Weirdstock – This Weekend!

August 14, 2009

CBOP takes the Joe Cocker role by opening the Sunday celebrations. Odds are good that there won’t be a rain delay inside the Cambridge YMCA after we play and before Country Joe & the Fish start, so when we say to be here before our 1PM start time, we mean it. Here’s a link to the Whitehaus’ page about all of this with band descriptions and info:

Here’s a story I wrote for Boston Band Crush about the thing:

I don’t think that anyone was ever expecting the theater inside the Cambridge YMCA to double for Yasgur’s Farm, but this weekend that convergence will happen with WEIRDSTOCK! It’s a three day festival featuring some of the strangest sounds from all around New England that is being presented by the folks from Whitehaus Family Record.

Starting at the strike of 6PM on Friday with Jacob Mashak and continuing through the weekend until Devil Music wraps things up late on Sunday night, the air around Central Square will be filled with some very weird sounds.

I sat down with festival ringleader Shane Donnelly to learn whether the rumors are true about a possible appearance from someone who appeared on the original Woodstock stage 40 years ago this weekend.

Here is where we were going to post a video, but it crashed as we recorded it so let’s see if we can recap instead.

BBC: Why on earth did you do this in the middle of the Summer?

Shane: Is it the middle of the summer? It feels more like late summer. Anyway, I originally was planning on this for May, but I quickly realized I would need more time to plan an event of such proportions, and the coming Woodstock anniversary seemed like an appropriate deadline.

BBC: Labor Day’s not until September 7th, so there’s more Summer left than you think, but an anniversary like that does make things easy. But why did you make this event so weird?

Shane:Weird is a weird word. And highly subjective. What’s weird to one person may seem normal to another. But personally speaking, weird music is something that excites me because it tends to be innovative and challenging. There’s also so much weird music being made today, while still managing to be a very diverse category

BBC: What made you decide what bands were weird enough to be involved with this festival?

Shane: It was tough, definitely. I was trying to find acts that had a unique sound and shied away from conventional methods. I also wanted to show how very eclectic the experimental realm is, so I tried to pick an array of acts that expressed a variety of different sub-genres: drone, noise, garage/psych, electronic, avant minimalism, spoken word, etc.

BBC: We’ll let you get to bed. One last question. If you could have one band from the original Woodstock Festival play at Weirdstock, who would you choose as weird enough for Weirdstock?

Shane: Woodstock just wasn’t that weird. Hendrix is the obvious answer, but a lot of the stuff is pretty normal. How about the Incredible String Band.

While at the time most people saw the hippies as the weirdest of the weird, looking back through our modern filters, they are relatively normal. It’ll be interesting to see if the bands playing Weirdstock will be seen as normal 40 years from now.


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