Lucky Dragon is surrounded by appreciative fans at last year's Operation Restore Maximum Freedom music festival at Plainfield Station between Davis and Woodland. The 12th annual event, which runs from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, benefits KDVS radio at UC Davis. Courtesy photo

Local News

Hear everything from hip-hop to punk rock at Saturday festival

By From page A11 | May 15, 2012


What: KDVS’ Operation Restore Maximum Freedom

When: 1-10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Plainfield Station, 23944 County Road 98

Tickets: $10, available at the door and in advance at Delta of Venus, 122 B St., and Records, 1618 Broadway in Sacramento

KDVS’ Operation Restore Maximum Freedom is the antithesis of the typically overpriced, corporate summer music festival. It’s a nonprofit, community-based, multi-genre music festival in which all proceeds go to the band or venue.

“It’s not a huge festival like Coachella with people everywhere,” said Sharmi Basu, events coordinator for KDVS, heard at 90.3 FM. “I get a panic attack just thinking about that.”

Instead, it’s a pleasant environment with friendly people, beer, food and music.

The 12th annual Operation Restore Maximum Freedom, or ORMF, runs from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Plainfield Station, 23944 County Road 98, between Davis and Woodland. Admission to the all-ages show is $10. Presale tickets are available at Delta of Venus, 122 B St, in Davis, (530) 753-8639, and Records, 1618 Broadway in Sacramento, (916) 446-3973.

Those without transportation have two options: A group bike ride will leave Delta of Venus at 1 and 4:40 p.m. and a car shuttle will pick up passengers at the UC Davis Memorial Union at 1, 4 and 7 p.m.

This year’s line-up includes Mondo Lava, Twin Steps, Buk Buk Bigups, Dibia$e, Burglars, World Hood, Yi, Headboggle, No Babies, West Nile Ramblers, Raleigh Moncrief, Brothers Amor and UCD Gamelan Ensemble.

For years, ORMF has been dominated by noisy, garage rock. While this style is still represented, this year features more electronic, hip-hop and experimental music.

“I’ve helped organize ORMF for years,” Basu said. “Every year, we do this whole consensus, democratic process and have one token hip-hop act. This year the line-up is more cohesive. We wanted to make it really weird but actually represent KDVS.”

KDVS DJ Nix Glass agreed.

“We had a committee organize it in a way that it didn’t turn out lopsided,” he explained. “In years past, the responsibility was on one person’s shoulders. Sharmi’s the head, but we have a five-person committee.”

This year’s ORMF truly reflects the diverse programming found on KDVS. Oakland hip-hop group Brothers Amor, featuring local producer Matt Fisher, will be there.

“They’re awesome live, really engaging,” Glass said.

In the same vein is producer Dibia$e, who spins soulful hip-hop.

“Dibia$e is tight,” Glass said.

Sacramento’s Raleigh Moncrief impressed Glass at this year’s Sacramento Electronic Music Festival.

“It was crazy good,” Glass said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

“Raleigh Moncrief’s all over the map,” Basu said. “He was in The Advantage and Boss the Big Bit. He was doing proggy, mathy electronics before.”

He now plays more accessible electronic music.

Other electro-dance highlights include Sacramento’s World Hood and Buk Buk Bigups. Davis band Mondo Lava plays “amazing afro-Caribbean ambient music,” Basu said.

Off the beaten path is local band Burglars.

“They keep a low profile because the idea behind them is that they’re criminals,” Basu said. “It’s really grimy, glitchy electronic stuff. They’re performance artists.”

Punk rock fans will not be disappointed. Pop punks Twin Steps, garage punks Yi and noise rockers No Babies will bring the noise, as will experimental noise maker Headboggle.

ORMF also will feature local mainstays West Nile Ramblers.

“They’re a really talented bluegrass band,” Basu said.

UCD Gamelan Ensemble, of which Basu is a member, will add a family touch.

“We play Indonesian percussion music. It’s really interesting, interlocking, resonant percussion that’s really tonal,” she said. “It’s so beautiful.”

Basu expects about 300 people to show up this year.

“Hopefully more,” she said. “One of the best ways to support KDVS is coming to these events. People don’t realize what a great resource KDVS is.

“Most music events that happen in Davis and Sacramento are somehow tied to KDVS.”

At most summer festivals you spend your time standing around waiting for bands to play, paying exorbitant amounts for food and drinks. Not at ORMF.

“It’s a mellow environment,” Basu said. “Everyone’s like ‘I’m just going to chill out on this blanket.’ ”

“In years past it’s been fun even if you don’t like the music,” Glass said. “Once you get out there, eating really good greasy food, you’ll have a good time.”

— Reach Landon Christensen at [email protected]

Landon Christensen

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