The ebbs and flows of local music scenes are normal; they can be disheartening during the lulls, and raging to the point of god-like power during their peaks. We are fortunate to find ourselves currently in the latter. From Northwest Arkansas, all the way over to Jonesboro, down to El Dorado, and all throughout all of Central Arkansas, there are more active heavy music projects right now than at any time in the last 25 years.
You could ding the festival on a number of fronts: an almost total lack of hip-hop (or, hell, country for that matter), data deserts that made coordinating with friends (or tweeting, or anything else) impossible, camping options that ranged between $$$ and $$$$. But Sam's millennial grandkids Steuart and Tom Walton, and their OZ Brands venture, pulled off an event that was at once completely novel, psychically unmoored from any known reality, and yet could have only existed in Northwest Arkansas, where middle-of-the-road curatorial tastes meet Mariana Trench-deep pockets. For about a hundred bucks a day, audiences got to see what sort of toys real money can buy.
“Holy Souls" is confident, sturdy yet loose and, rarer still, joyful.
Like the opening track's title, the album is a big, open-armed invitation — by no means unaware that the world is utterly broken and coming apart at the seams, but unwilling to write it all off as hopeless.
Check out "Open Sails," an ambient track from a Central Arkansas-based sound therapist.
Track of Today "Answer Machine."
Track of Today: Matthew Shipp and Chad Fowler's "Old Stories: Chapter Eight."
Track of Today: The Body's "A Lament."
Track of Today: Princeaus' "Keanu Reeves's Puff Cereal."
T02D: Hell Camino's "Jaws of the Ouachita."
T02D: Indy Grotto's "Why Oh Why."
T02D: Adam Faucett's "Melanie."
T02D: Colour Design's "Feel Like Going Home."
T02D: Willi Carlisle's "Tulsa's Last Magician."
T02D: Bic Fizzle's "Turnt Shit."
T02D: MoonMane's "MoonMane."
T02D: bLAck pARty's "Soakin.'"
TO2D: Yebba's "Age of Worry."
T02D: Philip Mann and Michael Fine's collaboration "Finding Home."
T02D: Chainsaw Lassy's "No Means No."