GONER­FEST

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MU­SIC -

Un­der in the past year — Friedl toured there with his band the Obli­vians, and Ives re­cently at­tended mu­sic con­fer­ences in Brisbane and Perth — pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to scout bands for Goner­fest. “Power from Mel­bourne, who’s play­ing on Fri­day night, is the band ev­ery­body was talk­ing about in Aus­tralia,” says Ives. “They’re a proto-punk Sharpies-style group. They’re do­ing a U.S. tour off the back of their Goner­fest ap­pear­ance.”

“Th­ese bands from far, far away take the ini­tia­tive to get here on their own and head this way for Goner­fest,” says Friedl, men­tion­ing other in­ter­na­tional acts he’s ea­ger to see, in­clud­ing Ire­land’s Oh Boland. “All th­ese peo­ple made the fest a des­ti­na­tion, if not des­ti­na­tion for their trip. That’s al­ways been a re­ally cool part of Goner­fest: the chance to see th­ese acts that in a lot of cases have never played Amer­ica be­fore.”

Fri­day’s and Satur­day’s con­certs — at night at the Hi-tone and dur­ing the day at Mem­phis Made and Mur­phy’s, re­spec­tively — will fea­ture a mix of Goner-signed acts and la­bel fa­vorites in­clud­ing lo­cals Aquar­ian Blood, Buck Biloxi (from New Or­leans), and Blind Shake (from Min­neapo­lis). The event will also see no­table first-timers like Gun Club alum Kid Congo Pow­ers per­form­ing.

Goner­fest 13 also marks a historic re­turn, as At­lanta rock and roll wild­men Black Lips will head­line the Fri­day Hi-tone bill.

“Black Lips are play­ing for the first time since Goner­fest 1,” Ives notes. “They were ac­tu­ally one of the first calls we made when we tried to put this whole thing to­gether back in (2004). And they came down, and it was crazy and great, but we haven’t had them since then. So it’s great to have them back on the bill 12 years later.”

Each night at the HiTone will have a spe­cial guest em­cee. Greg Low­ery of Su­per­charger fame will han­dle the hon­ors Fri­day, and co­me­dian and broad­caster Tom Scharpling will in­tro­duce acts Satur­day. Be­fore that, Thurs­day, Black Oak Arkansas’ iconic front­man Jim Dandy will be the com­pere. “We’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to that,” says Friedl.

On Sun­day, things will cool out with a day­time fi­nale at the Cooper-young Gazebo from Mis­sis­sippi gospel-blues artist Rev. John Wilkins. “It’s a real nice way to slow down, calm down and close it out,” says Friedl. “Put a lit­tle re­li­gion in the deal.”

Goner­fest con­tin­ues to find new part­ners this year, in­clud­ing Ap­ple Mu­sic. “We’re do­ing a me­dia part­ner­ship with them,” says Ives. “We’ve set up a cu­ra­tor ac­count and have some playlists that we’ve put to­gether for itunes. Will be in­ter­est­ing to see how that works and if that has an im­pact for the bands.”

And for the third year in a row, Goner has paired up with Mem­phis Made Brew­ing Co. to cre­ate a Goner­fest-branded beer. Goner­fest XIII Ses­sion IPA marks the first time Mem­phis Made has canned a beer. In ad­di­tion to be­ing sold at the fes­ti­val, it’s also avail­able at lo­cal re­tail­ers while sup­plies last. “It’s on shelves and fly­ing off them,” says Friedl. “It’s tasty and fun, and al­ways cool to do some­thing with our neigh­bors Mem­phis Made.”

As they take in the calm be­fore the in­evitable storm that will be­gin Wed­nes­day, Friedl and Ives are feel­ing good.

“Last year, we sold out or were close to sold out each night, and we’re ahead of 2015 so far in ticket sales,” says Ives. “We’re in good shape. We’re just get­ting ready and look­ing for­ward to a lot of great mu­sic.”

At­lanta punk band Black Lips re­turns to Mem­phis for a slot Sept. 30 at Goner­fest.

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