Local Prog / Psychedelic Rock band Galaxy Dynamite is, first and foremost, the spawn of Michael Mahgerefteh’s fertile imagination.
With the release of their newest Rock Opera alongside a comic book designed to enhance the overall concept, Mahgerefteh has built this Saturday’s Starfire Festival at O’Connor’s Brewery to challenge the traditional notions of what a day long block party music fest is actually capable of. We pulled up for a quick chat:
AltDaily: What’s your favorite quote or epigram?
Michael Mahgerefteh: “The only thing better than someone teaching you what to do, is someone showing you what not to do.” — I’m not sure who said that but I’ve taken that towards my own life for a long time.
What is the measure of success for a music festival? And what will need to happen Saturday for there to be a Starfire II?
The measure of success, in my opinion, is the creator’s motivation to continue doing it after the event! (laughs) Attendance, and even money doesn’t take into account the stress that planning an event like this has on someones life! There will be definitely be a Starfire II — it’s never going to stop! The concept of a music festival and a comic-con being put together is unique and a niche which I will grow with the brand.
But this Saturday? For Starfire II to happen? It just needs to be a big party!
What are the key ingredients of Prog Rock?
To me, it’s the willingness to take risks merged with the experience to create great patterns and themes.
As a drummer, who’s your guiding light? Buddy Rich? Ringo Starr? Neil Peart?
I grew up listening to Ozric Tentacles. They are the quintessential psychedelic band, in my humble opinion. Merv Pepler’s fast upbeat punk style drumming is something I mimic to this day, to the T.
Allen Aucoin is an electronic-drum professor. He helped to invent the ‘trancefusion’ style of drumming. Live electronic. I am always taking notes on his use of the e-drums and how he is playing live techno with his band The Disco Biscuits.
What do you want for your epitaph?
“Learn from the best!” (laughs)
Michael Mahgerefteh is the band leader and drummer for rising local Prog Rock group, Galaxy Dynamite, and the originator of the Starfire Festival this weekend at O’Connor’s.
This Weekends’ Picks
Galaxy Dynamite / Moogatu / DELTAnine / The Dharma Initiative
Buddha Council / DJP and MrT / Nate Sacks & The LifeHacks
Boisey / The Fat Catz / Russell Scarborough Trio / Who We Are Not
O’Connor Brewing Co. Norfolk. All Day — Starts at 11AM. More Info.
Hands down the most ambitious setlist this year. Mixing Jazz with Prog Rock with World Music with Synthpop? No joke, this is the most eclectic lineup I’ve seen in recent memory. Pair that with workshops on higher consciousness, hula hoops, and cosplayers? Add the release of a Galaxy Dynamite comic book? Plus beer? This sounds like crazy good fun
The National. Richmond. 7:30PM. More Info.
Many years ago I worked the night shift by myself at a Subway that had no air conditioning and baked its own bread. The job was intolerable, and it was only through the prodigious use of hallucinogenics and free reign over the CD player that I was able to get through my scheduled hours. Needless to say that the looks on many a patron’s face as they walked through the door to be greeted by “LICK MY LEGS I’M ON FIRE.. LICK MY LEGS OF DESIRE” blasting at 200 decibels is one of the finer memories of my miserable college experience. I would be at this show, but I’m covering Starfire.
Ferguson Center. Newport News. 7PM. More Info.
Apparently it’s not cool to dig Ben Folds anymore. I’m not sure when that happened, or more likely I’m just not cool. Regardless, I love the heart in 70’s era Piano Rock and nobody else is doing much to hold that down. Plus I hear he’s ridiculously fun in concert.
Past the Weekend
Lava Presents: Kishi Bashi / Phyrric Whim
The NorVa. Norfolk. 25 April at 7:30PM. More Info.
Kishi Bashi is a hometown boy who’s done well for himself in front of a national audience, and I adore Kelsie McNair with whatever she’s doing. A little bluebird of happiness landed on my shoulder and told me that Tyler Warnalis will be joining her onstage. You know, like in Snow White and shit? Okay.. It was actually a beat up old crow with a fifth of Jack tucked under his liver-spotted wing. Asthmatic and froggy-voiced. Who hasn’t been happy since one spring day in 1974. Anyways.. Whatever. You should go to this show and support local music on big stages.
Koan Thought at the Close
Two Zen monks, a master and a student, journey together down a muddy road during a treacherous rainstorm.
Approaching an intersection, they meet a beautiful woman wearing an expensive silk kimono. As such, she is unable to cross the road without ruining her clothes. The student ignores her, as he has taken strict vows of chastity and finds her prettiness threatening to his discipline.
The master calls out the students name, beckoning him to pause. Together, they lift her over the mud, allowing the continuance of her path with no trouble. Once she’s on her way, the two monks resume their journey.
The student grows uptight and angry, and speaks no more to the master until at last they reach their temple. Unable to contain himself any further, he bursts out at the master in frustration. “We are forbidden the company of women, are we not? Why did you make me help you? Do you not see how dangerous that was?”
“Of what danger do you speak? I left the girl there,” replies the master.
“Are you still carrying her?”