Monday, August 28, 2006

Where the hell is Dunster?

On Sunday my entire day was devoted to driving to and from Dunster for the purpose of attending and performing at the Robson Valley Music Festival. This was both lame and awesome at the same time. I was playing cello for Halijo Webster, a local activist and musician. Her music isn't really my thing, and I'm pretty sure her message was lost on most of the veiwers, but thats fine I guess. Everyone there was stoned anyway.

So my day started at seven, and I drove to town to meet up with Hali and drive to Dunster. I took one look at her car, a buick la sabre, and realised that thing will cost about $700 to fuel, and offored the use of my Volkswagon for the sake of economy. Hali jumped at the idea of not driving. I was excited, my first roadtrip with my new car, but I didn't plan on driving for 10 hours.

I had no idea where the fuck Dunster was. It turns out its a little ways east of McBride, which itself is like 3 hours away. The drive was pleasant enough I guess, saw a deer, looked at pretty mountains and listened to OK Computer on repeat. We made it to Dunster in one piece, and started scoping out the festival grounds.

It was happening on a commune owned by members of the band Mamagaroove (I think I fucked up on the spelling) and it was a total hippy fest. I was the only person wearing a shirt (everyone else, man or woman, was either in a dress of some sort, or topless) and nothing I was wearing was made of hemp or tie dyed, so I already stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone there was pretty cool, very friendly, and fun to talk to. the food there was amazing too, the great thing about hippies is most of them are vegetarian, so I had lots to eat, and bands got free food, so I was pretty happy.

So after getting introduced to countless numbers of random dreadlocked henna tattooed bohemians, I sat down and watched a few acts. I didnt pay attention to the first four of five solo acoustic guitar playing women who all managed to sound and look like Joni Mitchell, but I made the mistake of perching myself infront of the stage right when a slew of hip hop acts took the stage. Now, I've got nothing against hip hop, per say. There are some great hip hop acts, but it's not my favourite genre of music. But these guys were pretty bad.... I hate bashing performers, and I avoid it when I can, but this guy was comic gold. The second, and mercifully last, rapper was a kid, probably about 17, from Valemount (a small city Southeast of McBride). He "produced" some of his own beats, and "samples" a few from some rapper who's name is escaping me at the moment. It was funny though, he was using a remote control to a CD player to decide what beats he was using for which songs, and kept fucking up with the remote and then trying to freestyle about his remote not working. But this is hardly what made him endlessly entertaining to watch.

It wasn't his oversized jersey, or his "bling" or his hat that made me chuckle. Or how painfull pail he was. I mean, I went to public school, I've seen my share of wangsters, but this guy...was a christian rapper. SO Christian. Not that I have anything about faith based rappers...well actually... I just find the jewish rapper Matisyahu pretty fun to listen to. But this kid from oh man. His first song was supposed to be about life in Valemount. It started out like it was going to be about that...sort of...? He started yelling something along the lines of "GO DUNSTER, GO V-TOWN, GO DUNSTER...GO!GO!" and then began saying how the streets are empty blah blah blah. Seemed like an average lame rap song, until he started saying:

"You gotta be smooth to spread the good word, Lord Jesus is my saviour, he died for you, foo'!"

I dropped my sketchbook and almost almost coudn't contain my laughter. I mean, rap alone is pretty comical, especially when done by some lame white kid from Buttfuck, British Columbia, but when he throws jesus into the mix, it turns into the things dreams are made of. It was truely comic gold. I guess growing up on the mean streets of Valemount really hardedned him. His next song started out with:

"The bass goes POW! Your face goes WOW!"

So....okay.....he repeated this like 15 times, and then went back into the whole Christ thing again.

"Christ is the savior, something something something, If you don't accept him, then death is the end"

I couldn't take this kid seriously to begin with, and then he throws in Christ Chex for good measure? I mean, hip hop is probably a really hard genre to break into, especially in a place like Valemount, but seriously...what the fuck.

There were some good acts though. This fantastic gypsy-punk band called the Plaid Tongued Devils played. They had a violinist, and kicked majour ass. I bought their CD, and talked to them after the show. They were pretty cool guys. Good fun dance music, and they had a very blatant anti-corperate stance in their music. I guess they were sort of like add busters with shred violin solos.

Also, the performance with Hali went well I guess. The audience seemed to enjoy it, and I got complimented on my guitar playing by the bass player of the Plaid Tongued Devils, who were up right after us. Hali's nerves were bad, but she did well.

The drive home was long though. I wound up giving my friend Torie a ride home, as well as a friend of Hali's. So my little VW was packed to capacity. We also had a great supply of brownies, cake, and cinnamen buns from the festival (donated by the nice hippy cook lady who was sad to hear we couldn't stay for supper). The drive went pretty smoothly, but I wasn't in control of music for the ride, which drove me nuts. It was too dark to see in the car, and driving a standard and handling CDs is a bad idea in the dark, so Torie took over. It would have been okay, but I was pretty annoyed for some reason at that point, and just wanted to listen to fast loud punk to keep me awake. Everyone else in the car was more into Pavement, and Elliot Smith though. So it was dark, the music was strange, the conversation in the backseat was about TV shows I never watch, and it was too noisy to talk to Hali, so I wound up just fixating on the road for three hours. It was great once I dropped everyone off though. I popped in De-loused in the Comatorium, and sang all the way home from town. I got home at 12 30, fell into bed, and didn't open my eyes til 2 30 pm. Lame, but sleep = awesome so it was okay.


Halijo said...

My name is Halijo Webster (the singer song writer Naomi joined with Cello, Guitar and Vocals) at Robson Valley Festival
Heya Naomi.....had I know I was going to be (Blogged) I would have contained myself a little better.;) Way to journal!
You captured the whole Robson Festival Experience and I guess we all have our own perceptions. (I too feel my songs were lost in this Venue) They are messaging songs, healing and empowering also for listening audiences and(preferably not under any organic influences or other). Your much different in your writings than in person and I am glad to have expererienced this side of you as well, always a pleasure......Thank you for turning me on to Elliot Smith....I was not so impressed with his music as I was his life (as it resembles mine in so many ways) Which by the way is a life that is all too common any more. story of addictions abuse victim survivor and now warrior. "a One Woman's out of addictions story.
At age 40 I am rising above with courage and self I never experienced before.......
Thank you Naomi for offering to drive and for sharing your talents. Your Cello playing helped beautify my songs, and Blues playing was mood seducing to where I needed to go with my vocals...and even though my music is not your kind of thing your professionalism carried it off as if your heart was into it 100%.
It was an experience working with you!
Wishing you many stages in your life Naomi
Halijo Webster
(apart of the solution)

Naomi said...

Hey! Thanks for the comment Hali! how'd you find out about my blog? I can't remember if I linked you or not...either way, thanks for the comment! sorry if my language was a bit...offensive at times.

Halijo said...

Heya Naomi..I am in Brandon Winnepeg right now in a Hotel 8...return trip form Ontario...
As far as finding your blog, It came up when I was surfing different bands...I think Mamaguroove was how I came by it?
Well, chow for now.

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