St Jerome's Laneway Festival

Note: all the links to artists below (except Girl Talk) open in iTunes

Yesterday we went down to Fowler's Live for the St Jerome's Laneway Festival, and I think a good time was had by all, despite the 42 degree heat. If I was the sort who gave shout outs, now would be the time I would give a shout out to the guys wandering around with weed killer containers filled with cold water spraying everyone down throughout the day. But I'm not, so I won't.

Highlights of the day were definitely the three acts I was most looking forward to seeing: Stereolab, The Drones and Girl Talk.

Stereolab sounded great and it was the perfect music for a summer day. Breezy, relaxed and fun. Rayna would have loved it, I think, which is always a bit bittersweet (a bit bittersweet? clumsy much?) It was my first time seeing them, and I will see them again given the chance.

The Drones were typically excellent. I've seen them before in smaller a smaller venue and was curious if they would translate to a large(r) outdoor stage, particularly in the daytime. They got the twilight spot in the schedule and did not disappoint. Lots of energy, loud and dirty, and as the sun set during their performance the lights kicked in, giving their set a bit of drama. Rayna would have hated them (as Min did, I think, since he was the only one with me. Everyoe had gone off to get some dinner), so no retarded emotional introspective backlash! Woo! Lots of fun.

Then there's Girl Talk. Girl Talk was the headliner. Girl Talk makes music exclusively out of other people's music, pretty much. I think his last album is built out of 300 samples or something. I wasn't sure what to expect. He was great. He filled the stage with dancers from the audience and everybody had a great time. Highlight of his set: mixing two of Rayna's favourite songs: Come On Eileen with Khia's "My Neck, My Back". Also, Melissa and I getting Matthew in a hoochie sandwich and making him uncomfortable. And that guy falling out of a tree. Also the guy on crutches in the front dancing on the crowd. Many highlights, super fun happy time.

Other acts that impressed were Born Ruffians, who were a nice poppy way to get into the mood at the beginning of the day, and Daedelus, who I'd never heard of before. Well dressed in a tie and tails, his set was a lot of fun. One of those guys who worked exclusively with a laptop and some other electronic gadgets, but still keeps you entertained with his performace. He's having a blast and is very energetic, so you feel the same. It would be good to see him again in a club setting (I'm not such a big fan of dj/laptop sets at festivals, they always seem too short for that sort of thing).

Lowlights: No Age. I enjoyed their record and I was looking forward to seeing them, but I just wasn't in the mood. Maybe in another setting I would have enjoyed it, but I couldn't be bothered. The heat couldn't have helped, since they were outdoors in the middle of the day and I just wanted to curl up with a cold beer.

Four Tet was boooooooring. I don't mind Four Tet, but I'm not a fan of this sort of thing in a live setting. Beard stroking music. And like No Age, I just couldn't be bothered. On stage he was the exact opposite to Daedelus: he was focused completely on his gadgets and laptops and gave off very little energy. Matty was looking forward to seeing him, and he was disappointed too, which is a shame.

Finally, Architecture in Helsinki. I hate this band on record. I don't know why, but they grate on me like few othera (Somewhat appropriately, The Grates is another one). I just dislike their whole schtick and find their songs boring. I was in the minority, because they had arguable the biggest crowd of the day. I see what they're doing, and I get why other like them, but I can't stand it. Still, at the insistence of Min (who wanted to be amused by my anticipated vitriol) and in the interest of being sociable since others wanted to see them, I stuck around to watch. I've never seen them live and figured it was only fair to give them a shot, they might convert me. Nope. If anything, rather than inspiring the disgust I usually feel when I hear their records, I was just bored. I think music that trades on gleeful exuberance either connect with you or it doesn't. And theirs doesn't with me. Lasted half the set before slinking off to rest before Girl Talk.

I need to wrok on my writing skeeeeeelz because that's a pretty negative way to end this post, considering it was such a fun day. Should have gone chronologically, perhaps. But that would require extensive re-writes, and I think my reaction to several of the acts yesterday has proven I have little to no attention span. IT WAS FUN! Just bring on the cool change.
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