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      IG '02: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly  
Reviewed by:
      Part 1: The Good  
Top 3 Touring Acts:
  1. The Potomac Accord. If I were Malimus, I'd say this is the most beautiful music EVER. All I know is that the way every thing ebbs and flows, and the songwriting, and the singing all combine together to form a coherent whole that is so gorgeous I want to cry.
  2. The Fire-Show. Marxist post-punk. I know it doesn't sound promising, but the way two guys manage to make such a wall of sound that still is accessible is quite incredible. Plus, watching the one guy play drums is a sight to behold.
  3. Anti-Social Chamber music. O.k., I don't like free jazz, and this was free jazz. Still, this four piece (more or less) was having so much fun and was so into it that I had to buy into what I was watching. I especially liked the celloist's solo piece.
Top 3 Local Bands:
  1. Sharks & Minnows. Despite the difficult venue and horrendous conditions (see below), Sharks & Minnows managed to play yet another fun and entertaining show. They weren't as sharp as I've seen them before, but the skills and songwriting were excellent. I especially liked the cover of Tainted Love as well as new-ish song Overnight Trips.
  2. Envie. Not normally the type of music I'm going to see out, the piano/harp, cello, and drums combo really worked for me. All the instruments (including the vocals) played out together in a way that was attractive and compelling. They only played 6 songs, but I'd like to have seen more.
  3. Blue-Jays. They sounded excellent, playing to around 10 people at The Echo Lounge. Despite the sparse turnout, everyone seemed to like their honky-tonk country sound. They've been playing out regular over the last month and it shows.
      Part 2: The Bad  
The "schedule":

This could also be described as "what Schedule?" I understand that things happen and not everything is set in stone. However, over the course of the week leading up to IG, I saw at least 4 different and theoretically accurate schedules. In fact, as of the first night, I (and the rest of The Minions) had no clue who was playing when. One would think that, with the money spent on IG, someone could have printed a simple schedule and handed it out Thursday.

The overly optimistic schedule of change overs:

If most of the bands that had played IG weren't from around here, I wouldn't have been surprised that the bookers couldn't estimate how long it would take various bands to set up and break down. However, most of the bands were from Atlanta, so people should have known it would take most of them more than 7.5 minutes to set up and/or break down. Furthermore, anyone who's ever seen a live band knows it'll take almost ANY band more than 7.5 minutes to set up and/or break down. So why in God's green Earth were most bands scheduled to go on 15 minutes apart? With that type of schedule, it's no wonder that most of the venues seemed to run 45 minutes to an hour behind by the middle of the evening.

Waiting, waiting waiting:

With factor number 2 above and the generalized feeling in East Atlanta that the schedule is only a vague suggestion, we spent way way more time waiting around than made sense. Sure, some of it was my own fault: I'd leave a show 2/3 of the way through because I really really wanted to see another band (and thought I had missed the beginning of their set) only to find that the other venue was running even more behind than the last place i left. Nevertheless, it certainly seemed like, despite the theoretically staggered schedule, most venues had acts on at the same time -- and breaks at the same. In the end, by midnight or 1 AM, I found myself waiting for the last act to go on, and feeling over it because I knew I had at least an hour wait ahead of me.

      Part 3: The Ugly  
The Gravity Pub:

O.K., PostLibyan has this one right: The Gravity Pub was hell. Yeah, sure the beer was cold. And the sound wasn't atrocious. However, it was hotter than you can imagine down there and the air didn't move. It was like sitting on a grill for hours, feeling yourself dehydrate no matter how much water you drank. The problems of this venue were enough to almost ruin the 3 sets I saw (Faith Kleppinger, Sharks & Minnows, and The Potomac Accord). If the organizers of IG do this again next year, this place ought to be banned as a potential venue.

Cheap draft beer:

Not necessarily ugly in the same sense as The Gravity Pub, the cheap draft beer really encouraged over-consumption and intoxication. Not a bad thing, but when combined with severe dehydration, the hangovers were ugly indeed.

The cancellations:

Now the organizers couldn't do a damn thing about the multiple bands who cancelled at the last moment. However, it seemed like IG dealt with more cancellations than the other festivals I've gone to (such as, say, Athfest). In any event, the cancellations left gaping holes in the already problematic schedule, and further threw a loop into my music listening pleasure. Ugh.

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