Aggiefest rocks the weekend, music scene

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    The annual Aggieville and Manhattan business-sponsored music festival Aggiefest sounded off as loudly as it ended. More than 90 bands livened up the usual classic-rock bar tunes with a variety of music for all to enjoy.
    The Dusty Bookshelf was transformed into a literary hot-box of musical expression, said Dropjaw emcee Kory Pedersen, in so many words. He reiterated his point with a song called “The Spirits of the Books,” and addressed the stuffy atmosphere by announcing there was sweat in his eyes.
    With two spotlights, two speakers and two microphone cords that swung in time to Pedersen’s dreads, he rapped to his own anti-war lyrics and covered songs from City High.  
    The 25-year-old Manhattan resident said he grew up listening to hip-hop and started writing poetry and adding beats to his work to help him through the tribulations of adolescence. His first performances were in church.
    “I think there’s a whole world of music with weird bearded guys that aren’t in the main stream,” he said. “I decided on the name Dropjaw because when people hear my music for the first time their mouths are hanging open because they’ve never seen such a thing. But I really appreciate the way I’ve been brought up, that I can connect to people. People are closer than they are far apart.”
    Manhattan is a home away from home said Austin-based band White Ghost Shivers, who performed Saturday night at Auntie Mae’s Parlor. The cabaret-style band sounded like the soundtrack from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and resembled the Dresdon Dolls.
    Lead singer Cella Blue said she appreciates the history of Mae’s, a speakeasy of lore — as she ordered a glass of Chardonnay that matched her champagne-colored burlesque dress — citing the tradition of pounding on the wooden tables and ceiling in lieu of clapping for a resounding song.
    “The college radio station and Sisters Of Sound really work hard to support local bands,” Blue said. “And we feel part of the family. It’s very homey in Manhattan.”
    Jeff Dennie, owner of Mae’s, opened up his home to the band when they came to town Friday night,.
    “I got home at 2 a.m., they got there at 3 and we didn’t get to sleep until 5,” Dennie said. “But I’ve heard people talk about wanting to see White Ghost Shivers for weeks, and a lot of people are here for them, so Mae’s is benefitting from the crowd.
    Denny said Dead Girls Ruin Everything filled the parlor to maximum capacity Friday. Similarly, The KatHouse had to enforce a one-in-one-out policy Saturday during a performance by Of The Flame Hand Robot.    
    Manhattan resident Kale Yo cited  this year’s Aggiefest as having “few too many bad bands and way too many good ones.”

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