Tag Archives: Erin Wade

Forecastle

The festival showdown

By Erin Wade–

Well children, it’s getting to be that time of year. Spring is upon us and festival season is almost here. Lineups are being released, tickets are being purchased and hotels are being booked.

The most well known festival of the region, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. is one of the only occasions it is socially acceptable to not bath for four straight days. Headliners this year include Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Avett Brothers and The Beach Boys.

The Beale Street Music Festival, part of the Memphis in May International Festival, released their lineup last week along with Louisville’s own Forecastle Festival. It’s been no secret that My Morning Jacket will be headlining Forecastle, but the band also plans to make an appearance on Beale Street. Other big names coming to Louisville July 13-15 are Bassnectar, Girl Talk (who will also be at Beale), Wilco, Ben Sollee and Neko Case.

The Beale Street Music Festival has a considerably tempting lineup for music lovers of all genres. Along with My Morning Jacket and Girl Talk, other artists to grace the stages include Florence + The Machine, Al Green, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Three 6 Mafia, Coheed and Cambria, Herbie Hancock, Primus, Buddy Guy and Jerry Lee Lewis (yes, he’s still alive). It’s severely impressive for a three day festival.

If your tastes are a little more exclusive to one genre, or you feel like combining a festival and sandy shores, there are options for you as well. Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH is sporting a pretty heavy lineup with Incubus, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Shinedown as headliners. For you beach bums, The Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala. matches Bonnaroo’s slots for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Skrillex, as well as brings you the lovely music of the Flaming Lips, Jack White and Dave Matthews Band.

Unfortunately, even the most apt festival hopper has to prioritize. With most of these tickets selling at over $100, us thrifty college kids certainly have to pick and choose. Though Bonnaroo is the most expensive at around $250, you get the most bands and an opportunity to be absolutely filthy for four magical days. Last year, you would know exactly where your money went with acts like Buffalo Springfield, The Black Keys, Robert Plant, Lil Wayne and Loretta Lynn. However, this year’s lineup in comparison is significantly lacking. The supporting bands are for the most part unheard of and the only band to traverse oceans of time to remain relevant is The Beach Boys. In all honesty, I haven’t met a hipster bold enough to say “Pet Sounds was just brilliant, man; it was so ahead of its time.”

When it comes to seeing a more eclectic group of bands that people have actually heard of for a reasonable price, the Beale Street Music Festival with its plethora of diverse artists and $75 for a three-day pass triumphs over Bonnaroo. For those of you looking for a new pilgrimage, Memphis surely will not disappoint.

Photo courtesy Forecastle Festival

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WFPK presents The Lemonheads at Headliners

By Erin Wade–

There is nothing more refreshing than watching a guy with a comb-over pogo. Only the Lemonheads are capable of making such a magical occurrence happen, and that is exactly what they did on March 5 at Headliner’s Music Hall.
Evan Dando, the lead singer, caused a stir when he walked out amongst the crowd before the show started. I suppose he thought we wouldn’t notice him, but he quickly retreated and emerged later, cleverly disguised in a cap and backpack. Sneaky, sneaky Dando.
To give them due credit, the opening band – Deer Meet – was the actual one to commence the pogoing and it only elevated with performances by Meredith Sheldon, who has quite a voice, with her band and Fred Mascherino of The Color Fred. And yes, that is Fred Mascherino, former member of the band Taking Back Sunday.
The Lemonheads, essentially just Evan Dando now, were accompanied by Fred Mascherino on bass. Not only did they have people with comb-overs pogoing, they also had some fist pumping and pretty solid boogying going on by “The Great Big No.” Dando soon got into his solo acoustic set and took little time getting to crowd favorites “Into Your Arms” and “Being Around.” It warms the heart that, even after 19 years, loyal fans can still sing along to “If I was a booger would you blow your nose? Where would you keep it? Would you eat it? I’m just trying to give myself a reason for being around.”
After his acoustic set, a round of encore clapping brought him back with his band and a guy named Chris. Chris replaced Dando as the vocalist for a song. He later returned with Dando and Mascherino to end the night with “Style,” another track off of The Lemonheads’ 1993 album, “Come On Feel.”
Unfortunately, Dando didn’t seem terribly happy to be playing the show that night. The “thank you’s” he gave after every song came out rather apathetic sounding. Although they got a little more enthusiastic as he continued playing, there was still a bit of a lull throughout the whole performance. But the crowd was still considerably happy at the end of the night and it can’t be denied that only a band like the Lemonheads can get people still rocking leather pants and comb-overs, having a good time jamming out to some ‘90s tunage.

Photo courtesy Taang Records

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Downstairs Lip Service: Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’ comes to Louisville

By Erin Wade–

When it comes to having a raw conversation about the cat, there’s just no one that can do it better than Eve Ensler, writer of “The Vagina Monologues.” Prevention, Education and Advocacy on Campus and in the Community, known as PEACC, teamed up with several other organizations on campus to run Ensler’s play in support of V-day, the global activist movement to end violence against women.

The introduction of the play served as a crash course ice breaker in preparing you for the upcoming awkwardness you may feel throughout the play with the girls informing us of the various names vaginas are sometimes called. Of course, there are the familiar ones we’ve all come to know and love, but there were quite a few that I’m sure the audience hadn’t heard in general circulation.

My personal favorites include: monkey box, coochie snorcher, fannyboo and I do believe I heard breakfast of champions somewhere in all of it. Quite the vocabulary lesson.

The play started off with the lesser known skits “Hair” and “The Flood,” the latter about a 72-year old woman who had never had an orgasm, a horror story of sorts.

It then moved on to the classic episodes of “My Angry Vagina,” where the performers humorously rant about the injustices the vagina suffers, such as the use of tampons, thongs and cold OBGYN tools, and “The Woman Who Liked to Make Vaginas Happy” in which a lawyer turned sex worker talked about her strictly female based clientele and how she loves to hear them moan. This skit is famous for its list of moans and the way they are performed.

It starts off normal: the vaginal moan, the clitoral moan, but then moves into the specialized moans consisting of the militant, uninhibited bisexual moan, the machine gun moan and the triple orgasm moan. I’ll leave it up to you to infer what those sounded like.

But not all of the episodes in this play were as lighthearted. “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” which is by far the most controversial, told the story of a girl who was sexually assaulted at 10, but then had a (and this is the controversy) sexual healing experience with an older woman when she was 13, though the script has since been changed to make her 16.

Crystal Newman, a senior psychology major who performed the monologue for “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” has been a part of this production for two years now. “What makes me come back is the empowerment. All the women involved come from such different backgrounds in all regards, and there’s just this overwhelming sense of belonging for everyone.”

This was the first year participating for Marian Mays, a senior history major and one of the two speakers in the episode “My Vagina Was My Village” (a tragic monologue about Bosnian women held in a rape camp). Mays said, “I had always wanted to do ‘The Vagina Monologues’ and support V-day activism in ending violence against women.”

Similarly, when I asked Colin O’Brien, the program coordinator at PEACC, about his motives for helping make this event happen, he said, “I really just wanted to bring more awareness to the issues that are showcased in the play itself.”

Overall, I think I speak for everyone, those who attended and performed, in saying it’s quite an experience no matter how you are involved.

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy of University of Louisville

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The prostitution debate

By Erin Wade–

If you were strolling about the lower level of Ekstrom Library last Thursday evening chances are you would have heard a rousing conversation coming from Chao Auditorium. Cards 4 Freedom, a student organization against human trafficking, teamed up with MensWork, an organization engaging men to take part in eliminating violence against women, to host a debate over the legalization of sex works in America. The panelists consisted of Dr. Kaila Story: Assistant Professor in Pan-African Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, and Audre Lorde, Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Lilian Little: Graduate Student in Kent School of Social Work, Rus Funk: Executive Director of MensWork, and Alisha Dawn West: Graduate Student in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Only one question was asked by the orator that incited nearly two hours of a rather toasty debate amongst, not only the panelists, but the audience: What would be the best legal framework for sex works that would also reduce violence and human trafficking? Dr. Story was up to bat first and she made the argument that it should be legalized and treated as any other profession and that with government regulated health benefits and safety standards it would ideologically be the most protective. West agreed somewhat saying that ideologically it would be the best option, but it can’t be ignored that most women are forced into prostitution through trafficking. Little in turn brought up research that said 89% of women were forced into the industry and would escape if they were able. The framework she suggested would serve to decriminalize sex workers, to treat them as the victims of the crime and penalize the pimps and clients. Funk had a similar stance in saying that the workers aren’t the problem; its men’s demand of women’s bodies and their sense of “entitlement.” His example of this entitlement was certainly one of the two most memorable of the debate; something to the effect of “Men feel that just because they have an erection they have the right to stick it wherever they want.”

Although that comment certainly had the ability to derail the conversation to another debate entirely, the attention moved to how exactly it should be regulated, in regards to the transaction, and whether or not such regulation could suffice in protecting the workers. Dr. Story, still in favor of legalizing, suggested that all workers and clients be submitted to a health screening and could then be licensed even. When asked about the transaction in terms of pricing and how one would go about it she responded (Spoiler alert: this is the other memorable moment) that it would be similar to going to a salon for a manicure and that there would be signs: blow job $4.99. Granted, I do believe she was being a little facetious (especially with that price). West and Funk still had doubt especially concerning government regulation. Can we really hold the U.S. government responsible to protect these workers? Dr. Story admitted it won’t be transformed into this magical, non-stigmatized profession overnight, but that if the law is in place, it would be just as effective as any other we have and if a worker doesn’t feel as if they have been protected under said law they can take the American route—and sue.

By the end of the debate, there were still questions unanswered and topics not covered thoroughly enough, but it was brought back into perspective that there’s still more research to be done and options to explore when it comes to legalizing sex works. What did seem evident at the closing of the debate was that these conversations need to be had. Though just sex itself may be seen as taboo or uncomfortable to talk about, it may be something we should remove this leering sense of shame from, for the sake of being educated.

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo/Flickr:the_toe_stubber

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The Pixies La La Love Louisville

By Erin Wade–

Or at least David Lovering does. The drummer of the Pixies dedicated their song “La La Love You” to the ladies of Louisville Wednesday night at The Louisville Palace.

It’s always interesting to see what kind of crowd the Pixies are able to gather in a single venue. They harbor quite an eclectic mix, from college kids and average Joes to drunk moms and people that haven’t seen the light outside their parent’s basements in a good fifteen years. All of these people united in a common quest: to see the Pixies before they finally hate each other enough to call it quits for good.

It’s common knowledge that the band members aren’t terribly fond of each other, and that they certainly don’t tour for the companionship or the pretty bus so it’s hard for fans to pass up the opportunity not knowing whether it will be offered again.

Opening for the Pixies was the Florida band, Surfer Blood. Cute kids. Most of their songs sounded like something you’d hear in Hollister, and their plucky lead singer was entertaining, but even they knew they were just keeping us occupied before the real show started.

And then the anticipated moment arrived; the lights dimmed and everyone was waiting for the Pixies to appear from wherever they were hiding backstage. It’s a tradition for the Pixies to get the audience feeling good and awkward before they come on stage by making us endure watching several unhinged videos of eyes being slit open, a man with ants in the palm of his hand, a nun riding a bike and a woman being groped. For future reference you should think twice before seeing the Pixies on a first date or with prudish parents. Once everyone was substantially weirded out, the Pixies came onto the stage.

Oddly enough they opened with obscure b-sides. It may not have been the best choice considering the lack of movement throughout the crowd. The first widely recognizable song is “Debaser” followed by “Tame” and then followed by “Wave of Mutilation.” Sound familiar? They continued to play every song from their album “Doolittle,” in order. I know it’s their Doolittle tour, but where’s the surprise? Other than the slowed down version of “Mr. Grieves,” that is. The crowd graciously cheered for each song, regardless, as if they really hadn’t a clue what song was to be played next. What loving fans.

After the last song of the album, “Gouge Away,” was played, the vigorous applause gave way to the expected encore. They reentered the stage in good time but with another iffy choice. They went with a slower version of “Wave of Mutilation” that provoked more audience involvement. It was faint, but you could sense the apprehension festering amongst the fans. When were they going to play “Where Is My Mind?” It took another encore after the Pixies’ fog-filled “Into the White” for them to give us what we wanted, but that wasn’t their final song. The Pixies bid us goodnight with “Gigantic.”

Throughout the show the band made effort here and there to make it seem like they’re all good chums. Kim Deal strived to remain relentlessly cheerful and even Joey Santiago and David Lovering played into it a little, but Black Francis seemed rather inhibited. It’s hard on the heart of a Pixies fan to have to deal with the reality of it, but maybe, just maybe, they are more of a family than a band. Isn’t it said that family only has to love you, not like you? Maybe after all these years they don’t like each other, but deep down in their little Pixie hearts they might love each other, even if only a little.

It’s a nice thought anyway. Whether the Pixies hate each other or not we may never know, but they gave us quite a performance that night, and we still la la love them.

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy 4AD

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Underground Sounds: A great find for music lovers

By Erin Wade–

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon an enchanting little music shop on Highland Avenue with the handle of Underground Sounds. Upon entering Underground Sounds one sees miscellaneous music insignia lining the walls as one would at any CD or record store and a fair amount of CDs and vinyls organized by genre, condition and year. But one might find there is something about the store that is difficult to place.

Nowadays, most music shops in Louisville are fairly similar in what they carry in regards to genre or artists, but despite its small size, Underground Sounds has an unrivaled catalog. While rummaging through the CDs, I found several interesting and unfamiliar names, but when I happened upon the blues section, I struck a gold mine. I found a “Skip James” CD.

Unfortunately, you probably have no earthly idea who “Skip James” is. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who has nor have I ever seen a CD of his in any store. “Skip James” was a delta blues artist in the 1930s. Sadly, the timing of the release of his songs coincided with the beginning of the Great Depression, resulting in very poor sales. James eventually gave up on music and slowly drifted out of familiarity. In fact, his whereabouts were unknown for the next thirty years until he was found in a Mississippi hospital in the 1960s. But not only did I find his CD in Underground Sounds, I found a whole section for his CDs. Giddiness ensued.

I questioned what kind of individual would have such a selection. For some reason, I imagined that only a wise old man on the upper side of his sixties could be running this place, but then I met Craig Rich. Rich has owned Underground Sounds for 16 years and, contrary to my predictions, he isn’t an old relic. He’s a delightful little hippie that doesn’t even look out of his thirties. Just mentioning “Skip James” to him induced this rampage of in-depth knowledge on the artist and slowly drifted to concert stories. Craig estimates that he’s been to around 6,000 shows; he can name drop like no other. This man is a paragon of music history connoisseurs. At one point, the conversation skipped to something unexpected. A customer came in and asked why he didn’t take the more lucrative route of running his business out of his house through internet sales, nixing the shop altogether. You could tell he’d entertained the idea before, but what he said next surprised me. He said that at the end of the day what he really wanted was to interact with people, to be a conduit between them and music.

While listening to all of his crazy adventures, I discovered what I couldn’t place before about his shop. And though it would be easy for me to just tell you what it is, I think you’d be very happy to discover it for yourself.

features@louisvillecardinal.com
Photos by Erin Standridge/The Louisville Cardinal