All Tomorrow’s Parties ’10: Dirty Dancing and Rocking Out

By David Wharton

Sep 8, 2010 3:03pm

PHOTOS: Abbey Braden
Music festivals have a history of legendary bands playing iconic sets, but rarely is there a festival where the venue is so much a part of the ritual that it becomes its own character in the experience (Editor's note: check out Amplified's piece on last years festival here.) But that’s what happened this weekend at Kutshers where nearly 2500 music nerds converged (Sept 3-5) for the third annual All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Kutshers is a country club located about 90 minutes away from Manhattan, the inspiration for the movie Dirty Dancing and the last of the old school borscht belt grand resorts. This year indie film maker Jim Jarmusch guest curated the festival which featured rock legends like Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop and newcomers like “sad song” aficionados — Girls. You can’t help but look around at that original 1970s silver houndstooth wallpaper and imagine what happened in the Stardust Ballroom before Sonic Youth was ever there. In the back of the resort, Kutshers has a “lake” or one might call it a “bog”; where concert goers in plaid shirts, tight jeans and black thick rimmed glasses converge in between sets and are encouraged to take out paddle boats for a row. You might think that the neon t-shirts and those crazy colored leggings clash with the lily pad filled bog, but it works. Also how many music festivals have a book club? This one does. The other very special thing about this venue is that there is actual no backstage. Bands hang out to check out each others sets. Thurston Moore and Kim Gordan mingle with everyone in the hallway and leathery Iggy leans on the couch in the lobby chatting with fan, Ron Jeremy lingers in the parking lot and nobody seems to bug them for photos, it’s all very friendly and free. Jarmusch created an eclectic mixture of music some call the “perfect mix tape”, everything from hip hop, punk to doom metal and even some amazing buried treasures in the line up that you might not otherwise see – like a 90 year old (or 96 he can’t remember his birthday) bluesman called T Model Ford who lit up the room with some deep Delta blues on Sunday. In a crowded field of annual claustrophobic music festivals, All Tomorrow’s Parties deserves a Mazel Tov! (Desiree Adib)

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