Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gonerfest is this weekend

Four nights of rock n roll insanity featuring 39 bands from 3 continents starts this Wednesday (9/26) at Gonerfest 4! Vending Machine is playing Saturday afternoon at Murphy's. 2 stages (one inside/one outside) - cover is $8.

Murphy's Schedule:

Inside Stage
2 p.m. Ooga Boogas (Melbourne, Australia)
3 p.m. Vending Machine (Memphis)
4 p.m. Hipshakes (Sheffield, England)
5 p.m. Goodnight Loving (Milwaukee)
6 p.m. Digger & the Pussycats (Melbourne, Australia)

Outside Stage
2:30 p.m. Headache City (Chicago)
3:30 p.m. Perfect Fits (Memphis)
4:30 p.m. Cococoma (Chicago)
5:30 p.m. Black Rose Band (New Orleans)
6:30 p.m. Evil Army (Memphis)

More info on the entire Gonerfest:

Friday, September 14, 2007

ARTICLE: Cooper-Young festival has grown into a large regional outdoors event


By Bob Mehr

Friday, September 14, 2007

As the Cooper-Young Festival enters its 20th year, the sheer numbers associated with the event have become eye-popping: 17 bands, 18 sponsors, 360-plus booths, and expected crowds of up to 65,000 are set to descend on the Midtown neighborhood this Saturday.

Started in 1988 as a small gathering, the annual festival -- staged by the Cooper-Young Business Association -- has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings. No longer just a showcase for local merchants, it's become one of the bigger outdoor festivals in the region, attracting a unique mix of people from throughout the Memphis area.

"I grew up in New York City, and I've traveled all over the world," says festival director Lyn Patrick Myers, "but this one-day happening is amazing. It's special in how it brings the various communities in Memphis together. A lot of people out east don't typically come into Midtown or Downtown or Cooper-Young, they stay out east. Our festival is a grand opportunity for family and friends from all over town to get together in one place, have a big party and kiss goodbye to summer."

The event -- at the intersection of Cooper and Young streets (see map Page 19) -- combines a variety of attractions, from concerts to booths featuring the works of local artisans, antique dealers and food vendors. "Aside from artisans and restaurants, we have everything from non-profits to doctors who do acupuncture on animals," Myers said. "It's a lovely group."

Parking is available on neighborhood streets.

Still, the main entertainment component of the event is musical. This year, 17 acts will be spread across three stages. Cameron Mann, manager of Young Avenue Sound recording studio -- who, like almost everyone involved with the festival, volunteers his time -- is handling the booking for the third consecutive year. He says the trick in selecting acts is to look at the big picture.

"With the festival being as large as it is, we get a pretty wide cross-section of people coming from Memphis and the surrounding areas," says Mann. "So what I try to do when I'm booking bands is to be as diverse as possible, really, to showcase as much variety as I can in terms of what's happening in the Memphis music scene."

Mann adds that the event strives to keep its focus on local and original talent. "One of the things we really pride ourselves on is supporting Memphis music and musicians, especially original musicians. Everybody who is playing the festival is from here. We don't take submissions from out-of-towners, and while a lot of cover bands apply, we really like to showcase original bands."

This year's lineup runs the gamut from Symbiosis, a Latin percussion group that resembles Buena Vista Social Club, to Giant Bear, an up-and-coming combo that puts a twist on bluegrass and roots music.

"We've also got Darrel Petties and Strength in Praise, an incredible gospel group," says Mann. "Then there's our headliners, Lucero, who are a great alt-country/punktry band. We've got Twin Pilot, which is a shoegazer group, as well as a lot of indie rock of varying kinds, plus singer-songwriters like Holly Cole and Blair Combest."

The growth of the C-Y Fest has become so pronounced in recent years, that it's actually spawned some side events, like the Two Chicks and a Broom "Chick Party." Candace Mills, who owns the Cooper-Young-based green cleaning company, originally launched her backyard concert bash three years ago as a small appreciation party for her employees, or Chicks.

"Now, we get several hundred people in and out through the whole day," says Mills, whose co-tenant, Light Years Vintage, also plays host to the event. "We ask for donations at the door and give all the money to a local charity each year. Our Chicks work hard, and there are so many musicians and artists among them, we wanted to show off their bands."

This year's Chick Party will feature half a dozen acts including psych-tinged instrumentalists Noise Choir, post-hardcore outfit Antique Curtains, indie-poppers Arma Secreta, performance art punks The Barbaras, and Mouserocket members Alicja Trout and Robby Grant playing an acoustic set.

Like the festival itself, Mills sees her event as a way for Memphians who aren't habitu├ęs of the area to get a snapshot of the neighborhood's charms. "This event is really family friendly. A lot of the parents of the Chicks will come. Or relatives or friends from out east who don't normally get a chance to enjoy Cooper-Young will come out and make a day of it."

As Lyn Patrick Myers notes, with summer temperatures suddenly taking a cooler turn, this year's festival might turn out to be the biggest ever. "If we have the weather that's predicted -- which is the high 70s and sunny with no humidity, we may get the entire world showing up," says Myers. "And we hope we do. It's like, 'What if you threw a party for 100,000 people and they all showed up?' It would be great."

Music lineup

Cooper-Young Festival Saturday

East stage:

12:30 p.m. - Hi Electric

1:30 p.m. - Twin Pilot

2:30 p.m. - Noise Choir

3:30 p.m. - The Third Man

4:30 p.m. - Jump Back Jake

First Congregational Church parking lot:

12:15 p.m. - Holly Cole

1:15 p.m. - Blair Combest

2:15 p.m. - Symbiosis

3:15 p.m. - Zazerac

4:15 p.m. - Ron Franklin and November 6th St.

Main stage

11:30 a.m. - Rhythm Realm

12:15 p.m. - U of M Jazz band

1:15 p.m. - Giant Bear

2:15 p.m. - Antenna Shoes

3:15 p.m. - Darrel Petties and Strength in Praise

4:15 p.m. - Vending Machine

5:15 p.m. - Lucero

Two Chicks and a Broom ''Chick Party'' at 885 S. Cooper

1 p.m. Noise Choir

2 p.m. Antique Curtains

3 p.m. Arma Secreta

4 p.m. The Barbaras

5 p.m. Alicja Trout and Robby Grant

6 p.m. Hi Electric

Suggested $6 donation for charity. Beer will be availble.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cooper Young Festival this weekend

Cooper Young Festival is this weekend. Vending Machine is playing at 4:15pm in front of the Young Avenue Deli.

Alicja Trout and I will also be playing around 6pm behind 2 Chicks and a Broom.

Weather looks to be great!

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