Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
By Trae Cadenhead
Photos by Steve White
Friday, July 2
Friday morning I made sure to wake up in time for the "See Hear Now" seminar with J. Robert Parks. His topic for the next three days is images and how they communicate strongly in a language all their own. The first session was mostly lecture in laying down the basics for the next two days, but it was very interesting and informative. I'm looking forward to seeing where it leads.
I made sure to catch the Tollbooth Talk on film criticism and truth. The open discussion was led by J. Robert Parks (I'm seeing him everywhere this year) and the panel included Doug Cummings (a film critic from LA) and M. Leary from Matthew's House Project. It was highly refreshing to hear Christians talk about looking at a movie beyond "good" or "bad" or how much language or sex it contains. The panel of film critics urged us to delve into more difficult films and learn to dissect and understand them because this is a process that is very Christian in nature.
I got to see Miranda Stone for the first time this year. I don't know how I could be a Cornerstone regular and have missed her to this point. Her set with a full band was fun. Jeff Elbel played bass for Miranda Stone and between songs they often joked back and forth. The laid back set even included a Collective Soul cover.
The opportunity to see Lovedrug again was very exciting for me. Having already heard the new album, I knew this would be a treat. It sure feels good to be right. After finding their missing bass player, Lovedrug tore through a super-tight set with full on rock and roll and beautiful crooning songs. It hit the spot just right. The closing song "Pretend You're Alive" was one of the best. I'm prepared to see Lovedrug explode in popularity when the new CD is released next month.
Next was the rare treat of seeing All Things Bright and Beautiful. Singer / songwriter Lee Bozeman recruited Namelessnumberheadman specifically to play as his band for this show. He let the band open with their own song which was quite impressive and convinced me to later buy their CD. Then Lee came out and they launched into the gorgeous piano ballad "The Dead Sea" from Love & Affection. More upbeat numbers followed, revealing a side closer to early Radiohead. To close, they played a brand new song which will be included on an upcoming Luxury release. All Things Bright and Beautiful was excellent, with my only regret being that they couldn't play longer. Stage manager Joe Kirk came out and told the band they had time for another song. If my lip-reading serves me correctly, Lee told him that they didn't have any other songs prepared to play. This is quite understandable considering everything they prepared was specifically for this Cornerstone performance.
After preparing for the interview with Lee Bozeman, I went to the All Things Bright and Beautiful merch table to meet up with Lee. While I waited I got to know the guys in Namelessnumberheadman and also met Kat Jones, who is one of the most exuberant musical artists I have ever met. Lee showed up and we went to a quieter place to talk. The interview went really well and I think revealed some great insight into the impressive work of Lee Bozeman.
I had time to catch a couple songs in an impromptu performance from The Pits. The band has matured a lot since I saw them a couple years ago. The vocals were sounding nice (reminding me of '80s metal in a strange but good way) and the band was tight as ever. I wish I had time to see more of them.
Instead, I went to see a film from Taiwan called Yi Yi, which J. Robert Parks had been plugging the entire festival. And for good reason. The sprawling three hour film was so alive and equal parts tragic and joyful, exactly like life itself. The camerawork was slow and deliberate with perfect direction. The scope of the film reminded me much of Magnolia with its many characters and parallel struggles. It was certainly three hours well spent.
Ready for more music I went to see Travelogue, a Plastiq Music artist. It was certainly a strange brand of synth pop. Somewhat of a darker Joy Electric, but with more instrumental creativity, he used used a skillsaw in a couple of songs. Quite interesting indeed.
The Promise Book followed on the same stage. From the beginning they were plagued by sound problems. Once they did finally start playing, they seemed to be some sort of pop punk band who had replaced guitars with synths. It wasn't too appealing.
Later The Kick played on
the same stage. Their straight ahead driving rock and roll was a lot of
fun. The lead singer had some interesting things to say between songs and
his sarcasm was well appreciated. The crowd definitely got into The Kick
That night the rain rolled
in, coming down hard off and on and drenching tents, sleeping bags, food,
etc. It was one of the most miserable nights I had experienced in awhile
and sleep was difficult to come by.