I'm really looking forward to this year's Memorial Weekend highlight, the 30th annual SoWeBohemian Arts & Music Festival (aka the SoWeBo Arts & Music Festival or, simply, The SoWeBo Fest) on Sunday May 26. Mainly because not only will the “Marble Bar Redux” stage at the corner of Arlington and Lombard once again feature musical blasts from the past that I actually remember (The Beatoes, The Motor Morons, Thee Katatonix), but this year will also feature The Mark Harp All-Stars paying homage (which sounds way too serious!) to – and having fun with (that sounds much better!) – the music of The Big Man himself, our dearly departed friend and musical-genius-mentor Mark Linthicum (aka “Mark Harp,” “Harpo,” “Corky Neidermayer” and “The King of Peru”), who left this mortal coil well before his time on Christmas Eve of 2004. Geesh, former Null Set/Cabal and Black Pete frontman – and longtime Harp collaborator – Bill Dawson (aka “Bil Dawson” back in the day) is coming all the way up from Jacksonville, Florida for this shindig, so that tells you something about what a big deal the Big Man was, and continues to be to those discerning music lovers in B-more who “get it.”
Listen to Null Set (Bill Dawson, Mark Harp, John Chreist, Lou Frisino) play their theme song.
Watch The Beatoes guest appearance on The Scott & Gary Show.
Thee Katatonix will bring their Beltway Beat to Shake Shake the masses at 5 p.m., followed by Mongolian Glow at 6 p.m., The Motor Morons at 6:30 p.m., and The Mark Harp All-Stars (with a Cecil B. DeMille-worthy “cast of thousands”) at 7 p.m.
This incarnation of the All-Stars playing the Mark Harp back catalog will include Ben Watson (lead guitar), David Zidek (bass), Chris “Batworth” Ciattei (drums), Beefalo Bob Friedman (keyboards), Robyn Webb (rhythm guitar), Ceil Strakna (vocals), Cindy Borchardt (vocals), Valerie Favazza (vocals) and special guest appearances by Chris Dennestaedt (The Beatoes, Casio Cats, Poverty & Spit), David Wilcox (Chelsea Graveyard, Pooba, The Alcoholics) and, of course, the aforementioned Bil(l) Dawson.
Big thanks to Robyn Webb for orchestrating the Mark Harp All-Stars project; Robyn also MC'ed the Marble Bar Redux stage line-up last year. Returning to manage the line-up this year is none other than iconic Motor Moron and Pleasant Liver singer Fred Collins, who co-managed Marble Bar Redux 2012 with fellow Motor Moron Sam Fitzsimmons. (As they say in horse breeding parlance, those are studs with really good bloodlines for this racing card.) Like just about everybody associated with the Marble Bar line-up, Robyn and Fred once played with Mark Harp.
Watch a clip of Fred manically performing “Big Headed Baby” with the Pleasant Livers at the 2012 SoWeBo Festival, below:
I would be remiss if I did not post Scott Kecken's short film “SoWeBohemian,” a video time capsule of the sights and sounds of SoWeBo festivals past – including cameos of a young, svelte Scott Huffines…
…and the non-facial parts of Tom Warner‘s body that won't break a camera lens (look for a below-the-neck shot of him holding a Zim Zowie flyer in his Robin the Boy Wonder t-shirt!).
And finally, as we count down the days to the “Marble Bar Redux Redux,” enjoy this field report from last year's festivities, “Marble Bar Redux,” posted by yours truly. Hope to see you all out there Sunday! – Tom Warner
by Tom Warner (Accelerated Decrepitude, May 29, 2012)
“I had a great time at the Sowebo festival yesterday! The Redux stage proved that it doesn't matter how old you are, you can still rock out! I got there just in time for the Pleasant Livers, and then watched Thee Katatonix, Motor Morons and Ben Watson's World Media War and everyone was fantastic. So good to see so many of you there!”
– Amy Linthicum, Girl Reporter (via Facebook post)
As usual, Amy Linthicum says best what I can only flail at with my forked tongue. But my tongue must flail, so here goes…Yes, SoWeBohemian Festival 2012 was a blast – and a true blast from the past for those 80's Punk/New Wave relics like us who still fondly remember the Marble Bar (which closed its doors in 1985), the Galaxy Ballroom and its associated renegade musical spirit. The Marble/Galaxy contingent were treated to their own “old timey sounds” area, the “Marble Bar Retrospective” on the Redux Stage – where co-stage managers Sam Fitzsimmons (Motor Morons) and Fred Collins (Motor Morons, Pleasant Livers) oversaw the day's entertainment. They were ably assisted by emcee Robyn Webb, who introduced the day's numerous acts and kept the rock rolling smoothly.
Continue reading “Marble Bar Redux” at Accelerated Decrepitude.
Mark Harp's All-Stars (Facebook event post)
SoWeBohemian (baltimore Or Less)
Scott Kecken's “SoWeBohemian” film short (YouTube)
Marble Bar Redux @ SoWeBo Festival 2012 (Accelerated Decrepitude)