Snuzz Fest West (way late review)

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Offline Allison

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Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« on: November 29, 2009, 02:10:15 AM »
Brooke and I went all the way out to North Carolina to partake in what will likely be one of the top most musical events of my life (right up there with the Ben Folds Five Reunion last year.) Granted I have a somewhat sick addiction to North Carolina bands (that does stem out of Ben Folds Five). Anyway, SnuzzFest afforded us to see some bands that I never, ever, EVER dreamed of seeing live. Let alone Master Snuzz himself. Brooke, Mel and I did get a special treat December 2007 when Snuzz played us a few songs in his living room, but for such a musical genius we of course felt blessed (but a little cheated too.) So getting to see Snuzz preform live was. Huge. HUUGGGE. A huge wagering point into making the flight from Chicago to just be in North Carolina for 48 hours. And worth every damn penny. But before we actually get to SnuzzFest itself, let's talk about the night before.

We got to NC without a hitch, despite being a small hitch at the hotel. We checked in fine and all that, but when we went up to the room to open the door, the card didn't work. Maintenance came and got us in and then also noted that our smoke alarm was beeping that that battery was ALSO dead. So Mr Man fixed it. Then Brooke and I slept. It was awesome. We were tired.

Then we got up and drove into Chapel Hill. First stop, cause the son was setting was the Whatever and Ever, Amen house. ITS TINY. I mean, it was way before Ben Co had any money, so it makes sense... But I felt SO awkward standing outside, hell, IN THE LAWN of someone else's house, that just happens to live somewhere Ben Folds used to live/recorded his most popular record. Brooke can tell you, I was kinda tweaking out over it.

Then of course, HAD to go eat at Pepper's Pizza and gawk at the terrible, terrrrrrriiiiible, painting of Ben Folds on the wall. Seriously. It's the only bad one on the wall. And it's all the same artist! We walked in and got seated right away (though it was pretty moderately busy) and Brooke and I noticed almost immediately that Animal Collective's "My Girls" (I think) was playing. And we were super pleased to discover after the track finished we were just apparently going to listen to ALL of Merriweather Post Pavilion. We sang along to whatever you can actually sing along with when it comes to Animal Collective. Ha. And noticed that some of the servers were too. Would be a cool f*ckin place to work, except it's SO cheap.

Then after eating we went and got Coldstone. Cause we could. And we were on vacation, DAMNIT. After our noms we headed out to UNC just to reminisce... but before we got there we got distracted by this AWESOME band busking. They even had a saw in the band! After a few songs we did depart for UNC just to go to Memorial Hall and feel like tourists. And go, OH this is where we saw the "Ben Fold's Five tickets" sign on the actual box office! OH this is that alleyway where Darren and Robert came out. THIS Is where we hung out with EVERYONE who was there. SHIT THIS ALL HAPPENED HERE AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. And then we left.

Next day we got up and went to Greensboro, to a Sushi restaurant I'd previously looked up. FORGOT, whoops, to look up if it was closed on Sunday. Was. Damn. Brooke used her fancy phone to find us one that was. So there we went, and turned out it was less than a mile from The Blind Tiger. HOORAY. It was noms (expensive, but all sushi is). We headed over to the venue, and eventually got ourselves some beers (OM NOM BLUE MOON). Then took our place in the second row, also feeling awkward about standing front row at this kind of gig. Catie and Chuck seemed to be the emcees of the night. Let's talk a bit about the set up of SnuzzFest.

SnuzzFest was set up for the AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME human being that is Britt Harper Uzzell. Seriously, that man is more than five AWESOMES but words fail to accurately describe him. Anyway. Snuzz, as he's known (though with an umlaut, that I can't be bothered to figure out how to get here on my blog) musically has recently been diagnosed with cancer. And, as a musician -and one that, for some stupid bullshit reason of the universe, never got the recognition he deserves - has no health insurance. With the chemo it's going to cost him about $50,000 A MONTH. A f*ckIN MONTH! The guy has never made more than the poverty line (according to some articles I've read about this) and so Catie and Django (of The Old Ceremony and a certain level of AWESOME) set up the first SnuzzFest, to help offset the cost. Well it went so well Catie set up SnuzzFest West (Django was out on tour with tOC). Which we had enough advance notice that Brooke and I could make travel plans. At SnuzzFest everyone plays Snuzz songs. It was all sorts of awesome. All these musicians that I've heard so much about/listened to all together in one place playing that man's songs. It was just wonderful.

The night kicked off with Steve Williard (of Amplify This... formerly Chuck Folds Five) started out the night with "The Apology". Which was just. killer. A woman I'd never heard of before, Jessica Mashburn, apparently, covered Bus Stop's "No One," which I was super glad to hear cause it is still, to this day, a Snuzz Favorite. Doug Davis and friend covered "Carving Pumpkins" which was also phenomenal. Caitlin Cary's "Like It Matters" was also a highlight of the first set. BUT. THE highlight of set one (which was all non-band) was when Snuzz pulled the Big GMC on stage for "People at Work." I don't actually know how Snuzz and GMC met, but long and short of it is GMC has some sort of mental challenges, but Snuzz included GMC's voice overs on his record Harper. And GMC got up there and just started talking to us about how much Snuzz means to him and how we all need to pray for Snuzz cause Snuzz is his best friend. And. I. Cried. GMC had the ability to say what we are all thinking. It was so touching. Also during this set we were behind a man who had a Shut Up and Listen to Majosha t-shirt on. I was lookin at the back of this shirt trying to read it, and then went... UH that's Ben Folds' handwriting! Wait! I know these lyrics! Wait, what the f*ck song is that? And could sing it but not remember what it was called. Talked to the guy eventually.... and he apparently worked sound for them back in the day. HA!

Then there was a short break when they switched over to the house band. (Which included our dear friends Chuck Folds, Steve Williard - and new dear friend Eddie Walker. HA - story with that later, also NC legend Jeff Carroll was on most, if not all songs). But while they were setting up/makin the switch Brooke and I took a bathroom break. And while we were in the back we went to write in the SnuzzFest LoveFest book. And who's standing right there, but Dean (Daddy) Folds. We'd seen him walk in, and we kinda shared the look. Haha. And I was kickin myself for NOT having my Messner Vinyl. Can you imagine having that signed by all FOUR voices on the record!? DAMN TOM MAXWELL WAS THERE TOO! You hear him laugh in Army. OH GOD WHAT WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN. (Just dawned on me as I'm writing this.) Anyway. As I'm signing the book Brooke keeps glancing at Mr Folds. And he sticks out his hand and introduces himself to us. And then remembered me (had to tell him where we met - May 30, 2008 Cary, NC) And talked about Gracie a bit, cause she was there when I met him then too. ha. Anyway, it was great. Kinda weird, but great! Then Sledge was coming on so we had to make our way back to the front.

Sledge played "Eddie" and f*ckING KILLED IT. (In the good sense) OH MY GOD. THEN! This Scott and Molly pair got up and played the SHIT out of "Rocks in My Pocket." THEN when the night couldn't POSSIBLY get better, Chuck, looking rather f*ckin awkward without a bass slung around him, led us all through Lorraine. Also big highlights were The Walrus' cover of "Shut Up Singing About the End of the World" WHO THE HELL CARED it was the second time we'd heard the song that night. IT was just as fun (and he didn't edit it. :P)

Then it was time for the man of the hour Mr AWESOMEx5+ to get up there and show us how the hell it was done. Big Kids played through This House. Then his current outfit The Numbers played Adderall and Made It Through (I can't remember if there were more). Then Anthenaeum, another big NC band, got up and played, and played really really well, but I cannot remember at all what they played right now. At this point we were about 3 hours into the concert. Then Bus Stop reunited and holy Shit Evan Olson. Can you say STAGE PRESENCE? Well I just did, so there. The four of them (Snuzz, Chuck, Evan and Eddie) looked like they were having a blast for their four song set. I was thrilled to near-death when they played "You" (a favorite) AND they played "Waitin on the Bus" which has become a bit of a anthem for me as of late.

After that the show was done. We all cheered and hollered and loved each other. Despite some rather interesting individuals being there. The point was Snuzz. I did not, really, however, need to see someone flash me (both up and down)...... May have been a LoveFest, but I'm from the North, we're prudes. HAHAHA. Anyway. Hung out with Steve for a bit, briefly with Chuck (who I loled over his Harry Potter shirt). Talked to Robert Sledge. And he remembered me fangirling on him at the reunion. HAHAHAH. Awesome. Then went over and fangirled on Eddie Walker (and presumably his wife) and got him to sign my Big Bang Boom CD. Which was hilarious. He laughed, but I think it might have been awkward for him. And then we WAAAAAAAAAAAAITED for Snuzz. I mean, he WAS/IS the man of the hour (or 4), and he apparently didn't recognize us. Eventually we got tired of him running from other people to other people and I was like, SNUZZ. STOP! COME HERE! hahaha. And then he saw that it was Brooke and I. And, oh my god, his reaction. The hug I got will be forever imprinted in my memory (and perhaps even my body). Got him to sign our copies of the Carving Pumpkins EP and then told him to sign one for Mel, which he was poised and ready to do, when someone came and stole him. AGAIN. to do some interview. So we waited AGAIN. AND SOME MORE. And then he stole my sharpie and had to track him down again (The Blind Tiger is not very big, at all) to get him to do it. But each one was personalized and awesome, cause that's how Snuzz is. We eventually said goodbye and drove back to Durham where our hotel was. And slept, not until after watching a bit of Criminal Minds (<3). And went home. And felt warm and fuzzies.


CHECK OUT ALL MY PHOTOS HERE: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2032492&id=123700160&l=7d14abb20f
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

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Offline Brooooke

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Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 02:12:06 AM »
holy f*ck!  LONG ENOUGH?!   :D

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Offline Brooooke

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Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 02:19:01 AM »
chuck's energy is AMAZING on stage, the whole bus stop was!!! i think the only think you forgot that i found fun was that ben and i txt'd about how he was glad we were there.  yes i know this post is more about the other side of it, but just so ya know, the night was definietly on ben's mind.

i'll never forget snuzz seeing us and shitting that brick.   'oh my f*cking god, oh my f*cking god'  he said.  :D  soooo great to be in that mans arms. and then he said he loved me.  MMMMMmmm.

also, would be a good time to start selling the EPs catie gave us, hmmm?  for snuzz of course!

and i couldn't talk normally most of the trip.

and it was 'summer time clothes' that we first heard in pepper's :P

ohhhhhh f*ck reading this post just has me all smiles in memories!!!!

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Offline Allison

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Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 02:21:03 AM »
i do talk about talking to dean, but not you tweeting back and forth with ben about it. slipped my mind while i was writing it.


and yeah, i'm gonna put all the EP stuff on Dec 1.
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

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Offline Brooooke

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Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 02:21:42 AM »
yup! modified my post but not in time, saw the dean part on my second read thru!

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Offline perthgirl

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Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 08:48:10 PM »
Ahhh...awesomeness.  Thanks Allison!
It's easy to be easy and free when it doesn't mean anything...

Re: Snuzz Fest West (way late review)
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2010, 01:59:52 PM »
WAY late reply. I was just bored and searching online for pics of Snuzzfest West. I was the first (acoustic) performance of Shut Up Singing About the End of the World that night. Yes, I DID edit it a bit but it was only because there were a few YOUNG children standing right in front of me. Being a parent, I couldn't, in good conscience, say "now that f*ckER'S off my TV."
Snuzz was originally wanting to perform with us on that song and had been in my living room rehearsing with us. He told me that the original lyric in that song was "now that PREACHER'S OFF MY TV." I hadn't practiced that way at all but when I saw the kids there that night (we went on pretty early in the evening) I just had to use the original lyric and spare myself the guilt of introducing numerous children to the word f*cker.
I was also filming that night but unfortunately the audio wasn't recorded like it was at the first Snuzzfest. Snuzz got tired of f*cking with the recording equipment and decided to just enjoy himself.
These days I'm doing some recording with Snuzz and just released the first track of our efforts. You can hear me at http://www.reverbnation.com/johnglosson
So glad you guys came down from Chicago to bathe in the lovefest that was Snuzzfest West.