Monday, January 31, 2011

MIX: Phish - Horns!

Phish: Horns!

Disc 1
Cars Trucks Buses 03/18/97
Cavern 11/20/98
Mikes Song > 07/25/91
I am Hydrogen >
Weekapaug Groove
The Lizards 07/15/91
The Landlady 07/12/91
Character Zero 03/18/97
Shine A Light 10/31/09
Loving Cup 10/31/09
Touch Me 07/12/91

Disc 2
The Divided Sky 07/14/91
Buried Alive 07/12/91
Bathtub Gin 07/12/91
The Real Me 10/31/95
Donna Lee 07/12/91
Wolfmans Brother 04/04/94
Gumbo 12/02/94
5:15 10/31/95
Stash 07/15/91
Theme From The Bottom 07/21/97

Disc 3
Suzy Greenberg 10/31/95
Alumni Blues 07/15/91
Tweezer 07/12/91
The Great Curve 10/31/96
Tweezer Reprise 07/12/91
David Bowie 07/12/91
Jesus Just Left Chicago 10/31/95
Crosseyed and Painless 10/31/96
Run Like An Antelope 07/12/91
Ghost 07/09/97

Disc 4
Frankenstein 07/12/91
Julius 04/04/94
Funky Bitch
Caravan 07/15/91
ACDC Bag 07/12/91
Moose The Mooche 07/12/91
Flat Fee 07/12/91
Magilla 07/15/91
You Enjoy Myself 07/09/97


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Go Time! Phish Festival at Watkins Glen, NY on July 1-3

The rumors were true.

The Phish will be throwing down for a 8-set festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York kicking off on Friday July 1st and ending Sunday July 3rd.

I dunno who exactly from our crew is going at the present moment, but rest assured, some/most of us will be in attendance. The July 3-4th shows last summer in Hotlanta were among the hottest of the scorchers of the tour, so you definitely don't want to miss a batch of festy Phish.

Here's a montage video that I show at the Halloween 2009 for Festival 8 in Indio...

See ya in WG for #9.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Juno What?!

Thanks to Clarke to cluing me onto Juno What?! They are self-described: "America's newest contribution to the late 70's-early 80's-inspired, high energy, funk-disco, synth bass, electronica genre."

Here's a bit of them performing live in Boulder...

Click here to DOWNLOAD their new album "Shameless" for free.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Casey Jones Video

Feeling very connected to Jerry Garcia right now because have been listening to the Dead at work today, so I figured that I share a video of Casey Jones...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pick's Mix - LetSDance

My buddy Pickle writes from Tahoe:

"Ive been sitting on this for a bit, tweaking a few things. But I mainly wanted to create a thick, heavy, juicy, block-filled, geometric, LSD freakout, dance party mix. There's been some cool artists i've stumbled upon this year and few others taking their music to some serious levels.

I complied a few booty-dropping, hand swatting, squat-thrusting songs sure to get a party crunk.

Njoy you freaks!"

Pickle has mixed the tracks so they flow together, it is meant to be played in order. Have fun.


Pick's Mix - LetSDance

01 MLK/MJ Mashup - Beats Antique
02 Leftfield Podcast Snipet - Bassnectar
03 Robo Booty - Opiuo
04 Who Got Juice - Gramatik
05 Ghosts n Stuff - Love and Light - (ProBiotiks Mix)
06 Dont Put Your Guard Down - Pretty Lights
07 Smashers and Mashers Podcast Snipet - Bassnectar
08 Creamy Taco - Opiuo
09 Bitter Pill To Swallow - Saqi
10 Ruck - Tipper
11 Red Baron of WW3 - Gramatik
12 Certified Air Raid Podcast Snipet - EdiT
13 Straight From Machines Podcast Snipet - Kraddy
14 Ask Your Friends - Pretty Lights
15 Funky Fresh - King Britt

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Phishy Rumors: Dave Matthews and Oxy Trey

I'm loving the Dave Matthews Phishy rumors that blew up on Twitter today. If it ends up being true, I'm hoping to see a little Dave and Oxy Trey Reprise.

This video features an epic schwasted Trey. He doesn't even know how to play Everyday, which makes Dave a bit embarrassed, but he fights back a wave of laughter and guts through the song even though Trey is desperately and unsuccessfully trying to seg into Bathtub Gin.

My favorite part is at the 4:48 mark when a faded Trey turned over his acoustic and tried to play percussion.

MIX: Phish - PHunk

The Ampersand Compilations continue this week with "PHunk", featuring the funkiest Phish from 1997. Check back next Tuesday for the final Ampersand Compilation, "Phish: HORNS!"
all tracks are SBD quality.


Disc 1
ACDC Bag 12/30/97
Boogie on a Reggae Woman > 12/07/97
Cars Trucks and Buses 03/08/97
Izabella > 12/30/97
Harry Hood 12/30/1997


Disc 2
Punch You in the Eye> 12/11/97
Down With Disease> 12/11/1997
Maze 12/11/1997
Down With Disease Reprise 12/11/1997
Wolfmans Brother 11/19/97
Disc 3
Tube > 12/07/97
Slave To The Traffic Light 12/07/1997
Nicu 12/29/97
Vultures 07/22/97
Fire 11/17/97
Ghost 11/17/1997


Disc 4
Drowned > 12/11/97
Roses Are Free 12/11/97
Mikes Song > 07/22/1997
Simple> 07/22/1997
I am Hydrogen 07/22/1997
Weekapaug Groove 03/01/97
Runaway Jim > 07/22/97
My Soul 07/22/1997
Disc 5
Olivia's Pool > 11/17/97
Johnny B Goode. 11/17/1997
Psycho Killer > 12/07/97
Jesus Left Chicago 12/07/1997
You Enjoy Myself 11/17/97
Disc 6
Sneaking Sally Through The Ally > 12/30/97
Taste 12/30/1997
Halley's Comet > 08/16/1997
Cities > 08/16/1997
LLama 08/16/1997
Black Eyed Katy > 12/30/97
Sneaking Sally Through The Ally reprise 12/30/1997


Disc 7
Bathtub Gin 08/17/1997
Reba 12/07/1997
Timber 12/07/1997
Limb By Limb 08/16/97
Frankenstein 12/30/1997
Crossroads 12/29/1997


Disc 8
Tweezer 11/17/97
Run Like An Antelope 12/29/97
Fluffhead 12/29/1997
Tweezer Reprise 02/16/1997
Cavern 04/05/98

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bryan Lewis Saunders: Self-Portraits on Different Drugs

My buddy Dan pointed out a project by artist Bryan Lewis Saunders who created multiple self-portraits while on different types of drugs. The PCP-induced portrait is insane. My favorite is the "Lortab" one not to mention the mushroom inspired painting above.

So check out Bryan Lewis Saunders' Drug project. For more info, read an interview titled Bryan Lewis Saunders Is Chasing the American Dream (By Taking A Lot of Drugs).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Congrats to Change100 and Help Support Indie Writers

First of all, hearty congrats to a member of our Coventry crew, Change100. Last weekend, she won a poker tournament in the Bahamas when she finished in first place in the Ladies (Only) Event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. You can read all about her epic victory here... Beyond the Fairy Tale, Part 1 and Part 2.

Also, my book Lost Vegas is currently being offered up at a 10% discount on Amazon. If you'd like to save a few bucks, you can buy a hard copy over at Amazon.

And if you were fortunate enough to get a Kindle for Christmas or Hanukkah, then you're in luck because Lost Vegas is currently available for Kindles for just $9.99 on Amazon! You can buy a Kindle copy and e-book version of Lost Vegas here.

Thanks for all of your support.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bad Phish Shows

Phish can't win. The haters hate everything and the converts can never see their heroes do any wrong. I've seen 222 shows and it all boils down to this...on any given night Phish can/will smoke the shit out of the room/venue, but sometimes, they have an off night or take a risk and fall short of the mark. That's the beauty and magic of Phish and why I travel all over the place to see them because you never know what you're gonna miss if you decide to skip a show.

It's hard for me to tell you about my Top 10 shows of all time. Sure, I can blurt out a few off the top of my head (Millennium show, Fukukoa, Gorge 98) that I absolutely loved but in all honestly, it's hard for me to come up with more than a handful of shows that I thought were utterly awful. Well, you know one of those shows that I thought sucked camel balls -- the third and final night in Broomfield, Colorado. And let's not forget about last summer and that first set at Deer Creek after Telluride was a trainwreck. Don't think that the band didn't notice their subpar performances because Phish definitely bounced back with authority from both missteps and as a result I got treated to a couple of fantastic evenings: the two-night throwdown in Charleston as a response to the Broomfield bomb, and the smoking Alpine Valley shows (Night #1 and Night #2) that got the band back on track after derailing in Deer Creek.

In short, sometimes you can't have the good without experiencing the bad. Lucky for us, Phish has played substantially more epic shows than ones we'd rather not speak about so to not upset the herd.

Anyway, the gang at recently posted a spectacular article... Bad Moments in Phishtory. Here's a bit...
Trey broke a guitar string 11/29/96 (as did guest Del McCoury 7/18/99) – and his foot during the 4/10/94 soundcheck (see show notes for 4/14/94, 4/20/94, 4/21/94, and 4/23/94). He also apologized for being out of tune 4/6/85, aborted "Guelah" 12/6/91 due to guitar troubles, and got frustrated enough with his rig that he began kicking it during the 11/8/96 "Simple" (which was followed by "Loving Cup", with the lyrics "I know I play a bad guitar"). At 11/22/92, Trey said Fish was mad at him because he "fucked up the ending" to "Axilla" – though exactly three years later, Trey accused Fish of screwing up "Rift" so badly they had to abort the song... MORE
So what was your worst Phish show? Did it happen during the Oxy years? Please share your worst Phish Bad Beat story. The winner gets a free nitrous balloon.

"Just Say No to THE Phish"

Man, oh man. Where do I start?

You better read this hysterical article written by a bunch of slandering Jesus Freaks before Shapiro and Phish's legal team slaps them with a cease and desist order... Just Say No to the Phish.

Here's a bit of the madness via Christwire:
What The Phish does is far worse. More than any other band out there today, they have devoted countless hours and incredible financial resources to crossing the country in search of new converts. They are continuously “on tour” performing at venues large and small, prowling for intimate personal contact with the youth of America. Any group of people that makes such a calculated effort to insert itself into the lives of the innocent should surely raise the eyebrows of concerned parents. For The Phish, their modus operandi is to induce the naïve with promises of sexual pleasure and peer acceptance. Like serial killer Charles Manson, they lower inhibitions through hardcore drug use. As with false prophet Jim Jones, the price for such kicks is a complete dedication to their larger agenda.
Actually, just read the bit of satire yourself. The comments are equally piss-myself-funny.

Thanks to @TweeterReprise for the H/T.

2011 Jazz Fest Lineup Announced

The lineup for this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has been announced. Lots of usual suspects and few curveballs for the annual throw down in the Big Easy.

Here's the lineup that I cut and paste from the Jazzfest website...
2011 Jazz Fest Line Up: Arcade Fire, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, Wilco, The Neville Brothers, Willie Nelson, The Strokes, Robert Plant & the Band of Joy, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sonny Rollins, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, John Legend & The Roots, Wyclef Jean, The Avett Brothers, Dr. John, Cyndi Lauper, Lupe Fiasco, Mumford & Sons, Alejandro Sanz, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Mystikal, Allen Toussaint, Bobby Blue Bland, Fourplay, Marcia Ball, RAM of Haiti, Jason Mraz, Jesse Winchester, Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Better Than Ezra, Arlo Guthrie, Jamey Johnson, Fantasia, The Radiators’ farewell, Cowboy Mouth, Kenny G, Irma Thomas, The Decemberists, Vickie Winans, Gregg Allman Blues Band, Pete Fountain, Lucinda Williams, Galactic, Robert Cray, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Keb’ Mo’, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Edie Brickell, Amos Lee, Ahmad Jamal, Rance Allen, Ricky Skaggs, John Boutté, Tabou Combo of Haiti, Papa Grows Funk, Rebirth Brass Band, Tab Benoit, Sonny Landreth, Henry Butler, Glen David Andrews, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Ron Carter Trio, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Terence Blanchard, Boukman Eksperyans of Haiti, Maceo Parker with special guest Pee Wee Ellis, Ivan Lins, Michelle Shocked, Charlie Musselwhite, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Stay tuned for more information on late night shows. You know Galactic and company are going to throw down and play shows til sunrise.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mehchella? 2011 Coachella Lineup Announced

Hipsters were eagerly awaiting the annoucement for weeks for the 2011 Coachella lineup. I dunno and maybe it's me, but this year's line up seems... meh. I mean, in the past there's always been the hot indie band du jour that everyone wants to see (this year it'll be Mumford and Sons), along with a few more "mainstream" or "throwback" acts (like previously Prince and Leonard Cohen). I guess for aging hipsters, The Strokes fits that bill as both a mainstream and throwback act. I dunno if Duran Duran is too obscure enough to get hipster cred.

Here's the lineup that I cut and paste from the press release...
2011 Coachella Artist List: !!!, 12th Planet, Afrojack, Alf Alpha, Andy C, Angus and Julia Stone, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, A-Trak, Axwell, Beardyman, Best Coast, Big Audio Dynamite, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Bomba Estereo, Boys Noize, Brandon Flowers, Brandt Brauer Frick, Breakage, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, Cage the Elephant, Caifanes, Caspa, Cee Lo Green, Chromeo, Chuckie, City and Colour, Clare Maguire, Cold Cave, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, CSS, Cults, Cut Copy, Daedelus, Death From Above 1979, Delorean, Delta Sprirt, DJ Hype, DJ Kentaro, DJ Marky, DJ Zinc, Duck Sauce, Duran Duran, EE, Elbow, Electric Touch, Eliza Doolittle, Ellie Goulding, Emicida, Empire of the Sun, Erick Morillo, Erykah Badu, Excision, Fat Freddy's Drop, Fedde Le Grand, Fistful of Mercy, Flogging Molly, Foals, Foster the People, Francis and the Lights, Freelance Whales, fun., G.Q., Gayngs, Glasser, Gogol Bordello, Good Old War, Gord Downie, Goth Trad, Green Velvet, Gypsy and the Cat, HEALTH, Here We Go Magic, High Contrast, Hurts, Interpol, Jack Beats, Jack's Mannequin, Jakes, Jenny and Johnny, Jimmy Eat World, Joachim Garraud, Joy Orbison, Kanye West, Kele, Kings of Leon, Klaxons, Kode9, Kyle Hall, Laidback Luke, Leftfield, Lightning Bolt, Lil' B, Lorn, Los Bunkers, Magnetic Man, , Mariachi El Bronx, Marina and the Diamonds, Mary Anne Hobbs, MEN, Menomena, Monarchy, Mount Kimbie, Moving Units, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mumford & Sons, Nas & Damian Marley, Neon Trees, New Pants, Nosaj Thing, OFF!, OFWGKTA, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, One Day as a Lion, Ozomatli, Paul van Dyk, Phantogram, Phosphorescent, PJ Harvey, Plan B, Ramadanman, Raphael Saadiq, Ras G, Ratatat, Riva Starr, Robyn, Roska, Rye Rye, Sander Kleinenberg, Sasha, SBTRKT, Scala & Kolacny Bros., Scissor Sisters, She Wants Revenge, Shpongle, Skrillex, Sleigh Bells, Steve Angello, Sven Vath, Take, Tame Impala, Terror Danjah, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, The Aquabats, The Black Keys, The Chemical Brothers, The Drums, The Felice Brothers, The Henry Clay People, The Joy Formidable, The Kills, The London Suede, The Love Language, The Morning Benders, The National, The New Pornographers, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Presets, The Radio Dept., The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Strokes, The Swell Season, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Twelves, Thunderball, Tinie Tempah, Titus Andronicus, Tokimonsta, Trampled by Turtles, Trentemoller, Twin Shadow, Two Door Cinema Club, Warpaint, Wire, Wiz Khalifa, Yacht, Yelle and Zed Bias.

Click here to buy Coachella tickets.
What I'm saying is that although I live in Los Angeles, I'm not willing to make the trek out to Indio on April 15th to see this year's Coachella festival because there's not enough fire power in the lineup to justify me spending the hefty ticket price to hang out in the sweltering desert for a three days with humorless hipsters and uber-chatty LA douchebags. Besides, after the shakedown from security entering the polo grounds for Phish's Festival 8, I really don't have any desire to go back and have more weed taken from me.

For those of you who love Coachella or will be going this year, I hope I'm totally wrong and you have a kick ass time. Definitely check out Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears...they became a new favorite of mine over the last few months.

Update: Thanks to Phil for sharing a mix of some of his favorite bands performing at Coachella this year. You can listen here: Coachella Mix.

Punch You In The Eye in 8-bit

Via @BTreotch and @YEMBlog, a Nintendo cover of PYITE. Would have loved to play a Gamehendge style role-playing adventure on the old NES system, a la Legend of Zelda. Dunno if a 30-minute Tweezer would fit on a single cartridge, tho.

Search a bit and you'll find Divided Sky and Stash remakes as well.

Nutritious Video: Jam Cruise

Here's Zoe's latest video (via Zoe Cam) featuring Nutritious during a set at Jam Cruise...

You can also check out Nutritious' latest track Indecent Exposure.

Grace Potter NYE Video: Oye Como Va

Check out Grace Potter during her "Big Lebowski" NYE's show at the Higher Ground in Burlington when she and the crew performed Oye Como Va...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

STS9 Cancels Winter/Spring 2011 Tour

A letter from Murph:

"Greetings Family, Friends, and Fans,

I’m writing to share with y’all some news I’ve received recently. I have just been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor primarily in my sinus cavity (a type of internal skin cancer). It will require an extensive surgery followed by a couple month long recovery periods. There will be some treatment for the cancer following also but at this time we aren’t fully aware of what that will entail and at this time we are just focusing on the task at hand which is the surgery.

With this news comes a bit of bad news for our upcoming shows. We will have to cancel all of our upcoming shows in Feb and March in order to fully get after taken care of this little health issue to the fullest, and we will do just that. There is nothing more in the world I love then playing music and sharing it with all of you and we will continue to do it for a long time together and all I ask for is y’all’s thoughts and prayers during this time of recovery!

We will still be performing in Mexico this weekend before my upcoming surgery, so for y’all down there...

Let’s do this... Boom!

We’ll send appropriate updates as we get them through out the process."

- Murph

All of us at Coventry send our love and support to Mr. David Murphy, and wish him a fast and safe recovery.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gordo Tour Dates

While Phish is on their winter break, Mike Gordon is also getting his band on the road and playing a few gigs in March including a slew of shows in Colorado and a duo of gigs for the hipsters in Brooklyn.
Mike Gordon Band Tour Dates:
March 5 - McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR
March 6 - Van Duzer Theatre, Arcata, CA
March 7 - Crystal Bay Club, Casino Crystal Bay, NV
March 8 - Tue Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA
March 9 - Wed House of Blues, San Diego, CA
March 11 - Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, AZ
March 12 - Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO
March 13 - Belly Up, Aspen, CO
March 14 - Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
March 15 - Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
March 17 - Pageant, St. Louis, MO
March 18 - The Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
March 19 - Center Stage, Atlanta, GA
March 20 - Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
March 22 - Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
March 23 - Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
March 25 - State Theatre, Falls Church, VA
March 26 - Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
For more info about tickets, head over to Gordo's site.

So when are Fishman and Page gonna get together and do their own two-man side project? I was gonna say that McFish sounds good, but Fishman already has one band named after that part of his surname. So how about "McMan" as a side project with Fish and Page?

MIX: Machine Gun Trey

Another great compilation from our buddy, "ampersand".
All tracks are SBD quality and feature the entire version of the song.

Phish - Machine Gun Trey

Disc 1
Down With Disease (12/01/1995)
Brother (03/20/1992)
Down With Disease Jam (12/31/1993)
Amazing Grace Jam (05/08/1993)
Tweezer (12/02/1995)
Julius (10/31/1994)
Maze (06/11/1994)
Split Open And Melt (12/31/1993)

Disc 2
Ghost (07/06/1998)
Weekapaug Groove (03/20/1992)
David Bowie --> Mind Left Body Jam --> David Bowie (06/18/1994)
Walk Away (06/17/2010)
Chalkdust Torture (07/16/1994)
Fire (12/31/1992)

Disc 3
Llama (12/31/1993)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (10/31/1994)
Reba (08/16/1993)
Izabella (12/30/1997)
Run Like An Antelope (12/04/1995)
Harry Hood (12/31/1993)

Disc 4
Slave To The Traffic Light (08/17/1996)
Possum (05/17/1992)
Piper (12/29/2003)
Simple (11/18/1996)
Crossroads (05/08/1993)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Trey Tour Dates

While Phish is on a winter break, Trey is getting TAB on the road with a couple of West Coast gigs and two nights in Denver. This tour will feature the return of the acoustic set (or a great excuse to play Phish songs).
Trey Anastasio Band Winter Tour Dates:
February 18 - State Theatre, Portland, ME
February 19 - Palace Theatre, Albany, NY
February 20 - House of Blues, Boston, MA
February 22 - Terminal 5, New York, NY
February 23 - Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
February 25 - Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
February 26 - LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
February 27 - Riviera, Chicago, IL
March 1 - Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
March 2 - Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
March 4 - Music Box, Los Angeles, CA
March 5 - Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA
Visit Trey's site for more info on tickets.

Hope to see ya at the show in Hollywood. Let me know if you have any extras.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jam Cruise Recap: Day 5 - Lost My Mind Just A Couple Of Times

Day 5 on Jam Cruise is the last day, or night, or however you want to cut it up. I was still up that morning hearing Brock Butler on the Pool Deck and slept from about 7:30am-12:15pm. I set an alarm to get me up because there was something I definitely did not want to miss - I had a rehearsal with Wyllys for a special Phishy performance later that afternoon. I showed up at Wade's room (aka Wyllys) and we discussed ideas for how to perform the Phish classic Sanity.

I was invited to participate in the Wyllys/Brock collaboration by Scott Bernstein of Hidden track. I had never met Wade or Brock before Jam Cruise 9. Wade has a strong personality, and I knew I loved the guy right away. He and I share a passion for music, especially Phish, and he isn't afraid to say "fuck the haters." I had fun hangin with Wade for the next couple of hours. We went to artist signing to track down a few artists who were going to help him out in his set.

I tried to convince Tony Hall to play Trey Anastasio band songs w/ Zach Deputy later that night in the Jam Room. Tony actually showed Zach the chords to "Money Love and Change" right in front of me and Zach said he would like to work in First Tube somehow later that night. It ended up not happening, but it was still cool to see Tony and Zach interact.

The rest of the afternoon was enjoyed on the pool deck waiting for my big debut as a backup dancer and singer for Brock and Wyllys. It was such a thrill and I will never forget it. Check out the video:

Every year Jam Cruise has an Awards Show, to recognize cruisers and artists who were standouts. Austin Michelle + Crew won "best dressed" and Brandon got the "perpetual motion" award. I was proud friends of mine were recognized for their awesomeness. I say it over and over again - there are many things not on the schedule that make Jam Cruise special, and more than anything else its the people who go on Jam Cruise that make the trip amazing.

After the awards show I checked out Garage A Trois in Zebra lounge. Some friends have said that set was their favorite of the week, but I was tired and I was not that into it. I would have paid $1,000 for a foot massage at that point.

The last night of Jam Cruise was an official theme night. For Jungle Boogie I was in full disco helmet, jacket, and pants. The whole boat was decked out once again in their sharpest disco gear.

The Rhythm Devils played in the Theater and again they sounded great. I took the opportunity to enjoy most of the set in a plush chair and rest my feet. I have to admit, my dogs were barking after raging all week. At the Rhythm Devil's set I made the best trade I have made in quite a while. I traded my Colorado friend Susi the visor disco helmet in exchange for a pair of capes. Susi is going to make a custom cape for me, and also make one for my baby who is due June 26. The baby rager will be looking sharp! (Yup, im gonna be a daddy this Summer!)

I got to catch almost all of Lotus on pool deck. Mike was ripping on guitar and I took out my ear plugs for one of the first times on the voyage to get rocked. I loved it.

After the Lotus set ended the time had finally come for us to destroy the Darth Vader pinata. I hung it on the pool deck and had been gathering candy, condoms, toys, buttons, stickers, glitter, and other random fun things all week to put in the pinata. I blindfolded and spun around 3 Touch of Class girls - Lauren Y, then Lalia, and finally tiny Hillary broke open Darth Vader with a lighsaber. A crowd decended like vulures to get the goodies. It was a hilarious scene and I think a Jam Cruise pinata tradition has started.

The Disco and jam rooms shut down a little early by Jam Cruise standards. There was no music left at 5am and we were racing towards the port at Ft. Lauderdale. The worst part of Jam Cruise is certainly the end, getting off the boat. No one has slept for days and some don't stop partying until they set foot on land and go through customs. Overall getting off the boat was better than last year and there were no problems for passengers getting off.

Once off the boat I joked that I instantly lose power from the energy crystal they keep on the MSC Poesia to keep us dancing all week. The scene at the airport was a sad sight of weary jam cruisers sleeping on the floor at the terminal waiting for their flights to take us back to reality.

My second Jam Cruise has solidified my opinion that there is no better vacation than Jam Cruise for a music addict like me. Its my favorite, and I never want to miss another one. You can pre-book here. If its your first time on Jam Cruise, please use my real name as a referral. There is nothing to do now but plan for Jam Cruise 10. See you next year!

Want more? Check out Dave Vann's amazing photo gallery of Jam Cruise 9!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jam Cruise Recap: Day 4 - Kickball, Dancing Bears and Another Sunrise

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!! Boom!!!!

I woke with a start. Where was I? What is that banging?

It took me a moment to figure out that I was deep into the Jam Cruise bender and someone was about to knock down my door. I opened the door to find Andre and the Touch of Class crew filling up the hallway. It was about 8am, we were docked in Costa Maya, Mexico, and there were Mimosas to be drank before we played Jam Cruise Kickball. I got dressed quickly and decided it was time to break out the Disco Ball helmet. I might need some protection in a game of kickball in Mexico, I thought.

We went to a sit down breakfast in the restaruant. To say we were a shit show was an understatement.

Everyone but me had been up all night, and we got to ordering a gourmet breakfast feast along with bottles of champagne and orange juice. If it had been a restaurant in the "real world", we probably would have been kicked out. But on Jam Cruise, this behavior is tolerated. No, encouraged. We ordered at least 6 bottles of champagne for 11 people and drank mimosas. One friend fell asleep next to me while Marc demanded extra hollandaise sauce for his breakfast.

Michelle and Rob had given me a palm sized disco ball to go around my neck, and I got the idea at breakfast that I wanted to attach the disco ball to the top of my disco ball helmet.

"I know its not on the menu," I asked a waiter, "But do you know where I can get a screw?" I was directed to the front desk to talk to a customer servce attendant.

"Do you know where I can get a screw?" I asked the attractive Italian MSC cruise line employee behind the desk. She resisted at first and it was a little awkward. But, drunk at 9am and 4 days into the bender that is Jam Cruise, I wasn't backing down.

"Well dont things break on the boat sometimes? Arent there carpenters or someone like that who have a tool box?"

The customer service girl shrugged and asked me to wait. She disappeared somewhere and I stood by myself in the atrium. She was gone for a couple of minutes and I became bored. There was a ballot box in front of me for the Jam Cruise awards show. I was curious so I opened up the ballot box to read what people had voted on.

The Italian customer service girl comes back and was horrified I had opened the ballot box. "YOU CANNOT LOOK IN THERE!" she scolded me. I was being treated like I was trying to fix Gore vs Bush in 2000. "We dont have a screw and YOU CANNOT LOOK IN THERE!"

I laughed and responded. "How do you know I can't look in the ballot box?!? I'm Lord Disco Ball, I can do whatever I want." I was being a complete jackass. Kudos to MSC employees for putting up with me all week.

I eventually found a stray screw on the pool deck near the main stage. I attached the small disco ball to my helmet and started telling other Jam Cruisers the story of how when two disco balls meet and love each other...they produce a baby disco ball. How cute.

Hillary organized a bus to take us from the port to a field near the beach in Costa Maya to play kickball. She had even coordinated a beer and food vendor as well as massage tables next to the kickball field. Somehow about 40 cats got herded to the correct bus. We divided up into teams - Up All Night vs Went To Bed.
It was a bloodbath. Up all night kicked our asses, mostly thanks to Adderall. Link to Kickball video - watch me score :12 seconds

Again we were treated to beautiful weather and after the kickball game we hung out on the beach for a bit. I did some shopping and was attracting a lot of attention with the disco ball helmet. Mexican merchants tried to get me to come over to their store, with calls and offers as I walked down the boardwalk. I began to respond to their calls with "Picture with me, $2 dollars."

About 3 o'clock I headed back to the ship. Another excursion off the boat that seemed to fly by.

Back on boat the schedule had Taylor Hicks hosting the Gong Show and ALO doing Rock Star Karaoke. I wanted to check them out but I took advantage of the break in the music schedule to take a much needed nap.

After my nap Lauren, Rob, Michelle and I ate a big dinner again. Tonight was lobster night. Rob explained to our waiter we were in a hurry to get our food, and that we didnt want it brought out in courses. He suggested bringing out the food all at once. We all orderd lobster and filet minon. The waiter responeded by bringing Rob dinner last, and seemingly slower than the service of the tables around us. Finally when our steaks were served we took the steaks "to go" and snuck out of the dining room and up to the pool deck for a few songs of God Street Wine.

We caught most of  Karl Denson in the Theater. Wow, what an amazing set! There were times when some of it sounded like Pink Floyd w guitars ripping, and a few times Karl D stepped back to let the band work. As you would expect, there were lots of guests including Anders Osborne, Tony Hall and Mike Dillon. The last song had lots of horns and it reminded me of a early '00s Trey Anastasio Band jam with horns blaring and guitars ripping.

Next we headed back to the pool deck where the New Mastersounds were playing their unique style of funk. I don't know what it is, but I like the New Mastersounds funk more than the New Orleans funk. Again there were lots of guests - Mike dillon on percussion, Robert Walter on rhodes and the Lee Boys slide guitarist added a lot to the mix.
Still buzzing from the amazing whomp set the night before from Big Gigantic, Lauren and I left the New Mastersounds a few minutes early to get a good spot for the throwdown in the Zebra Lounge. I was fun to see Big Gigantic again, but there was a few repeats from the night before on the pool deck. The sweaty wompy dance party returned. Deitch, Krasno, and Brock Butler sat in for a couple songs and I danced so hard I had to take a shower after the show.

Around 3am I returned to the Pool Deck where The Rhythm Devils were having a Grateful Dead sing along. I ran into The colorado girls dressed as dancing bears and we got into the classic songs. Every over 50 person on the boat was out and getting down. It gave me hope that my knees will be good enough for me to jam to Phish in the middle of the night in 20 years.

I thought the Rhythm Devils sounded great - much better than Bob Weir, and dare I say, better than the Red Rocks Furthur show I saw earlier in 2010. Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips is a fantastic front man and Davy Knowles on guitar/vocals is no slouch either. Kimock sat in, adding delicate and beautiful guitar licks that complimented Knowles' unique lead guitar. I defintiely want to listen to this one again.

Late night had Bujak in disco again, and jam room packed but I wasnt into either one of those options. I had an hour long spun out conversation about physics with Zeke at the back of the boat, as I was waiting around waiting for something to happen.

Just as I was about to give up hope of something cool happening I found Brock Butler was again playing acoustic on the pool deck. A stray old hippie tried to play guitar over Brock and...well check out Scotty B's account of the morning in his recap, he tells the story better than I can.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jam Cruise Recap: Day 3 - Big Gigantic Clowns

I woke up on Day 3 without a plan other than I wanted to get off the boat and check out the beach at Roatan, Honduras. Rob, Michelle, Lauren and I negotiated with a cab driver to take us to a popular beach.  It was a quick 15 min cab ride, and we enjoyed the perfect 80 degree weather and sandy beach. We got a couple buckets of beer and swam in the ocean. I wore a Roman Centurion apron to make my abs look good. There were locals walking up and down the beach trying to sell their services and wares to the tourists. I borrowed guitar from a local to play "Cities" for a small group of jam cruisers.

After a couple of hours on the beach in Honduras we headed back on the boat. My legs were starting to get sore and I sat in the hot tub to loosen up my body a little bit. No where else but Jam Cruise can you sit in a hot tub and listen to music on a stage. The Easy All Stars played an afternoon set mixed with originals and their Pink Floyd and Beatles covers. I wish they had played more songs off of Radiodread but their version of Lucky was awesome.

The day seemed to fly by and already it was 6:30pm. We had a big sit down dinner with Lauren, Michelle, Rob, Rachel and Tres. Last year I didnt take advantage of the restaurant and I was very happy to eat some gourmet food instead of the buffet in the cafeteria. I enjoyed a delicious salmon dinner with a large fresh salad. Fuel for a dance machine. Rob encouraged the waiter to keep it moving and we ate in about an hour.

After dinner we headed to the Zebra Lounge  to check out Zach Deputy. It wasn't quite as packed as it was for New Mastersounds the night before, but it was very full. Zach broke out a fun version of Ice Ice Baby and had a lot of sit ins from other musicians on the boat. Zach is a great solo artist, but after seeing him in the Jam Room and sit-ins with other bands, I think (hope) Zach will form a band with all-stars from the boat. Zach really shines as a leag guitarist with a band and has a fantastic voice.

Somehere along the way on the Jam Cruise Forum it was decided "unofficially" that night 3 was Porno Clown night. As day turned into night clowns started appearing everywhere. I was skeptical of the idea for a clown night on the boat, as most of the time I think clowns are creepy. It turned out the Porno Clown night had a lot of creativity and it was pretty fun. There was one clown in particular that had everyone talking - this clown had a big silver penis and would sometimes fuck this girl with a clown pussy for onlookers. A strange act for sure. It was weird, it was shocking...but not really that weird and shocking after being on Jam Cruise for a couple of days.

Next up was Big Gigantic on the pool deck. I have known drummer Jeremy Salken since 2005 and first saw Big Gigantic play a house party 2 or 3 years ago outside of Boulder. It felt good to have a connection to someone who has risen up from playing in local bands in Colorado to the largest stage on Jam Cruise. Plus, Jeremy and Dominic are all round awesome guys.

We were all anticipating a great set, but Big Gigantic absolutely hit a home run. They started off strong and never let up. It was a non-stop two hour sweaty dance party. I saw people dancing harder for Big Gigantic than they have for anything else on Jam Cruise 9. The sound was huge and everyone who had not seen the duo before was amazed that there were only 2 people on stage. The Colorado crew was proud and Big Gigantic had their coming out party for the jam band community. Everyone took note of that performance and I believe they have graduated to the next level.

After Big G we continued the jamtronica theme and headed to the late night show with Lotus in the Theater. Lotus always plays their best on Jam Cruise and the Theater set was no exception. I hit the wall that night about 3:30 am and had to go to sleep. My only regret of that night is missing out on George Porter. Jr. hosting the Jam Room, but try as I might I just couldnt stay up till sunrise 3 nights in a row.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jam Cruise Recap: Day 2 - Unicorn Polo, Future Jam

Around noon on Day 2 I woke up and made my way to the pool deck. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky. I found it was a perfect time to sit, sip some drinks, listen to music and have craft time. I brought materials to make disco ball helmets with my good friends JD and Coteff during Cornmeal and Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.

Earlier in the year I had mentioned to my buddy Brandon about an idea for Jam Cruise - Unicorn Polo. The idea was for us to have unicorns on a stick and run around playing an imaginary polo game. Brandon headed up getting shirts printed up and we wore them during the afternoon Dumphstaphunk set. A group of girls from Austin headed up by Michelle had decided that they were going to participate in Unicorn Polo, but not with the Unicorns on a Stick and Tshirts. The austin girls got decked out as Unicorns. They stole the show, as you can see from the pics they looked amazingly hott as unicorns and the whole ship was taking pics.
After an afternoon on the pool deck playing Unicorn Polo and enjoying the amazing Jimi Hendrix covers from the Jam Cruise supergroup Some Big Cat From Japan, it was time for a costume change. It was a little early in the evening, but I couldn't wait to get decked out for Future Jam night as Boba Fett from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
I got dressed early because I wanted to make the Jam Cruise wedding. I was excited about the union of two Jam Cruise mascots - Dusty's blow up monkey Kramer had made a big debut on Jam Cruise 8, and he was smitten with Lizzy's blow up monkey Rosario. Rosario was a fixture everywhere on Jam Cruise 9. Sadly, Rosario got cold feet and left Kramer at the altar. So it goes on Jam Cruise - no other place can I find myself dressed as a Star Wars character consoling a blow up monkey about a runaway bride.

I  have to say that obviously I love costumes, and The Future Jam night was one of the best costume nights I have ever expereinced. It was fun to see the reactions of the staff of the boat as I walked around the with freaks in the Boba Fett costume- they have to think we are crazy. There was a Future Jam Fashion Show, where everyone showed off their costumes. One standout was a guy dressed in a Lucasfilm quality Wookie costume. I think a girl painted in all silver won, but really everyone on the boat who saw the craziness was a winner. Check out the galleries of the pro photographers - Dave Vann, Monaghan PhotographyJeffrey Dupris , Andrew Wyatt and Chad Smith have some amazing shots up on Facebook. Friend them on Facebook to take a look at their Jam Cruise galleries.

Next up in the evening was a trip back up to the pool deck to check out Galactic. If there is royalty on the boat it is most certainly Galactic, who have been on every Jam Cruise. There were tons of sit ins, and as I expected it was an awesome set. I especially enjoyed hearing Bongo Joe, and Corey Glover's (formerly of Living Colour) singing was fantastic. Galactic's pool deck set is definitely on the list of recordings to hunt down.

After Galactic ended we headed to the smallest venue on the boat, the Zebra Lounge, to check out The New Mastersounds. Usually on Jam Cruise there is plently of room for everyone, but not this time. It was hot as fuck, packed, I couldn't get close, couldn't see or hear - the whole boat wanted to be in there. Karl Denson and Maceo Parker sat in with The New Mastersounds and what I heard sounded amazing. I was sweating like a pig in the Boba Fett costume and eventually had to bring back the helmet to my room and take a shower.

After my shower, but still wearing the Boba Fett body armor I headed back to the Pool Deck for Lettuce late night. As I expected it was a classic set of Funky Lettuce. Towards the end of their set they fucked with anyone who may have been tripping and did some sort of dissonant jam that had everyone losing their minds.

After Lettuce ended I went to check out Bujak in the disco. Most of us were calling Bujak a DJ, but he is much more than that. Bujak is an amazing keyboardist who live loops remixes and sounds with his keys live. He has a unique dirty distored tone on his keys and it was perfect for the late night party for Future Jam.

I enjoyed Bujak for a while, but then was going to head to the Jam Room. By now its 4am and traditionally the Jam Room goes to 5:30 or 6am. The rumor reached the pool deck not to head down there because The Jam Room was "closed" because they didnt have any musicians to play. Weak Sauce. The Jam Room closing early that night was really the only minor disappointment of my experience on Jam Cruise 9. At the time I was pretty mad about it. But, as things seem to work out magically on Jam Cruise, since I wasnt in the Jam Room I caught a Brock Butler sunrise set in the area of the Pool Deck.

Brock ran though acoustic covers of I and Love and You (the Avett Bros), Float On (Modest Mouse), Mr. Brownstone (Guns N Roses), the Super mario Bros theme (including the underground theme and made the chime coin sound on guitar) - it was magic. Brock ended his set with Naive Melody, a personal favorite and it gave me goose bumps as we sang "im just an animal, searching for a home"; I truly feel that Jam Cruise is the home ive been searching for, even if I only share that space for a week every year.