The Totally Raging in the Round Pool Show: 1 August 2009 - Flying W Airport & Resort, Medford, NJ

Daniel Irving Kober
Photo: Bary Klipp

An airplane-shaped pool, cheap drinks, a beach volleyball court, barbecue, water ice stand… and a few bands for good measure.

No Age

The Totally Raging in the Round Pool Show

City: Medford, NJ
Venue: Flying W Airport & Resort
Date: 2009-08-01

With the humid East Coast summer in full effect, South Jersey really needed an event like this. Party attendees were linked to last minute directions and advice before the show -- the venue’s first ever -- at the Flying W Airport & Resort. First of all, we were told that, “yes this really is a functioning pool!” We were also told that the bands -- Dan Deacon, Deerhunter, and No Age -- would be playing “In the Round,” also known as “Round Robin”, a concept that has been done before, but never with these three bands.

The guests were a mix of familiar faces that I could swear I had seen before. Seemingly, everyone from the neighborhood was present. There were even a few families in attendance. The Michael Stipe look-a-like was there, as were the older couple on the deck who got angry when I sat in front of them, the friendly heavy-set man wearing pink bikini bottoms, the girl who resembles Ali Youngblood from the Black Kids, and every variation of free spirit/hipster/whatever-you-want-to-call-it these days that the area has to offer. Everyone was welcome. Some guests came on buses from Philadelphia. Others traveled by car from out of state. All guests, upon arrival, were introduced to the multitude of pleasures offered by the Flying W Airport & Resort -- seemingly South Jersey’s new summer oasis.

People who showed up for the summertime spoils -- the airplane-shaped pool, cheap drinks, the beach volleyball court, the barbecue, and the water ice stand --were handed the ultimate South Jersey summer experience. People who traveled to Medford to hear a solid batch of songs from three of music’s most exciting performers were not disappointed either. Hearing the songs in random order merely made the whole event even more fun.

It helped that the bands enjoyed it as well. Staged in a semi-circular fashion -- No Age in front of an operational airstrip, Dan Deacon in a tree house, and Deerhunter on a deck in front of the bar -- each group showed support for the other. Deacon, in the spirit of friendship, wore a black-and-white No Age T-shirt. “Want to get some water ice?” shouted No Age’s Dean Spunt to Deerhunter’s amiable Bradford Cox mid-set.

Deerhunter started off the Round Robin off with an ear-shattering “Cryptograms”, sending seismic waves all the way to the Jersey shore -- probably helping out a surfer or two when it got there. Sonically and viscerally, No Age fared the best. There was something euphoric about seeing a yellow A-4 Skyhawk aircraft taking off as No Age launched into sizzling Weirdo Rippers opener “Every Artist Needs a Tragedy”.

For some, Deacon’s tracks blend together into a seamless electro-mishmash in a live setting. But for others, each segment is a new reason to go a little crazier. “Snookered” was particularly endearing as Deacon encouraged the crowd to “raise [their] hands and notice [their] surroundings and put [their] hand son the people in front of [them].” By the time Deacon slipped into “Baltihorse”, he had ordered the construction of a tunnel of frenzied fans that snaked around the gazebo and reached the beach-volleyball court. Deerhunter’s “Spring Hall Convert”, enhanced by a miasma of smoke rising from the grills into the sunset, led into No Age’s “Eraser”, which was followed by “Everybody’s Down”. During this song Dean Spunt began making airplane noises and counting down before crowd surfing while still playing his guitar.

The set ran about thirty songs between bands, ending with Deacon’s “Wham City”, which was played with green skull in tow and a blow-up dinosaur surfing the crowd. Bradford Cox announced a bus departing at 9:30 pm to take the school kids back to Philly, before launching into a searing “Nothing Ever Happened” that finished things off.

If anything came out of the challenging setup, it is that these guys are human. The whole “concept” didn’t run as smoothly as it could have and as the sun started to go down, things lulled a little with several awkward pauses between songs. Anyone expecting the Dan Deacon Bromst Symphony seen on his last tour would also have been disappointed.

But these are minor issues. Throughout the set, fans swarmed from station to station to witness each band perform each track. The whole day had the aura of a classic family event, but one spent with friends rather than Uncle Fred. Deacon ended the show by apologizing for being awkward and nervous, thanking the entire production staff, and encouraging the attendees to “think about the group rather than the self.” Cox expressed his excitement at pulling off a show that no one thought would or could actually happen. “Anyone want to start a prayer group or teach knitting?” he asked as the night wavered. Let’s do this again sometime.

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.