Thursday, June 29, 2006

Intonation Music Fest Photos

Otay buttwheat, it's one week later and I am finally sitting down to write this. In internet time, the Intonation is a distant memory for many, but for me it was an experience that will stick with me until the end of time. You see, in my opinion, the fact that they were not only open minded enough, but forward thinking and hip and smart enough to put Devin the Dude on the bill with all these cats, was enough to make me happy. But seriously, the entire experience made me just ecstatic. And I generally don't like seing bands in festival situations.

Intonation was different though. This wasn't just a MasuUpaPalooza of new current, trendy, faves, it was a wild mix of incredible music that spanned generations (o.k. just two or three generations but how many generations really are truly alive?) with a couple hep cats thrown in to reel in the masses. Unfortunatley I don't think as many masses as they hoped actually passed through the gates, as like there wasn't one moment at Intonation where I felt uncomfortable. In a lot of ways I wish I would have felt uncomfortable. I wish 20,000 would have tried to squeeze into the 10,000 capacity joint in celebration of all this music, but um, they didn't and well, shit, the crowd was big enough. Fuck it.

Honestly it was pretty freakin' huge, but I expected to be in some Woodstock shit where the bands look like dancing dots in the distance and in the end you have to walk 10 miles back to your car.

Anyway, we started our weekend off Friday night at Zentra where my mans Fader Pilot and Ryan from Formula Werks and my man Bim from threw a party with Ric on the wheels. The above photo is entitled bottle service, cuz after we got kicked out of our table for not ordering bottles by some pinhead club fuck, Bim got us sat back down and showed them fools what bottle service really means to some Texans. Thanks Bim.

D-Double came on after Ric. It was crazy, most of the night when Ric wasn't on, I heard Reggaeton, then for the hour that Ric was on the decks I heard "Southside the Realest" and some weird nothern Mexican beats.

That's Fader Pilot on the left. I have known him since he was like 16 years old or some shit, just getting his feet wet in the DJ game. He used to hang out up at E.C. Illa's store, The Tip. We kept in touch and look what big thangs can happen. On the right that's my man John "Expert Witness." He's a good homey from Texas who just happened to be in the Chi with his friend, also named John to see the Astros play the Sox. He's a Coughee Brotha too and we all got together and Cougheed it on down.

There's Gina Gold and her friend.

John 2

After Ric's set we all hightailed it to Smart Bar to try and see Chromeo on the wheels, we just missed them and luckily saw Pee Thug and A-Trak (pictured here with DJ Rapid Ric) so we didn't have to be subject to the techno weirdness that was emanating from the door way. I wanted to go in Smart Bar though. I always liked that joint.

So Saturday we got up bright and early and headed to Union Park where the festival was taking place. Man, they did not bullshit I tell you what. We had free beer and food the entire time, everyone was incredibly overly cool and shit seemed to go off without a hitch. I remember when David, the dude who was running the show came up to me and said "I'm sorry dude but we are running about 6 minutes late is that o.k.?" Six minutes late? Shit I work with rappers, anything less than 6 days late is o.k.

That's my friend Teal on the right and two of her friends.

The view from backstage.

Pretty Todd from the Grid Iron/Grit Boys came out to hang with us. He told me he wanted to come hear some music and "Get away from all the mainstream bullshit." I applaud him for that. Todd been producing classics for folks like the late great Hawk, Lil Flip and he actually did a lot of the tracks on Paul Wall's album, with partner Calvin Earl.

Todd REALLY liked toe Boredoms so don't be surprised if the Grit Boys undergo a radical transformation.

Anyway, Devin hit the stage at 2:30 P.M. Place was about half full. I'm an optimist you see. But those who were there were way into it. He and Rapid Ric ripped through a quick, 30 minute set of all the hits and afterwards he spent like 40 minutes signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Fool need to get some merchandise!

John taped the whole thing for an upcoming DVD entitled "HoustonSoReal On The Road." In stores this fall. And avalable here exclusively online in September. Save your pennies.

Somehow we always end up in the same place at the same time as our potnas CHROMEO (though I'ma miss them next Saturday July 8th when they play the museum here in Houston). I think Dave 1 might have put a little word in for Devin when the whole thang thang was coming together. Cheers to them cuz really, they make some of the best jams in the land today.

(Though admittedly I got stoned last night and watched Cameo on the Tom Joyner show on TVONE last night and was like, man, where has all the music GONE?! I'd give a kidney to road manage a Chromeo/Cameo tour with special guest host Devin the Dude and Rapid Ric playing Mexican weird out music between sets.

Dave 1

Pee Thug

Dave 1, Devin the Dude

What was really crazy about this festival is the factthat well, they gave us so much beer for free that we started to not care about rolling and smoking weed right up in front of everybody, everywhere. And we didn't even get a dirty look. I realized on Sunday after I woke up in my hotel bed having no idea how I had gotten there, that we got a little beligerent with the weed as the day/night progressed. I'm a daddy, Id on't ever get to smoke and drink like that. Hats off again to the good folks at Vice/Intonation.

This is my good good friend Adrienne with Rapid Ric. She tried to give me a Xanax after I had already partaken in just about enough. I gave it back, and now, one week later, I am kicking myself. Hard.

PT and RR

So yeah, everything was great but really the Boredoms were fan freakin' tastic.

The rhythm the rebel.

Without a pause.

I think I went into a trance during their set.

BWA, Boredoms, Weed and Alcohol. My new anthem.

THEN! Another Texas legend hit the stage. Roky Erickson hasn't performed outside Texas since the 1960's and has never performed in Chicago. His band, the 13th Floor Elevators, set the standard for 60's psychedelia and he is known as one of the greatest songwriters of that generation. Man, it was an honor to finally see the guy. He doesn't even play Houston. Ever.

This is a friend of Adrienne, I don't remember her name but she didn't wear a bra and you could see her areolas quite easily through her Stones jersey. I tried to capture them but had no luck. Fader Pilot sent me a text that said "She is not wearing a bra lol." To which I replied, no shit sherlock.

for you.

I assume this is Gavin McInnis interviewing Devin but I am not sure. I know it's one of the founders of Vice Magazine and it ain't Suroosh. Anyway, I wanna see this footage.

So much beer.

I read a review of the fest in the Sun Times that said something like dude wasn't impressed with the BBC girls running around. I feel what Jim Derogatis is saying, but um, the only thing I ask of people who drag me out of my house to go to things is to entertain me. I hate being bored outside of the house and well, the BBC girls were quite entertaining. Plus, I have this thing for terry cloth outfits. Serious.

Fader Pilot and Devin in the dressing room as we grabbe the last of our beers.

DJ Frampster manned the decks for Lady Sovereigns set. Sov's cool but I was way too wasted at this point to remember anything and deliver a review of any sort. I guess she did Random, I don't know. I got a ocuple good shots though.

Same thing with The Streets.

I have no idea what was happening at this point. Just had to make a point to get some sort of photo.

This what it really all about anyway right?

And this is really how I saw this situation. Boredoms and their kids outside the venue.

I drunkenly followed Boredoms vocalist/everything man to the bus so I could drunkely snap this which really didn't come out so bad.

Next day was a bit less raucous for me. I was hung over and had learned my lesson. But um, by like 6 o'clock I was completely tanked and rolling weed in public again.

Lupe Fiasco got it going though.

Blue Cheer also rocked the house. They showed fools what heavy really means. Theirs was one of the only sets I watched in full besides Devin and The Boredoms. In fact, Devin the Boredoms and Dead Prez might have been it. And Blue Cheer. Ugh.

The girl on the left works in the "club industry" for years. The girl on the right smoked weed with Expert Witnes and he took her pipe that she bought at Bonnaroo the week before. EW gave itback just after this was taken.

Herb picked us up from the airport and we ran into him many times over the course of the weekend. Once he was finally off and not driving a van anymore he decided to chill and let loose with us. We drank, smoked and well, here's where it gets funny. Girl on the left sat with us for some reason. I have no idea why. But as she sat there - oh yeah - she saw we had "artist" passes so she was trying to scam an artist pass off us. Herb came up and I said "Ask him, he's the lead singer of fuckin' Bloc Party man if anyone can help you it's him." So she asked and he ended up getting her a VIP sticker which she was extremely geeked about. She told everyone around us that she just got a pass from the lead singer of Bloc Party. The she sat with us again and I started asking her questions and told her that me, my wife, Fader, Rapid Ric and Adrienne were "The Streets." And she said "You are not you don't even have British accents." To which I replied "We moved to Texas. You don't know anything about music." And she got mad and walked off.

I think that's what I said. I don't know. Fader told me that shit.

Me and WifeSoReal Melissa.

I missed Rhymefests setbut did get this shot. Before I took it though his Fruit of Islam security guy stopped me and told me no and asked what I was shooting for and got real defensive. Rhymefest just stepped in and told him it was alright but jeeeeeeeeeeeeez man. It's a camera, no tricks here.

Then it got radical. I always loved Dead Prez but hadn't seen them in a while and forgot how hard they rocked.

I ain't gonna lie, I did laugh a little bit when they got the white kids in the crowd to scream "REPARATIONS" along with them, but shit, I also ain't gonna lie when I say that these dudes are one of the only serious rap groups around today. If hip hop is black peoples CNN, Dead Prez is the news channel stuck in the 800's somewhere on your digital cable box after all the bullshit cartoon, comedy and shit fuck fuckin' stations. Man these boys are essential.

Fred Hampton Junior got on stage to talk about how Chicago is trying to stop the renaming of a street in the city to Fred Hampton Dr. Man, I feel him and I'd like to see Fred Hampton Dr. come into existence, but man, Chicago is the most corrupt city in the "free world." Good luck getting past those fucking jag offs in office out there.

Never saw Bloc Party till tonight. They fuckin' rage. For real. I hated their record the first time I heard it, then it became my most listened to album of 2005. And even into 2006. I love that shit and live they really are soemthing special.

Though I have to say....

In my head I always pictured them having dancing girls and being a lot cleaner sounding live. Like, listening to the record I can always see these two little sprite like girls, maybe even with wings on their backs. Maybe even one is my daughter EVa, but they are dancing in unison looking crazy for their entire set. No, no dancing girls.

Get some dancing girls.

Thalia gave Devin some clothes and handled up on the VIP area details and such.

It's almost over.

Again, this is what it's all about.

Thanks, bro.

I could say so much more but its a week later and I am on a mission to finish about 5 days worth of work before I leave for Europe for the next seven. I will holler soon. Thanks again to Adam at Vice, David at Intonation and everyone at Vice and everyone at Intonation. Y'all really did put together something really special. Like really, this shit was no bullshit. Anyone wants to talk down - intellectual Chicago writer types or whoever - tell 'em to shove it in a soggy bun and eat it like everything else they fucking inhale in that fucking city.