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Blackbeard's lost weekend

Fest finds buried rock treasure



When the organizers of purist rock 'n' roll fest Freaky Tiki started planning this year's event, they knew some changes were in order. Rob Walsh and Todd Colberg, who also play in local group The Spinns, discovered there were too many Tiki-related things going on everywhere they looked. They never received a cease-and-desist order, but knew they were due for a name change. Colberg says, "We had to come up with something more original. We were just gonna call it Lost Weekend, because we thought that was a good garage theme, but we wanted to have a local flavor." So what better analogy for a weekend of lewd and loose rock bands than the nastiest pirate of them all, Blackbeard? This weekend at The Cave, Colberg and Walsh have again set up three solid nights of garage rock. This year, there is a whole new passel of bands, since the two organizers wanted to mix it up. "We didn't want to have the same bands every year, and wanted to give people some variety and options for the weekend." Colberg and Walsh select their lineup every year from those groups that really floored them when they played gigs together. The relationships vary, but there is camaraderie in the music. Take the case of Birmingham, Ala. group Taylor & The Puffs. Colberg says, "We'd brought 'em up before to Chapel Hill, and Josh (Spinns drummer) and I played a Southeast tour with Taylor." Some of the bands are no-frills rock, with their gusto taking the place of any fancy gear or even stellar musicianship. Others go all out in the maniacal, sometimes silly, spirit of the primitive beat. Meet Maximus. "We played with them in Houston, but they're from New Orleans," Colberg says. "They wear togas and sandals, speak Latin between songs, but their music is hard garage, like (British cult figure Billy Childish's project) Thee Headcoats." The Alaskan Pirate & His Salty Seamen would fit right in at Blackbeard's hangout, but are unfortunately unable to attend this year.

As this annual event gains strength each year, the reputation gets out there, and previous experience feeds into new discoveries. A new addition this year, Pernicious Kniffs, is from a scene in which The Spinns find kinship. Colberg illuminates: "We had to get a band from Cincinatti. It's a great town with so much goin' on for the kind of music we're doin', and the several bands doing it. Thee Shams (who played last year's fest) are from there, and they share a member." Atlanta's The Black Lips, another favorite last year, are returning, and bringing Athens friends Coffin Bound. The Lips teeter on the edge of self-destruction on stage, often erupting into wrestling matches and dropping their drawers in the process. Wild, chaotic rock that embodies the same spirit that led Jerry Lee to torch his piano. Colberg describes Coffin Bound simply as "young guys who can write incredibly good songs." Cleveland's New Planet Trampoline will be decidedly retro, comparable to an early Pink Floyd sound, says Colberg, "with farfisa, covering the psychedelic side of the weekend." There is always a strong local showing, and Sunday night gathers The Spinns, Dexter Romweber Duo, The Chrome-Plated Apostles and Killer Filler, fronted by former Southern Culture organist Chris "Crispy" Bess.

That pirate theme isn't just in name only, though, as Colberg confirms, "There will be some pirate decor." When the bands they're digging up are shiny, rough pebbles deep under the surface of dull mainstream rock, the pirate metaphor works wonders. Because it's really all about buried treasure anyway. For more info, check

Friday, October 1
The Lobsters
The Black Lips
Taylor & The Puffs

Saturday, October 2
New Planet Trampoline
Pernicious Kniffs
Coffin Bound

Sunday, October 3
Dexter Romweber Duo
The Spinns
Chrome-Plated Apostles
Killer Filler

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