Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rock the Resort Rocked My Socks Off

When I heard that there was an indoor festival happening on my way home from seeing Phish at Madison Square Garden I knew I had to check it out. Rock the Resort took place in Kerhonkson, NY at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa outside of New Paltz on Dec 4-6. The ride there was a little sketch since it had started snowing and the road was hilly and windy to get there. They actually closed the road behind us so many performers had trouble getting there and the schedule was a little out of whack. The staff handled it very well and if you never looked at the schedule you wouldn't know that things weren't happening when they were supposed to.

Some bands that were featured were Lettuce, Tyrone Wells, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, DF Logic, Rubblebucket Orchestra, Jaden, Skerik, KRS-1, Melvin Seals and JGB, Zach Deputy, Break Science and much more. A bonus of this festival was that all the artists were stuck at the resort and were hanging out at the restaurants, the bar, or on the couches in the lobby.

As a healthy hippie I love to focus on the healthy, happy, and green aspects of festivals. Here is what I saw at Rock the Resort.

They had many food options for the Rock the Resort guests. Skerik even told me they had a good tofu dish on the buffet.

In the artist hospitality room they had some fruit as well as veggies and dip so the performers wouldn't go on stage hungry

There were couches for the rock stars to talk about rock star stuff.

Not only was the festival kid friendly...

but it was dog friendly too!

People got their exercise by dancing

by racing down ramps on roller chairs

and by hoopin!
Now some shots of the music

Monday, December 7, 2009

Healthy Hippie Digital Magazine Dec/Jan

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Egg Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington, VT by Katherine McNamara Photos by Simon Yugler

The Egg flawlessly melds instrumental and electronic music to create an ethereal groove. The music gains momentum until it overtakes the venue in ambient vibrations. Earthy base thumps below intermittently funky guitar licks and fantastical electronic meanderings. Already wildly popular in the U.K., The Egg has stepped into the U.S. scene with quiet grandeur, steadily building a reputation from silvery explosive performances at festivals like Echo and venues across the States. The undulating crowd evidenced the growing buzz surrounding the group at Higher Ground on November 4th.
Seldom does an opening act elicit so much fire. If an unsuspecting Lotus fan wandered into Higher Ground early, they were certain to be struck by the lightning storm The Egg conjured there. The sound had seemingly boundless energy, like a rogue wave that flowed between band and crowd, able to swiftly usurp the floor from any unsuspecting feet. Guitarist Matt White carves out enigmatic melodies alongside Ben Cullum’s inventive bass, enhanced by Ned Scott’s superb dance on the keys, and Maff Scott’s vibrant drum beat.
When I, playing devil’s advocate, asked keyboard and vocalist Ned Scott what he would say to a more traditional fan, less inclined to appreciate the electronic aspect of their sound, Ned replied that, just like instruments, electronic equipment “are all tools. Using computers doesn’t necessarily mean not having a human groove. The timing is live – we feed off of the audience.” His brother, drummer Maff Scott, added that navigating electronic music is like operating within “a grid, you can bump anywhere within it – how you break, and where you adjust the volumes prevents the music from sounding rigid.”
Certainly, their music is anything but rigid. The Egg is currently on tour with Lotus. They are working on a new album with Benji Vaughan (better known as the extremely talented Younger Brother).
Do not miss this deliciously elusive sound that delicately fuses shimmering tunes with unstoppable beats.

By Katherine McNamara

Photos by Simon Yugler

EOTO Review Mishawaka Amphitheater by Dave Halchak

EOTO Mishawaka Amphitheater August 14th

EOTO is a band that is constantly evolving, everytime I see them, they seem to expand their sound, their approach of the music, and yes, the crowds continue to grow. Friday night at the Mishawaka Amphitheater was no exception to this general rule of EOTO. The show started off with a dubstepish vibe and I can tell already they've technologically advanced with sample processing and especially their overall sound. Whomp seems to be the theme of the night. Seems like this was what everyone wanted and was hoping for as they strolled up to this beautiful venue on the crisp August night. As the night goes on, it becomes refreshing to hear different "virtual" instruments being used along with live instruments. Overall, this was a very deep, dark set though they do finally break into a nice trancey jam about an hour in which really gets the crowd moving. On a night like tonight, it's very refreshing to hear LIVE intsruments being used in this genre of music. EOTO of August 14, 2009 is very different from EOTO of last week, and EOTO of last year, but in a lot of instances, I believe that is what continues to bring folks back and wanting more.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Phish, Festival 8 - Indio, California - Night 3 - The Final Frontier


Brilliantly, Phish slotted an early afternoon acoustic set. Upon arrival fans were seated and fanning themselves from the blazing heat. I sacrificed being close to the stage for the first few tunes for iced coffee. The half hour wait was plenty worth the pick me up.The boys were arranged on stage completely opposite as they were the night prior with Fishman stage Left. After a gorgeous The Curtain With, Mike questions if we are all sitting because we want to or because we have to or because of "peer pressure". I was sure after standing for so long the night before folks just wanted to enjoy the grass. The venue was glowing with happy shiny people donning remnants and reinterpretations of the night before'sdisguises. Fishman had railroad chatter solo during My Sweet One and the vocal harmonies were pristine. Let Me Lie is one of my favorite new songs. I've heard it several ways now and hearing it stripped down lie this really showed its vulnerability. Bouncing was reignited with some extra Page doing bass work on the lower register of his piano. Trey chimed in with a few recognizable strums introducing an unplugged version of Wilson that the crowd cheered heavily for. Closer to the close of the set Trey commented on the fact that he was told to ask us all to sit down, but he decided against it because he can't sit still, hence Mike's earlier inquiry regarding our sitting.

Acoustic Set:
Water In The Sky, Back On The Train, Brian and Robert, Invisible, Strange Design, Mountains In The Mist, The Curtain With, Army of One, Sleep Again, My Sweet One, Let Me Lie, Bouncing Around The Room, Train Song, Wilson, McGrupp
Encore: Driver, Talk, Secret Smile

With what we thought was "so much time" before the next set we took the trek back to our hotel in Palm Springs. After a moment or two by the pool we realized that we were approaching show time so we headed back from the hotel to the venue. Sadly we realized while driving in that they had begun already. We really weren't situated in our spot until Guelah Papyrus. Undermind proved to be quite refreshing as it was totally retooled with reggae and Cajun notes. This crowd was somewhat subdued like a post work Tuesday happy hour, well to be fair it was more like a Thursday crowd. Several times during the set the huge egg pod torches reacted to Phish's vocals and licks. Sparkle ignited a few glowers to duty. SOAM was lovely, with the boy's nailing golden notes; I couldn't help but have a beach boy moment.

Electric Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Rift, Gotta Jibboo, Heavy Things, Reba, The Wedge, Guelah Papyrus, Undermind, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt

During set break we made our way to watch the ballgame on the dedicated sports screen. World Series fans were abound and with a score of 4-2 yanks, fans sang take me out to the ballgame which proved to be one of those stunning moments for me.

The final set of the weekend opened with an explosive tweezer that weighed bass heavy. Trey took his blazer off to get looser revealing a black T-shirt. A Maze enlivens more glowstickers. Sadly a sure indication that a festival is winding down is that all of the high intensity glow sticks have already been spent and tonight it’s down to the basic dollar store variety. The crowd was battered by sun and the long weekend, but seemed comfortable nevertheless.

Some of the initial installations were wrapped up and their stories and extravagancies coming to a close. Page danced over an organ solo to round out the epic Maze and really brought the tune to a huge full James Browneque level. Free was quite cathartic. Mike had a fat funky solo and Trey had emerged with a full black tea shirt swagger. They looked liked they are getting younger by the minute. Another new delight is Mike's playful sugar shack. Limb by limb came off to me a little cold but came to mount with some awesome pyrotechnic interplay.

To my excitement, I heard the beginning tremblings of a 2001. This call to space donned some seriously disgusting synth and mind melting balloon dna-like illusion work above the crowd. The synergy and unique frequency phish reached could have called UFOs. Throwing in a dangerous Slave, the entire scene had become a full cauldron bubbled over and simmered back down with an Esther and closing naturally with a Tweezer Reprise.
Set 2: Tweezer -> Maze, Free, Sugar Shack, Limb By Limb, Theme From The Bottom, Mike’s Song > 2001 > Light > Slave to the Traffic Light
Encore: Grind, Esther, Tweezer Reprise
After a name naming thank you address from Trey, it was over. Just like that, everyone was hushed out of the concert field.

The weekend wonderland Phish created was now over.
I've been to a lot of festivals, small and large. I had never been to a Phish festival before either, and for a Phish festival this was small in attendence. I give this festival an A+. Every aspect of this festival was well managed, executed and produced, Parking/Traffic, effective staff, Clean and well equipped... I could go on.
It has been quite a journey so far and I've a few of my own thank yous:
PHISH - Thank you for this chance to do something amazing with my time.
Thank You:
Ken, Camelback, Ben and Jerry, Iced Coffee, Various Pairs of Comfortable Shoes (Chacos, Crocos, Convos and Flippos), Trader Joes, Penut Butter and Honey, Coachella Valley Native Americans, Sunscreen, Jamba Juice and Phish's Awesome - Wrist Bands, Lights, Artists, Vendors, Cops, Volunteers, Fans and thank you Healthy Hippie for the voice.

Best Ever,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Phish, Festival 8 - Indio, California - Night 2 - All Hollows Eve


We split from our hotel around 3, and got into the venue around 345. The field was hot and littered with the beginnings of people’s costumery.

There was a signifigant amount of walking involved on this campus with several vigourous security checkpoints. Naturally that has its pros and cons. Major delays will make af ew tempers will flare, especially when someone's going through your things and your favorite band is already playing. Having not received a map or bill of the event yet, I was eager to receive a Phishbill, mocked up as a Broadway playbill. The second page revealed the secret album teaser, Rolling Stones - Exile on Main street. Now, I am a stones fan, but sadly a newbie. I was rooting for MGMT, but surely glad to experience Phish take on the stones.

Set I (Afternoon): Sample In A Jar, The Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Kill Devil Falls, Bathtub Gin, The Squirming Coil, Runaway Jim > Possum, Run Like An Antelope

The afternoon set was mild and accurate. Dare I say standard fare, but I've nothing bad to say. It felt like good day festival music. After the day set we took to the campgrounds to survey the living scene. Shakedown tended to operate in pockets and the majority seemed to be t shirts and stickers, as glass is not welcome in these parts due to horse hoof sensitivities. After enjoying the sunset and temperature cool-off it was time to head back into the main field for set 1 of the evening festivities.

Costumes began emerging out of tents to be tweaked and adjusted in car mirrors and windows. It's really something to see people putting their creative energy into an identity for 1 night. Couples, kids, staff, groups of friends, in masquerade sporting packaged costumes, 3D concepts, politics and current event in style. It’s a portrait of the times and with the stage Phish has set, everyone is part of the show. The lights dimmed to Thriller splashing over the audience. Quickly on the lcd monitors a video montage pulsed to a 99 album tribute mash up that really got the crowd pumped and in a dancing spirit. Phish walked out and started in on their journey with interpreting this epic album.

As rumored 3 horn players stepped out and brought the show to a bright and soulful place. Sharon Jones joined soon thereafter and elevated every note to a new place. Naturally Loving Cup was a crowd pleaser and really kicked off an evening of intense glowsticking.

Set II (Night) - The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.: Rocks Off, Rip This Joint, Shake Your Hips, Casino Boogie, Tumbling Dice, Sweet Virginia, Torn and Frayed, Sweet Black Angel, Loving Cup, Happy, Turd On The Run, Ventilator Blues > I Just Want To See His Face, Let It Loose, All Down The Line, Stop Breaking Down, Shine A Light Soul Survivor

I have to admit to being at a loss of too many words. The album was quite long, it was well attempted and ...nice? Their spin was safe and lent for some real opportunities for Trey to wail and Mike to bring a bluesy bass to life. I was however pretty ready to hear some Phish tunes again.

After a refreshing sit-down and another round of taking in the pyrotechnical delights of the surrounding fields we headed around the rim of the crowd to try to make our way to the front. After a valiant attempt and a few pauses we decided to park about 8 rows deep. Phish returned and looked energized.

Set III : Backwards Down the Number Line > Fluffhead, Ghost, When the Circus Comes, You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Suzy Greenberg

This set was really great. The fluffhead injected everyone with party-time and from then on it was a constant rise to excellency. Ghost got really spacey and funky. YEM was perfect, and Trey gave a little shake of the finger at us while jumping on the trampoline after nearly tripping mid hop. Suzy may have been my favorite tune of the night, the vocalists and horns from set I returned and helped close the entire evening with a fiesta.

Today’s acoustic set was very early so I will review Sunday on Monday so I can squeeze a little pool action in. Its near 95 degrees today and the sun is blazing. Can you only imagine if it weren't November now?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Phish, Festival 8 - Indio, California - Night 1 - Halloweve

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop". - Lewis Carrol

Phish has given us a lot over the years. For those who understand what it means to put yourself through a great deal for a reward of musical bliss, Festival 8 is a freeway to a new level.
Like many of you HH readers, I've traveled far and wide for Phish. I've been to states that I may have never seen in my lifetime, cities I would not have even batted a lash at, and burned more vacation days then I've ever meant to; all for this love of creative perfection.

Over the last month, the band gave us hints and teasers as to what we could expect to hear and see at this reunion of massive proportions. This time - they've simply outdone themselves. In a sea of festival threats that include inclement weather, venue mishaps, traffic and parking mayhem, Phish has solved all of this with one swoop - California. The weather is steady, and meets expectations.

The backdrop of palms splashed with lights, draping canopies and pyrotechnic art lend for an atmosphere that is a David Lynch film set in a Dr. Sussean daydream kissing the nightmare before Christmas.

The final 8 albums teased are the names of each surrounding campground and the final pinnacle of speculation regarding what album Phish will play on Halloween.

Here is a layout of the festival grounds, and the final 8 listing.

David Bowie Hunky Dory
Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland
Prince Purple Rain
Radiohead Kid A
Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street

One can gather the overall vibe in each campground. Electric Lady Land and Hunky Dory seemed to be the neighborhoods offering a buzzing blanket of animation and arterial flow leading to the main spectacle grounds.

The crowds are quite diverse, and so far have been family friendly. There is nothing like a happy healthy hippy child enabled to explore their imagination alongside adults. The grass is high end carpeting, and no blanket is needed to enjoy a seat on the ground.

After checking out the vending scene, snagging some PH8 gear - and viewing the metal welded masterpieces in daylight on the great lawn, the first set broke out at 8:05ish. Party Time - is there any other way?

Phish looks HIGH DEF. They are polished, and pristine. Mike's hair was a silver helmet ready for action. Page beams from dimple to dimple, save for those moments of fury on his western piana and '70s funk synthwash. Trey's golden hair and smile fade in and out of his jaw dropping lashings on his frets. Fishman looks crisp and flannel can't look more pressed, then on Phish.

Set I:

Party Time, Chalk Dust Torture,The Moma Dance, NICU, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Poor Heart, Cavern, Beauty Of A Broken Heart, Ocelot, Time Turns Elastic

Set II:

Punch You In The Eye, Down With Disease -> Prince Caspian > Wolfman’s Brother -> Piper -> Joy, David Bowie, Harry Hood, Golgi ApparatusEncore: Character Zero

During the sets we ebbed and flowed from back at the amazing metal tube sculptures, pumping with gas and searing engines backfiring to rather close to the front. The lights danced throughout a 360 degree fantasy land down to the ground where little hippy field mice crawled at your feet collecting glow sticks to toss in a bouquet or to stick them to their attire. If you weren't glowing - you were invisible.
This place is well executed.

Tonight's goal is to get all the way to the front. This crowd seems ready to participate and contribute to the pageant with their energy and their costumes.

Until Tomorrow -