| Subterranean Noise: Worms get loud at this past weekend’s CotR fest. |
IMAGE: nilina mason-campbell
[AVANT GARDE] The charm behind the Children of the Revolution festival doesn’t flow from memories of all its past years in existence (this being only the third), but rather from the envelope-pushing visual art and genre-defying musical talent it attracts. The fest, born out of graphic designer Sohale Kevin Darouian’s first concert poster art show, CotR developed into a two-day affair this year, with video installations, Polaroids displayed in clusters and various other visual arts pieces lining the walls as live music entertained the crowds.
The music portion of the bill—mapped across two stages—made it possible for bands to perform live continuously. But regardless of the act, there seemed to always be an invisible perimeter around the wooden stages—the audience standing back as if viewing a piece of art rather than a live show. But what a show it was!
You know you’re in for a good set when the lead singer starts out lying on the ground with no microphone in sight. That’s just how Davis Lee Hooker began Worms’ oddly melodic noise-punk showing on Saturday. Hooker was quick to stand up, though, throwing crumpled political propaganda at those assembled while charging into the crowd as the beats, drones and bass blared away.
Tara Jane ONeil’s set was perhaps the most interactive of the festival (save for the art workshops—everything from wallet making to cures for writer’s block—held during the day). She and her bandmates handed out tambourines to those in front—and threw them to those in the back—to build a DIY orchestra. Over the course of the evening, Josh Hodges, of dance-rock outfit Starfucker, donned a vintage floor-length blue dress, Bird Costumes’ solo guitar-strumming filled the void of rocker LKN’s cancellation and electronic-folk troubadour Brian Mumford (Dragging an Ox Through Water) elicited some the strongest cheers of the evening.
Sunday was more subdued in terms of attendance, but performances were still frenzied, as synth-punk trio Fist Fite’s set proved. On Saturday, the windows behind the main stage reflected the crowd members’ silhouettes, but by Sunday had been taped over, creating a more intimate environment for those onstage, including sax-purveyors Rollerball and vampy experi-goths Magick Daggers.
Making my way out of AudioCinema, which sits in the shadows beneath the Hawthorne bridge, I didn’t know where the bass drone ended and the hum of machinery from street work began. The spirit of the festival wasn’t easy to shake, but its lingering presence was more than welcome.