words and photos by Kyle Cochrun
Another PorchRokr, another 10-hour blast of sensory inundation. Luckily, this journalist trudged through Highland Square and sweat through his beige cargo shorts all day in an attempt to document everything he possibly could.
For those who surely missed some of the best and quirkiest moments from this year’s festival, here’s a stringently objective awards list of the sights and sounds that stuck out from the day’s relentless barrage of stimuli.
Widest Variety of Engrossed-in-the-Cacophony Rock-Star Poses by a Bass Guitarist Whose Fly Remained Unzipped for an Entire 45 Minute Set of Protracted, Swelteringly Loud Math-Rock Crankers: James Matthew Haas of Actual Form.
Best Band Name: This is a tie between Massive Hotdog Recall and Librarians with Hickeys. In fact, my biggest critique of PorchRokr 2019 is that both of these bands were slotted to play at 4 pm, and about five blocks away, leading to some considerably vexing decision-making.
Best Use of Guitar as a Rhythmic Instrument to Augment the Groove of Electrifying Funk/Soul Numbers: Devin Gilbert, lead guitarist of Runaway Lucy.
Most Adept Utilization of a Crossfader: DJ Cadence, who mixed pulse-popping house joints with buttery transitions for festival-goers traversing the array of vendor tents assembled in the parking lot on the corner of Marshall Avenue and Merriman Road.
Gurgliest Bass Tones: The tasty plucks bubbling from the amplifier of the Canalrats’ bass guitarist.
Sweatiest Drummer: Ian Cummins of Actual Form, who drenched through his Oozing Wound tank-top while bashing the hell out of his kit and looking bewildered the entire time, as if someone was using his body to play the drums and he was just observing, as if every snare thwack was a peculiar and sort of terrifying new experience.
Garage-Rock Show Most Likely to Put One in Mind of Playing Sand Volleyball on a Paradisal Beach Littered in Cashed Cigarettes and Abutting a Rollicking Ocean of Pabst Blue Ribbon: Roid Rage’s set inside Barmacy.
Best Shirt Spotted Throughout the Day: A Miami Vice-inspired tank-top depicting the Golden Girls — Betty White and the whole loveable posse — in palm-frond green against a neon pink backdrop.
Best Trombone Solos Over Rowdy Punk Ditties: Al Mothersbaugh of Massive Hotdog Recall.
Best Cover of the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” by a Group with Five Female Vocalists: One Fine Day, with lead vocals on this particular number handled by Pirate Jenny.
Venue Setup That Most Resembled a Picturesque Music Video: Forager’s performance at 672 Weber Ave., during which the bass guitarist stood off in the landscaping, the drummer thumped away on the fenced-in front porch, and the guitarist/singer played atop a steep stone staircase.
Coolest-Looking Two-Girl Rock Group Wearing Matching Pink Sunshades: The Super Babes.
Best Onstage Collaboration Between a Rapper and a Massive-Sounding and Technically Impeccable Surf-Rock Band: The Devil Strip’s own Floco Torres performing his song “You!” with The Beyonderers.
Best Cover of “Jailhouse Rock” Performed by a Collective of Musicians Who Endearingly Call Each Other Morons: Roxxymoron.
Guitar Tones So Scuzzy and Coarse They Put One in Mind of Chomping Down a Mouthful of Hot Gravel: Thad Walters of Slow Burn
Best Trumpet Solo into a Phaser-Soused Microphone: Tommy Lehman performing with The Admirables.
Most Ukulele Players I Have Ever Seen Stuffed on A Front Porch and Plucking Away a Cover of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister:” Rubber City Ukes.
Best Imaginary Guitar Solo: A toddler in the crowd at the Timecat show who wore a Spiderman tank-top and shredded away on his miniature plaything acoustic guitar while bopping around like Angus Young of AC/DC.
Kyle Cochrun is a writer and turntablist from Akron, Ohio.