The Block Party is blasting off with nine stages this year, and each and every one of them is destined to keep you captivated, no matter how much Ninkasi you’ve managed to slide into your belly. The Ninkasi Patio Stage, on that note, is full of local icons — including Adventure Galley, Basin & Range and Marv Ellis, to name a few — but there’s a whole lot more to unearth this year in terms of novelty.
If you’re walking through the masses and your ear happens to catch a rusty sea shanty rising in rich crescendo above the clamor of people, then you’re probably about to stumble upon ManOverBoard, who’ll be roaming the Block Party throughout the daytime and playing their unique brand of Celtic pirate punk. Seriously, just picture every pirate film you’ve ever seen and take away the images. The music you’re left with is pretty much exactly what ManOverBoard sounds like, and it’s great.
The G Spot Stage will feature Mufassa, a burly offshoot of the once-legendary Sea Bell. I once had a man lean over and tell me that he thought the Mufassa show we were at was “like having sex.” I think that about sums it up. It’s adventurous, sword-wielding indie rock for the masses, and it’s very difficult not to enjoy.
This claim also holds true for Black Beast Revival, out of Bellingham, Wash., which has a grungy Black Keys sorta thing going on, except it sounds more like a flaming hot rod flying off a cliff with lead guitar player Zach Vanhouten standing on the roof ripping a solo, his hair flying like a flag in the wind. In short: That shit is incredible.
The Spoken Word Stage is a perfect addition to the Block Party, considering the extremely large (and often undervalued) literary arts scene in our town. The Eugene Poetry Slam will kick things off at 3 pm with some epic slam poetry, which fuses traditional reading techniques with theatricality, and that’ll be followed an hour and a half later by The StoneCutters Union, who read vicious and compelling short fiction. The stage’s night will be rounded off by local comedians Bryce Jones, Karmichael McG, Andy Bradwin, Seth Milstein and Josh “Fatty” Finch. Get ready to laugh your ass off.
As the night goes on, many of the acts subside, and by 10 pm — the Block Party’s official end time — Blue Lotus takes the stage. If you haven’t had a chance to hear these cats jam yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s severely reminiscent of anything the Dead ever made happen, although Brandelyn Rose, who strums rhythm alongside Felix Blades’ lead, doesn’t quite sound like Bob Weir. The group is tight as bondage and trucks on through those jams like Further’s wheels rolling across the nation. This is one group you definitely don’t want to miss; the Grateful Dead comparison is fairly astounding in its uncannine
For more information on acts at the Whiteaker Block Party, visit http://whiteakerblockparty.com