New Weird American Festival

We received this great report and pictures from one of our loyal readers, Trontroland: 

Fourth of July always brings back great memories for me, and this past Saturday at Nomad Gallery for the New Weird American Festival will rank up there with the best. Nomad is set up so that you can mingle with great musicians and artists and feel like you’re at a family backyard bbq, complete with fireworks.

My friends and I arrived early as we wanted to catch as many of the bands as possible. We were not the only ones who arrived early as there was a good size crowd of about 100 when we got there at 3:00. It was plenty loud inside the gallery, and since we were really interested in the last four bands, we decided to save our eardrums and kick it outside at the bar. For a small donation you had your choice of margaritas, wine, or domestic canned beer all served cheerfully by the nicest bartender you could ask for.

The first bands and DJ sets were great at setting a laid-backed, hard rocking vibe. I noticed a few people walking around with
WEIRD OWL merchandise, and RADIO MOSCOW had a Grand Funk/Mountain sound that I really enjoyed.  NIGHT HORSE got me off my barstool and inside to see how they looked. It wasn't easy to see since there is no stage, but people were dancing and really digging the bluesy rock.

I have wanted to see
IMAD WASIF AND THE TWO PART BEAST ever since I picked up their Strange Hexes record earlier this year, so I moved inside and found a perfect viewing spot in front. When Imad set up his four guitars I knew I was right about this guy. Between finger picking solo's and acoustic melodies, this guy is the real deal. The backing band doesn't bend either and although they didn't appear to play one song from the Hexes CD it was still the shit!

FARFLUNG is a classic Los Angeles space rock band that seems to be much more popular outside this country thanks to Tommy Grenas’ association with Hawkwind and Nic Turner. Space Rock has a small fan base in LA, but with the probable legalization of marijuana bands like
FARFLUNG and Japan’s Acid Mother Temple will hopefully see larger venues where there expansive sound can reverberate. Unfortunately, Tommy’s vocals were virtually inaudible (really not all that bad since it’s all about the jams) and the bottom section was too muddy. Being a FARFLUNG fan from early albums, I was hoping to hear the essential space rock opus “Landing on Cydonia” from 20,000 Feet per Second (especially since they had dusted it off at the Roadburn festival). No luck there, but hearing other classics like “The Day of St. Anthony’s Fire” and “The Way the Sky Is” covered that nostalgic craving.

ANCESTORS were next and the place seemed to be buzzing with excitement when they hit the stage. I love Neptune on Fire and seeing them play live turned out to be the high point for me on a day filled with much highness. It appeared they played some new music which is still on the same page as Neptune on Fire, but their musical creativity and prowess was very evident and by the crowd’s reaction appreciated.

Having seen SPINDRIFT before, I was more excited for my friends who have never experienced a Spindrift show. They were the perfect headliners on a bill that featured two or three potential headliners. Opening with “Titoli” from The Legend of the Gun, the mood was set for their unique brand of spaghetti western music. The West is my favorite album and it was great to hear “The Wind”, “Ace Coltrane”, and “Frozen Memories.” SPINDRIFT does what they do very well, and my friends were all blown away after they finished their set.

Thanks go out to the people responsible for putting on this wonderful show. My week started with Sasquatch/ Yawning Man at the Silver Factory last Saturday, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the Bowl Tuesday, and this show on the 4thof July. It’s hard to recall when I have seen a week’s worth of music this great. It definitely makes me proud to be a denizen in the City of Devils.



Tommy Grenas


Chico Foley

Imad Wasif