Congratulations, Kingston. We are sticking to our principles and yet again managed to host a tremendously wonderful O + Festival. Thank you to all the performers, artists and organizers and volunteer types who put time and effort into making this progressive stuff happen here. It is this kind of team spirit that has helped rejuvenate our community and get us back on the national radar. The festival was full of highlights, with BSP hosting dynamic sets from Matt Pond PA and the low-key but very moving sing-along set from indie scene cornerstone Kevin Devine to the weekend show-stealing dance-a-thon
that TK Wonder initiated in the huge and exciting backroom space. Daaaamn, gurl! That last set just put so many people in a party mood and the electronica mixed with kinetic Ben Perowsky rock and dance drumming plus the superhuman, sexy and commanding stage presence of rapper, singer TK Wonder kind of blew people’s minds. I wish I had also caught Amy Helm at a fittingly warm Keegan Ales setting but did get to catch some fantastic stuff from The Warp/The Weft at Stockade Tavern, the quirky band coming off as a kind of proggier version of The Decemberists with a few acoustic Mastodon riffs thrown in and really cool, warbly vocal acrobatics. Mike and Ruthy and (as one attendee put it) the “loud as fuck” Dead Unicorn (Editor’s note: We try to use the f-word sparingly in this paper, but in this case, it’s really the only one that really captures just how loud DU gets.) got many people talking as well. I was pretty tired and happy when Sunday rolled around and I caught The Gold Hope Duo’s “Merry ‘Cana” set, also at Stockade Tavern. It was funny to joke with BSP’s Mike Amari that Stockade was the one last place on Earth at which Lara had yet to perform. So Kingston, get yourself a drink and have a pat on the back. In fact, if you go to Uncle Willy’s and purchase a Magic Hat #9 before Oct. 22, you’ll be entered to win a free $75 value Halloween costume rental from Columbia Beauty Supply on North Front Street! I don’t drink anymore so am enjoying coffee and The Gaslight Anthem alone in my room as usual.
Vinyl, elegantly repurposed
Let’s check in with Kingston’s sweetheart Brianne Olsson to learn more about her great pop-up shop on Broadway next to The Anchor. Bri is a model and bartender who is also big in the rock scene and known for her warm heart, charm and fun-loving personality.
“The Anything Goes Vinyl’s Pop (up) Shop is my newest venture,” Bri says. “Anything Goes Vinyl is a small craft business I started in May 2013 … AGV uses strictly used, warped, scratched, virtually unplayable, records and used musical equipment and turns them into repurposed, functional rock ’n’ roll inspired gifts for your home or body! My specialties include (but are not limited to) custom-order record album purses, frames, jewelry, clocks, tables, trays, etc. Really, anything goes!
“The Pop Shop is located at 746 Broadway, next to my buddies at The Anchor — perfect place to set up a shop for the music lover! The store opened [in early October], kicking off the O+ Festival, and will be open until the end of the holiday season — Jan. 7 — Thursday through Sundays starting at noon.”
I asked Olsson about her reasons for putting in the extra hours each week to follow her creative passions.
“Music has been, and always will be such a huge part of my life,” Bri answers. (I know she isn’t lying because I have many fond memories of singing Motley Crue songs with her at The Basement or Danzig and Ozzy songs at Tony’s Pizza). “The thought of these records and used equipment thrown away to rot is saddening. Music and art can trigger so many memories and emotions. They bring you back to places and times in an instant. These memories were a step away from the curb. When I display my wares, people point, gasp, laugh, remember when. These pieces trigger conversations of times past, amazing musicians, singers, performances, concerts, etc. Would those memories, conversations right then have taken place if those pieces were in the dump? Probably not. I feel like I’m giving these memories, songs, and albums another shot around. There’s something romantic in that.”
When she’s not being awesome all over K-town, what’s Bri up to? “My summers consist of traveling my wares along the east coast to different music and Rod shows. This is a lot of hard work, but the bands you see, people you meet, and continue to see every year at these reunions and when they’re on tour in my hometown, usually sleeping on my couch, become your family. Particularly North Carolina’s Heavy Rebel Weekender, Return to the Milltown in Sturbridge, Mass., and our very own home base weekender, The Rat’s Nest Run In, this year held at Blackthorne Resort in Durham!
“We are all like minded people with the same goal,” Olsson continued. “The funny part is that some people see us as underachievers, not becoming accountants or working in socially acceptable occupations, but for the most part, we are working extra hard — I don’t know many people with just one job — to be able to do the work we love. Nine-to-five doesn’t exist when it comes to living your dreams. If I wasn’t making KISS, Van Halen or Alice Cooper pocket books, or making tables out of Iron Maiden or Tom Waits albums, I really don’t know what I’d be doing. There’s nothing more fun and challenging for me than to make custom-order gifts. I’m not the only person passionate about music. If you, or someone in your life is a music lover (of the vinyl-era variety, for the most part), feel free to stop by the store, contact the business page on facebook as Anything Goes Vinyl, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can order the albums, or bring me your own treasure that I will custom gift for you at a discounted price!”