Spud has always had a soft spot in his heart for solo acoustic acts. Something about the courage, spirit and soul it takes to win over a crowd all by yourself gets Spud’s spider senses tingling… But Keller Williams wasn’t just any acoustic act, this guy turned his guitar into a symphony, children’s choir, and wash board simultaneously. Needless to say, Cuz was impressed….
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Spud and the Jam in the Van crew just got back from New Orleans… as you can imagine it was a hell of a ride. Check out the first of many Cuz’s Corners from the city that gave birth to Jazz. First up, The London Souls. Though they’re not actually from London Spud took a particular liking to this group for their excessive amount of soul.
Cuz loves burgers and there ain’t no better place to get your burger on than Burgerama III… After two days spent amongst the burger-heads Spud himself emerged a true to the bone cruster. Watch the transformation below…..
It’s never too early to plan your holiday phestivities, so go ahead and mark Friday, December 13 down on your calendar as a night of heady good times. We’re doing our thing again at The Satellite, this time we’ve got Olin and the Moon supported by Fairbanks Music, Rainbow Jackson, and Sadie and the Blue Eyed Devils.
Set times are below, RSVP HERE.
BRING SOME CANNED FOOD NOT ONLY BECAUSE YOU CAN WIN SOME SWEET PRIZES AND GET DISCOUNT TIX IN RETURN, BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT’S A HEADY GOOD THING TO DO, YA’HEARD?
9pm – Fairbanks music
10pm – Olin & The Moon
11pm – Rainbow Jackson
Midnight – Sadie & The Blue Eyed Devils
DJ Sets from the folks at Origami Vinyl all night long.
Oh and if you buy tickets in advance and post a photo of them to Olin and the Moon’s Facebook wall they’ll hook you up with some merch, which is heady, the end…
Last day Bonnaroo blues used to hit me a bit harder I think… Now I’m usually good and ready to split. Sure I get a bit nostalgic about a week down the line when I’m sitting in an office not doing awesome stuff, but in the immediate thereafter I’m stoked on a shower and a good night’s sleep.
So rather then try and get it all in, we take Sunday chill, appreciate what we’ve seen and what we’ve done, some of us even spank off in the tent. Not naming names, but rhymes with loose-man. What can you say, it was a good week, dude had a lot of pent up enjoyment. Yes it was 100 degrees and humid, yes there were five dudes sitting outside the tent unknowing, no, I ain’t mad at that.
Our buddies the Mowglis dropped by for an afternoon session. It was their first Bonnaroo and they were loving it. They jumped right on the AK-47 tequila bottle and to my surprise jumped on some dirty cheeseburgers that I fried up in a pan that was less then sanitary. I figured The Mowglis or part of The Mowglis for vegetarians, but no, turns out The Mowglis love cheeseburgers. They love a lot of things, and they sing about that love pretty damn nicely.
We kicked it with them for a while, and of course they were stoked to chill with Spud. He had a big-ass smile on his face too, and he definitely made it out to their show later in the day and danced his ass off.
Our final session was with He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister. There are in fact a couple other parts to this band then just a brother and a sister, but there is indeed that pairing. Said sister showed up in a long dress. When she emerged from the van after dropping sweat weight during the session, she had shed the length from her dress by detaching the bottom half of the skirt. It was a good look.
They also delivered the first tap dancing percussion ever to be mic’d up in the Jam Van, so look forward to that.
Out and about on the festival grounds we got to take in some hip hop, starting with Action Bronson, AKA Bronsolini. He’s our boy Chach’s hero, and it wasn’t no way Chach was going to let us miss this show. The big guy even gave Chachy a pre-show hi-five and a post-show photo op. It was probably the best day of our boy’s life. Take in mind that the next day Chach would return to his desk as an elevator lawyer (real talk), and so touching the sweat on Bronsolini’s forearm was kind of a big deal.
We followed up Bronsolini with Australia’s own Tame Impala. This was a good time because I got to hit the band with Jam in the Van Bracelets and I also got to hit David Cross with a Jam in the Van bracelet. The music didn’t really stand out too much from any other Tame Impala show that I’ve been to. Just the Jam Van bracelet shooting, that was real.
After Tame Impala we checked out some of The National, which was another set I absolutely had not wanted to miss. So since my friends are such awesome people and totally put my happiness first, they allowed me to watch about one and a half songs before bitching incessantly that The National was boring and they wanted to go see ASVP. The National is not boring, they are awesome. Fughin, awesome. I compromised and saw 3 songs. I need new friends.
From there it was on to ASVP Rocky. We got to catch his pre-show prayer and take a picture of it even though his big security guard said “no pictures fam.” I assumed he was only referring to ASVP’s fam, so I didn’t listen to the request. Having time to reflect on the experience, show included, I’m curious as to what the ASVP Mob prays about before the show. Because during the show they jump around a lot, yell about getting turnt up, degrade women, and call “all the bad bitches up onto the stage” to twerk and get naked. I really dug all of that, but I’m not sure what God or Jesus or whomever they prayed to was going to do towards it. Seems a bit sinful. So maybe they just pray that they have a good show and leave the details for later.
Anyways, Goose Man got to sneak up on stage during the “bad bitch” sequence, and then got himself a pretty tight high five from ASVP after the show. He’s essentially in the mob now. Probably took ASVP Ferg’s spot, because his cameo was less then stellar that day.
Then it all came to an abrupt ending at Petty. My thing with Petty is that I can handle about 2-4 songs in a row. I gave this night about 6, because even though the rain was starting to come down and my body was pretty much resigning for the weekend, it was still the end, and you have to take one last breath.
So I went to sleep with rain pattering on the tent, woke up to take a piss at 4 AM and found my crew partying with Mowglis and Bonnaroo staff in a downpour, shook my head at myself for being too tired to hang, and then went back to sleep only to awake to an epic rain-soaked mess. Packing in a monsoon is not cool. Whoever made off with the brand new tents we left behind, you’re welcome.
No worries though, because it always ends with a Cracker Barrel run, a very dirty, very tired, Cracker Barrel run. The food ain’t never that good, but the waitress is always friendly, always knows you just came from Bonnaroo, and the friends you’re there with usually make it taste as good as it needs to. That’s the end. There ain’t no more. Until next year.
Mark this down as the day that I missed close to everything that I had hoped to see at Bonnaroo because we worked all friggin’ day at the van. Which is a good thing. That in itself was plenty of fun, but it did unfortunately prevent me from seeing some of my favorites. I got no Wilco, I got no Jason Isbell, I got no Calexico, I got no Passion Pit, I got no Jim James, I didn’t even get any Big K.R.I.T..
What I got was five bands at the Jam Van, which turned out to be plenty. Perhaps Stoplight Observations, Futurebirds, Andrew Duhon, Rayland Baxter, or Jonny Fritz will be household names one day, and then I’ll have the last laugh. I’ll be all like, “ha, Big K.R.I.T., who is dat?”
Roo-Friday also marked the arrival of the Perfect Hippie (aka @PerfectHippie on Twitter and Instagram, where he’s pretty viral). He showed up in a dust cloud of patchouli per usual, and brought with him gifts, like the olives that I forgot to buy for our bloody Mary’s, and a hard-drive for the camera guys, and oh yeah, a bunch of lobster tails, because we fancy, and we had very special guests coming on Saturday.
So we kicked it on the bean bag chairs for most of the afternoon/early evening, and listened to a diverse assortment of up and coming musicians shuffle in and out of the van.
There were the youthful Canadians lads of Stoplight Observations attending their first Bonnaroo. They rolled down with their rad tour manager Zach, who had a rad wife. She was rad because when Goose Man whistled at her and said “is that your wife? Damn girl, you are beautiful!,” she did not slap him.
Futurebirds were some chill bros from Athens. They put a dent in our whiskey bottle for sure and had a nice little chat with Spud.
Andrew Duhon and Rayland Baxter each showed up with just a guitar and themselves and they both kind of gave people chills in the hot ass Tennessee summer. The van has a way of really accentuating solo performances and these were a couple of the best we’ve ever had.
Last of the day was Jonny Fritz, who used to be Jonny Corndog, and played the van back at SXSW a couple years back. Mr. Fritz and band-mates put the dagger into the bottle of whiskey, and sweated out a couple of songs even though their front-man was dealing with the effects of a skateboarding accident. He was neck-braced up and his vocals were struggling, so he decided to lay on the ground for his performance. I thought it came off pretty cool. However, based on the time I spent driving Mr. Frtiz back to his I campsite I would have to surmise that he didn’t really feel the same way about the performance or the temperature in the van. Note to self, but another AC unit.
Five bands was enough for the day, and we had liquor that wasn’t whiskey, so I made it away from the van in time to see The Wu Tang Clan mail in a set of muddled yelling. Maybe I was too far back, maybe I was just tired, maybe I’m right and they really did sugh, but whatever, they’re the Wu Tang Clan, and there were most likely a lot of blunts that needed to be smoked before dusk. So I ain’t mad at them, ain’t mad, not one bit. It was still fun. You’re still standing in a field in the middle of nowhere watching the Wu Tang Clan with like twenty-five thousand smiling people. That counts for something, and 25K is a reasonable amount of people to stand in a field with.
Following Wu Tang I would learn that one hundred thousand is not a reasonable amount of people to stand in a field with.
Holy hell Sir Paul, holy hell… That was the most people I think I’ve ever seen at The What stage, and I’ve been to that stage a lot of times, seen a lot of good performances, a lot of big names. Apparently people dig The Beatles.
Mr. McCartney played all the hits, everybody knew the words, everyone was dancing, I want to remember it better, I want to say more then he played “Hey Jude” and “Blackbird,” and all of the songs that you’d want, but it was so damn crowded, and we were having so much fun at the back of that crowd, that I kind of lost it all in a fuzz. I don’t mind that. Music is life’s soundtrack. So it seems that when a genuine, real live Beatle is playing the catalogue, well, the movie gets pretty entertaining.
To close out the night I went to go check out the first of the weekend’s Superjams. It starred the man whom I named my dog after, The RZA, and also featured DJ Jazzy Jeff, Lettuce, Solange, and School Boy Q. The human RZA is a much more talented rapper then the canine RZA. It was a damn good show and a funky way to end the day. So I ended it there, no late late sets, I was so tired that my Bonnaroo tent was comfortable. If you’ve never been, just know that that is saying something…
Every music festival, Bonnaroo in particular, is a blank slate. You leave the shit you showed up with at the door (camping supplies excluded), and you step into a world where smiles are the norm and problems are all relative to the fun you’re having. So with that in mind, please embark upon these memories with us.
This year we sent Spud ahead with the van. Met him in Nashville, Tennessee on a Wednesday. Went straight from the plane to the hardware store, where we spent a few hours working in the parking lot. Like genuine men do. We were building a rail system for our camera mount and cleaning house before the big day. After that was done we dropped a couple of stax at the Wally World and a liquor store in downtown Nashville, where the patrons were very encouraging when we were debating the purchase of a glass AK-47 filled with mid-quality tequila.
Some of us slept that night, others did not. Anxiety and other demons keeping eyes open. When morning came we drove that faithful stretch of highway, passed the ridiculous amount of over-zealous highway patrol men and sheriff’s deputies, and headed towards Coffee County High School to snag our Bonnaroo bracelets (Bonnaracelets?).
While bracelet-picking-up was rather quick and painless, trying to locate the “Guest RV” area was certainly not. Absolutely zero assistance came from anyone with a staff shirt on. I get it, they’re working for whatever they can sell out of the confiscation grab-bag, so no need to sweat the details, but man did they get under Spud’s skin with sending us around in circles. Luckily Spud is a professional, and he got us where we needed to get to without having to bust on any fools.
Security check was pretty cool, but only because I threw a bean bag chair over some forbidden charcoal that homeboy told me to throw out, and dude also believed me when I said that I only had one glass-bottle six pack of beer in the rig and no glass bottles shaped like AK-47’s… So yeah, security check was cool.
Sidebar: Why in the hell is Bonnaroo outlawing charcoal now? The guy explained it to me, something about the clean-up process, but I was too busy thinking about how asinine it was to ban charcoal so I didn’t retain the full explanation.
Campsite set-up was quick, we had to hustle because we had bands showing up to film, and not having your beer fully iced by band time is just poor form. So tents went up, bean bag chairs went out, our CHARCOAL grill was assembled, Lagunitas dropped off a keg, and drinks were poured. Then poured again.
Wake Owl did the honor of breaking in our new solar-powered system, and I am happy to report that there were zero glitches, and it worked perfectly. I can say that for very few things over the Jam Van’s history. Foreal.
After Wake Owl wrapped we called it a day in terms of work and headed out into the Bonnaroo night to search out mischief.
If you received a sticker on your head or a bracelet shot at your face over the weekend, you can probably bank on it having come from me. You’re welcome.
There was of course music outside of a van at this phesty and on night one the first set I checked out was Deap Vally. These broads got sweaty with it and it wasn’t even that muggy out. I do declare that it was a hot and heady way to start the night.
Something must have happened during the Japandroids/DjangoDjango/Father John Misty time-block, but I’m very hazy as to what it was. I’ll say that I was at Japandroids and it was excellent. I’m sure it was, and that when I awoke from this haze I was still in the same spot but at that point in time Alt J was performing and it was pretty alt, as far as alt things go. The lights were certainly trippy, Spud got his first taste of what a big field full of white folks with too many substances and glow sticks turns into at night. He dug it.
I opted to go for Killer Mike over Allen Stone, as Spud and the Goose Man were antsy to take in some hip-hop, and because we could stand backstage for Killer Mike and take in all his obese-glory, and I’m so glad I did. I give the big man the show of the night for Thursday. He killed it, which was expected, as he is a self proclaimed killer. He sweated almost as much as the Deap Vally ladies, but he’s super big, so that’s also expected, yet impressive nonetheless.
That was it for me that evening. I was beat status, and needed the comfort of my air-mattress. Sadly I missed what was said to have been an epic ALO performance, where they were joined by Jack Johnson and other special guests, and apparently had hippies spinning in the crowd til the wee-morning hours. I am always in support of that. Whatever though, Killer Mike still gets the show of the night award, and I still woke up with a glow-axe and glow trident tucked into my belt-loops. Success on night one, that’s a good start.
I knew it would be a good day when I went to drop off ice at the Jam Van at 8AM and a man who had been sleeping in his car in the same church parking lot that we park in, wheezed at me to call 911 for him. Although to my non-trained eye he looked alright, and seemed to be faking his struggle breathing, I assessed that if someone tells you they are having an emergency, and asks you to call 911 that it’s some kind of human code to call 911. So I did that, and waited for a few minutes until the ambulance got there. The first responders thanked me, so therefore I had already saved a life by 9AM on Cinco De Mayo 2013. Things could only get better from there, and they did.
I don’t know if Cinco De Mayo is a thing outside of Mexico, California, and Spanish classrooms, I do know that it goes off in Los Angeles. Give people a reason to celebrate and they will, even if they have no relation to the holiday. We here at Jam in the Van are no exception to that rule, we will celebrate some stupid ish if there is beer there. So what if none of us are Mexican? Whatever, we’ll still throw a big ass party, we don’t care.
So we invited all of our hippie friends from Humboldt, all of our heady friends from the interwebs, all of our music friends from LA, and all of our like, regular friends, and we got some pinatas, and Lagunitas and Sailor Jerry gave us some booze, and The Love Shack in Venice provided the setting, and we made us a fiesta to rival all other Cinco de Mayo fiestas. We called it Dia de la Heady, because we wanted to be culturally authentic. We had chicks walking around with tequila shots for similar reasons.
The Love Shack if you have never been, is a mythical place that exists between the reality of paying rent and owning a ton of bean bag chairs… whatever that means. You can’t question Udi, the man who owns the space as to how he’s created the little corner of headiness on Lincoln Blvd., it would probably take away from it’s mystique. I’d like to just believe he sells enough bean bag chairs and artwork to finance this amazing property in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in America. So I’ll believe that.
AXS TV was there to film it all, so you can see what the Love Shack looks like and hear some of the heady jams on real live television or via the YouTubes. They’ll be broadcasting the musical performances all week long. Marc Cuban was not in attendance, although I’m sure once he reviews the footage he’ll wish he had been. Marc, I’ll accept your apology for failing to RSVP via Twitter, Facebook, E-Mail, or skywriting airplane.
Speaking of the musical performances, they were all much better than had we just gotten some mariachis. We picked all of these bands for specific reasons. Because they all embody the free-wheeling musical spirit that we try to foster at every one of our events, and also because they are all extremely talented.
Unfortunately, I have no direct recap of each of the six sets. It was far too good of a party, and I was way too blurry for all of that. I know there was a Beastie Boys cover, because someone said to me “that blues rock band that played the Beastie Boys cover was awesome,” and I caught wind of a song dedication for our man Spud, which was a nice touch, and I know he appreciated it, because he said as much. Other then that I can only assure you that there were folks dancing from 1PM til closing time at 7, and that we have The Highway Poets, The Diamond Light, The Dead Ships, The Dustbowl Revival, Ivory Deville, and The Record Company to thank for that. There was not a single set during which I didn’t have someone in my ear telling me how much ass the band that just played kicked. All of them deserve steady Googling… In the cases of The Dead Ships, The Highway Poets, and Ivory Deville, we will have Jam in the Van sessions with them out very soon.
In closing, the cops never came, I don’t think anyone broke any shit, and my dog is still alive. So I think we did pretty good making something heady again, and that my friends, is heady.
If a band has the word funk spelled as “phunk” in their name you know certain things about the band before ever hearing or seeing anything from them. You know for one that the music will be heady and filled with improvised jamming. You know there will be spinning and dancing and also spin dancing. You know that there will be some pretty little hippie chicks and some smelly wookie dudes.
These canons of “PH’ness” hold true even on the very granola sparse Sunset Strip. There I found Dumpstaphunk in phine phorm. They gave us a lot of solid jams, some phunkified hip-hop covers, as well as a lot of gettin’ all the ladies up on the stage to shake/twerk/shake’n’twerk. I am a big fan of the “gettin’ the ladies up on the stage to dance” maneuver. It’s a standard go to for bands who pride them selves on creating a funky vibe. There’s something very special about watching a bunch of hippie chicks trying to shake it like they mama’s ain’t gave’em. Some look really focused, others close their eyes and just trance out, most have no rythm, butts and boobies are flying every which way. Can’t nobody be mad at that. You would think that that along with the music would have been tops of my highlight reel for the evening, however, it was not.
What topped the list for me was this wookie who came up on me in the sitting area of the venue while I was eating some french fries. Sunset Strip priced french fries mind you. This is how it went down:
Wookie: Could I trouble you for a handful of your fries?”
He hovered his hand over my basket in claw position.
Me: No, what do you think this is?
Wookie: I’m sorry man, my bad, enjoy your fries.
Me: I will.
I thought going for “handful” off the bat was a true testament to the wookie movement and it’s lack of fughs given. Dude looked like he hadn’t bathed that day, so my fries he was not digging in, handful or no handful. Yet it makes me happy to know that there’s cats out there like him, just no shame, no respect for how things are, just living that care free life, just being phunky, hopin’ everyone wants to be phunky with’em. I appreciate a band like Dumpstaphunk that creates that vibe wherever they play. It wasn’t a festival, it wasn’t even an outside show, it was a dark venue on the Sunset Strip, but girls were on stage dancing, and wookies were having the time of their lives. It’s pretty swell when you can just create that with your music, pretty swell indeed.