This year Northwest Florida celebrated its 36th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival. Niceville is located in Okaloosa country Florida, close to Eglin air Force Base. It’s original name was Valpariso, but in order to separate itself from a neighboring town it took the unofficial name of Boggy Bayou. The city itself is 10.9 square miles of land and 0.4 miles of water. Niceville is just a short drive from other Florida hotspots such as Destin, Panama City and Pensacola Beach.
Lip smacking delights such as Gator on a Stick, Shrimp Creole, and Fried Corn on the Cobb, high quality crafts, clothes, jewelry and collectables topped off with today’s hottest performers promised to make this festival one of the best yet. I shopped till I was ready to drop. Cowboy hats in all shapes sizes and colors, figurines made from blown glass and of course my favorite this year were the martini glasses made from mason jars. (yes of course I had to have a full set)
The organizers of this year’s festival deserve two thumbs up. This is hands down one of the most organized, affordable and family friendly festivals I have attended this year. There were no issues with lines into the festivals, the staff well-informed and booths well stocked. Friday and Saturday night beer was sold with fully staffed venues costing less than $5.00, with non-alcoholic beverages also less than $5. A huge plus in this festival junkies book were the numerous, clean, well lite port o lets. Sunday at the Mullet festival was family friendly with pony rides and bubble swims for the kids.
Friday and Saturday brought entertainers such as Colt Ford, Kellie Pickler and Jake Owens to the spotlight. Newcomers participated in the Singing Showdown for the honor of being named the voice of Boggy Bayou, gift certificates and a chance to open for Florida Georgia Line, another great one playing the festival this year. Last year’s winner, Parker Willingham performed Friday night before this year’s winner Chris Caddenhead was announced. Both of these young men make Niceville Proud. I look forward to seeing more of these guys.
Over all this years festival was a huge success. I know I can not wait to see who Niceville brings to town next year.
Make plans now folks for the best family friendly festival in Florida. The website for Niceville is
A special shout out to Shelia…thanks for making it easy. See Ya’ll next year
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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