Smilefest Reunion 2011

I made a trip up to North Carolina last month to see some friends and visit with my family. The primary purpose was to go to Smilefest. This year was my fifth or sixth going to that festival, I believe. I’ve been to it in three different locations now, and the latest one, while still not quite my favorite, is definitely great. My favorite was when it was in Union Grove on Van Hoy Farms. Least favorite was at Deerfields outside Asheville. Of course, I love that area, but that park is not conducive to festivals whatsoever. We bitched the entire time about having to hike our stuff in for miles (even though there were flatbeds to ease the walk if you could catch one). It was still ridiculous, and I’m not a fan of sleeping in a tent pitched on a nearly vertical mountainside. This year, for the second year in a row, it’s been held at Jomeokee Campground in Pinnacle, right at the foot of Pilot Mountain. It’s a beautiful site, and they’ve kept the ticket sales semi-private for people who have been before (hence the “reunion” moniker), so you end up with people who know how not to act a fool, and who are experienced festival-goers and are there to enjoy the music (okay, and also have a little fun).

As usual, we heard a lot of really awesome music and drank a lot of beer and camped and got real dirty for a few days. I live for those weekends. Good times with good friends. Met a lot of awesome new people too. Saw folks I only ever see at Smilefest (another reason why it’s like a reunion). Here are some pictures my good friend Jenny took, since I have none of my own to share because I didn’t take any. You can check out the Facebook page of her photography business (Dancing Lemur Design) here. She is really good, and you should “like” her.

Me and my flip flops on my patchwork quilt, enjoying the band, Doby.

Every year, every location, they always have these cool windows and bottles hung in the trees.

Our buddy Kelly with his friend Laura, enjoying some muscadine moonshine.

Me trying to figure out how I’m gonna get a queen-size air mattress into my 2-man tent. Travis totally did it, and it was like my own private bouncy castle. Awesomeness.

Always love the hula-hoopers and wish I still had mine. Unfortunately not everything can make the cut when you move. I would like to investigate the collapsible options, though.

We had a huge campsite set up, with about eight people camping together, complete with four or five easy-up tents. We basically created an open-air house. One tent was just the kitchen area. One was the sitting room. We dubbed it “Cabanapyland.” The Jerry tapestry provided a little shade and privacy. In this picture, I’m standing in the living room. LOL. We had not one, but two solar showers. And, because we are seasoned veterans and smartipantses, we totally camped right beside a pole with a power outlet and a water spigot. SCORE!

Here’s a nice shot of the main stage with Pilot Mountain in the background. So pretty. Great time. Can’t wait til next year!


Musical Monday: Pixies


The first concert I ever attended was U2 (Zooropa Tour) at the Charlotte Coliseum in 1989. I was in 7th grade. I went with my parents and the oldest son of my parents’ best friends. We were all huge U2 fans, and it was an awesome show. My mom was maybe the biggest fan of us all — she loved Bono and listened to U2 records almost every night while she made dinner and I wrote my spelling words over and over. The concert was even on a school night, and I got to leave school early so we could make the 90 minute drive to Charlotte. I have the coolest parents ever. Can you believe I wasn’t even embarrassed to be there with them? In 7th grade? 

The opening band that night was the Pixies. At that age, I couldn’t really appreciate what I was hearing. I was looking at Frank Black screaming on stage and thinking, “This is noise.” I mean, at the time I was listening primarily to early Beatles records, so I just wasn’t there yet. Since then I’ve realized how amazingly innovative they were/are. Mainly due to repeated exposure by an ex-boyfriend who considered them The Best Band Ever. They grew on me slowly, but now I love them. I love the fact that you can’t really compare them to any other band. They have a sound and style that is completely unique. Definitely one of the most influential and important bands of the last 20 years. And I don’t care if you disagree. Even Kurt Cobain said Nirvana would never have existed without the Pixies. This DVD of the 2004 reunion tour is freakin’ awesome. Been thinking about it a lot lately and wanting to watch it again. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.