It began for us 3 months ago. Planning. Scribbling. Editing. Running about willy-nilly. Barry Staples stripped out an old kitchen, repainted cabinets and hand printed about 60 t-shirts. The guys from tourcast.tv pitched in to provide us with a live stream of the event. The dj’s on WQFS, WUAG, made a lot of noise. The Greensboro News and Record, Yes Weekly, Go Triad, Examiner.com, Lisa Dames on 94.1, Paste Magazine, Frank Stasio from NPR waved the save the monkeywhale flag. People sent us tweets and e-mails of support from all over the state and country, as well as other countries. Zach Hadgraft dreamed up algorithms for animations in the wee hours. Carolyn de Berry sent out Press Releases, PSAs, pictures, and ran around like crazy. Vijay Java wrote script, made copies, secured housing for musicians … Performers drove hours to play here, in Greensboro, NC, at the first ever Save the Monkeywhale Festival 2009.
If you didn’t catch the live stream here or weren’t able to make it out to Solaris, you missed a truly lovely evening. Asheville’s Now You See Them wowed a packed crowd and that was just the opening act. Eating the Invaders (including fellow monkeywhalers, Matty Sheets, David “Driveway” Moore, Marshall Owen and Barry Staples) turned up the heat and Holy Ghost Tent Revival brought people to their feet to end the night with a twirl of pure joy.
Josh Neas of WQFS and Aquarium Drunkard fame MC’d last night and began with a ballad to the monkeywhale, which fortunately we preserved for posterity. He’ll be back tonight with something truly special (rumor has it he’ll be using spears).
This was night one of a packed weekend.
Tonight we’ll be down at the Blind Tiger on Walker Avenue presenting Citified, Filthybird (both fantastic greensboro bands), Chapel Hill based The Never, and another band from Asheville, Sirius B who are sure to punctuate the evening with set that’ll get you up on your feet.
As if that weren’t enough, the final night will bring us local legends, Bruce Piephoff, Sam Frasier, Martha Bassett, along with Amelia’s Mechanics with a special visit by the Avett Brother’s very talented father, Jim Avett. The night will continue with The Alcazar Hotel featuring Katharine Whalen (in case you didn’t already know, Katharine is a member of The Squirrel Nut Zippers) and Stephaniesid (I think they just might surprise you how good they are, if you haven’t already seen them play at Belle Cher, Bonaroo or countless other major festivals). Rounding out the evening will be another great local band, House of Fools.
All the bands performing for the entire 3 day festival have performed in our online series, Harvey’s Kitchen. The festival marks the one year anniversary of the series, and is also a fund raiser to keep the project going. Many of the bands have donated their time and creative energies to help support monkeywhale.com.
We want to give a special thanks to our Asheville monkeywhalers, including the very talented, Wendy Lou who showed us that tweets can be useful rather than simply annoying and for being our official Save the Monkeywhale 2009 tweeter. Other special thanks goes to the ENTIRE county of Guilford, including the city of Greensboro, Erin Stratford at Action Greensboro, David McClean from the Kings English, Molly McGinn, Focal Points Studio, Mike Tourek, Donna Smith, Heather Moore, Taylor Bays, the indefatigable Matty Sheets, Ramseur Records, Trekky Records, Compass Records, JAIME COGGINS (woot!) and all the bands and people that have waved the Monkeywhale flag for the past year including Pete Schroth, Anne Schroth, The Avett Nation, Vijay Java and our future production company partner Mark Wagoner of Mark Wagoner Productions (more on that later).
See you tonight!