Friday, August 01, 2008

The Volunteer Monologues 2.0: bring us your songs, we'll show you our lists

It's a little poignant for me at this point to finally realize that all I have left of this year's Calgary Folk Festival are some rapidly blurring memories. And some cds. And a couple of t-shirts. And an autograph or two.

If you would indulge my final attempt to wallow in my memories, I would like to present the Zombie Awards, the current incarnation of last year's BTZ's Festival Highlights. So with a nod to all the list junkies among us, here are this year's winners:

Best new tradition:
Booking a band of venerable British rabble-rousers

- Billy Bragg was here in 01, last year it was the surprising Chumbawamba, and this year it was
The Men They Couldn't Hang who graced the stages. Can't wait to see who we will lure over the pond next year.

Best new discovery:

Josh Ritter

- I know now that people have been singing the praises of this smartly lyrical and rollicking songster for years, but sometimes I am a slow learner.

Most regretted missed main stage concert:
The Weakerthans

- I don't care how many times I have seen them perform in the past, I will always jump at the chance to see them again. They always put on such a fantastic high-energy show and they will alway make me smile.

Most unique new genre:
Klezmer hip-hop

- Socalled lays down the most tasty Yiddish beats with his funky bad-ass self - irresistible.

Best eye-rolling moment:
Bright Eyes fans

- BEF (looking at Bright Eyes cd for sale at main stage record tent during Conor Oberst's concert): "Bright Eyes is going to be here?"

Me: "He's playing right now."
BEF (head swivelling around to look at the stage): "what, what, what?"
This happened more than I care to mention.

Most anticipated wardrobe:
Master Musicians of Jajouka

- taking over the reins from last year's fabulous fashion plate, Anne
Rust-D'Eye (John-Rae and the River), these sassy fellows wowed the crowd with both the white and the green outfits. And if you look closely, you can spot the RO (in kerchief and glasses) behind woman in blue halter dress.

Best headgear:
Los Straightjackets

- an offshoot of the above category, there were actually a number of contenders for this award, but ultimately Lucha Libre wrestling masks will win every time.

Number of meals consumed which featured tofu:

- down two from last year, but the chickpea meals made up the gap.

Best name at festival:
Gurf Morlix

- hands down winner.

Best new blogger encounter:
The lovely and talented Stephanie

- hopefully just the first of many

Best rock star encounter:
Basia Bulat

- as unpretentious as you can possibly get, she not only signs autographs cheerfully, but tries to make you budge her in the food line.

Best drummer using a box thing for an instrument:
The guy from Eliana Cuevas' band

Performer whose sessions I attended most:
Great Lake Swimmers (although sometimes only Tony Dekker), with three

Most rousing workshop:
Spin Doctors (no luck club, Socalled, Wendy McNeill, Kara Keith)

- had everyone dancing with the tastiest grooves of the morning.

Best volunteer perk:
The power of the yellow shirt

Most regretted missed workshop:
Machinations and Pallindromes (Andrew Bird, Master Musicians of Jajouka, A Hawk and a Hacksaw)

- followed closely by Resistance is Fertile (Mark Erelli, Martyn Joseph, Kobo Town, Swill and Paul from the Men They Couldn't Hang)

Most covetted fashion accessory:
My velvet hippie shawl

- it's a shawl, blanket, skirt and baby/purse dog carrier all in one.

Number of hazelnut/chocolate gelatos consumed:

- it's like inventing Nutella ice cream.

Number of cds purchased:

-shamefully way down from eleven last year, but I was slow on the draw a couple of times and stocks sold out before I could make a purchase. Not exactly what you would expect from a record tent volunteer, is it?

Most challenging aspect of the festival:
Stormy weather
- and yet we soldiered through

Best decision of the folk festival
Standing in the rain to eat supper so as not to miss Josh Ritter on main stage

Hopes for the 30th Anniversary of the Calgary Folk Music Festival next summer:
1. Entice the RO to volunteer with me
2. See some more blogger buddies travel to Calgary
3. DeVotchKa, Cuff the Duke, and is it too much to ask for Radiohead to show up?


Allison said...

Machinations and Palindromes...even I'm sad you missed that workshop, what a fabulous name for a seminar!!

I might have to come to this folk fest one year. It sounds all the rage. However, if I can't make it next year, I look forward to your reviews. :)

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

"...she not only signs autographs cheerfully, but tries to make you budge her in the food line." I'll budge her most anywhere she likes if "budge" means what I think it does. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I really hope you can make it here next year, though, Al. It truly is a very special event. Plus they use phrases like machinations and palindromes.

hahaha no I'm pretty sure we are using two different definitions of the word, Dr M. She is pretty adorable though.

Joe said...

Man that sounds like a great time. "Nutella ice cream"...mmmm.

Did you see Los Straitjackets' set? I've seen them a couple times, they're a hoot.

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

Woooo I made the list!

Was that pic of the RO at the Machinations & Palindromes workshop? I feel like it is. And if it is, I would have been sitting right behind her if I hadn't left early to catch the Mulching of America workshop.. I thought I saw her around a couple times.

Anonymous said...

Between the klezmer hiphop & Asian folk, I'm pretty sure Calgary is kicking ass in the Alberta cultural mash department!

Tofu-less, eh... the falafel most certainly counts. "Chickpeas" sound much more entertaining & feisty than "soycurd". & they totally taste better, too, yo!

"Bulat Morlix" would slay for a band name.

omg look@that picture of all that dark sky & tarps & shit! WOO. that's why you guys all live there, isn't it? :)

dig your stamina & love for the music there, Barbara. no one need ask why you kick the ass that rules.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sadly, I didn't actually get a chance to see Los Straightjacket perform, Bubs, too many schedule conflicts. And while I am not really a fan of surf music, they look like they would put on one lively performance.

It was indeed the Machinations and Palindromes workshop, Stephanie! You just missed appearing on the festival website photos page then.
I love how eventually you run into everybody at the folk fest, and sometimes over and over again (like that year I kept accidentally stalking John K Samson...)

Soycurd does sound just sort of sad, doesn't it, Mish? And while I have never before considered chickpeas to be feisty, they sure are tasty little critters. There were some pretty amazing musical mashups within individual bands this year; generally you only see that at the workshops, so it was a banner year for innovative music.
We do get some pretty dramatic skies around here. You really must make the trip up here (perhaps for next folk fest)to experience them for yourself.

justacoolcat said...

Happy Saturday

justacoolcat said...

Times two

John Mutford said...

Another year, another successful Folk Festival. They have a great track record so far.

The "Bright" in Bright Eyes fans would appear to be a misnomer. How can you show up to a folk festival to see a particular act and not look into when they're supposed to be taking the stage?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Bless your heart for those, JustA. I was just going to start looking for images and reviews from last night's show. And I love Thom's shirt!

It gets worse than that, John. A disturbing number of these fans did not seem to realise that Bright Eyes and Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band featured the same frontman.
Fortunately most of the folk festees were much more musically savvy.

Gifted Typist said...

Would love to check out the fest sometime.

I'm sure the winners are all worthy and thrilled with their zombie awards. I hope the non-winners can go on

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Everyone is a winner at the Calgary Folk Festival, Gifted! You really should come check it out some time. You would love it, I guarantee.