really good. Lots of really good shows, hell. The drumming was pretty spectacular especially the one guy (they switched it up a bit, two drum sets on stage, not always both played at the same time, but sometimes). The one guy who does the most drumming was really badass and he beat the shit out of those drums. He was playing synth at one point and the cameraman who was filming on stage was right on his back and I thought it was kinda funny, looked like he was humping him. Later, going back to the synth from the drums, he waved his arm at the guy and yelled at him to keep his distance. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought it was a little unusual. I picked up a t-shirt and Tortoise: s/t from the merch table.

Now we're on to Saturday. This was the most eventful day of the festival for me, unsurprisingly. Let's see if I can get everything in. I grabbed a couple breakfast tacos from the Terminal which I ate walking while rushing down to the Regal Riviera to catch the screening of Instrument (with Jem Cohen and Guy Picciotto doing a q&a afterwards). And I made it just in time. The movie was really good. Mostly just footage. Live footage and clips of things. I thought the way it was structured was really good. Hard to explain. I'll try to talk about it the best I can while not neglecting all the live music and things I saw this festival. Okay. Impressive moment during a show at a gymnasium: drums are under a basketball goal and Guy jumps up and climbs through the hoop and hangs upside down and proceeds to sing. Speaking of drums, Fugazi's drummer! (He has a name, Brendan Canty). There are clips of this interview Ian and Guy did with with a girl in middle school for some school program with awkward pauses and camera edits and nervously scripted questions and it was pretty wonderful. A good bit of 90s nostalgia to be mined from the clothing and the number of benefit shows. They had bits where they did headshot kinda things of people in line for the shows, but the most memorable of this stuff was coincidentally enough outside the Knoxville show where they actually interviewed people. The negative comments were amusing. The band apparently liked those and hated the compliments and Jem Cohen (the director) I guess had to fight a little bit to get any of the positive comments in. The guy who moderated the q&a was actually one of the people in the movie with one of those positive comments. I really liked the movie a lot and the q&a was pretty cool too. It went on a long time so I didn't get to catch much of Meredith Monk's set at the Bijou. I caught about the last twenty minutes. What I saw was really good. Operatic and modern. After that I head over to the Tennessee (luckily all these are in the same area within a couple blocks of each other) to catch Xiu Xiu's performance of Twin Peaks music! Well, I'll leave you in suspense as I head off to create a new post.

Big Days

Mar. 27th, 2017 10:19 pm
ateolf: (zoo and you)
For Xiu Xiu I got as close and center as I could get. It was a pretty great set, the one I was most looking forward to coming here. It also came at the cost of the most painful skipping of another show at the same time: Roedelius. Agh! At least Mary Beth got to go to that show so we could spread the love. But Xiu Xiu was really good. I have the album they put out last year so it was like that, but awesome to see it live. They had footage projected behind them, but it was very minimal. It was just three successive images that looped. The first was the stairs with the fan at the top. The second was slo-mo trees blowing in the wind. The third was a close up of the fan. Jamie did a Leland impersonation towards the end that was pretty sweet. I could tell people were uncomfortable during "Sycamore Trees" because the music was very soft and quiet and Jamie Stewart was at peak Jamie Stewart and awkwardly loud (in a good way, but a way that made many people uncomfortable). This was the only show we overhead multiple people talking negatively about. Later in the day at a restaurant we heard this guy talking to the person he was with about it saying how much he loves the original music and how they made it sound too much like Xiu Xiu. Later at the art museum the next day some more people were talking about it with similar comments. Mary Beth wrote them down. I'll try to get the quotes later. Amusing stuff. After this I book it in high high gear all the way up to the Mill & Mine. I made it "on time" but then everything was behind anyway and I waited fifteen minutes before they pulled down the ropes to let us in anyway. Musica Elettronica Viva played in the middle of the floor as well. Everyone sat down encircling them. One guy played piano and the other two had keyboards/laptops (one had a little Moog Mother 13). They were good, musique concrète-ish stuff, electroacoustic to use a term I'm using a bunch anyway, improv, it was good. I'd only heard something of theirs from back in the 60s or whatever. I think I go to the Terminal maybe. I may have missed some stops and purchases. At some point I picked up from the merch table: Harmonia: Musik von Harmonia, Hans-Joachim Roedelius & Tim Story: Inlandish, and Qluster: Rufen. At another time later, I picked up: Meredith Monk: Songs from the Hill / Tablet, Meredith Monk: Our Lady of Late, and Carolina Eyck with American Contemporary Music Ensemble: Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet. I know the latter purchase was at least later in the day Saturday because it was after I actually saw her. Can't quite place the times on these though. Mary Beth met up with me and we continued the rest of the night together. Back to the Mill & Mine for Colin Stetson's "reimagining" of Gorecki's third symphony. I think this was the show where we were up close and then this girl cut in and got next to this guy right in front of Mary Beth and she couldn't see anymore so we went to the back. The show was really good. Yeah. So we make it to The Standard to see Jessica Moss. I'll say she was good, I keep saying things were good! She did violin and lots of pedals. She did loops and drones and played with effects. Side note: she's in A Silver Mt. Zion. I was enjoyed it but we had to leave about halfway through to make it down to the Bijou to catch Henry Grimes's set. That was fantastic. He had an interesting setup. He played bass as he does and he had a drummer, cellist, and flautist. I felt really privileged to have gotten to witness him play. Next we had to book it all the way back up to the Mill & Mine to catch Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. That venue was still running behind so we weren't late. She was really good. Makes sense she's collaborated with Suzanne Ciani as her sound's pretty similar (and Buchla, though she uses the electronic easel). Some drunk guy kept bumping into me which was mildly annoying, that was really the only show where that typical drunken obnoxiousness played out at all, and still it was really mild. Mary Beth's feet were too tired to make it down to the Bijou again (and back up to the bridge between the venue and Jackson Terminal where our car was afterwards) so we did the only between shows driving the whole festival. It was pretty late so traffic and parking was lighter and more available than most parts of the day. That made things easier. Supersilent was fucking awesome. Mostly droney with jazzy little flourishes (I'll make another In a Silent Way comparison) and often really noisy. A few times these chaotic, loud percussive blasts happened and number of people left at that point. They were another one of the better performances of the festival. Really glad I got to see them.

Okay, back up and sleepy for another day. Sunday! The final day of the festival. I picked up some more breakfast to eat while walking to my first event. Oh, I also picked up my final cd: Colin Stetson: Sorrow: a Reimagining of Gorecki's 3rd Symphony. Okay so I'm walking on the bridge and who do I walk right past but Colleen! (I know that's not her actual name.) Though I happen to be stuffing a biscuit and gravy doughnut into my face as I'm passing her so yeah. I make it down to the Tennessee theater to catch a screening of Meredith Monk's only film Book of Days. I wasn't able to catch the whole thing because of another event, but what I saw of it was really incredible. I'm going to have to track it down and watch the whole thing later. I went back to Jackson Terminal for a panel discussion on the impact of Pauline Oliveros's work. It was with Allan Curran (of Musica Elettronica Viva) and a lady whose name I forget and isn't in the program (Mary Beth saw her play piano later at a performance that I wasn't at, I think she runs an organization of some sort as well, I forget shit). It was mostly Allan talking about knowing her back in the day, but ooh here's a fun spot to leave off. Something very special happened afterwards. I was in a performance! To be continued after the cut.

The End

Mar. 27th, 2017 11:09 pm
ateolf: (Knoxville Boi)
The performance! It's of Pauline Oliveros's "Rock Piece." We try to form a circle inside but there's not enough room so we go out onto the patio. While going out I walk right past Jamie Stewart who was in attendance! Too bad he didn't go out with us or I could have said I've played with Jamie Stewart. Yeah. Okay, enough dorkiness. So we all form this huge circle. First we do this hand squeezing around the circle thing but then we get these rocks someone had gathered ("resonant" rocks or something). So we're supposed to find a rhythm and keep that rhythm irrespective of anyone else's rhythm and if we happen to sync up with someone we need to stop and find a new rhythm. Okay, there's a rock shortage so I just pick one rock and I'm going to hit against the concrete (instead of two rocks against each other). I almost immediately crack the rock in two. Well, that kind've solves the problem. I now have two rocks to hit against each other (though one piece was much smaller than the other). Anyway, that was a lot of fun. Oh, also those podcast people were there and we talked with them a bit more before the panel. Next we walk across to the Knoxville Museum of Art for Flicker & Wow 1 (a screening of experimental short films). It was good, a couple were really good. Between the next screening Nief-Norf was playing again with Michael Pisaro playing a few of his pieces. Very minimal. The first was a solo for snare drum that consisted of rubbing a series of things against it and later pouring various (solid) things on it. Then a few more pieces. This is a day I'm very tired so maybe not the best day to appreciate this, but it was pretty good. Not the best of the experimental kind of performances, but still good. Then Mary Beth went to see something that sounds like it was amazing and I'm sad I missed (it was her favorite show the whole festival) and I stayed for Flicker & Wow 2. The first one in this was the best of the shorts. It was called...crap. I kept the program but I can't find it. Let me check my memory. I think it was by someone named Christina Nguyen. Okay, memory failed me for the title but google didn't (I did get the name right though): Parallel Inquiries. Okay, after that I have a little time so I walk to the square and eat at this bar called The Stock & Barrel. I ate a burger with benton bacon and blueberry jam. It was good though maybe so over the top gourmet all the awesome elements almost cancelled each other out? Anyway, it was a big ass burger and I was hungry. I walked down to the Tennessee theater to catch Deathprod. Mary Beth ended up making it over there after me and I switched seats to be next to her. It was very dark. The whole stage (and a very tall stage it is) was filled with fog machine (Supersilent used a lot of fog as well, a Norwegian thing?) and he sat alone at this small table with a laptop. A single spotlight shone down through the fog and distance amidst the stark darkness. It was a pretty awesome visual effect. Very minimal but very striking, especially given the height of the theater. It was a pretty great drone set. At a few points he hit hard with these very loud, very noisy stabs. A few people left, but some people moved even closer. After it I went right over to the Bijou to catch Henry Threadgill. There was a line outside so I got in. This old couple behind me also came from Deathprod and were talking about it. It was pretty endearing. They were talking about it to some friends of theirs and were saying they were up in the balcony but came down to the floor because they had to feel the physical vibrations. They said they couldn't call it "mood music", "all mood but no music, there wasn't any music to be found." So they had this interesting takeaway that was slightly confounded by it but also positive, they didn't "understand" it but they enjoyed the sheer force and power of it on a possible physical level. And I don't say this talking down on them. I think it's pretty awesome they allowed themselves to get out of their comfort zone and find something to appreciate in a music that's typically alien to them. And I think that somewhat demonstrates a lot of what I feel about more experimental or extreme music, most of what turns people away is a lack of familiarity more than anything else and if people are willing they can get past what's unfamiliar and it might even be possible to appreciate the pure sound of what they might not even consider music. A lot of that is what I'd LIKE to accomplish with my festival, but I'm rambling now. Henry Threadgill was a good show. It was another unusual setup for a jazz band: drums, cello, tuba(/sometimes he played trombone), acoustic guitar and Henry mostly conducted/orchestrated but sometimes he played (mostly flute or double contrabass flute [I had to look that up, never seen nor heard of] and a little saxophone). It was more composed than the other jazz I saw, but it still had "free" elements. And it was kinda angular/jagged in a way though closer to being more traditional, it still wasn't quite that. It was kinda unique and didn't quite sound like much I could put in my vocabulary other than it did sound like jazz. It often had fusion elements, especially in the drumming. Alright. Then it was back up to the Mill & Mine for Xiu Xiu's final performance. We got to watch them sound check. Jamie just sang "meow meow meow" for all his vocal checks. We got right up front center for this one. Okay, this was a great fucking show. Probably my favorite of the whole festival. They were only a two-piece (they were a three-piece for the Twin Peaks show, Angela was at that one but not at this one). Oh, I forgot to mention how awesome Shayna's drumming was on that first Twin Peaks show (when she drummed, sometimes she played vibraphone and with the Twin Peaks score, there was a lot of vibraphone). Anyway, it was still awesome at this show though she didn't play a full kit, she was standing up, no bass drum though now there were gamelanish cymbals and she could dance around while drumming (though she almost kinda did with the sit-down kit). Jamie was very theatrical and, again very Jamie Stewart. A few songs he freaked out in the most amazing way. "I Luv Abortion" was amazing. There was another song he freaked out on and I forget which. They did the best version of "Fabulous Muscles" I've heard. The version of "Sad Pony Guerilla Girl" was incredible. It was all just very very good. Damn. Hard to go into. I was very happy after that show.

Anyway, I'm back home now. To get there we drove back home! Slept in a little this morning and got some much needed catch-up sleep. Stopped and had breakfast at this place in Knoxville called OliBea. We were standing outside deciding whether to go there or the tamale place across the street and a guy walking buy heard us and insisted that it was really good and we should eat there so we took his advice. It was good though maybe a little overly fancy. The biscuits were amazing in the technical feat of how soft and fluffy and melty they were, but the best biscuits have SOME heft to them (I'm sure difficult to do, but they're heavy things with a lightness infused into the heaviness, makes no sense I know but it's like taking the quality that makes the best biscuits so good and taking it so far that they're no longer biscuits, I shouldn't try to be a food critic, again they were good but it seems like in being fancy they missed something of the point somewhere, but then again I guess it's good both things can exist, but they can't outdo Bryant's biscuits with pure fanciness). Then we had the best of both words 'cuz we got tamales to go for the drive home. That was pretty uneventful. We stopped at a point to at the tamales. First attempt I turned off on Cuba Landing exit to find a place to stop and eat but we took a turn down a small road by a redneck nutjob's house and were turning around to head back when these dogs kept getting in front of the car. Managed not to hit them and hit the road and stopped to eat later. The rain was bad around then. I also took a route I'd never taken before, I-840. Saw something about taking it to avoid downtown Nashville. Well, it was the middle of the day on a weekday thought that might be a good idea. Not sure if it saved time or was the same time or what. It was very scenic. Okay, back home to Trudy and post this stuff and I'm losing coherency. If I can remember any of the stuff I've forgotten I'll post it up here later!

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