Homegrown Just Wins. Hands Down. Period.

Posted by    |    May 16th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

When Dallas strips down, it is just as covered in tattoos as Austin, our musical neighbor to the south. At 73 degrees and sunny, Dallasites showed off their inked up arms, backs and chests for the 2nd Annual Homegrown Music and Art Festival. Girls wore long, floral dresses reminiscent of Coachella, and dudes in graphic tees left their polo shirts at home. (Where they belong.)

Homegrown may have been chided for having a lineup similar to last year’s inaugural fest; but what local artist, sprouted from our soil and blooming in a garden located at 1900 Main, wouldn’t want to play a laid-back music festival involving locals lounging on the grass, swigging Shiner and basking in the perfect amount of sunlight in their very own hometown? Exactly. It was as if Saturday was made for Homegrown.

“What’s up Homegrown, alright! This is awesome,” said Nathan of Seryn, who played a beautiful afternoon set as Homegrown attendees filled in the grassy areas of Main Street Garden and listened intently to Seryn’s perfectly blended harmonies. After playing “On My Knees” and “We Will All Be Changed,” Nathan offered the best insight to the rest of the day’s vibe, saying “Man, what a cool place to play music.”

Fort Worth rockers The Burning Hotels took the stage at the hottest point in the day when people finally started to break loose, dancing to the indie rock beats right next to the Ambhar Tequila stage.

Analog Rebellion, formerly PlayRadioPlay!, and his drummer were Willy Wonka whimsical during their intergalactic set that featured “Brain/Heart (I Need to Know)” and “Marla Singer Doesn’t Take Standardized Tests (Disposable Smile).” The way this 21 year-old approaches his music and looks at life is quite grasping. I don’t mind the extended amount of syllables in song titles as long as he keeps singing with his generational outsider view that always seems to be one step ahead of every other singer currently lamenting about the Man and the illegality of marijuana usage.

Subjected to a shorter set, This Will Destroy You only played a few songs, and closed with “Quiet” from 2006 Young Mountain – by far the most magical and trance-inducing song during their time at Homegrown. “We’ll be back soon,” they affirmed.

Friday night, I heard Ishi’s “Pastel Lights” flood the cider-drenched air of Idle Rich Pub, and gushed to my yuppie friends about the upcoming performance at Homegrown the following day. (Props to Idle for loving on some local music). John Mudd’s standard ensemble of top hat, feathers and cane (and unruly facial hair) was a contrast to Taylor Rea’s Zumba skirt and purple locks. “Give yourselves a round of applause,” said Rea of this year’s turnout.

Astronautalis harnessed the perfect set time, with the sun sinking behind the Shiner stage in a picturesque setting as he approached the crowd. Having just finished recording his most recent album here in Dallas, his set was composed mainly of new songs, as well as crowd favorite “Trouble Hunters.” His signature freestyle included various items such as Pegasus, rutabagas and Ron Washington, where he showed off his knowledge of Texas Rangers trivia, including Josh Hamilton’s injury. Andy, you can stop pretending to be ‘from Seattle’ now.

Headliners School of Seven Bells and Neon Indian completed the evening with their electromagnetic sounds. With a perfectly placid atmosphere and gorgeous weather, Homegrown was truly sublime.

Stuck in our heads:Windstorm” per SVIIB. Seriously, does that song ever leave anyone’s head?
Song we recommend on a road trip: Tryin’ to Have a Good Time” per The O’s.
#MM goes to: Analog Rebellion. Because dude’s got some issues he’s working through and we like how they sound put to electric guitar.

Author’s Note: If I am comparing Dallasites to Austinites, and Homegrown to Coachella, at what point will I be able to stop referencing other cities, and Dallas will be recognized for the music force that it is? HMM? Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox.

The YouPlusDallas Homegrown video will air this Friday, May 20, and Part II will air next Friday, May 27. Make sure to follow @youplusdallas for Homegrown recaps and video announcements.

Photography by Emili Carmichael 

Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Editor and Creative Social Media Producer forYouPlusDallas.  Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.

Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.

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  1. So bummed I missed it! Note to self: next year, schedule son’s birthday party on the saturday that Homegrown isn’t.

  2. Brad Holden says:

    Looks like a blast! Great pics!