Tuesday, June 30, 2009

first-person: Two views on Corndogorama

Remember Corndogorama? You should, it happened just this last weekend in East Atlanta. We found some people to detail their experiences. Oh, and here's our previous post on Corndogorama.

View 1:
"Before we even finished our first corndogs, we had come to a conclusion: We needed to get the hell out of there. We had only been there for a short time, definitely not long enough to make the $15 admission worth it. We decided to do the only thing we could think of: Lie."
View 2:
"So now I can check off Dead Confederate, but won’t go back for seconds unless they get the chick from Today the Moon to play bass for them."
Read them both after the jump...

View 1 on Corndogorama: Not as cool as it sounds
by Josh Rank

We walked up to Corndogorama at three in the afternoon. The music was loud and the scent of corndogs gave us a nice warm hug as we approached the gates. Fantasies of giant corndogs shadowing great musicians while beer poured from a giant waterfall filled my mind. I was like a rich kid on Christmas morning. I didn’t know exactly what I was in for but I knew it was going to be great.

However, the rich parents forgot all about Christmas this year. The festival took place in a small park and the adjoining one block of pavement. We looked at each other as we surveyed the scene and said, “Really? This is it?” The stage stood off to the left with a handful of people loosely strewn about, listening to the music. The band sounded solid but I was too busy taking in the scene to pay much attention to them.

We glanced around at the various booths set up, including a Pabst booth, showcasing hats and T-shirts. After sweating a little more and glancing at the second stage, seemingly crammed in the back of the park with another band setting up, we came across a corndog stand. We had planned on eating one corndog per hour at 17 passed the hour. We found the stand at 3:20, so we had already failed our only goal.

We placed our orders and began trying to figure out what to do. The corndogs were hand-dipped, jalapeno flavored, and pretty damn good. “It’s basically the same thing you can get out a box at the grocery store,” a friend of mine said. I don’t think she even gave them a chance though, she was too disappointed with the festival to give an impartial review.

Before we even finished our first corndogs, we had come to a conclusion: We needed to get the hell out of there. We had only been there for a short time, definitely not long enough to make the $15 admission worth it. We decided to do the only thing we could think of: Lie. We would tell the people at the gate that a friend of ours had gotten into a car accident and that we had to go make sure she was okay. We figured there was no way they could say no to that.

As one friend went to tell the lie, the rest of us hung out at the Pabst booth. She is a convincing liar, but if the people had turned around they would have seen us playing beanbags, trying to win a free hat. I think they would know that even if a friend had gotten into an accident, we weren’t too bothered by it. Definitely not enough to have to leave as soon as possible. Also, if we really cared, would we take time to try to haggle our 15 bucks back?

The staff didn’t put any of this together and amicably returned our money, wishing us the best of luck for our fallen friend. “Thank you,” we said, solemn faced.

We walked back to the car, finishing off our corndogs. After throwing the sticks in someone’s front yard (It’s wood so it’s not littering. Right?) we all agreed that the thing that had sounded so wonderful, so magical, had flat-out sucked.

Josh Rank previously did a first-person about The Paper Chase, which can be found here. Josh can be reached at joshrank [at] yahoo.com.

View 2 on Corndogorama: So yes, we corn
by W. Cifer

"So yes we corn" was Dave Railey's slogan for the much scaled down Corndogaroma, now reduced to two days instead of three, though in the blistering heat, where the heat index threatens to melt your sunglasses to your face you begin to wish for a Friday night rather than a Sunday afternoon.

I attended the previous three years' festivals, the first being the last of the run at the Earl and the two at Lenny’s. This time to cut costs it was held in a vacant lot in the east Atlanta village , where there was no escape from the unforgiving heat, dripping of sunscreen spray and blinded by the sweat which remained in a continuous trickle down my brow the entire time I stumbled from one stage to another . Pbr was selling its wares with no middle man, which is the trust fund kids who are slumming its beer of choice.

All of the bands playing I had seen on flyers around town or in the Loaf but had yet to match the name with the music, going into I noticed first off that these were all MJQ bands and there was noticeable lack of rock bands , my first guess was that it was going to be to "the too cool for school" tight pants indie rockers, which was close though none were of the Black Lips school, of all hype no chops garage rock.

First band I caught was This Piano Plays Itself, which turned to be the surprise of the day. Their guitar punch caught my ear. The Explosions in the Sky influence was dominant of their sound, I liked some of the lighter textures but when they tried to turn the dials to rock it lacked the balls to go up to eleven. The bland singing and general drone began to cause all of their songs to sound the same making their 20 minute set drag.

Get Small was next and underwhelming to say the least. The two guitarists sounded as if they were playing different songs and their awful guitar tone quickly bored me. At best they reminded me of Failure without the punch. They inspired me to seek the refuge of a port a potty.

The only band on this line up I was familiar with was Today the Moon Tomorrow the Sun, which I had seen once before and was impressed with when I had seen them before at the Star Bar. Though since the performance I saw a year ago they hadn’t really grown in leaps and bounds. However their bass player was still hot and it was nice to see her dressed for the warmer weather, though seeing electro rock outside during the day seemed as if someone had put on the wrong sound track as it was way too humid for dancing under the punishing sunlight.

They were followed by Grinder Nova who’s martini swing, would have been better poolside at the Ramada Inn in Vegas. I liked Morphine better when they didn’t have a learning disability. The lets wear our influences on our sleeves continued with A Fight to the Death, oddly enough what this band does a band called Murder By Death does much better without the off key crooning.

Western Civ had to compete with the fact the heat at this point had worn me out so their bland straight ahead guitar jangle was an annoyance and their song titles were much more interesting than the songs themselves.

The much hyped Dead Confederate headlined, my first thought was this is Coldplay with a Neil Young fixation. Then the southern fried rough edges began to remind me of Drivin' and Cryin'. They sound good at what they do, even though one might think they were more into their facial hair than the song writing as they songs began to meander, taking more time to get where they were going than needed but not in the ambitious prog rock way. But they had more character in their sound than any of the other bands I saw through my sweat soaked eyes that day. So now I can check off Dead Confederate, but won’t go back for seconds unless they get the chick from Today the Moon to play bass for them and she takes to performing in swimwear.

So the heat aside , which is out of everyone’s control unless you start booking it in May, the main problem with the day was truth be told the lack of any one really rocking out, come on if you have a flying v on your promo posters, you need to deliver some honest to god rock. It doesn’t mean you have to bring back Mastodon, but the lack of any heavy music was a severe let down and it will be my last outing into the heat for Mr. Railey, who was catering to the Stomp and Stammer crowd this go around.
W. Cifer can be reached at wcifer [at] gmail.com

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