This is a day late, I know, but yesterday I was stuck in plane, badly needing sleep from a long, long night at Pickathon. But as soon as I finally fell asleep some bastard child woke me up, running back and forth down the aisles.
Pickathon was a pretty interesting experience. A lot like a tiny version of the Country Fair, if that's any helpful reference point. Everything about it—the property, the music, the atmosphere, the camping—is great, well managed, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. The only sticky issue is the high cost of tickets.
Part of that, I suppose, accounts for flying in a number of bands. And my God, my favorite of them all was Sam Quinn. I've since become obsessed. Quinn (who previously played in the everybodyfields) and his new band, the Japan Ten, are from Tennessee. On stage after midnight on Saturday he remarked that it was the guitarist's first time on a plane to get here.
Quinn's spellbinding, wispy performance that night in the field was the ideal setting, and something I'll never be able to fully separate from his tunes. He kept such a dogged pace, singing through his teeth to muffle the sound in a lovely way. Violinist Megan Gregory's harmonies were absolutely spot on. A taste:
Sam Quinn + Japan Ten: "Hello" @ Ramseur Records HQ
I'd recommend everything Quinn's got out there, which isn't much (first Hypemachine search that came up empty). So head on over to his myspace where all four of the tracks are just astounding (including the cover of "Beautiful Boy"). "Late The Other Night" was Quinn's closer in the meadow. He played keyboard on the almost tear-inducing track, bringing it to a head in an otherwise remarkably reigned in set by stomping his foot near and amp, causing the reverb coils to shake and cackle.
I talked to Sam briefly, hoping to get news of a tour with a stop in Portland. No such luck. Not for the foreseeable future, anyway. He says they'll head back to Tennessee, play a few more shows there, then get to working on a record. I can't wait. But in the meantime, I'm going to have to scrape these suckers off the internet—I need them on my stereo, iPod, in the car, and everywhere. Thanks Pickathon.