Afghan Whig’s Greg Dulli is the kind of man to curate a music festival. His band’s notoriety for bringing style and class to the sexless, grim ‘90’s means that chances of charisma-deficient bands showing up on the bill are slim. Dulli’s predilection for performing soul and R&B covers during his time in Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers, and The Gutter Twins means a greater chance of diversity than many alt-festivals. Finally, due to having famous collaborators (such as Mark Lanegan in the aforementioned Gutter Twins), the possibility of special guest appearances is not to be ruled out. Add to that the recent reformation of The Afghan Whigs, and the second annual East Coast incarnation of I’ll Be Your Mirror appears very promising indeed.
An offshoot of the 12 years strong All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals, the city-based event, I’ll Be Your Mirror, is an exciting addition to the ATP world. Last year’s Portishead-curated event, held in Asbury Park, New Jersey, featured the likes of Jeff Mangum, Public Enemy, and the Pop Group, and instantly set a precedent for this promising new festival venture. This year’s festival, to be held from September 21st to 23rd in the new Manhattan venue Pier 36, is set to feature the likes of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Jose Gonzalez, Mark Lanegan, Lee Ranaldo, Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton, Jonathan Toubin, The Roots, The Antlers, The Magic Band, and the just-announced Friday night headliner, Frank Ocean.
Ocean, a deserved blog darling for his imaginative channel ORANGE is the perfect representative for the festival in this opening-night slot. Afghan Whigs’ recent cover of “Love Games” [available below] makes Ocean’s involvement even more appropriate and welcome. Ranaldo is posed with performing two separate sets, a “Hanging Guitars” on Friday and a set with full band on Sunday. Likewise, not only will Questlove occupy his role as drummer for The Roots on Saturday, he will provide a DJ set later that night. The combination of Glass’ famed compositions and Braxton’s live overlooping promises to mesmerize on Friday night, while the inclusion of The Magic Band on Sunday will cause both fans and non-fans of Captain Beefheart to admit that legends are present.
Apart from a substantial music line-up, the festival also packs comedy and cinema components. Representing the former are the likes of Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo, while the latter comes courtesy of the Criterion Collection. While comedians will make appearances solely on the opening Friday night of the festival, the cinema will run throughout the entire weekend in Manhattan’s Berkeley Hotel. Films set to screen include Quadrophenia on Friday, Putney Swope (followed by a Q & A by the film’s director, Robert Downey Sr.) on Saturday, and Belle du jour on Sunday.
The festival’s move from Asbury Park, New Jersey to Pier 36 in Manhattan is an effort by promoters to attract more attention to the fledgling festival via making it more accessible to music diehards. While such a move will detract from the camaraderie-conducive atmosphere of an open air festival, holding such an event as I’ll Be Your Mirror in Pier 36 could be a determining factor for the up and coming venue. The variety of sounds and live show ploys will test the venue’s diversity and, with hope, expose it as a decent enough place for the epic live event that I’ll Be Your Mirror 2012 suggests it will be.
Visit the official ATP’s ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror USA’ 2012 site now to get additional info and to pick up tickets.
Lineup by Day:
Friday 21st Curated by ATP
Philip Glass + Tyondai Braxton
Lee Ranaldo’s ‘Hanging Guitar’
Edan (The Deejay)
Saturday 22nd Curated by Greg Dulli
The Afghan Whigs
Mark Lanegan Band
Charles Bradley And The Extraordinaires
Sunday 23rd Curated by ATP
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
The Magic Band
Thee Oh Sees
Lee Ranaldo (Full Band Show)
The Album Leaf
Quintron And Miss Pussycat
The Psychic Paramount
DJ Jonathan Toubin