Key term: Wook.
What do you think when you hear the term? Do you smell patchouli? Do you start wondering if Mercury is in retrograde? Do you think about little spoons and the little cereal they are presumably used for? Do you worry that one may be raiding your tent at this very moment, searching for hat pins, crystals and doses? All valid concerns. Wookery, while often hilarious, can be a bit of a nuisance for less savvy festival goers.
However, to judge the wook at their worst moment is supreme hypocrisy. The line between heady and wookish is extremely blurry and oftentimes nonexistent. WE HAVE ALL BEEN A WOOK IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER (at least those of us who spend enough time at camping festivals). Wookery should be viewed as following a continuum that is not necessarily linear.
I think wooks get way too much hate. To me, they are a lovable nuisance that shouldn’t be an excuse for why you didn’t have a good time. In fact, my closest friends and I throw that term around with affection and bemusement all the time. Now, you may ask yourself, is this author just a shifty wook in disguise trying to divert my attention so that he has a better chance of scoring heady merch right when it drops? And the answer is a definite maybe.
If you happen to be a low level wook like myself, try to keep it relatively responsible. Here is a list of shows in 2018 that helped shape me into the semi-wook I am today. I’m only including one set from each artist or there would be a whole lot of Bassnectar here.
1. Bassnectar NYE360. In my opinion, the best show of the year. 10/10 would recommend charging your pinecone at any Bassnectar-curated event; the vibes are unparalleled. Some wook kept asking to borrow my juul. It died while he was hitting it. Did I let it ruin my night? Hell fucking no. Check out my full length review. Honorable mentions: Basscenter XI night 2 and Spotify Lights Out show in Brooklyn.
2. Space Jesus Downtempo Set at Camp Bisco. The most fun I had at a festival this year! Jasha played his third set of the weekend to his most dedicated spacefam at the Above the Waves stage at Camp Bisco. Suffice to say, this set scrambled what few eggs I had left at that point in the weekend. None of the Space Jesus veterans in the crowd were the least bit surprised when Jasha brought his mom out on stage to party with everyone. Is it a wook move to go about partying in front of our favorite artist’s mother? Debatably. Regardless, it is always fun getting a visit from the Tull family!
3. CloZee silent disco set at Bonnaroo. I already knew I liked CloZee as an artist as far back as Basscenter 2017. What I didn’t know was just how much I’d enjoy her in a more personal setting. She blew me away with her 2 hour silent disco at Bonnaroo, shortly before going on late night as a secret performer at Kalliope. I had the chance to meet Chloe a few months later and she is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I had the pleasure of meeting this year. Gotta say, there is really nothing wooky about CloZee. But, you may ask, is it wooky to have seen her play 8 times this year? Responsibly wooky, yes. Honorable mention: Evasion tour stop in Philadelphia.
4. Tipsgiving Night 3 at Kings Hall, Brooklyn. It wasn’t easy to narrow down to a single time Dave snatched my soul this year. I chose the dreamtempo/ambient set at Tipsgiving because it was different from other sets I caught and pulled me further into a trance than any others. It certainly didn’t hurt that the theme for this evening was onesies. There is something special about getting tipped in your pajamas. I am a huge proponent of any scenario in which it is encouraged to wear a onesie, even though I don’t own a pashmina that goes with mine. Anyone who hasn’t seen Tipper needs to get their lives together. Honorable mention: Hulaween set.
5. The Trifinity at ANALOGBKNY, Brooklyn. This show was a real treat. It was goofy, strange, ironic, and meaningful all at once. So much debauchery and unchecked weirdness. A member of my crew was handed a dime bag full of spaghetti. Santa was exposed as a dark agent of the corporate agenda. Triangles. 3 supremely talented artists (Yheti, Toadface, and Mt. Analogue) took us through an experiment in freeform bass music that had me scratching my head on multiple levels simultaneously. Is Yheti trying to turn me into spaghetti? Would Toadface feel more at home in a marsh or a bog? Does Mt. Analogue use some kind of product to keep his beard so damn luscious? More questions remained than answers following this show. Check out my full review.
2018 was a year of pinecones and pashminas; of quartz wrapped in wire traded for pins. Another year spent marveling at how much the scene has to offer to those who know where to look. This year, find your wookiest friend and go to a show with them. Who knows what level wook you’ll find yourself as this time next year?