The jamband scene has been begging for a parody, and who better than one of the scene’s most unlikely representatives – Les Claypool. The versatile bassist – who rose to fame as the anchor of prog-rock champions Primus – may well be the perfect musician to make a film that blasts the very real stereotypes that populate festival lawns, amphitheatre parking lots, and venue hallways.
Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo is a mockumentary that follows the fictional quartet Electric Apricot (for which Claypool plays drummer) from the small clubs to the big stage of an Oregon festival, all while poking fun at brutal loyalty to Jerry Garcia, the stoned artistry of glass blowers, the unbreakable determination of tapers, and the self-importance of artists searching for spiritual transcendence through their music.
Unfortunately, the film doesn’t monopolize on the limitless idiosyncrasies found in the jamband scene, the jokes relying too heavily on the obvious, ready-made stereotypes that are just as prevalent in the yoga studio as they are in a multi-day festival. Warren Haynes, Bob Weir and others make appearances in the film, which reaches a pinnacle – both in storyline and comic value – at the festival, with the starstruck band-members intoxicated by interaction with their idols, Electric Apricot’s guitarist asking Haynes if he would like to go “feed the ducks.”
Many who have spent time in the scene may find parts of themselves in Electric Apricot’s absurdest characters and their travels. And while not as funny as one would expect from such a farce, those who do will still be hard pressed not to blush.
Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo is out now.