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TweeFest D.C. reviews Pt.2

tweefest '96 + lots of snow = drunkfest '96

From: Mario (


we made it home! it was a rough 11 1/2 hour drive home (as opposed to 9 on the way there), but we made it last night. it was an amazing weekend full of alcohol, snow, pop music, and velveeta. the festivities started on friday when we arrived at pam berry's house and unloaded all of our crap. soon after, the people started arriving. it was so nice to see some people that i hadn't seen in a while: stephen wood (though i wish we could've talked more), pam, keith d'arcy, maura smale, steve thornton,matt jacobsen, etc...and then i met some new indiepop list people:roy(aka michael sullivan), brian and heidi from power toot, rob galgano, matt snow and the whole holiday crew, and many more. we were all up pretty late that night. i remember matt snow was arguing with someone about which magnetic fields album was better..."holiday" or "charm of the highway strip". the lemonade/vodka punch is prohibiting me from remembering anything more.

saturday...woke up with a big headache and stomache ache...i shouldn't have drank that much. rose was getting sicker by the moment and losing her too. we all showered and stuff. we practiced a little bit upstairs. we listened to the seashell sea practice downstairs. then it was instore time. i bought the ropers "revolver" 7" at go!. saw the seashell sea. i really liked a couple of their songs, but i wish i could've heard pam's lovely voice. then holiday played a handful of songs "high-hat impaired" and they sounded amazing. all new songs except for "prostitutes in town". i met min from runaway balloon while i was there (why didn't you make it to the show?..i guess i'll have to send the tape) then we did some more record shopping and headed off to the indian restaurant next door. they had these hilarious indian music videos going and the food was great. back to pam's to load all of our equipment and then back to go!.

we started setting up our equipment and this really annoying guy with a video camera started talking to all of us. he was talked about some washington DC unsigned bands showcase or something. brian gray and i told him we weren't interested and that all the bands were signed and that none of them are from DC, but that didn't stop him. the whole time we were setting up, he was pestering me and i wasn't really listening to him. he was really offended when i wouldn't give him my phone

a big problem arose when we didn't have cymbals or a snare drum. calvin from holiday showed up without them too. then the guy from all about chad was nice enough to let us use his as long as we were careful with his snare. the tweefest started around 8:45 or so instead of 8:00. playing was a lot of fun even though my voice and rose's kept going out since we were kinda sick. i messed up in the first song. the second song i messed up really bad so we had to start over. 4 more songs and we were done.

all about chad were good, even though i find their singer annoying sometimes. "i can't sleep" was good and so were a few others that i never heard before. holiday were truly amazing once again. this time they came out wearing suits. it reminded me of the time i saw spandau ballet play live back in the 80s. they played even more new songs. they were all great. i can't get this one out of my head that goes "la la la la la la la..he's gonna blah blah"...damn it i forgot the words now. oh well.

i didn't really stick around for syrup usa. i did some record shopping and heard them from the other room. they were loud and had some cool keyboards.

then came racecar who were really great. i like them better live than on cd, but i do like their cd too. :) they had to end early because the pa was kinda dying. jina was screaming and you couldn't hear a thing...they all turned down their instruments for the last song which turned out to be my absolute favorite. i guess it's a new song.

during the show i met river, alison boles, david moon, david dunn, larry bonk, alan (damn i forgot his last starts with a it bryce?), and tons of more people from the list. i wish i could've talked to river more, but i was expecting to see her on sunday. the snow was piling up and we went back to pam's. pam, matt jacobsen, keith d'arcy, steve thornton, and heidi and brian power toot all went to a party at megan and dan searing's house. we were really tired so we went home and had some scrambled eggs with velveeta. the morning i noticed that no one was at the house except for us. they were all still at dan and megan's. we cooked some grilled velveeta pita sandwiches and listened to lots of pam's record collection. then we started doing some shots of scotch and headed off to dan and megan's. we stayed for a while and checked out some sweet porn mags and chatted some more with holiday who stayed at dan and megan's. and we drank more. we did go home that night because rose was feeling even sicker. everyone else stayed for another night. we walked back to pam's and had some grilled velveeta pitas with egg this time. yum...

monday...we were supposed to leave, but when we looked at the snow we figured out that we weren't going anywhere. i think everyone came back to pam's on this day. we listened to music, paid some guy to shovel around our van and the sidewalk, ate some apple jacks (we ran out of velveeta) and ended up meeting everyone at a mexican restaurant called don juan's or something. it took an hour for them to take our order. there were about 20 of us. then they brought our food out slowly. after eating...back to dan and megan's. we only stayed until midnight since we were going to try to leave in the morning.

tuesday...woke up at 9:00. started driving at 10:00. it took us an hour to get to 16th street, which is only about 1/2 block away. we got stuck twice, but then we finally made it out. once we were on the freeway, the roads weren't that bad. made it home by 11:00. called matt jacobsen's apartment in new york to see if he and keith and the gang made it home and instead i talked to matt's dad for about 20 minutes. i guess they're supposed to come home today. i wonder...

thanks to pam berry for letting us sleep at her house and eat her whole brick of velveeta...i also wanted to thank brian gray for putting this all together. it was still a spectacular weekend despite the snow and being sick.

and i hope everyone made it home ok. please write when you get home.

take care,


The little tweefest that couldnt

From: Larry (

I'm sure this topic has been rehashed time and time again since the greatblizzard of '96 dashed our hopes of leisurely pop listening pleasure lastweekend in Washington DC..I just got back into town so it is still fresh inmy head..I am back on the list as well! probably know that are reading this afterall.

I managed to not only miss the second day due to snow..I also missed a goodportion of the first day's festivities..this was also because of theweather..a drive that should have taken us 3 hours took well over 5hours..causing me to miss every single band on the first night's bill butSyrup and Racecar..That means, of course, that I missed both Shoestrings andHoliday..the God's shine dimly on me today..

Of the two bands I saw..I found them both to be enjoyable..also of particularenjoyment was meeting some people I hadn't met know who you are.Basically, we were stuck inside for most of the weekend..although we did makeone incredibly foolish adventure to Stephen Wood's house..dangerous..butworth it if only to make sure there was still some kind of life in the worldoutside of our own. The streets were bare exept for the occasionaljogger(?!?!). All in all, being my third experience with snow in my entirelife, it left me with an, all at the same time, interesting, amused, and sourtaste in my mouth.

This post is beginning to seem wholey useless..let me interject some kind of"pop" to make it readable..well I didn't pick up a single record on my tripto DC..Had this crazy notion that I'd make it back to GO the next day to goshopping(hahaha) similar news I did pick up some great records in NewYork City including that highly listenable Pencil Tin's all thatand more, and that ultra catchy new Pulp album..

Will there be a new Tweefest in New York this summer? When is the proposeddate for the Chicago fest? Tweefests abound..

..In wholey unsimilar news..did anyone catch the Cardigans and Papas Fritasin Spin magazine's annual mockery of a column "10 best albums of the year youdidnt hear"

Well it's good to be back on the list..another semester..anotherheadache..blah..but oh well.


Pornfest '96: Twee will snow you

From: Steve Thornton (

Who would have imagined that 96% of all the erect penises I've ever seen (pictures of) in my life would be at something called "Tweefest"?

Proud though they so obviously were, the porn models in Megan Searing'sspecial box of magazines were not the highlight of my trip. That honor wasreserved for one of the several moments during the endless party in herbasement bar that I unfortunately cannot remember well enough to describe.Suffice it to say that all of us were screaming at the top of our lungsand drinking thirty-seven varieties of disreputable liquour continuouslyfor 75 hours after the last of the actual Tweefest activities had ended.

Brian Gray deserves an enormous amount of sympathy for having his hundreds of hours of hard work destroyed by freak weather. The in-store and evening show at Go! Discs did come off, despite a rather peculiar setting. The show was held in your dad's rec-room, complete with pressboard wall paneling, brown wall-to-wall carpet, and flourescent lights. Most of the audience viewed the proceedings through glass windows. But it all made for a very appropriate homey atmosphere, more like a house party than a Rock Show. The carpet absorbed a lot of sound, so all the bands sounded warm and thrummy, which was very nice.

I'll get to the bands in a bit, but as usual, the best thing for me was meeting so many of you wonderful people. The most disappointing thing was _not_ meeting so many of you even though you were there: I never saw Fortunate Hazel or River or several others. Next time, fh is right -- name tags, and a sign-in sheet.

I did see, and repeatedly impose on, the amazing Pam Berry, impossiblycool centerpiece of the DC scene, member of at least five of the bestbands in the history of US indiepop, and the best hostess anyone couldever hope for. Pam, you're a dreamboat, and I still worship the ground youwalk on. Every time my roving eye came to rest, it landed on yet anotherartifact of groovy thriftstore junk; her collection of wonderful stuff isrivalled only by her pal Megan. Oh, and she has a few records, too. Pam,it's sweet of you to call me "enigmatic" when you really mean "fucked up".Sorry we wrecked your house, dear. I'll wash _your_ dishes anytime.

Most of the weekend's festivities have been covered already by quicker posters than I, so I'll restrict mine to just the highlights:

Pam's swinging party on Friday, of which I remember little aside fromfawning loathsomely over several DC celebrities and meeting so many newand old listmembers that I couldn't keep them all straight. It waswonderful to see Tweefest vets like Stephen, Maura, Mario and Rose, pluslots of new faces for email addresses: Rob Galgano, David Moon, ChrisMcFarlane, "Roy" Michael Sullivan, Tina Plottel, and I don't know who allelse. I'm sure I've left at least a dozen names off, but I have an excuse.There was something alcoholic in those drinks. Around five AM, I wasreduced to wandering around unsteadily, muttering "pleashe kill me now".

At the actual show on Saturday, there were numerous highlights, includingmeeting Larry Halobit and Alan from Virginia again. Shoestrings weredelightful. Their sweet love songs made my heart swell up; I never missedmy sweetheart so much as right then. Holiday were smashing as always, insuits and out of them. Syrup USA were a pleasant surprise; Seana performswith a lot more grace and confidence than she was allowed in her old bandSwirlies. All About Chad were cool, despite the suspicious presence ofchin beards and backwards ballcaps; someone behind me whispered "bluecollar twee" which about sums them up. And Racecar were great. It's alwaysbeen one of my pleasures to watch a band struggle with dead or dying gear,and maintain their good humor and composure. Gina's mikes went dead, butinstead of getting all pissed off and stomping around, they played theirfinest song at half-volume. Fuckin' great, you should play that way allthe time.

By the time the show ended at midnight, the snow was already six inches deep, with another two feet to come. We made it back to Megan's, and proceeded to git likkered. One couldn't ask for a finer group of folks to be snowbound with (well, there was one I wanted more who couldn't make it). It was frustrating that so many other pop kids were in town but we couldn't see them because of the snow, but we did alright.

Don't be fooled by those Holiday lads' mild exteriors, kids: they're abunch of dangerously sick psychopaths, except for Calvin the amazingbobble-headed drummer (the sensible one, who missed most of thedebauchery). Give 'em a few drops of Night Train, Boones Apple WineProduct, Southern Comfort, or Powermaster malt liquour, and they startraving about enemas, pornography, handsome Italian doctors, and peoplebeing torn apart by wild animals. A frightening prospect; why, if I hadn't been caught up in the general hilarity I would have been _really scared_.

Megan and Dan's neighbors Maria and Tina would be the highlight ofanyone's party. Tina was _exactly_ like I expected her to be, only threetimes more adorable. I don't slide down the steps for just anyone, you know. And Maria had me wishing I was somewhat less than a thousand years old as well. The Washington City Paper has the highest concentration of indiepoppers on the planet, what with Pam, Tina, Megan, Maria, and Dan all dozing over their desks together. Get some sleep, dears.

All in all, a wacked out weekend-plus. I came home and slept for 24 hours; that's why this is so late. A special thanks to Keith "Leadfoot" for doing the driving, and Heidi & Brian Power Toot and Matt Jacobsen for keeping us company in the car. A lot of very special and wonderful things have been happening to me lately, and this trip was an incredible topper. Gosh, I just love all you people so much. Next stop: Tweefest West?

Tweefestering '96

From: Michael B Sullivan (

I made it home safely, almost a week ago now, from Tweefest. A 14 hour train-trip on Amtrak, on which they actually gave the food away (they started doing this about a half hour after I bought a runny Egg McMuffin sort of thing- microwaved right on the spot, yet still runny). What a weekend, though. If only I could remember any of it... So many new faces, new friends, and hazy memories. And an enormous credit card bill, and tons of great records- can't have one without the other, really.

I was one of the only ones to make it to Vinyl Ink, as I perused the stacks on Friday morning (After looking longingly through the window at 10:00am, before noticing a sign on the door that said the store opened at 11:00- With an hour to kill, I thought I'd get breakfast. I started into a diner, but was frightened away by the stares of old,old men, whose collective gaze seemed to suggest "You might like a place called McDonalds".)

It's unfortunate that the second day was cancelled, as it seemed to be a great record store, carrying more 7", 10", and 12" records than most anywhere I've ever been to. That would explain the stores' name I suppose. Nonethless, I made my first three purchases. Sugargliders, They Go Boom, and what I thought was the new Pumpernickel single, but was actually a band called the "The Great Pharoahs of Funk" (or something like that) with a song called Pumpernickel. Oh well.

It was approaching noon, and I was supposed to meet with Brian Gray in Wheaton at 1:00. Seeing as public transportation has an uncanny way of confusing me, I left the store (that I thought I would return on Sunday). And reminded myself that you have to pay not only to ride the Metro, but leave it as well- does this strike anyone else as odd?

I made it to Wheaton just a few minutes after noon. After handing out money like a broken change machine to every person that needed "just fifty cents more to take the Metro!" Brian came to my rescue right on time. Turns out I was supposed to wait at the "Kiss and Ride", but when I had talked to him on the telephone the day before, I thought it was some sort of joke that I didn't get, which happens to me a lot.

You know what, I'm going to stop here... I'll sort out the important stuff and get back to you on it; at this pace I have a woefully boring novellette in the making.... But this is how my weekend started...

Roy. (erm, Sully?)

Candied Snapshots

From: Keith (

God Dammit! Five incredible days in DC and not one photograph. I asked Pam to put my insta-miserable camera in her backpack on Saturday on the way to the in-store at Go! and promptly forgot I owned it. Five days perfect in the way life should always be but is only by some gorgeous accident, every once in a while, just when you absolutely need it to be but don't quite know it... and I leave my camera alone in a little dark backpack the whole time...

but I didn't forget it, not entirely. On purpose.

So, here before they get over exposed by the current abundance of light in my head, are some snapshots from the Twee-fest (initially, and thenthe monster we made it into).

1. Me, Brian and Heidi Power Toot, Steve T., and Matt Jacobson all packed, gathered and squirted pastry-bag style into a teal green Hyundai Scoop, gabbing like crows, blasting the James Dean Driving Experience into the Holland Tunnel and I suddenly go death-silent as I notice the temperature gauge is peeking over the top of the red mark and Heidi shyly points to the smoke puffing out from under the hood. Thankfully, the rent-a-car is right near the tunnel, so I dropped them all at the seediest looking Jersey City diner I could find and traded up for a bigger (not as Pop, but much more swank) Nissan.

2. At the apex of the Delaware Memorial Bridge (or something like that) under the most brilliant glo-ball of a full moon, two pie-eyed popsters crooning along even more off key than Edwyn Collins to a bootleg of Orange Juice live at Sheffield University, 1981. "...Can't help myself, can't help myself!" Three slightly bewildered looking popsters, who had probably been trying to sleep, entertain thoughts of grabbing the wheel.

3. Pam's legendary indiepop youth hostel and entirely too too swingin' bachelorette pad distracts us from all initial introductions, like puppies in a butcher shop... I mean, how much cooler could a place be?Uh... None. None more cool. Uh. (the description lapses here because I'm flippin' through records...)

4. Archery lessons outside El Tamarindo, a mexican restaurant by Pam's that stays open way too late. Same Nissan, this time crammed with every member of Shoestrings, Matt J. and probably me, I can't remember (oh yeah, I'm fine...) park in a spot outside you probably couldn't have fit floss through. As we climb out the sunroof (necessity is the mother of um... something) we notice one of the cars pressed up against ours is a Domino's delivery car... which ordinarily doesn't speak well of a restaurant, but the food was boffo, really.

5. Slightly out of focus, this one... Me, about two thirty A.M., wondering how the lemonade punch, Scotch, keg beer and NotDogs in a Blanket would taste if vigorously shaken in a giant Keith coctail. The next picture was developed in my stomach Saturday morning, but was so surreal and unsettling it was left out of the stack, unlike some others that probably should've.

6. How can you rock under flourescent lights? Big blurry overexposure, a result of the light of Seashell Sea drummer and Dickensian Action Man Dan Searing's smile. Priceless, and if I may be permitted to say so, the first major time I wished I'd been organised enough to have my camera. They were stumbly, beautiful, like Felt playing out a high window you've just wandered by. Well, Felt with Lawrence off washing his hands while Pam whispers poetry. She told me they had no illusions about how they were, and neither do I. If you couldn't tell, this one's a black and white.

7. Nothing like a Holiday snap, is there? Four lads from Liver'n'Onions, out of uniform, casual... civilian clothes. Went to their heads a bit, I think. I mean, there's nothing twee about a four hour bass solo. Hey, there's someone's little sister waving in the background.

8. Chicken fingers in a glowing green sauce, dark cafeteria-like indian joint behind Go! Disks whose name eludes me... and one of those absurd, fucking fabulous indian disko films playing overhead, tearing everyone's attention away from that oh-so-satisfying post record spree activity, the group Price Sticker Peel. (what'd I get? Um... Pet Shop Boys "Behavior,""Sally Cinnamon" on CD, Red Chair Fadeaway single, Tullycraft single, Karate single (which I kindly left at Pam's because we'd dirtied all her drink coasters).

9. Shoestrings, Shoestrings, Shoestrings... this is a pastel blue gelatin print, each member a brushed white aura, full body halo... no background, no fake wood panelling, just four scrubbed pixies playing the kind of popmusic that makes revolutionaries out of kerosene-lit souls like Clare and Matt. Laughing and smiling and falling again.

10. Double exposure time. Gina from Racecar dancing an elegant, totally square-dance with an indiepopper who can best be described with some words snatched from a conversation with Pam (what seemed like) a hundred years later, "They've got Calvin blood in them, that's what it is..." We all should've been paying more attention to that chap. Racecar should warrant so much more than a sit-in.

11. The beginning of the end. Me, Thornton, Matt Snow out in front of Go!getting an intermission tobacco breather, me coatless because I thought it'd be warm down south, wrapped in Maura's lurvely green scarf... (looking like a chef, according to Rose's sister) and we all start to notice, hey it's really snowing...

More indiepop polaroids after my nap. I need one baaaaad, and you'll soon know why...

Next post: "In which Pooh gets caught in a snowstorm and falls in love with about twenty five total strangers..."

testcard (who's hoping he feels just this blissful for the rest of his goddamn life...)

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