There was a moment as Aftermath was walking through the Caribbean Market section of iFest Saturday when we had the most visceral of flashbacks -- stepping off a Carnival cruise boat at the rip old age of 14 in Nassau, Bahamas, and being inundated by tourist-baiting marketeers trying to pawn off bootleg Bob Marley cassette tapes and begging to braid our hair Bo Derek-style.
Thankfully, like the Bahamas, not all of iFest is a tourist trap, and Aftermath was able to see some pretty inspiring acts Saturday, from a sensitive reggae singer to a California native singing good old-fashioned Americana.
iFest had a significantly larger crowd this weekend thanks to what is probably the best weather we're going to have in Houston all year. When Aftermath arrived, the Louisiana Stage area was packed. As was the case last weekend, it seemed to be one of the most popular stages crowd-wise. Aftermath wonders if that's because of its proximity to the entrance -- festival-goers can hear the music from that stage on the street outside.
The Zydepunks were in the midst of their set, and every retro-hipster at the festival was on the lawn watching them, including tattooed belly dancers and members of Los Skarnales, who played later in the evening. The self-described "New Orleans Cajun Irish Breton Klezmer Slavic Zydeco" punk band
is a force of energy, and though Aftermath has heard them compared to Gogol Bordello a number of times, their sets Saturday seemed more reminiscent of Dengue Fever thanks to a tinge of 1960s exotica.
Aftermath's companion asked, "What's the difference between this and regular gypsy music?" We just shrugged our shoulders. "They're from Louisiana?"More »