In the wake of what some will say was the best, others the worst, first-run music festival the Midwest has seen since Rothbury ’08, there is definitely a lot to discuss about the inaugural Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival.
As a writer I strive to provide the most honest, and when it comes to music festivals there will always be the lovers, the haters and the in-betweeners. Phases Fest was set to be a dream festival – the be-all, end-all in jam and funk music – and the perfect way to end summer. After two years in the making, founders Barry & Sam Shear took beating after beating, yet came out the other end smiling, looking to the rising sun with thoughts about how next year will be better.
To recap on the festival: it was set to take place at the Kennekuk County Park, a 3,000 acre park which includes historic buildings, lakes for fishing and plenty of wooded, as well as field, camping. The line up was stacked: two nights of The String Cheese Incident and Widespread Panic and single sets from Govt. Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Galactic, just to name a few.
The first unforeseen incident took that struck Phases happened before the festival even got underway when headliner Bob Weir and Ratdog canceled their tour. The open timeslot was filled by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – and it was a wonderful performance – but a disappointment to miss Ratdog nonetheless. Despite the weekend’s chilly weather, the music was amazing and every single band delivered powerhouse sets.
Heavy Rain Delays Early Weekend Festivities
As we arrived Thursday morning we knew the festival was going to be tested, as torrential downpours halted Wednesday arrivals and pushed back the Thursday entry time by several hours. What attendees need to understand, and unfortunately the festival staff failed to inform the public about, was just exactly how bad the rain was.
Countless backup plans could not have prepared Phases for the inclement weather they received. The venue, as was discussed in a short Q&A with Barry & Sam, is designed to hold up to 25,000 cars, but over half the facility was flooded and thus impassable. If they had allowed cars to enter and park, attendees surely would have been even more angry with cars stuck in the mud, ruined camping equipment and a hefty tow bill (the base fee was $80). This is why festival-goers waited in line for upwards of nine hours to get into the festival. This is why there were low flyovers from a helicopter trying to dry the grounds. This is why campers had to be relocated to the nearby fairgrounds and another park.
With alternate camping and parking plans in place and everybody safely inside the venue, stars finally aligned for Phases fest. The park is beautifully laid out with camp-next-to-your-car access and a short walk to the stage entrance. Once inside, there were a large number of food and art vendors, a farmers market selling local veggies and baked goods, lots of porta-potties and plenty of bars to purchase alcohol (at an astoundingly high $7-$8 per 12oz beverage).
The stages were close enough that walking between them was very easy, bur just far enough that there was no noise pollution from adjacent stages. The visual art present was awesome, Alex and Allison Grey were in attendance providing fans with endless eye candy. There was non-stop performance art in-between big acts, as well as live painting throughout the festival. Lastly was The Sanctuary, a beautifully constructed area that was isolated from the rest of the festival where they held educational classes on art, meditation and yoga.
Overall there was one thing that put a very uncomfortable and unnecessary vibe on the festival weekend, and that was the policing of outside beverages. We can all agree and understand that festivals must turn a profit, and alcohol sales are a big part of that. But when a festival allowed, what appeared to be private security meets club bouncer, to harass festival patrons all weekend. These people were demanding to look inside backpacks and purses AFTER patrons had entered the festival and passed the general security check point. Disregarding how illegal this is as we as Americans maintain our basic American rights, it was the only part of the festival that felt tainted.
On the whole, Phases of the Moon Music and Arts festival was amazing. The music could not have been better, the food vendors were top notch, they served beer that was not limited to domestic pours, and the overall crowd was very enjoyable to be around. Yes, there were some major flaws, but as my editor likes to remind me – what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, and we can only hope that for the future these issues will be addressed in advance. I definitely plan to return next year, and I hope the same for everybody that went. Sometimes we have to find it in our nature to accept that some things are out of our control and find it in our hearts to give it a second chance. I am fully confident that this festival will be one to remember… both now and in the future.
This past Saturday regional powerhouse Umphrey’s McGee came back to Indy for their annual hometown throw down. They took the stage at the Lawn at White River State Park. Local jazz/electronica after locals Cosby Sweater opened in support. The night began as any would in preparation for an Umphrey’s show: cookouts across town, local bars organizing party buses, talks of after parties and – of course – what would the weather be like. With impending rain clouds on the horizon, both bands jumped to social media to inform fans that the show was going to start early, prompting most to cut their pre-show festivities short.
The night started with Cosby Sweater starting almost an hour early, but still managing to bring the heat as usual. Unfortunately a lot of fans still arrived as if they didn’t know about the weather and the venue wasn’t as full as it could have been. As people continued to file in, doing little dance grooves as they swerved in between lawn chairs, many headed straight to the beer tent knowing a cold, albeit slightly overpriced, beer was more then necessary to begin the night. The sky continued to get dark and ominous; we knew it was coming, we also knew the show must go on.
As Umphrey’s took the stage everybody pushed forward, crowding the stage and locking most people into their designated dance spots. A new addition to the lawn – a barrier that surrounded what would now be considered the pit – was a perpetual annoyance. It divided the crowd into two sections with the only way into the pit through a bottleneck entrance. Security was unobtrusive, at least no more than usual and the venue staff was helpful once the rain came.
And oh did it come; somewhere in between “Puppet String” (a new track from the new album) and “Tribute” the rain started slow, then it grew and grew. Eventually the band stopped and asked everybody to exit the venue because the show had been postponed. People flocked to the streets looking for the closest place to get shelter from the rain. Many headed under bridges that lined the canal, and the underground parking garage filled quickly as people walked around discussing their individual Umphrey’s experience and looking for trouble to get into.
After about 45 min we got the word that the show would go on. With security temporarily disabled, fans rushed into the venue with full force toward the stage. The real fans headed to the beer tent, then to the stage.
Umphrey’s came back out in full force and brought a heater of a show. The rain continued for another hour but that did not stop the wild dance moves and sick bass lines. “Miss Tinkles Overture” started things off then delved deep into “Booth Love” followed by a cover of the song “Kinky Reggae”. Saxophonist Nick Gerlach of Cosby Sweater sat in to crush it on a great version of “40’s Theme” then “Linear,” the first song of their new album, Similar Skin.
Then things got serious, Conduit>Yoga Pants>Conduit>Snucka 1 & 2> Hurt Bird Bath. After the show many fans were saying the Hurt Bird Bath was one of the best they’ve seen this tour, and I can say they are right.
After the show ended, everybody was more than satisfied with what they had. The weather made the whole experience that much more special and nobody was disappointed. Fans filed into the streets of downtown, many headed to the bars, to their cars or to their homes. Our 30-person, neon green school bus took us to our favorite local bar where we got to check out even more live music. An Umphrey’s McGee hometown throw down is never a show to miss, and despite the rain they did not fail us.
Thanks guys, and good luck on your tour.
The music of the Grateful Dead has been an iconic staple in the fabric of the jam band community, spanning over three decades and more then 35 million albums sold. They have been ranked as the greatest band of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine as well as having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though some would say it’s hard, nay impossible, to recreate the music of the dead, that has not stopped hundreds of bands, many loyal followers of the music from day one, to pursue their dreams of covering their favorite band of all time. However none are as acclaimed or accredited as Dark Star Orchestra (DSO).
DSO is known for performing shows based on the original set lists of Grateful Dead concerts, citing the date and venue at the end of their performance. For fans this is a fun opportunity to discover a new favorite Grateful Dead show they didn’t know about. On any given night they will draw from the Dead’s catalog and play an original show, something to appeal to new and old heads alike. This Friday in the Egyptian Room at the Old National Center in Downtown Indy, DSO will take the stage to give us their annual show, while staying true to the bands commitment of “raising the dead.”
DSO doesn’t just play the specific set list though, they cater each and every show specifically to the era in which they are recreating. From changing their arrangement to musical structure and even instruments, they hold precision accuracy as a key element to every show played. DSO is also known for the fact that five members of the original Grateful Dead have occasionally sat in on their shows throughout their nearly 15 years and over 2200 shows on the road. Band members include Rob Eaton on Rhythm Guitar and vocals, Dino English and Rob Koritz on Drums, Skip Vangelas on bass, Lisa Mackey on vocals, Rob Barraco on Keyboards and Vocals, and Jeff Mattson on lead guitar.
The show is set to take place this Friday, February 7th; doors open at 8PM. Tickets will all be general admission standing room as is traditional with all shows in the Egyptian Room. Ticket prices are set at $23.50 for the show and can be purchased at the door.
For those of you who don’t want to wait in line for will call or to get tickets the night of, you can purchase tickets online here. To try to connect with other fans going, check out one of the many Facebook pages for the event.
I look forward to seeing you out for what is sure to be a wonderful evening full of great music and great people.
For most landlocked Midwesterners, the festival scene takes a break every September through April, leaving us to local and regional shows to get our music fix while we wait for the warm rays of summertime to return. The end of festy season has been rung in for the last two years at the Hyperion Music and Arts Festival, held in nearby Spencer, IN. In an attempt to warm our winter woes, local producers Herm Productions and Hyperion Music Festival are trying something new with HyperiOnICE at The Vogue Theatre on January 31st 2014.
Organized as a miniature indoor music festival, HyperiOnICE will set the stage for future multi-venue, single day events in Indianapolis. The main event begins at The Vogue Theatre in Broad Ripple with music starting around 9:00 PM. Tickets are $20, which may seem high to some, but the quality of talent and local artistry more than warrant the cost. When the music stops at The Vogue, head to the after-party at local bar, The Mousetrap on 56th & Keystone. Admission to The Mousetrap will be included in your ticket to The Vogue.
Stop #1: The Vogue
The night begins with local DJ/producer Kaledoscope Jukebox. A one-man army bringing you music spanning Jazz, Dub, hip hop, soul and funk, his music is backed by rich samples, ethnic elements, keyboards and guitar rifts. Kaleidoscope will also be playing a set in between Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band and UV Hippo.
Next up in the evening will be will be regional funk band, Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band, hailing from Ashville, NC. They are a powerful funktastic band fueled by heavy saxophone and trombone rifts, high-energy rock, old school rap and soul. Their music is equally matched by their stage presence, known for outrageous behavior and clothing. Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band has been seen at major festivals such as Wakarusa, Bear Creek and Jam Cruise, while taking the stage with bands such as Parliament Funkadelic, Galactic and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. Ending the night will be Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, a band that needs no introduction for most Midwest fans of jam bands. Their progressively improvisational jams fueled by jazz, funk, reggae, space rock and everything in between will leave you dancing well after the music has stopped.
Always careful to feature more of the arts than just music, Hyperion’s organizers have also arranged for local painters Jenna Mishelow, Benjamin Church and Michael Arbuckle to practice their craft live at HyperiOnICE. There will also be a live model getting painting on stage. Herm Productions, Hoops Of Creation and Jeff Lowe’s Liquid Lights will also be in the house providing rich visual media that will leave you breathless (remember the lights on the pond at Hyperion? That’s Jeff’s work).
Stop #2: The Mousetrap
Once the party at the Vogue ends, head over to The Mousetrap where your admission ticket will get you into the after party, set to run until the bartenders kick you out. For the budget conscious, you can still get into the trap without having been to the vogue, tickets will be $10 at the door. There will be local vendors such as Cultured Crowns selling hand made fedoras, and local food truck 3 Blind Mice will be serving up gourmet grilled cheese and soup. First to play will be local producer Shy Guy Says, bringing us his own version of electronic music comprised of a mixture of glitch hop, hip hop, dubstep and trap. Headlining the after party and closing the night out will be Future Rock, an electronic rock trio from Chicago, IL that brings live loops, heavy bass lines, keyboards and drums together to make rich danceable songs.
HyperiOnICE will be a funktastic, jam-and-electronic fueled night comprised of five different musical acts across two venues. There will be at least 11 different visual artists and performers, live painting, local art, food trucks and vendors. All of this for $20, which again includes the after party. Tickets can be purchased online here or at The Vogue Theatre. For more information please check out the event page. We hope to see all of your shining beautiful faces on January 31st for what is guaranteed to be a very memorable evening.
Seven months ago, The Vogue Theatre put a call to action on Facebook; they needed bands to fill an event because a previously booked band pulled out at the last minute. Fans of the band Funky Junk immediately began posting, sharing and calling. As three local bands saw stars in their eyes, Bloomington based The New Old Cavalry, and Muncie based Glostik Willy, got together with Funky Junk and magic happened. Within an hour of sending an email, The Vogue responded, confirming that these three bands would take the bill, marking their biggest stage to date.
With only a week to promote, friends and family pulled together utilizing social media, grassroots marketing and word of mouth to get as many people out as possible. As the night approached nobody knew what the turn out would be, least of all the venue. After the show, tickets were counted and in under a week these three local bands managed to draw over 500 people. The venue noticed, promoters noticed and the fans noticed.
Seven months later, the boys are back, fueled by more time to promote, a larger fan base and their talents precisely honed and tuned in. The New Old Cavalry, coming off a summer tour, which included 60 gigs, many being weekend festivals, will be headlining the evening. Funky Junk will kick things off, keeping with last year’s tradition of the youngest band playing first. In-between will be heavy rockers Glostik Willy, just returning from gigs in New York and Philadelphia.
This past week, I ran into Chandler Pickard, drummer and self made publicist of Funky Junk. We sat down, had a drink and discussed how things happened last time around and what to expect at this up-coming show on Friday November 1st.
Chris: How did this event first take place?
Chandler: Well, the event first happened because last March I believe, a band canceled at The Vogue and the venue put a call to action to fill the space and we saw it. We then hit up the New Old Cavalry and Glostik Willy, and we all had the night off. I then sent The Vogue an email, and within an hour they got back to us confirming that we could play that night, that’s how we got the gig.
Chris: How much lead-time did you have before the gig was to take place?
Chandler: Last time we had one week. So in one week we were able to get 500+ people out to the show utilizing social media and our friends and family to spread the word.
Chris: Why is this event happening again?
Chandler: Well it’s happening again because the last time all of our fans came out and supported us, with only one week to promote and with such a turn out the venue noticed and realized they had something. So they asked us to come out again roughly 7 months later, this time with more notice to better promote and hopefully we can double our numbers this year.
Chris: How do you feel the first time this event took place increased your presence within the music scene in Indianapolis?
Chandler: First and foremost, within 24 hours after the event we had over an additional 100 followers on our Facebook page and this allowed us to reach to more people then we ever had before as well as increase our rapport with other venues in Broad Ripple. Because of that show we now have played, and continue to play, at almost every bar in Broad Ripple.
Chris: How are Funky Junk and the other two bands connected?
Chandler: We are all bands from Indiana and we all play in similar circles. It was a combination of seeing them live before we were a band, and then them seeing us after we got started and friendships just kind of formed over the course of time.
Chris: How did this event reinforce your friendship with these two bands?
Chandler: It reinforced it because we all realized if we all work together that we are a really strong team, especially since we got so many people out in such a short time. Also more shows have formed since then because they think they can out drink us, but they’re getting older and we’re still the same age.
Chris: So then are there any rivalries between the bands?
Chandler: Yes, there is one and I don’t know if the public is aware of this but Funky Junk started a drinking competition. This competition goes that any band from Indiana can challenge the previously winning team, that currently being the New Old Cavalry, to a drink-off after a show to win our “world champion” belt back. Unfortunately New Old Cavalry has the belt now because they are cheaters and they cheat, but we let them win it last time because we felt bad. This drink-off is a tradition we started at the beginning of the summer, and we plan on winning the title back this Friday.
Chris: So overall what are you most excited about and want people to know about this gig?
Chandler: Over all what excites me the most is seeing local acts get back into The Vogue theatre. I really think that if us three bands work together and keep this going we can continue this tradition and turn it back into what it used to be. This involves seeing more local bands getting back into what is traditionally a nationally recognized theatre that typically only sees nationally touring bands. And really if anything else I just want people to feel the love I feel with these other great musicians from this area, because our community is a great big beautiful thing. The amount of love we get from the community makes us realize this even more. The Indy music scene has a really cool thing going for it and I want to see it blossom and grow as much as possible.
Again the event will take place this Friday, November 1st at The Vogue theatre. Doors open at 8pm, and Funky Junk is estimated to start around 9pm. Glostik Willy will play at 10pm, and The New Old Cavalry starting around 11pm. Each band is set get approximately one hour of stage time. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at the door and this is a 21+ event.
As the musical communities of jambands and electronica have come together over the past years, the Midwest has been a convergence point for self-awareness, local festivals, music and art. One major influencer has been the band Papadosio, and their front man Anthony Thogmartin. As Papadosio has grown out of small bars and venues into sold out crowds, as well as developing their four-year running music festival, Rootwire, they have made a name for themselves, and their community, within the Midwest.
This year, at the 2nd annual Hyperion Music Festival, set to take place this weekend, September 5th-7th in Spencer, IN, Papadosio plans to take the main stage as the headlining act of Friday night. The second time they’ve held this spot at Hyperion, Papadosio is a musical force to reckon with as they fuse jam, electronica, progressive rock, folk and psychedelia into one monster of a band that will have you grooving from start to finish. As I sit down with Anthony in this interview, we discuss the prominence of Papadosio within the scene, the release of his newest album from his solo project Earthcry, Rootwire and the use of drugs within the scene. Take a read and we will see you at Hyperion 2013.
CL: You just released the new Earthcry album, can you talk about what it means to you and the importance of the album?
Anthony: Well the Earthcry album is a collection of songs that I had sitting around and I didn’t really know what to do with them; I didn’t think they really applied to us as a band. I wanted to have another creative outlet for what I felt was a slightly different style, maybe a little less live sounding. It’s basically a collection of solfeggio frequencies, which are a 1400AD and earlier tradition that Gregorian choirs would sing in.
CL: As you’ve been doing the Earthcry thing over the past couple years have you been finding yourself, in your free time, connecting with these frequencies more then what you did in the past?
Anthony: Honestly I think I’ve connected with them mostly through composing, because I just had so much time and training and I spent a lot of time tuning my synthesizers because they don’t line up with the specific scale. They’re in between A and A-Flat or F and E. They sound distorted when you listen to them with normal music, so you literally have to tune all the instruments you use down or up slightly to match the sounds. I was dong a lot of training with my own ears and my body system just by messing with them, so I think I got a lot more into it with composing, but whenever I sit down to mess around with a song or a live performance it tends to bring it all back. It’s really funny to hear what people have to say about it, especially because a lot of guys will cross their arms and tap their toes and ask, “Is this stuff real? Where’s the science?”
CL: Have you felt a difference in your life by playing and experiencing these different frequencies?
Anthony: Some more than others. I think that it’s important to remember that when you say the words ‘war’ or ‘hate’, what it does to somebody, it’s not because of the utterance of the phrase means literally anything at all, but because of the connotations that have been granted to those words. Or ‘love’ and ‘happiness’- they make us feel a certain way when we hear them because we’ve granted them the ability to do so. So if you come into an Earthcry show all skeptical, I don’t think you will walk away with nearly as much as if you were to just come in there with an open mind. I feel a lot of people miss out on their life because they are constantly skeptical of everything. We grant these frequencies the power they have over us.
CL: Do you have a favorite frequency, one you connect with the most?
Anthony: 741 is really awesome; I call it “cultivating intuition,” but I don’t really like to talk about them too much because I don’t want to charge peoples experiences. I feel that after talking to people, that they have more of an experience if I don’t talk about them.
CL: Can you give me your explanation of the meaning behind T.E.T.I.O.S and ending the illusion of separation, as a society, on a worldly level, but also in the sense of this micro-cosim that is the jam scene?
Anthony: Well almost every single song on the album talks about, in some way, the illusion of separation. We walk around in a world that is so unbelievably obsessed with what is exterior, what is superficial and what is outside of the body. A really good quote that I like to talk about is from the Guru Muda that says, “because we’re aware of our thinking mind, there’s got to be something deeper then the thinking mind,” because we’re aware of our thoughts. We are highly aware if we are happy or sad- if our brain is over or under stimulated- because we’re aware that there’s obviously an equal and vast universe on the inside as there is on the outside. A lot of the album talks about those things.
Sometimes they’re very basic and sometimes they’re pretty in depth. I feel that’s in a lot of ways what we were touching on, and that’s our lives, that’s really the life we live right now, it’s a really funny loophole between un-reality and reality, and we walk around in an illusion. An illusion that says I am me and you are you, but if you zoom out of the earth and you look at the earth as itself, it’s one large active living system, and it’s one collection of huge systems and we’re so specific of what’s coming into our eyes and our brain, as opposed to the eye that encompasses all. And that’s not just a theme for the album, but all of the lyrical structure and everything we talk about as a band. I guess to talk about it more on a grounded level, it was right when Sam joined the band in the beginning of the creation of the CD. He brought to the table, in a lot of ways, what completed us as a band because what we needed was somebody to refocus on the 4th note of all the chords, the rhythm. I think that having him join in, and also contributing songs he wrote for the album, allowed us to be more diverse.
CL: How long were you working on T.E.T.I.O.S before it was released?
Anthony: I guess it was about two years of work, but really about a total of three years for me.
CL: So three years in the making- did that coincide in any way with your trip to South America and your ayahuasca experience and maybe getting a better sense of enlightenment as to the world we live in?
Anthony: Well that’s a funny word, enlightenment. I think that an experience like that which takes one in a visionary direction- there’s a lot of visual and auditory aspects- what it does is it grants somebody perspective. I can definitely say that it granted us a different perspective for the time we spent down there. Even more than that, the perspective of being in a jungle and being in a different culture is almost enough. Once you leave your surroundings for just a little bit and you see what other people are doing, you instantly understand what empathy means; you understand what everybody is dealing with and that people do experience pain in other places and everybody is not against you. It’s so funny how unbelievably afraid, especially around here, people are of the rest of the world and we shelter ourselves. If people left just for a little bit to taste what’s out there, the world would be a completely different place.
CL: What are your opinions on drug use in the music scene?
Anthony: Well I don’t think there is as much drug use as people would like to think. I think that it’s also very romanticized which in a lot of ways is sad. If you have a psychedelic experience, it will grant you a different perspective of what you are able to deal with in your own body system and your own mind and your soul. It will show you a small, slightly altered aspect of you but it will be an incomplete aspect of you. When somebody sees a different perspective their reaction can be, ‘oh wow that’s pretty wild’ and then they think it’s the drugs that granted them that, when truly it’s their own self. It is a different synapse, a different neuron firing in the brain they’ve always had and can totally access and use outside of realm of drug use.
This year I saw less drug use and more pragmatic thought and focusing on different practices then I had really ever seen before. It was really encouraging and exciting. We even had a panel discussion on this very topic because its really kind of obnoxious anymore that people are so heavily reliant on psychedelic use to feel they are tapping into something spiritual, when really it’s available anytime, it just takes a lot of discipline. What we don’t have right now as a society is a lot of discipline. Really, I feel like psychedelic use is like a reality intervention- you’re sick, and this is medicine. What I really see happening is people are focusing on other things. They’re focusing on dramatic dance, yoga, meditation. If you can really get into it and discipline ones self, nothing prevents you from achieving the exact same state in a more controlled and repeatable manner. We’re moving towards that direction and I think its great.
I think that society is incredibly afraid and skeptical of what it doesn’t understand and its time for our culture to take the next step and mature. We actually called our discussion at Rootwire “Once You Get The Message, Hang Up The Phone, There’s No reason To listen For A Dial Tone” because once you get the message that a different perspective can grant you, then you just hang up the phone. There’s no reason to consistently take the drugs, and there’s no reason to do it in the first place if you don’t feel called to. It’s a medicine. It’s for someone that is sick, its not just like, “I have to do this to enjoy myself.” That’s the sign of someone that is sick in a different way and the drugs are never going to help them solve that.
CL: Ok so getting away from Rootwire, how do you see Papadosio creating its own micro-cosim within the macro-cosim that is the jam scene?
Anthony: On a grounded level, we just do what we want to do. I think that a lot of bands out there aren’t doing what they want to do. If bands were doing what they really wanted to do, their music would sound a lot different. Unfortunately we’re hanging out in a time where a lot of bands are copying each other and a lot of electronic producers are using the same sound because it worked for somebody else. I don’t think the media is really portraying the financial situation that’s going on right now as dire as it actually is.
The reason we have all kinds of musicians writing music they don’t necessary like or agree with is because everyone is broke. I feel that our band has made unbelievable sacrifices, time-wise and finance-wise. We spend 150 days on the road. We work endlessly because we know that’s what it takes. We also write the music we want to write. Us doing what is original is novel, and its novel to hear a band doing something that’s not contrived out of pieces of other peoples music. It’s not hard to do, you just have to do it, and I think there are bands out there that are doing this and it’s exciting. We try to invite them to Rootwire, if they’ll come, but it’s just a funny world we live in. Everything that’s super mega popular, besides a very small handful of musicians, is probably the most un-original music that there is. It’s the most generic, and because of this most people can relate to it, and if it’s advertised well it becomes massive.
I feel it waxes and wanes. Right now we’re in the disco period where everyone’s making the same sound and another 90’s is going to hit and a new more torn-down version of music that’s very original is going to resurface and hit again. We’re just in a dull period right now where everybody can put an “ERRRR” in their DJ set and it’s going to work for them; eventually it’s going to hit a critical mass and it’s not going to work anymore.
CL: Since you brought it up, what are your opinions on the convergence of EDM music rising to be a very large popular genre of music?
Anthony: Well, the trouble lies with naming the genre EDM, because there’s a lot of electronic music out there that isn’t electronic dance music. But also that’s why we’re in a disco culture, because in a lot of ways people are excited about dance music once again. I’m old enough to remember when Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Tool were just starting to hit the radio and I was enamored with this music because I hadn’t heard anything like it. It was original and it didn’t really ask you to do anything, it just demanded that you enjoy this specific and artistic perspective that was not going to be altered or changed by anybody else. It was highly original. And now we’re in this disco era again where people are like, ‘Will this make someone dance? How about this? I wonder if this will this make someone dance.’ Whatever cleverly placed glitchy sound will make someone dance is what’s happening. I don’t really know if I understand what EDM means, but as I understand it, it’s electronic music that someone dances to. It’s specifically designed for a specific purpose and it just doesn’t allow for the fullness of artistic expression.
CL: I’ve spoken with various people at Papadosio shows on this topic and I’m curious what are you thoughts on certain peoples’ feelings that Papadosio is almost like a cult?
Anthony: Yeah it’s actually pretty funny. I watched Radiohead in 2007 at Bonnaroo and there had to be over 50,000 people there- a very large crowd to be in the middle of. So what I noticed was people moved and breathing with that music. They were so entranced, so unbelievably moved by every single action. I related that back to my youth and realized anything that band wore, I wore. Anything that band said, I said. Anything that was going on with that music when I was younger was my lifestyle. We defined ourselves by our music.
So what I realized at that moment was that you have within you the capacity to say some things that might just need to be said, some ideas that might not be represented in the mass media. When do you get on the news and when does the news say, “Hey everybody, why don’t you just try to love each other. Hey everybody, its all gonna be good,”? When has the media said that? What if Radiohead said that? That’s what went through my mind. What if these bands were saying that? And I thought more and more that it makes a lot more sense to keep whatever is being said outside of music very short and to the point, but to say what’s being said in the music even more. It almost becomes a mantra to people and to think of us as a cult is a really funny thing to think about because that obviously comes from the opinion of somebody who is really, really on the outside.
I suppose what we have more than a cult, is a culture. It’s a little culture that has values and free, simple and true ways of being. We don’t really like to argue. We don’t like to fight. We don’t like to do anything other then enjoy ourselves peacefully, explore our psyches peacefully, explore our relationships with each other peacefully and get into really awesome art. I think maybe some guy at the back of the bar that wonders into a Papadosio show and sees it for the first time would consider it different because it really is. Its really different, but in no way, shape or form are we spiritual leaders who are going to ask of our fans the next time Halley’s Comet comes by to murder themselves.
I also think there’s a term called “classic”. There are a lot of bands out there that were called “classic.” What that means is they’re a band that is very strange and different and only a very small pocket of people get it, but that small pocket of people really get it. It’s like GWAR fans, for example. There’s not millions and millions of GWAR fans, but there’s definitely a lot of them, and it’s a very specific, strange and funny kind of thing and its not going to be everybody’s bag to like that. But they have a cult classic following, and in a lot of ways I think that’s what’s happening with us. We’re trying to make our music accessible to anybody that likes to play a guitar or a bass or can appreciate the musical aspect of what we do and not just what we say. I think we’re trying to be translatable to a wide variety of people just because it’s a challenge for us and it’s fun. We’re not really trying to lead the people as much as just get them to maybe think together and maybe be a little more peaceful and enjoy the finer things in life.
CL: So one last question that was requested of me to ask: are you an alien?
Anthony: Haha, I don’t know, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time this has happened, ya know, on a planet, so if I am, then I guess we all are.
On Saturday morning, the rain came, which had me chilling at camp for most of the day. All of the music was shut down for a couple of hours. But it didn’t ruin our good time.
Friday was another stellar day and night full of music.
To see more photos, click here
We made the trip back to Thornville, OH for the All Good Music Festival again this year. John Scofield’s Uber Jam, Toubab Krewe, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Beats Antique all graced the stages on Thursday. Unfortunately, we were only allowed one media credential so you’ll just have to check out the photos and make up your own words.
To see more photos from the festival, click here