WELCOME TO… Moogfest 2011

 

It’s happening this
weekend, with appearances by the Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Brian Eno, Moby, TV
On the Radio, Roedelius, Terry Riley, Passion Pit, Suicide, Tangerine Dream  and tons more.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Last year, Halloween weekend, the Asheville, NC,
streets were alive with the sound of… Dr. Robert Moog, and his legions of
disciples – not to mention several thousand fans, many of them bedecked out in
their finest costumes. (Hey, who the heck was that dude in the bunny rabbit
outfit
that kept popping up in photos?) That would be Moogfest.

 

The BLURT staff was no exception, as we fanned out to catch
as many Moogfest bands, workshops, panels and related events – the  Sunday afternoon free concert in the park was
pretty awesome –  as possible. From our
wrap-up of the 2010 event: “We were zipping back and forth all over the
downtown area of Asheville
for 2 ½ days and nights, plus change. We ran into old friends, made new ones,
compared notes with fellow journalists, and even hoisted an ale or two with
some of the artists who wound up next to us in venues, cheering on their peers.
And the one consistent thread that emerged was exactly what MoogFest was
intended to be all about: celebrating the wide-open, boundary-less spirit of
musical diversity and exploration that Robert Moog pioneered.

 

“The folks behind MoogFest have apparently already begun sketching
out next year’s event – I’d reckon that makes it a success. Sure looked, felt
and smelled like it.”

 

So – it came true; next year’s event is now this year’s event.
Moogfest 2011 happens this weekend, Oct. 28-30, and it’s a whopper, as the
lineup of acts, below, clearly reveals. (There’s also a series of Moogfest
related stories online at the local
alternative weekly paper The Mountain Xpress
as well as daily newspaper The
Asheville Citizen-Times
.)

 

 

 

Check that name at the very bottom of the lineup: Brian
Eno’s 77 Million Paintings “visual music” art installation
is opening in Asheville during Moogfest weekend (at the YMI Cultural Center in
downtown Asheville), and it’s only the third time it has been displayed in the
US, following openings in San Francisco and Los Angeles. (Previous exhibitions
have been in Sydney, Milan
and Venice.)
What’s more, Eno – no stranger to Moog and other analog synths, as the photo
above might suggest – will also be on hand to present (separately) one of his
“Illustrated Talks” on Saturday afternoon at Moogfest.

 

About 77 Million Paintings:  “Conceived
by Eno as ‘visual music,’ it is a constantly evolving sound and image-scape
born from his exploration of light as an artistic medium and his interest in
the aesthetic possibilities of generative software. Presented on a uniquely configured
constellation of video monitors, 77 Million Paintings is a serene and
beautiful work, slowly evolving and transforming in time such that no two
instants are quite the same. It is art that encourages the viewer to slow down
and enter a contemplative state, reflecting on the uniqueness of a passing
moment that has almost certainly never existed before.”

 

Last night (Oct. 27) the Eno installation was previewed for
Moogfest guests and the press; following that was a press conference with the
artist, who was alternately erudite, informative, thoughtful and just downright
funny. We’ll have more on Eno as well as thoughts on his lecture next week during
our Moogfest wrapup.

 

 

***

 

Getting back to the music, this year the roster of venues
had expanded considerably. In addition to the Asheville Civic Center Arena, the
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and the Orange Peel club (all of them with considerable
audience capacity), there will also be shows held at the relatively intimate
Diana Wortham Theatre and the Asheville
Music Hall, along with
selected performances happening at the Moogaplex and the Moog Store itself. And
just to up the ante, they’ve taken over the parking lot of downtown hotel The
Renaissance and dubbed the outdoor stage The Animoog Playground (that’s where
the Lips will be playing, for example). Here’s hoping the weather holds up, as
the latest forecast is calling for rain on Friday and then pretty chilly
temperatures at night all weekend. (Hey, this IS October in the mountains.)

 

Speaking of the Moogaplex: that’s where the panels and
workshops will be held, and they were consistently interesting last year. Among
the topics slated to be covered this time around: “Convergence: Software and
Hardware Integration in the 21st Century” (Friday); “Sound Design”
(Saturday); Dan Deacon & Tara Busch’s Moogerfooger Mayhem” (Saturday);
“Journey to the center of the Theremin with Neon Indian, Dorit Chrysler and
Albert Glinsky” (Sunday); “Sun Ra and Beyond: Exploring Rare Recordings from
Bob’s Archives” (Sunday – there was also a Sun Ra discussion in 2010 that was
fascinating).

 

Meanwhile, there are to be all sorts of Moogfest-related
happenings in and around the city. The Moogseum, for example, located in the
same building as the Moogaplex, will display a portion of the late Dr. Moog’s
archives – books, gear, prototypes, and more. Then over at venerable indie store Harvest
Records
at noon on Saturday they will be hosting a special listening party
for Brian Eno’s new Panic of Looking EP that’s slated to be released by Warp on Nov. 8, and attendees will be able
to buy the record early. There will also be a pair of Moogfest-related in-store
performance: today (Friday, 28th) Stockholm’s The Field will do a
set at 3pm, while on Sunday The Drums will be doing a free gig at 4pm.

 

Visitors to Asheville
are advised to follow a few Twitter feeds for updates and last minute (i.e., “secret”)
event announcements. Follow #Moogfest, as well as these accounts:

 

@Moogfest   

@MFSpaceman   

@MoogMusicInc

 

 

Also, text MOOG to 73378 if you want text updates throughout
the weekend.

 

So… we’re off. If you’re in town, have fun, and if you’re
not, follow some of the happenings via the above Twitter feeds, the official Moogfest Facebook page, and even the
BLURT Twitter for some random babblings from us over the weekend:
@BlurtMagazine  

 

***

 

Some of our picks to
click – and speaking of clicking, click on the links for the full hour-by-hour
schedule for each day…

 

 

FRIDAY, OCT. 28:

 

Matthew Dear
Animoog Playground, 5:15

Austra – Orange Peel,
6:00

Beak> – Thomas
Wolfe Auditorium, 6:30

Atlas Sound
Orange Peel, 7:30

Tangerine Dream
TWA, 8:00

Mimi Goese & Ben
Neill
– Diana Wortham Theatre, 8:30

Holy Fuck – Civic
Center Arena, 9:00

Chromeo – Animoog
Playground, 9:30

Grimes – Asheville Music Hall, 10:30

Moby – Civic
Center Arena, 10:30

Lunzproject – Dian Wortham Theatre, 11:30

Flying Lotus
TWA, 12:00

TV on the Radio
Civic Center Arena, 12:30

Anika – Orange
Peel, 12:45

 

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 29:

 

Roedelius – Diana
Wortham Theatre, 5:00 (read our Roedelius
feature here
)

Dan Deacon
Animoog Playground, 5:30

CANT – Orange
Peel, 6:30

SBTRKT – Civic
Center Arena, 6:30

Terry and Gyan Riley
TWA, 6:30

Twin Shadow
Orange Peel, 8:00

Adrian Below – Diana Wortham, 8:00

Flaming Lips
Animoog Playground, 8:30

Amon Tobin
Civic Center Arena, 10:15

Cloudland Canyon – Asheville Music Hall,
10:30

St.
Vincent
– TWA,
10:45

Suicide – Orange
Peel, 11:30

Moon Duo – Asheville Music Hall, 12:00

Battles – TWA,
12:45

KODE9 – Orange
Peel, 1:00

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 30:

 

Oneohtrix Point Never – Orange Peel, 5:00

Active Child
Civic Center Arena, 5:30

The Drums – TWA,
6:30

Fareed Haque &
MathGames
– Orange Peel, 6:30

Neon Indian
TWA, 8:00

Baths – Asheville Music Hall, 8:30

Special Disco Version
feat. James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
– Civic Center Arena, 8:30

Passion Pit
Animoog Playground, 9:00

Umphrey’s McGee
TWA, 10:00

Ghostland Observatory – Civic Center Arena, 10:30

Gold Panda
Orange Peel, 11:30

 

 

 

 

 

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