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Octoberfests

Making sense of the fest overload

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Maybe we need some kind of festival clearinghouse to help with the overlap. October--the first part of it at least--is stacked with multi-band theme evenings and weekends. This includes, of course, our own Indy Music Awards extravaganza Saturday, Oct. 2 at the ArtsCenter and Cat's Cradle.

Just down the street at the Cavern Tavern is Blackbeard's Lost Weekend--the new name for the garage-o-rama Freaky Tiki Weekend (story page right).

Next week, Sparklefest (Oct. 7-9) rolls around for three days of power pop at the Martin Street Music Hall from the likes of The Never, The Bleeding Hearts, The Pink Slips, Shalini, Poor Valentino, Jane Francis, Tim Lee, Chris Stamey Experience, Stratocruiser, The Breaks, Dipsomaniacs and The Hanks.

Over near Silk Hope, the Fall Shakori Fest (Oct. 7-10) is a four-day 40-band jam featuring Donna the Buffalo, Del McCoury, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Mamadou Diabate and locals like Chatham County Line, Katherine Whalen, Cool John Ferguson, Thad Cockrell, Tres Chicas and Hooverville.

Vote the rock
Just a quick reminder: Register to Vote! You have until Friday, Oct. 8.

Look for a lot of shows with political themes including a local Concert for Change Oct. 8 at The Pour House Music Hall with Patty Hurst Shifter, The Nevers and Tres Chicas.

Kerry-oke is the name for a fundraiser for the N.C. Democratic Party next Sunday, Oct. 3 at Skylight Exchange. A couple of suggestions: Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and Edwin Starr's "War"--very 'Nam retro.

The other big rock and politics event coming up is the Oct. 10 Yo La Tengo show at Cat's Cradle, part of the group's Swing State Tour. It's turned into a full-blown fundraiser for Erskine Bowles with Chris Stamey, Merge's Mac McCaughan and David Kilgour and others jumping on the, uh, bandwagon.

Stamey and Yo La Tengo have been working on a set of recordings with a political theme of late, including a version of an old Otis Redding stay-in-school jingle rewritted with a get-out-the-vote theme. An MP3 of the tune is available on the Sparkefest Web site (www.sparkefest.com). There's also a flash version put together by Tim Harper (www.yeproc.com/vote/) featuring Stamey's dog Savannah as Georgia, James and Ira.

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