Friday, July 31, 2009

Gathering of the Vibes 2009- Part 2 of 3

Saturday. I walked into Seaside Park that morning with some high expectations for certain performers and performances. My all-time favorite, Ryan Montbleau, was scheduled to play that afternoon, so of course I bounced into the concert grounds rearing to go.

In fact, the Ryan Montbleau Band is the first band of the day that is worth commenting on. First off, he's my favorite. Plain and simple. What's great about the RMB is that there are so many facets of the band and its sound to admire. Ryan is a poet, a storyteller. The songs that he writes are always heartfelt. Raw emotion comes through his music.
The band's sound in general is hard to coin - I would describe it as some sort of a mixture between folk, bluegrass, funk, gypsy and reggae. Yeah. You've gotta check these guys out. I'm posting a link at the end of this. Click it!

Anyways, Saturday was a great day to see Ryan. There was sunshine, dancing, and great music. Is there any better way to just be? He opened up his set with a real eye-opener, his song Chariot - solo acoustic. It was beautiful, and really caught people off guard. What's this guy doing alone on a stage with just a guitar and a mic? Where's the band? Where's the funk? What a beautiful way to open it all up, and show the audience a different side of Ryan than is normally portrayed at the Vibes (which would be, as I mentioned, the funky, sunshine-loving folk/reggae).

Another noteworthy song he did (full band) was Grain of Sand. The guy put a whole poem into the song as an interlude. It was like a vocal jam session. So cool.

I had tried to describe the greatness that is the Ryan Montbleau Band to one of my friends, and I finally managed to get her to see them live this weekend! At the end of the set, she turned to me and simply said: I'm in love. Welcome to the family.

Here's the set he did at the Vibes this year, check out Chariot, Inspired By No One, and Stretch for starters.

Here's a few pictures of Ryan's set:

That's an electric viola, kids:

The other band I wanted to bring into attention is The Pimps of Joytime. Yes, The Pimps. I happened upon them while noshing on probably my fifth bag of those handy little pistachio sample packages at the Green Vibes Stage, a separate stage run completely on solar power that features lesser-known bands that are on the rise.

This was my immediate reaction upon hearing them: CAROLINE, PUT DOWN YOUR PISTACHIOS. WE'RE GROOVING. BIG TIME.

And we did.

We even bought their CD at the end of their set, we loved them so much. I would describe their sound as some sort of dance-funk (my own term!) because it's funk that just makes you want to dance your face off. So good. Here's their link:

Favorites off "High Steppin" (the album I bought) include My Gold, Bonita, and Workin' all the Time. Check them out!!!

Those were definitely the highlights of the day for this vibetriber. I ended the night with a nice cuddle sesh somewhere amidst the smelly hippies. It's not too often you get to chill in Bridgeport on a Saturday night at 1 in the morning and not get killed, so take it for what it's worth.


oh ps. favorite hippie of the day:

Gathering of the Vibes 2009 - Part 1 of 3

Finally. After months of anticipation, the VibeTribe reunited last weeked. I had forgotten how good it is to dance like no one’s watching surrounded by an endless throng of smelly hippies!

Although the Vibes passed me by too quickly than I would have liked, I managed to pick up some new favorites and revisit some old flames..

Friday was a great day to kick off the weekend. The first set I caught was Strangefolk, and I was pleasantly surprised. My dad is a big fan, but they never particularly caught my interest. They got rained out at the Vibes last year, but this year’s set certainly made up for the void. They sound mirrors that of Assembly of Dust but in an old school type of way, with more of a rock and roll vibe. The verdict? They’re very cool. I guess Papa Bayne is on to something after all!

JJ Grey and MoFro came on next, and I spent the hour and a half jamming in the back of the concert grounds playing Frisbee with a hippie named Greg! We tossed around for maybe an hour or so, with brief interludes from other eager hippies to get in the game as well. The music was perfect for setting the tone of the afternoon- relaxed yet energetic. I ended up running into Greg again after our Frisbee session the next day, and, to my great surprise, he remembered me! It’s always good to make new friends.

Here's the view from my game!

I saw Keller Williams for the first time two weeks prior to his performance at the Vibes, and I don’t have much to say about his run this time around. What was interesting is that he was accompanied by a full band, instead of doing his usual one-man routine. My question is this: why eliminate the aspect of your music that sets you apart from everyone else? Yes, the show I saw before was a little more intimate, where he could have the freedom to do fool around on stage, laying down sick basslines and a killer acoustic guitar. But how cool would that have been at the Vibes? People need to be shaken up every now and again, and I think Keller's approach to music is it. Another thing that’s cool? I had never seen something like this before, but Keller uses a synthesizer shaped like a guitar to create horn tones. It seems like he’s jamming on the guitar, but trumpets are coming out of the speakers! Hmmm… But in all, Keller is definitely an act worth checking out, even online. His songs have an intricacy to them that seems unreal, especially because of his lyrics (note: Doobie In My Pocket is a good one!). In short, this guy is hilarious and pretty interesting.
Here's his site on the archives:

Donna Jean Godchaux, a member of the Grateful Dead, came out and sang with Keller halfway through his set:

I was in no way a fan of George Clinton & P-Funk’s… act. More like a circus, I would say. There was probably a sum of thirty people onstage during his set, doing everything and anything. There was dancing, acrobatics, and men in diapers. To me, having all of those distractions on stage while your music is going says something about your confidence in your music’s ability to engage an audience. To me, good musicians don’t need to have women shaking their asses or enough pyrotechnics to set a city on fire to entertain the audience. Music should be taken as it is: music. If you’re in to that, don’t call yourself a band. Call yourself a circus.

Hah. Had to put this one up.

Another source of disappointment for the night? The fact that moe., the headlining act, only played for fourty-five minutes instead of their allotted ninety. The reason? A massive thunderstorm less than mile away. I suppose a throng of twenty thousand people gathering around a huge metal structure in the middle of a severe thunderstorm isn’t the best idea… but the music! It would have been worth it. moe. was just getting started up after a great version of Mexico and St. Augustine. It would have been a great night, I can tell. A few friends of mine happened upon their show in Hampton Beach, NH the next night, and confirmed that I definitely missed out. Bummer. There’s always moe.down next month…

Some cool lighting for the moe. set:

Wow! That was Friday for you. More reports on the Saturday and Sunday sets later…

Here's a few other pics...

I think I see Aunt Bertha!

Need a karma wash? (note the boots)

Some friends, old and new:

UBridgeport is my #1!

Well, Well, Well.

Here I am, minutes after confirming that yes, I do want my very own blog. Yes, I do want to share my thoughts with people. And yes, I am committed to eschewing the certain confusion that comes with the sporadic, cryptic updates that I so happen to love on Twitter.

So here I am. Committed. Eager.


First things first, the name I chose for this blog is relevant. Promise! I am an avid music fan and concert-goer, but and sometimes it gets to the point where I become the observer, fully aware of my surroundings but an outsider nonetheless.

So this is it. My very own, personal, whatever-the-hell-I-want blog. Although if I were to continue with the theme I laid out with my title, this blog is about music. But it's more. It's about music, and family, and (dare I say it?) life in general. It's myths, it's fallacies, everything.

So will I live up to this self-proclaimed ongoing discussion of music and everything that encompasses it?

Read on, my friends.