Back in the US for spring break, I took the opportunity to visit my friends at Duke University for a weekend. After a five hour bus ride, with a bus driver who constantly insisted on getting our attention, please before relating his important safety information, I finally arrived in Durham, and was met by one of my friends.
Despite having a foot in a cast, he gave me a tour of campus, and, yes, it really was as beautiful as I was told, and the weather didn’t hurt. The only blemish on our stroll through the flowering gardens and forest were the bugs. It’s always the bugs…
Luckily, the rain that started later at night drove them away, though it also brought the temperature down. But the cold (if it can even be called cold) didn’t matter, since that following day was the Brickside music festival, with all the acts inside–away from the thunderstorms and tornado warnings.
The concerts were fantastic. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of most of the bands before, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every one I watched. Some were slightly generic, but still pleasant, but a few stood out. The Midtown Dickens may have sang a bit off tune at times, but their uplifting mood and unique instruments (a contrabass, banjo, and mandolin took part!) made the performance still great. Mark Kozelek, who followed them, sang well, but all of his songs had the same mournful drone.
Then something weird happened. The band we were about to see were the Supreme Dicks (who somehow hadn’t bothered to change their name in the 30 years they had been around). And despite the awkwardness involved in saying “I’m looking forward to seeing the Supreme Dicks”, I was. There they were–some middle-aged men setting up the drums, and… some girl. Except she was muttering, and scribbling in the air, and shaking a tambourine purposefully at certain members of the gathering audience. When the concert started, she didn’t move offstage. Instead, she sat on her knees and ate a banana, putting the peel on her head as a hat. She then moved on to an orange, distributing bits of the rind to the audience after eating the fruit inside. Throughout the show, which did include some very good music, she tore up paper, chanted into a microphone between songs, and generally acted like the priestess out of the film The Doors (i.e.: considerably insane). Cue The End–“and [she] walked on down the hall”…
Oh well. That show ended finally, and the girl put on a scarf and chatted away, tossing aside her enchantress persona, and joined the growing crowd, awaiting the final act–Kurt Vile.
When the latter got onstage, he immediately signaled to raise the volume. Oh no…
Indeed, even with earplugs, the noise was earsplitting, and yet I enjoyed it enough to buy a CD.
All in all, it was a great weekend–I loved the chance to hear new and interesting music, and, even more so, to see my friends again!
Photo Credit: Eugene Rabinovich
Since I didn’t have my camera, more picture from the festival can be found here.