Ok folks, there are a few things that the state of Wisconsin is known for and they are the
cheese curds, the beer, the Wisconsin Dells and Summer Fest. Summer fest is the biggest
music festival in the US an it is held through the month of July in Milwaukee. The weather was perfect, the choice of friends who came were perfect and being able to pre party in the parking lot was even more perfect because then we didn’t have to buy drinks in the park. I was pleased to travel the 3 hours from my house on a special Thursday to make it to see the Summer Camp artists such as Yonder Mountain String Band, G Love & Special Sauce and Michael Franti all in one set. And let me tell you that was the down fall, having to pick between who I wanted to see because they all played at the exact same time…..LAME. But me being me I made it to all!!! I started at Yonder who played an amazing Kentucky Mandolin and helped me to boogie down with my close friends and fabulous boyfriend. I figured having my adventure start at Yonder was a good choice, they have always pleased me with how they open their shows and how fast the crowd responds to the twangy beat. After grooving to Yonder for a tid bit I mozzied my happy butt over to G Love who rocked the crowd and made me appreciate glow sticks the size of my leg because holding one of those babies up in the air for more than a second makes me wonder how people at Summer Camp can hold all the totems and such for a whole day hahaha. It gets hard if you have never done it before but seems to get easier the better the show I have noticed. Like anything else it easy to dance, sing, hold totems and such if you are an awesome set so G love made it easy for me. After getting groovy to some G love I made my way over to my first ever Michael Franti show and let me tell you it was nothing like I expected. I haven’t really listened to much Franti but that man can throw down and make the ladies woooh hehe. If you have never seen the man than I highly suggest it because he is tall and handsome. Not only that but the man had talent and soul. I would enjoy seeing him again if you know what I mean. But t makes me happy to have seen him for the first time with good friends of mine. I ended up staying at the Franti show for the rest of the evening. The energy from the crowd was immaculate and the music was new to me and good.
It was really cool when we walked out of the park when the music was over. Our hopes were high, our crave for music was mouthwatering and there were some talented boys right outside trying to earn a buck and feeding our need for more. These four boys were skilled and had their stuff together. It is so hard to tell you how talented they were but let me tell you I bet they walked away with at least $1000 that night. They set up right outside the main gates to anyone who walked by had to at least hear them. When we heard the commotion we couldn’t help but walk over and see what all the hubbub was about. They were playing 5 gallon bucks like I have never seen. They were playing right on with one another, throwing sticks in the air, saying their
little tone “we want a dolla, I know you got a 20” all together perfectly. It was really cool. And no kidding people were dropping in money like no other, some people actually were dropping in 20 dollar bills. It was nuts but they were good. A buddy of mine decided he was going to drop in $5 but he wanted to play with them and they were cool enough to let him, it was hilarious because he couldn’t keep up with their speed. It was all in fun though. But these boys played out there every night and made a pretty penny doing it.
All in all if you are ever in Milwaukee during the month of July I would highly suggest hitting up Summer Fest. It’s a guaranteed good time.
Counselor In Training
I bet you are wondering who I am talking about when I say Dave…… well I am talking about the one and only Dave Matthews and I got my first Dave show ever at the Dave Matthews Caravan in Chicago and it was a Chicago experience to remember. Lets start with the waking up at 7 am and driving down to Chicago to make the Saturday set of the Caravan which was personally the day to be there with Cornmeal, Yonder Mountain String Band, moe., G Love and Special Sauce, and Umphrey’s McGee. Yes I know some amazing Summer Camp artists. Any who getting back to the haul down to Chi town. We left real early to get there real early. The acts all started early afternoon and I wanted to make it there in time for a group picture at the Summer Camp booth for the scavenger hunt at 4. Of course I dressed in all yellow to represent my team and I was ready for the 5 hour drive. It was a really nice day and a pretty quick drive until we arrived in Chicago around 1 and it all went downhill from there. We went to my boyfriend’s sister’s apartment on the north side of Chicago because that is where we were going to stay. We immediately dropped the car off hit the red line and started what turned out to be a 3 hour trip to
the caravan grounds all the way on the Southside of town. It sucked our train broke down, we couldn’t find a cab in that part of Chicago for the life of us and when we finally got to the end of the train destination we had to wait for a bus and take a 30 minute ride to the grounds. We were very discouraged when we got there and missed Cornmeal Yonder and my picture. Very discouraged but we made it in time to catch the last few moe songs and the rest of the acts from there which were G Love, Umphrey’s and of coarse Dave. Nothing else could go wrong and nothing else did. It was a killer time. I have to say I enjoyed the Umphrey’s set very very much. They played amazing songs we all love like JaJunk, In The Kitchen and Nemo and they rocked it. It also made me really happy to hear a couple
people talking behind me about how they had never heard the band and how much they really liked them. I had to turn around and put my two sense in and express my love for the band. We all know how much I love me some Umphrey’s .
After all was said and done it was time for the main man to make his appearance. I unfortunately have never seen DMB live and I had high hopes for my first show being it was my first and it was the DMB Caravan not just any show. Needless to say I enjoyed it much so. I got to hear one of my all-time favorite Dave songs Satellite along with the ever popular Crash. It was amazing. Who wouldn’t want a chill 3 hour Dave Matthews Band set at his own festival? We hung out in the back due to outrageous DMB fans up front, I’m sure if you have ever been to a Dave show you have experienced the carnage of Dave fans. That is why I call the man a dog, he hounds and serenades those ladies with that deep relaxing voice and with Jeff Coffin on his side you really can’t go wrong at all. Oh yes it was one for the books. The time it took to get there blew but the weather was perfect and the music was right, what can beat that?
Counselor In Training
Click the photos to enlarge!
Counselor In Training
Did you see Digital Tape Machine at Summer Camp? I somehow missed it and after checking them out at their tour opener in Burlington, Vermont I am so sad. They were freakin awesome. Seriously. I loved them. They rocked my world. I couldn’t stop dancing, I didn’t want it to end. They rocked my socks off. So…did I mention that I freakin loved them????
The band is comprised of Joel Cummins and Kris Myers from Umphrey’s McGee and they are joined by a bunch of super talented Chicago musicians. There were so many people playing instruments on stage and creating a sound that is unique to Umphrey’s McGee, but a little more metal and a little more electronic. I guess that’s what makes them Digital Tape Machine and not Umphrey’s. Does that make sense? I’m not the best at talking about music so my suggestion would be for you to go see them and then let me know how you would describe them. It was almost like Umphrey’s McGee on crack. Mmmm that probably doesn’t describe it too well either. All I know is that I was recovering from a stomach virus and I couldn’t leave the room because the music was hot and my dancing feet couldn’t stop dancing even if I tried. It was seriously that amazing.
GO SEE DIGITAL TAPE MACHINE. You won’t regret it.
Go check them out yo!
Counselor In Training
One of my life long goals is to tackle all forms of media so I can inspire people to live green, healthy and happy lives full of love, art and music. One outlet I’ve had my heart set on for a while is radio. The station I have been lusting after is Sirius XM Jam On because Jonathan Schwartz is not only one of my DJ heroes, but he has had a huge influence on me when I was first starting the Healthy Hippie Magazine and still today. He believed in me and I have been forever grateful so not only do I love him for that, but I love what he does for the jam scene on the radio.
I was in the car riding down to Phish’s Super Ball when I heard Jonathan talking about a little show on Jam On called, “Roll Your Own.” During “Roll Your Own” regular listeners get to pick a couple of songs to play on the radio and tell stories about the songs. I knew I had to do one of these shows so on my cell phone I went to the Sirius XM Jam On’s Facebook Page and wrote on their wall, “I want to roll my own.” Their intern Andrew quickly responded to me that I was chosen and to pick five songs. I decided to play “Two Steps” by Zach Deputy, “New York City” by Moe., “Shine On” by the Ryan Montbleau Band, “Sleeping Monkey” by Phish and finally “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the rUMors from Summer Camp. Three out of the five songs I played were Summer Camp artists.
I got to tell fun stories like how Zach Deputy has his crew drop him off a couple of miles from the venue he’s playing at that night so he can get a little run in and how Matty G from the Ryan Montbleau Band was suffering from sinus issues and I gave him the advice of going dairy free for thirty days and it worked and how when I saw Huey Lewis and the rUMors at Summer Camp I freaked out because I love both Huey Lewis and Umphrey’s so much. It was a dream come true and I got so much positive feedback on the Sirius XM Facebook page. My next step is for them to have me do a weekly show so I can showcase bands that work with non-profits, print their cd’s on recycled paper, do yoga, drive a veggie oil bus, eat local organic food, give to charity or do group aerobics together. Help me manifest it so it can become a reality:)
If you want to “Roll Your Own” show go on to the Sirius XM Jam On Facebook page and write on their wall that you want to “Roll Your Own.” Then you too can play all the Summer Camp artists you want. You can even tell a story about your experience at Summer Camp. How awesome is that???
Counselor In Training
They might not be a summer camp artist (yet) but I caught two nights of rock and roll with Dr. Dog at one of San Francisco’s most intimate venues, The Independent. I first saw these guys at music festival in the northeast a few years ago and I’ve been a fan since. They’re definitely making the mark on the music scene and getting attention from hipsters and hippies alike. Both nights at the Indy (Tuesday and Wednesday) were sold out and they also performed at Dave Matthews Band Caravan stop in Atlantic City.
Dr. Dog brings impressive vocal and guitar harmonies. They’re strong songwriters to boot – I highly suggest giving The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer a good listening to. Songs can be both heartfelt and goofy, and they definitely have a Beatles influenced sound (but are also totally unique). Live, they’re music spans the gamut of influences and they have a commanding and often hilarious stage presence. Aside from the awesome musicianship that this band demonstrates, the second night at the Independent was particularly killer
for a uncommon reason.
During a tune called Fat Dog, guitar player and vocalist Scott McMicken asked a fan from the front row if he could borrow a cell phone to make a call. Politely, he makes sure it’s cool that he dials 411 and incurs a 50cent charge as he searches for a nearby pizza place. How many pizza’s does he want? All of them. Send all of your pizza’s to the Independent. Make it snappy please. About 20 seconds later, the stage is full with the band’s crew handing out delicious large pizzas!
Pretty amazing – these guys threw a flippin pizza party for everyone at the Independent. Totally badass. And the amazing part was that everyone actually got pizza! I was upstairs in the balcony and they even made sure to send pizza up there. When I left, there was still pizza out on the bar people weren’t eating!
Anyway, check out Dr. Dog. They might buy you pizza. And even if they don’t, you’ll get a kick ass show.
You can watch this whole thing go down on the video below. Skip to 3:30 to see the pizza ordering go down (or watch the whole video to catch these guys in action).
I’m thinking Blue Team needs to throw a Pizza Party at Summer Camp next year.
Counselor In Training
June 15th was a Wednesday…not normally the most rockin’ day of the week, but this was not an ordinary Wednesday. Early 90s rockers CAKE were in town and my buddy got me a ticket to the show. We decided to make a day of it. Had some dinner, some drinks, met some new people, invited them to the show, it was all working out. Little did I know how epic of a show I was about to see. CAKE formed in the early 90s and went onto record some songs I know you know…”He’s going for distance, he’s going for speed…” and “I want a girl with a short skirt and a loooooooooooooooong jacket…” Now you know who they are? Good!
While those previous two songs were definitely the ones I wanted to see (they used them for the encore) I got a little bit more of a taste of CAKE than I had anticipated. The songs of their new album were great. Awesome production, a very idiosyncratic approach to music with very specific parts to be played including the use of a vibraphone.
Two super cool things happened at this show, however. First, the CAKE frontman has so much control over the crowd, it was awesome to watch. Dividing the group up he had us sing harmonic melodies. I’ve never seen so many people locked into a band I was unfamiliar with. The way he split up the group, and forced people “on the line” to choose what side they are on gave me goose bumps. If you have the opportunity to see CAKE perform live, whether you are a fan or not, go do it!
The second cool thing they did was give away a tree…a cherry tree. Apparently, for a few years now, at all their shows, CAKE gives away a tree that can thrive in that respective area to a member of the audience who can identify the species. They must swear within 30 days to have the plant in the ground and send a picture into CAKE. Here is a link to their page with all the tree information. Check it out and imagine, what if every band gave away trees?
Counselor In Training
Sometimes when you come home from a festival as fabulous as Summer Camp, you need an adjustment period to real life and it’s no wonder. Summer Camp is a place of magic and amaziness that is often hard to experience in “real life.” Here are some reasons why Summer Camp is different from “real life.”
At Summer Camp you can hug random strangers. Sometimes “normal” people freak out when you hug them.
Dressing in crazy costumes is perfectly acceptable and actually recommended at Summer Camp. In normal life, you can dress in crazy costumes like I do, but people look at you funny…which is funny.
In “real life”the port-o-potties you see aren’t for you to use. They are usually for construction workers.
You have to drive places to see music.
If you wander up to a barn there probably isn’t awesome music happening inside…or maybe there is?
You can’t run around barefoot and play in the mud downtown.
Moe. and Umphrey’s doesn’t play for you almost every day and night.
If you go to play sunrise kickball, Ryan Stasik won’t be there.
So in conclusion….I would like to go back to Summer Camp now.
Love and light,
Counselor In Training
Cervantes Summer Celebration June 10th (Ape Tit feat. Members of the Big Motif)
For those of you who live in Colorado, you know how fun a place Cervantes can be. And when they decided to have their Summer Celebration party this year featuring a bunch of local bands, I was ready to go…plus I just moved 3 blocks from the venue, both awesome and dangerous. Anyway, The Summer Celebration party featured a bunch of local bands. The first band I saw was Big Wheel Electrosoul. Awesome live hip hop featuring my good friend Mr. Charles Parker Mertens on the bass. Normally I don’t get into the hip hop too much, but whenever there is a live backing band I’ll give it a chance. I was glad I did. Holding down great beats with socially conscious lyrics, Big Wheel Electrosoul is one not to miss.
The last band I saw, yes I’m skipping to the end because my personal highlight came mid-show, was Whiskey Tango. I guess you’d call the grass rock or something as they have a traditional bluegrass lineup with the addition of a synth and drummer with full kit. These guys rock and for sure know how to hold it down. Once again, I don’t normally get into the bluegrass but these guys were really good. I’ve seen them before and I’d see them again. With driving beats supporting a twangy vibe of excellent songwriting, this band will be doing their thing in Denver for years to come.
The highlight of the evening, however, was a band called Ape Tit. Yes, as in the breast of a gorilla. I thought it was a play on words of “appetite” but I was wrong. This band features a local Denver guitar player paired up with the drummer from the Big Motif. If you know the Big Motif or saw them at Summer Camp, you know these kids, and I mean kids, are super young. It’s always a treat to see the entertainment on stage have big black “X”s on their hands, always wondering, where is this kid gonna be in 10 years when he’s had an opportunity to be exposed to all the music scene has to offer? Some people don’t make it, but if this performance was any indication, the kids from the Big Motif have their heads on straight and will be around for a while. Ape Tit was great. Hip Hop and break beats with layers of delayed guitar put over it. All fine in it of itself, the show really took off when Big Motif’s bass player joined in and took the event to another level. If you get the chance to see Ape Tit in Denver, do it, if not, catch the Big Motif and see these young kids before they are a ticket to tough to get.
Counselor In Training
At the end of every summer, you usually sit back and recap. You remember swimming at the lake everyday for two weeks straight. You remember those long car rides to those amazing shows just for the night. You remember sitting by the campfire as you and a bunch of good friends bs until after the sun comes up. I remember Summer Camp Music Festival. Ever since I started going to Summer Camp, I have smiled and laughed as I look at the ridiculousness of everything and how it can never be forgotten. Well, this year was no different than any other but I have to say it was better. I had the amazing opportunity as Camp Counselor In Training and I cannot thank Holly, and the folks at Summer Camp, enough for giving me the opportunity to learn more about the festival and the people it brings.
That was one of the amazing aspects of Summer Camp this year, the people. The festival (I’m pretty sure) doubled in just one year and that is just crazy to me. You have to admit for a fan base to double in just one year is spectacular; they are doing everything right and always have. from The Green Team pickup crew, to all the amazing music that is brought to us for our viewing pleasure, I truly think it is a remarkable place.
Now lets recap on this year alone and the things that stuck out to me. Where to begin? How about with the music that brings us to this weekend of joy?You have your awesome headliners like moe., with their crowd pleasers like Captain America, and Umphrey’s McGee playing some of their new songs off the album coming in September (and not to mention hookin up with Huey Lewis) You have your regulars like Keller Williams who opened his set with Ninja, Cornmeal who played at least 3 sets throughout the weekend (cant say for sure because I couldn’t make it to them all) and Yonder Mountain String Band who got me super pumped when I heard my first No Expectations. And then you get to the great treats that you hope to come back.
This year, I personally think the biggest excitement was Widespread Panic and the Everyone Orchestra with artist such as Kyle Hollingsworth, Al Schnier, Natalie Cressman, along with a group of other amazing artists. The thing that sticks out to me the most thinking about the Everyone Orchestra is what you had to do to see them. Summer Camp came up with an amazing idea for the fest goers. You see, you didn’t buy a ticket, you didn’t win one, you simply had to do things like pick up cig butts , take part in recycling, turn in bags for recycling and things of that nature that would not only promote you, but help keep the festival clean and do your part to help respect and preserve the
earth. I think that was a great idea and cant wait to see what Summer Camp comes up with next. As you can tell, I named off mostly jam bands. I’m not big into the dubstep or electronica scene but Summer Camp still has it. Featuring bands such as STS9, Big Gigantic, EOTO and Bassnectar , you know, the big wigs who know how to make a crowd go CRAZYYYYY. These were a good handful of the memorable music related memories that I will remember at least until next year when I do it all again.
Now, you want to talk aspects of the festival I can’t forget like the rain and mud. Yes, it sucked. Yes, it was cold, but man did it bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. From purposely mud sliding to accidentally mud sliding, I got a kick out of people falling into that thick juicy mud. I wont forget the mud sliders in the woods only feet away from our campsite or hearing about a friend who drank too much and slipped on his way back to camp to sleep. We all got a good chuckle in when he returned to camp super pissed and full of mud. The Sunday morning storm was awesome. I have never been in a tent during a thunderstorm and I personally loved feeling like I was up in the sky as it happened. May sound weird but it was pretty relaxing. The storm and the mud was fun, but the people made the festival. So many faces from all over the country. In our group alone we had people from Colorado, Wisconsin and New York. I met people from Indiana, from Tennessee from here, from there. It was pretty cool.
Everyone was nice and respectful. I personally didn’t see any altercations or brawls and that is exactly what I would hope to get from a fest, a comfortable safe environment. An environment with happy faces. I won’t forget the faces at Ryan Stasik of Umphreys playing kickball with us in the wee hours of the a.m. Yes that was fun. I was happy I made it this year and I’m sure Stasik and his team were very pleased when they took the victory. (by the way, they came prepared this year with more than one ball so no one could steal it again).
Recaping my recap, Summer Camp 2011 rocked my socks off. Well, I didn’t have socks, just mud but you know what I mean. it was EPIC. The lineup could not have gotten any better, the crowds could not have been any more energetic and high spirited and the experience could not be replaced with anything else in my book. I met some amazingly fun people who I wish I could have spent more time with ( Joe, Jon, Taraleigh, Jeff and Nick). And thanks again to Holly and Summer Camp. Without you, I don’t think my experience would have been so rewarding. Now everyone…..check out the fest, you won’t be displeased.
Counselor In Training