show # 130, 131, 132

9/11-12/09 Kent, OH DIT FEST @ The Vineyard & Kent Stage, Alley

DIT Fest celebrated it’s 3rd installment in Kent, Ohio. Three shows in two days split between two venues. Donations from the attendees provided the bands with some support and the local chapter of Food Not Bombs provided desirable vegan eats. Free coffee was provided by the venue all day to keep everyone’s heart rate up.

Day one was a day for acoustic bands and poetry. The poetry sections of the day were a highlight of the weekend. Listening to poetry gears the attention of an audience in a visibly different way than music. It demands more focus and thoughtfulness if an audience wishes to feel a connection with the reader. Poetry spoken by the author adds something beyond what can happen in their written version. It’s like how it might have sounded in their head. It’s like being let in on a personal secret. I read and it was a new feeling preparing for it by looking over my words again and again. Poetry is another thing DIY ethics can be applied to. Write it. Photocopy it. Share it. Richard Wehrenberg was my favorite reader and I recommend any of his zines. Letters to The Moon got to play and we covered The Cranberries ‘Linger’ because that band changed my life! It’s on youtube if you care to see it.

In the morning I had a stroll to the farmers market. I ate a pint of juicy, finger staining raspberries and a homemade blueberry scone.

Day two was the louder, longer day. My ears were over stimulated. A favorite set came from Dustin and the Furniture (Lexington KY). His wandering-pop love songs ranged from anti-civ to personal struggles and feeling helpless to make real social change. I foolishly missed the Reverse The Curse set because I wandered down the foot path along the Cuyahoga and became stranded on the wrong side of the river. I guess there was a fight because a kid was wasted and threatening people outside and then got physical. He punched Sanders in the head. Then Nick from the Tower basically choked the kid out using his judo death wrap and sent him on his way. Richard selflessly walked the fight kid to his house to chill out.

The Delay set was a blast. I was picked up onto this kid Rosco’s shoulders while playing. He told me he was gonna do it but I wrote him off because he seemed pretty inebriated. I thought he’d forget. He remembered his plan and somehow managed to hold me up with out toppling us over to our demise off the stage. 

The late show took place in this alley between an old theater and the food co-op building. It didn’t start until after 1am. I took a cup for “water” from the theater bar and had import beer. I imported cheaper beer into the cup in the bathroom instead of paying more at the bar.

Andy Cook and The Wanderloons were playing when I arrived. They are a band surrounding the song sculptings of Andy Cook. It is a blend of traditional folk and a toe tapping era of 50’s mo-town melodies and oohs and aahs. They were on. Andy harmonized with a gal named Hannah and it was like the matched breathing of lovers.

Then Pharamones played and every drop of stamina left was wrung out for them. Since their tape had come out, they hadn’t played. The twenty or so people left in the alley wanted to hear those keyboard pop gems and go nuts. Kent has never known such outside rocking out after 2am, except maybe their recent riots started by party boys. We were on stage, hanging from above the band, dancing, jumping, crowd surfing. I can say their set ranks very high, maybe even number one, of happiest moments for me in my 24th year of living. It was all my friends and wieners alive and happy. It felt like a dream; blurry on the edges; temporary; so good while it was happening.

The next day we played a full game of baseball. We kicked up dust in the late summer sun and celebrated America’s pastime. Two days of music and then baseball and it all happened in Ohio. I was pleased on the drive back to Columbus.

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