. issue XVI : v .

by barathron

. artist : the richmond folk festival .
. album : the richmond folk festival .
. year : 2013 .
. label : n/a .
. grade : classic timeless .

The folk festival has been touted with esteem since I saw the logo; this vintage saw such a sobering somber crowd as the audience became a hipster in a flash and rush of intoxication, drunk in the deluge. The slow necrosis of the adolescent mind set sunk into patron pounding feet as the particles of mud spotted shins, sucked at footwear, and provided a topographical typography for another writing of the stages of life aside from MWV, Dominion, Altria et al. Fans of music in search of a concert found one, regardless of the forecast, and the city found solace in a celebration well done.

Paul DiPasquale, a sculptor practitioner introducing a catalogue of the monuments of Richmond discoursing upon the very nature of public art, notes:

“…the feet carry the artwork to the public, for scrutiny, socialization, politicization, enlightenment and/or edification. If these parts all fit, it is successful. The artwork survives long enough for someone to write about it. This is the delight of the task at hand and foot for Bob Layton, now at the head. With benefit of some or much hindsight, he is exposing and bringing to focus the how, why and what of these off-the-beaten-path public art works, memorials and monuments that deserve attention. Ultimately assessing the beauty of these works, the value of the ‘story’ and appreciation of the ‘mark’ is up to us, the art consumers…”


“….Will Paris let the Eiffel Tower fail? Will New York give up the Statue of Liberty? Both will be renewed indefinitely….”


This folk festival, 2013, held a difficulty, an already adapted format of commitment; quilted air thick at every tick of the clock, heavy glowing atmosphere or ripples in the still canal running droplets. The water washed away everything but the true believers, sounding out shaky sinking.

Friday night’s memorial maws twilight pause, this slice of the calendar, and the hushed portraiture harvests normally a warm golden palette fire warm with all shading of orange yellow and red. The documented waterworking annal kept an atmosphere of droplets drooping cool mist rather than evaporating sweat, and blue green greys warred with the air while the little bright green undisturbed circles of sod were accented by muddy muddy mud.. Every unfolded tent saw drainage issues, heat lamps were an unexpected wishlist item. Scheduled sunlit seventies fahrenheit soaked and sagged down to the sixties. The seduction is harsher shadows than a candlelit bar would be doing, the acoustics are nice normally and now get that shiver of spring in the water. All accountings show the shake, the spirit of rhythm inculcated and the standing revel conditions of a typical spring thaw which doubled as the slow rot of harvest frost.

Saturday’s saturation has met foot trafficking, and the chemical combo of mud is mashed moon (the Dominion Dance pavilion beat out the Altria stage mud pits by a thousand points; dance floor an island oasis). The bales of hay woefully underfunded in the government shutdown, once quaint and watch out for the dirt poofs southern hospitality doily mode. Muck is inevitable, again, it’s a furlough fortification so onward, spotted. The sun unable to burn through the fog, blighted it like the beach communities; the forcible. Storm brews the tides of wave, the steady pulse keeps the temperature surely hot, sauna.

Even Sunday, until the very six o’clock feed cut off of billable hours, stays a static snow of mist as Richmond overdoes itself on the scene, platinum pedagogy importing portland maine to portland oregon, trailing, but never stopping the show with soaking, just sheen.

I haven’t begun to listen to the material I have collected as both a live audience participant and audiophile (purchases were made; support the gas money for the tour bus, you know) but I saw Khac Chi both Saturday and Sunday and I’m still to-do listing these instruments, seventeen that I don’t know and twenty made out of bamboo. The performance both days held a gorgeous stage presence, established light jokes between a vaudevillian husband and wife duo, (Chi Khac Ho and Ngoc Bic Hoang) who also performed some instruments simultaneously. I don’t mean lets all play a song at the same time I’m talking a flute implicit in some act of mountain mating that counts as my first sighting of a woodwind built for two. Chi also is a pioneering award winning female artist of dan bau, a traditionally male gendered instrument, which utilizes the mouth as a resonance chamber. (The sound is an amplified mouth harp, one with the articulative variation of lip placement.)

My one choice took forever in choose, a chunky Jif gif comedy period of nonsensical James river stream (all apologies to frontrunner and showstopping Rhythm of Rajasthan and Lurrie Bell’s unplugged set), much like Bruno’s Gastropub with their excellent ceviche and Samson Trinh’s Uke and Roll workshop, but the folk festival as a whole wandering provided the greatest pleasure available at a musical venue, true wandering. The Stooges, Chuck Brown’s Tribute Band, Sam McClain and many other bands offered full brass sections shattering the surrounding silences and reverberating into Oregon Hill. Abdoulaye Diabate & Super Mande, Nathalie Pites, Alex Meixner and the Dardenelles offered intimate connection with a crowd with showmanship. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra and the Holmes Brothers, I have been listening to your albums this whole time.

I’ve never been to Isle of Wight or Roskilde. Is a climate and environment?

Nah, I don’t believe in a warm globe. What is that, anyway?

by Perkus Tooth