Alt music fest

The two-day Picnic festival will feature a wide variety of international and local rock musicians, including the Pixies, Placebo and Editors.

June 4, 2010 23:27
2 minute read.
Picnic Music Festival

Picnic Music Festival. (photo credit: courtesy)


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Despite their hefty entrance fees, the two Picnic Basket of Music Festival shows next week on June 5 and June 9 are among the best musical bargains of the summer. On Saturday night for NIS 295,  indie and alternative rock fans can enjoy the sounds of British rockers Placebo and Klaxons, the multimedia frenzy of G.S.S (Gorillaz Sound System), and the homegrown drums and bass thundering duo, Hank & Cupcakes.

On Wednesday, the entrance fee spikes to NIS 495, but the reward is the chance to see rock legends the Pixies in their Israeli debut, ably supported by British up-and-comers the Editors and local alternative duo Carusella. A discount ticket to both shows runs NIS 595 – that’s for seven vital bands for the same price as most of the single tickets to the superstars like Elton John and Rod Stewart.

As the drummer for the Editors, Ed Lay, told me last week, the Pixies are among the most influential bands of the 1990s. “They’re a huge influence not only on us but on countless bands in the UK and all over the world,” said Lay, who added that he’d be standing on the side of the stage during their headlining set.

Surely, if every fan who pledges allegiance to them today were buying their records when they were initially released, the band–- with original members Frank Black, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering – would have been more than large cult figures in the first incarnation. However, since regrouping in 2004 for regular tours but without any new albums, the Pixies’ bandwagon has grown in droves.

“It seems like it was just yesterday that I was a teenager blasting the song “Debaser,”  says 35-year-old  Modi’in resident Harry Rubenstein. “I recall having absolutely no idea what the lyrics meant, but I'll never forget how I felt as I threw myself around the room in a chaotic dance of absolute joy. I’ve seen hundreds of shows in my life, but the experience of seeing the Pixies at the now defunct Ritz club in New York City in 1989 was one show that will forever be etched in my mind. Words fail me when I try to explain how I feel about having the opportunity to see them again, this time in Israel. I’m hoping to feel like my 15-year-old self again, though I hope that I won’t injure anyone with my flailing arms as I dance.” 

Another band with a noticeable Pixies influence is Placebo, who will be headlining the first night of the festival on Saturday. Formed in 1994, the year after the Pixies initially broke up, the trio, led by guitarist/singer Brian Molko, was called a glam version of Nirvana, thanks to their raw sound and androgynous image. That sound has mellowed and diversified over the years and the course of six album, but the band can still light a house on fire as last year’s album Battle of the Sun proves.

Both shows will be balanced by relatively younger British bands – the punky Klaxons the first night and the keyboard-heavy Editors the second. Add to the mix the two Israeli man-woman duos opening the shows – the  potent drums and bass of Hank & Cupcake the first night and the heavy rock of Carusella the second – along with a promise-to-be-entertaining visual set by the Gorillaz Sound System, and you get a two-day festival treat that really lives up to its name.

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