Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Somewhere, past the brick-mortar-town-gown of Ann Arbor, in the wildest wilds of Washtenaw County, Chris Bathgate lives on an old farm. It was in this secluded locale that some of Michigan indie folk's finest gathered last Saturday to sing, camp, drink and add another event to the annals of Michigan 'fest history: Farmhousefest.


Unfortunately, to reach said wildest wilds, the JHaJ crew had to overcome both construction and accident-related traffic, so we missed the first half of the day's acts, including Bathgate and That's Him! That's the Guy!. And then we set up our tent during Misty Lyn, so I only caught her last song, the searing desperation of which was the first of many fine complements to the dilapidated barn backdrop.


(I caught all of Misty's set, and she performed beautifully as ever. CANNOT WAIT FOR THAT NEW ALBUM, MISTY!! xo, annie)

As the name would imply, Farmhousefest was a concert that was as much about its location as it was about its music. I couldn't help but feel like I was visiting the unlikely collision of a 1960s hippie commune and a less-dusty version of the rural settings soon to be skewered in Judd Apatow's sure-to-be-awesome music biopic parody Walk Hard; slightly weathered and removed from society, a place where worldly pressure can be forgotten in a few acoustic strums (or cello bows or snare rolls courtesy of two pine branches). But even if any of the performers or attendees were trying to commune with Nature, Nature wasn't interested in communing back — my guess: she's not a fan of the High Life — and instead just dropped sheets of rain down on us and forcing Or, The Whale to play in the basement where I later woke up a victim of craziness good and bad.




Some time before this, Matt Jones continued to get closer to receiving the amount of credit and praise he deserves as a songwriter (actual quote from Great Lakes Myth Society's Greg McIntosh: "Matt Jones, if I could fuck your songs, I would!"), Canada finally put those trees they're always singing about to work (the aforementioned branches-cum-drumsticks) and Frontier Ruckus delivered what I think might have been their greatest set ever. You could say that it's because everything about Farmhousefest was so Fruckus-y or I could babble on about how Matt's voice and songs could have grown from the farm's soil (and Zach's saw was probably stolen from a nearby shed and Eli's beard was given to him by a plowman's ghost), but I'd rather say it was just an effing great performance by a band that continues to get better every time I see them.










Misty Lyn
MySpace

Upcoming Michigan Shows
Sept. 5 — The Lager House in Detroit with Matt Jones

Matt Jones
MySpace

Upcoming Michigan Shows
Sept. 5 — The Lager House in Detroit with Misty Lyn


Canada
MySpace
Web site

Upcoming Michigan Shows
Aug. 30 — The Michigan Union Ballroom in Ann Arbor with The Singles
Sept. 12 — The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor with Chris Bathgate, The Cotton Jones Basket Ride (Mike Nau of Page France), Andrew Dost (Anathallo).
Oct. 6 — (Scene) Metrospace in East Lansing with Chris Bathgate and AM Syndicate

Frontier Ruckus
MySpace
Web site

Upcoming Michigan Shows
Aug. 29 — Alma College in Alma with Blase Splee
Sept. 7 — Mac's Bar in Lansing with Great Lakes Myth Society
Sept. 8 — The State Theater in Kalamazoo with Combat Corduroy, Asphodel Fields, Fernelity, Olivet, Day Walker & The Skychild, The Giving Tree, Eyes of an Enemy, Hollow Heroes, Common Shiner, and The Kinds.
Sept. 22 — The DAAC in Grand Rapids with Chris Bathgate, Head and Toe and Happy Hour
Sept. 23 — Kraftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo with Breathe Owl Breathe and Chris Bathgate
Sept. 28 — The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor with Great Lakes Myth Society

4 Comments:

Anonymous Leah said...

I took pictures of the first half of the day and tapered off later. The day's first act, Blake Thomas, was a definite highpoint.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leahw/sets/72157601545489636

9:20 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Who's Blake Thomas? Relation to Brooks?

I've got a bunch o photos here (were you passed-out for Or, the Whale?):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandonz/sets/72157601596758097/

11:47 AM  
Blogger Mike E said...

Is this Frontier Ruckus, Sept 22nd show for real? With Chris Bathgate?
That is going to be a kick-ass weekend for music in GR.
Sycamore Smith is playing at the DAAC on the 21st (with Clear Days Always, and possibly Jake Stilson & the Mi Mi Mi's.)

10:45 PM  
Blogger (Scene) MetroSpace said...

there is an added date for Frontier Ruckus, That's Him! That's The Guy!, Andrew Dost and The Cotton Jones Basket Ride (Michael from Page France) - September 11 at (SCENE) Metrospace, www.scenemetrospace.com

8:55 AM  

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