by Kate Whittle
The third annual Farmageddon, an outlaw country, bluegrass and metal festival, was at Rock Creek Lodge last weekend. I rode out with some buddies on Saturday. Here follows my account of this adventure.
Farmageddon was set up along what's better known as the Testical Festival area, with camping between I-90 and the river. The stage sat at the western end of the grounds. I got out to Clinton late in the afternoon and met up with buddies who'd been there for all three days, and they were in about the kind of jovial moods you'd expect from people who'd been partying in the sun and camping that long (which is to say, they were hilarious and gross; see quotes at the end).
At this point, I took some notes on Farmageddon fashion trends: Camo prints. Nose piercings. Studs. Tattoos. Black T-shirts. Jorts. Dreads. Dread mohawks. Bandannas. A friend remarked, "Man, I'm the only person here without a Black Flag or Hank III tattoo."
After some beer drinking and hilarity at camp, I went to watch some tunes. The Motherfucking Saints were partway through a set of rock/metal, and the lead singer was yelling something about rebelling against corporations while women in cut-up Pabst Blue Ribbon shirts danced onstage. Irony, coughcough. With the afternoon sun directly behind the stage, I could barely see and I'd forgotten a hat or sunglasses, so I retreated back to camp.
I didn't get back out to watching bands until the sun had fallen behind the mountains. Slim Cessna's Auto Club, a twisted country-gospel outfit out of Denver, were excellent to watch. Slim Cessna and Munly Munly, two old-timey looking bean poles, sang together, danced alongside each other and injected bits of drama and performance art into the show. People were slam-dancing even to the quieter songs.
At some point, me and my cohorts wandered into the Rock Creek Lodge and ordered some Rocky Mountain Oysters. As far as non-identifiable fried meat-things go, they were fine. Exciting!
Next up was Pentagram, a heavy metal band that originated in the '70s. The only original member is Bobby Liebling, a wiry 60-something man with a shock of gray hair. He was sporting a very shiny studded black jacket and gyrated and grabbed his crotch a lot. The band members, who all looked maybe 30, let him do his thing. Watching my friends gleefully headbang and fist-pump was entertainment enough for me.
Also, by this point wildfire smoke was wafting down the valley, which made me thoroughly miserable, and the temperature dropped to the 60s, which felt freezing after so many weeks of heat. I retreated to the lodge bar for a bit and found it quiet and cozy and staffed with nice bartenders.
Weedeater, a North Carolina metal band with legendary status among sludge metal fans, played to a small but definitely enthusiastic crowd. Lead singer/guitarist Dave "Dixie" Collins chugged from an enormous bottle of Jim Beam and cursed at everyone between songs; it was basically how I imagine the Grinch would front a metal band. (Let's all agree that if the Grinch played music, it would be sludge metal.) And I mean that in the best possible way.
Anyhoo, it was getting pretty late, since the bands were playing full-length sets, and I headed for home with my ride, none the worse for wear. Overall, the staff and crowd at Farmageddon were super nice. Some gnarly looking people were there, but everybody seemed out to have a real good time and I never saw any fights. Here's to next year!
Selected quotes from Farmageddon:
"This is our last song. It's called 'Weed Monkey.' It's about smoking weed and fucking monkeys. Hope you hate every bit of it." -Dave Collins
"I made a crawdad pinch my ballsack." -Anonymous
Me, to a dude who I've never seen without his hat: "Do you sleep in that hat?" Dude: "Probably."
Thanks to John Yingling of Gonzo Chicago for pictures.