The festival’s 12th edition will light up Bell’s in Kalamazoo Saturday with an eight-band lineup that includes Ringo Deathstarr, Tears Run Rings and Springhouse with Jack Rabid. Full schedule at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS OF SOME FEATURED BANDS
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Kalamashoegazer is back.
Entering its 12th year overall, and second in Bell’s Backroom, the popular shoegaze/dream pop fest expects once again to bring in fans from across the country.
And with a lineup featuring Ringo Deathstarr, Springhouse, Soft Science, Tears Run Rings and Seashine, along with return appearances by Brief Candles, Tambourina and Ariel, this year may be the best one yet, according to longtime festival organizer and former Glowfriends member April Zimont.
“I’m really, really happy with the lineup. There’s not a bad or mediocre band on the bill,” said Zimont, whose own band Tambourina will be making its second consecutive appearance at the festival.
“I feel like last year was the best one that we’ve had so far, which I kind of hoped would happen, because it was at Bell’s and we had bigger bands coming, but this year especially, I feel is going to be awesome. Everybody is so excited about each band that is playing.”
The highest level of excitement, Zimont said, may be for Springhouse and Tears Run Rings, neither of whom have played out in a very long time, as well as for Austin, Texas’ Ringo Deathstarr — a band that had been booked to play the fest previously, but canceled when the Smashing Pumpkins called and invited them along on a Japanese tour.
“Ringo Deathstarr is probably one of the most popular bands in the whole scene,” Zimont said. “We’ve been waiting for this for a really long time. I definitely don’t blame them for cancelling previously. They kind of blew up that tour in Japan.”
Springhouse, fronted by Jack Rabid, “the godfather of punk rock journalism,” hasn’t gigged in over eight years, Zimont said, while Portland-based Tears Run Rings, is putting on an almost “equally rare performance.”
FANS FLOCKING IN FROM OUTSIDE MICHIGAN
“I have been contacting Tears Run Rings to come since 2007,” Zimont said. “I sort of gave up and then earlier this year, they reached out to me. They have kind of a cult following, and are why a lot of people are flying and driving in this year.”
And while Zimont said that the bulk of ticket sales thus far, according to Bell’s, have been from those coming from out of state, she hopes that many of the remaining tickets will get snatched up by locals.
“There isn’t a real strong shoegaze scene here in Kalamazoo, but I feel like there are a lot of people in town, that if they give it a shot, they’d probably be pretty blown away,” she said. “All of the bands we have coming this year are pretty accessible. We don’t have anyone that is just pure wall of sound noise.”
In addition to Saturday’s festival, which will be MC’d and DJ’d by DKFM Shoegaze Radio DJs Heretic and Amber Crain, there will also be a “Shoegaze Summit’ from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Factory Coffee Shop in Kalamazoo DJ’d by Crash City Saints’ Joshua Garman.
The event is a chance to get people together the night before the festival and limited festival merch will also be available.
For more information and to buy tickets, go online here or visit the Facebook event page. Doors open at 4 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to arrive early for opportunities to get raffle tickets (once they are gone, they are gone) as there will be plenty of giveaways throughout the night from record labels, artists and gear companies.
VIDEO: Ringo Deathstarr, “Guilt”
VIDEO: Springhouse, “Layers”
VIDEO: Brief Candles, “Terry Nation”
VIDEO: Soft Science, “Diverging”
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