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Any search for the most alt-as-hell music festival probably has to start in Europe, unless you consider the Gathering of the Juggalos to be some sort of ‘Merican trump card. Juggalos, by nature, can only trump themselves, so let’s not go there. Instead let’s go to Fields, the one-word gathering on Aug. 22-24 that bills itself as a “Baltimore music and arts camping festival.”
Ugh, camping? Rock the FAQ if you really care about that stuff. If you care about Baltimore weirdos and/or music, though, the lineup is rather chock-a-block, with B’more point-of-light Dan Deacon at the top, the now-Baltimore-based Matmos (pictured) up there, too, and legends like Zomes sprinkled throughout.
Quirks abound in that list of artists, of course. (Go ahead, cruise around, it’s great.) Even though it’s a camping festival—-and when you camp, you’re supposed to either bring mass quantities of Cheetos and hot dogs (vegan or otherwise) or forage for your supper and baptize it with fire—-there will be at least one food truck: DaRua, a Brazilian-style venture.
And there’s no reason to let the whole “outdoor festival” thing get in the way of intellectual energy. There’s a performance of Four Organs, a piece by Steve Reich, and a smattering of “sound artist” types like Charles Dubé. Cheers to the festival organizers for providing such useful descriptions of the artists, too; Fields may be under-the-radar, but if people have to travel almost to the Conowingo Dam to get there, it’s nice to arm them with information first.
Prepare your ears for Fields with a brand new track from Matmos: “Weed World,” which starts out with an ephemeral, twinkling melody and a thumping bass line, then turns frenetic with crash cymbals, loads of static, and dissonant keys. It’s spacey and woodsy in equal measure, which sounds just about right for the weekend ahead. Listen to “Weed World” after the jump.