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Showing posts from 2017

Kung Fu and a few words with Beau Sasser - A Disc Jam Adventure

Music is this amazing, incredible thing. It can be like a drug, finding you at your most vulnerable and getting inside you to permeate your very being with all that it is - creating this sense of self and presence of mind that you can no longer live without. It changes you. It can be that thing that gets you through the worst times of your life. It can be that thing that seems to narrate the best times of your life like a movie soundtrack. Those songs and those feelings will live in you forever, being reignited every time your hear them. Did you ever have that happen?

The other day I was driving with my phone on shuffle and a song came on. It was Today by Jefferson Airplane. This song was such an emotional powerhouse to me as a 17 year old New Jersey girl in the summer, discovering myself and love and creation and everything that lights up the life of a teenager on the verge of adulthood. I played it all the time as I was somewhere between earthy hippy child and angsty punk rock girl…

The Festival Experience for a Newbie - Amazing Vibes at Disc Jam Part 1

The festival concept was not one that I was ever familiar with on a personal level.

Let me correct that - I was brought up in a home where we watched Woodstock as a family. My parents had gone to see it on a date when it was originally in the theaters and whenever PBS was doing a telethon and had it on, we would actually all sit down and watch it. I pretty much have the film memorized. My parents are the reason for my love (slight obsession) with folk music of that time. They named their dog after Arlo Guthrie who they still go see whenever he comes through New Jersey. This is my background. So for me, the idea of the music festival was always that. The ultimate festival. Woodstock.
Then some greedy people stupidly tried to replicate it in the 90's and people set shit on fire and ruined it. I thought that was it. The modern era ruined this beautiful concept with commercialized violence and nonsense. Good job, guys.

I had NO idea that there were still magical festivals happening t…

The Road to Disc Jam Is Paved With Grooves and Good Vibes

Did you ever sit around with your friends drinking beer and ask one another just completely ridiculous questions? Things like, "If you could have coffee with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?" or "If you could invade anyone's closets for a week and get to wear their wardrobe, who would it be?" Then after a few beers it becomes things like, "If you could be any animal in space, what animal in space would you be...and why? YOU CAN'T PICK SQUIRREL!" Don't say no. You know you have been there.

During those conversations, did you ever ask, "If you were setting up a festival and could pick any bands you wanted to be on it, who would you pick?" My husband and I have this discussion all the time. We love the idea of taking different genres and mixing them up but keeping it all dancy and full of good vibes and incredible musicians. There is so much crazy good music going on right now that the options are just all over the place. Well, h…

Dance Heavy Funktastic with Pimps of Joytime: Third Wall Chronicles

I love to find something new that I had no idea I would love so much. It's fascinating to me to think that not long ago, I didn't know this music existed and now I don't know how I would go through the rest of life without it. Did you ever ponder that? Maybe it's just me...

I know as an independent music supporter that I am supposed to hate Spotify. That is what I read on Facebook from musician friends and associates of mine. I know I am supposed to hate it, but I can't because it keeps throwing music at me that amazes me. It keeps dishing me music that grows into almost unhealthy obsessions. Mind you, I AM in fact an independent music supporter. I buy albums. I pay my way into shows. I almost always buy merch. (except for you $50 t-shirt bands...too rich for my blood...but I will buy that $2 sticker right there...) I was rocking some Vulfpeck this morning because my job was just eating away at my soul and I needed that groove in a big, bad way. As I occasionally …

Taking On Traditional with Kitchen Dwellers: Ghost In The Bottle

Music has an amazing way of creating pictures in your mind. It can pull memories out of the furthest reaches of your soul, no matter how far back they were buried. They can bring feelings you forgot you felt or never felt before at all. It can conjure up images and moving pictures inside your brain that seem to be narrated by those sounds as if perfectly choreographed and scored by masters in the field. Sometimes it's the least likely sounds. Sometimes it's music you had no idea you would ever fall in love with. Sometimes its those pictures in your mind that light the flame.

When I was growing up, my father had a Victrola. (he still does, actually) He happened to have a lot of bluegrass music on 78's and used to play them as loud as it would seem that lovely old wooden machine would go. This is my first recollection of hearing what I know to be this wonderful audible slice of Americana. I had largely forgotten about it until now.

As I find myself more and more immersed in…

The Long Awaited Twiddle: Plump Chapter 2

My car has always been covered in stickers. Always. Since I was 17 and drove a big nasty 1984 Monte Carlo. My car has always been a flag to my love of music and pretty much ensured I could never commit any major crimes with my car because I'm pretty easy to find.

So I'm sitting in traffic in sleepy Northern New Jersey yesterday. I drive a really bitchy twelve year old Volkswagen so I have to go two towns over to buy better gas or she runs like garbage. There is a nasty intersection that no one ever seems to comprehend the traffic pattern of (also known as "most of New Jersey"), so I am usually watching the cars around me in preparation for one of them to drive into me, and I happened to glance to my right. The dude in the car next to me is having a get down moment at the wheel, smiling like its the greatest day ever, and motioning to the back of my car. I roll down my passenger side window, and he rolls down his. I have no idea what this guy wants. He points to the …

Feels and Jams and Grooves OH MY with The Werks - Magic

I swear the further down this jam scene rabbit hole I fall, the more I am discovering things that I never even knew I liked. There is so much to discover once you step outside your comfort zone and it seems the further I wander from that zone, the more open my mind is to sounds, vibes, and audible journeys in general. There is just so much to discover. I have not gotten to see much of it live yet, but that is something I am working to remedy as much as possible this summer. I am delving into festivals. I am told there is no better way to truly experience this scene until you live it for a few days. For a girl used to dark and dirty New York City clubs for her music fix, this is a daunting yet deliciously exciting prospect. More on that later. I don't want to talk about camping.

Let's talk about The Werks.

Normal reviews will go into how these gents come from the great state of Ohio and are inspired by yada yada yada and I just don't really do that. Let's instead talk …

Straight Groove Rocking with Aqueous - Artifact

Can I admit something to you all?
It's totally not a complete secret, but I am willing to let it all out anyway.
They say the road to recovery starts with admitting you have a problem, and I have a problem.

I didn't want to like jam bands.

*sigh*

But I do. I really, really DO.
Not all of them. I mean, the potential is there but I like to say I am only just dipping my toes in the waters of this scene. (despite more than a few fully naked cannonballs) I am continuously surprised by just how much music is here. I am continuously impressed with how many bands are out there doing their own corner of the scene their own way and I am constantly evolving my own audible portfolio of what I love.

My husband and I follow Twiddle quite a bit and last month found us in Stroudsburg, PA where, coincidentally, this whole A Perfect Mess concept started in a little Internet broadcasting company called PIBCO. I used to drive the hour from my home in New Jersey once a week to spend two hours bla…

Tossing Out My Preconceived Notions with Big Something - Tumbleweed

I used to think I understood what this whole jam scene thing was, and I was so sure it was not my thing. In my younger days, I refused to listen to bands like Phish and moe. because I was so very sure the music was something I wouldn't relate to. I had all these preconceived notions of what the crowds were like at festivals, what the bands were like when you met them, and what the scene was as a whole. I was so wrong, it's kind of painful.

I mention a lot that my husband is a big reason for my open mind in music. I have always had a very eclectic taste. I love everything from classical to hip hop. I found myself as a teen in punk and industrial. I found my home in ska/reggae. I have always carried a love for folk. Never did I realize that all these sounds can be found in the least likely scene, at least in my mind at that time. Over the last five years, my husband (a nasty jam bassist in his own right) has been slyly pulling me into the scene one band at a time. Never has my …

More Than a Mouthful - Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad : Make it Better

I feel like I hit the auditory lottery this last year in a lot of ways. Opening my mind to another side of music has been a delicious adventure that I really didn't anticipate shaping and changing me the way it did. I started this blog/podcast focused on local artists which became almost exclusively a ska/reggae/rocksteady undertaking. It's music that lights me up and a scene that welcomed and encouraged what I was trying to do with this whole project. I wanted to share what I was finding in the scene. I wanted to promote and push bands, albums, and shows that were regional into an international audience. This has always and will always be my mission, but I have had to admit that my blinders were on.

Enter my husband.

Jam guy meets Ska girl. They bond over punk rock and get married.

We found out the two scenes we come from were so incredibly similar in so many ways. The vibe, the crowds, the social ideas were very much the same but still there was some strange imaginary line …

Smooth Reggae Feels with The Elovaters: The Cornerstone

If anyone has been following along for the last 7 years, I started this journey doing an Internet radio show out of Stroudsburg, PA. I was blogging mostly local NJ artists slowly, and my format was "alternative" which gave me the freedom to take it wherever it went...and went, it did. One Sunday I decided to go full ska and had two of my dearest friends in the studio with me. My FM DJ girlfriend Lindsay and my friend in music and giant cans of pudding, Rob. I would be doing on-air interviews with Steve Jackson from the Pietasters and Travis from Hub City Stompers. There was beer. There was laughing. More than anything, there was a realization that this has always been the music that got deepest into my soul and why in the hell was this not my focus?

After a roof collapse and two station location shifts, our home base disbanded and a few of us, like myself, decided to hop into podcasting and continue with blogging reviews. I somehow garnered myself a lot of support in the sk…