News Column

I AM is the place to be on Saturday

September 6, 2013


Sept. 06--On Saturday, don't be confused if it suddenly seems New London has become a giant magnet with a peculiar physical property for attracting Hip Persons.

Indeed, music lovers will be streaming in from not just our area but New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well -- all pursuant to the sounds and sundry fun of I AM Festival 2013, taking place on five downtown stages.

With headliners Death, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Mark Mulcahy, along with a sterling lineup of 20-plus local and touring acts, the free music festival, celebrating indie rock in all its glorious possibilities, is an increasingly popular destination. (See schedule.)

For the record, this is the seventh edition of I AM -- and the festival's founders, Sean Murray and Rich Martin, are earning nationwide reputations as visionaries who work wonders on a small budget. Past fests have included (at the time) up-and-coming national artists such as Matt & Kim, Mates of State, Rainer Maria, Tim Easton, Martha Wainright, Rye Coalition, Girl Talk, We Are Scientists, The Drums, Deerhoof and Jay Reatard.

In addition to free music, the downtown streets will be clustered with all sorts of food vendors, merch kiosks and various civic-minded info booths. Plus, the performance layout is strategically located to take maximum advantage of the downtown area's phalanx of restaurants, bars, shops and tourist attractions.

I AM Festival schedule


12:30 p.m.: The WTO Dance Crew

1 p.m.: Anderson Family Picnic (Mystic; instrumental touches of Explosions in the Sky and Dick Dale)

2:30 p.m.: Straight to VHS (New London; garage tunes so authentic you'll smell the oil stains)

4 p.m.: Fatal Film (New London; clever, driving indie rock careening left at Progville)

5:30 p.m.: Camp

7 p.m.: Echo & Drake (Wethersfield; dragging the best of '80s Brit pop into the future)

8:30 p.m.: Cymbals Eat Guitars (Staten Island; shimmering indie melodicism)

10 p.m.: Death


3:15 p.m.: Bedroom Rehab Corporation (New London; conceptual guitar/drums sludge-chanties)

4:45 p.m.: Elison Jackson (New Haven; indie folk-pop)

6:15 p.m.: Daphne Lee Martin (New London; jazz-lounge-country chanteuse)

7:45 p.m.: Mark Mulcahy (New Haven; renowned songwriter and former leader of Miracle Legion)

9:15 p.m.: The Guru (Waterbury; free-flowing Garcia/Weir-isms)


2 p.m.: James Maple (New London; post-millennial country-blues)

3 p.m.: Viking Jesus (Providence; lovely and haunting pop introspection)

4 p.m.: Violent Mae (Roxbury; duo boasting infectious tunes by Becky Kessler)

5 p.m.: Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (Providence; smooth but deceptively complex pop explosions)


7 p.m.: Slander (Mystic; reinventing pop rock for the modern age)

8 p.m.: Slim Wray (Brooklyn; two-man wrecking machine music)

11 p.m.: Pretty & Nice (Boston; XTC-style power pop for Chowder Nation)

12 a.m.: Ava Luna (Brooklyn; densely layered cacopho-soul/pop)


6:30 p.m.: Camacho/Skobie Won/Erik Lamb (southeastern Connecticut; hip-hop)

11 p.m.: Empty Vessels (New London; Satan goes surfing)

12 a.m.: New Highway Hymnal (Lowell, Mass.; cobwebby feedback and gluey drone-rock)

1 a.m.: Horns of Ormus (New London; taking the power trio concept into the depths of Hell, laughing all the way)

The Day streams I Am online

If you can't make it for the whole day and night, some of the shows -- including headliner sets from Death, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Mark Nulcahy -- will be streamed live on From 1 to 11 p.m., will feature performances from three of the festival stages: the Parade, the Hygienic Art Park and The Telegraph. In addition to real-time coverage, Day correspondents will conduct live interviews with musicians. Feel free to join in by posting your fest photos on Instagram by using #thedayct, and join the conversation on Twitter by using #iamfest2013.


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