Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WE Fest Preview -- Wilmington, NC

WE Fest is a funny little bird. It's a Wilmington, NC staple--kind of the definition of the underground. Starting as a zine-exchange festival, each day is only $1 (or $3 for underage) and bands come not expecting to get a cent.

The fest's heyday feels past, not that I knew that heyday, but hey (ha!) I've been here three years and every year WE Fest catches me by surprise.

I always forget about it. I'm an innocent bystander. I don't know what the machinations of the fest are. I think I spoke to the famed Kenyatta once. I don't see his band on the schedule this year. Don't know what's going on. I always feel that it could be bigger, better than it is, that its ideals are kind of holding it back, or that it's no longer holding up its ideals (a lot of local bands...) or that the industry has passed it by (bands no longer wanting to take a chance in a small town by the beach anymore).

But that's WE Fest by design. You're not supposed to know the bands. You're supposed to discover bands. You're supposed to take a chance and stumble in somewhere That's how I found this band who unfortunately isn't playing this year.

I'll go ahead and compare it to Rad Fest. Sure, the music was more closely aligned, but there was punk, hardcore, math-rock, folk stuff. You got the sense the bands really wanted to be near one another. But it costs $25. Not $1.

Maybe $1 worked 14 years ago, but gas money is a lot, and food is a lot and people only buy their albums from large fruit companies they can access on their desktop.

So (by design? by ignorance? by laziness?) I don't know most of the bands playing (the full schedule is here), but here are the few that I can recommend. You should check them out even if you aren't finding your way to WE Fest this year.

All bands are at the Soapbox:

Thursday, May 27th:
8pm- Coup De Grace
12am-Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun

Friday, May 28th:
Bootleg Mag showcase
10pm -Gray Young
11pm- I, Crime
12pm-I Was Totally Destroying It

Saturday, May 29th
8pm -Unholy Tongues
12am-Zach Broocke
(The fest is on Monday as well, but I don't know any of those bands...I'll be at the beach, I guess.)

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