Fridays After 5 Starts Tonight

Tonight is the first Fridays After 5 of the season, featuring latin band Majahkamo. The free weekly concerts (for those of you that are new in these parts) are held in the amphitheater at the end of the Downtown Mall, running from around 5:30pm until around 8:00pm. The line up for the season, which runs until October, includes dozens of artists such as Terri Allard, Crenshaw, Sweetwater, The Corvairs, HavanaSon, Wanda and the White Boys and plenty more. 3:32pm Update: Sorry, Majahkamo is rock and funk. Not Latin.

24 thoughts on “Fridays After 5 Starts Tonight”

  1. Sorry, Majahkamo is rock and funk. Not Latin.

    I, for one, am willing to forgive your mistake, since I had never heard a goddamn word about Majahkamo before last week. In fact, I’ll be damned if I’ve heard a single goddamn word about any of those bands, besides Terri Allard, who plays elevator music. Oh, wait. I’ve heard of the HouseRockers (who you didn’t mention). I think they played at the Daily Progress Sucky Art show at the Doubletree Hotel. The cutting-edge Lifestyles page at the paper loves them.

    Here’s a question: why was almost every single one of the bands that played at Fridays After Five in my two-and-a-half years here so LAME? I remember C’ville Weekly did a story on this a couple of summers ago, but I forget what it said.

    Is it that the middle-agers running the festival have had their musical taste atrophy? Is it that they’re trying hard to be “family-friendly” so they go mainly for cover bands? (That would be strange, since a pretty good percentage of people at FAF go there to get wasted after work. (Possible new festival name: Wasted After Work.)) Is it that the real bands in town are too lazy to set up the gig? (That, too, would be strange, since it’s such a large audience. Those haircuts in Wisher were happy to hand out fliers at the ID tent — why not get signed up to play some music?)

    I think these are big, important questions, and if I were you, Waldo, I’d give this post a +1 for incisive so all the site member snobs can read it too.

    If you insist on accountability, sign me …

    Detective Gomez

  2. Here’s a question: why was almost every single one of the bands that played at Fridays After Five in my two-and-a-half years here so LAME?

    Here’s a cursory description of the process. Any band that wants to can apply. They send in a CD and their price. A selection committee listens to all of the artists that have applied and ranks them based on preference, without knowledge of who each artist is. (So each submission is based solely on the songs that they choose to provide as samples — the name of the band never comes into play at all.) Then the Charlottesville Downtown Foundation rejiggers those rankings based on other factors (ie, if the most popular band selected is $2MM/show, that would make them unfeasible) and tries to work with all selected bands to create a line up. As with any concert line up, some artists can’t make it, bands break up, etc., so things change further from there.

    As a former board member of the Charlottesville Downtown Foundation, I think that’s all that I can say. I have a horrible memory for things like what is and is not confidential, so I prefer to err on the side of caution.

    You should remember, too, that thousands of people do like the bands that play each year. That’s why they come. Knocking on Terri Allard, for example, shows me that your tastes are probably markedly different than mine and most of my peers. I suspect that you probably simply haven’t heard of many of the bands that are playing. There are a lot of great local artists that I’d like to see enjoy success that simply wouldn’t be very good at something like this. Brady Earnhart, for example, is one of my favorite musicians, local or otherwise. He’d be totally inappropriate for Fridays After 5. So would Devon (sans band), Tim Reynolds, Greg Howard, Peter Griesar (again, sans band), Lauren Hoffman, Shannon Worrell and Michael Sokolowski. These are all well-know local musicians whose music I love dearly. And I would love to see them at Fridays After 5. But I know that the audience wouldn’t respond, and that the venue is all wrong for most of them.

    So, who would you rather have, Anonymous?

  3. Well, it appears you didn’t even check out this year’s Fridays schedule, so I’m not sure exactly what you’re inclined to criticize. First of all, the Houserockers aren’t on it, and haven’t been for three years. Secondly, of the 24 shows, 15 of the bands scheduled have never headlined at Fridays (including one who was scheduled to play last year but was rained out), which is probably the highest percentage of turnover there, ever.

    Over 80 bands submitted entries for this year’s Fridays. I know – I burned the sampler discs that the band selection committee members listened to. These bands came from, literally, all over the country. Bands were even submitted to our little beer blast from the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles and from a blues booking agency in Chicago.

    In addition, you seem averse to “cover bands.” In that case, you can attend most Fridays without fear, since more than half of the acts booked this year play predominantly original music.

    As Waldo notes below, a band doesn’t just call up CDF and say, “Hey – we’re free this week. How ’bout if we come set up at the Amphitheater for ya’ll?” It’s a very involved process, and as you can probably imagine the competition is extremely fierce. Of the 80+ bands who submitted, I would venture to guess that at least 60 or so of them would have been excellent choices to play at Fridays after 5. A lot of really good bands weren’t selected, and that’s because a lot of really good bands were. I’m not sure what you consider a “real band,” but, well, the Dave Matthews Band wanted too much money to play Fridays this year (though they did play in 1992 – won’t it be interesting to try to figure out which unknown band playing this year might be huge in 10 years? Check out King Konga – IMHO they have everything it takes).

    Since you’ve probably never heard a great many of the bands playing this year, as many of them have never played in this area before, you might want to give them a chance before painting all of them with a very wide LAME paintbrush.

  4. And I forgot to add, if you really think Terri Allard plays elevator music, either you’ve never heard Terri Allard’s music, you’ve never been in an elevator, or you live or work in a building with some pretty cool Muzak.

  5. This site member snob doesn’t care much for the music at Fridays after 5 either, but understands that attendance talks. He also reads at 0, for the record.

    You want a festival that books the acts you want to see? set it up. promote it. make it happen. This is exactly the kind of infuriating argument that goes on all the time about public/college radio. I went to an extremely liberal arts college that was full of hippies and punks, and we had a radio station that played jazz and classical and some folk and pretty much nobody on campus listened to it. But it thrived and was a success in the community. People griped constantly about the station’s content, which was controlled essentially by a handful of people that ran the place. But when the time came for fundraisers, who signed the checks? the jazz, classical, and folk lovers in the community. And this gave them alot of pull over the content.

    if you want something that speaks to you, you need to make it happen. Your “big, important questions” are nothing more than snippy, self-important complaints. +1, indeed. Do you really expect anybody to listen if you’re going to approach the situation like that?

    Get on a committee, talk to some people that matter, and present an argument, in a civilized manner, which speaks to the idea that perhaps the youth in the community aren’t being well represented by the music at Fridays after 5, and be prepared to offer a well-thought-out solution, or to listen to contrary arguments. If I were involved in producing those shows, I wouldn’t give this kind of reactionary drivel a second thought.

  6. Methinks Detective Gomez fancies him/herself quite the contrarian–standing alone amidst the cville sheep, forging his/her own independent opinions, the noble naysayer, swimming against the current, yadda yadda yadda. Sneers at the things Other People like. Has been here 2-1/2 years but is jaded, jaded already–seen too much of this silly town full of silly people. Asks the big important questions that no one else dares ask.

    Doesn’t know what he/she’s talking about half the time, but doesn’t let that stop the presses.

  7. Asks the big important questions that no one else dares ask.

    You mean like “What does it mean when everybody refers to ‘the old Dart Drug?'”…or “Why is it Rio with a long “i” when any idiot knows that’s not how to pronounce it?”…or “How come the main thoroughfare in Charlottesville, home of UVA, is named after the Florida State mascot?”

    Tough questions, indeed!

  8. Has been here 2-1/2 years but is jaded, jaded already–seen too much of this silly town full of silly people.

    Damn straight, dude. And headed for greener pastures wit’ a quickness. The 90 days have begun.

    Doesn’t know what he/she’s talking about half the time, but doesn’t let that stop the presses.

    Funny you should mention the presses.


  9. So, who would you rather have, Anonymous?


    Three things:

    1) The name is Detective Gomez, not Anonymous. I plan to register it as soon as I can make up another fake email address to use. Please honor my wish to be known by any silly (fanciful?) name I choose, just as many of us have done for certain former city council candidates and other regulars on this site.

    2) I was going to answer your question. I swear to God I was. But now I’m not going to. My allergies are bothering me, and I have a sore throat and a headache. I had to get up too early this morning for something that wasn’t worth it, and I have to stay up late tonight for something that isn’t worth it — all for the benefit of a bunch of ungrateful know-it-alls you may be familiar with — and I just can’t summon the energy.

    3) Fine, people. Terri Allard is great. The Houserockers are great, whenever they’re playing. Mahjakamo is great. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Blah, blah, blah. Enjoy the next FAF. I’ll be the one in the back enjoying a brewski and shouting over the music.

  10. Methinks Detective Gomez fancies him/herself quite the contrarian

    Fine. And methinks you’re a couple of 32-year-old virgins who could use a good boot to the ass. Now that we’ve all shared what we think, can we please get back to the original topic?

  11. Nobody ever said the Houserockers were great. At least, nobody who’s ever been tied to the rack and been forced to listen to them!

  12. I, for one, think DG’s comments are right on. FAF music is pretty much doomed to suckiness, considering the demographic involved. Perhaps the powers that be could reconsider the musical arrangement and have multiple bands (with varying levels of suckiness) at different venues on the mall.

    Gomez can talk to me anytime.

    -Legal Recruiter

  13. Just wondering – if CDF is picking bands that consistently fill the Amphitheater to capacity or near-capacity just about every week, why would they have any interest in changing the formula that is obviously working so well?

    They’re definitely stretched thin enough without entertaining the possibility of multiple venues. Maybe some other entity is interested in jumping into the fray?

  14. Apparently “Anonymous” would rather make regal declaimations than actually be correct about anything.

  15. Detective Gomez,

    Wisher did submit a kit to the FA5 committee btw.


    Haircut #3

  16. Foundation Stone, a funk-reggae style band out of Floyd, sent out their May/June show schedule and they are scheduled to play Fridays After 5 on June 28th.

    They’re very fun, talented and worth checking out even if you’ve never heard of them. The guitarist lives in West Virginia but treks to Floyd to practice. Nice clan.

Comments are closed.