Old Man Leudecke
The trouble and the struggle is worth the epiphany and the ecstasy before the G20 summit makes it all plummet. The North By Northeast music festival in Toronto showed more of a tendency to want save the world than is likely to be evidenced next weekend when the Antifolk take up our streets and hotels. Jon Janes of The Mountain and the Trees standing in the middle of the Gladstone Ballroom, strumming, encircled by an enraptured crowd of listeners in plaid shirts and pretty dresses, Old Man Leudecke leading a stomping singalong from his chair at the Dakota, Sons of an Illustrious Father, rolling into the Cadillac, rolling out the cuts and stains and bruises of their hearts with voices that seemed to radiate from a distant star, then packing the banjo and accordion away and scattering back into the midnight towards New York: these are the negotiations that build a better future. The Wheat Pool's drummer Ty Armstrong beaming rays of rhythm through the band into a flaming audience, Dinosaur Bones flaying their guitars with a steady fevered persistence like thoroughbred riders coming round the clubhouse turn: these are the symposia that teach unity and instruct us in the creation of positive energy which is all that is needed to save the planet, prayers made visible, miracles made audible, consensus made manifestly evident.