Moogfest 2014 Grabs Biggest Fish In Synthpop Pond

moogfest2014banner2Yesterday, The Monk, who’s not a gambling man, bought a ticket to Moogfest 2014 while they were still $200. Today the headliners were announced, and the ticket price increased by 50%. Having attended and enjoyed the program last year under the auspices of AC Entertainment, the wind changed direction this year with Detroit Techno powerhouse Paxahau helming the now five day event. When I heard that, I felt that it was a foregone conclusion that Kraftwerk would be headliners in 2014. If not, then Paxahau would have to slink back to Detroit with their tails between their collective legs. What I wanted to hear was that John Foxx + The Maths were playing. That, I’d pay anything for. The headliners were announced after 10 a.m. this morning and found that I was half right.

MOOGFEST LINEUP 2014 | Asheville, NC | April 23-27, 2014

  • Adult 
Art Department
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks
  • Bottin
  • Daedalus
Dan Deacon
Gaslamp Killer
Giorgio Moroder
Green Velvet
  • Kraftwerk 
  • Lapalux
  • Laurie Anderson 
  • LE1f
Les Sins
Mark Farina
Mike Simonetti
Nick Monaco
NRP (No Regular Play)
  • Sasha
Slow Hands
Soul Clap
  • Two Fresh
  • Wolf Eyes
The 3D Kraftwerk simulation continues its global tour…

The 3D Kraftwerk simulation continues its global tour…

As predicted, Kraftwerk were snagged by Moogfest a few weeks before their L.A. residency. The Asheville festival will get three shows over two nights in their now legendary 3D show. One hopes that the tickets will allow access only to one show per ticket, giving the greatest number of people a chance to see the spectacle. Having seen Kraftwerk when Florian was still standing onstage in 1998, I count this show as gravy. I saw Kraftwerk that year in Chicago. Wept for 15 minutes and have since moved on. Since then they have released one fair to middling album. I would have preferred that Moogfest had roped in Karl Bartos, but that’s just my opinion. Karl for me is Kraftwerk with the humanity intact. But this will get chins wagging, and I’ll be there again, in any case. The 3D show will be new and I’m hoping [against hope] that “Europe Endless” might make an appearance in their set.

laurie-anderson-maggie-soladayWe already knew that Laurie Anderson was presenting during the day seminars, so hearing that she’ll have a performance set was not too shocking. My wife and I were prepared to travel to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC next summer to see her there, but now will probably opt for the local show instead, since we trekked there in 2009 to see her performance of “Homeland” at the Festival that year. While her show was fantastic, Charleston didn’t impress.

adultDetroit’s art-monster synth duo Adult. are hardly another surprise. I like the pair as I have their previous album “Why Bother” and the defiant pose of the song “Inclined To Vomit” never fails to make me laugh. I’ve heard great things about “the Way Things Fall” and though the cover looks like something cribbed from Client’s portfolio of rejects, the fact that John Foxx + The Maths have recently remixed their song “Tonight We Fall” can only be a great thing.

moroder-portraitSo they have roped the great Giorgio Moroder into giving a DJ set! The gent looks great as seen at right. The man truly created a sound I can never tire of out of thin air in 1977, so for that we must give eternal thanks. The fat, sequencer-led sound he pioneered still sounds like “…This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next 15 years” as Brian Eno famously said to David Bowie while they were recording “Low.” If at the very least I can hear “I Feel Love” on a massive sound system with the man spinning, then it would be worth it to go.

nile-rodgersNile Rodgers and Chic will be playing. I’m not really a fan, but I have a certain respect for his playing [loads of Bryan Ferry] and some of his productions [ Duran Duran’s “Notorious” album and INXS’ “The Original Sin”] are great. Would I go to see a Chic set? Eh. I’m not sure. We’ll have to see how I feel closer to showtime. He is a musician’s musician, though and has my respect even though I never listened to Chic.

The three headliners at top are enough to justify the cost. The bulk of the announced lineup are just the sort of modern acts that I feared would prove to be the bulk of the lineup. Names that mean nothing to me. For me, the true promise of the festival will be in the details. The other 70% of artists not yet announced as we get closer to the April deadline. I’m fine with dropping $200 on the ticket for myself, and will be getting another for my wife, who will definitely catch Laurie Anderson. A “limited number” of night time only concert passes are currently available for the $200 price point, if hitting the day seminars with the likes of Don Buchla, Giorgio Moroder and Laurie Anderson are not your cup of tea.

Fair enough, but with my tastes, I can say that it’s probably going to be the “marginal” acts added to the roster as an afterthought, that may be where my greatest enthusiasm lies. In other words, there’s still the ghost of a chance that John Foxx + The Maths could make the leap across the big pond that I’ve been waiting 33 years for. Then there’s the notion that Heaven 17 could finally do the same. Martyn Ware has gone on record as wanting to do a US tour next year, and has hypothesized about linking up with his pals DEVO to do it. If the timing is right, snagging them for Moogfest would be ideal. As would be a Visage set now that they are cooking. Keep watching this space. This started well enough and could get interesting.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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