Friday, May 04, 2012

Jeff Mangum ATP Part 3: Bands I Did Not See

Being a continuing account of the occurrences at the Jeff Mangum curated All Tomorrow's Parties

By now you if you are still reading you will not have come across any discussion of bands I had seen at this event, apart from the Executive Summary. Let me keep it like that for a bit by talking about some of the artists playing the festival that I did not see. First up we have Charlemagne Palestine and Robyn Hitchcock. They were not playing together, which would have been awesome, but they were playing at the same tyme, so it would have been necessary to pick seeing one or another, but as both of these fascinating acts were playing before our bus arrived at the festival this was a choice we did not have to make. We were talking to a Glaswegian gentleman who was at Charlemagne Palestine and he was being annoyed by some people who were yapping away to each other through it, so he had to use the magic of being from Glasgow to say in a threatening tone something like: "Good sirs, I have politely requested you once already to refrain from disturbing me with your inane chatter. Now I am asking you again, with the warning that if you continue to upset me with your prattling I will not request your silence a third time but will have no option but to take my cane to your persons and administer several sound thrashings". That did the trick, but he did feel like he had done the reputation of Glasgow no favours.

I also did not see Sebadoh. I think maybe we were on the point of drifting off to see them after a wonderful set by Group Doueh when someone said to us that they had heard that an all-star jam featuring all the forward thinking bands on the festival line-up was about to take place, so we stayed for that instead. It would have been nice to see Sebadoh again, but fundamentally less appealing than seeing the Sun Ra Arkestra playing with Boredoms and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.

We went for a pizza when Magnetic Fields were on. I mean, come on, I have to eat. I suppose we could have got a takeaway pizza and sat at the back eating it, but maybe we needed a break from music. And ultimately, while I like Magnetic Fields, I have seen them quite a few times and do recall getting diminishing returns from their live appearances. And don't they play really quietly now as a result of some hearing problem Stephin Merrit has? So we probably would not have been able to hear them over the sound of our munching (and nor would anyone else), so it was probably best for everyone that we stayed away. I'm sure they were great.

I stayed up really late to see some of the kewl Oneohtrix Point Never, but as soon as they started I thought "I am too tired to enjoy this", so I went to bed.

And I also did not see Jeff Mangum. I do not really know too much about Mr Mangum. I understand he used to be in a band called Neutral Milk Hotel, who were around in the early 1990s or something. They somehow passed me by, but the ATP programme says that people liked them a lot. And people did seem to be very interested in seeing Jeff Mangum play, as both times there were huge queues to get in to see him, queues sufficiently long that we decided not to bother and go see something else instead. It did not help that anyone we knew at the festival said nothing more compelling about Mangum than that he was "alright", so I am not sure if we were missing much. I may at some stage acquire a copy of the classic Neutral Milk Hotel album (which has a nice cover) to see if I might just have missed the gig of the century.

An inuit panda production

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