Another WARMfest came and went this weekend. Yes, I've got my fingers crossed for a repeat appearance in 2015. But, of this one, some thoughts: I spent Friday night holed up at a pre-WARMfest BBQ, watching Mike Dixon of Olympia label People In A Position to Know cut speciality releases by Joyful Noise artists on 1940s Presto 6N record lathes in a detached garage. As strange as it is to say, I think that was the highlight of the entire festival -- for me anyway, even though it didn't occur within the boundaries of Broad Ripple Park like the rest. Dixon and assistants moved operations to the park the next day, where they were weekend favorites of mine. It was beyond cool hearing tracks by bands like Busman's Holiday laid down and cut right in front of us.
As it's been commented on extensively, WARMfest stands out from other regional fest lineups because of its commitment to local acts (hat tip, Broad Ripple Music Fest), and I was pleased to see some of my favorites (KO, Sweet Poison Victim) take the same stages national acts would take over later that evening. Joyful Noise Recordings' curated lineup on Saturday made for an excellent and locally focused day on the mainstage (save for the non-JN injection of Mutemath in the mid-evening), including a truly mindbogglingly odd set by Half Japanese, making due without their drummer (waylaid by paperwork troubles with customs) in glorious, unhinged fashion.
Perhaps that's why I was so happy to be festival-adjacent in the detached garage: WARMfest pulled together this odd mix of groups and labels (of Montreal? Guided by Voices?!) that felt intimate, but still huge.