Preview: Melanincholy Festival
Date: Saturday October 29th, 2016.
Place: Milo-Grogan Community Rec Center – 862 E 2nd Avenue, Columbus OH
The cleverly titled Melanincholy Music Festival will make its debut in the emerging Milo-Grogan neighborhood this Saturday.
Presented by Charlie-Malachi Rosenberg of Stand and Demand, an organization meant to raise awareness of marginalized people groups, Melanincholy provides a platform of expression for people in said groups.
I really like the name, “Melanincholy.” The pun references the often melancholy aura life has for PoCs given the systemic racism they face on a daily basis. And of course, I can’t read the word “melanin” without thinking of the song “Colored People” by dc talk…
“Pardon me, your epidermis is showing sir / I couldn’t help but note your shade of melanin / I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement / Cause I see the beauty in the tones of our skin.”
The lineup is stacked, and having talked to Charlie myself on a number of occasions, trust his music taste. We have bonded over a mutual love of Anberlin and he knows the DIY community amongst minorities almost like the back of his hand. Here is the lineup:
- The Trio
- Minority Threat
- Signor Benedick the Moor
- Jae Esquire
- Counterfeit Madison
- Sol Patches
- Kali Dreamer
- Randal Bravery
- Obi-Wan Shinobi
- The Michael Character
- D.A.N.K. (Dope Ass Negro Kids)
Now, you may not know most of these names but I’ll reiterate that this lineup is loaded with good choices. I won’t outline every artist, but here are a few that stand out to me:
Counterfeit Madison: There’s a reason that every publication that talks about the arts in central Ohio keeps shouting out this artist. One of my favorite shows of 2015 was watching Madison perform solo at her EP release in a winery in the dead of winter. The audience was silent. Everyone was captivated by her soul and charisma and aptitude for knowing how to indulge emotion in a genuine way.
The Trio: This, er, trio from Mansfield is one of the tightest groups I’ve seen in a minute. The jazz collective mixes in some electronic fusion into their live set, with the vocalist dabbling in some well-placed vocoder. Groovy. They have some tasty drum fills as well – an element that stood out to me when I experienced them at Kafe Kerouac over the summer.
Minority Threat: I haven’t seen these guys live yet, but as a lover of live hardcore I think I need to. Many people whose taste I trust has endorsed these guys so I will too.
Satele / Obi-Wan Shinobi: I’m listing these guys together because they both know how to create their own grooves on the spot and get the crowd moving. I saw them perform back to back at Garden Fest in the spring and they make a formidable duo. Hip hop inspired EDM at it’s finest – and most fun. Shenobi gravitates more toward traditional EDM than Satele, but both are immensely enjoyable and the fact that they show they are having fun onstage makes the good vibes contagious.
D.A.N.K. – D.A.N.K. is a collaborative effort between Kali Dreamer (reverby groovy pop), BLK GLD, and fest founder Charlie (whose stage alias is Apollo Akembe). Only one demo is online, but I’m intrigued by the mash-up of influences that will result.
This festival is FREE. However, all things cost $$$ and if you want to make the financial burden a bit lighter leave a donation at this link. Trust me, the burden is heavier than you think, though no matter what the fest creators will likely find that number to be worth it.
Could this turn into Columbus’ own Afropunk Festival? With fest founder Charlie’s history as a moderator of an Afropunk subreddit, I would stake a claim in their favor…