Harvest of Hope 2009 Preview

<div> <a href="features/features/harvest_of_hope_2009_preview/"><img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/harvest09preview.jpg" alt=" " /></a><br /> </div> <p> Florida gives back on March 6th-8th, with the first-ever Harvest of Hope Festival. Raising money for impoverished migrant...
Harvest For Hope 2009 Preview
Harvest For Hope 2009 Preview

The festival season is starting off with a bang down in Florida, thanks to the inaugural Harvest of Hope Fest in St. John’s County Fairgrounds in St. Augustine.  This three-day festival, March 6th-8th, is a benefit for migrant farm workers (if there are any left after the recent economic collapse here in the States…).  The groups tend towards the punk and hardcore, but there’s still indie, hip-hop, electronica, and more – oh, and no jam-bands!  The real theme running through the line-up is one of activism, fitting for the event:

(note: Langerado Music Festival was supposed to take place over the same three-day weekend as in Miami, but poor ticket sales forced it’s cancellationQRO Langerado preview.  But a host of acts of those acts are still playing Harvest, including: Against Me!, Bad Brains, Girl Talk, Lucero, Gaslight Anthem, Black Kids, Tokyo Police Club, Ra Ra Riot, King Khan & The Shrines, Holy Fuck, Deerhunter and Tigercity)





Girl Talk

Gregg Gillis (Girl Talk) moved from biomedical tissue engineering to DJ mash-up engineering, taking samples from across the spectrum and making something very new.  More used to playing the clubs, who knows what he’ll look and sound like outdoors…

Less Than Jake

Less Than JakeNatives of nearby Gainesville, Less Than Jake (QRO photos) emerged out of the ska and punk revivals of the early-to-mid-nineties, combining both and managing to stick around through seven-and-counting albums.  Fronted by singer/guitarist Chris Demakes & singer/bassist Roger Manganelli (QRO interview) – though their words are written by drummer Vinnie Fiorello – the band has gone through many line-up changes, but still keeps to ska roots with a trombonist, Buddy Schaub, and saxophonist, Peter ‘JR’ Wasilewski.

Tokyo Police Club

Tokyo Police ClubThis hard-charging young act from Canada (not Japan) blew up thanks to a few EPs and near-continuous touring (QRO photos), but cemented their status last year with their first full-length, Elephant Shell (QRO review).  Fronted by one of those rarer-than-you-think bassist/singers in Dave Monks (QRO photos), Tokyo Police Club’s live energy runs all the way through the band, including keyboardist Graham Wright (QRO interview), and into the crowd – but watch out for mosh pits (QRO live review)!…

The Night MarchersThe Night Marchers

Singer/guitarist John Reis has had a number of previous acts (Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypts, etc….), but in 2007 formed his latest with some other refugees, The Night Marchers.  The San Diego alt-punk act debuted with See You In Magic last year, a sort of combination of all that had come before.

The Mae Shi
The Mae Shi

Los Angeles’ experimental punk band The Mae Shi have changed members and minds since they started, with three full-lengths, most recently last year’s HLLLYH.  And they’re working on another, featuring all of the now-six members, so there should be something for everyone on stage to do at Harvest of Hope.

King Khan & The Shrines

King Khan & The ShrinesWhen old-timers complain that rock has lost the crazy performance antics of yore, tell them to check out King Khan & The Shrines.  While the band’s sound borrows from fifties garage rock, this Montreal-meets-Berlin act has one of the wildest stage shows out there – especially outside (QRO live review outdoors) at festivals.  Led by King Khan himself (of duo King Khan & BBQ Show – QRO photos), wearing a Speedo & garbage bag poncho/cape, the group is known for its go-go dancer, battling on stage, diving into the crowd, leading fans in sing-along renditions of “I Wish I Was a Girl” and “Stone Soup” (QRO video), and starting a projectile war with the Yip Yipaudience by hurling bananas at them…

Yip Yip

From Winter Park in central Florida comes the unique experimental electronic duo Yip Yip.  Jason Temple (Yip 1) and Brian Esser (Yip 2) utilize everything from ska and jazz to avant-garde and casiocore for their own spin on electronica, as well as sporting some of the greatest costumes this side of Gwar…


Less Than Jake’s (see above) bassist/singer Roger Manganelli (QRO interview) breaks out his own side-project, Rehasher, which shifts from Jake’s ska-punk rhythms to a faster, harder style.

Grand Buffet
Grand Buffet

Another act putting down rhymes at Harvest will be Pittsburgh’s synth-soaked hip-hop duo Grand Buffet.  Look for them to be spinning off of last year’s King Vision (QRO review).

Ruby Coast

Ruby CoastCanadian indie-pop comes to Harvest thanks to the rising Ruby Coast.  The five smalltown friends will be touring with hit fellow Ontarioans Tokyo Police Club (see above) before & after the festival – TPC singer/bassist Dave Monks even produced their recent EP, Projectable Collections.

Hollywood HoltHollywood Holt

Chicago’s South Side gives the north side of Florida rapper Hollywood Holt, who’ll be coming off a tour with Matt & Kim (QRO spotlight).

Tim BarryTim Barry

Crossing the folk/punk divide is Avail’s Tim Barry.  Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Barry has put out three records of solo folk work, and last year toured with fellow punk rockers-going-solo folk in the ‘Revival Tour’ (QRO photos outdoors at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008) with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music – QRO photos) and Ben Nichols (Lucero – see below).

Bomb the Music Industry!Bomb the Music Industry!

Jeff Rosenstock’s music collective is known for the DIY ethic, drawing upon a wide range influences.  On tour, they’d previously gone just as a duo, with Rosenstock backed up by Rick Johnson of ska-punkers Mustard Plug, but have recently fleshed themselves out.  New record Scrambles will have dropped the month before, so expect it on stage.


Flatliners hail from Richmond… Hill, in Ontario, Canada.  Look MexicoLeaning to the ska-punk of tour mates Less Than Jake (see above), they also have a funny Wikipedia page that somehow hasn’t been even flagged by the ever-vigilant, ever-critical Wikistapo…

Look Mexico

Tallahassee gets in on the act as indie-rockers Look Mexico, who recently put out Gasp Asp EP, joining buddies Fake Problems (see below).





Against Me!Against Me!

A punk band that’s moved from the outside to the majors, many fans of Against Me! saw their signing to Sire as a betrayal of their anarchist ethos, and 2007 major label debut New Wave did nothing to quiet the divide in the punk rock community.  However, singer/guitarist Tom Gabel has simmered down a bit, going from being arrested after a fight over a defaced article about his band, to his recent-released solo debut, Heart Burns, and a series of gigs with fellow punk frontmen playing acoustic, ‘The Revival Tour’ (QRO photos of Tom Gabel outdoors as part of ‘The Revival Tour’ at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008).  But expect the fired-up Gabel & Against Me! to return when the group returns home to Florida.


The cowpunkers Lucero (QRO photos) arrive at today’s workingman’s punk from the southern, country/punk end of things.  Singer/guitarist Ben Nichols is coming off his solo record and ‘Revival Tour’ (QRO photos outdoors at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008) with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music – QRO photos) and Tim Barry (see above, Avail), but Propagandhithe band just signed a four-album deal with Universal, so expect them to be trying out tracks from their upcoming major label debut as they work the festival circuit.


With all due respect to Against Me! (see above), the most politically active punk band can be found farther north – way farther, in The Mountain GoatsCanada’s Propagandhi.  Active in causes from human rights to animal rights, Harvest of Hope benefit was a natural fit for the anarcho-punks (who also spun off The Weakerthans – QRO photos).  The new Supporting Caste – the band’s first studio LP in four years – comes out the Tuesday after, so expect a lot of new material.

Mountain Goats

John Darnielle has been a prolific producer for almost two decades now under The Mountain Goats (QRO photos) moniker (the last five years at fellow singer/songwriter John Vanderslice’s local studio, Tiny Telephone), including last year’s Heretic Pride (QRO review).  Now he’s going to the festival circuit (including a solo appearance at San Francisco’s Noise Pop – QRO festival preview).

Bad Brains

Bad BrainsIt’s getting to the point where you can’t say Bad Brains’ appearances are ‘reunions’, but rather the stable return of the legendary punk act.  Pretty much single-handedly founding the Afro-punk movement (and the D.C. punk scene), as they moved from jazz fusion to hardcore in the late seventies & early eighties, Bad Brains have had more than their fair share of ups & downs over the years, including the departure of seminal frontman H.R., but the original line-up has stayed stable for a while now – but only in the past few years, especially since releasing 2006’s Build a Nation, has the band toured (and sold) so steadily.  Their mix of Tilly & The Wallhardcore and reggae can make for stop-start shows (and records), but has also given them a growing festival popularity (QRO photos outdoors at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008).

Tilly & The Wall

Straight outta Omaha comes the tap-happy Tilly & The Wall (QRO photos).  One of the many deeply Midwestern acts to break out of Bouncing Soulsthere thanks to Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes – QRO album review), Tilly & The Wall are most notable for feature a tap-dancing percussionist in Jamie Presnall (QRO interview), but all of the sounds on last year’s O (QRO review) are infectious.

The Bouncing Souls

New Brunswick, NJ’s own icons were at the forefront of the punk revival in the early nineties, and have stuck around long enough to enjoy ‘elder statesman’ status among today’s young punks like The Gaslight John VandersliceAnthem (see below).  Not that ‘elder’ is a word one would associate with the hyper, kinetic act’s live show, especially outdoors amidst punk festival fans (QRO photos outdoors at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008).

John Vanderslice

Alt-singer/songwriter John Vanderslice may now reside in San Francisco, with his recording Studio Tiny Telephone (Death Cab For Cutie, Okkervil River, Spoon, Division Day) celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, but he originally comes from nearby Gainesville.  He’ll also bring a bit more of a political spin to the indie acts as Harvest.Strike Anywhere

Strike Anywhere

‘Melodic hardcore’ would seem to be an oxymoron, but Richmond, Virginia’s Strike Anywhere have been doing it this whole decade.  While they initially gained fame from appearances in Tony Hawk skateboarding video games, they’ve since worked the international festival circuit, meaning they should be well placed at Harvest.Health


Los Angeles’ Health not only bring the noise-rock to Harvest, but are also known for their mash-ups, most notably with electronic dance duo Crystal Castles, so who knows what to expect outdoors…

Wild Sweet Orange

Birmingham’s Wild Sweet Orange were building even before the release last year of We Have Cause To Be Uneasy (QRO review), Wild Sweet Orangeincluding playing Late Night with David Letterman.  The alt-rock band has a touch of emotion to them, especially their live show (QRO live review), which should fit right in at Harvest.

Valient Thorr

The heavy rock of Valient Thorr (QRO photos) may come from North Carolina, may come from Asgard, may come from outer space (another band with a kick-ass Wikipedia entry…), who knows?  But Valient Thorrthey’ve certainly established themselves on this earthly plane, touring with the likes of the one-and-only Motörhead (QRO photos on the bill with Valient Thorr).


No one was more prolific last year than Deerhunter’s singer/guitarist Bradford Cox (QRO live review), who not only put out the Deerhunterwell-received Microcastle (QRO review), but also included a second disc of all-original bonus material, Weird Era Cont. (QRO review) – and oh, yeah, released a solo record (as Atlas Sound), Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (QRO review) that beat ‘em both.  Known for electric shows whether indoor as the Sound (QRO live review) or outdoors with Deerhunter (QRO live review), Cox & Deerhunter (QRO photos outdoors) will be as prolific with festivals this year (including San Francisco’s Noise Pop – QRO festival preview).

Paint It BlackPaint It Black

Philadelphia’s Paint It Black bring another does of {melodic hardcore, which features Dan Yemin of the famed Lifetime.  They’ll also be semi-reuniting with fellow Delaware Valley ‘melodic hardcore’ act None More Black (see below), with whom they’ve shared members & parts of their name.

None More Black

None More BlackMeanwhile, ‘melodic punk’ comes out of New Jersey with None More Black.  The band’s ‘hiatus’ became a break up, but that led to a reunion show and work on a new album, so there should be a mix of old and new at Harvest.  They’ll also be semi-reuniting with fellow Delaware Valley ‘melodic hardcore’ act Paint It Black (see above), with whom they’ve shared members & parts of their name.  And how can you not like a band that’s named after a line from This Is Spinal Tap?

Her Space Holiday
Her Space Holiday

Marc Bianchi made a name for himself as Her Space Holiday, thanks to his acclaimed indietronic work.  But with last year’s Xoxo Panda and the New Kid Revival (QRO review), Bianchi threw away the computer to go for an organic sound.  Who knows what that comes out like in concert, but his live band includes Mike & Jared Bell of Lymbyc Systym (see below).Lymbyc Systym

Lymbyc System

Arizona electronic instrumental duo Lymbyc Systym get a chance to play on their own, as well as teaming up with Her Space Holiday (see above).

Smoke Or FireSmoke Or Fire

Richmond, Virginia gets more than its fair share of representation at Harvest, including the town’s many-named adoptees Smoke Or Fire (who had to modify their original name, ‘Jericho’, because a seventies Christian rock band from Houston had claimed it – only to have southern conservatives to force them to change ‘Jericho RVA’ entirely…).  The punk outfit, have managed to play all fifty states, will be playing acoustic, coming off a tour with NOFX (QRO photos).




The National 

The National

So up-and-coming that they’re pretty much already there, Brooklyn’s The National hit it big in 2007 with Boxer (QRO review) and tracks like “Fake Empire”, “Mistaken For Strangers”, and “Apartment Story” (QRO video) – and again last year with The Virginia EP (QRO review).  An impressive and much-in-demand act (QRO live review), they’re fitting in nicely as a festival headliner, like they did last year at Fun Fun Fun Fest (QRO photos outdoors, headlining Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008).  Their raw emotional power and strong discography makes for an KRS-Oneamazing performance, whether at a wedding reception or in the great outdoors (QRO photos outdoors).


Acclaimed rapper KRS-One (QRO photos) helped found the hip-hop movement way back when, as well as the Stop the Violence Movement (both of which earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award at the last BET Awards).  More importantly, he can still thrown down rhymes, working with Buckshot for an upcoming record.


Harvest of Hope has spread beyond its origins by drawing in hip-hop to widen the range of music – and picked a strong seller in The GZA.  The Brooklyn native was a founding member of the famed Wu-Tang Clan with his cousins GZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.  He’s subsequently gone on to do acclaimed work both with Wu-Tang and on his own, most recently with last year’s Pro Tools.

The Gaslight Anthem

The newest band on today’s workingman’s punk wave, New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Gaslight Anthem (QRO photos) borrow from classic punk and more recent predecessors like Flogging Molly (QRO photos) & hometown heroes Bouncing Souls The Gaslight Anthem(see above) – but also from the Garden State’s ultimate shining musical light (no, not Sinatra – not even Bon Jovi…), Bruce Springsteen (QRO album review).  Once described as the product of some alternate history of rock, where The Boss embraced his early love of The Clash, that’s a lot to recommend the band and their ’59 Sound.

Kool Keith

Kool KeithThe Bronx’s Kool Keith has rapped under a variety of further pseudonyms, with the best known being Dr. Octagon and Dr. Dooom, most recently with sequel records The Return of Dr. Octagon and Dr. Dooom 2 – and now the twin sides face off against each other (after dueling at San Francisco’s Noise Pop – QRO festival preview).

Black Kids

Florida natives Black Kids (QRO photos) blew up thanks to a festival (albeit just across the border in Georgia), and have been just getting more and more exposure – New York Times, USA Today, even one of Rolling Stone’s ten ‘Artists to Watch’ for 2008.  The infectious hip-shakin’ of last year’s Partie Traumatic – and especially single “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” (QRO video) – keeps paying dividends (QRO live review).

Black Kids
Harlem Shakes

Representing Brooklyn (and not Manhattan), the many membered Harlem Shakes (QRO interview) started with catchy indie-dance on 2007’s Burning Birthdays EP (QRO review).  But the Shakes (QRO photos) have developed much further during the too-long gestation for March’s anticipated debut full-length, Technicolor Health.  It’s also been a while since they last toured (QRO live review), including Harlem Shakesover a year missing from the stage at their home in New York (QRO photos of last appearance in NYC), but they’ve since returned (QRO live review) an will be wrapping up a jaunt with Tokyo Police Club (see above), so expect early QRO-favorite to be in fine form.

Ra Ra Riot

Oh, how they’ve grown!  In the less than two years since their self-titled EP Ra Ra Riot(QRO review) and the death of singer/drummer John Pike, this Nor’easter collective has not only rebounded but exploded, embracing life even more on last year’s excellent The Rhumb Line (QRO review) than early single “Dying Is Fine” (QRO video) could have predicted.  Ra Ra Riot’s live show (QRO live review) sees everyone but the drummer running around on stage like kids on candy, but they’re also relative ‘veterans’ of outdoor concerts, from near-immediately after Pike’s death (QRO live review outdoors) to more recent festivals (QRO photos outdoors at Siren Festival 2008), including San Francisco’s Noise Pop (QRO festival preview).  They also play “every song we know”, from early numbers like “Can You Tell?” (QRO video) to recent Rhumb single “Ghost Under Rocks” (QRO video) and the Pike-penned “St. Peter’s Day Festival” (QRO video).  However, do watch for singer Wesley Miles (QRO interview) jumping band members and even into the crowd (QRO photo) – as well Tigercityas a tight pack of males in front of everyone’s indie-rock crush, Alexandra Lawn (QRO photos)…


This Brooklyn disco-dance act (QRO photos in Brooklyn) owes a great deal to the discotronic movement of the likes of LCD Soundsystem (QRO live review) and VHS or Beta (QRO spotlight), even if they’re not as inspired (QRO photos, opening for VHS or Beta).  What their light show will look like outside during the day is anyone’s guess, but MURSexpect dancing (QRO video).


While Harvest definitely leans primarily towards the social-activist punk strain, hip-hop isn’t left out of the game, thanks to MURS.  Previously part of the ‘elusive’ Log Cabin Crew, he’s rhymed with a bunch of outfits – but his major label debut last year, MURS For President, was solo.

Holy Fuck

There might not be a more ‘live’ electronic band out there today than Holy Fuck (whose name did bring Holy Fucka Canadian MP to question the nation’s support of such music acts as F*ck…), whose stated mission is make electronic music without all the studio trickery so prevalent in the genre – and which so often hampers it live (especially outside of the dance club).  Instead, the band managed to record 2007’s LP (QRO review) on the fly (with opener “Super Inuit” in front of an audience), and now is hitting the outdoor festival circuit.


MonotonixWhile Harvest has a ton of wild acts, there ain’t any that are any wilder than Tel Aviv (that’s in Israel, kids!) natives Monotonix (who’ve been banned in their hometown…).  The three-man act’s performance in concert (QRO live review) is done amidst the crowd, with ‘singer’ Ami Shalev’ stealing and trashing his own band’s equipment.  It all culminates in the ‘drummer surf’, where the crowd lifts the drummer – and his whole kit & kaboodle (or what’s left, anyway, after Shalev’s had his way – up above their heads.

Kiss KissKiss Kiss

SUNY at Purchase brought the world the engaging indie-rock sounds of Kiss Kiss, who are readying the ground for their 2009 sophomore full-length, The Meek Shall Inherit What’s Left.

This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb

This Bike Is a Pipe BombHailing from just to the west in Pensacola, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb has gone through many musical styles, including starting as a new wave band (with David Dondero – see below) before inflecting folk & country with punk roots.  Another politically oriented act at Harvest, expect them to speak up.

Hamell On Trial

Hamell On TrialAs Hamell On Trial, middle-aged punk rocker Ed Hamell plays solo and acoustic, but never loses his anger or effectiveness.  What’s more, Hamell manages to add in some serious humor, making for a one-of-a-kind stage show, Henry Rollins-meets-George Carlin, as featured in his CD/DVD last year, Rant & Roll (QRO review).

Keith Murray

Not the lead singer of We Are Scientists (QRO live review), Long Island’s Keith Murray is known for his work in Def Squad Keith Murray(with Redman) – as well as an extensive criminal history, including a lawsuit about a stabbing at New York’s Webster Hall (QRO venue review).

David DonderoDavid Dondero

While Duluth’s David Dondero’s sound owes much to the folk-rock of Team Love label mate Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes – QRO album review), he’s not only toured with punk acts like Against Me! (see above), but was even part of his own ‘folk-punk’ outfit, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb (see above).  So expect Dondero to fit right in (after he solo-folks it up at San Francisco’s Noise Pop – QRO festival preview).

Kevin SecondsKevin Seconds

The frontman/lyricist for the influential eighties punk band 7 Seconds also helped found the ‘Straight Edge’ movement.  Since 1990, this Sacramento native has been putting out solo projects under a variety of names.

Fake Problems
Fake Problems

Naples (Florida, of course) natives Fake Problems join friends Look Mexico (see above) at Harvest.  The indie-punk band has logged a lotta miles on the road, so it should be nice playing so close to home for once.

Ghost MiceGhost Mice

Chris Johnston & Hannah Jones started in pop-punk bands in Bloomington, Indiana, before deciding to go folk (among other reasons, to make it easier to travel), with Jones switching from bass to violin.  They say they play 100% acoustic, but their last couple of fests, the duo broke down and plugged in, so you thankfully won’t have to strain your ear.

The Virgins (FL)
Virgins (FL)

The hard rock/blues band’s MySpace page says, “Still not that crappy disco band from New York!” – who (QRO photos) were supposed to play Harvest, but backed out.  Now Virgins don’t have to add the “(FL)” to the end of their name…



For festival website, go here: http://www.harvestofhopefest.com/


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