Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase | Three Beats | Chicago Reader

Three Beats: Absolutely no twinklecore at the Swerp Records showcase 

Plus: Cajmere and his Cajual label on a new British comp, and the Neon Marshmallow Festival tries getting small

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click to enlarge Neon Marshmallow

EXPERIMENTAL: The Neon Marshmallow Festival tries getting small

In the postprosperity economy, downsizing is king, and even music that was never commercial to begin with is feeling the pinch. When Matt Kimmel and Daniel Smith convened the first Neon Marshmallow Festival in 2010, they rented out the Viaduct Theatre and invited more than 100 acts. "We just book stuff that we want to see," says Kimmel. Since then, though, practicality has crept into their calculations. In 2011 they moved to the Empty Bottle and scheduled just 35 acts. The third festival, which runs from Thu 11/15 to Sun 11/18, will host 16. "We noticed that people don't like being in one place for too long," Kimmel explains. "It's overkill. I like long festivals, but it seems like it's better to have four good sets a night."

The event has moved again, this time to the Burlington, where Kimmel is now the main booker. Smith is also sitting this one out: "I'm just chilling during this one," he says. "We've put on a lot of events and I just wanna hang with people close to me right now." Both men insisted that Smith is still part of Neon Marshmallow.

This year the festival has booked relatively few of the kind of noise acts that thronged the first two events, but its reach is still quite broad. Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore will perform a solo set and a duo with drummer John Moloney. Moloney will also play in Hush Arbors, the psych-folk project of singer-­songwriter Keith Woods; local acoustic guitarist Ryley Walker and Vermont duo MV & EE will contribute to the rustic vibe as well. Drummer Allison Busch will bring her straight-up rock combo, Call of the Wild; minimalist techno artist Container, electro revivalist Windbreaker, and the DJs of Supreme Cuts will cover the beat spectrum; and Dolores Dewberry will bring her woozy electronic weirdness.

Bill Meyer

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