September 9, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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Whether you’re a freshman, senior or Cornell employee, at some time or other it should become blatantly apparent that Ithaca has an incredible music scene. In my three years on the Hill I’ve tried my best to experience all parts of said scene.
Last year, one music event captivated my heart more than any other that I’ve come across. This event was Porchfest and, luckily, it’s an annual festival that will be taking place again this upcoming weekend, on Sunday.
The third annual Porchfest (suitably titled Porchfest 3) will be happening in the Fall Creek and Northside neighborhoods –– just a hop and a skip away from campus. Community member musicians (including Cornell University students) from the Fall Creek and Northside neighborhoods and surrounding towns will be congregating on 40-plus porches for scattered performances throughout the afternoon. The bands range in an assortment of genres from jug band to alternative rock, and will be sounding off from porches in a 10-block radius between campus and Route 13. The festivities will be beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until the early evening at 5:30 pm.
All are welcome to roam the Fall Creek and Northside streets and to enjoy the musical talents of fellow neighborhood members completely free of charge. It’s just the way to get a taste of the lovely community members who inhabit Ithaca. Plus, it’s practically guaranteed that each person in attendance will find at least one group with whom they’ll fall in love with. Even better, Porchfest is a wonderful way to explore downtown while discovering first hand the more and less spoken about artists this little city has to offer.
Some of those artists to look forward to include well-known local groups like Hubcap, who will be performing an acoustic set, and Nate & Kate, who are bound to entertain with a bit of juggling. Other more distinctive groups who will be taking center-porch are the Seneca Street Recorder Ensemble, the Tioga Thunder drum circle and Ukuleles as a Second Language. Clearly Porchfest 3 has booked something for everyone.
Though the musical offerings at Cornell are generally unbeatable, the off-campus musical occurrences are just as special. Porchfest 3 is definitely not an exception. It’s one of our top Ithaca music recommendations for the weekend, if not the entire month (but don’t forget Ra Ra Riot at Castaways tomorrow night, Railroad Earth at the State Theatre tomorrow night, The Mountain Goats at Ithaca College on Sep. 18, Sufjan at Castways on Sep. 23 . . . you get the picture). Check out for performance times and a map of the porch locations.