January 21, 2010

B List: 75 Amazing Jam Cruise 8 Moments

Last week, I put together a list of my Ten Favorite Jam Cruise 8 Sets, but that was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There were so many stellar moments – both musical and otherwise – that didn’t make that list. Each hour of every day, it seemed like I experienced something mind-blowing that just doesn’t happen in the real world or at typical music festivals.

So this week, I decided to put together a list of 75 Amazing Jam Cruise 8 Moments to show the breadth of this monumental vacation. Jam Cruise felt like the living version of one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books as it was impossible to catch everything that was going on, but I have no complaints with the decisions I made. The beautiful thing is that every cruiser’s list look far different from mine, so if you went on the cruise be sure to leave a few of your favorite moments as a comment after the list.

75. Going through the quick & painless embarkation procedure & walking onto the ship. I knew at that moment how amazing this adventure would be
74. Karl Denson adding some flair to Galactic’s Crazyhorse Mongoose during the New Orleans-based band’s Pool Deck set
73. Turning on Jam Cruise TV to catch the part of The Motet plays Talking Heads set I had missed the previous evening
72. Mikey of Higher Ground/Chocolate Thunder Security delivering a wonderful version of Bill Withers’ Use Me during Rock Star Karaoke
71. Catching Jam Room MVP Zach Deputy get crowned by The Joker
70. Looking at my watch to see the Jam Room had finally let up at 6:40AM
69. Sax wiz Jeff Coffin [Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band] dropping one nasty run of notes after another during his fantastic sit-in with OHMphrey
68. The first time I walked past the “Fucking Your Mom – Do Not Disturb” door sign. I still laughed the 17th time.
67. Chillin’ on a friend’s balcony watching the lights from Jamaica fade away
66. Most of the finest musicians on the boat gathering for a ridiculous Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin throwdown towards the end of George Porter Jr.’s Super Jam on the final full day of action


[All photos by Dave Vann]

65. Cloud 9’s Annabel singing the final song of Sexual Chocolate’s set
64. Watching my Cabin Steward dancing as hard as he could to KDTU
63. Trombone Shorty teasing Let’s Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas during the Sail Away set

READ ON for my Top 62 Moments of Jam Cruise 8…

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Bloggy Goodness: Fire On The Mountain

In our never ending quest to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest festival news comes the announcement of the initial lineup for Warren Haynes’ Mountain Jam.

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moe. at 20: Where Does The Time Go?

It’s pretty remarkable just how consistent moe.’s been over 20 years: in personnel, in commitment, in slow, steady growth, in that damned quirky, hard rocking way of doing things they do so well. So I posed the question to guitarist Chuck Garvey directly: How have you guys kept it together and kept from killing each other when changes, hiatuses and other issues have wreaked havoc on many of your jamband peers?

[Photo by Jeremy Gordon]

“That’s just the way we are,” Garvey said in a recent interview. “Everyone has a different attitude about it, but we seem to have a certain comfort level in how we are as a band. It’s been working for a really long time and we’re just getting on to the next creative phase. Making another album is always something to look forward to. This past fall, we were going to record, but we decided to push it off because we didn’t feel like we had enough time to devote to it. We have to make sure these days that we have the time and space to do it right.”

Garvey said moe.’s been “pulling back” on touring in recent years, which seems true but relative only to moe. Apart from a few extended seasonal breaks, the band, at least in the past decade, hasn’t been off the road longer than a few months. Pretty remarkable when you consider the major hiatuses and lineup changes from moe.’s peers, although, as Garvey notes, “It’s different for everyone. Widespread Panic lost Michael Houser, and that’s a major, life-altering occurrence. I’d say it’s more accurate that we’ve been lucky.”

READ ON for more of Chad’s chat with moe.’s Chuck Garvey and Hidden Track staffers’ favorite moe. moments from the past 20 years…

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Blips: Three Under the Radar Bands

In our never-ending quest to dig up some great bands that cost less than a corned beef sandwich at Katz’s Deli, we bring you another round of Blips. Blips highlights some great bands that are largely still in their larvae stage, but will soon morph into their beautiful butterfly. In this edition, we have some really cool new music, so take a sec, poke around the bands’ various websites, and see what you think of these three under the radar acts…

We Were Promised Jetpacks


MySpace / Website

Not only do We Were Promised Jetpacks boast one of the finest aeronautical band names since Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, but they share a very similar sound with Frightened Rabbit – albeit on overdrive – as a) they possess the requisite Scottish accents and b) often construct their songs similarly by building progressions via scalar chord combinations. In other words, they’ll start with a chord and structure a progression by adding and subtracting notes within that same scale. The result translates to unique and peaceful indie pop.

If there’s anyone besides me out there counting the days down to the release of Frightened Rabbit’s third full-length as your most anticipated of the year, these guys ought to buy you some time. The comparisons should come as no surprise as the two bands are label mates, thereby officially making Fat Cat Records of the most promising indie labels today. That makes two terrific Scottish bands without ceilings in as many years (three if you count the Twilight Sad, but I’m not quite sold on them yet).


READ ON for more Blips-worthy bands – Lubriphonic & Head For The Hills…

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Video: Evan Dando – It’s About Time

My sister introduced me to the most amazing alternative bands in the late ’80s/early ’90s including Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Cure, R.E.M. & The Lemonheads.

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Review: Some Cat From Japan in NYC

If there’s a job to be done in the live music biz, Peter Costello has probably done it at some point. Production? Check. Audio engineering? All the time. Road managing legendary musicians? He’s wrangled them all. Yet, what we love is about Pete is that he’s still a fan and hasn’t lost his passion for the music. We’re honored to welcome Peter to the Hidden Track team to share his thoughts on last Saturday night’s Some Cat From Japan show.


[All photos by Greg Aiello]

As Scotty B wrote late last week, “There are some supergroup lineups that impress and some that blow you away. The lineup for Some Cat From Japan – Will Bernard, Nigel Hall, Scott Metzger, Ron Johnson & Eric Bolivar – is one of those mind-blowing lineups.” I already allowed my own personal expectations to skyrocket & friends called it “the sleeper show of the year” – all of this before any of us heard them play a note.

Clearly the quintet had something to prove as they filed on stage at Sullivan Hall just after midnight Saturday night / Sunday morning. About 11 seconds into the opener, Them Changes, with a Nigel Hall organ swell announcing the the familiar melody, all five of them jumped into the deep end of the pool & set out to do just that. Quickly locking into a groove that felt well rehearsed, but really wasn’t, the band set the stage for Nigel’s vocals. With his familiar – to me – blend of aggressive soultastic leads, Nigel’s vocals soared over the groove, filling the relatively crowded room.

In the spirit of the project, Nigel doesn’t try to sound like Jimi – nor does the band remain completely faithful to the original arrangements – and that’s a good thing. Its more like Donny Hathaway singing Jimi tunes. Some Cat doesn’t seek to fit the mantle of a “cover band” but, rather, works to reinterpret the songs & put their own spin on things. Think of it more as a “Tribute” band than a cover band. When you combine that vibe with the talent on stage, you get what we had here last Saturday night, which is the way I want it. Well, I got it.

READ ON for more from Peter on Some Cat From Japan…

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