Top picks for performances
The Complete Lineup (with links)
here are the rest of the performances I was able to catch...
Like Morecheeba, less funk more electronic/psychedelic, light dance music. Female vocal, 2 violins,bass, keys, melodica,vocal harmonies,NO guitar!, like "Poe" maybe a little slightly New Pornographer-ish harmonies (occasionally.) In Folkey Dokey Tent. This Band could cause a lot of attention to be focused in a setting not so saturated with anticipation of the upcoming performances.
Pete and The PiratesStraight Pop, punk with a"New Orderish" foundational sound. Could play at JJ's Bohemia in Chattanooga but need stage presence lessons from Eric Scealf. Stupid pop lyrics, (she dances like there's a fever in her brain?) Otherwise good tight Brit (Hamburg?) Rock Pop performance.
Bill CallahanHo hum, I suppose You have to be a familiar listener, I had a conversation with one fellow after asking the oft repeated question of "who did You really come here to see" and was told about Bill Callahan's legendary surly radio interviews where he berated the interviewer and etc. My own experience is that the most talented also seem to be the most gracious and the cranky & recalcitrant attitude is reserved for those who have serious issues of self doubt which are usually for a good reason. I looked forward to hearing <LiNK>"Smog" himself for the first time and hung around for the whole set but the only thing I can remember is how pathetic his guitar plinking sounded compared to all the other, lesser known acts that day. I'm not saying that Bill Callahan is not some kind of brooding genius but I guess to appreciate him he has to hold You in his armchair til You feel his disease first. Not many compliments among the audience afterward either.
Gethin PearsonYoung Vaguely Tova Rinah-ish Sometimes reminiscent of Dexy's Midnight Runners. Acoustic Guitar & Vocal, violin, keys, snare & hi-hat.
Victoria WilliamsA highly pedigreed American folk singer who has worked with the likes of Neal Young and Robert Plant??? very mellow and recognizable in vocals she also appears on Christopher Rees new CD. I met Victoria briefly and she was quite personable I'll be in touch to see if she would like to stop in to Chattanooga for a performance sometime.
Six Organs of Admittance
Voice of the Seven WoodsHighly visible British indie rock outfit,
http://www.myspace.com/theearlies A really large ensemble, reminiscent of something Sufjian Stevens might put together...More popish, new style synth pop rock. Well worth a listen on myspace http://www.myspace.com/theearlies There's a nice acid style fluidity with harmonies calculated to not freak You out while in a psychedelic mind set
FridgeTight but un-eventful. Check out infradig if You liked these guys...
Glasgow Scotland, Drag City Records http://www.myspace.com/mewzach $$
Compared to the Bill Callahan performance this guy and his full band were real musicians in the melodic folkie vein. Fully British folk flavored songs with some psychedelic stuff toward the end of the performance. Also I saw Joanna Newsom standing backstage looking all googly eyed at this performer during his set so it looks like he's developing a very interesting fan base. As long as were on the subject of Alistairs go, check out another very melodic British folkie version of Art Garfunkel-y intensity "Alastair Artingstall" www.myspace.com/alastairartingstall while you're in the proper mode.
Devendra Banhart United States, Venezuela http://www.myspace.com/devendrayeah
There's some stuff here that reminds me of Jim Morrison. A real interesting background and has generated a good deal of fans, although the one report I have from a live show he did with Joanna Newsom in Nashville was that Devendra was awful and Joanna was awesome. Another big curiosity draw.
Devendra is basically a writer and player of catchy guitar tunes, sometimes Jim Morrison-ish but more often than not needing some kind of voice training. While luxuriating in the huge crowd's attention Devendra was not seeming overly enthusiastic about actually performing well. This show comes right before releasing a very lazy and melodic new CD which is streaming in it's entirety on Myspace as I type this. Visually interesting, makes for some good rock n roll photojournalism in spite of onstage ADD.
The highlight of this performance was when Devendra asked if anyone in the audience had written a song then pulled this girl Beth Jeans Houghton onstage Kind of awkwardly (it looked like they would pull her arms out of socket.) But she managed to get up take Devendra's Les Paul and play a very British sounding folk tune while the band took a break. Obviously a setup since I'd seen this cutie wandering around the camp (who could have not noticed her?) but when finally onstage she was wearing a white armband, (at green Man You can tell the artists in the crowd by their white armbands, punters<LINK> get orange ones.
Beth Jeans Houghton's myspace page has some very complex and totally unique stuff on it. I'm looking forward to a full album from her this is obviously one strangely creative individual. Apparently she also has a sense of humor to go with all the make-up and foamflower, sort of reminds me of an early David Bowie crossed with Kate bush with a little Sgt. Pepper tossed in. Keep an eye out for this one...
Shortly after Devendra returned to the stage I made my way out of the crowd and onward to discover one of the best Mexican veggie burgers in all of Wales
Steve Malkmus & the Jicks
Since this was the final headlining act of the whole weekend and the only thing left after this was the techno DJ in at the Rumpus Room rave tent , the bonfire and the Green Man Cafe it became imperative that I make rounds in order to have as many chats with my new friends as possible and to grab up a last late night local free range sausage before all the cider ran out, a sad event for many, causing a number of frowns to appear but still no one rioted.
Steve Malkmus of Pavement fame had a sizeable crowd. They sounded tight and polished but since I'm not a huge listener of that band the rather standard sounding tunes sort of took a back seat to my wanderings although the mud had slowed me down enough to hear a good bit of their set while on my trek. I'm sure Steve Malkmus and the Jicks must have a loyal cadre of supporters in order to land him this headlining spot so I'm posting their set list for those music lovers who are more attuned to his material than I was.
Food, drink & fun in the mud
Here's the entire lineup of the 2007 Green Man festival with links to each performers online music or web site
Click on the act's name to go to their web site or myspace page and listen to their stuff.
Saturday, August 18th
Sunday, August 19th
Astounding Cultural Phenomena!
Old traditional American country, blues & bluegrass tunes being played in the disco rave tent (Rumpus Room) at an after hours party and scads of people madly dancing to it! These people are going to go absolutely delirious when they finally get to witness The Avett Brothers live. That should by my prediction happen over the next few months.
Also at one point at a very late night drunken sing along around the bonfire circle at lest 20 or so people were endlessly repeating the chorus of "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine show. "Rock me mama like a wagon wheel, Rock me mama anyway You feel, heeey mama rock me." And actually getting the melody and harmony down pretty decent. Hmm, just noticed lots of current European dates on their tour schedule.
One organization called Music not Mayhem www.myspace.com/safeconcerts on their page set me to thinking about a whole lot of possibilities for a new musical genera and wondering why this is happening in Britain while the US is being crushed under the weight of cathartic, violent music. I may NEED to go to "Vegoose" after this whole shindig is over
The Americana Movement and Parallels within British Indie Folk.
At Green Man many artists' stylistic foundations are heavily influenced by the regional folk music of Britain. Of course, over the last 50 years much electronic rock has risen alongside these same influences and reshaped the regionalist approaches and has itself become a dominant influence on the native musical foundations. One ArtFRONT mission at Green Man is to document the blossoming 21st century British indie folk movement that in some ways, parallels the Americana folk movement that is receiving a lot of attention from the more educated music lovers in the USA and abroad. The Americana movement, unlike the commercially co-opted country music industry, has early roots in musical traditions of the British Isles predating the handed-down traditions of living off the land in the Appalachians, the Cumberland mountains, Lousiana's bayou country, and mixtures of African elements as well as western swing, Tex-Mex songwriting and music from countless other regions. I have noticed that Americana is becoming the preferred musical style of the moment for many who appreciate soulful, genuine style and excellent musicianship. (As opposed to industry manufactured, pre-fab commercial styles propagated by mainstream media.) In fact the Americana style encompasses such a broad range of american music that there really is no containing the various elements from Zydeco, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Country and Rock.
Among the newer upstart stars of this genera we are finding young musicians who are not shamed by their regional dialects and are learning a very disciplined approach to their instrumentation and vocal craft while still retaining a natural element of "soul" In direct opposition to those commercial country stars who seek to manufacture their rural accents and market them to mid America. The Americana musicians embrace a naturally evolving flow of harmonies and lyric imagery which bring to mind some of the more sophisticated orchestral and literary works of North America. Groups like Nickel Creek, and Old Crow Medicine Show, are rising after older traditionalists such as Emmylou Harris, coupling the modern melodic rock of Neil Young and of course never escaping the influence of revolutionary 20th Century artists such as The Beatles, and Even David Bowie. Indeed an unfathomably huge well of influences to draw from is the swirling mix from which the new sounds arise.
When a pure talent such as Johnson City Tennessee's <LINK>the everybodyfields arises to dazzle audiences and serves to distill the essence of this movement into an "epitome" of this latter day movement it begins to make me wonder who across the Atlantic are the similar talents rising up from the genuine regional influences that have similarly developed out of regional tradition and modern aesthetics. If there are a few groups developing at this level it would be a true goldmine to discover who they are and what their sound is at this stage of the "movement." So the question could be who is Britain' s current equivalent of the everybodyfields, or Nickel Creek? Who? Who? tell me now! Tell us all.
Check out my observations of 9Bach, Rachel Unthank & Winterset and Thistle Town as well as Gruff Rhyss (of Super Furry Animals) for a tip of the iceberg brush with current British regional music. *********************************************
Maybe this belongs in cultural phenomena, maybe not, but perhaps the most endearing fashion statement was all the girls wearing....
short skirts with dark colored stockings and knee high Wellies (couldn't locate any really good photos of this combination, though I looked long and hard...) mostly Wellingtons of the drab Green variety, liberally splattered with mud. A number of the more mod fashionistas and younger kids wore bright multicolored Wellingtons. I personally would like a pair of the fire engine red ones since they to evoke the macho urgent firefighter motif. What else would look smashing with a bright yellow slicker?
I saw a book titled
"Raw Food Made Easy" (for 1 or 2 people.) I mean how hard can it be? raw food, what do You do besides wash it off (or not) and put it in your mouth?
I did pick up a lovely little diagrammatic book on
Crop Circles by Michael Glickman http://www.amazon.com/Crop-Circles-Wooden-Books-Gift/dp/1904263348
but no CD's (even though I reflexively reached for a copy of Joanna Newsom's Y's before recoiling in horror at the price. ) since they ranged in price around 12 GBP ($24 US !!) this is due to our current punishing exchange rate most likely for being the big irate belligerent behemoth of the world, while chummy British folks sloshed around calling each other "mate" and genuinely seem to like each other. Best to keep the Americans at home for a while by making everything cost double for THEM.
by the third day.
The estate metamorphosed from the lovely green fields that were so easy to pitch a tent and to sleep on as well as actually lie down and relax on on the first day of the festival to something reminiscent of a pig sty after the rains and the crowds with their brutal Wellies combined to stomp around and churn up the ground underneath the grass. I had a chat with Danny _________ the producer of the festival about restoration of the grounds and suggested immediate re-seeding before the mud had any chance to dry. This has worked well for us at the North American Rainbow gatherings when the forest trails get churned up , not by English party troopers in Wellngtons but by barefoot vagabond hippies whose feet serve to actually re-mold the trail surface after the mud begins to dry into the most pleasant and truly designed for the foot-paths You can imagine. It's magic!
"Hey, we're real sorry about the weather" drawled the guitarist from US folk-rockers PG Six during one downpour.
"It's only mud - get over it!" bellowed a punter to general approval. -from Paul Moody's Article in the Guardian' s music blog.
Due to an act of stressed out dumb packing my zoom lens traveled with me to Wales and back while my camera body was left on the kitchen table at home in Tennessee. But I had my most important item of the trade, my note pad and pencil, which also served as a handy dinner and drink tray at the festival. If You saw someone carrying around a black notepad and scribbling into it at every performance that was probably me. Someone I met there tagged me "the clipboard man." While there I met two very nice photographers who had not forgotten their cameras. Iolo Penri of Wales and Izumi Kumazawa from Tokyo. Both have offered to send me or post online photos of the events for me to use in my articles. Since making it back home and beginning to organize I have also selected several great shots of the festival that other photographers have already posted online. The Green Man festival has struck me as one of the most unique festivals on the global scene. Not that it is the biggest, (Bonnaroo happens less than an hour from where I live.) But I feel the newer artists performing at Green Man have the potential to make a lasting impact on the cultural map, which is the main reason I chose to attend this year.
Knowing full well that I can't please everyone with my opinions, no matter how valid they are, and that this article leaves out a lot of info about the festival and artists who performed, here are links to some other Green Man write ups which may serve to balance out your whole overdose. ~R.
A Review with a more English slant..less puppy eyed over Joanna Newsom & more forgiving of VOTSW. http://mog.com/Lord_Alfreston/blog_post/107099
An interesting white person's perspective of Green Man Festival as pilgrimage. South African writer Ben Oswest's article on the 2006 Green Man. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/features/article/5896/gaining-on-the-green-man-an-road-odyssey-in-four-acts/
Rant a blog magazine has an insider's view of how the festival began and evolved including how they ended up with Robert Plant this year. http://www.tilfeldigproductions.com/rantmagazine/?p=391
Another good article by someone with a good deal of familiarity with most of the bands and probably not so stressed out as to have his jars of peanut butter and blackberry jam confiscated by airport security. http://www.twistedear.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1104&Itemid=29http://www.smuckers.com/fg/pds/default.asp?groupid=1&catid=5&prodid=29
I just keep digging up more accounts here's the last one..http://www.beatrwtz.com/MASTER/sound/GREEN%20MAN.htm
I really like MOJO magazine,<LINK> it's probably in large part from their pre-coverage that I came all the way from the hills of east Tennessee to the somewhat similar hills of Wales for the festival...that and Jane Weaver on the bill, who decided to have a baby instead, plus the prospect of Robert Plant wailing from the turret of a ruined castle, which wasn't exactly the case. Mojo's print review is copied here... http://www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk/reviews2007.html
The listed complete lineup of Artists links provided courtesy of Chris Wright, the administrator of "The Unofficial Green Man Message board which You can visit at http://greenmanfest.proboards57.com/
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