Immigration is a powerful topic for Che Apalache bandleader Joe Troop. A polymath, polyglot, and world traveller, Troop left home at a young age, emigrating from this country in search of a better life. Raised in the North Carolina Piedmont, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, Troop came of age to the music of bluegrass and all-night jam sessions at festivals, but being a young, queer man in the South, at a certain point he no longer felt welcome in his own home region. He took refuge abroad, carrying his music and his fiddle with him always, picking up elements of flamenco, jazz manouche, and swing. In 2010, Joe immigrated to Argentina, and, looking to make friends and build a scene, he began teaching bluegrass. Nine years later, Che Apalache, led by Troop, features three powerhouse Latin American musicians – two from Argentina, Franco Martino (guitar), Martin Bobrik (mandolin), and one from Mexico, Pau Barjau (banjo) – and has been taking audiences by storm with their fusion of Latin and American roots music. Famed banjo player and cross-genre trailblazer Béla Fleck was so taken with the band that he signed on to produce their new album, Rearrange My Heart on Free Dirt Records which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album in 2020. It’s a success story, but Troop hasn’t returned to the States after over a decade abroad to comfort listeners. He’s here to challenge the narrative, to speak directly on what American policies and perspectives are doing to the world.
Tempers are a NYC-based duo comprised of Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper. The duo’s dark, ice-cold electronica blends a sinister slow static disco with danceable beats, a hinting of pop sensibility imprisoned in an almost gothic, industrial soundscape. Tempers’ debut album Services was released in 2015 on Berlin-based Aufnahme+Wiedergabe, followed by EP Fundamental Fantasy (The Vinyl Factory 2017), and Junkspace (BMG Germany, 2018) a concept album about the architecture of consumerism, set in a shopping mall, featuring architect Rem Koolhaas. Their new album Private Life was released on Dais records Oct 2019. Here’s what The FADER had to say about Tempers: “a slice of achingly melodic, drum machine-driven guitar-pop seems the sum of its own subtly shaded paradoxes: downcast and buoyant, terse and expansive, icy and sentimental.”
Of course we are bringing back the Woods Stage for Pickathon 2020! It’s one of our most beautiful and iconic stages, a true vision of how Pickathon interacts with its natural environment. It will look different this year though, since every couple of years we rebuild the stage from scratch. Thanks to the hard work of Mark Lakeman of The City Repair Project, 2020 will be our fifth iteration of the Woods Stage. Made up of woven branches and boughs that look like the nest of a huge, mad bird, the Woods Stage melds organically with the forest around it, creating a home for our vibrant community of festival dwellers. To get to the stage, you have to hike through a forest path lit by giant inflatable art pieces, a far cry from most other outdoor music festivals that take place in a huge, empty field. We promise it’s worth the trek! Lounge on a hammock, grab a pizza and a beer, settle back on a hay bale, or mosh your way to the front in a dust cloud, the Woods Stage has space for everyone at Pickathon.
Every weekend ticket to Pickathon comes with free camping at the festival, and unlike other festivals where you dump your tent in a big field, here you hike up into the hills to make yourself a little nest with your camping gear. We’ve got lots of camping room for everyone, and it’s a great way to enjoy the festival without having to leave every night to go to your lodging. Just roll on back to your tent when you’re ready for bed and lay under the trees and the stars while waves of music lull you to sleep. There’s really nothing like it. However, we DO recommend getting a Thursday pass if you are planning to camp. The Thursday Early Entry Pass is an option for purchase ONLY if you’ve already bought a weekend pass. But it gets you in early so you have more options for tent setup, AND you get an extra day at Pickathon full of performances. Stretch your Pickathon experience to four days and you’ll also get your pick of the best camping spots. It’s the smart way to pick your path to Pickathon this year.