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Evolve Music Festival 

July 25, 26, 27, at the Evolve venue, Heatherton, Antigonish County, $120 in advance. 423-0909 (includes camping and parking charges).

Despite 2008 Halifax appearances by C+C Music Factory, The Weakerthans, Holly Cole and David Cassidy, it might just end up being Antigonish that plays host to the best musical talent to come to this province during the International Year of Planet Earth.

Now in its ninth year, Antigonish’s eco-friendly Evolve Music Festival has moved beyond perceptions that it’s a jam-band conference this time around by expanding its roster to incorporate more indie rock and pop acts than it has in previous years. The summer festival’s 2008 lineup not only includes Halifax locals Brent Randall and his Pinecones and The Superfantastics, but also features the experimental gypsy rock of Philadelphia’s Man Man and an appearance from the band who can either be praised or vilified for helping to usher in this decade’s dance-punk movement, !!!.

From a musical standpoint, arguably the biggest coup for the festival is the inclusion of Battles: There is no band more musically bananas, or armed with a better musical pedigree, than the quartet from New York. Made up of Tyondai Braxton (the son of jazz musician Anthony Braxton) and former and current members of Don Caballero, Tomahawk and Helmet, Battles have released the bulk of their output on pioneering English label Warp. Battles are sure to wet the pants of anyone impressed by the recent Deerhoof concert.

In addition to the aforementioned acts, Evolve will also showcase Skratch Bastid, Grand Theft Bus, Slowcoaster, Hey Rosetta!, That 1 Guy and about two dozen other acts.

Whether by alchemy or just from the result of really great talent booking, stuck-up music nerds and cynical messageboard geeks will be transformed into Evolve believers the weekend of July 25-27.


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