Fuzz Fest took a turn toward the cerebral on the final day of this annual rock bash at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI.
FUZZ FEST – DAY 3
The final day of Fuzz Fest 4 ushered in a wild variety of eclectic bands. One theme that rang true as I listened was the conviction and dedication to creating honest music. I felt the earnest depth of emotion that each band conveyed with their music. Perhaps I was just feeling the cumulative impact of so many musicians passionately expressing their art. In any case, it is a beautiful thing.
Bouncing out of the gate to get the final night of Fuzz Fest moving were the Spooky Basements. This punk band had enough energy to power the state during a heat wave in July. They bounced and scurried about the stage with joyful exuberance. The music was high-spirited and a kick-ass way to start off the night.
STEVE HARVEY OSWALD
Robert Frost said, “Nature’s first green is gold” and Steve Harvey Oswald is golden green. The audience was hit with a hailstorm of music and kale. That’s right, actual kale leaves where sacrificed in the name of music. There was an infectious madness to the band’s set that put a big smile on your face and a warm tingling in the nether regions.
Seritas is one of two husband and wife teams who rocked Fuzz Fest with integrity. They have a deep love for gritty blues based rhythms. This was most evident in their cover of “Going Down”. They humbly played deeply and darkly from their souls. Their low-fi approach matched the pacing of their enjoyable performance.
The best way I can think of to describe the music of Shells would be an electric guitar mantra. Shells is a solo guitar project by Shelley Salant. She used loops and a variety of effects to transmogrify her guitar and amp into a canvas of sound. Just as a visual artist may use color to evoke an emotion, Shells splashed the air around the audience with a vivid arrangement of musical notes.
Wiccans were the electric priests of pagan rock who drew down the gods upon Fuzz Fest 4. They used an intriguing combination of guitar, bass, synth, and flute to cast their musical spell. Truly, their music instilled a feeling of being part of a sacred rite. The Wiccans entranced the crowd.
Journeying back to Michigan from Portland, Oregon was the ambient trembling of Skin Lies. At first, Dustin Krcatovich used a guitar, an assemblage of effects, and synths to create a cascading spectrum of sounds. From atonal to surreal the musical passages drifted through the air. All of this was tuned to a small light box which ebbed and flowed with the musical intensity. Later, Dustin was joined by another guitarist and drummer to paint stereoscopic images within our minds.
Scissor Now! Damn it I said Scissor Now! These three talented musicians created an orgy of sound imbued with humor. I’m guessing that since June is graduation season, this may have influenced their choice to wear graduation gowns during their set. The audience danced and moshed to the cornucopia of quirky music.
Just as the seasons flow from the stinging bite of winter to the sweet heat of summer, so too did the music of the Disinformants. Their songs played with all possible dynamics to illuminate the sincerity within them. The music was as raw and untethered as the wind, yet firmly rooted in the Earth.
SISTERS OF YOUR SUNSHINE VAPOR
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor are also Fuzz Fest veterans. Their music was reminiscent of the Doors with whispers of Joy Division. The band used the psychedelic lighting as a backdrop for their moody soundscape. Imagine sleep filled with dark dreams and you’ll be close to their performance at Fuzz Fest 4.
CAVEMAN & BAM BAM
What is not to love about Caveman Woodman & Bam Bam Moss? Bam Bam crushed his tiny drum kit, while Caveman regaled the audience with screaming lunacy. Caveman made sure to share his infectious joy of music with the audience who had gathered around them. Bouncing among the crowd, Caveman spread the tribal call of the wild.
THE AMINO ACIDS
The Amino Acids journeyed from the outer limits to infest the brains of the audience at Fuzz Fest 4 with surf-punk music. They had the crowd completely in their control and nearly driven mad by the eerie calls of the Theremin. As waves of surf music pummeled us, one of the Amino Acids jumped off the stage to grind with the fans. There was no shortage of smiles at the Blind Pig as the Amino Acids capped off another adventure packed Fuzz Fest.
Be sure to stop by the gallery for over 240 pictures of the bands from Day 3 of Fuzz Fest 4.
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