A band by the name of The Editors was on the radio and it was a soaring, anthemic sounding tune so I was surprised to see the song title was “Munch.” I wasn’t following the lyrics intently but it seemed far too passionate to have such a flippant name. It was off-putting in a literary sense – like going to a nice restaurant and ordering a something called a Sammich. I will munch on the Sammich, please.

At second glance I realized the song name was “Munich” and that probably made more sense. Munich literally means home of the monks so gravitas achieved and it’s doubtful the song had anything to do with casually chewing food. Two things I learned in that moment were that 1) I really need to get my eyes checked and 2) If I’m going to venture to write about music I probably ought to stick to setting the scene rather than dissecting the actual product. Still, in German Munich is “Munchen” so maybe I wasn’t completely off base.

Anyway, the Oktoberfest of note around here is Oakhurst Porchfest. Last month I wrote how I love seeing live music and going to bed early and how those two things don’t always go together. Well, Porchfest always delivers because I can wander around my neighborhood all day, seeing great live music and be home on the couch by 7 p.m. Some call it pathetic, I call it perfect.

The kids had their own Porchfest plans so Kristen and I were free to roam on this clear, crisp day. We started with a mellow set of Fleetwood Mac covers and then ambled around the corner to see a lively band named Pound Cake. They had a sizable crowd and a familiar sound and after about twenty minutes I realized they were the very band that played in our driveway about four years ago!

Porchfest is all grown up, I tell you. The music keeps getting better, the crowds keep getting bigger and I guarantee you will get your steps in. We ran into Margo trooping with her gaggle of friends and while we were content to let her enjoy the freedom, we couldn’t resist pushing through the eye-rolls and forcing them each to take a bottle of water. We spied Elliott from across the street at one point but he deftly pretended he had no idea who we were. Well played, son.

There were plenty of others who were happy enough to run into us. The theme of the day seemed to be that people Kristen works out with at FitWit loved seeing her dressed up and looking cute while current and former co-workers of hers at American Cancer Society loved seeing her dressed down and looking cute. I was just happy to be the cute-adjacent guy that carried the little cooler of drinks around. 

We caught an outfit called Chickens and Pigs that we remembered from the Virginia Highlands bar scene over twenty years ago. They haven’t changed at all—have we? Then we saw a polished sounding group called Thrillbillies who specialized in covering songs I knew but hadn’t thought about in forever. I overheard someone say that one of the tunes was originally done by Three Dog Night. It was like a game of trivia wrapped inside a concert.

We checked in with some favorites to close the day out. The New Teardowns played loud and grungy and injected us with a dose of our 1990’s selves. Plus, I appreciate that the lead singer admitted to being a little winded in between songs. Lastly, it was the Brit-rock sounds of Her Majesty’s Request which I think rightfully retained its clever name despite recent events. They attract such a large crowd that we settled for obstructed view, standing room only. Either they have gotten too big for Porchfest or the Caiola’s need to trim back that oak tree.

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan is an award-winning columnist who writes about family life and thinks everything is at least a little funny. tim@sullivanfinerugs.com