The Mark Harp All-Stars highlight SoWeBo Fest 2013

Redux Stage celebrates music long gone but far from forgotten

by Tom Warner (Accelerated Decrepitude)


Keith Worz (far right) implores The Mark Harp All-Stars to pull his finger at 2013 SoWeBo Festival.

It was the best of times, it was the Worz of times (yes, perpetually frenetic scenester Keith Worz was there!) at the 30th annual SoWeBohemian Arts & Music Festival held this past Memorial Weekend Sunday in  Baltimore’s failed experiment in neighborhood gentrification, SoWeBo (which I guess stands for SouthWest Baltimore, but was originally coined by the early bohemian settlers to show their solidarity with South Africa’s Soweto townships).

Though there’s a lot to see and do down at SoWeBo – like all the art and crafts on display (though most people seem to just eat, drink, get sunburn, and listen to the free music) – Amy “I have enough t-shirts & jewelry” Linthicum and I set out to hang at the Marble Bar Time Capsule Stage (officially known as The Redux Stage, on the corner of Arlington and Lombard) as our prime objective, because this was Festival Ground Zero for seeing all the old people (Marble Bar Baby Boomers like us) and hearing all the old music (late ’70s & 1980s Punk-New Wave-Postpunk) that we like…

…Once again the usual musical suspects – The Motor Morons (unofficial “house band” of SoWeBo), Thee Katatonix, The Beatoes, Mongoloidian Glow – were on stage to perform, but this year’s highlight was easily the much-anticipated performance of The Mark Harp All-Stars – plus a surprise mini-set (courtesy of the Kats’ Adolf Kowalski) by Washington D.C.’s ’80s pop-punk wonders, Tru Fax & The Insaniacs.

The Mark Harp All-Stars idea was the brainchild of long-time Harp collaborator Robyn Webb (following a suggestion by Fred Collins), who posted on her Facebook page the following thank-you to all who participated in the day’s festivities:

Still in recovery, but want to offer major thanks to everyone, Chris Dennstaedt, Chris Ciattei, Cecilia Strakna, Robert J. Friedman, David Zidek, David Wilcox, Bill Dawson, Cindy Borchardt, Craig Considine and Ben Watson for making Mark Harp’s All-Stars a reality one more time….Despite scheduling snafus, equipment failures and general chaos, they said it couldn’t be done, but we pulled it off…Thanks also to Fred Collins, the SoWeBo Festival committee, Joe Berky, Thee Katatonix, Motor Morons, Mongoloidian Glow, Trufax & The Insaniacs, David Wright, Tom Warner and to all of you that stuck around until the bitter end to share Mark Harp’s music with us. Great to see so many old friends together in one place. – Robyn Webb

Well said, Robyn. My only regret was that the star-studded set started so late, at Twilight’s last gleaming after a long day’s journey into (SoWeBo) blight. But as Larry Vega would say, “What the hell ya gonna do?”

Continue reading “SoWeBo Fest 2013” at Accelerated Decrepitude.

This entry was posted in 2010s, 70s Rock, 80s Rock, Entertainment, Festivals, Holidays, Music, Neighborhoods, Punk / New Wave, Roadside Attractions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Mark Harp All-Stars highlight SoWeBo Fest 2013

  1. That’s exactly what Larry Vega would say!

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