Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jam Cruise Recaps: Day 4 - Gumby and Sock Puppets

Day 4 was a Wednesday. We got on the Boat on a Sunday.

I woke up at 1:30pm on Day 4 and we were docked at George Town, Grand Cayman. The water was beautiful; the sun was finally shining. I thought about getting off the Boat, but it was a 30 minute ferry ride each way. With no music playing and the majority of Jam Cruisers either off the Boat or sleeping, the small crew of Colorado Jam Cruisers who had slept in decided to take over a hot tub.

I got out the can amp and played the hits. 80's music mostly. JT, Ritzer, Laurie, and a few new best friends from Colorado joined us. It was nice to finally get some sun after having a lot of cold and windy days and nights on the Pool Deck.

I had been talking up the idea of having a sock puppet making class as soon as I got on the Boat. I thought Jam Cruise would be a perfect venue to let people be creative and have a little friend to add to the weirdness and fun. I had put up flyers and tried to promote it, but it seemed too much was going on for anyone to remember a time/place for a sock puppet class.

Around 5pm I found a table on the pool deck where I could plug in the glue gun and we could watch the Mofro set. As people walked by I invited them to make sock puppets. I got a few girls to start making puppets and then Kyle Hollingsworth walked by.

"Hey Kyle, want to make a sock puppet?"

He paused for a second and thought about it, then without a word came over to the table. "Ok, so how do I do this?" Yeah, I taught Kyle Hollingsworth how to make a sock puppet for his daughter. Its just one of those things that only happens on Jam Cruise.

The sock puppet class made me feel all warm and fuzzy. After being on the Boat for 3 1/2 days I really felt like I knew everybody. While I didnt know everyone's name, it seemed everywhere I went I saw familiar faces that nodded or grinned at me. I once again ate at the cafeteria which by now reminded me of the cafeteria at my freshman year dorm.

Scotty B and I got some time to chill on the Pool Deck and talk about how awesome both of our Jam Cruises were going. He said a friend of his was getting married on the boat.
"Do you want to check out the wedding?"
"Of course! If I ever get married, Jam Cruise sounds like the place to do it."




We walked up to the Pool Deck behind the stage where there was a raised area with 2 hot tubs. It was packed. Scotty introduced me to his buddy, dressed head to toe in a Gumby suit. Gumby's bride to be asked me to be the ring bearer.

"Can I trust you to keep our ring safe, and not lick it or eat it?" as she handed me a large rock candy ring. George Porter Jr. officiated the "wedding" for about 40 other couples, all crammed into this small space on the Pool Deck. A caterer mingled with a roasted pig head on a platter.

"By the power vested in me...By who it is not completely clear...I now pronounce you...Married!"

Just another evening on Jam Cruise.

I had seen Maceo rip it up the other night and it was suddenly cold and windy on the Pool Deck, so I decided to go to the Theater and get a good spot for Zappa Plays Zappa. I sat with one of my new best friends, Jonathan, who said that he knew me as The Joker and remembered seeing the crew from Langerado '08 when we invaded the Jam Cruise tent in cream 70's tuxes. "I knew then, Joker, that you would really dig Jam Cruise," he said. How right he was. Wow. It truly has come full circle.

I paid as much attention as I could to Zappa Plays Zappa for the first hour and a half of his set. I am not yet a huge Zappa fan, but after the shredding session I think I "get it" and can dive into the huge back catalog with a little bit of guidance. I wish I knew the names of the songs, but there were a few triumphant moments where I felt like I was at a Phish show with my hands in the air for Divided Sky.

I took a break from Zappa to go back up to the Pool Deck where Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 were abloutley destroying the funk classic Nautilus. I had just heard Dweezil Zappa shred some rock guitar, and I thought it awesome to contrast that with the clean jazz/funk shredding of Eric Krasno. I found Gypsy and we got down to the funk with the help of some specially brewed tea.

Eventually I had to take a break and found JT who was hanging out at the bar on the Pool Deck. It was a favorite spot because we could watch the freak show of Jam Cruisers roll by, have a seat, and get a drink while hearing the music perfectly. At this point I met the infamous Scwhilly B. Monkey. I got out Walter the Sock Puppet and had him introduce himself.

"Hi, I'm Walter, what's your name?"
"I'm Schwilly B. Monkey, nice to meet you!"
"Why do they call you Schwilly?"
"Because I'm always drunk!"
"Schwilly, you have a graduation hat on. Did you just graduate?"
"Yep! I got my degree in PURPLE!"


JT and I decided to take another tour of the boat with the Bose blaring SCI. On our way to the Jam Room we passed Lebo, who was painting on canvas. Walter asked to be painted. Lebo painted a blue nose on Walter. "That will be $1,000!" one of Lebo's friends shouted at us as we walked off.

Back to the Pool Deck for Pretty Lights. It seemed like everyone I cared about on the Boat was right there next to me getting the fuck down with a huge smile on their face. To call it a dance party is an understatement.

After the bombastic Pretty Lights set, I needed a change of pace. I left the sizeable crew in the Disco in and was on my way back to my room at 4:20am when I heard what sounded like an acoustic bass and Bill Withers singing in the Atrium.

I sat down, exhausted, and listened to the unique cello playing and singing of Crazy Engine bassist Trevor Exter. The quiet in the room was incredible. Trevor played his cello without a bow in a way I had never seen before. After a few songs Laurence Scudder happened to wander by with his viola. Laurence stopped to jam and added beautiful accents to the delicate acoustic music. It was exactly what I needed and one of the highlights of the entire week.

Read Scotty B's take on that night, it was true magic.

Download Trevor Exter Jam Cruise Atrium 1-7-2010


My Jam Cruise could have ended there and I would not have any complaints. But there was still 1 more night...stay tuned for my twisted recount of the biggest party of Jam Cruise: The Funk 'N Formal.

7 comments:

Strawberry Shortcake said...

Sock puppets should be used to bring world peace.

I bet it would work.

Steve In Denver said...

A middle east sock puppet summit would be huge. China can't be invited though because most socks, glue sticks, and jiggly eyes are manufactured by small children that they exploit.

Frank Zappa's Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation is a great jumping off point...brilliant and fun stuff. To me a lot of his catalog is like the cartoon Red Meat...the titles are sometimes better than the songs.

Jonathan said...

Any fool could see you were jam cruise material. Thanks for bringing your A game.

The sock puppet making program clearly needs to expand next year.

Lizzy said...

My sock puppet next year is going to be an alien named corky that has a degree in gumballs!

Irongirl01 said...

Sock Puppets and Sock monkeys luv them. Ive always wanted to do Jam Cruise. The more you write about it the more I need to do it at least once.

Irongirl01 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Someone posted the Zappa setlists on the JC Forum. I caught only about half hour of the theater show & missed the pool deck set I wanted to see b/c the weather was just too nasty. I'm a big Zappa fan but didn't know half the songs they played either set.

Roughly in order of my favorite Zappa albums:
Hot Rats (has Peaches En Regalia)

Apostrophe (Yellow Snow)

Joe's Garage (they did Crew Slut)

Sheik Yerbouti

Over-Nite Sensation (I'm the Slime, Dinah Moe Hum, Montana)

The Grand Wazoo

Roxy & Elsewhere

We're Only in it for the Money

Zoot Allures (Disco Boy, Torture Never Stops, Black Napkins)

One Size Fits All (they did Inca Roads; Po-Jama People)

Weasels Ripped My Flesh (My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama)

Absolutely Free

Freak Out! (Trouble Every Day is PHENOMENAL!!)