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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"Old Folkies Dance with Terror Pigeons"
[The following report was e-mailed to me by Marjorie Farrell. Marjorie and her husband, Walter, live, eat, drink, shop, listen to music, and dance in Northport. They bought passes for the 4-day music festival in Northport and clearly made the most of the long holiday. Now, if anyone can clue Marjorie and me into how to make that long 'e' mark work in our desired fonts, we will be very grateful. The name of the place that hosted the music and dancing--and where I'm having breakfast at this very moment--is pronounced LEE-loo.]
Old Folkies Dance With Terror Pigeons
Not words I thought I would ever type, especially about 60ish me and my 60ish husband. But, we did. Strangest night (Friday, July 5) in Northport, MI. And it wasn't a dream.
We were attending the first-ever North by Northport (NXNP) Music Festival right here in little Northport, steps from our front door. Four days of great music all over town: Folk, rock, indie, Cajun, country, jazz, blues—all Midwest musicians, most from Michigan.
We had hit pretty much every performance on Thursday and Friday. On impulse we returned to Lēlu Cafe for an 8:00 pm performance of Little Ruckus. By 9:00 pm it appeared that the show was going to be watching the elaborate, but funky stage set up, including a handsewn patchwork curtain which seemed intent on bringing down the house, literally. When Little Ruckus stepped on stage—he was one of the guys hanging the errant curtain—we gasped. Yelling, yowling, growling, he demanded we get up off our dancing chairs and join him in front of the stage. We hesitated. My thought was about how soon the place would clear out of us old folkie types. To my surprise, only a few left, many stayed. Little Ruckus performed for a short time and then Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt took the stage, again with Little Ruckus. This time we needed no invitation. We danced like no one was watching (and everyone was), we ran out one door of Lēlu Cafe, around the corner of the building and back inside through another door, in a conga line. We kept a purple nylon parachute aloft with hands in the air, shouting and jumping. Oh, and strobe lights. Who knew techno rock/performance art was our thing? We didn't. We don't dance. Now we do. It was all strange, crazy fun. Afterward, one 50ish man said to me he felt like he was 15 again. Second that, sir.
Northport is both a sleepy lakeside village and a vibrant art and music scene. It is going through a Renaissance. New and old places to eat like The Garage, Lēlu Cafe, North End, the Soggy Dollar, Barb's Bakery, and (coming soon) Northport Brewery. New and old places to shop like Dolls and More, Dog Ears Books and Red Mullein, that last for Japanese haori jackets, photography and vintage Noritaki porcelain. Plus lots of art galleries and artists.
We sincerely hope the NXNP festival will continue. Us Old Folkies need to be shaken up once in a while, dust off our shoes, listen to all kinds of music, and most importantly—dance like nobody cares.