Basilica Soundscape, the two-day festival of art, Outsider music and all-out avant-garde assault, will be returning to Hudson on September 16 and 17. This year’s lineup has turned out particularly heavy, with Night One headliners Wolves in the Throne Room, a black metal band/organic farming collective from the woods of Washington, backed by the doomy stylings of Bell Witch and a revamped Cobalt over the two nights.
But fans of more uplifting fare need not run screaming. Night Two will culminate with instrumental rockers Explosions in the Sky, and Wolves in the Throne Room will find themselves following the indie-popper Angel Olsen. Curator Brandon Stosuy – formerly an editor at Pitchfork and currently running the Kickstarter-backed Creative Independent project – says that these kinds of juxtapositions are intentional. “We want there to be a variety, but not so eclectic that it feels random,” he says. “I want things to be there for a reason, and to make sense together, even if they’re seemingly quite different.”
In previous years this has meant following an industrial noise band with an extended drum solo on a balcony, or the heart-on-sleeve stylings of the now-defunct Majical Cloudz in a back room of the former rail foundry and glue factory. The result is an event that feels diverse, without approaching the nonsensical pairings that you find at a large festival where all tastes have to be accommodated. The result shows this kind of careful planning. “We want the events to work on multiple levels from start to finish,” says Stosuy. “There should be some kind of cohesion, even if it takes a little bit of time to notice it.”
Other acts spread over both nights include the lute-and-drums duo Xylouris White, “hardcore industrial” band Youth Code and DIY punks Hank Wood and the Hammerheads. The festival will be followed on Sunday, September 18 by a brunch and local Farm & Flea marketplace from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cooked by Nicole LoBue of Alimentary Kitchen. There will also be pop-up shops from the Sacred Bones Records and Publication Studio throughout the weekend.
Tickets for the entire weekend cost $75, with $40 single-day passes available, as well as a discounted student/senior pass for $60. Those interested in camping can also purchase a $125 weekend pass and camping, or a $30-per-day camping pass. This includes a spot at the Meadowgreens campground on Route 9H, as well as a shuttle to and from the venue, which is located at 110 South Front Street in Hudson, right past the Amtrak station.