It's a hit! The inaugural Middle of the Map festival succeeded on every level. I caught eight of the festival's fifty-plus performances. In order of personal preference:
1. Daniel Johnston with Capybara- The pairing of cult hero Daniel Johnston with Capybara was inspired. Johnston's effort was nothing short of heroic.
2. Cowboy Indian Bear- Even though its feathery melodies and happy bounce aren't really my thing (they'd be the perfect house band for Yo Gabba Gabba!), Cowboy Indian Bear is on to something extraordinary.
3. Deadringers- Blues-based garage rock along the lines of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
4. Paper Route- The OneRepublic of indie-rock. (That's a good thing.)
5. Spirit is the Spirit- A hippie version of Dr. Dog.
6. Saharan Gazelle Boy- It doesn't happen often outside of hip hop, but this is a rare instance of an act's recordings being superior to its live show.
7. Margot & the Nuclear So & So's- Bland.
8. Sam Billen- There's a time and place for Billen's laptop folk music. Saturday afternoon at the Record Bar wasn't one of them. (One of the bored people in this photo is your humble correspondent.)
Hammerlord has a new video for "Tombstone Piledriver".
I loved Kool Keith's rare Kansas City appearance. Here's my review.
Kansas City Click: Hermon Mehari returns to the Blue Room on Monday.
Movits! play at Crosstown Station on Tuesday.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)