Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cheap & eclectic, Recess Fest kicks off today

Spanning 14 venues with around 80 bands, the 4th Annual Recess Fest kicks off today with Donald Harris and Bobby Childers playing simultaneous 8:15 sets at Petra's Piano Bar and Common Market, respectively just steps away from each other on Commonwealth Ave. The rest of tonight's lineup includes Omar El-Amin, Your Fuzzy Friends, Derek Blackmon and Just Brazil with the Bear Romantic at Petra's. Serfs, People Person, and Blossoms round out the Common Market lineup.

The great thing about Recess Fest, which features acts in NoDa, Plaza-Midwood, Elizabeth, SouthEnd and West Charlotte, allows music fans to basically bar hop while taking in numerous regional and national acts over four days all for $25. Weekend passes are no longer available online, but many of the participating venues will have them including Tremont, Snug Harbor, and Lunchbox Records. You can also pay per individual show. Some are $7 or $8 while the finale featuring Archers of Loaf on Sunday at Tremont is $18, while others at non-traditional venues are donation only.

The music is eclectic, tickets are cheap, and it gives a great overview of what Charlotte has to offer in realm of underground music. Friday for instance there's the instrumental adventurousness of SC's Pan (a bit like Explosions in the Sky) at Snug Harbor, while Charlotte's own Dirty Drummer spins at Crown Station. Elsewhere garage rock acts Secret Hospital and Homewrecker play Tommy's Pub as The Milestone hosts yet another seven acts.

That's just a sampling. Saturday;s Plaza-Midwood-centered portion starts early with Joint Damage, Mon Frere, and Meat Group at Lunchbox Records. Kickstand (the neighboring burger joint) plays host to everything from the ethereal pop of Cement Stars to the Latin funk, punk, n' ska of Bakalao Stars. And Royal Tinfoil and Pullman Strike bring rocking Americana and country-tinged indie rock to Thomas Street Tavern. There's also music at Snug Harbor, Twenty-Two, Common Market, and Yauhaus.

Bands like Great Architect and Appalucia play earlier in the day Sunday at Dialect and The Rat's Nest in NoDa followed by later shows at Tremont, which will be running both the Casbah and big room stages, and Common Market. There are too many acts to list here, but check out for the complete schedule.