Harvest of Hope was a musical bliss with Florida's punk and indie scene melding into a cluster of sunshine, sweat and sunburn. There were so many artists at the festival...and I'd hate to NOT mention all bands, but here's my scope on how HOH went down:
Monotonix was incredible! The 3 piece band got dirty - and by dirty I mean head diving into the pit with mud on their faces. Unconventional and nomadic, they didn't even set up on stage - they migrated through the crowd, peaking everyone's curiosity as each song was played. Lead singer Ami Shalev commanded us into chants , encouraging crowdsurfing while he made his rounds floating on top. Yonatan Gat's lucious locks streamed in the wind while posing on the stage rails - guitar in air belting out headspinners, while drummer Ran Shimoni and his whole drumset was raised into air battling beats - getting the crowd to jam along with him (you should've seen the other bands looking on Ami when he climbed up the huge stereo sound system before diving back into the crowd). The Israeli influence was definitely there but Monotonix just takes it to the next level channeling legends like Led Zeppelin - here's a snippet of the Tel Aviv-based band: Body Language.
OK OK...don't want to forget Wu-Tang, since they are a given. Put yo hands up and do the wuuuuuuuu taaaaaang , wuuuuuu tannnng. W !
::newbies but goodies::
SunBears! was adorable. I happened to stumble on into their set and was blown away by the duo with Jonathan on piano/leads and Jared on drums while a cheesy but effective visualizer strobed behind them. Check out their track "I'm Alive". They also happen to be from Florida.
I was so happy to see The Mountain Goats, well John Darnielle ...although I know I'm going to make it through this year...having not seen Peter Hughes. I was so smitten when he played Tallahassee (i heart that place) when the crowd cheered "I HOPE U DIE, I HOPE WE BOTH DIE" ::sigh:: a sigh of satisfaction.
I wish I could put Dave Dondero in my back pocket so he could sing to me at a moment's notice about all his travels and woes. On stage he lit up with his acoustic set - even more genuine than a rugged pair of Levis, this Californian bred can lay it on thick with his sincere lyrics that make alt-country americana folk, rock harder than ever. Here's his take, a ode to Florida if ya will "South of the South".
Black Kids is a 5 piece band hailing from Jacksonville,FL and boy are they charming! They've been making headway across the US with their upbeat pop 'n dancey tracks. Here's a remix done by The Twelves of their song "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"...
This was Deerhunter's first time playing at a festival and I'm shoooooo glad they did. The swirling sound of psychedelic-surfy guitars got me all fuzzy and put me into a musi-coma. I walked away wanting more and disappointed that they couldn't play a full set. Check out their song "Little Kids" from their latest release Microcastle and here's the track that got me going "Wash Off" off their Florescent Grey EP ....you could just play their album on repeat on a sunny afternoon in the grass sipping on some o-Jizzle.
So when Health came out with an album release last year, I thought that they were pretty intense other than their light-hearted smash Glitter Pills on their split 7" with Crystal Castles. I had to step into their world of electroslashin trashing guitars with massive feedback and tribal beats. But they do it so WELL. If you get a chance to catch 'em on tour, you bettah. They'll be in Greensboro,NC March 25th @ Green St. Club. For more tour dates click here.
::bands i didn't see that i really wanted to::
I suck for not having gotten to the festival in time to see King Khan and the Shrines, along with Girl Talk. Bummertown.
Did you know that The Harvest of Hope was a benefit? Uh, yeah, this festival was created to raise awareness for the non-profit organization "Harvest of Hope" that provides financial, educational, and service oriented aid to migrant farm workers all over the country. A great fest indeed.