I’ve been to festivals and seen the crowd swarming with colorful, intricately decorated comic book characters and childhood heroes, but Summer Camp really put the totem love on the map for me this year. As I grooved and moved my way through the masses, making my way from one show to the next, I stumbled upon one old friend after another- from tye-dye care bears and naked women made out of PBR (okay, that’s not an old childhood friend- really) to Pee-Wee Herman and Martians~ the Scamp crew representatives were in full force for Summer Camp 2012. Check out my totem spotting below:
Hello there fellow SCamper Dudes and Dudettes!
So the best weekend of the year has come and gone. I can’t believe it – it feels like it was a dream. I honestly am in disbelief of everything that has happened. I am SO happy that I decided to enter the Camp Counselor Contest, it was a last minute decision and I submitted the video on the last day at 8pm. From there we made the first 12, then we made the next round of 6. What many people don’t know is that I decided to make a second video for the following round in which I was going to do “tricks” as I jumped out of a tree. Well in making that second video I landed wrong after I jumped and suffered a concussion, four days of the worst migrains I’ve ever had, a bruised knee, a bruised jaw, a deep cut in my neck that wouldn’t stop bleeding for a day and a half and I chipped 3 teeth and lost half of one of my molars. Can anyone question whether I am dedicated to Summer Camp? The few weeks trying to win the contest was super stressful – I had everyone I possibly could spreading the word and voting…friends and family from as far as Argentina, Spain, Italy and Colombia. All the pain and hard work paid off though and we made top three and then finally won. It was amazing. The day they announced it, I had adrenaline constantly running through my blood and I couldn’t sleep; after coming to Summer Camp for 6 years I was going to experience my favorite festival in a way I could have only dreamed about.
I had so many things planned, so much I wanted to cover and see but the weekend seriously flew by and my aspirations were much larger than what was physically possible. However, I was able to get some awesome videos, catch some great sets, meet some amazing people, do really nice interviews, capture sweet pictures, and dance and hoop my heart out. Summer Camp is so big – there is so much going on that it is impossible to do it justice; for those of you who haven’t been – you will never know how amazing it is until you experience it for yourself.
I again want to thank the entire Summer Camp crew for creating the Camp Counselor Program. For die hard fans, it is the chance to live the festival through a completely unique understanding. As someone who goes year after year it was so special to get a glimpse of the world behind the stage. I will forever treasure these memories and will continue to attend Summer Camp every year, but now with a greater level of appreciation.
The highlights of the weekend are meeting moe. and announcing their first set, being side stage for moe., UM and Gigantic Underground Conspiracy, getting to see Wavy blow out his birthday candles, and getting a drum lesson from Vinnie. I tried to plan the best I could for the weekend, but there is just so much going on it’s impossible to plan for it all – so for the next year’s counselor I suggest you make a general schedule and stay organized. Being counselor is a great experience, but it is your duty to represent the festival and that is a huge undertaking – I knew that going into it and yet it was still even grander than I thought.
I am sad that Summer Camp 2012 is over; but I am already getting excited for Summer Camp 2013. From my first video entering the SC Counselor contest I claimed that Summer Camp is the best festival ever, and it is. The line up is amazing every year and the people who make it happen are all so awesome and nice. Thank you Summer Camp, thank you fellow SCampers, and anyone who is considering coming next year – it will be the best experience of your life.
Keep Striving for Peace, Love, and Unity Fellow SCampers,
Camp Counselor Maria
Me and Joel Cummins, keys player for Umphreys!!
Ohhh, what a glorious time we’re having out here in the woods at Summer Camp! After three crazy days, three set of Umphreys & Moe, my heart is singing! I’m surrounded by hundreds of fun-loving, sexy people who have come to let their spirits soar in the glorious, funky serenades of an array of musical treats- from jam to funk to latin and steam punk.
Saturday at Summer Camp (aka, Scamp) was ridiculous fun- an upbeat reggae jangling morning as Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars perked everyone up, groovin’ and movin’ to the uplifting, spiritual tunes of their homeland Africa. The lead singers belted their messages of joy and hope in their native tongue, Krio, working the stage, grinding and dipping their hips to their up-chuck, reggae rhythms.
While gettin’ my groove on with the Sierra Leone Boys Holly (aka; my Boss) called me and asked me if I could run up to the little white church on the hill and cover a private Umphreys jam session. “Ummmm, yes please!” (pun intended) I hightailed my ass over to the church, mingled with the boys and the fans then proceeded to go inside the adorable white chapel and rawk face with a private UM Church-Style serenade. They killed it (as always) ripping heart-wrenching drum and bass then tickling all the senses with their bouncy flutter jams, rolling in and out of hard rock into funk jam. 100 people huddled in the packed-out chapel, drinking free brews from Chicago brewery Goose Island, standing atop church pews and bangin’ their boots and bare feet and rockin’ their sweet new UM-VIP gear (given out courtesy of the boys.) I love that about Umphreys. Their always willing to jam out small-town bars and talk to their fans after shows. I think I saw Ryan Stasik’s fine self wandering around Scamp, rockin’ his sa-weet handlebar moustache. I’ll have more details on all the juicy inside stories later. For now, enjoy this glorious picture of myself and Mister Ryan Stasik.
Moustache Love with Ryan Stasik, bass god for Umphreys!
I have come to find out that Summer Camp is much much more than just the music, as each day goes by I realize the importance of community and the connection we all have with each other. I woke up in a daze, with only about 2 hrs of sleep and basically stumbled on over to finish up another days worth of blogging. About mid way through I found that Rebelution was playing over at the Sunshine stage. I was only able to catch 20 minutes of them but man, they were great! I really love Rebelution. They have that super catchy sound that can make anyone groove. I spent most of my day just chillin at the campsite playing at my practice pad watching the beautiful people go by. I went and checked out Gigantic Underground Conspiracy and wow, their drummer just tears it up! After that I was able to see both sets of Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Umphrey’s played a kickin’ cover of Tom Sawyer. Overall, Saturday was quite relaxing. Summer Camp is really what you make of it. If sitting around and relaxing is your thing, cool. If your really into show hopping, go for it. There are so many things to be doing that there’s no way you can be bored here. There’s just no way! As for Sunday, I think it shall be my day to just live and let go. It’s the last day of Summer Camp. Gonna take it for what it is and live it like there’s nothing else. I hope all you Scampers will do the same!
And there we were, pulling up to the festival, beautiful faces, beautiful weather, getting ready to just take it all in. This is my first fest and I am absolutely shocked by the energy here. I had no expectations other than good music and good music is what we got!!! We also got some damn good food too!!! Go check the Cresent Sensations right in the middle of the main vending area. Got in at about 3 and the first show we hit was Elephant Revival, and I tell you what, that chick playing the washboard was totally groovin! I recommend that you guys check them out, they’re kind of have a new age upbeat folk sound. They were playing just at the sun was going down and if you weren’t there on Thursday, the sunset was absolutely beautiful. Next up was Trichome and if they can’t get you to get your funk on I don’t know who will. They had a sax player that ripped it up, lots of energy and big sound. From what I hear Cornmeal is where the rage begins and they kicked it off like no other. I have never heard anyone play the violin with so much passion like she did. Next two bands we hit were The Werks and Future Rock. The Red Barn shows are amazing, I highly recommend that you guys go and buy at least one late night Red Barn ticket. Its a good time that you really don’t want to miss out on.
Lets see what Friday has to offer!
Happy delicious Friday Scamp friends and family! Hope life is treating everyone gloriously! I’m up surprisingly early for a Friday in the forest. Sooo, I got in around 3:00 yesterday afternoon with hundreds of other fun and colorful people from all over the world. I actually had the amazing pleasure of hooking a fellow fan up with a deluxe VIP pass to the fest. She was wondering around in an adorable cut-off Bob Marley shirt, no shoes, tilted hat decked out with hippie bling and puffy letter stickers spelling, well…part of her name- E.L.E. Miss Ellie and her friends were on their way to Delfest but couldn’t find that lucky miracle ticket so they hopped on the bus and took the ride all the way up to beautimus Summer Camp- again, no tickets in hand, just a little bounce in their step and hope in their hearts.
As she wondered by with one lone finger in the air, she sweetly leaned into our car window and said, “Got any extras?” I told her I was actually an official Summer Camp Counselor and strange enough, I’m balling with an extra Deluxe VIP pass. “Ohhhh man, I can’t afford that,” she shook her head and sadly sang to me. I smiled and told her she could have for the low, low price of $150, way less than gate price for a regular ticket. Her eyes beamed and she completely freaked, dancing around the car and grabbing me in a giant bear hug. I caught a glimpse of her cheesing from the Starshine stage last night.
After hooking a fellow sister up I wandered over to the VIP scamping grounds and nestled in. Honestly, I threw my gear down three different times before finding the right space for my new home in the woods. You must choose your neighbors wisely while festing, my friends. Too many neon-colored boom boxes, Nike pumps and tilted hats = you will not sleep for the next three days. Your brain will be submerged in Bassnectar banging til’ 4am, amongst bad jokes and 19-year -old high school horror stories. No thanks.
So, I mosied along and nestled into a cozy little space beside two sexy girls and a crew of good friends from Chi-town. Frickin’ amazing people. After creating our beautiful tent city castle, we all laughed and talked and ran around the festival grounds meeting our fellow Scampers and letting them know that all is safe in Scamp land while I’m around. While out, I caught a little of super bouncy, fun bluegrass band Chicago band Van Ghost. The lead singer plucked away at a washboard, crooning a soft, sweet, guttural lullaby. After, we ran over to Digital Tape Machine and rawked out, spinning and jamming to the hard-rock jam and bass that make their glorious sound. Everyone was completely raging it for a Thursday afternoon. It was glorious!
Today, the madness really begins. Today UMPHREYS MCGEE is going to rage cage all over this land! Oh yes. Don’t worry friends, I’ll be back to share all of the beautiful debauchery and goodness
Be easy ~TiffleToes
So, you voted for all of us wonky hipsters and nut-balls to get behind the scenes and bare all for Summer Camp TV essentially. You’re about to see us shakin’ our thang and running wild in the techno jungle with a camera in our face. So, to give you a little heads up about what to expect from me, aka, Miss Tiffany from Asheville. Here is my life in pictures:
**Spinning in my Head, Giggles on the Bed** I’m 27 years old, yes, but I still LOVE jumping on my bed and listening to Umphreys rawk face. My favorite live show right now is last years UM Halloween in Georgia! SO SICK!
own mister moustache, modeled after none
other than Yosemite
See you silly love makers and party shakers soon! Muah!
Summer Camp has had so many artist grace their stage over the years, that if you go to any show chancres are the majority of them have played Summer Camp. While the headliners Juno What have yet to play SCamp both Euforquetra and Bernie Worrell have made the trip. My jam-packed weekend of music began with Juno What?!’s headlining show at Cervantes with famed funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Much of what Worrell pioneered throughout his career with Parliament and to a lesser extent the Talking Heads is the basis for what bands like Juno What?! are doing today. So it made sense to toss them together in a live setting. Up first was Fort Collins based Euforquestra who continues to impress audiences up and down the Front Rage. Euforquestra continues to be one of my favorite shows to see live, they are a danceable journey into the abyss of world funk. Their sound is so undeniably eclectic and inviting I challenge anyone to see them and not have a good time. Here is their setlist from their hour and half onstage.
SET I: Backbone, Price Is Right, Hopscotch, Ogun, MOMO, Soup, Reggaemylitis, Road Funk, Hang Ups, 2007, Free> Pure> Excuse O> Free, What Cha Want
This set has it all including a sick version of Peter Tosh’s Reggaemylitis with Grundstad on vocals. Mike Tallman has to be one of the most underrated guitarists playing around Denver these days. He quite simply shreds with amazingly smooth finger work. The Free sandwich shows how tight they have become during their time inc Colorado, but the highlight of the show had to be their tribute to the late, great Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Also known as MCA, his passing is a huge loss to the hiphop community. The Euforquestra boys thought it was appropriate to honor him with a cover of What Cha Want. They invited three MCs to the stage and busted out a compelling close to their set.
Juno What?! is an electro-funk outfit made up of Joey Porter and Steve Watkins on keys, and Dave Watts on drums. The lineup is unusual to say the least consisting of totally rhythmic instrumentation, however, the band is often joined by friends to help fill out their sound. On this particular evening those friends were many, most importantly famed funk innovator Bernie Worrell, as well as members of The Motet and Euforquestra. The night’s theme as an all out dance party continued strong when Juno What?! opened with their now classic Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get with Joey on the talk box. It just set the mood for the entire night as the kids on the floor started their two and a half-hour boogie marathon. They were soon joined by Bernie who fit into their sound like a well-worn glove. Watching Mr. Worrell at the keys is simply spellbinding. There is just something indescribable about seeing such a leading light in the world of funk performing right before your eyes. His weathered hands stroke the keys with amazing comfort. It’s like seeing an old married couple still experiencing love after many years of wedded bliss. Highlights included a rowdy We Want The Funk and a sick “Red Hot Momma.” Seeing Porter play with one of his heroes was the icing on the cake. It was a great night of fun for everyone in attendance. I hope we can all do it again some time.
Juno What?! graciously offers up their recordings for free download here. http://junowhat.net/multi-media/about/
With Leftover Salmon making it back to Summer Camp this year I thought it would be good to give their new album a listen. Here is my review. Eight years in the making Leftover Salmon’s Aquatic Hitchhiker finally hit record stores last week. A truly original work of art this album is everything Salmon with absolutely no filler. Comprised of road-tested tracks as well as some new tunes. The impetus for all of can only be the addition of Andy Thorn to the lineup. The last year has seen some changes in Camp Salmon. The departure of Bill McKay and the addition of Thorn have given the band a clearer focus on the “Poly-Ethnic Cajun Slamgrass,” that is their hallmark. The opening tune entitled “Gulf of Mexico” is sung by Drew Emmitt and is reminiscent of his earlier work like “Valley Of The Full Moon.” It refers to the oil spill in the Gulf and shows how Salmon continues to be concerned with bigger issues. Martinez’s drums hit hard like an abandoned alarm clock left to rattle away while Drew’s vocals just soar. Vince gets funky on the road song, “Keep Driving.” You can almost picture him looking out the window of a tour bus with a notepad in hand writing the words down. “Liza” is one of my favorites that has made it into their new rotation; it’s a fun shanty love song that makes crowds bounce. Musically the title track “Aquatic Hitchhiker” is perhaps the most profound on the album, lead by Thorn’s banjo shredding and Drew’s violin. For several years after the passing of Mark Vann and the exodus of Noam Pikelny LoS seemed to be searching for someone to fill the void. I can honestly say that they have found the plug in Andy Thorn. The banjo is so essential to their sound that it is imperative to have a finger-flying shredder at the helm. Andy is just that. “Bayou Town” as it’s name insinuates is a down home zydeco-flavored strum. Greg Garrison’s bass finally finds the spotlight on “Sing Up to the Moon,” with Vince on vocals. In “Light Behind the Rain” Thorn steps up the microphone, it’s a track that he used to perform with Grant Farm. His smooth delivery is the perfect juxtaposition to Vince’s rowdiness and Emmitt’s towering voice. Leftover kicks back into high gear with the extra optimistic “Stop All Your Worrying.” Martinez gets out the brushes to Great American Taxiesque “Walking Shoes.” The Americana that Herman has been focusing on for several years certainly made it into the mix with this song. “Kentucky Skies” is a Scruggs flavored romp into the Salmon’s more traditional sound. “Gone For Long” feels like the days last cigarette while the album closing “Here Comes The Night” gets jazzy and a little lounge.
The mix of Aquatic Hitchhiker is just stellar. Recorded in both Colorado and Portland, it has a solid flow, both in music and texture. I highly recommend grabbing a copy, sitting down with a cold beer, and letting the night come.