Because I Wanted to Fucking Dance!

HONK! 2009 took place this past weekend in Somerville outside of Boston, MA. But a big thanks is due to my friend Alita for giving me the heads up on the event that I honestly did not know about – but she read my body language and excitement for recently seeing Mucca Pazza and clued me in. I glanced at the list of bands travelling to Boston to play and it read like an international smorgasbord of brass & drum skins. And I wanted to get my step on!

I got in touch with one of my Boston chums, “mulcad01”, and described the event’s affairs and location. He too wanted to enjoy the festivities, and declared that everything – everything! – was “about 2 blocks away” from where he lived. Somerville and Davis Square, here I come!


from NYC to Boston. I took the Bolt Bus, which comes highly recommended. They have 110V AC power outlets and a pretty good WiFi connection, and their crowd are generally advantageous of these amenities. So there are lots of laptops and movie-watchers. Yes, this means you’re more-or-less isolated from the person next to you, but it’s also a means of discussion & conversation if you’re so inclined, and I am!

It took nearly an hour and a half just to get out of Manhattan! So I arrived to Boston late, but it worked out perfectly that my matey mulcad01 got off work as I was arriving. mulcad01 and I went to a bar and watched the unfortunate conclusion to game 2 of Boston’s ALDS – no better than my Cardinals. And in true Boston style the bar was jam packed with revelers and fans. And in true Boston style they spent as much time yelling at the television as they did drinking – that is, LOTS!


mulcad01 was afraid I’d peek under the covers, so he wore his jeans to bed. Otherwise he said he always sleeps completely naked and chained to his bed (some alarm system “releases” him every morning).


After some driving around and looking at quaint streets and public art, we went to a NERF WAR GAMES event. No shit. See for yourself:



Everybody was really dorky and lovely and the donuts were only a quarter if you were participating in the war, but we wanted to HONK!-stomp!

(Please keep in mind we didn’t have a choice in attending the NERF event. Seriously! It’s not like… a geek like me would ever, I mean ever, be interested in anything like that!)


We proceeded back to Somerville where mulcad01 lived about 2 blocks from everything. And sure enough within minutes from his doorstep you could hear and then see the processions of bands converging on the town and then occupying their respective “stages”: squares, parking lots, plazas, bank steps. Whatever and wherever that could hold a couple hundred people was, for one day, converted into a great outdoor music spectacle! And the weather couldn’t have been better: warm in the sun, cool in the shade; you wanted a sweater otherwise but were fine to take it off and stay warm as long as you danced danced danced!


All the bands were, simply, amazing! Each band had two slots and played in two different places, so the opportunity was there to see every band and site. I did not. Mainly because I wanted to see two bands in particular, and a couple other bands if time allowed. The two bands in particular were Hungry March Band (who have graced these pages before) and the What Cheer? Brigade whom I first saw open the Swoon show at Deitch in Long Island City last year and they blew my mind then, and this time around they completely disemboweled me! mulcad01 and I danced so hard we woke up the next morning stiff and sore!

Oh yeah, here are those bands I was talking about:


What Cheer? Brigade from Providence, RI

Hungry March Band from Brooklyn, NY


Rude Mechanical Orchestra

I didn’t get nearly enough photos of What Cheer? Brigade. That’s because I was dancing so hard! Their second set was after sundown and the pavement nearly cracked from the collective stomping of the crowd! Especially that one song… you know it when you hear it. With that silent break-beat that transitions from horns to drums, breaks again and everybody starts whaling! Oh man I’ve had that stuck in my head for days!

Just do a Flickr search for HONK! 2009, you’ll find plenty more images already flooding online.

After the final sets the evening quickly died down. Everyone was pretty exhausted from approximately 10 hours of dancing and walking the streets, and believe it or not people needed rest… for the street parade the next day! Yay!

But before we get there I went on a nightly walking tour as I often do in new cities/towns, and mulcad01 showed me this round building that I would totally love to call my own. It’s been uninhabited for some years, and is only recently being “developed”. How properties like this ever fell by the wayside is beyond me. If it were mine, I’d paint it in such a way to make it appear like a giant cake! Yummy home!


And now, for the street parade:


What Cheer?, this time marching.


I didn’t get to see them the day before, but I guess this is Orkestar Zirkonium. . . oh yeah, THEY ROCK! Their songs were perfect for marching, as mulcad01 and I kept pace with them for many blocks!

We departed the parade however and took a walking tour and headed to Boston’s ICA where there’s currently some wonderful work by Damián Ortega installed. We took about the longest possible circuitous foot-path route there, and along the way saw a stairway full of slinky, a GIANT ship on the horizon, and mulcad01 pointed out what would be the best possible sniper positions (spillover from his service in the Watching Too Many Movies forces).


look at the size of that boat. seriously. it’s taller and longer than those buildings!


the identity of mulcad01 will forever remain a mystery.

We had some dinner, headed home and I packed my bags for departure. The festival was moving to Providence the next day for PRONK but unfortunately I had already booked my return ticket and didn’t have a place lined up. So I jumped the first available WiFi-enabled bus back to NYC and there I was at 2am.


And well, you know you’re home when:


and just to remind you, SOCKS!:


Bottom line is, if you have the opportunity, GO to HONK! You won’t regret it. What a joyous celebration of dancing in the streets and freedom of movement in an otherwise striated space. Express yourself through dancing!

[full set of images on my Flickr]