Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wrapping up

Thoughts about the Fest. I didn't make it every night but showed up for the majority of them. Were there highlights? Well, of the acts I saw, I definitely loved Mike Baglivi's set with his group the Open End. It was exciting in and of itself but also, having been friends with Mike for a while it was great to see him take a step forward so successfully. All of the acts this last Thursday were excellent as you can read-I especially liked Dinosaur Feathers. And really, Ching Chong Song is a sublime group that keeps getting better.  

There were also times during the Fest when I was bored or sleepy or wondering what the hell I was doing there late on a weeknight. I'm not sure I can totally explain why I was drawn to be there so much, to be truthful. I think what I find so compelling about Sidewalk is that it's an incubator of ideas, a blank slate for people with a need to create, and a town square for a community of friends. There aren't that many places where people have the freedom to express exactly what they want without any kind of outside pressure. Another thing about Sidewalk is that you can use it for your own process. Putting together my own show for the Fest was one of the best experiences I've had artistically in a long while. Over the years I've been hanging out there, the place has given me the chance to develop in many ways, and I'm sure there will be more to come.  So the Festival for me, I guess, is an intensified version of what Sidewalk offers all the time. It's a compressed and heightened showcase where it's possible that anything can happen.

Lach deserves unlimited credit for all the opportunity he has provided people over the years with these events. And Ben Krieger has done a great job carrying things forward. And Pini should get some recognition too. Congrats and thanks to you folks for this.

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