Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Matt Jordan: This year’s Boomslang bringing more underground heavy-hitters to Lexington
The annual Boomslang festival takes over downtown Lexington this week in a display of the best that independent music has to offer. This four-day event put on by University of Kentucky’s student-run radio station WRFL spans multiple venues, covers a wide variety of genres, and offers music from local and international acts.
This year is probably the best distillation of WRFL’s unofficial mission statement: bring quality music to Lexington that they can’t hear anywhere else. Past years have had weirder bands, but this year has brought in enough underground heavy-hitters to likely outdo previous years’ attendance. Headliners this weekend include ’80s college rock forefathers the Jesus & Mary Chain, hip-hop screwballs Das Racist and Neutral Milk Hotel frontman coming back to the stage after over a decade of seclusion. Those are names that won’t be familiar to everyone, but will be a big draw to WRFL’s listeners.
Jesus & Mary Chain
Undoubtably the biggest strength of Boomslang is the diversity of the music lineup. Jeff Mangum and Das Racist play on the same night. Jesus & Mary Chain and St. Vitus play at the same venue. WRFL is offering attendees the chance to see well-curated shows by doom-metal artists, weirdo folk singers, up-and-coming rockers and new school rappers. The festival has consistently demonstrated its ability to reward fans who break outside of their comfort zone and take in something new. Much like WRFL itself, Boomslang’s organizers are using the opportunity of a big crowd to push some lesser established acts.
That spirit of exploration doesn’t have to end with the bands. While most people will probably be drawn to Boomslang for the concerts, WRFL has built up the festival’s supplemental offerings year upon year. This time Boomslang has a variety of film, literary and cultural events to round out the festival. The Farish Theater hosts Boomslang’s first local music video showcase at 7 p.m. At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the Queerslang workshop returns to Awesome Inc to provide education and discussion on LGBT issues. Sunday the radio program Accents will host a literary meeting and discussion at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.
Tickets to Boomslang can be bought online at Boomslang’s website or in person at the UK Students’ Center or CD Central. Tickets are $70 for a four-day pass for the general public or $40 for students. Individual show tickets can be bought through the shows’ respective venues. For set times and a full schedule, consult this chart.
(Photos from Youaintnopicasso.com)
Matt Jordan of Lexington is a the creator of Youaintnopicasso.com, a music blog he started in 2004 as a freshman at the University of Kentucky. His regular updates about music and musicians, interviews, concert reviews and industry news have gained him a wide national audience and helped make him an opinion leader in the music industry.