Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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(Origuinally broadcast at the end of each day of the festival.)
Your up-to-the-minute, blow-by-blow report on Music Midtown!!
Day 1, Friday
The first Degenerate reporter tries to get there early to get a ticket and hit frijolero's for a burrito and watch the crowd coagulate, only to find they won't open the ticket booths until a little before the first act hits the stage. Despite this, I stuffed a spinach burrito down and went to see the opening big-name act on the 99X stage "Muse" - lame, 10 years too late at best, not worth the time except that it's a good place to wait for the locals to start up. "Life is a magical parade!" says the strung-out-sounding lead singer, amongst other silly things.
Local gang Glass Candle Grenade was far more entertaining, great female lead voice with some talented backup. Not stupid song writing either but they could use something to give it that extra kick.
Wandering, I catch the end of Cravin' Melon, just another southern-rock-band-lite.
Los Lobos came next. Wolves are one of the planet's most adaptable animals and I now know why these guys took the name. Blues, then rock, then blues, all with a unique undertone. They didn't do enough off my favorite CD Kiko and the Lavender Moon but the crowd was enjoying it. Greg, from the Loafing, and I both agree the aforementioned crowd was the normal Saturday capacity crowd, NOT the Friday threatening to rain crowd. Bad sign for Saturday.
I elbowed through the masses to a decent spot for George Clinton and the P Funk All Stars. They lived up to the rep, as the grins on the hordes reflected. However, the festival organizers have given the V103 stage less space than the B98.5 Kid's Stage!! So within half an hour I'm ready to punch the next yupster that elbows his way in front of me, pretending he's gonna keep going, only to stop right in my face and then stand there unmoved by the funk. In my entire adult life I've never tried to start a fight but I couldn't take it anymore and told the guy to fuck off with obvious "I'm gonna back this up with my fist in a second." gestures. He moved.
Eventually a few died of heat stroke, others passed out from one-too-many $4 IceHouses, and there was room to shake booty. The pot smoke was so thick you coudln't pass a piss test just from being there and you had to like sharing sweat with several hundred people but the funk kept coming until I could take no more. Atomic Dog was barking in the background as I pedaled away, getting home in time for Space Ghost's Cartoon Planet:
"Dear Zorak, what happens when an irrestistable force meets an immovable object?"
"Um... chicken salad... I guess...."
So if you get this before considering heading up there Saturday, think twice. Read yesterday's tirade from Lara of 17 Years and balance a free, uncrowded, fun show, perhaps followed by a much cheaper, likely uncrowded, fun show at the Star Bar vs. the heat, humidity, and humanity that are packed into the Music Midtown.
Day 2, Saturday
If someone will open a cheap, fast breakfast joint in Atlanta, I will go there every day. After wandering from place to place and finally waiting 20 mintes for a seat, I was forced to miss Los Straitjackets. Had I made it on time, I still might have missed them as they wisely swapped the Channel 5 and V103 stages, though obviously too late for the Friday night P Funk show.
After a friend's insistance, I made sure to catch The Nields. Very Indigo Girl-esque.
Local boys Shock Lobo started with a female violinist to add to their Pearl Jamming but she exited after a couple of songs and left the three guys to continue Soundgardening.
Lonnie Brooks turned the 96 Rock crowd blue with his Chicago electric blues. Good stuff!
Beers and food break before attempting to brave the now-astounding crowd awaiting Bare Naked Ladies. What I could hear was good but the volume was far too low for the volume of people that packed the swamp. Eventually the rude crowd was too much for a couple of Degenerate reporters and we exited, stage left even, missing Squirrel Nut Zippers and others, heading to the Star Bar for The Penetrators' awesome show. I find Greg of the Loafing chatting with a guy from WREK and another couple all who left at the same time as I, "It was just intolerable." we all say at once, settling down for a relaxing evening. Very much less crowded, nice and dark, friendly people, cheap drinks, etc. A day of festivalizing took it's toll and we couldn't stick around for The Space Cossaks but it gave us enough sleep to get up and at 'em Sunday. Stay tuned for the end, of sorts.
Your up-to-the-minute, blow-by-blow report on Music Midtown!!
Day 3, Sunday
Initially not as crowded, the final day of Masses Midtown finds your reporters at Fleming & John, alternapop with lots of reference jokes to make you smile through the pain of listening to such drivel.
Local yodelers Cowboy Envy do a bunch of 30's and 40's cowboy music done in perfect 3 part harmony by three ladies. They do what they do very well, though what they do is only fun in small quantities.
Cowbow Mouth is an energetic bunch from New Orleans playing punkish rockish stuff, not really interesting but they were really trying hard. Greg from the Loafing had poor things to say about them, having met them in person, but from 100 yards away...
Rockapella is just what you'd expect, a bunch of guys making rockesque tunes with no instruments. Not bad but I have to wonder how they make a living. They must have day jobs.
Francine Reed's band insisted on doing a couple of jazz instramentals before she actually joined them. She's got a great voice but long time readers will know our stance on jazz. We wandered over to the Fabulous Thunderbirds and watched them do their usual unnoticed excellent act. The 96 Rock crowd only wanted to hear their hits, all Sam & Dave covers. I'd seen 'em before so I moved on.
Looking at the capacity crowd milling about the entrance to the Cotton Club, I surrender to the bean and rice craving and take a burrito break, followed by a beer and veg break back at the Degenerate Press office.
Refueled and ready for action, I trundle back up the hill and slip into the north gate. I'm headed for the big stage when the cajun sounds of Geno Delafose & the French Rockin Boogie suck me in. When Time Warner buys out Degenerate Press for the fortune it's worth, we'll take the money and buy a bar in New Orleans and Geno Delafose will be the house band. Seriously kick ass!
"What? You missed CAKE?!?!" oops.
Further up the hill, the crowd is building for Santana. He comes on soon and does as expected, gets the crowd shakin' and smokin' - not smokin' as much as the crowd at George Clinton, but the pot smoke is pretty heavy. Three days of partying is taking it's toll on many in the crowd. Some are passed out, some are ABOUT to pass out, some are heaving, causing the usual chain reaction heaving in weak stomached onlookers. Santana is grooving and having fun but we, as your servants, felt we had to see it all.
The last time I saw Cheap Trick it was a rainy day at Six Flags in front of MAYBE 200 people. There were significantly more people to see Cheap Trick tonight as they hyped a new album, as well as playing the expected tunes. Slim Fatz wanders up about that time, unable to wander in a strait line after his gig and consequential beverages at the Cotton Club.
"How was your show?"
"Too loud, too crowded, and they pay me more at Northside Tavern."
Headed for the gate, I catch a bit of BeauSoleil. Not bad cajun, but nowhere near as good as Geno Delafose.
It's cold, my legs are tired, and I want to beat the cattle drive out so it's home again to the quiet, warm sanctuary that is the DP office.
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