This was our first Phuzz Phest & after the amazing lineup we saw, probably not our last. Winston-Salem has a concentrated scene amid Reanimator Records (thanks to Anthony Petrovic of & Primovanhalen & Winston Facials) & Krankie’s Coffee that we had only experienced once before on Halloween ’13, seeing Thee Oh Sees, where we went dressed as lazy versions of Daria & Quinn. (Blogging is for bragging, right?) We were happy to reprise our roles as real life cartoons in Winston-Salem, a sleepy town for the uninitiated.
There are actually a ton of great venues, like the Tiki Bar, decorated with Christmas lights & tropical plants, as well as The Garage, everything you want from a dive bar with emphasis on live music. The great city of Winston also offers free parking anywhere your heart desires, clean, public restrooms on every block, & virtually no lines.
The festival started strong with Daddy Issues, a garage rock band from Greensboro, NC. Unabashedly sexy lyrics from two growlin’ singers.
Next up, Boulevards, from Raleigh, NC. The descriptions of Jamil’s music comparing him to Prince & his catchy 80’s soaked beats brought us to his show. His smooth footwork caught our attention & had us envisioning the funnest wedding reception surrounded by friends dancing our little butts off to his funky pastiche.
Ex Hex. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Mary Timony rules & this band is perfection.
Take the intensity of any current punk you’re into, slow it down, & add the pessimistic wit of Mark E. Smith, & deliver it with a lazy confidence usually reserved for lounge singers & get PROTOMARTYR.
Las Rosas! At aforementioned Tiki Bar, we stumbled across this show & were impressed by the garagey Brooklyn trio who we had spotted earlier & instantly loved their style. We are pumped to see them again at Hopscotch later this year!
Then we went around the corner for Blursome at Krankie’s. This was a beautiful soundscape of city life & trippy isolation from a seemingly shy artist.
Alex Cameron. We fucking love these dudes. Australian, fine men making 90’s pop reminiscent of Chris Isaak & Future Islands! Hilarious stage banter, power poses, & Sax solos? Seriously, check this out. Favorite song – Happy Ending. Oh & about Texas Pete.. we would explain it to you but we’re still just as confused as you probably are.
Um. F O X Y G E N. Holy Smokes. We like to imagine it was a comparable experience to seeing the Rolling Stones. Rumors about the band breaking up abounded; there was an obvious tension on stage between band mates. Between wardrobe changes, a shrine to young Leonardo DiCaprio, three backup singers & dancers enhancing the whole experience with their choreographed moves, their ‘farewell tour’ did not disappoint. Just. Like, listen. It was so, so, very amazing. We just can’t. But here’s a little teaser for ya, YW.
Natalie Prass. We listened to her debut album over & over leading up to this festival! Soulful 70’s sounds spliced with Disney princess sweetness. Weird noisy crowd made her cut her set short. We know because we were close enough to read her set list 😅
Until next year! xo