Please folks, if I gave you advice on financial decisions, food selection, roofing materials or what kind of flatware…Posted by Bangor Maine Police Department on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 The Police Department of Bangor, ME recently posted a long message on their social media account, which mainly focused on a series of vehicle break-ins throughout the small city. Written by an officer, the note is quite wordy in structure, talking about how to cook lobster, naming children, and, interestingly enough, the jam band Phish.There’s a full two-paragraph side note written directly for phans, which praises them for being cleaner than most concert attendees though disapproving of the parking lot nitrous oxide situation. Phish last played in Bangor, ME on July 3rd, 2013, and this officer must have been in attendance. The officer writes that the Phish fans “cleaned up after themselves, leaving not a trace of their barefooted dance-fest. Smart questions, showed much respect for law enforcement as a whole and were just a cool and fun bunch.” The police officer continues, “Gluten free was never so much fun as that show.”Some kind words written in a bizarre note. Read the whole thing below: The full text is copied below, just in case the Bangor Maine PD retracts their social media offering:Please folks, if I gave you advice on financial decisions, food selection, roofing materials or what kind of flatware you should buy, ignore it. I know very little about those things.My idea of a good investment is one which returns just fifty percent of my initial outlay. Flatware pulled from the McDonald’s bag has been used on many a night in my little world and I think discarded street signs look pretty cool as a stopgap measure on the camp roof. I am not promoting taking street signs. I said discarded. Read all the words before contacting my supervisor.I rethought my first paragraph and have decided that my food selection skills are superb. Add a half a cap of apple cider vinegar to your drawn butter when using it dip your steamed clams or lobster. You will be thanking me soon after the meal, possibly naming your next child after me. This child will be well behaved, a heck of a pool player and will move out of your house after his or her 36th birthday. I was a late bloomer as well. Trust me. I work for the government. Get it right. Capital T. Capital C. Sounds like “easy”, and rearing him/her will be just that. Their middle name should be, Tangy-Goodness.What does all that rambling have to do with police work. Nothing. You expect too much from me.I need you to lock your stinking car doors. All over Bangor, we are dealing with a roaming dipstick or dipsticks that are ransacking your belongings, dropping your registration paperwork on the floor of the Civic and taking things of value. How hard is this for us? Obviously, it is tougher than I think.Lock your doors. Just use the little button on the remote, hold down the mushroom looking thingie on the door, push forward or backward on that tab near the handle. They even make it easy by marking it with orange. Lock it. Lock it. Lock it.This will stop much of the problem. Yes, there is the theory that by leaving it unlocked, they won’t break the window. If that is your decision and you want them to camp in your car, setting up one of those little Phish Concert, impromptu Barbecue Stands where they sell unrefrigerated Soy Hot dogs and ground Tofu to pedestrian traffic, feel free. I am going with the lock.Do not read the following paragraph if you were not offended by my mention of a Phish Concert Impromptu BBQ Stand. Skip ahead two paragraphs. Do not read between the asterisks.******Phish fans: I will add that I have never worked a concert with a more polite band of individuals. I met and conversed with some of the smartest and brightest people I ever met at a concert. They cleaned up after themselves, leaving not a trace of their barefooted dance-fest. Smart questions, showed much respect for law enforcement as a whole and were just a cool and fun bunch. Gluten free was never so much fun as that show. They didn’t even have to tell me they were vegetarians, vegans or Gluten free. I just knew. Do not be offended by my mention of the Phish Concert BBQ stand. I just notice these things.I did disagree with the nitrous oxide hits being sold along the waterfront. The purveyors even ran away from the sales area without giving us the finger. I appreciated that. Thank you.********Lock your car doors. People want to take you stuff. Remove valuables from your car. Lock your house doors and windows. Call if you see suspicious activity. Do not leave me a message on Facebook at 3 in the morning. CALL THE POLICE. You pay us to be here and we will be. Lock your doors.Have a great night. I am hungry for Soy.
Legendary folkster Bob Dylan returns with his 37th studio album, Fallen Angels, on May 20th. The album serves as a follow-up to 2015’s Shadows In The Night, which sees Dylan covering some of the lesser-known songs of Frank Sinatra’s catalog. The new release continues down that trend, with Dylan picking out favorites from The Great American Songbook for the release. Dylan’s voice has never been perfect, and at 74-years-old, it’s more about his ability to tell a story than actually sing. Still, he captures the essence of these forgotten songs with an enthusiasm, reeling in a listener and teaching some sort of folk lesson.In advance of the new release, Fallen Angels is streaming in full via NPR’s First Listen. Tune in below:Dylan is also featured on the Desert Trip lineup, with The Who, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, and Roger Waters. Check out the latest update on that festival here.
In the summer of 2015, Les Claypool and the boys of Primus embarked on a tour with Sean Lennon and his band The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger. During this successful summer stint, Sean Lennon (son of Beatle/music legend, John Lennon) and Les Claypool (lead of Primus/modern day bass extraordinaire) took quite a liking to one another. Both of their unique sounds complimented each other in a refreshing yet unexpected way, and throughout the summer tour, Lennon frequently made his way onto the stage, often joining in with Claypool for a mind-bending jam during the Primus fan-favorite, “Southbound Pachyderm.” A full-blown Claypool/Lennon collaboration seemed inevitable, and during the subsequent holiday season, the two modern psychedelic pioneers hunkered down in Claypool’s Sonoma County home known as “Rancho Relaxo” near Occidental, California to record some songs. The result is Monolith of Phobos; ‘Phobos’ being the largest of the two moons of Mars. Named after the Greek god of the same name, Phobos was known as “the personification of horror.” Monolith of Phobos is a damn-near picture perfect psychedelic masterpiece of unbridled proportions. It is truly a spellbinding clashing of musical forces that is impossible to overlook.So, let’s take a look. Be sure to listen along to this one-of-a-kind release.The title track begins the record as many Claypool compositions do, trickling in with eerie loop pedal effects combined with the dins of squawks and squeals from Lennon’s electric guitar, creating a psychedelic soundscape that twists and turns the listener into oblivion. As the tempestuous intro dissipates, Claypool begins with a bass sound harking back to the introduction of “To Defy the Laws of Tradition” from the 1990 Primus album Frizzle Fry. As Lennon joins in with his sincerely trippy guitar artistry, it’s immediately clear that something special is happening here; something new, something fresh, something genuine. The opening title track is without a doubt, one of the most melodic pieces we’ve ever heard from Claypool. It’s got a little bit of “Walrus” and a little bit of “Pachyderm;” as if Magical Mystery Tour and Tales from the Punchbowl had a baby. It seems the Beatle-esque sensibilities that the younger Lennon has genetically brought to the table have begun to rub off on Les. His parts are deep yet concise, and seem to be written more for the song, rather than having the bass lead the way. It’s a clean approach which translates into something stunningly gorgeous! The following track, and the album’s first single, “Cricket and the Genie” comes in two movements: Movement 1 “The Delirium” and Movement 2 “Oratorio De Cricket.” It’s an upbeat song that tells a metaphorical tale of a cricket, a genie and a bottle of prescription drugs — even with a flute solo to boot! The opening bass riff is quite similar to “Fisticuffs” from Primus’ 1997 The Brown Album, and its certainly not the only time on the record we hear some similarities from previous Claypool compositions. In no way is this a negative critique, but additionally, the ninth track “Oxycontin Girl” begins with a bass riff strikingly comparable with the Primus classic “Here Come The Bastards.” (But then again, so does “Last Salmon Man” from Green Naugahyde)Moving on, the album’s second single is a perverse parable of sexual deviance, ironically titled “Mr. Wright.” “He’s creeping through the night, to ease his lustful plight. He sets up little cameras ‘cause he likes to watch you pee. What a dirty little bastard he can be.” Here is Claypool doing what he does best; creating twisted tales built around average, everyday characters — but with warped and sinister back-stories. Of course, and as always, good ol’ Les can’t help but pepper in a clever pun like “Something’s going wrong with Mr. Wright” before the song’s end. The Millennial-critical fifth track “Boomerang Baby” unquestionably sounds like a Lennon composition, and is where his father’s voice emanates most prominently in his vocal performance. Additionally, it’s hard to imagine the politically-charged “Ohmerica” happening without Lennon’s Beatle-esque influence on the project. “Ohmerica” comes across like a 21st century Sgt. Pepper with a highly political message focusing on government secrecy and mass surveillance. The balance is consistent throughout Monolith of Phobos. When the musicianship clearly comes from the mind of Claypool, Lennon always compensates perfectly, and vice versa. In “Breath of a Salesman,” Lennon’s playing could even be compared with that of Larry ‘Ler’ LaLonde, in his uncanny ability to fill that ever-so impossible niche required to play alongside a screwball prodigy of the bass-guitar such as Les Claypool. “Captain Lariat,” yet another creepy tale of a seemingly ordinary man with a hidden dark side, in this case, a dentist with an affinity for nitrous oxide (among other nefarious extracurricular activities), is another example of this musical kinship. As the song concludes, we hear a flubbed take of Lennon noodling on his guitar while mimicking the notes as he plucks them. “Keep going” says a reassuring Claypool, encouraging Lennon to continue the take. It’s an interesting tidbit left in the mix for us to enjoy, and even further reveals the warm, almost family-like rapport between the two. To wrap it all up are perhaps the two most impressive pieces of music on the entire record. “Bubbles Burst” > “There’s No Underwear In Space” are conjoined masterworks of psychedelic wizardry. Straight out of the musical realms of Pink Floyd, this is where the duo’s passion for psychedelia shines on like a crazy diamond. Lennon takes the lead for most of “Bubbles Burst,” as Claypool joins with his calmly cascading backing vocals. What’s even more notable is the restraint coming from Claypool. It’s near impossible to cite a better example of this kind of straightforwardness exuding from Claypool’s playing. As the final puzzle piece is set in place, we sail off into the distance as the orchestration soars and Claypool churns away on his upright bass. Suddenly… it’s over.There’s really no other way to put it, folks: you truly can’t get much better than this. Sean Lennon and Les Claypool are a psychedelic match made in heaven. Monolith of Phobos stands above most of the psychedelic music that has been recorded over the last several decades, and each of these songs is the proof in that pudding. This magnum opus hits shelves this coming Friday, June 3rd, with the band’s tour beginning one day later. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go out and buy this record as soon as humanly possible. You won’t regret it. Come along — indulge in the Delirium!– By Joseph Conlon
Jay-Z‘s Made In America Festival is making its way back to Philadelphia for a Labor Day Weekend celebration from September 3rd-4th. The event will take place at Philly’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway and will feature performances from Rihanna, Coldplay, Collegrove (ft. 2 Chainz & Lil’ Wayne), Chance the Rapper, Gary Clark Jr., Martin Garrix, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Jamie XX, Adventure Club and more.TIDAL members get early access to tickets on Wednesday, June 22 at 10AM EST and tickets are on sale to the general public on Monday, June 27 at 10AM EST. Check out the festival website here.
Following a recent show in Montreal, Sting met with Daniel Levitin, a cognitive psychologist at McGill University to have fMRI images of his brain taken as part of an ongoing study of how the brain of a skilled musician analyzes and organizes music. In a paper outlining the study published on McGill’s website, Levitin explains that he and his partners have developed imaging-analysis techniques to provide insight into how gifted individuals find connections between seemingly disparate thoughts or sounds, in fields ranging from arts, to politics, to science. “These state-of-the-art techniques really allowed us to make maps of how Sting’s brain organizes music. That’s important because at the heart of great musicianship is the ability to manipulate in one’s mind rich representations of the desired soundscape.”The research came about as a result of a mutual admiration between Sting and the McGill psychologist. Years ago, Sting read Levitin’s book This Is Your Brain On Music, and asked to meet Levitin and take a tour of his facilities, as many musicians have done over the years. While there, Levitin asked if Sting would be interested in having his brain scanned, and the musician obliged.Both functional and structural scans were conducted in a single session at the brain imaging unit of McGill’s Montreal Neurological Institute on the hot afternoon of his July 5th concert with Peter Gabriel at the Bell Centre (part of their current Rock Paper Scissors Tour). A power outage knocked the entire campus off-line for several hours, threatening to cancel the experiment. Because it takes over an hour to reboot the fMRI machine, time grew short. Sting graciously agreed to skip his soundcheck in order to accurately complete the scan.Levitin then teamed up with Scott Grafton, a leading brain-scan expert at the University of California at Santa Barbara, to use two novel techniques to analyze the scans. The techniques showed which songs Sting found similar to one another and which ones he found dissimilar based not on tests or questionnaires, but on activations of brain regions. Says Grafton, “At the heart of these methods is the ability to test if patterns of brain activity are more alike for two similar styles of music compared to different styles. This approach has never before been considered in brain imaging experiments of music.”According to Levitin, “Sting’s brain scan pointed us to several connections between pieces of music that I know well but had never seen as related before.” The most surprising neural connection was the similarity in brain activity between Piazzolla’s “Libertango”, a tango composition, and the Beatles‘ “Girl” off 1965’s Rubber Soul. While the songs differ greatly in sound and genre, both pieces are in minor keys and include similar melodic motifs. Another example of similar neurological responses to seemingly different songs was Sting’s own “Moon Over Bourbon Street” and Booker T. and the MG‘s “Green Onions”, both of which have the same 132 bpm tempo and a swinging rhythm. While more information is needed to draw any scientific conclusions, these tests provide insight into the connecting factors between different kinds of music in terms of how they are received and processed by the mind of a musician.[via McGill University]
PhanArt is an incredible organization dedicated to bringing together a community of like-minded artists inspired by their favorite bands. PhanArt’s events have become destination events in their own right at any major stop on Phish tour, serving as the ultimate meet up for traveling phans looking for a place to hang, and providing an awesome cultural experience for all to enjoy. Hardcore art collectors get a huge variety of unique pieces to choose from, as it provides a different, more organized experience for phans that prefer not to peruse art on Shakedown Street in the parking lot.For this year’s Phish New Year’s run, PhanArt has announced that they’ll be putting on two events: one on 12/29 at the Hotel Penn, and one on 12/30 at music venue American Beauty, which will feature music from up-and-coming funk/jam act Formula 5. In anticipation of a busy New Year’s run, I say down with PhanArt’s founder, Pete Mason, to discuss the inspiration behind the event, the future of PhanArt, and what fans can expect at this New Year’s events. See below for a full transcript of our conversation.Live For Live Music: Tell me about the history of PhanArt, what inspired you to put these events together in the first place?Pete Mason: Well, when we were leaving Coventry, there was a lot we were going to miss. One of the things that I was going to miss, especially because I didn’t get too deep into it before the breakup, was the art scene; everyone selling cool homemade shirts and basically all the stuff you wouldn’t see at any other concerts, besides from whatever was going on on Dead Tour before then. So I wanted to see what was out there and strike while the iron was hot after Coventry. So, for the next couple of years, I was like “before you put that art into storage, let’s see what you’ve got”. We got random submissions and then got a few artists on board to help compile everything we could come across from the 1.0 and 2.0 eras of Phish. It was the passion to preserve a unique aspect of the fan base of a unique band.L4LM: In the past few years, PhanArt has seemingly grown into a larger operation, with events at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and the Hotel Penn in New York. What do you see as the next step for PhanArt?PM: With the way this year has been–there’ve been seven art shows this year, and it just makes me smile, it blows my mind that there was that much going on this year. I look forward to at least a few months off to look forward to the summer. I definitely want to continue to bring together artists whose work is inspired by this genre of music. I’m looking forward to what Dead & Company is doing next year, what Phish may do next year, and some other larger acts as well. I have high hopes to continue to have sustained growth and continue to have these shows in the right towns that Phish does their longer runs at.L4LM: With the New Years Run coming up, there are two PhanArt events planned for New York City. Can you tell me about them?PM: We’re going to have two shows this time. The 29th is going to be much like the show we had on January 2nd of this year, with about two dozen artists at the Hotel Penn on the second floor, right across the street from Madison Square Garden. So we’ll have the full day show go from 12-6. This year we have an option where, if you want to ship some merchandise home, you can order posters right there and we’ll bring it to the hotel mail room and they’ll ship it out. So it’s a nice way to not lug it home or have to fit a piece of art in your suitcase or anything like that, and you won’t have to bring it into the show either.On the 30th, I’ve always tried to have good music at the PhanArt shows to compliment the art. Things finally aligned to have Formula 5 perform at American Beauty. They’ll be on the first floor on the main stage, and upstairs there’ll be a small art show with about 10 artists, with a unique art that you can’t find at our event on the 29th, from artists that won’t be there on the 29th. It’ll be a really cool pre-show vibe, with two bars open in the venue, and free pizza with your drinks. The show will go from 3-7pm, and Formula 5 goes on around 4:00 to play two sets of music. So, it’ll be a perfect spot to pre-game for Phish, it’s a couple blocks from MSG, so you can see some music, grab some drinks, pick up some art and make a day out of it, especially if you can’t make it to the show on the 29th.L4LM: Those shows sound really great, I know everyone is excited for the PhanArt shows during the New Years run. I know you’ve been involved with a ton of other projects in the Phish community outside of PhanArt–you co-wrote a cookbook, you wrote a children’s book for young phans, and there are a lot of other cool projects you’ve been involved in. Do you have anything else like that in the works you can tell me about?PM: There’ll be another children’s book coming in the Spring. I already wrote it, I’m just waiting on part of it to be finished. Between that and running NYS Music day-to-day and teaching, I’m pretty swamped!To learn more about PhanArt and what makes it so special, view the gallery below, which shows just a small portion of the art and people that are involved with this special event series. Be sure to check out PhanArt at The Hotel Penn on 12/29, and don’t miss a very special musical PhanArt event on 12/30 with two sets of music from Formula 5 at American Beauty.All photos submitted by PhanArt and captured by Jake Silco Photography & Kristine Condon Photography. See more images below! Load remaining images
Chris Robinson Brotherhood returned to the Bay Area for the first night of a two-night run at Terrapin Crossroads, ringing in the New Year at the acclaimed Phil Lesh-owned venue. In honor of the occasion, the CRB decided to treat fans to two sets filled with covers, including one set of Bob Dylan and one of the Grateful Dead!The first set was dedicated to Dylan, with “Crash On The Levee” opening up and great tracks like “Positively 4th Street,” “Goin’ To Acapulco,” “A-Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and more throughout. They closed out set one with “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” a real treat for the band’s loyal fanbase.Set two was all Grateful Dead, with an emphasis on material written by Jerry Garcia as well as some choice covers from the Dead’s repertoire. There was an opening “Bertha” and a bluesy “Brown Eyed Women,” as well as “Big River”, “Sugaree,” “Catfish John” and more! They rocked out on “Mr. Charlie,” swooned on “They Love Each Other,” and even got into some funky grooves on “West L.A. Fadeaway.” That song would close the set, and “Big Railroad Blues” put an exclamation point at the end of this show in the encore position.Check out clips from the show and the band’s setlist, below.
Load remaining images During the final hours of sunlight on Sunday, May 7th, 2017, as this year’s Jazz Fest wound to a close, Derek Vincent Smith took his vision for Pretty Lights to the next level, hosting a pop-up second line parade in his current home of New Orleans, LA. The parade ended beneath a highway overpass, setting up those in attendance for an intimate, once-in-a-lifetime performance by the pioneering DJ/producer, a brigade of brass blowers, and the many musical friends who joined in along the way.To those outside the Pretty Lights camp, the event was seemingly spontaneous. Earlier that morning, a map of the second line’s route was sent out to his devoted fanbase with the hashtags #PLpopup and #PLparade, hinting at what was about to go down. But while the event was a surprise to fans, the parade was months in the making and a hugely collaborative effort manifested by Smith, the Pretty Lights team, and a huge network of musicians, artists, officials, and more.The massive production on Sunday doubled as a celebration and a music video shoot for Pretty Lights’ newest single, “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds,” which we can officially expect to hear next month. The song is also the lead track on the upcoming Pretty Lights album—his first official release since 2013’s A Color Map Of The Sun.“Since I haven’t released music in four years, it’s been really important for me to have a coherent message that sets the tone moving forward,” Derek tells us of his new music and its presentation. He continues, “I left my management firm in 2015. It was starting to feel like the industry was trying to push me in a certain direction that felt very contained and boxed in. My team — my homies—that works with me has built a moral support around this decision. Since then, we’ve been figuring out how to do this completely independently and figure out how to do new things on every level that embody the philosophy of Pretty Lights, which is all about doing it for fun, doing it for the music, and trusting that whatever money you need to survive and to make it keep happening will always come back.”“The Sun Spreads In Our Minds” made its triumphant live debut in the midst of a grand celebration. The multi-dimensional experience brought together a New Orleans-style second line parade, an experimental popup show, a music video production, and a collaboration across music and visual arts.With a speaker system at its helm, the second line–complete with a full brass section–made its way down Tureaud and N. Roman St. for about a mile. On the final block, the music stopped and Derek began to explain the relationship between light energy and human energy. He explains, “One of the first samples in this new song says that ‘human energy is a form of light,’ and then all the samples have this conversation about that.”With the vibe officially set, the emotional opening string samples of “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds” slowly rose over the din of the crowd, carrying the song as the parade continued onward toward its final destination, the I-10 overpass. At the exact moment the second line turned the corner and found themselves basking in an uninhibited sunlight, the song dropped into its drum part—a serendipitous, unplanned occurrence that seemed to underscore the theme of the event’s planning and execution.Above the newfound stage was a striking backdrop: a brand-new mural by international street artist Boxhead. The massive set depicted a signature Boxhead holding her arms open–hugging and presenting at the same time–to welcome the crowd to the special performance. Unplanned moments along the way, like the fans who rushed the stage, the unstoppable freestyles of Maurice Brown, and the sudden appearances of saxophonists Joe Kirchem Jr.(The One Percent) and Khris Royal (Rebelution), shaped the ultimate spirit of the experience: all coming together to create an unforgettable moment in Pretty Lights history.The spirit of the second line and the presentation of this latest single shine a light on the ultimate philosophy of Pretty Lights—one that focuses on the unity of human and universal energies, and the ability of a multiplicity of individuals to come together as one to manifest a vision.“More than anything, it was an artist collective,” reiterates Derek, when asked about how the event came to be.The idea was first spurred at a summit in Colorado last year, when members of the Pretty Lights team congregated for a creative brainstorming session. The session was focused on developing unconventional fan experiences, a hallmark of Pretty Lights from his earliest years (when he pioneered the practice of giving his music to the fans free of charge) up through now (as his ongoing episodic music festivals that have replaced a more regular touring schedule).“We were trying to figure out how to lace the album release with the music release to make it totally new, while coinciding it with our upcoming tour that we’ve been planning — which is also pretty unorthodox.”Derek continues, “We wanted to incorporate the film aspect and really unify all the elements of the whole crew.” Admitting that the work goes far beyond the electronic producer, Derek explains how he now thinks about Pretty Lights, “It’s about the manifestation of a whole team of artists.”With the knowledge that they wanted to merge collective artistry and innovative fan experiences for their next projects, Derek and his girlfriend and Pretty Lights creative director, Meghan Zank, eventually thought up the idea of creating some sort of multi-dimensional event to close out Jazz Fest’s second weekend in their home of New Orleans.Derek’s goal was to combine Jamaican soundsystem culture with New Orleans second line culture, while Meghan’s focus was to collaborate with a muralist to create a layered experience, one that would ultimately leave its mark on the city long after the experience itself ended. The two also wanted to create a counterpoint to Pretty Lights’ episodic festivals — he confirms there will be a total of eight of these events, including the recently announced Gorge weekend and the returns to Red Rocks Ampitheatre and Northerly Island. Instead of mirroring these more familiar festival experiences, they wanted to produce intimate, more spontaneous situations for fans that tap into Pretty Lights’ increasing inclination toward the pop-up shows and experiences that harken back to the beginnings of Pretty Lights.“I started giving Pretty Lights music away for free from the beginning, and over time that’s become the norm for artists who are trying to get their music out there. It really felt like a big next step in spreading the music, the philosophy, and the vibe would be through free shows,” says Derek.Over time, the idea for a free pop-up second line celebration to close out Jazz Fest began to take form, incorporating both Derek and Meghan’s initial ideas into one vision. Derek explained, “It just clicked that we could make a sound system, use it to lead a second line, amplify the second line through the speakers, dub it, play beats, and end at the painting and rock the pop-up show.” He recruited Chief Jigga to seal the vision’s authenticity.While the team was excited by this out-of-the-box project and immediately got behind the idea, it was simultaneously intimidating. Management was nervous because there was no income model attached to it, eventually requiring that all its funding be out-of-pocket. Logistically, it also became apparent rather quickly that the scope of their Jazz Fest-closing second line would require bringing in many other individuals from within and outside the Pretty Lights team to pull off the project.“We ended up just inviting people to get involved, and people seemed to think it was an amazing idea and were all about it,” says Derek. “It had to be a bunch of people working together. Instead of envisioning exactly what we wanted and pushing for that, it was more about painting the picture of the vision to others here locally, getting them hyped on it, and then seeing who was interested and what ideas they had. As soon as we started allowing the vision to adapt and shape shift based on what possibilities existed, it ended up happening just bigger, faster, and cooler than we could have imagined.”This approach was new to the producer and DJ, though it’s clearly left its mark on Derek. He explains, “I’ve thought about myself as an individual artist for so long, so as soon as Meghan and I really started working together symbiotically, it enlightened me the fact that our work can amplify and magnify when working within the same artistic atmosphere. It became about working on each other’s art, and we applied that concept to our work with everyone involved in this production.”Despite rallying behind the shared vision, pulling off the event required a huge amount of work—an amount that seemed insurmountable at points. Derek explains, “Everyone was super amped, though still scared about whether it was going to work out.” This energy—the simultaneous excitement and doubt—became a theme throughout the production stages, necessitating that everyone trust that everything would turn out as it was meant to.The first hoop to jump through was getting the city on board. While Derek notes that the team considered it might be easier to “ask for forgiveness rather than permission,” Mike Bertel, Derek and Meghan’s neighbor and local real estate developer, and Zach Fawcett were tasked with sourcing support from the city. Luckily, the city’s approval came delightfully easily due to the enormous support the city of New Orleans regularly shows for its resident creatives. With the vision painted, the people hyped, and the permits in order, it all came down to piecing together the puzzle.To lead the second line, The Shady Horns saxophonist Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce) was recruited as the musical director to coordinate the live elements of the parade, which included the combined musical efforts of over twenty talented musicians.***Check out Live For Live Music’s live stream of the second line parade***“He called me about arranging the horns for the second line, and he wanted an intro to the show that was related to the new single that he premiered,” explains Zoidis. He continues, “He had the Indian Chiefs from the 7th and 9th wards, and he had The Hundreds, a young brass band from the 7th ward. I don’t know much about leading a traditional second line and we wanted that element, so I called the Soul Rebels. Then, we thought about having a huge section for the intro, so we asked Ashlin Parker and The Trumpet Mafia to come through. They brought Maurice Brown and a handful of great trumpet players.”While the musicians were readily behind the project, the various artists tapped for the second line did not have much time to meet with Derek and rehearse what they would do on the day of the spectacle.“I had a 40-minute hang with the Soul Rebels in the backyard, and another 40-minute hang with The Hundreds brass band, but that was really to get the horn parts worked out for the main collaborative track we did. . . So we did have a few rehearsals, but it was more-so to paint the picture and excite people,” says Derek.Despite the exact details not being fully nailed down, the project moved forward powered by a faith in the communal vision and the talent of the musicians onboard. All the while, Meghan and Derek were researching painters and locations for the artistic centerpiece—the project’s “mark on the city”—that would capture the vibe of the experience and the “The Sun Spreads In Our Minds.” Eventually, Meghan discovered Begoña Toledo or Boxhead, who was brought on after providing the best artistic response to Derek’s new track, making her a clear partner for this endeavor.“When I first listened to the single, I could feel the sun spreading in my mind,” Toledo explains. “I felt every beat of the track running through my body, from the darkness into an explosion of light. I felt it somehow like the perfect soundtrack to what’s happening in the world right now, the peoples are waking up, a revolution is about to start, in unity around the globe. . . My favorite moment in the song is when there’s a voice, almost sounding from the underground, shouting ‘we’ve been living in the dark,’ and then the whole track accelerates into the hardest beat I’ve heard from Derek to this date.” She continues, “That’s the moment I wanted to capture in my piece.”Toledo added her own vision into the collection of different ideas coming together for the second line: “I knew I wanted to incorporate as many of the colors in the spectrum as possible, to symbolize unity and diversity. And I knew the center of the piece had to be the brightest, the sun, the light. The mural captures the very moment when the light hits our consciousness,” she explains. “The head extrudes, spreads to the sides, in slices that merge into the darkness, vibrating, undulating as if they were sound or energy waves.”The other members of the production immediately got behind Toledo’s concept, and the artist got to work so that her mural could eventually serve as the backdrop to the final-destination pop-up show beneath the underpass.[photo by Dorian Weinzimmer]On the day of Pretty Light’s pop-up parade in New Orleans, the months of work by dozens of individuals paid off, tapping into the communal magic behind the shared vision and ultimately creating a grander experience than ever thought possible. “As soon as we showed up and started playing beats through the sound system before the parade started, all the horns players started jamming on the beats. It was amazing how symbiotically it all worked and how these groups of musicians can synchronize and jam on it without any rehearsal,” say Derek.After the second line streamed down the streets of New Orleans to its final destination at the underpass, and after the sun eventually set, the dream of Toledo’s mural as a visual accompaniment to Derek’s music became more powerful than originally conceptualized, with added 3-D mapping of the art installation magnifying the experience. The collaborative and fateful energy never stopped, even once it was underway — the production, its spirit, and its energy had taken on a life of its own.“I ended up singing, free styling, rapping, with other MCs like Maurice jumping up to rock this new kind of second line hip-hop. I would have never expected any of that to happen,” say Derek. “Even in the moment of the whole event, it was the same vibe of how it all came together—which was feeling nervous and then realizing that the fear was just the clue of how important it is. It’s about taking the leap and going with it. It’s true what they say, that the bliss was on the other side of the fear.”The ability for the team to trust in its success and let the universe have its way with the event is ultimately what allowed the Sunday second line to be such a special, once-in-a-lifetime event. For it to go down, a bunch of small parts came together to create something much larger than ever thought possible. Appropriately, this idea perfectly encapsulates the theme behind Pretty Lights’ upcoming album. While the new album has no scheduled release date, nor does it have a final title, Derek shared a phrase that heavily inspired this new studio effort: “Looking back from the future.”He explains, “Basically, I watched this YouTube video of this woman from Alaska who was talking about polychromatic microtonal music. She says something like, ‘If you look back from the future, it makes total sense that we would evolve a much more sophisticated musical system.’ Just the phrase really inspired me and everyone I brought it to.” He goes on, “If you can see where you want to be . . . when opportunities or choices or circumstances arise, then it’s like every little choice you make can add up to manifesting your dreams. Instead of letting the circumstances dictate your dreams, you let your spirit or soul consult the circumstances.”If for nothing else, Sunday’s spectacle was proof of an exciting future for Pretty Lights. The collective team’s vision crystallized in unity under the spark of the sun, and has officially paved way for all the world that will come. Derek Vincent Smith is set on breaking barriers, and fans have only gotten their first taste of how Pretty Lights will continue to evolve. The spirit of experiment has been tested and will continue to pick up steam as the many pieces of Pretty Lights come together before our eyes. It’s only just begun.Pretty Lights Second Line Credits:Illumination Sound System:Beats & Emcee – Derek Vincent Smith & Joseph Kechter (Derek’s little brother)Muralist: BOXHEAD aka Begoña ToledoMeghan Zank:Pop Up Show Producer & Creative DirectorMike Bertel:Associate ProducerPhil Salvaggio:Production Management & Associate ProducerReeves Price:Winter Circle Productions- Associate ProducerJason Starkey:Associate Producer + AudioPL FilmsCinematography, editing, film shootDorian WeinzimmerRyan BerenaHunter CourtneyRaven Productions:-Designed and built sound system truck.-Ran On Site Production-Fabricated Modular Wall for paintingEric Mintzer of Imaginex:Projection MappingRyan Zoidis of Lettuce:Second Line Musical DirectorSecond Line Performers:TRUMPET MAFIA:Ashlin Parker (leader)- New OrleansAnthony Coleman -Bay AreaEmily Mikesell-OrlandoDehan Elçin-IstanbulAya Wakikuromaru- TokyoParris Fleming- ChicagoAurélien Barnes -NOLAMaurice Brown (also emcee)-New YorkSOUL REBELS:Julian GosinErion WilliamsEdward LeePaul RobertsonHUNDREDS BRASS BAND:JeromeDesmondDarrellMarcusEfuntolaRevertREBELUTIONKhris Royale- SaxophonePretty Lights LiveChris Karns – battery powered turntable scratch 45 rpm records79ers GangChief JiggaBig Chief Romeo from the 9th Ward of New OrleansBig Chief Jermaine from the 7th Ward of New OrleansPretty Lights Pop-Up Show | New Orleans | 5/7/17 | Photos by Jeremy Scott
[courtesy of Greg Crist]With the release of the album proper, Interludes For The Dead, fans of the project were given the opportunity to once again listen to the brilliance that was created by Casal and cohorts. Clearly inspired by the Dead themselves, the songs on the album not only take various references from the legendary’s groups catalog, like “Kasey’s Bones,” “Farewell Franklins,” and “Scarlotta’s Magnolia’s,” the music itself veers in and out of themes and styles Jerry Garcia and his brothers-in-musical-arms put into action over the course of their career.Tickets for the show are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For additional information and show updates, join the Facebook Event page.The Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre will both host several late-night events surrounding the Dead & Company run in Boulder. Take a look at the stacked lineup the venues have in store:June 8th – Nahko & Medicine for the People + Midnight North, Boulder Theater (purchase tix)June 8th – Marcus King Band + Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Fox Theatre (purchase tix)June 9th – White Denim, Fox Theatre (purchase tix)June 9th – Circles Around The Sun, Boulder Theater (purchase tix)June 10th – BoomBox, Boulder Theater (purchase tix)June 10th – Dopapod, Fox Theatre (purchase tix)June 10th – Shakedown Street, Dragondeer, Cycles, and Mikey Thunder on The Hill – this is a free, outdoor event happening from 12p – 7p. 13th Street, in front of The Fox, will be converted into “Shakedown Street” – the pre-Dead & Co. marketplace gathering that will feature an outdoor stage (lineup below). We will be announcing this tomorrow at 10am MDT. I’ll have a link tomorrow after the announce and it will also be included on the series link I sent with all event. This event is FREE. For updates, check the Facebook Event page. Two summers back when the Grateful Dead were planning their 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well performance at Soldier Field in Chicago, it was decided that Chris Robinson Brotherhood guitarist and frequent Phil Lesh & Friends collaborator Neal Casal would create the set-break music. The group he brought together was dubbed Circles Around The Sun, and many of us didn’t know exactly what we were hearing during those shows, but our ears could not stop listening as the Dead regrouped backstage for set two.As we learned that weekend, it was Casal, along with the help of keyboardist Adam MacDougall, bassist Dan Horne, and drummer Mark Levy, that kept the vibe at a high during set break. After debuting the project in a live setting last year for a few performances, Circles Around The Sun will play The Boulder Theater after Dead & Company‘s performance at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO on Friday June 9th.
Earlier this month, Fox News‘ Greg Gutfeld Show hosted comedian Kat Timpf to discuss this year’s nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Timpf—in addition to oversharing that the men she chooses to date are “strange, malnourished, and sad”—had some pretty strong thoughts on the pioneering English alt-rock group Radiohead, stating that the band sounds like “elaborate moaning and whining over ringtone sounds.”Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Announces 2018 Induction NomineesAfterwards, the segment blew up and got a bunch of press coverage, and now, the saga continues. This Saturday, Timpf returned to the show to further discuss her strange, malnourished, and sad lovers (and some other stuff too), and in the process, host Gret Gutfeld chimed in with his thoughts on the Radiohead debacle.As such, this is an actual statement made by a Fox News host on-air and in all seriousness: “You know, Radiohead is a fine band, but they stole everything from Coldplay. Like Radiohead is the poor man’s Coldplay.” RADIOHEAD IS THE POOR MAN’S COLDPLAY. Go ahead and let that sink in.You can watch the insightful news commentary at the 36-minute mark of the stream of the full segment of Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld Show below.[Video: GREAT US – NEWS][H/T Noisey; Photo: Matthew Baker]