The iconic archway at The Goat Farm, with various rock paraphernalia and accouterments in the foreground. Last Thursday night, March 29, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFilmFest) held its "Music Experience" event at The Goat Farm, a mere five minutes from my house.
The event offered a total of nine bands on two stages. In addition, it featured a multi-portal video installation projected on courtyard walls, video screenings, food trucks, and a large Tesla Coil that never got fired up for some reason.
The first band up was Athens' Easter Island. The crowd was still sparse at that early hour (7 pm), but they played a nice set of intelligent rock, their singer sounding at times a little like Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts. Unfortunately, their set was marred by a faulty mic that kept dropping out at random times during the performance. Despite the technical difficulties, I still liked their set.
TODAY THE MOON, TOMORROW THE SUN
Atlanta's Today the Sun, Tomorrow the Moon followed local hip-hop act Grand Prize Winners From Last Year on the indoors stage inside Goodson Yard, where Thurston Moore performed earlier this year. TTMTTS play a high-energy dance-rock that got their enthusiastic audience quite excited.
SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS
The always-spooky Sexual Side Effects played the outdoors stage, although after the sun had set, it was getting harder to see anything on stage. I saw SSE play last year at the East Atlanta Strut, where they wore more flamboyant outfits and featured fire-eaters in their act. At The Goat Farm, they still played over-the-top rock 'n' roll, but were a little less theatrical than their performance at the Strut.
Atlanta's Sealions, whom I saw open for Metric back in Rocktober 2010, played a loud and satisfying set of dream-pop at the Goodson Yard stage. One of the coolest aspects of this show, in addition to the 19th Century industrial architecture of The Goat Farm (a perfect set for a steam-punk movie if ever there were one), was that the Film Festival folks had brought their video cameras and projectors along with them, and displayed real-time, larger-than-life images of the performances behind the bands, creating some interesting trompe l'oeil effects of giant musicians overtaking the performers on stage.
The event promoters tried to create some buzz by announcing that one act, billed as "Harvey Kartel," was actually a band who's name for some reason they were not allowed to announce. I was expecting Atlas Sound, a major-label musician originally from Atlanta and a surprise guest at a small Goat Farm festival last year, but instead it turned out to be Atlanta's The Constellations, whom I saw last year at Music Midtown.
The band could be a living museum of 70's hairstyles. Above you have the mullet-head lead singer and the guitarist sporting what we affectionately called a "Jew-fro" back in the day. Below is a classic example of the West Coast, shoulder-length rock star hairstyle.
Their keyboard sported a flamboyant Village People mustache. He had replaced their previous keyboardist, the hot young woman who played with them at Music Midtown last year - she was one of the best things about the band back then.
The Constellations play a funked-up brand of roadhouse rock and R&B. The Film Festival organizers, just like the promoters of Music Midtown last year, apparently wanted to offer something for all musical tastes, but The Constellations' music sounded to me out-of-place on the same stage that had just hosted TTMTTS and Sealions. By the time they launched into their cover of Donovan's Atlantis, which was well past 11 anyway, I knew it was time for me to leave.
All music without exception is a direct expression of the buddha-dharma, but that doesn't mean that I can't pick and choose the dharmas with which I'm going to get my groove on.
Update: For those of you keeping score at home, my azaleas are now blooming in purple, pink and white.