La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


River Rocks Music Festival - Harriet Island - 9/20/08

I need to mention before I start writing this post that I just heard an Interpol song on a Georgio Armani cologne commercial..... Wonder if they will get lambasted as much as members of Metallica did for shopping at an Armani store? Yea, probably not.

ANYWAY..... the last 2 weeks I have had the privilege of seeing 3 very good shows. Starting off with the River Rocks Music Festival on Harriet Island 2 weekends ago, which turned out to be one of the last beautful summery days. While this was a 2 day gig, a buddy and I just went on Saturday, mainly to see the Roots. Other acts performing were locals The Alarmists and Heiruspecs, Mike Doughty, Semisonic, and the apparently still alive and kicking Live (who knew?) as the headliners of the evening.

We saw the set by the Alarmists, who I just can't seem to really catch on with. I do recommend checking out their first single from their latest album "Hired Gun." The Heiruspecs, a local hip hop act with a live band, a la The Roots, were an extremely pleasant surprise. The live instruments offered more to their act than just your same old local hip hop artists, who as they themselves put it are "a dime a dozen." What really captured me was one of the guys vocalized scratching ability.

The Roots were up next, and they did not disappoint. These guys seem to have so much fun on stage, and the way the interact with each other during their songs allows you to enjoy their show even more. Black Thoughts seems to get a bad rap as a boring MC, but I found him very charismatic. While you might not enjoy their albums if you are not a fan of hip hop, their live performances are on a whole 'nother level. The energy is through the roof and there is never a second in which music is not being played.

Mike Doughty, known for fronting the 90s college rock/indie darlings Soul Coughing, performed next with just an acoustic guitar along side a stand up cello. While I will say Doughty has a great lead singer's voice, when it's just him playing his songs tend to sound pretty redundant. It was fun to hear a few Soul Coughing songs thrown in his set, but overall he was fairly forgettable.

Minnesota music lovers will probably chastise me for this, but we really had no desire to see local favorites Semisonic, as well as Live. Thus we left after Doughty's set. One act of 90s alternative rock nostalgia was enough for me.


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