noun - 1 a sense of communion with others: affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord, unity.
Throughout our individual journeys in life we frequently seek out a sense of belonging oftentimes through our love of music. Summer Camp itself is a communal event that features some of the most amazing fans and musicians in the scene. Communion is the title bestowed on a UK record label that has worked diligently to bring together both fan and musician through live and recorded offerings. What began as a ‘Communion Presents’ concert series at a West London basement bar has blossomed into an international phenomenon of sharing the best and the freshest young performers with music addicts across the globe.
Their latest offering is a series of ‘Communion Clubnights’ throughout the month of October. From New York City to my old stomping grounds of Rock Island, Illinois. The rotating lineup of these dates will include Summer Camp alumni Rubblebucket, Roadkill Ghost Choir, and Willy Mason. Local acts will support. The dates and cites are listed below.
1st Oct – New York, NY
2nd Oct – Washington, DC
3rd Oct – Philadelphia, PA
8th Oct – Bloomington, IN
9th Oct – Louisville, KN
10th Oct – Nashville, TN
15th Oct – Minneapolis, MN
16th Oct – Madison, WI
17th Oct – Rock Island, IL
Sticking to the east coast and then drifting back into Summer Camp country, this series of shows will be both eclectic and entertaining. So instead of sitting around and waiting for Summer Camp 2014 go out and see some life music. For additional info on who is playing where and when see the Communion website for more details.
Radkey is an up and coming punk band who is slowly taking the Midwest by storm and even in Europe! I saw them for the first time on August 23rd and they blew me away with how good they were! Radkey consists of three brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri, which is an hour north of Kansas City. Dee is the guitarist and vocalist. His voice is amazing, his vocals sound similar to Danzig (from the Misfits), but he also can surprise you with a melodic scream every once in a while. Isaiah is on bass and he does most of the talking for the band between songs. I found out from him that the band is really into anime and they don’t care what people think about it! Then the youngest brother Solomon is on the drums. They’re quite a unique band since their influences consist of the classics like the Who, the Beatles, Fishbone, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and so many more. How many teenagers now days are listening to or even influenced by these classics?! Radkey has even opened up for Fishbone and they have even played the AfroPunk festival in NY with many other major artists.
Here’s a few pics from when I saw them at Fubar on August 23rd
Here’s me with Isaiah the bassist and their EP that I just bought.
They played an amazing show! If you’re into punk, they are a must see act! I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys end up playing large venues like the Pageant in the next 5 years. Radkey is currently promoting their first EP titled Cat & Mouse which you can listen to it here. They are playing a few more shows in the Midwest, like Riotfest in Chicago, and then they’re playing a few dates in Europe, so make sure you catch them while you can!
Dumpstaphunk played the House of Blues in Chicago on Friday, July 19th as Phish’s official late night show. In all honesty, this show was the highlight of my evening, especially since Phish was forced to cancel early due to a nasty storm that swept through the city. Along with opening act, The Revivalist, Dumpstaphunk threw down one top notch funky dance party that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
Chicago actually holds a special place in Dumpstaphunk history. Drummer Nikki Glaspie played her first show as an official member of Dumpstaphunk in Chicago just two short years ago. I got a chance to talk with Nikki before her show on Friday and let’s just say this chick is FIERCE! Her addition to the current lineup has elevated this band’s energy to a whole other stratosphere and her 15 minute drum solo Friday night completely blew me away.
Today, Dumpstaphunk will be releasing their latest album, Dirty Word, and this is the band’s first studio album since Nikki Glaspie joined the group. In the past she has helped produce, arrange, and record tracks in the studio for many other projects and artists, but Dirty Word is the first album where Nikki recorded material that she had also written.
Dumpstaphink is basically a super group of funk musicians, and Dirty Word showcases the musical range this band brings to the table. While each member has a notable musical background in funk, Nikki Glaspie is the only member not rooted in the New Orleans funk scene. Needless to say, her vocals pack quite a punch and her influence on the new album is obvious. ”I brought some of the rock element to the album. Whereas Nick Daniels brought the blues element and Ivan (Neville) brought a rock element too but a different type, almost like a Who-ish type vibe, and I brought just straight hard rock.”
Coming up with new material this day in age is often a reflection of what is already out there in the world of music. By staying true its origins, Dumpstaphunk’s mix of styles has brought funk music to a whole other level. ”We wanted people to know we are more than just a funk band,” explains Glaspie, ”We can play blues if we want to or we can play rock if we want to.”
Dirty Word was recorded in New Orleans and took about a year to complete. One of the most distinct difference between Dumphstaphunk and other funk bands is they lack a horn section. Luckily, artists Trombone Shorty and Skerik were close by to supply the horns for the album’s third track “I Wish You Would”. ”Skerik is an amazing tenor saxophone player, he’s sick!” says Nikki. They also added Rebirth Brass Band to mix for ”Raise the House,” a song that was meant to blow everyone away in true Mardi Gras fashion.
Dirty Word also contains some pretty notable contributions from artists Ani DiFranco and Art “Papa Funk” Neville. The album’s sixth track, “If I’m in Luck” is a dirty nasty Bettie Davis cover where Glaspie sings vocals and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers guest stars on bass. “It is so different than what Dumpstaphunk normally does or what people think we normally do,” explains Nikki “That was actually what we wanted for the record.” The band has been covering the tune since Nikki joined back in 2011. Just like it does in their live show, ”If I’m in Luck” adds quite a sassy flavor to the Dumpstaphunk catalog.
There is a certain stigma that surrounds funk music, which often gets snubbed because it goes against most of what pop music stands for. When asked about the album’s title, Glaspie explains how it is almost the perfect description of funk music from a funk band’s perspective. ”There is no category in the Grammys for funk,” she points out. “When we register our songs on BMI or ASCAP, there is no category to register our songs as funk songs. You know it’s like it’s not even recognized as a genre of music within the music industry. So, it’s like a dirty word.” The irony is that disco, house, EDM, and Hip-hop are all rooted in funk. Therefore without funk music, most of the pop music today would not exist and pop music is something Nikki Glaspie knows all too much about.
Nikki was fortunate to land a gig touring in an all-girl band backing up pop superstar Beyoncé. While touring with one of the most successful artists in the world is a dream come true for most musicians, it just wasn’t her thing. “Literally, if I had to play “Irreplaceable” one more time, I would have shot myself in the foot.” Nikki further explains, “I just couldn’t take it anymore.” Glaspie was at a crossroads where she felt she needed to be true to her art. Playing someone else’s music in a genre she could care less about no longer appealed to her. “I wanted to spread my wings. You know it was like I was super contained in that environment and I had to play the same thing over and over again. There was just no room for growth.”
Moving forward was a big step for her career. Funk music seemed to pull her in a direction where she knew she would enjoy being challenged. “I am a funkateer first and foremost, but I am also a rocker,” explains Nikki. Dumpstaphunk has given her a creative outlet where she can perform the same type of music she would want to listen to and see live. In other words, this is her dream job.
Nikki Glaspie has now been touring with Dumpstaphunk virtually nonstop for the past two years. While it might seem like a huge leap from the all-female pop band she traveled the globe with, Nikki didn’t find adjusting all that difficult. “We all have a certain kinship living together on the road. It’s not as much of a difference as people would think or maybe as it would be in a different type of work environment. But because we are all musicians, and kind of all do the same thing, then the gender thing doesn’t really matter.”
Dumpstaphunk will continue to tour nonstop in support of the new album, which drops today. Download here.
This weekend Phish will be taking over Chicago for a three night run at Northerly Island. With Saturday already sold out, Kuroda sporting a new light rig, and a completely revamped venue, this is bound to be a throwdown! But the party doesn’t stop there! Quite a few Summer Camp favorites are playing late night shows all around Chicago this weekend. Here’s a little heads up on some don’t-miss late nights for those of you heading to Phish….
Friday night the funk machine better known as Dumpstaphunk will be playing the House of Blues in Chicago. Their newest album, Dirty Word (available for pre-order), is about to drop at the end of the month, so this late night is guaranteed to get DIRTY!!! ”We are touring in support of the new Album, so people will definitely hear new material,” says drummer Nikki Glaspie. Not to mention that the HOB is one of the few venues in the Midwest to have a spring floor, which means you have no choice but to get down the minute the music starts and getting down is exactly what NOLA’s Dumpstaphunk is known for.
Chicago holds a special place in Dumpsta history. It was at the Mid back in 2011 that drummer, Nikki Glaspie, played her first show as an official member of Dumpstaphunk. In two short years she has brought the band to a whole other level. This late night will be a funky dance party through and through. What a great way to kick off the weekend!
If you are not familiar, Gamehenge was the setting of a musical masterpiece Trey Anastasio developed in college for his senior year project way back in 1987. It is basically the story of a man on a journey to get the goods. I won’t give away too much, but lets just say this album was the platform on which Phish was constructed. So in the same fashion that Phish grew into the beast it is today, Spread throws down some heavy improvisation in every song they play. They are guaranteed to split open the Hard Rock Cafe and we might even get a ”Wiiiillllllsoooon” tease thrown in the mix.
Finally, Summer Camp’s favorite late night act is doing what they do best by providing a Talking Heads dance party until the wee hours of the morning. This Must Be The Band will be playing Martyrs 7/20 and 7/21. Their first set on both Saturday and Sunday will be all request, where the loudest person in the crowd gets to choose what gets played next (so long as it’s Talking Heads music). The second set each night will be Speaking in Tongues, note by note. How neat is that?!
Needless to say, Summertime Chi is in full swing, SCampers! This weekend is going to be the type where the party just doesn’t stop…. So get out there and get your groove on!
Sorry I haven’t been on here in some months. I had some pretty big things going on in my life. But besides that, I just wanted to take a moment and remember a great Summer Camp neighbor Jay, in which my friend Joe, my man Adam, our friends, and I got to know at Summer Camp 2012 and we were looking forward to camping by him again in 2013. Luckily, my friends got to neighbor-up with him at Electric Forest a month after Scamp 2012. But unfortunately, Jay passed away in January. He was such a kind and sharing person and had the best hangout spot in our neighborhood at Scamp, and with the few days that I got to know him, he made it perfectly clear that he loved his dubstep, electronica music, and anyone he came in contact with. R.I.P. Jay buddy, we’ll rage it up this year in your memory! You showed me that Scamp neighbors are the best neighbors!
<3 your girl,
I had a great opportunity to attend the Saturday of Loufest and got to get inside an hour before it opened since I was helping work a booth. Loufest is more of an indie and new music type of festival. They have 2 main stages and another stage in the kids area. Since I was helping with a booth in the kids area, I was able to see every band at the kids stage. This stage’s line-up consisted of local middle school, high school, and college age bands playing all day.
I was able to catch most of the bands on the main stages throughout the day as well. The first band that I saw was a local St. Louis duo Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult who go by Sleepy Kitty.
These two originate from Chicago and one fun fact about them is that they have been voted STL’s “best poster designers.”
After taking a break and picking up my fellow Summer Camp friend Joe, we headed back up to Loufest that evening and caught Dinosaur Jr. and Girl Talk. I have ALWAYS wanted to see Dinosaur Jr. so I was ecstatic when they came out and started rocking my face off.
Then my friend and I left Dinosaur Jr. a little early so we could find a good spot in Girl Talk’s crowd to be in the middle of the party. I’ve seen Girl Talk a couple times before so being in the middle and dancing with total strangers who are just as excited to dance as hard as you is always ideal. If you know anything about Girl Talk, you know the brains behind the operation is the one-man band/sample machine Gregg Gillis. He always has someone pick people out of the crowd beforehand who are dressed eccentric or out of the ordinary to spend their whole time dancing on stage to his fast beats. That’s why at this show there were two Where’s Waldos and many others who were dressed strangely on stage. Also, before the show, he always picks two individuals from the crowd to use leaf-blowers with toilet paper rolls attached to the end to shower the audience with toilet paper. There wasn’t a moment where everyone or myself weren’t dancing!!
Hey Scampers, one week till Scamp time! Yesss!
I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to attend Summer Camp 2012 as your Counselor in Training. It truly is an honor and a dream come true. I’m going to tell ya a little bit about myself so you can get to know your CIT a little better, and then I’m going to tell you what I’m most excited for at SC.
Since 2005 I’ve been attending 1-2 music festivals each year, and they have more or less turned into my home away from home each summer. I always choose which festival I attend each summer based on who has the best lineup for my tastes. And this year it was a no brainer, Summer Camp 2012 all the way! (I must admit though that I do have a soft spot in my heart for Wakarusa and the Harvest festival with their spectacular scenery up on Mulberry Mountain. Just check out this breath taking aerial shot!) In St. Louis, I’m always attending shows. Especially the shows of Aaron Kamm and the One Drops (check them out!). One thing that’s great about my city is that there’s always free shows going on year round, which is a great way to get into and support local bands. I usually attend shows at small venues such as the Firebird, Broadway Oyster Bar, the Old Rock House, Lemmon’s, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Schlafly Tap Room, and the Schllafly Bottleworks. As for the larger shows, I usually go to the Pageant or Pop’s.
As for SC, I’m most excited to see some Gogol Bordello. I’ve seen these accordion playin-fiddlin’ strummin’-wine splashin’-gypsy punks several times, and their energy is enough to blow your face off! If you need a quick energy boost to get ya through the rest of Friday night, make sure you check out this band. (Just don’t forget to find me during their set and dance with me in the front!) I also can’t wait to see some Umphrey’s, I’ve been seeing these guys 2-3 times a year since 2005, and like everyone knows, every show is always different and better than the last! Now let’s just hope that we can all make it to every one of their 5 of their sets in 3 days at SC. And I can’t wait for some Primus, especially since I haven’t seen them since they put out their new album Green Naugahyde. It’ll be quite a set with some new tunes in rotation. Plus, you can never go wrong with the lovely bass playin’ of Les Claypool, side project or not, he always puts on a spectacular show. I also can’t wait to get on my dancin’ shoes and hit up some Rubblebucket! This will be a first for me, but just the sound of Kalmia Traver‘s sultry voice puts me in a romantic daze. I’m also excited for some Keller Williams, Galactic, The New Orleans Suspects, The Infamous Stringdusters, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti, G. Love, Common, Jane’s Addiction, Wooten, Zoogma and many more!
Once I first found out that I made it to the top 6, the planning and packing began. Well, mostly because I had a horrible nightmare that I showed up to SC with only my tent and the clothes on my back. That was frightening. But anyway, my festival essentials include my eno hammock, lots clean under drawers, costumes, sunscreen, baby powder, apples, and my blow up mattress. I’m always lookin’ out for the Scamper, so I purchased some goodies to give away to my fellow Scampers such as hundreds of glowsticks (for glowstick wars), glow paint, and fuzzy pink moustaches. I am also apart of the Umphrey’s street team, so you can expect some sweet Umphrey’s goodies from me as well! As your CIT, of course I will give you a personal perspective of my SC experience through technology, but I’m all about you, the Scamper. I can’t wait to get to know you and make lifetime friends in the process. I’m going to be running around in costumes half of the weekend, so if you’re dressed in a costume too, I wanna meet ya and award you with a fuzzy pink moustache! And as promised, I will be bringin’ those apples! So if you’re a fan of the apple, be ready to catch one headed in your direction. Also, I’m coming to SC with my main squeeze Adam. If you watched my contest video, he was the dude that was trying to “rob” me. One of our favorite things to do together is swing dance, so you’ll probably see us bustin’ some swing moves during sets and especially at Gogol Bordello. I’ll also be hangin’ with my friend Joe (who I met some years ago through my best girl E-Flat) and his friends who are SC veterans.
I am excited and proud to say that this is going to be my first Summer Camp! And I can’t wait to spend it with you. So if you see me out and about, don’t be shy, come say “hi”! I’d love to chat it up with you or dance our booties off together to some tasty tunes. So let’s make it the best one yet! (Not only because my birthday is on Thursday of SC, but especially since I heard some crazy rumor that the world is supposed to end sometime late this year…it’s probably a buncha psssh, but let’s do it up anyway!)
Love, hugs, and thugs,