Estonians can either rock or jam

  • 2007-06-13
  • By Joel Alas

Detroit garage rock band Electric Six will headline this weekend's Rabarock festival in central Estonia. At the same time, fans of electronic music will gather in Haapsalu for the Airport Jam club music festival.

TALLINN - Estonian music lovers will face a difficult choice on June 15 and 16 's they can either rock it out or dance it up. The summer's first two music festivals kick off on that weekend, taking place at opposite ends of the map and the music spectrum. For the long-haired rock lovers (known here affectionately as "hairies"), Rabarock will be the festival of choice. Held yearly in the center of Estonia, Rabarock is a guitarist's dream 's two stages of amplified sound of all varieties, from soft radio rock to dark metal.

But there won't be a guitar in sight over at Haapsalu on the west coast, where dance music fans will congregate on an airstrip hear a collection of DJs and electronic musicians from across Europe at the Airport Jam.
Rabarock's promoters should be patting themselves on the back. They've booked an impressive line-up of alternative music stars 's nothing to scoff at for a small regional festival.

The headline band is Electric Six, a Detroit-based garage rock band that incorporates elements of disco, punk, electro and metal. Their music is fun and upbeat, with lyrics that reflect their playful style.
Their most famous songs 's "Danger! High Voltage" and "Gay Bar" 's were instant hits on alternative radio stations around the world when released in 2003. The songs even managed to make an impact on the UK singles chart, reaching the number 2 and 3 spots respectively. Both songs capture the manic high-pitched voice of singer Dick Valentine.
Electric Six suffer an ongoing misconception 's that White Stripes singer Jack White is somehow involved in the band. Although both bands come from the Detroit rock scene, both have dispelled the rumor that Jack White once sang back-up vocals on an Electric Six record.

The misunderstanding hasn't hurt Electric Six, though, and no doubt some Estonians will be heading to Rabarock under the false hope of laying eyes on Jack White.
The line-up also includes Nick Oliveri, the former guitarist from Queens Of The Stone Age, performing with his band The Mondo Generator. Oliveri often plays naked, and has occasionally been asked by authorities to cover up. Given Estonia's open attitude to nudity, his predilections shouldn't be a problem here.
And there's plenty of local talent too 's Shelton San, Dago, Metsatoll and the ubiquitous Tanel Padar.
Tickets are 500 kroons for one day, or 750 kroons for both. Buses will run from Tallinn to Jarvakandi, a small town near Paide in central Estonia.

Over at the Airport Jam, DJs from the dance capitals of Holland and the UK will join with local beat spinners on stage at the Haapsalu airstrip. You'll need artificial stimulation to survive the entire event though 's the music will play non-stop from 1 p.m. until 4 a.m.
In all, 12 international and 40 local DJs will play in two dance arenas, and promoters say they have space for a crowd of 5,000 people.
Loud beats often emanate from hot cars, and so the Airport Jam will also cater to motorsport fans by holding a car show. The event features "drifting," a sport that involves driving a car "sideways" at high speeds. Revheads will have to get in by 12 p.m. on June 16 to catch the event.

The Airport Jam is a bit cheaper, at 200 kroons for one day or 350 for both days.
Both festivals also offer camping. Head to their Web sites for more details.

Rabarock, June 15 and 16
Jarvakandi (Near Paide, central Estonia)
Airport Jam, June 15 and 16
Haapsalu airport