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Homegrown 4 - not quite legalized but definitely therapeutic @ Cambridge Elks Lodge - 11/2 and 11/3

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson  October 31, 2012 06:58 PM

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276400_363013963784084_1834663462_n.jpgThe Boston Police Department may be cracking down on local house show hosts like Whitehaus and Gay Gardens (chronicled nicely here by Perry Eaton in Allston Pudding) but have no fear denizens of funky music--the festival that represents all the best that the underground has to offer is happening in full effect this weekend.

We are speaking here of course about Homegrown 4--the celebrity baby of Boston's Dan Shea (Boston Hassle/B.O.W. shows) and Sam Potrykus (Boston Compass). Shea and Potrykus aren't just members of Needy Visions, but are also two of the hardest working promoters I've come across in my 20 years as a music nerd.

What do you get when two people who really love music, like, insanely a lot, pool together all of their connections and resources to put on the best music festival of their dream bands? You get Homegrown.

Although dozens of acts will grace this years 2 day fest (upstairs and downstairs at Cambridge's Elks Lodge), the marquee acts include widely-loved now bands like dirty PA punk-rockers Pissed Jeans and NYC noise-band Sightings (hissing bits of distortion and bursts of static), as well underground legends Dan Melchior (UK garage rocking colleague of Billy Childish with 20+ albums) and the mysterious Gary Wilson, who strutted out such a strange closet classic in 1977 (You Think You Really Know Me) that it still to this day remains simultaneously anathema to punk and extremely punk at the same time.

Listen to this electronic piano/farfisa styled lo-fi piece of soul from Wilson that comes across like a fried/damaged Alex Chilton shouting out his deepest love anxieties over an extended Isaac Hayes track. Never meant to be shared, or is it? You judge.

I spoke to Potrykus about this year's fest and he shared with me the special love that he has bringing his favorite acts to town that no one has seen before. "I'm bringing Gary Wilson to his hotel!" (actually, Wilson was specifically brought in to this year's fest as a reward to a supporter of last year's Homegrown 3 Kickstarter. As for you--it's not too late to donate to this year's Kickstarter here for amazing scores: Homegrown 4 Kickstarter)

The reason why Potrykus and Shea tend to favor to work outside the margins of the club scene has more to do with getting what they want out of the equation than avoiding anything or anyone per se. They want a special boutique relationship between the performers and the promoters and the venue--a certain level of treatment that is simply harder to get at bars. They also want to have all-ages or 18+ shows as much as possible. “I don’t think anyone should ever be restricted from seeing a show. Ever,” says Potrykus, who himself spent his teen years at more all-ages shows and house shows than most.552595_3657616120248_103365004_n.jpg And lest you think that Homegrown 4 is all about punk and noise, look at this man's 740 tattoo and ask yourself that question again.

Minimal techno artist Container will be coming up from R.I. on Friday (quite nice. Listen to some Container Soundcloud action here). The same night Boston's Fat History Month will be kicking out some doomy (or at least cloudy) acid jams. Saturday's got some amazing VT garage-pop silly goodness from Happy Jawbone Band as well as some Zealandy jangle pop from Boston' s Reports--both area bands that I've been digging muchly in the live setting.

For Potrykus, Homegrown is all about showcasing the music of the area people who make things happen. The integral people that not only make cutting edge music, but also those who throw shows, attend shows and tour around making a name for the Boston scene. After great upfront cost and time commitment making it happen, it all comes together once the doors finally open. “One of the most exciting things is watching these bands meet for the first time,” he says. This is how scenes are made.

So, especially for people looking for a great excuse to come into the city tonight, at a place where you will feel welcomed and interesting music will be flowing, this is it. With two stages you can go back and forth if you're not feeling it without feeling like you're walking out. I promise it will be interesting. And say hi. I'll be wearing my favorite Frasier shirt for the occasion.

HOMEGROWN IV: BOSTON HASSLE FEST set times
Friday 11/2
6:00 I'D M Theftable
6:20 White Pages
7:00 Roomrunner
7:20 HOAX
7:40 Blue Sausage Infant
8:00 Bang! Bros
8:20 Comb Man
8:40 PC Worship
9:00 The Dreebs
9:20 Sediment Club
9:40 Bugs and Rats
10:00 Fat History Month
10:20 Creaturos
10:40 Dan Melchior
11:00 Container
11:20 Purling Hiss
12:00 PISSED JEANS

Saturday 11/3
5:00 Ben Hersey
5:20 Funeral Cone
5:40 Double Awake
6:00 Eric Copeland
6:40 Far-out Fangtooth
7:00 Reports
7:20 Sore Eros
7:40 CUFFS
8:00 Zebu!
8:20 Arvid Noe
8:40 Major Stars
9:00 Happy Jawbone
9:20 Guerilla Toss
9:40 Burning Star Core
10:00 Exusamwa
10:20 Fat Worm Of Error
10:40 Driphouse
11:00 Greg Kelley/Bill Nace Duo
11:20 Sightings
12:00 Gary Wilson

November 2-3, 2012
Cambridge Elks Lodge,
55 Bishop Allen Drive
Central Square, Cambridge
$15/day; 18 +

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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