Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Ears 2010: In Conclusion

{Buke and Gass}
When it comes to music, I have a lot to learn. This, in part, is why I decided to buy an Inner Ear pass to this past weekend's Big Ears Festival. Based on my reaction last year to the festival, I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out again this year. Tickets were not cheap, but I knew once the festival rolled around, I'd want to be a part of it all.

{The Ex}

Living in Knoxville for so many years, I've heard all sorts of opinions surrounding A.C. Entertainment: Bonnaroo is too commercial, Sundown in the City is too trashy, the Big Ears lineup this year is too mainstream.

But, I did go to Bonnaroo for the first time last summer, and it was extremely fun. And I was fortunate to attend Big Ears this past weekend, and it was...

{Vampire Weekend}

What struck me the most was that, during several shows, the artists thanked Ashley Capps and shared how grateful they were to be a part of such an incredible line up.

It's true. It was an incredible line up.

{The xx}

For me, the past three days have conjured up so many thoughts and ideas. I wish I could pin them down before they all float away. I could tell you about the bands that knocked my socks off (The Ex, Buke and Gass, The Dirty Projectors, there are more). I could talk about the shrilling screams of little girls at Vampire Weekend. I could tell you about patting Matt Berninger on the back when he climbed down into the crowd at the Tennessee Theater. There's lots to talk about.


{DJ Rupture}

But right now, while my ears are still ringing, I want to join the many smart, witty, and congenial musicians that were here this past weekend in thanking Ashley as well. He isn't the savior of Knoxville, as I heard someone say a few days ago. We couldn't name just one. (This is sentimental, but) I think if you've bought a cup of coffee on a regular basis downtown, you've become its savior. It's all efforts combined that have transformed Knoxville into a place where world renowned musicians can be received and given beautiful places to play. Our city has become a location where visionaries like Ashley can make their dreams tangible.

And that, my friends, is really something.

{Joanna Newsom}


Anonymous said...

It was so nice to see the city SO BUSY this weekend - with Big Ears, the marathon and a few other conventions going on. It really warmed my heart. I am glad Big Ears was such a great success. I have only heard very positive things from all my friends who attended.

ck said...

I loved the shows I went to- my only regret was that I didn't go to The National last night. The Clogs show Saturday afternoon really seemed to epitomize the collaborative spirit of the Festival to me. I think I might have to swing an "Outer Ear" pass for 2011.

benjamin said...

Did anyone go see Samamidon? He played three different times and places, I think. I would have loved to see him...

Anonymous said...

What types of music did the festival include?

Blues, jazz, country, Americana, rock, bluegrass, rap? All of the above?

Or did none of it fall into any of these categories?

I'm not familiar with any of the band names I've seen, and I just wonder if there was any of it that I might've enjoyed.

Maybe I will try to catch some of it next year, if I think I'll like it.

Wild Bill said...

Ben, I saw sam amidon all three times, and they were amazing. 802 Tour (Sam, Doveman, and Nico Muhly)was tied for first in my mind with the national show. Sam was amazing. He opened at the KMA and it was beautiful. They had giant white balloons everywhere, they were rolling on the lawn outside where it was thunderstorm clouds and inside was silent except for Sam with doveman playing piano. It was the perfect way to start this festival.

B said...

I saw him Saturday afternoon play with 802 Tour. It was very nice.

Anonymous, check out wild Bill's post about Big Ears. He gives a good synopsis.

benjamin said...

So, B, let me get this straight. Your Saturday looked like this?

1:00- 802 Tour (including Samamidon, my man-crush) at the Bijou
3:45- Dirty Projectors at the Tenn. Theater
5:00- Clogs at the Bijou

(break for dinner at Cafe 4 while watching Samamidon play at the Square Room through the window)

8:40- Vampire Weekend at the Tenn. Theater
10:00- Jens Hannemann (aka Fred Armisen) at the Bijou
11:00- Joanna Newsom at the Bijou
1:30- Gang Gang Dance at the Annex

If that wasn't what your Saturday looked like, that's understandable because you likely would have died from getting too much of a revealing glimpse of heaven.

B said...

I took my break at Nama with a friend from out of town not at Square Room (that would have been smart) And during Jens Hanniman, I went home and laid on my couch with my cat for 30 minutes.

After Joanna's 2 hour set, I was a goner. Swung by Sassy Anne's for 10 minutes and then hit the hay.

You are right. I would have died trying to see all of that. Extremely tiring.

Wild Bill, however, is a weasel. I received a text from him at 3:45 am telling me to come to the Knoears party at TVB.

Wild Bill, you're crazy!!

Wax S. said...

B, your post is spot on. What a great festival, and so so glad ACEntertainment decided to keep it in Knoxville when they could have held it anywhere.

One of the best things for me is reading all the hipster music blogs rave about how pleasant a place Knoxville is to visit (not to mention the LA & NY Times).

We were talking last night about how the bloggers seem to have latched on to the fact that Knoxville - as a whole - is, probably subconsciously, and possibly at long last, not trying to define itself in terms of other cities, or what it COULD be, but rather what it has become of its own accord.

I just know the longer I stay here the more I love it.

The Modern Gal said...

I'm glad to hear the event was such a success. I hope to actually be in town for it next year.

The Modern Gal said...

I'm glad to hear the event was such a success. I hope to actually be in town for it next year.

Unknown said...

Off topic, but em, how was your race?

Anonymous said...

Joe, that was so sweet of you to ask. I really appreciate that. My race was great! I got my PR - 1:46:56! I am currently training for my first marathon (Cleveland on May 16), so I had to adjust my training schedule to get the half in (should have been a higher mileage long run) but with the PR, I feel like it was worth it.

How was your race? I felt so bad for those full marathon runners when it started to pour!

Did you hear about the Cade's Cove race coming up in April when the re-open the loop? I will try to get a post up about it actually because it sounds really cool. I just need to wait on a little more information about it.

Unknown said...

Em, my race was great, though you kicked my tail! I also PR'ed, 1:57-something, and felt great. And I passed Bill Haslam on the course, so that's something. :-D My wife did the full, and "enjoyed" the rain.

Unknown said...

Oh, and you should definitely come join us at Good times.

Anonymous said...

I hope you yelled SUCK IT HASLAM as you passed him! Haha totally kidding but that just made me laugh out loud.