My Block Party Weekend: Happy Birthday, !!!, Getting Puked On, and Benjamin Verdoes

Benjamin Verdoes of MSHVB pimped it out for Mad Rad on the mainstage yesterday afternoon.

Thank God this weekend's over. CH Block Party is usually fun and always exhausting. And I didn't even go all three days -- I was at Healthy Times Fun Club on Friday night with MSHVB and Brite Futures, so I missed MGMT. I did hear "Electric Feel" pulsing from a distance while standing on the sidewalk, though, and that was special. Here's a brief breakdown of the rest of my weekend:

Most pleasant surprise: Sub Pop's Happy Birthday at Neumos on Saturday -- they're greasy and need some showering, but we all looked gross and sweaty all weekend, and their performance was a lot more high-octane than I expected. Lots of energy, and their garage-scuzz tunes sounded on-point and very hip.

Most unpleasant surprise: Some bitch puked on me yesterday while worming her way out of the Blue Scholars crowd. Seriously. Nasty.

Mainstage standouts: Something funky was going on with the sound during !!!'s set on Saturday night, but they were still amazing. I have to give serious props to this band for keeping up the energy in light of their all-too-recent personal tragedy (one-time !!! drummer Jerry Fuchs died last November after falling down an elevator shaft) -- they're true professionals. It's been some years since I've seen this group live, and Nic Offer and Shannon Funchess were super-funky and a riot to watch on stage -- got me excited for their forthcoming LP (next month's Strange Weather, Isn't It?)

The Dead Weather: Was it the heat? The all-day drinking? The way the stage lights hit Jack White and shone upon him like beacons from heaven? I don't know, but I almost cried.

Festival highlight: Fuck personal bias. Benjamin Verdoes of Mt St Helens Vietnam Band stole the spotlight right out from under Mad Rad with his guest guitar solo during their mainstage set yesterday afternoon. He sounded so funky fresh that 1.) he had P Smoov bowing down to him and 2.) I was able to bear with the rest of Mad Rad's set, "party mountain" and "gushing pussy" lyrics and all. I've always known B. had soul power. Now you all do too.

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