I’ve mentioned the HONK! festival in previous years. The third one is happening this weekend (parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square is just 2 hours from now). You can read more about them and what they’re about at their website.
Here’s Providence RI’s What Cheer? Brigade, who knocked my socks off last year (strongly recommend watching this full screen since it’s rather dark).
A shorter clip:
And another, where it’s actually light and you can sort of see them. The gorilla guy wore a scarier but probably significantly less hot mask this year.
Due to a program misprint (which said they were going on in statue park at 8:00, not 6:00), I almost missed What Cheer?. Happily, I did not, though I did miss the first few minutes of their set while I was distracted by these folks playing in front of the T station, whose name I did not catch.
Also a notable group from earlier on were the Loyd Family Players who were sort of a Brazilian-style drum group from California (yes, many bands trek very far to make the fest).
(Photo by Terri)
There were lots of other bands as well who were also notable, but it’s almost impossible to see them all, what with 4 simultaneous stages going on all around Davis Square. Anyhow, I love the HONK! fest, and the general outpouring of energy and creativity and feel like I’m in a good place when such awesome stuff happens within walking distance of my house.
Still, I’m not a political guy, and while I wish them luck in their project, I’m mainly there for the spectacle and the talented musicians and the spirit of the thing. My impression of the effectiveness of most acts of political street theater is the same as Tom Lehrer’s eventual opinion of political satire:
I don’t think this kind of thing has an impact on the unconverted, frankly. It’s not even preaching to the converted; it’s titillating the converted. I think the people who say we need satire often mean, “We need satire of them, not of us.” I’m fond of quoting Peter Cook, who talked about the satirical Berlin cabarets of the ’30s, which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the Second World War. You think, “Oh, wow! This is great! We need a song like this, and that will really convert people. Then they’ll say, ‘Oh, I thought war was good, but now I realize war is bad.’” No, it’s not going to change much.