Words by Milan Zori | Intro by Ryan Schleicher
…From now through July we’re looking back at last year’s WMSE Radio Summer Camp to get you excited about this year’s festival as Dwellephant will be hazily recollecting his live music festival experiences. We’ll also have some guest writers and interviewers because, after all, Dwelly is only one man and was unable to attend every minute of every show. And he was probably drunk at some point during the fest so trusting his memory might not always be wise. Enjoy this series!…
That video up there? That’s WMSE Radio Summer Camp 2010 alumnus Lightning Bolt (who have the greatest URL ever) playing a Peel Session (as in the late, great John Peel) to a considerable amount of in-studio applause. As can be expected with a Lightning Bolt performance, the Peel Session sound-system is pushed to its limits. Look up any Lightning Bolt performance on YouTube, and you’ll see the exact same thing. You’ll also see the intensity with which this appropriately named unit plays is not just reserved for prestigious radio sessions documented on film.
They were initially booked to play at the Bay View Legion Hall on the first night of the festival, but a conflict of interest forced them to be relocated at the last minute. And while I did managed to catch two shows that night, I am but one man. Also: I was not safe for the roads by the end of the second one. Point being, I missed Lightning Bolt’s performance. Something in my brain kept telling me IFIHADAHIFI‘s Dr. Awkward was there, so I sent him a message this week, asking him to recap the show for me.
Brain of mine, you were SO wrong. Dr. Awkward was out of town. Which means if any of you reading this were at this Lightning Bolt show, you should drop me a line in the comments section, telling me both highlights of their set, and how I should regret choosing two other shows over this one.
Conveniently, Dr. Awkward and IFIHADAHIFI ALSO played Radio Summer Camp last year. It was the good Doctor’s birthday celebration, and he brought two of his favorite bands— Oh My God! and King’s Horses— to celebrate/test the strength of Club Garibaldi‘s 100-year-old walls.
Currently, IFIHADAHIFI are wrapping up the Nada Surf EP, named to return the compliment Nada Surf inadvertently paid them by naming their cover tune EP If I Had a Hi-Fi. I asked the good Doc to tell me a little bit about the forthcoming release. This is what he says:
Well, we’ve been telling people that a few of the songs are sort of on the weirder side of what we do, so there’s that, and that these recordings have really cranked the noise level back up, after we sort of focused more on the pop side of things with Fame By Proxy. Yes, we’re of the opinion that Fame By Proxy wasn’t a very noisy record, all things considering, and we think Nada Surf really is. So wrap your head around that. :)
The EP is destined for a June release. Keep your earballs peeled for tracks we’ll no doubt be playing on WMSE, and your eyeballs peeled for the inevitable release party. IFIHADAHIFI also currently has a new song available for download here. And in the interest of remaining apolitical ’round these parts, we’ll leave the song’s theme for you to discover on your own.
As for Lightning Bolt, they’re playing frickin’ Coachella. Seriously. And it’s not like they’re at the very bottom of the flier, in a type size so small you’d think you were signing a crooked contract. They’re near enough to the top to make me think they’ll be playing an even bigger venue next time around.