Sunday, October 09, 2005

Exit Applefest

Another Applefest over and I couldn't be happier - I mean it's not really a celebration of Franklin or Venango County, or heck, even of Apples, it's just sort of a celebration of...itself. And crafts. Lots of crafts. Including those Calvin peeing stickers and hats made of real live skunks. My wife glared angrily when I asked her where we could find the white hood and robe tent, but geez...I tell all my artists friends, man you should move from (LA, SF, NYC and other initialed cities) and come to Venango COunty - everything's cheap, there's airports and good music and cheap beer...and I couldn't help but think what they would make of all this...Maybe they're right, maybe I was crazy for moving back.
But of course, the real reason I went there was not for any of the crafts booths anyhow - my mission on Saturday was simple - gyro, say hi to my nom de radio'd friend, Ted E Bear, with Forever Broadcasting, and then check out Big Jack Earl playing in the food court.

As my wife and I were walking from Bandstand PArk to Fountain Park to catch the show I marching band struck up - "Jeez," I said "I know they said they were trying out some percussion...but wow."
The set up was horrible - a little flatbed trailer with the tables for the food court placed parallel to rather than facing the band. And, yes, the judge stand for marching band comeptetion was maybe 50 yards away and smoke from various fried foods of death wafted over them. In short, it was a miserable show set up. It does seem time and time again that the locals really get the short shrift when it comes to any sort of Applefest showcase.
I really felt for them - I remember doing perfomance poetry with Lollaplooza in 95 and facing the same sort of environmental problems, with drunken angry hecklers added too, of course.
The good news was that they had added percussion, a guy named David whio plays in a jazzy style with a lot of brushwork. What was good was/is that he fits really seamlessly into older songs - like St. Beautiful, yet allows them to explore new avenues in unrecorded songs - whose names, of course, escape me, because I had a dripping gyro in my hand rather than a pen.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, the set up on Saturday was terrible for BJE and anyone else using the stupid food court stage. The smoke was disgusting. Big Jack played at the Boston Garden on Sunday (Jerome without the stand up bass..he was electric) but with the new drummer. It was an excellent set up and an even better set. They played for the better part of three hours with short breaks to replenish beer in their cups. The music was excellent...I've heard them three times now and this was far and away the best sound set up. They closed with a great rendition of Sloop John B.

Dittman said...

Ah! I knew I went to the wrong choice between the two. Ah well. I got to go hopme smelling of fried dough and gyro juice - I guess that's a plus....