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All Tomorrow's Parties

While they are old enough to be performing for AARP not the ATP, Iggy Pop and the Stooges had energy to burn and tore apart Kutsher’s Stardust Ballroom, performing the entirety of Raw Power (plus a few more key Stooges tracks) with more vigor than any other act at the festival. Here Mr. Pop slithers over some speakers.

The antidote to the standard music festival rocks the Catskills

words by Donny Kutzbach, photos by Daryl P. Brothers

The formula is simple: Convince the crème de la crème of indie, underground, hip-hop, and beyond to converge on a beatup old resort for three days, keep the capacity under 3,000 people, add some film screenings, a couple comedians, and some other events—and you’ve got yourself a festival.

Or maybe the antidote to the usual festival.

Under the care of event creator and curator Barry Hogan, All Tomorrow’s Parties—ATP for short—delivers unique festival experiences that eschew the normal cattle call of giant fields and tens of thousands of fans crammed in.

With 10 years under his belt in Britain, Hogan can now claim a third successful ATP in America following this past weekend’s event.

Kutsher’s Country Club, a once majestic kosher resort nestled in the Catskills, was actually the inspiration for the backdrop tp the film Dirty Dancing. Now a rundown shadow of its past glory, Kutsher’s is a surreal place lost in time—perfect for ATP. It also helps that the resort’s Stardust Ballroom is a perfect size and sounding live room.

With guidance from a guest curator, the film director Jim Jarmusch, the weekend’s lineup included Iggy and the Stooges, reunited metal lords Sleep, Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, Mudhoney, Papa M, Tortoise, Shellac, NEU!’s Michael Rother and friends as Hallgallo Sian Alice Group, the Greenhornes, Raekwon, GZA, the Black Angels, Wooden Shjips, Fucked Up, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, Dungen, and more.

Legendary Seattle grunge punks Mudhoney performing Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles. Left to right: Guy Maddison, Dan Peters, Mark Arm, and Steve Turner.

Sian Ahern of Sian Alice Group in the midst of a stunning set of their indescribably unique, ethereal, atmospheric brand of rock that deservedly draws comparisons to Spiritualized, the Sugarcubes, and Cocteau Twins.

Texas instrumental rockers Explosions in the Sky delivering warm, loud, psychedelic soundtrack rock.

San Francisco’s Girls show off their gift for knackered, jangly power pop.

Complete with grim robe cloaks, too many giant stacks of amps to count, and a lot of haze, Sunn O))) & Boris present Altar—a very rare performance of their collaborative drone/doom metal masterpiece—in what proved one of ATP’s highlights.

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