Professionally, I spin a lot of plates. I contribute to a number of different outlets including co-running Never Nervous, I play music, I have a day job, and a family. It’s that last bit that’s the most important, so I don’t get out that often. I felt guilty about it for a while, like I wasn’t doing some due diligence on my end, but that’s absurd. The most important thing that I can do in a culture that’s become as toxic as ours is to raise empathetic people to just be kind and thoughtful stewards of their environment. So that’s what I do the most of, playing with kids, teaching things, and just trying to put one foot in front of the other to stay ahead, or at least keep up.
I didn’t think I’d make Poorcastle this year, which was a bummer. Never Nervous were sponsors and for a reason. When Shaina Wagner, one of the event coordinators for the festival reached out to us, we made it work, because it’s something we believe in. Poorcastle just feels right, like a grassroots thing where everyone is taken care of as best as possible, or at least to the best of my knowledge. I mean, I’m an outsider looking in, but I’ve only known friendliness and joy from everyone involved. When a household sickness made it seem like it wasn’t on the table to go, I was a little bummed.
Fortunately, we didn’t all catch that bug. My daughter and I were in relatively good shape, which by that I mean we weren’t sick (not so much a comment on my general shape; sigh). I dug out these muffling headphones and took her out. It was the best decision I’ve made in a while. We got there as Bridge 19 were rounding out there set, which was the right intro as they are not too loud, but have a good energy. It’s fun music and that’s the kind of thing a little kid needs to feel welcome, which she did.
Next up was Memory Gloss, who were phenomenal. It’s the first time I’ve seen them live and they brought the thunder in a serious way that evoked giants like Hum or early-Rye Coalition with something like Ventura (check that link out if you haven’t heard the band, because they are awesome). It was big and loud and off-time in the best way possible, and we both loved it. My little girl danced and I danced with her. We spun around and acted like buffoons, like no one was watching. And it was fantastic.
It was hot outside, so we grabbed some shade for the next set in the musicians hospitality tent. I’m not a musician, or at least not one that performed there, but I feel okay with myself. I felt okay enough to sneak my daughter two complimentary cupcakes, which she devoured with glee. Who doesn’t love cupcakes?
Rmllw2llz took the stage next, and we watched from the sidelines. It was magnificent. My baby was all about his rhymes, and sat patiently watching him play the whole time. In fact, she requested that I take a picture of his set, which I did. Actually, I let her take the picture, because I wanted her to have the experience to a) learn something new, and b) capture the experience as she saw it. Check it out here and you can be the judge. But tread lightly jerks.
It was about time for us to bounce, but we stuck around long enough to catch some of Cat Casual’s set. It started off a little rocky with sound problems, but it was great. As a longtime friend (and past collaborator) with William Benton, I can hear the evolution of all of his music in his current project, and it’s perfect for him. The kiddo loved it too, and got me to dance a little more. Who am I to say no?
Can I recommend that everyone brings there kid? I don’t know. But I loved it. I loved watching the music, but more so watching fresh eyes take it all in for the first time. I hope that everyone knows that feeling at some point in their life, to watch someone feeling unmitigated joy and excitement at something, because that’s what happened to me. Thank you Poorcastle for creating an environment where that could flourish, where the ship was relatively on time, and where excellent music could be enjoyed at a reasonable cost and hour.