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MUSIC

40 acts make cut for Valley of the Vapors festival

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published March 13, 2014 at 2:55 a.m.

r-ring-is-mike-montgomery-left-and-kelley-deal

R. Ring is Mike Montgomery (left) and Kelley Deal.

After 10 years, the Valley of the Vapors music festival in Hot Springs has found itself something of an established institution, festivalwise.

“It’s been so successful, we just want to keep doing what we’ve been doing, like the Ramones did it,” says Bill Solleder, co-founder of the festival with his wife, Shea Childs. “We have nearly 40 touring bands coming this year and we’ve always gotten really good reactions from the bands.

“We had to turn down about 75 percent of the bands that wanted to come. We could have had more than 200 bands if we had taken all of them that applied. About 90 percent of them are coming from or going to Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest get-together, so when they get here, we make sure they all enjoy our Hot Springs hospitality and friendliness. Here they can relax, as there won’t be any executives here offering them record deals.”

Some of the bands have made multiple visits to the festival, Solleder adds. Water Liars from Mississippi has been to nearly all the festivals. R. Ring, an Ohio duo that features Kelley Deal, formerly ofThe Breeders, returns for the second year.

More than bands make up the Valley of the Vapors. There will be workshops, solar exhibits, hikes in the mountains and a “Secret Show” at a secret location.

Each day at noon, fans of hiking and/or music can meet at the Superior Bathhouse, 329 Central Ave. (the one that is closest to the Arlington Hotel) and embark on a hike.

“There’s a trail guide and a musician or two,” Solleder says, “and after a mile or two of moderate walking, usually on the Dead Chief Trail,they’ll stop and the musician will set up and play.”

Saturday’s music on the trail will be bluegrass band The Old Time Remedy; Sunday, Andrew Anderson, a Seattle folk/punk mandolinist, will perform on the trail; Monday, Brian Martin, a Hot Springs singer-songwriter, will perform; and Tuesday, Christian Lee Hudson, a folk/ old time country singer from California, will perform.

“After the hikes, folks will arrive at the Ozark Bathhouse to see an art installation by Fayetteville artist Craig Colorusso,” Solleder adds. “It’s a set of 20 solar-powered speakers that produce a guitar tone outside on the lawn.Meanwhile, inside, his cube boxes make ambient tones and emit light.”

Workshops include screen printing at 4 p.m. Saturday, clowning at 4 p.m. Monday and cardboard guitar building at 4 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The workshops are free, except guitar building, which is $30, requires making a reservation and is limited to 10 people.

While the festival does not officially get underway until Friday, there will be a free opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. today at the Ozark Bathhouse.

The nightly music shows will be held at 7 Friday through Tuesday at the LowKey Arts building, 118 Arbor St. (just off Park Avenue, across a parking lot that is across the street from where the Majestic Hotel burned recently). The shows are all ages, smoke-free and handicapped accessible. Cover charge is $7.

Friday night, the bands will include The Last Slice, a ska band from Oklahoma; All Eyes West, a pop punk band from Chicago; Rude King, a ska band from Texas; Fabulous Minx, a rockabilly band from Oklahoma; The Fur Coats, a punk band from Chicago; and Bruiser Queen, a garage rock band from St. Louis.

The 7 p.m. Saturday show will feature My Gold Mask, an indie rock band from Chicago; R. Ring, an indie rock band from Ohio; Motel Beds, a rock band from Ohio; Water Liars, an Americana group from Mississippi; Doomsquad, dark new-agers from Canada; Haymarket Riot, a post-punk band from Chicago; and Big’n, a post punk band from Missouri.

The 7 p.m. Sunday show will include Fenster, an indie rock band from Germany; Aan, an indie rock band from Portland, Ore.; Jack Topht, a rapper from Buffalo, N.Y.; Vaadat Charigim, a “ shoegazer” band from Israel; Disco Doom, an indie rock group from Switzerland; Habits, an electronic/experimental act from Los Angeles; and Liquor Store, a punk/rock ’n’ roll band from New Jersey.

The 7 p.m. Monday show will include Oberhofer, a surf/ pop band from Brooklyn; Diarrhea Planet, a four-guitar rock group from Nashville, Tenn.; Radkey, a rock band from Missouri; Ryan Power, a Vermont singer-songwriter; Guerrilla Toss, a Boston rock band; Tweens, a Cincinnati trash pop band; and Darsombra, an audio-visual duo from Baltimore.

The 7 p.m. Tuesday show will feature Pontiak, a three-brother band from Virginia; Monogold, a lush pop band from Brooklyn; Starlight Girls, a rock duo from Brooklyn; Good Graeff, a twin sister duo from Vietnam and Florida; Swearing at Motorists, a “Who-like” duo from Ohio; Banditos, an Americana/soul band from Alabama; Schwervon, an indie rock band from Kansas City; and Lost in Society, a pop punk group from New Jersey.

DCTV, a post-punk band from Los Angeles, is performing the Sunday Secret Show at 6 p.m. Location will be announced that day.

Valley of the Vapors

Opening reception: 7-10 p.m. today, Ozark Bathhouse, 513 Central Ave.

Hot Springs. Admission is free.

Music: 7 p.m. Friday through Tuesday at the Low Key Arts building, 118 Arbor St., Hot Springs. Admission is $7. The shows are all ages, smoke-free, handicapped-accessible and cover charge is $7.

(501) 282-9056 valleyofthevapors.com

Weekend, Pages 36 on 03/13/2014

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