Corndogorama 2009: Wrap-Up And Final Thoughts

All photos by Clint Miller

Corndogorama has come and gone again, so it’s time to break down the experience. The parcel of land in the East Atlanta Village served as a nice new venue for the festival providing plenty of space to grow into. The overbearing heat in the middle of the summer in Atlanta was probably the biggest drawback to the festival grounds as there were very little options to escape the sun near the music, and this sent many festival goers into the village to take refuge during the day. Although other than that, I thought it was a great location. The field in front of the main stage sloped upwards farther back and the sound was pretty good most everywhere inside the area. I hope this place gets used for other events.

This year’s weakest element in my opinion was the lineup. That’s not to say there weren’t good bands, but recent years’ mammoth lineups eclipsed this year’s by far. It was great to have some Ohmpark favourites like Nomen Novum, Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun, and This Piano Plays Itself in early slots to compete against the oppressive weather, but the bottom end of the schedule was destined to fail in regards to attracting a big crowd. Dead Confederate and Abby Go Go were fine choices, but the fact they played a free show at The Earl just weeks prior significantly cut into their drawing power. Judi Chicago and Noot d’ Noot are very popular bands, but they also play more local shows than anyone, and while that is part of what make them such local favs, that also will prevent them from hauling in large crowds for a big ticket fest like this. Outside of those bands, the closing portion of each night was extremely disappointing. Also, the 3 hour Jazz Fest block in the middle of Sunday was serious overkill. It’s not that any of those bands are bad, but Corndogorama’s target audience is done a disservice to have no options outside of music styles at least half a century old for such a long portion of the day. A complete absence of hip-hop and a low representation of the metal scene were unfortunate. The experience as a whole would have greatly benefited by involvement from smaller venues in the Village providing extra stages for more variety of options and reprieve from the sun’s beating beams.

But most of the negatives from this year can be explained away by the festival’s complete retooling and scaling back for this new version of Corndog, and regardless of some missteps, there is obvious potential for this new incarnation. The festival can grow into this format, and if it can find support with day shows from The Earl or 529 or other Village venues, it could become greater than it has ever been before.

In the end, the festival was a success to me as I had a really fun weekend. The crowds were sparse (especially Sunday), but I always prefer that anyways. The vibe was very chill and everyone who was there seemed to be having a good time. I want to shout out to my fellow bloggers, it was fun hanging out with Tessa from Drive A Faster Car, who covered the fest as well, and Adam Trimble is the man. I can’t wait until next year.

Day 1 Coverage
Day 2 Coverage

Corndogorama 2009: Sunday (Day 2)

All photos by Clint Miller

I made my way into the festival to grab some breakfast, and then caught the end of The Slackey Family, who weren’t very memorable. As soon as that ended, This Piano Plays Itself unleashed a sonic assault that brought most of the sparse festival crowd over to witness. Their set was only comprised of two newer songs, but they were probably each about ten minutes long. This was the first show with Doug from the now defunct Athens band Kebert Xela in the lineup, and this new 5-piece incarnation was blissful controlled chaos.

Next up were two bands that would broadly fit in the genre of 90′s Frat Rock. I would guess these bands would kill it in Buckhead, but totally weak sauce for Corndogorama.

Get Small:

Niagra Mohawk:

Then Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun (someone needs to coin a short, catchy nickname for this band) took the main stage and played a stunningly compelling set, as they always do. It is hard for me to think of another young band in this city that combines accessibility with more talent than these guys and gals. I definitely wish this set would have been longer.

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Corndogorama 2009: Saturday (Day 1)

All photos by Clint Miller

We got a later start yesterday than I would have liked and didn’t make it to Corndogorama until The Goldest began their set. I loved their EP, but in previous occasions thought their live show was a bit lacking. This time they sounded really good.

I got some lunch at the Australian Bakery, which has served as our Corndog home base for escaping the heat and grubbing, and then caught Sonen. Their set at last year’s corndog was lackluster, but this year it was not enjoyable at all. The vocals were very loud in the mix, and these two so called “vocalists” have no business singing. It was hard to even give the music underneath much of a chance with how bad the vocals were.

Next, Nomen Novum played one of the better live sets I’ve seen them do. They started out with some guitar loop build up songs and then moved to more electronic stuff near the end. While the duo churned out the tunes, they were joined by a dancer for this set who even contributed some neat sound effects using blades of grass.

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