Sunday, January 31, 2010

DJ Ocean Mixes: It's 4:20 Somewhere


DJ Ocean created a special mix for us here at Coventry. We thank him immensely.

Take a listen to... It's 4:20 Somewhere.

Here's DJ Ocean's explanation...
Here's a mix I threw down simply because I was curious to see if I could do so. I'm pretty happy with the results. "It's 420 Somewhere" features remixed classic rock tracks from America, The Beatles, The Steve Miller Band, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, U2, Simple Minds, David Bowie, Journey, Elton John, and the Fifth Dimension (The Theme from Hair).
Download link here.

Disco Biscuits Fox Theater 1/30/09

I had a great time last night. If you ever want to meet EVERYONE at a show, wear a disco ball helmet. At some point in the night I looked at my phone and had 5 text messages from friends at different parts in the venue all saying the same thing: "Dude, we saw lasers bounce off your helmet!"



The second set was intense last night. Saturday's Shem Rah Boo might be the song of the run.

1/30/09 Fox Theater Boulder, CO

Set 1: Step Inside, Strobelights and Martinis> Iman> You and I> Strobelights and Martinis> On Time

Set 2: The Very Moon > Shem Rah Boo (full) > DTTB > Cyclone > Waves (inverted) > DTTB

E: Hope


After 3 nights of Bisco, im full. Gonna rest and recover today.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Music From The Future and Outer Space


"Bottom line is: I want my music to make me feel like I'm in the future and in outer space, and thats why I go to Disco Biscuits Shows." - Boone, 1/29/10


Thursday in Boulder felt a little mild- the crowd and the band were holding back something. After a fun Little Lai opener I felt the stand alone songs Flash Mob and Konkrete lost the energy that could never quite be recovered. Bisco opened the second set with what is arguably their YEM - House Dog Party Favor - but again it was a stand alone. The Thursday night Safety Dance>Abraxas>Digital Buddha segment got me sweating but I wanted more. I knew they could do better. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but knew somewhere something was missing.

Friday's show delivered where Thursday's show didn't - Bisco turned up the intensity. The crowd was a letting go to the flow of energy from the band. I thought the energy of Friday's show was off the charts. It was the kind of show where the band was jamming so well and seamlessly the set list is almost irrelevant. I make fun of Bisco sometimes for the relentless UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ but Friday's show had tempo changes and always kept the jams going somewhere. Boone reminded me of why he goes to see Disco Biscuits shows, and walking out of the Fox on Friday I truly felt like I was in outer space.

Video of Great Abyss by pameesi

01/28/10 Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
Set I: Little Lai, Flash Mob, Konkrete, Confrontation> Tempest> Bernstein And Chasnoff1> Confrontation
Set II: House Dog Party Favor, Air Song> The Safety Dance> Abraxas> Digital Buddha, Chemical Warfare Brigade
Encore: Svenghali

1 inverted


01/29/10 Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
Set I: Resurrection> Portal To An Empty Head, Grass Is Green> Helicopters1, Papercut, Helicopters1> Grass Is Green
Set II: Mirrors> Spraypaint> The Great Abyss> And The Ladies Were The Rest Of The Night2> Lunar Pursuit> Spraypaint
Encore: Rockafella

1 dyslexic
2 inverted

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pimping Bands: Gigi


What if Phil Spector produced a collaborative She & Him and Jens Lekman album.?.?

GIGI is the recording project of Vancouver-based songwriter Nick Krgovich and producer/engineer Colin Stewart. In the spring of 2005 Stewart acquired two huge vintage plate reverbs and, eager to use them in a way that befit their history, he asked Krgovich to come up with a couple songs in the vein of classic Phil Spector/Brill Building pop hits and invited a large group of musician friends into the Hive Studios to record the songs live-off-the-floor. The results of that night were amazing, inspiring a string of recording sessions that took place over the following 3 years, collected here on GIGI's debut album "MAINTENANT".

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts: Life



Check out the Life list of "Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts." Here are a couple of my favorites:
Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961): Booze
Notorious for making fun of his fellow writers who sought relief from their own alcoholism (when Fitzgerald admitted that alcohol had bested him, Hemingway urged him to toss his "balls into the sea -- if you have any balls left"), Papa himself was an increasingly messy drunk. George Plimpton once famously observed that by the end, Hemingway's ruined liver protruded from his belly "like a long fat leech."

and

Hunter S. Thompson (1937 - 2005): Everything
"I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me."

LINK

Dr. Pauly hasnt made the list...yet.

Voices Insane



The other night I had a dream I was in a mental institution. I wasn't upset to be there- I was just hanging out with other patients. I was getting some "rest." I saw some of you there- I borrowed an acoustic guitar from a friend and played Cities.

We all sang along: "We're the ones thats got it figured out!"

The music never stops. Not even in my dreams where I'm supposed to get some rest. I have a music addiction problem, and I can't say no. I'm a live music junkie - and thats why I live in Colorado.

The next 4 nigths The Disco Biscuits are playing at the Fox Theater in Boulder. I like Bisco, but my Boulder friends are the superfans. They went to Holidaze. The infamous Panda will be there with a mullet on. They talk more Biscuits than Betty Crocker. They RAGE. Its hard to not get excited when you surround yourself with friends that are excited to see their favorite band play 4 small shows in their backyard.

Hell...even the pets are excited...


I'll report back to ya from the Boulder mental ward. Don't worry about me- Hurley and I will be hangin out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

What up, braHs. Wanna know how to talk to the cute indie rock chick at the coffee shop? Unless you got moves like Broseph, you aren't gonna get very far talking about the Boogielope from Miami (even though that was pretty sick!). I recommend name dropping Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. My sources say you'll get bonus points if you can whistle.



I'm looking forward to seeing them live sometime this spring...Thanks to Gypsy and Strawberry Shorcake for introducing me to this gem.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Umphrey's McGee...I Got It *Finally*

There are 3 bands, in particular, that I remember listening to and wanting to like them, but at the beginning I didn't completely get it. These 3 bands today are my favorite bands but it took a little effort to get to know them.

Those bands are: Phish, Radiohead, and Wilco.

I didn't really fully *get* any of these bands at first. I will never forget the first 5 times I listened to A Live One, Ok Computer, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I will never forget it because in each instance I was driving around Central Texas thinking "WTF is this shit? I know ______ likes this, but this is just weird."

Somewhere after about 5 listens, there was a change. I remember the instant I finally got into the guitar riff in Paranoid Android and was yelling gibberish along with Thom. I remember finally appreciating the "nirvana" secion of YEM. I remember finally loving the delicate beauty and chaos in the songs on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It took a few listens, but something finally *clicked* and I became a fan.

Up until now, I have never really cared much for the Chicago Prog-Rock-Metal-Jam-band Umphrey's McGee. They never seemed to *click* with me. There were other bands to see and like. Umphrey's didn't get me right away. I was surrounded by friends who thought they sucked so I never made an effort to get into them.

This has changed recently.

Over the past few months several of my friends I met through Phish and Jam Cruise talked about how much they love Umphrey's. When I see some of my friends enjoying something musically, well I want to get in on that action too. I let my new friends know that I wanted to like Umphrey's, but didnt know where to start. I got some help.

I got a couple of "good" Umphrey's live shows and listened a few times. I went to the Saturday Denver Fillmore show with other friends that liked them. Before the show I was hopeful and open-minded, but I still wasn't sold. The first set was good, but I wasn't yet a fan. In the second set - somewhere in the crazy Wappy Sprayberry> Miss Tinkles Overture - I found myself dancing and fist pumping and yelling with the guitar peaks. I *got* it. Finally.



Now I'm not saying that Umphrey's is as good as Wilco, Radiohead or Phish. That is for a different time. Im just talking about myself and how I realized this weekend sometimes certain bands and styles of music have grown on me and taken some effort to get into.

Maybe you like Phish, Radiohead, Wilco, Umphrey's...maybe not. They are all good bands to like- they challenge the listener in different ways and are good to the fans. I guess you could say I love these bands...Well I don't yet love Umphrey's the way some of my friends do or the way I love Phish, but I had a great time on Saturday.

I'm using the word love for a reason. I've found myself pondering the reasons we talk about love and music. Both can catch you off guard in an instant. Other times we wait for years until the timing is right. In both cases my experience has been the affairs I put the most effort into are the ones that are the most fulfulling.

Thom Yorke BBC Session


Good news. Thom Yorke stepped out of his alien chamber to speak English and spread his leftist, alien agenda with lucky earthlings.

Stream and Info Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pws59

Downlaod here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/p26owv

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mike Gordon Band - Mini Spring Tour

Not to be outdone by Big Red and the Trey Anastasio Band Spring Tour, Mike takes his band on the road commencing 3/5/2010 right in my back yard at Troy's Revolution Hall. It's a whirlwind 8 date club tour and he's back with the same line-up as the fall 2009 tour featuring Max Creek's Scott Murawski on lead guitar, Todd Isler on drums, Craig Myers on percussion and Tom Cleary on keyboards.

MIKE GORDON MARCH TOUR 2010

3/05 - Revolution Hall, Troy, NY
3/06 - Toad's Place, New Haven, CT
3/07 - Sherman Theatre, Stroudsburg, PA
3/09 - Rams Head Live!, Baltimore, MD
3/11 - Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA
3/12 - Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
3/13 - Pearl Street, Northampton, MA
3/14 - Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon, NH

Per Phish.com news: A limited number of tickets are available via a real-time fan presale NOW at Mike Gordon tickets. The presale ends Friday, January 29th at 5pm EST, at which point tickets will go on sale through traditional outlets.

Hope to see some of you at Troy's Revolution Hall.

Coventry Weekly Round Up & American Idol Recaps

Happy Monday. In case you missed it, here's an index of the last week on Coventry...
Festival 8 Acoustic Set - High Quality Video
The Destruments
Jam Crusie LOST Stickers
Essay from a Jaded Vet: Worn, Torn, and Frayed
The Tubes
TWOTL Podcast: People On Land Just Don't Understand
Phish Rebuilds America - 1998 Downloads
Bisco Video - Austin 9/19/09 Set 2
iClips Archives
The Greatest Abyss

And you should also check out Change100's kick-ass American Idol recaps...
Week 1: A Tale of Two Cities
Week 2: Glitter and Be Gay

Sunday, January 24, 2010

DJ OCean Mixes: Vegas Nights


My buddy DJ Ocean used to spin in different Florida circles back in the 90s before moving onto other artistic ventures. He lives in Las Vegas now and just getting back into the grooves, so I figured that I'd share with you one of his many comeback mixes.

Take a listen to... Vegas Nights

Here's DJ Ocean's explanation...
Vegas Nights has some amazing tracks including several U2 remixes, as well as a number of sweet dittys by the like of artists such as Deep Dish, Stone Roses, Madonna, Jay-Z, and Alanis Morrissette. This mix moves at the speed of light, just like a night out in Las Vegas and it has some of my favorite rare gems including remixes of "Bette Davis Eyes," "Tiny Dancer," and "Where the Streets Have No Name." This ode to Sin City was designed to take listeners on a journey that forces their body to move while sending their senses into overdrive.
Download link here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Greatest Abyss

image by Dave Vann


One of my favorite Biscuits songs is The Great Abyss. I was excited when I ran across this- a fantastic 90 minute Great Abysss made up from various shows (all sbds). The snycs are flawless and it sounds like a continuous 90 min Abyss. Thanks to evromano on the PT Biscuits boards for putting this up!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1MG27KD6

iClips Archive

I was bored at work and stumbled upon the iClips archive.
Color me impressed. Its been a while since I have been on the site, so its likely this is old news - but god damn they have a great library of shows. Great thing about each show is they load fast, sound great, and you can skip ahead to the song you want to watch.

Here are a few of the shows I recommend:

The Avett Brothers
All Good Music Festival - 7/11/2008


The New Deal
Jam Cruise 7 - 1/7/2009


STS9
Red Rocks Amphitheater - 9/8/2007


of Montreal
Rothbury Festival - 7/4/2008


Medeski Martin & Wood
Loyal Earth Festival - 4/19/2009


Lotus
Jam Cruise 8
01-05-2010


Jam Cruise 8

Dr. Dog
Mountain Jam - 6/1/2008


Disco Biscuits
Rothbury Festival - 07/03/2008


Cake
Wakarusa Music Festival - 06/06/20
08

Friday, January 22, 2010

Aliens for Haiti Relief; Radiohead to Play L.A. Benefit Concert

Thom Yorke got word from the Mothership. He and the boys will be playing a benefit concert this Sunday in LA with proceeds going to Haiti earthquake relief. You have to bid on the tickets to see them at the intimate Fonda/Music Box Theatre.

Here's a message on Radiohead's website from Philip...
We're doing a show this Sunday (24th January) to raise funds for the relief effort in Haiti. The venue is The Music Box Theatre at The Fonda in Los Angeles, doors at 7pm. All proceeds are going to the Oxfam Haiti relief fund. We're trying to raise as much money as possible, so tickets will be sold by auction at this site from 8pm tonight until 11am Saturday (PST):

Click here to bid on tickets

We're in the middle of recording at the moment, so you'll be catching us on the fly.... but if you're up for it, then we are too.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disco Biscuits Video: Stubbs 9.19.09 Set II

Texas fried Bisco.





The Disco Biscuits - Live at Stubb's - Set 2

Here's the setlist:

Set II: Rivers, Mirrors> Basis For A Day, Caterpillar, Mr. Don

Encore: Therapy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Phish Rebuilds America - 1998 downloads

Along with the Joker - our first shows were from the summer of 1998.. It was a good year.. These mixes courtesy of PT'r jamhead99

Disc 1

AC/DC Bag (7.21), Birds of a Feather (4.4) > 2001 (4.4), Maze (11.29) > All the Pain through the Years (11.29)

Disc 2

Mikes Song (7.17), Simple (11.29), Prince Caspian (10.15), Ghost (7.21) > She Caught the Katy (7.21), Sabotage (8.16)

Disc 3

Bathtub Gin (7.20), Cities (7.31), RLA (11.8), Drowned (7.20) > Makisupa (7.20), Character Zero (7.30)

Disc 4

Runaway Jim (8.11), When the Circus Comes (7.9), Time (11.2), YEM (8.12), Terrapin Station (8.9)

Disc 5

Tube (11.2), Tweezer (10.30), Harry Hood (10.15), Possum (11.24), Theme from the Bottom (7.9)

Disc 6

DWD (11.13), Bathtub Gin (7.29), Gumbo (8.15) > Sanity (8.15), Taste (11.19), Piper (11.20)

Disc 7

Ghost (7.16), 2001 (8.16), Tweezer (8.1), RLA (10.30), Prince Caspian (11.6)

Disc 8

SplitOAM (11.6), Mikes (12.31), Roses are Free (4.3), Weekapaug (4.3), Driver (10.29)

Disc 9

YEM (11.29), Colonel Forbin (8.7) > Fly Famous Mockingbird (8.7), Twist (4.2), Frankie Says (11.9)

Disc 10

Chalkdust Torture (8.1), 2001 (8.8), Halley's Comet (11.11), Ghost (4.4), Harry Hood (12.31)

Disc 11

Piper (8.8), Bathtub Gin (11.29), Gumbo (8.3), Wolfman's Brother (10.15), Possum (10.29)

Disc 12

AC/DC Bag (8.9), Reba (8.15), Ya Mar (7.29), Bathtub Gin (8.9)

Disc 13

Mike's Song (8.12), Ghost (7.2), RLA (4.3)

CD 1
CD 2
CD 3
CD 4
CD 5
CD 6
CD 7
CD 8
CD 9
CD 10
CD 11
CD 12
CD 13

This Week On Lot: People On Land Just Dont Understand



I am the guest this time on the weekly podcast for the Jam Scene - This Week On Lot. Hear me discuss how great Jam Cruise is (as if you didnt know). Steve, Nick and Laura talk about some upcoming festivals. There is also an interview with Brownie from the Disco Biscuits.

This Week On Lot

The Tubes

I'm a fan of the Tubes. First, Last, and that funky Phish song they call Tube.

I am such a big fan that when I got to meet Trey at an autograph signing in 2006, I asked him what First Tube was all about. He asked me if I wanted the real story or the made up one.

The real story, he explained, was that First Tube was the first song his band 8 Foot Florescent Tubes played at their first gig. Trey went on to explain that First Tube is also about how the first time you do something, often it is most exciting or special. "You know, the first time you smoked a joint or the first time you had sex was more exciting than the all the other times." Or something like that. It was 4 years ago when we had that conversation.

All of this is to say I was very excited to see videos of First Tube from that 1998 gig Trey was talking about in our conversation. The Phish org also posted some sick footage of Last Tube at Red Rocks from 2001. I threw in one of my favorite Tubes from 2009 to round out the trio. Check it out:



New Ben Franklins in Denver


The New Ben Franklins have a CD release show tomorrow night, Thursday, in Denver at Larimer Lounge. For all you alt-country folks in Brahorado, y'all should check it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Worn, Torn, and Frayed


This post should have a secondary subject line... Why I Need a Phish Hiatus.

The emails, texts, IM's and DM's would not stop over the weekend. Relentless. All of you crackheads in Phishdom are going ape shit over faux/semi-fake/leaked summer tour dates. I understand the excitement. That's what happens when you're an addict or have been brainwashed.

Everyone wants to know the same thing... when?

As an old Jamaican friend used to say... "Soon. Come."

Relax, kids. It's just Phish. Plenty of other bands to get your fix while the Vermont quartet are kicking back and counting the mountains of cash they earned in 2009. Heck, Trey is hitting the road for a month. Give those rednecks at Widespread Panic some love. They were the overlooked middle child in 2009. Once Phish, Cheese, and the Dead announced reunion shows/tours/paydays, no one paid attention to them. Widespread Panic is the Jan Brady of jambands.

I guess that makes Phish... Marcia Brady.

Shit, I don't know about you... but I'm all Phish'd out. I'm thrilled and overjoyed that the boys are taking off six months because my checkbook and sanity can use the time off. The only wookies I want to see should be on the SciFi channel. If I don't eat another grilled cheese, I'll be happy. And if I never hear the hissing sounds from another nitrous tank ever again... I'll be in heaven.

Go home, hippies.

I love Phish. I drop whatever I'm doing to see them. A decade ago, I maxed out credit cards, sponged off my girlfriend, slung pharmies in the lot, and used my gambling winnings to fund tour.

In 2009, I spent a shitload of money on Phish and the circus and events surrounding the band. I contributed to the lot economy and probably funded car payments and private school for the offspring of a few ticket brokers and scalpers. But hey, I didn't want to miss any Phish 3.0. So did a lot of you. That's why I shot my load, burned up vacation days, and had to sub-contract writing work so I can have fun following around my favorite band.

But right now... I'm completely full. Like after eating a huge holiday meal. One more fuckin' Christmas cookie and I'm gonna puke. I guess you can say that I have the equivalent of a food coma. I can't do anything because I'm so stuffed. I need time, lots of time, to digest and relax and not think about food. Well, insert Phish for food. I know some of you understand. Too much of anything good is a bad thing.

Here's a better analogy. We just finished a Thanksgiving feast. They haven't even removed the plates from the table and wrapped up leftovers and all you keep thinking about is "What's on the menu for next year's Thanksgiving?"

The best part about Coventry is that it's not just a Phish blog. Shit 15 months ago, we barely had any Phish content save for a few off-cuff Trey/Oxy jokes (which are always timeless). So Phish is back, but right now, I'm more excited about the other musical content that our contributors produce on Coventry. We have so many talented voices from different parts of the country (and dare I say universe), I'm thrilled at the diversity in posts that we're going to be sharing over the next few months. I mean, have you heard those mixes from Jonas and BTreotch? Sickness. And the Joker tore it up with his Jam Cruise recaps.

Rest assured, as soon as we have near definitive summer tour dates, we shall post them. And yes, the Joker will be back with LOST shirts and some new cool wacky things to sell in the lot. We'll be back on tour and kicking it hard. We're coming to your town... and we'll help you party down.

Until then, I might suggest everyone ease up on the gas pedal just a bit. Phish ain't going anywhere, at least for now. If there's something I learned from Phish tour and living in Las Vegas... moderation is the key to happiness.

With that said, I devoted most (if not all of) 2009 to Phish. I need to replenish my bank account and enter rehab so I can rip it up when summer tour 2010 kicks off. Now it's time for me to take a little break (and skipping the entire Trey tour), finish my Las Vegas book (titled Lost Vegas due out this spring), and hopefully make some money so I can fund the Phishy party this summer and fall.

Enjoy the time off from the Phish. I know I will.

LOST Jam Cruise Stickers

Are you excited for Feb 2? I know I am. To the Jam Cruisers out there that are looking for a sticker- I have done a reprint of those and would love to get them out to ya.









PS- I have a handful of LOST/Phish t-shirts left. Ill have the inventory updated soon...but generally speaking if you are a male of normal size looking for a Faraday, Desmond or Bathtub Jin shirt, you are out of luck. I will do a reprint later this summer, but for now I dont have any plans to print more shirts.

Any questions? please email the joker - havinagoodtime44@gmail.com.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Destruments



If Medeski, Martin, & Wood had an orgy with The Beastie Boys and Bonobo, you might end up with something that sounds like a band from Oakland, California called The Destruments. Funky, Jazzy, Mostly Instrumental, with Hip-Hop beats. Ladies and Gentleman, this is some of the better music that I have found lately.

From their Bio:

"Destruments key ingredient is fusing yesterday’s bugaloo with tomorrow’s beats, trying to connect the bridge between the past and the future. With all members having years of studio and stage experience, the group is as much a production team as they are a live band, digging the creative process in the studio as much as the live energy on stage. Since hooking up in Los Angeles in 2003 and relocating to Oakland in 2006, Destruments has constantly released music. In the 6 years that the ensemble has been making music they have released 6 Albums! The debut “Destruments”(2004) followed by "Seeds of Soul”(2006), In 2007 under their alias name Soul Robbers, Destruments released a full length LP titled ESPRESSO: BISTRO BEATS which was exclusively sold and distributed by TARGET. At the end of 2008 Destruments released an exclusive special B-sides album titled " The Unheard B-Sides 76'-81' " that features hard to get instrumentals, beats and songs and now in 2009 the 2 NEW records off Ivory Soul Records in Japan…The special cover record “Bridge Through Time” & the new LP “Shaped By the Sound”. All these releases are a testament to their eclectic tastes and their chemistry, a completely original style that is rare and innovative."

Here is a sample mix of songs from various albums by The Destruments:

TRACKLIST:

The Best Part of Waking Up...
Oolong
Mysterious Vibes
A Cup Of Ubiquity
Nasa
Parks Looking Glass (feat. Dean Parks)
In and Out of War (feat. The TexaCali Horns)
Giraffe Neck
Today, Tomorrow, Forever
City Shuffle
What's Brewing
Organic Roast
Prince Jah's Java
Good 'Til The Last Drop!

DOWNLOAD

If you enjoy The Destruments, you may want to check out other artists from their record label, Soul Unsigned.

Otherwise, become a fan of The Destruments on Facebook

WARNING! Coventry: Phish Blog and Music Blog is not responsible for any termination of employment due to "Getting Down" to The Destruments on company time.


High Quality Acoustic Set Video

I dont' see a way to embed, but this is the most enjoyable way I've found yet to enjoy the Festival 8 Acoustic Set, short of actually, you know, being there.

Which I am sure would have been better. And now I'm crying into my coffee.

Squash that. Positivity, baby.


Here's the link.

What a lovely set.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coventry's Weekly Round Up: Mixes and Jam Cruise

In case you missed it, we had lots of fun and funky content on Coventry this past week with the Joker's Jam Cruise recaps, Jonas' Electronic Space Odyssey Mix and BTreotch's highly anticipated 4th Quarter Mix.

Go here we go...




Joker's Jam Cruise Recaps:


Get those mixes while they're hot...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Save Haiti Saturday


Utter destruction is a word to describe the events in Haiti after an earthquake ripped apart and destroyed the country that's roughly the size of the state of Maryland. With the majority of the governmental infrastructure destroyed in Port Au Prince and the country has plunged into complete anarchy coupled with a humanitarian crisis. Where are all those displaced citizens going to get food and water?

Hospitals are leveled, schools wiped out, and the main prison ripped apart allowing whatever inmates who survived the quake to escape. I sincerely doubt there will be a nation to rebuild. Gangs of machete wielding thugs have taken control of the streets. Opportunists are already hatching plans to seize what little resources the country has to offer. If anything, Haiti as been and always will be a main port for drug smugglers. I fear that situation will only get wore.

I'm most concerned with the events that happen a year or two years from now when all of the media attention has disappeared and another tragedy that captured our fickle attention. Donating money today might make your conscience feel better, but much like the undocumented plight of New Orleans after Katrina, what you do to help in months and years after the fact is even more important than being part of the initial wave of help.

Don't get me wrong, sending money to Doctors Without Borders (aka MSF) is a worthy deed... today... but let's not forget that the fallout from the earthquake is a long-term crisis that cannot be solved so easily by throwing money at it, then forgetting and ignoring it tomorrow. Haiti, much like New Orleans, will need your help and support in the future.

Check out an organization that a friend works for... Save Haiti Saturday. Here's their mission statement...
What started out as a grassroots effort by a group of friends from Miami and Haiti has now turned into a collaboration of hundreds of people around the country from all walks of life, all working together for one cause: to save as many lives as humanly possible in earthquake ravaged Haiti.

The morning after the earthquake hit, Dr. Barth Green, co-founder of Project Medishare, was en route to Haiti on a charter plane (made possible through the generosity of Hank Asher) filled with a team of trauma surgeons. Upon their arrival in Haiti, Project Medishare began working closely with Haitian President René Préval to organize all medical teams on the ground to implement a plan to set up field hospitals and triage centers around the capital city of Port au Prince.

The group of friends, with the help of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Neurosurgery staff, has been dispatching medical relief and rescue teams from Miami to Haiti. With the help of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., their WQAM radio station, and The Miami HEAT, they have set up drop points where people can go to donate medical supplies, water, food, generators, and other necessities. Upon discussing ideas on how best to set up a fundraiser at a local Miami venue, some of the friends noted that with the huge national outpour of support, a national event would attract more attention, and in turn create more donations to send aid to Haiti. Over the next forty-eight hours the group came up with a concept, devised a plan, and have since launched the website www.SaveHaitiSaturday.com to implement it.

Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc. from across the United States have offered to generously donate a percentage of their revenue for "Save Haiti Saturday" which will be taking place this Saturday, January 16th, 2010. "Save Haiti Saturday" is a nationwide fundraising initiative to benefit Project Medishare for Haiti’s massive medical earthquake relief effort. Each participating business has committed to donating either its door cover charges, a percentage of the food and/or beverage revenue, or a fixed dollar amount. The final decision as to how much each individual venue chooses to donate is completely at their own discretion. The more money we can raise, the more support we can provide to our teams of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers who are working tirelessly and selflessly around the clock, performing surgeries and taking care of the sick and wounded during this most critical time in Haiti. People from all over the Nation, from all walks of life are banding together for "Save Haiti Saturday" to help the earthquake victims during their most desperate time of need.
Do what you can to help out. Spread the word. But don't simply give then forget. The people of Haiti will be needing your help for many years to come.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jam Cruise Recap: Day 5 - Funk 'N Formal, The Boat Is All In

I awoke from my final nap of Jam Cruise 8 at 12:30pm.

I am convinced there is an energy crystal on the Boat that keeps Jam Cruisers going. I had seen the sunrise and danced as hard as I could at Pretty Lights. All things considered, I felt pretty good.

After the second poster signing and chatting with fellow LOST fans I finally got to catch Zach Deputy on the Solar Stage. I had seen Zach tear it up in the Jam Room each night, but had never actually seen his solo act. Zach is a wizard with the loops- a one man band- and got the Pool deck jumping with his funky riffs. I dug it.

Next was Steve Kimock's Crazy Engine. After seeing Trevor Exter perform on cello the night before I paid more attention to the basslines than I normally would. I have always enjoyed Kimock's guitar compositions and I liked this incarnation of Kimock a lot. They finished off the set with one of the best versions of Stella Blue i've heard in memory. The sun was going down and Kimock's slide tone filled me with joy.

The last night's theme was Funk 'N Formal. Basically it gave everyone on the Boat to wear something awesome. I had brought just about every costume or prop I own, and decided to give away my white vinyl one piece fat Elvis suit to a fellow Jam Cruiser. I walked to the bar in the Zebra lounge and convinced Patrick from Alaska to wear it for the evening. If anyone has pics of Patrick in the Elvis suit, holla!

I dropped by Gypsy's room but she wasn't there. Her room was at the back of the boat and I once again was exactly where I was supposed to be. I stumbled out the back door to a viewing area for one of the most beautiful sunsets the entire Jam Cruise. Several people were out there with their cameras to capture the moment.


I threw on my funk clothes and wig (I told people that night I was just combing my hair a different way) then headed up to the Jam Cruise Awards Show on the Pool Deck. I felt good I had met most of the people that won awards and thought they were well deserved. The Touch of Class crew won the "best smile" award and Gumby won the "best dressed" among some very stiff competetion. My new best friend Brandon won the "nerdiest door decoration" with his hilarious interpretation of a Facebook page.

I found McFantastic on the Pool Deck and asked her to be my Prom Date for the Funk 'N Formal. We went to see Karl Denson's Sexual Chocolate. Karl D was one of the original Randy Watson band members in the classic 80's movie Coming To America. Yeah, that band. Karl D put on a Soul Glo wig and his band used every opportunity between songs to yell "Sexual Chocolate!"

They say that Jam Cruise is a marathon, not a sprint...and I had done 4 Phish shows in Miami before all of this. I was proud I had made it this far, and I had a little left in the tank. We were getting off the boat in the morning, and we were going to play through. I was tired, but I was leaving nothing on the table. I was all in.

In fact, the whole Boat was all in. Drink up. Smoke 'em if you got em. Kiss her if you have the chance. Eat it if its offered. Why the hell not? Its the last night of Jam Cruise. Go for it. I thought that the Jam Cruise party was wild the previous 4 nights...but on the last night we let it all hang out. If you made it to the end of Jam Cruise, well you are a professional. Everyone on the boat was going for it and we made that shit look good.

Pretty much, McFantastic was the best prom date to the best prom ever. Time flew by as we caught some of Galactic's set and the Lotus set. All of a sudden, its 1:30am and Laurie finds me in the Theater and grabs my arm.

"Dude, when are you going to PACK? You have to go PACK. NOW."

We had until 2am to put our bags out in front of the room to be picked up by the porters. I was more than a little spun but had enough sense to know I needed to pack. I went back to the room and started throwing all of the costumes, props, dirty clothes, posters, and other random shit into my bags.

A knock at the door, I answered expecting a familiar face. "Hi, are you The Joker? "I found your journal at Lotus." I was amazed. A complete stranger found my journal with all of my notes from the entire Jam Cruise in it, and returned it to my room before I even realized I had lost it. A JaMiracle. If it were not for David Morris, these updates would be a lot shorter. Thank You!

The rest of the evening was a blur. Gypsy and I danced and ate ice cream provided by the Ice Cream Man. Murph spun nasty beats in the Disco so Michelle, Laurie, Ethan and Cheryl could get down. I danced till the music stopped. I partied past dawn and had nothing left.

One of the last things I remember on the Boat was a conversation with Stanton Moore, the drummer for Galactic. It was 4am outside the Disco room, and I had no fear or filter.
"Hey Stanton, can I ask you a serious question real quick?"
"Sure. Anything. Whats up?"

"Are you an alien, sent to Earth, with a mission to funkify our lives?"-pause-
Stanton scratched his chin, then looked in my dialated eyes. "You know, no one has ever asked me that...but I'll say yes."
"I knew it!!!" I thought. Or maybe I said it out loud. But who cares. Pauly, you were right all along. With the "success" of that encounter, a few mintues later I spied Skerik standing outside the Disco room in the hallway, alone.
"Skerik, can I ask you a serious question real quick?"
He nodded.
"Are you an alien, sent to Earth..."
Before I could finish my question Skerik's eyes started moving independently. Back and forth, up and down. He spoke in his native alien language that sounded like jibberish to me.

I was born on the wrong planet, but I am thankful I can party with the aliens once a year on Jam Cruise.
---

Now, getting off the boat> going through customs> going to the airport> getting on a plane was by far the worst part of Jam Cruise. I thought the time it took us to wait to get off the boat was ridiculous (6am-10am). The secret service was out in force with drug dogs sniffing bags and Jam Cruisers as we went through the long line back into the good 'ol US of A. It was annoying; I was offended at the criminal like treatment of myself and my fellow Jam Cruisers going through customs.

But whatever. Work on fixing that next year, Cloud 9.

It was easy to find the Jam Cruisers at the Ft. Lauderdale airport- look for the kids still wearing sunglasses, boas and glitter. I was wrecked and passed out on the hard floor while others in the Colorado Crew drank more beer at the gate.

Can't wait for Jam Cruise 9! Ill never miss another one. See you next year!

Be sure to check out the Jam Base review.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Video: Phish Parking Lot – Brilliant Comrades

Our friends over at Hidden Track posted this...I laughed...several times.

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trey Talks... We Listen


Check out Big Red's recent interview where he promises some new material with TAB for his upcoming tour.
... we'll be bringing a lot of new material to the table. This band is sort of a breeding ground for Phish material. Songs like "Bug," "Heavy Things," "Backwards Down the Number Line," "Sand," "First Tube," "Gotta Jibboo" -- all these songs started out in the TAB band and then sort of made their way to Phish. For instance, last year we did "Alaska" with TAB and it ended up being performed with Phish. So it's a process that seems to work.
Trey tour dates here.

Jam Cruise Recaps: Day 3 - Big Poppy, Gypsy, and The King

I woke up on Day 3 to snoring...and I was wearing ear plugs.

My buddy Ritzer had somehow convinced my roommate Laurie to let him crash in her bed sometime that morning. It was a sad sight to see - Ritzer was taking up 3/4 of the small twin bed and poor Laurie had her face in the armpit of a man who had nearly sweat to death in a Boba Fett costume the night before.

To say that I had a hangover wasn't really accurate. I felt like I had been partying for about a week and a half straight - and I had: 4 nights of Phish and 2 nights on Jam Cruise is a lot. I couldn't go back to sleep so I went to get something to eat in the cafeteria.

As I looked over the deck I realized we were docked at Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I saw Mcfantastic with a crew of people eating and joined them. We had all missed the planned excursions in Jamaica - but most of us felt an obligation to get off the boat and do something.

Eventually Laurie, Ritzer, Ethan and Cheryl got out of bed. After finishing up a bite to eat in the cafeteria we walked off the boat and set foot in the country of Bob Marley - Jamaica. As soon as we got off the boat and walked out the gate from the Port Authority, we were given the Ocho Rios Hustle.

"Hey Mon, want cab?"
"Hey Mon, want smoke?"
"Hey Mon, come here look my t-shirts!"
"Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon...Hey Mon..."


My guard was up. Every 5 yards it felt like someone was trying to get us to buy something. Drugs. Souvenirs. Bob Marley crap and more Bob Marley crap.

Laurie, Ethan, Cheryl and I agreed we wanted some jerk chicken. Ritzer and his roomie Merl disappeared into a cab. We walked down the main road in Ocho Rios and eventually gave in to a sales pitch from a man with the build of The Notorious BIG.

"Hey Mon, you want jerk chicken? Come in here. I Big Poppy. I take care you. Best jerk chicken in Jamaica."

Big Poppy was a fat 6'5", 350 lbs. He was dressed in a XXXL green striped short sleeve shirt, matching green pants and matching green baseball cap. He had a silver and gold cross about the size of my hand hanging around his chest which reflected brightly in the sun. He led us into his restaurant and we had a seat. A waiter came by and took our drink orders and gave us menus. Big Poppy continued the Ocho Rios Hustle.

"Hey Mon you like party? You like smoke? I got best party in Jamacia. You like Bob Marley? You like hip-hop? I put on anything you want. Just tell Big Poppy you want. You want some smoke? You like party?"

"Listen Big Poppy," I said. "We've been partying for 2 days straight and all we want to do is eat some jerk chicken."

With that, Big Poppy finally left us alone. The jerk chicken was good. After a quick meal it started raining and we decided we had had enough of Jamaica. I bought an umbrella on the street for $5 and we walked back through the second round of the Ocho Rios Hustle to the Boat.

Back on the Boat we headed to the hot tub and checked out some official merch. I decided to take a 2 hour nap from 6-8 and crashed hard core.

At 9:30pm I made it to the Pool Deck for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Karl D is a Jam Cruise veteran and it seemed like he was everywhere on the Boat that week. We ran into some rough seas and it was as if the Boat was encouraging everyone to dance by swaying us. I always love horns and was into the Tiny Universe set. I saw Karl D playing sax a lot on Jam Cruise 8 but during that set I wrote down "funky flute." Karl D is one baaad mofo.


It wasn't an official costume night, but it seemed like no one was wearing "normal" clothes. I was in the Dharma Jumpsuit again and I met Brandon decked out in his Jesus outfit. I followed Jelly a bit and watched as he used his skills on the ladies. JT and I spent a little time in the Jam Room where Skerik was hosting. When our wanderings took us back to the Pool Deck, it seemed like the volume was turned up to 11. Lotus was playing as fast and loud as Ive seen them and I was into it.

The Lotus slot was 1am-4am, and Kyle Hollingsworth only was playing for an hour from 2-3am, so after 45 min or so of Lotus we wandered back to the Theater where the Dance Police were out in force to see Kyle Hollingsworth's band. This is when I was ambushed by JCTV again. No one should be interviewed on Jam Cruise at 2am...but I was.

"What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" the cute interviewer asked.
"I would dance like I was at a Kyle Hollingsworth show", I responded.

I did my best noodle dance, but the small crowd by the elevators watching the exchange felt I could do better and I even got a couple of Booos.

"What would you do for a Klondike Bar?"

I sighed. I couldn't think of anything clever so I said the first thing that popped into my spun out brain. "I would run like and antelope, out of control!"

I closed my eyes, ran in place then started jumping up and down as hard as I could. I went for it. I earned a few cheers and a tasty ice cream treat. JCTV... if you are out there, please destroy that file.
ADDITION: Pics of the interview by Ice Cream Man/JCTV

I checked out Kyle and then again the Jam Room where I heard George Porter singing Just Kissed My Baby and Steve Kimock was ripping it up on guitar. But I had enough funk that evening and headed back to the Pool Deck where Lotus was still playing their monster set. Lotus was throwing the fuck down. I completely lost my shit when they segued one of their own songs into a Daft Punk's Around The World.

Then, I met Gypsy. The girl in the green wig. Some people you meet over and over again and you never connect. Other people, there is an instant connection. Gypsy had the vibe. That instant was special. I could see her energy and we connected. Ill never forget it. Friends for life. I spent the next couple of hours hanging out with Gypsy.

At some point I finally ran into Scotty B in the Jam Room. I say finally cause it seemed the first 2 days our paths never crossed. Scotty B and I made a commitment to see the sunrise which didn't seem that hard cause at this point it was 5am. Zach Deputy must have sensed there were some Phishheads in the Jam Room and launched into First Tube. It was just a 2 min tease, but it was enough to get our attention. Zach then segued into Superstition. It was straight fire.

I was wearing the crown, but I knew it was time to give it away. I gave my crown to Zach Deputy, The King of Late Night on Jam Cruise 8.

After some pics at sunrise, for me it was time for bed. Scotty B stayed around the pool deck- find out what I missed out on.