Saturday, July 25, 2009
Greetings from below the Mason-Dixon line, y'all. In case you haven't been following me on Twitter, I'm down in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area for XX Merge - the 5-day 20th anniversary blowout celebrating the magic made by Merge Records. They're one of my favorite labels, perhaps the fave, and when this thing was announced earlier this year I was compelled to make the journey down south from Boston. Actually, the Boston area is well-represented here at XX Merge, with at least a dozen attending fans I could name off the top of my head, and likely many more I haven't met. Warms the heart, it does.
As I write this, we've hit the festival's halfway point - it kicked off on Wednesday at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (the event's main venue), and what followed were three consecutive nights of massively varied, rarely disappointing, passionately delivered sets by artists who are clearly grateful to be here, and to be part of the Merge family. 17 bands so far, with at least 16 more to go: a free outdoor show this afternoon in the parking lot behind the wonderful Orange County Social Club, then one more Cat's Cradle show tonight, and a grand finale at UNC's Memorial Hall tomorrow evening. Then home, where I will clearly require a post-vacation vacation.
One of the best parts of this shindig is the lack of a mapped-out lineup for all four of the Cat's Cradle shows - you only know what time the first band's on, but you don't know who they'll be, or who will follow them, unless you're looking for clues on the merch table or the equipment setup. It's added a lot of extra fun to this thing, and has also helped keep the crowds solid for just about every act.
I'm planning (ok, more like hoping) to write up a post on each day, but for now I'll just share a few links for you to experience XX Merge vicariously, through my eyes and others...
By the way, I can feel your envy from here... best not to bottle that up. You can take comfort in the fact that this party is being very well-documented, with at least five-camera video being shot, participating bands being interviewed, and from what I hear, special acoustic take-away performances being laid down. Esteemed director Jem Cohen is involved, so there's little doubt the footage will see the light of day, somehow, somewhere, somewhen. And hopefully sometime before XXV Merge. Which, given the absolute blast I've been having, I'll be at as well.
More later... back onto the humid Carrboro streets I go...
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
recent posts on the 'nac...
on the nightstand
boston-area music bloggers
boston music media