Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oh sunny day

It was another day of perfect weather at LeBreton Flats: Sun shining, cool breeze, not too muggy. There was nothing that particularly excited me on the schedule, but at least two acts looked promising.

The first was The Dodos, a "psychedelic folk" band from San Francisco. The band now includes Keaton Snyder (that's him playing xylophone behind guitarist Meric Long - not, as I earlier thought, Joe Haener, who has been through town a couple of times playing with The Gris Gris). They blend acoustic psychedelic sounds with a whole lot of floor tom rolls.

The Dodos, Bluesfest, July 10, 2009

After that it was a short jaunt over the hill to the Music-Themed Eatery Stage to see Okkervil River, the second act to grab my attention. This is a band that Darrell Angus of Golden Famile and Rickety Ship introduced me to back when we were coworkers, but my continued interest with them has more to do with the membership of frontman Will Sheff in another of my favourite bands, Shearwater. My fuzzy memory of the band led me to expect something gentle and rural, instead of Austine, Texas's answer to Sadie Hell. Sheff was a wild man on stage, and the band certainly likes the feedback (I believe this may be the first time I've seen a mandolin has been deliberately employed to generate it).

Okkervil River, Hard Rock Stage, Bluesfest, July 10, 2009

The remainder of my Bluesfest Friday wa sa bit aimless. I bumped into Both Kinds of Music and Liquor Pig Fest host Richard Parks at the Okkervil River show. When it was over he said he was heading over to see Brock Zeman on the Fast Food Chain Stage, so I moseyed on after to catch the last few songs in a rocking country set.

Brock Zeman, Subway Stage, Bluesfest, July 10, 2009

I killed a few minutes listening to the Sam Roberts Band while perusing the offerings at the merchandise tent. I hoped they'd have a copy of Skynyrd's First, and so they did. Devotchka hail from Denver, Colorado, and play an intriguing blend of Romani and Americana music, supplemented with some left field stuff like a theremin. They have a taste for cinematic music as well, I hear. Most importantly, they have a sousaphone player, Jeanie Schroder (she also plays double bass). I left about the time they started a cover of The Velvet Underground's Shiny, Shiny, Shiny Boots of Leather.

Devotchka, Hard Rock Stage, Bluesfest, July 10, 2009

After a couple of songs I made my way back over the hill to the Black Sheep Stage to see King Sunny Ade and His African Beats. He certainly does have a lot of beaters: In addition to the regulation drummer, he has five other guys played various African percussion instruments. Then there's the trio of backup vocalists, a guitarist, bassist and keyboardist. It was a jolly anf groovy time.

King Sunny Ade, Black Sheep Stage, Bluesfest, July 10, 2009

After about an hour the effect of insufficient eating (and an hour at the gym) was beginning to catch up, so I wandered off to listen to a song from Jackson Browne (dull) and Steve Earle before retrieving my bicycle and heading home.

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