June 4, 2010

Joker’s Wakarusa Report: Day One

Our pal The Joker from the Coventry Music blog has made his way to Arkansas to cover this weekend’s Wakarusa for HT. He’ll be sending reports each day – on both the scene and the music – and hopefully we’ll get some photos from longtime HT contributor John Schulze who is also on the scene. Here’s The Joker’s report on the first day of the festival…

To start this trip a few friends and I flew from Denver to Tulsa and rented a car to make the trip from Tulsa to Mulberry Mountain for Wakarusa. As we were waiting to board our planes I got a couple of stories from friends who had run into some bad luck on the way there – the Basics Fund Bus got pulled over in Hayes, KS after a State Trooper stopped to question the driver and noticed a stray nugget at his feet. Oops. They were “detained” for several hours while the Troopers ripped apart the bus, but they were eventually allowed to continue on to Wakarusa.

My group got to the festival grounds and finished setting up camp about 8pm. We started a little late in the evening as compared to most of the festivalgoers. The first taste of music I caught was after sundown – Robert Randolph. Robert Randolph always puts on a danceable show, but his setlists lack variety. Randolph brought up Ivan Neville for a strong version of Papa Was A Rolling Stone, but other than that it was a high energy yet standard show.

Next up was Railroad Earth in the Revival Tent. Railroad started off by ripping through jammy, psychedelic versions of Cold Water and Birds of America. The crowd in the tent was so into it and Tim Carbone’s fiddle seemed to breathe new life into an audience who was happy the sun had gone away and could dance under the lights. I was into Railroad Earth’s set and wish I could seen all of it. Since they play again today, and I had a Disco Ball on my head once again, I left early to head to see what madness Bisco would bring.

READ ON for more about Neil’s experience on Day 1 of Wakarusa…

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Hidden Track Goes to Summer Camp

Summer Camp Music Festival @ Three Sisters Park, May 27-30

Words: Ryan Maher
Images: Tammy Wetzel

Most bands can’t put up with each other on the road for 10 years. Any married couple, no matter how madly in love, will attest to the trials and tribulations a decade delivers. And through tornadoes, threats of divorce from Three Sisters Park herself six years in and the passing of its neighbors (RIP 10kLF, get well soon Rothbury), Summer Camp has emerged as the Midwest’s undisputed greatest party of the year. From 1,000 fans kicking it off with 20 bands and 2 stages in 2001, this fest has grown into a monster.

Thursday, 5.27 Pre-Party

You could tell early on this would be a big year in Chillicothe. First clue? Well, if you weren’t in line at 10AM Thursday competing for your favorite campground spot, it may have been when thousands of fans showed up for Umphrey’s McGee. Or rather, UM’s unannounced soundcheck. A 30 minute warm-up including the not-oft played 13 Days, Roulette and a Push the Pig Jam brought the early birds to the Sunshine stage. With over 12,000 3-day tickets sold in advance, it’s become apparent that a growing majority consider the Thursday Pre-Party a mandatory part of Camp.

And why wouldn’t they? With local favorites like Brainchild (Peoria) and national vets like The Bridge laying down the soundtrack to your camp construction, you’re already putting that long haul and chapstick inspection at the gates behind you. Smile that you can actually move around your tent and lay your gear out as it goes up, not like the poor kid squeezing between you and your neighbors come Friday.

READ ON for more from Ryan and Tammy on Summer Camp 2010…

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Briefly: Dr. Dog Might Miss Mountain Jam

While it’s looking like the sixth annual Mountain Jam Festival is off to quite the start, there was some unfortunate news that did surface earlier today, that for once didn’t

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Friday Mix Tape: Stones Covers

For this week’s Friday Mix Tape, we’ve selected six Rolling Stones covers of interest for your streaming delight. The artists involved run the gamut from alt-rock to jam-rock to zydeco

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NPR to Stream Bonnaroo Performances

NPR has announced today that its NPR Music Website will broadcast select sets live from Bonnaroo next weekend on June 11 – 13. The website has teamed up with member

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Contest: MMW Master Class Giveaway

On June 8 and 9, Medeski, Martin and Wood will play host to a special two-night webcast event that will take place at the Nevessa Soundstage near Woodstock, NY, which

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Video: Jackie Greene – Medicine

Sure, Jackie Greene helped earn a name for himself with a long stint as a member of Phil & Friends, but the Bay Area-based singer-songwriter is also an accomplished artist

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Review: Bisco Inferno Weekend

Disco Biscuits – Bisco Inferno Weekend, May 27 – 30

Words: Alexander Wolff
Images: Jason Woodside

Colorado is a funny place for music these days. This beautiful area has been taking the rest of the country’s bands and turning The Centennial State into their biggest market. The Disco Biscuits appear to be to be the latest victim of what is surely one of the more pleasurable trends of the last few years to develop in this scene. Late May’s Bisco Inferno Weekend would indeed make this point clear to all of those in attendance. While many were nervous about Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig’s guitar playing, as he has been absent from live performance for some time due to a fractured wrist, by the end of the weekend it was as though he’d never broken the damned thing.

With little warning, a fair number of would-be attendees for Thursday’s show at the Boulder Theater found themselves observing a strange phenomenon: Marc Brownstein, responsible for the low end rumble of The Disco Biscuits’ electric pulse, announced to the world via Twitter that the band would play an acoustic set at the Pearl St. Mall, across the way from the theater. Several hundred gathered to watch: I say watch because very few were able to hear the performance, with the exception of a few lucky photographers and the rest of us who could hear Allen Aucoin’s dynamic dance drum beat. Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig’s voice could certainly be heard, but his guitar as well as Brownstein’s bass were both drowned out by the conversations of the crowd. Alas, fun was had by all. The best part for those in attendance seemed to be that the Biscuits themselves were having a ball.

Boulder Theater proved to be the weakest of the three Bisco shows this weekend, but it wasn’t without its moments. The first set was relatively uneventful, with Rivers seeing the first exploration of the night; a short, rocking jam that never got going quite as well as it could have. The Story Of The World segment would have been far more interesting if Aceetobee didn’t have the wet blanket of a Boom Shanker dropped in the middle. The second set was a big improvement, with great improvisations showing up in both Save The Robots and Digital Buddha, and Lunar Pursuit was well placed in the Buddha sandwich. The Spy encore got the crowd going, and was a good choice, displaying several angles of the Biscuits’ sound before wrapping up a night that could have been a better showing.

READ ON for more on Bisco Inferno Weekend in Colorado…

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