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All Tomorrow’s Parties

“To be honest, we wanted to do something different,” says Barry Hogan in regard to All Tomorrow’s Parties, the series of music festivals he founded in Britain in 1999. And “different” is exactly what keeps the festival going and growing 10 years on. At a time when behemoth, catch-all fests like Coachella and Bonnaroo have become the norm, it makes more than a little sense that a smaller, targeted event like ATP would thrive. (Hogan once called it an “anti-festival.”) Despite most of its acts falling under the “alternative” umbrella, ATP appeals to a discerning, perhaps even fussy, demographic: There’s no corporate sponsorship; no VIP areas, meaning fans and artists can mingle freely; and ATP events—including this weekend’s third installment of ATP New York at Kutsher’s Country Club in Monticello—are held primarily at “intimate” venues rather than in gigantic sporting fields. (To wit: Less than 3,000 tickets are made available for the Monticello event.)

Pointedly appealing to the Gen-X crowd (and their parents) is the five-year-old Don’t Look Back series, taking place on Friday night. Mudhoney, Sleep, and the Scientists will each perform one of their classic albums in full at Kutsher’s. But the obvious and unmissable highlight of ATP New York is Friday’s headlining slot by Iggy Pop (pictured, in a rare shirted moment) and the Stooges, who will re-create their 1973 monster Raw Power. As anyone who’s witnessed the reformed Stooges can attest, this is no bloodless nostalgia trip: Hogan produced one of the first Raw Power shows in the U.K. this spring and promises that “it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“The first [Don’t Look Back] show we had was the Stooges doing Fun House,” says Hogan. “I had a dream about a year ago that they were going to do Raw Power and that [guitarist] James Williamson was going to rejoin the band. I told my wife and she said ‘Where’d you hear that?’ I said, ‘It came to me in a dream.’ ” Soon enough it all came to pass. “I made them an offer and they confirmed the following week.”

One might argue that ATP New York is designed with the aging hipster in mind. Rather than a dozen artists scheduled simultaneously, live music takes place on just a few stages, with little to no overlap. All programming is indoors (with “fantastic sound systems”), and numerous non-music activities and programs are available for those suffering ear fatigue. Besides standard Kutsher’s offerings like tennis and boating, there’s a comedy stage featuring on-the-rise funnyman Hannibal Burress and the unflappably droll Todd Barry; a slate of films curated by the Criterion Collection, including a Q&A and film introductions with Thurston Moore and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (who’s curating the Sunday slate of music); an exhibit by hip-hop photographer Ricky Powell; the return of Steve Albini’s card-games room; and the inaugural ATP Book Club—suggested by Hogan’s wife, Deborah.

“We had Jim list some of his favorite books, which we posted on the website.” Two of the writers, Luc Sante and Samantha Hunt, will be on hand to discuss their work. You’ll like this, says Hogan, “if you’re into Jim Jarmusch and interested in knowing what makes him tick.”

Jarmusch’s involvement stems from his manning a discussion of his film Mystery Train at last year’s event. “I saw him watching all these bands and noticed he was really into the music, and he had very good taste.” Via a mutual connection at Criterion, Jarmusch was asked back to curate a day of music for ATP New York, for which he selected “about 50 bands.” Jarmusch’s picks range from ex-Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval and the San Fran snot-pop of Girls to two members of rap dynasty Wu-Tang Clan. One of the biggest surprises is the inclusion of hip-hop progenitor DJ Kool Herc. “We both said it would be cool to get something from the old school, when [hip-hop] wasn’t just about money.”

The Saturday lineup, headlined by indie-rock elder statesmen Sonic Youth, includes Explosions in the Sky, the Breeders, Tortoise, and Hallogallo, with Neu! founder Michael Rother and friends performing the music of his legendary former group. “We’re celebrating 10 years and we’re inviting back a lot of bands that have played over the years, as well as ATP recording artists [like Sleepy Sun and Apse],” Hogan says. “It’s a celebration of what ATP has been about over the last 10 years.”

ATP New York runs tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 3) through Sunday (Sept. 5) at Kutsher’s Country Club (Kutshers Road, Monticello). A full schedule of events is available at

—John Brodeur


Fifth Annual Festival of Books

This weekend, the usually quiet hamlet of Spencertown will be abuzz with visitors indulging in all things literary for the Spencertown Academy’s Fifth Annual Festival of Books. Last year’s festival drew more than 1,200 visitors—that’s more than the entire population of Spencertown.

This year’s celebration of the written word features more than 15 discussions and workshops over three days—including a keynote presentation by Susan Orlean (pictured), staff writer for The New Yorker and author of The Orchid Thief—a food-themed day on Sunday, a spotlight on local authors Monday, and a huge book sale all festival long, with more than 10,000 gently used books for sale.

There will be a storybook parade and book breakfast for the kids (Sept. 4, 9 AM); an all-you-can eat Books & Blues BBQ (the only off-site event, on Aug. 5 at 6 PM, at the Austerlitz Historical Society, Route 22, Old Austerlitz) with dancing and live music under the stars; and there’s even an art exhibition with a literary bent, featuring photographer Albelardo Morell’s photographs of books.

The Fifth Annual Festival of Books kicks off at Spencertown Academy Arts Center (790 Route 203, Spencertown) tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 3) with a preview party at 6 PM, featuring food, readings and first access to the book sale. Festival events are scheduled hourly from 8 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, 11 AM to 3 PM on Sunday, and 11:30 AM to 1 PM on Monday. Admission to all discussions and workshops is free; tickets to the preview party are $25, early book buying Saturday morning is $20, and tickets to the Books & Blues BBQ are $75, $65 for members and $10 for kids. For more info, visit or call 392-3693.

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