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Posts Tagged ‘Rock The Resort II’

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

(179 McDougal Street)

(w/ Higher Nebulae, D.V.S., & Orchard Lounge)

Show Pamplet

Show Pamplet

In my mind, I consider myself just beginning to learn about (and possibly appreciate) these late night NYC music scenes.  A scene where the music doesn’t start until 11:00pm, maybe.  A scene where, unless you asked for help, you can’t find the door to the establishment, a scene hidden under the bowels of the city streets.   I normally rage a live concert where the doors open at 6pm and the show start at 8pm.  And THEN, if I have the energy (if?…who are we kidding?), I end up in a dark and grimy basement venue for the remainder of the night.  Most of the time it’s because a friend has talked me into raging harder and not because I feel as though there will be true talent on a stage.  To me, these are the times to mingle and dance till your a puddle of water on the floor.  I have no idea what is going on music wise as…how do I put this….it doesn’t register to me as live music.  It just doesn’t.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Dj-ing is clearly an art.  Sampling music, producing sounds, splicing tunes, putting them back together like a puzzle.  I get it.  I can see the DJs gears working in my mind’s eye when I hear some of the get-down beats we dance too.  And when they rage, I stop dancing and I embrace the lift in the room’s energy, nodding my head in recognition that they just mixed a dope track that got the floor jumpin’.  So, I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I do dance into a puddle and I have fun but it’s not the same thing if it’s just a person and their turntables.  It doesn’t drag me in and make my jaw drop.

Now, take that atmosphere, with that talented puzzle maker and throw in a live instrument.  Like Break Science who has Adam Deitch on the drums bringing forth that extra layer that makes it intoxicating, or The Sullivan Street Shakedown, which combines DJs with numerous live instruments rotated each month.  It lies in the fact that it’s alive to me at that moment.  It’s organic.  I can see it being created.  Tonight, I would be enjoying the performance of Jeff Bujak and he brought me exactly what I needed to have my jaw drop.

Rage equipment!

Rage equipment!

The show was held at Club Love.  Never having been before, I immediately was drawn to the name, wondering what it must look like.  I imagined it being dimly lit, a loungy-vibe with bright tones like purples, yellows and reds.  Slightly Disco-esque with plush couches and anything you would find in a Austin Powers movie.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With no sign to the establishment and the entrance being a door hidden by on of those large gate walls that businesses pull down when they close up shop, I only knew I was in the right spot thanks to the store owners around the area.  The show was to start at 10pm but I don’t think the doors even opened until 11pm.  I went across the street for a beer with the three other people foolish enough to come so early…see, I am still learning.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Upon entering Love, you head down the stairs into a dark, concrete floored, cavern-like basement and are forced either left or right.  If you choose right, you are met with the room that would be throwing us the get down grinds.  Probably holds about 250 (??) comfortably, one wall had bench style seating but that was it.  This was a room for dancing.  Period. There was a bar set up with caution tape around it, I assumed to give the waitress some room?  Flat out, not cool waitress.  I bought a $7 beer, gave her a $10 and she just ran with it.  When I asked her for my change, she was like “What? You want me to give you back 2 bucks?”  First of all, take a math course and Poor Service!!!  Seriously? Does it matter?  I used to be a waitress and I was a friggen princess even when I wanted to kill someone.  I will NEVER get used to the poor customer service practices in New York City.  There is TRULY nothing comparable in terms of shitty attitude .  Needless to say,  I was not amused.

Dancing and Hula Hooping

Dancing and Hula Hooping

There was no “stage” per say, just a portion of the floor that had been utilized for the equipment.  As well, there was an elevated portion that held the DJs booth.  I got to be sadly honest and admit that the front of the DJ booth was so high, I could barely see the tops of the DJ’s heads, let alone see them do their thing.  That made me sad.  But I am sure the rest of the world saw the Dj’s as they are all over 5 foot zero!!

If you took a left from Love’s entrance, you are taken to the restrooms, another bar and a separate room that looks cave-ish, like the walls were made of crappy styrafrom, the other walls were glass so that the patrons in the room were viewable from the bar area.  This room was for those who might need to take a rest from the intensity in the other room.  It is small but with stadium seating, more like concrete stairs.  It’s always good to have one of these rooms to retreat into when you have partied to hard.

Higher Nebulae started the night off with some dirty dance beats. There was some gospel layers and rock layers all with some deep whoomping bass.  When the bass beats were dropped we were given some familiar rock favorites and unexpected old school gems such as Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

D.V.S.

D.V.S.

Like I said, it’s hard for me to focus on the music when it’s just the DJs so I was wondering around trying to catch a buzz with the $10 beer in hand and attempting to get in the right frame of mind to dance into that puddle I was talking about.  The Banana Mafia was out in full force greeting what appeared to be half the venue who had come under his list.  He brought the energy, he brought in the dancers.  I appreciated that!  However, this Mafia member was without his Banana Suit?  Is that even allowed?  Am I supposed to be outing him over the internet?  Opps.  Either way, he raged all over that dance floor, as well as his friends, and we all had a blast together!!

D.V.S. was up next, his real name being Derek VanScoten.  Where as Jeff Bujak uses a piano to layer on top of his electronic beats, D.V.S. uses a Telecaster guitar.  I stopped my mingling and started focusing on D.V.S..  His music mixed Hip-hop, Soul and even Motown.  He sampled Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” and raged a great guitar during his samples.  He has recently toured as a solo artist supporting Ana Sia, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique, Boombox, Lynx & Janover, JFJO, and M80 Dubstation.  Honestly, not sure if I cared for him that much.  It didn’t do anything for me.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Let’s talk about Jeff Bujak, the man of the hour!  Duuuuude.  Having just discovered him earlier this summer at Rock The Resort, I was VERY eager to see him again live.  Jeff Bujak is a true musician.  A truly technically talented piano player who, from the moment I stepped foot into his performance at RTR, has had me hooked.  To me, when I listen to his music at home, Jeff reminds me of a mix between Tori Amos and Bruce Hornsby. I could come up with a ton of combination but seriously, his music is beautiful and quirky and demanding with organized chaos and it is all his own! He has coined his music “Intelligent Dance Music.”  Intriguing, no?

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff comes armed with everything needed to run his one-man show including light, sound, and smoke.  Cables and pedals everywhere, there is a laptop, a sound deck and his dual level keyboard at the helm of his personal electronic monster.  There is a row of lights above his left shoulder flashing us the light show in various colors and mixed to rage with the beat. His shoes were off and the show began.

The set list:

SET 1
Utopia > Kicker > Crowd > Machinist > Slimmy > Cascadation > Sunny’s Song* > PUTV > Mutator

* written by Benevento-Russo Duo (section of)

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Utopia got it started with a synthesizer drop and a deep beat. Very quickly the layering of faster beats were released and right away it was a dance party.  His songs have catchy samples, this one, sampling Cake’s The Distance by using the lyrics “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…”  After a while, amid the heavy beat of smashing cymbals, I feel a reggae vibe that quickly turns back into a deep electronic beat.

Kicker into Crowd brought us the classical, straight out gorgeous technical chamber piano skills that I adore him for.  These gorgeous notes layer over the rest of the dance worthy beats.  They are hit hard, there are sounds of electric guitars playing but I know that is Bujak manipulating the keys.  The sequenced drum loops made it sound like the drummer was in the room with us at times.  Then we got a little more of the pure keys, nothing manipulated, just beautiful piano sounds.  It’s a gorgeous mixture of electronic and organic.  I mean, there is just GORGEOUS composition amongst his hectic beats.

So, being that I am a romantic female, I found it to be just lovely music and I was pleased to see mainly men in that basement dancing.  In reality, I wondered if these wookies heard what I heard.  They were certainly dancing to the beats but I wonder if they realized just how good he sounded in that basement.  Club Love is rumored as having one of the best sound systems, so perhaps that helped.  There are parts of the songs that got so slow and so sensual.  Preferring to be a stand alone dancer at most shows I attend, it was my pleasure to dance intelligently with some dudes that night to this intelligent music.  A real pleasure. 😉

The music pierced my ear drums and so my ear plugs remained in the entire night.  I love my ear plugs because they helps break down the sounds and I can hear the music very clearly.  I recognized that I was in a grimy basement but being raised on Broadway shows and Classical theater and concerts, I was able to close my eyes and get thrown into the plush seats I imagined earlier.   The raging beats faded away and all I could hear was the gorgeous classical technical training he was throwing at us.

The music sounded like this (around 5:15ish mins he busts out the chamber piano):

But my mind would shut out parts and I would just hear something that sounded like this, beats faded away…just gorgeous:

Machinist is a song that amuses me. I imagine being at an Insane Clown Posse  or 311 show raging out and then Jeff layers some beautiful unmanipulated organized piano playing over it.  That is what does it for me.  I know I always say I love my horns, but I grew up listening to my father plays his piano every night after dinner while I cleared the table and did the dishes.  This fact also makes me overly critical towards keys players and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Jeff’s work. It was a complete package, a complete pleasure.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Slimmy was mainly a synthesizer song and pretty sure I heard some Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in the mix.  It was HEAVY, deep, and a raging dance song.  This producer/composer really does delivers a vibrant sound so full of melodic energy it stirs even the most timid of dancers. No one was sitting. I make my way up to Jeff’s side, watching him play…oh the essence of a musician when they are in the zone.  Sometimes I swear can feel their energy radiate off them.  It’s what brings tears to my eyes sometimes.  We stand in the audience in love with these musician’s music but what we have to remember is they either love or hate what they are playing as well and you can fell it, you can see it.  The lights and the music and the venue were helping big time.  It was so beautiful and overwhelming.  One man was making all this happen.

I stepped outside for an adventure during Cascadation so I can’t tell you anything about that song. That is one you will just have to go and see to experience 🙂  I came back in towards the end of Sunny’s Song, partially written by Benevento-Russo Duo. Pretty, melodic, slower then the rest.  PUTV gave us a manipulated synthed start to the song with samplings from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Pump Up The Volume” gently layered on top of the rest of the tune.  He goes back and forth between the manipulated sounds and the organic sound the ivories make.  Again, the looped drum beats are stellar and fast forcing Bujak’s fingers to go full blast.

Mutator was last for the evening. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when one song ended or began.  My notes are full of lines where I believe one ends and another beings, arrows shooting up the page because I felt as if he had gone from one song to another and back again, not sure.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was so well-played that if the change occurred, I had no clue where it was.

Here is the video I took of Jeff @ Club Love…sorry for the sound quality. I had my ear plugs in and it sounded GORGEOUS and crisp in my ear…you get the point 🙂

Orchard Lounge raged our faces off for the rest of the evening but I will have to review them another time.  Jeff was what had brought me here tonight. I had come with the intentions of leaving after Jeff’s set but there was NO WAY. Not only was I one of the first people to arrive that night, I ended up being one of the last people to leave.  Jeff hung out a bit and, when we weren’t dancing, I wandered with my dance partner, getting in to trouble here and there, totally full of energy.  It was a great night and all thank to Jeff….thanks Buj 🙂  Be sure to check out Jeff Bujak’s newest full-length released on Harmonized Records:  “Alive Like the Spine

And as I hit PUBLISH, the irony is not lost on me as I listen to my neighbor begin giving one of her lovely piano lessons…..life is magnificent!

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"You should take this plant..."

"You should take this plant..." / "Are you sure you don't want it?" / "Maybe we can pawn this off on Bujak."

Around 11am Saturday morning, I decided I could muster the energy to move.  We had raged HARD Friday.  Aaron and I showered and gathered ourselves for round two.  Ahhhhh, the shower…..how nice!!!  The place may have been Wookie Central but it had showers and a warm bed…can’t beat that!  Aaron was the greatest roommate ever and had come stocked with bagels, cream cheese, fruit and ALMONDS!!  The food at the resort was below par cafeteria quality with basically a grade school cafeteria menu to include chicken fingers, hot dogs, hamburgers/cheeseburgers and french fries all for around $5-$7 per item.   Not sure if there were any vegetarian options.  Definitely none that stood out!

After forcing down some food, I sent the word out to my boys that we were up and the pre-party was to commence.  The response texts were hysterical, groggy, misspelled and I could feel their pain throbbing in my temples!!  We  made our way to the Jacuzzie suite where it didn’t take long to get rid of our headaches and melt into the plush love seat.  My brain was finally prepared to wonder about the day’s agenda…

Radioactive @ Rock The Resort II

Radioactive @ Rock The Resort II

I was looking forward to today for many reasons, but the main one being that my love for poetry, slam or otherwise, was going to thrash the theaters.  Radioactive was my first hit that day around 12:30pm.  Having seen him battle with Adam Deitch the night before, I knew I wanted to see more.  An emcee, beatboxer, writer, painter, and b-boy, Radio plays musical instruments (but not during this set) and incorporates electronic beats with his beatbox (which he definitely did).

Radioactive @ Rock The Resort II

Radioactive @ Rock The Resort II

During the beginning of his set, he knocked out beats/sounds with his voice/throat/hands, recording them, looping and layering them on top of each other to create a base for his lyrics.  This is the kind of thing I adore watching; people who make something out of nothing.   At one point during his rap, a hip-hop dancer was raging the dance floor all alone and Radio incorporated the dancer into his lyrics.  His free-styles spoke of peace, love, compassion, that none of us are the center of anything and we are all part of something.  I sat among the other five people in the theater, yes five, wondering how many people truly felt that in their hearts.

“Do that thing where you make stuff up,” the dancer says. We all laugh.  Taking it from the curb, he battled himself, changing the tone of his voice to deep and growly vs. high and pitchy to correspond with which “side” was spitting.   It was entertaining.  After his set, I had to introduced myself.  I had truly appreciated what he had to say and loved the delivery.  I left for the next show feeling inspired, unaware that Radio, otherwise known as Woodrow, would rage the Jacuzzi suite HARD with us later on that evening!!

Sophistaphunk @ Rock The Resort II

Sophistaphunk @ Rock The Resort II

Sophistaphunk was up next.  Another band with their styles dipped in poetry, I had heard good things.  They had this lamp set up on the stage that I noticed immediately and thought brought a bit of charm to the otherwise dark stage.  I was feeling the effects from lack of sleep at this point and decided to melt into a first tier rolling chair to watch their set.  They were funky at times, rock at times, they definitely were all over the place in terms of style.  There was one song that even had me out of my chair at one point.  But then they actually lost me when it came to the freestyling’s of Jack Brown during a particular song.

Wookie's Picnic @ Rock The Resort II

Wookie's Picnic @ Rock The Resort II

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it, but after just seeing Radioactive, it was hard not to compare.  At the same time, they were two different styles.  I really loved what Jack was saying, it just wasn’t fast enough for my taste in the moment.  Especially when they had just jammed so hard.  I am a harsh critic when it comes to this.  I have been lucky enough to judged multiple slam/poetry competitions here in Manhattan and I rely heavily on how my emotions lead me when I watch the presentation as I am listening to the lyrics.  I just wasn’t feeling his choice.  I felt my switch get turned off and knew I needed to recharge.

Rock The Resort II

Rock The Resort II

One of the negatives to having a music festivals indoors is the fact that it’s actually indoors.  The sun was beaming, people were wookin’ it out in the parking lot, laying on blankets in the grass, having picnics.  You couldn’t do any of that inside the dark, grimy theaters.  The music would have to wait.  I felt the need to join the happenings out in the parking lot!   Wookies were scattered everywhere with their heady rugs thrown about, beer in hand, dogs in tow.

Heady Wears @ Rock The Resort II

Heady Wears @ Rock The Resort II

The vendors were mainly inside but a few random mobile shops were selling their wares.  A vendor would later tell me that they felt as though there were more vendors then there were attendants.  I am pretty sure they were right.  Outside, people were lying on car hoods and drinkin’ beer out of their trunks.  Music was playing from various locations via car speaker or boombox.  Aaron and I strolled the grounds, coming across wookie picnics and passed out soldiers of rage from the night prior.  There were some gorgeous Willow trees and a large lake with various gazebos surrounding.  The place had potential to be magnificent if given a nice face lift.

Jon of the Shred @ Rock The Resort II

Jon of the Shred @ Rock The Resort II

One of the crazy things about this festival, music just popped up everywhere. No idea who they were, but a band just set up shop in the vendor section.  The vendors expressed their happiness as they had felt forgotten on their side of the building as they couldn’t hear the bands in the theaters.   I took a minute to step foot into the next room to catch another few songs by Jaden.  I’ll, say it again, it’s clear that this girl is talented.  She covered a few songs before I took off in another direction.  There were points like this were I was CRAVING good music and it could NOT be found.    I walked in on Jon of the Shred as he played Smoke on the Water.  I was immediately turned off by the name hahaha but I attempted to give him the benefit of the doubt.  This guy was a rager but it wasn’t consistent.  One song would be somewhat fluid, the next would be sloppy.  He can shred the hell out of a guitar, he can play some keys, but his attempts to do both those things and maintain the computer and keep his hair out of his face….needs more practice.  I was dying at this point.  The Jacuzzi suite was the only answer.  If I couldn’t find good music, I could always find good conversation.

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

Again, I had to peel myself away from that suite because it was getting to be about that time.  I could smell the coming of good music.  The sun was going down and the resort was becoming more animated.  I made my way downstairs to see if Skerdio was set to rage. They weren’t so I proceeded to dance among the wooks in the lobby to a nameless band who actually threw us a pretty good dance party.  I saw Skerik standing behind them not looking to happy.  Then he was off towards the stage door.  Then Radioactive is standing near the band, looking perplexed.  And then he is off.  I head to the theater and it is literally myself, Tony, Toast, and a couple of the New Riders in the entire room.  Mind you, the lobby is packed.  Skerik walks up and shakes his head.  he is clearly not pleased.  “Yo man, the M.E.A.T. movement has made it’s way to the East coast. We are ready for ya,” I say with a smile!  And Skerik gave a solid belly laugh as his frown was turned upside down!!  Apparently, the band in the lobby was so loud that no one could hear the Skerdio announcement over the PA and I don’t think the lobby band was meant to be playing anyway.  Seriously, at this point, the chaos is all part of the charm! But eventually Skerdio made it up on stage and another badass assault on the senses took place.

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

Skerdio @ Rock the Resort II

What an interesting combination. I loved it.  And as my boy Eric stated, “This is going to be one of the best sets of the weekend,” I get lost in all of it.  Radioactive to the left with his system in place, Skerik on the right with his saxophone in hand and freak switch flipped FULLY on.  His tongue was already sticking out; he was rocking back and forth.  Radio began by layering the sounds and beats he threw with his voice.  Skerik started pumping in off beat blasts in between shakin’ his head like the crazy man he is.  Radio begins free-styling.  And so it went for a few songs, with various beats, sounds and funky Skerik facial expressions.  After awhile, a guitarist joined the stage. We were thrown the name but I never caught it.    And again it went with the layering of beats, Skerik‘s funky horn and sweet guitar rifts that changed the sound over completely.  When Radio sampled the guitar player’s rift, his face lit up as he was able to play over himself.  The theater never really did fill up and at one point I heard a kid say, “You should hear the weird style of music that is going on in there.” I loved it.

Rock the Resort II

Rock the Resort II

It was back up to the 8th floor some relaxing! Who am I kidding? It was nothing but awesome-sauce rage town in that room hahaha!!!  I rode up the elevator with Radioactive yet again.  “Dude, come in and play with us!” And he did, stories flying, music playin, smiles raging.  More good friends, more good music, and more netWOOKing!!!  Then it was RUBBLEBUCKET time. Or so I thought!

Do people really take the time to review the medical staff?  I absolutely had nooooo intentions on doing that but, alas, my life can never be boring, can it?  I had skipped over seeing Rubblebucket three times in the city earlier this year because I knew I would be seeing them this weekend.  Little did I know what kind of an adventure I was in for during their set.

Wook the Resort II

Wook the Resort II

So, remember those almonds that I mentioned earlier.  At some point before the Rubblebucket set, I made my way back up to the room to reload on water and get ready for the nights events.  I grabbed about 12 almonds from the container to munch on for energy.  Something I have done my whole life.  I immediately felt weirdness in my throat.  It is about 6pm at this point, I think, and so Aaron and I grabbed some french fries from the cafeteria and I knew something is up.  My throat was closing, my eyes were closing, hives…oh man, this was happening fast.  Being highly allergic to cats, I knew I was having a reaction but man, I was hoping it was not to the almonds.  I left Aaron with the french fries to gather myself in the ladies room when I took one look in the mirror and knew I was screwed.  A lovely wookette helped me to the Medic lounge which was empty.  Shit!  Then I find the closest security guard who was immediately on the walkie talkie and sat with me until the doctors showed up.  As horrid as I looked and felt, this might be one of the greatest parts of my weekend adventures 🙂

Rock the Resort II

Rock the Resort II

Dr. Steve was his name and Nurse Jill was hers.  They were kind, accommodating, wonderful.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  I knew I had to remain calm because with the insanity that was raging all over my body, it would get worse if I panicked.  There were ice packs then blankets, tanks to help me breath, Benadryl galore.  When they brought out the epipen I prayed that didn’t have to use it.  This shit was no joke, man!  And then I was knocked out…from 7p to 10ish, coming to from time to time to groggily say, “Please make sure I am better for New Riders.”  Their response, “Oh honey, of course!  That is what we are waiting for too!”  The whole time getting uplifting texts from all my boys who had run into Aaron through out evening and been updated on my pathetic situation!  After waking up and not having to itch my skin off, I was released.  And note to you all, I guess don’t offer me things with nuts it.

New Riders of the Purple Sage @ Rock the Resort II

New Riders of the Purple Sage @ Rock the Resort II

New Rider of the Purple Sage took the stage at some unknown time.  Everything from this point is so hard for me to recollect.  I was so doped up on Benadryl which was knocking me down.  I had a 5-hour Energy Shot and crap keepin’ me up.  But I remember lots of dancing as they brought their folksy vibe to the room.  Sounds reminiscent of The Dead.  My notes are illegible.  I really wish I could give you more. I had not seen them since my last All Good Music Festival.  But, at this point, I was just happy to be in the theater breathing and dancing!  At one point I look over and there is Jill, dancing, swaying, eyes closed.  Taking it all in.  I am so glad I hadn’t prevented her from seeing them.

I was all over the place during the end of their set.  I believe it was Madam Bliss who was out there giving us a little dance party, blah!   At some point we all met up in the suite.  It was always like clockwork when that happened.  Like our internal alarms went off and we all were on the move to the 8th floor, collecting people on each thrashed floor.  I realized I had spent some quality time getting pumped up with my boys in the Jacuzzi suite and it was time to move again.  I was Up! Up! Up! And it was time to rage some FUNK through this resort.

Jeff Bujak @ Rock The Resort II

Jeff Bujak @ Rock The Resort II

We make our way down to the theater for the last round of music!  After a slight detour on another floor we get back on the elevator and we see Sam Kininger. All I can say is “YYYYEEEESSSS!!!!!”  However, before Sam’s set I was looking forward to seeing Jeff Bujak.  Justin had be talking about him all weekend, calling his style “Intelligent Dance!”  I was completely intrigued and had missed chilling with him in the suite because of the damn peanut attack.  Dammit, it was time.   And THIS WAS NOOOO JOKE.  Finally, an artist I had never seen before who FLOORED me!  This is something I was hoping would happen all weekend.

The Sam Kininger Band @ Rock The Resort II

The Sam Kininger Band @ Rock The Resort II

Jeff does his own lights, sound, composition, smoke effects, etc.  A tight little package, straight up. He was fluid, he was consistent.  Among all his chaos of sound, I heard the most lovely of melody on the keys.  He played them beautifully.  The smoke and lights made for some gorgeous shots.  He would lay down funky beats and then give us jazzy piano on top of it.  He always had a melody to deliver and the beats were dope. I felt like I heard a bit of Latin beat in the mix during one song.  It was interesting, it was well-put together…it was good!

Download: Jeff Bujak @ Rock The Resort (04.10.2010)

Sam Kininger Band @ Skerik @ Rock the Resort II

Sam Kininger Band @ Skerik @ Rock the Resort II

Jeff Lockhart, The Rager!

Jeff Lockhart, The Rager!

The Sam Kininger Band went on around 4am and I was right where I needed to be!  There was never a time all weekend where all of my buddies were in the same room at the same time until that show.  I look around the room and EVERYONE who makes me smile was there, wide-eyed and smiling back!  I knew this would be my last performance as we were leaving first thing in the morning. I was already missing everyone’s faces.  The stage held Sam Kininger on saxophone, Nikki Glaspie on drums, Amy Bowles on organ/keys, Aaron Bellamy on bass, and a personal favorite, Jeffery Lockhart on guitar.  The songs start off with the various instruments leading in and then Sam brought the funk.  Sam brought the dance party that made you want to clap your hands.  The Band backed Sam as he raged his axe of funk consistently, jazzy, blasting.

Skerik and Sam @ Rock The Resort II

Skerik and Sam @ Rock The Resort II

I LOVE seeing Nikkie Glaspie play.  A female drummer is always killer!!!   The ladies were awesome but then you had Jeffery Lockhart.  That man took his liberties with that bass and we loved every minute of it.  At one point, he takes a seat in a chair and just wastes us where we stand while he sat!   At this point, Radioactive joins the stage as does SkerikSkerdio was to rage with Sam Kininger Band.  Man, life is fun!  Radio threw out his signature beats amongst the funk.  Skerik and Sam battled their horns against one and another.  At one point, I am pretty sure Jeffery and Radio battled.  It was all fun, improvisational on many parts and a great funky dance party to end the evenings. I text J-Man, “One last session after?” “Yeah! I am still at Bujak!”…”And I am still in front of the horns!”…”Big surprise!” he texts and I return to dancing!

At the end of the set there are hardly any of us left standing.  Aaron had already peaced to bed perhaps a half hour prior.  I had lost track of time and realized it was like 6:30 in the morning.  I was done; we all were.  Those of us left made it to the fluffy couches on the 8th floor and attempted to wind down.  As we relaxed, we talked about Bujak, Skerik, Radio, Lobby Rage and Sam…you know, the good stuff of the weekend.  I knew I had to make it to my bed but I didn’t want to move.  I didn’t want it to end.

As I walked to the 7th floor, it all flooded over me.  The horrible production that gave the fest a charm all its own, the dogs, the wookies.  I knew I had made some bonds that weekend that would never break and I knew I had broken some.  I had seen some pretty awesome bits of music and almost died from eating 12 pieces of a food item that I used to eat by the pound.  Not at all what I thought would kill me at one of these things haha.  All in all, I would say that me and the boys raged one hell of a season opener.  I face planted into the bed with a wide smile.  Been holding onto it ever since 🙂

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LET THE FESTIVAL SEASON BEGIN…

(or as I like to call it: On Your Marks, Get Set, RAAAAAAAGE!!!)

Hudson Valley Resort and Spa

Hudson Valley Resort and Spa

Rock The Resort II.  What a mess of a success!  Where does one begin?  I was slated to leave my apartment at 10:30am to meet my buddies at the end of the 4 train in Woodlawn.  I was up at 7am wide awake after falling asleep only 5 hours earlier. It was like Christmas, too excited to sleep.  At the same time around the East Coast in Upstate NY, Vermont and Philadelphia, I knew my kindred spirits in music were waking up and beginning their own trips toward their Rock the Resort II adventures.  This made me smile.

Driving with Eric and Tony @ Rock The Resort II

"Listen, we are listening to nothing but New Riders on the way up."

When Eric picked me up from the train station, his first words when I got in the car were “You’re excited aren’t you?  I could see your smile from a couple blocks away.”  Indeed, I was geeking out at this point!!!  After a much needed chill session in Woodlawn, Eric, T, and I piled our gear into the car and set off for the 2 hours trip to Kerhonkson, New York.  Half an hour into the ride, I felt I wasn’t in the city anymore and I loved it.  The trees were turning green and signs of Spring were everywhere.  The rolling hills threw me back to The Valley in Virginia and I fiercely missed home at that moment.  With the roof top open, the smells of Spring were welcoming unlike in parts of Manhattan where I believe we should all wear gas masks.

Fatty McRage

Fatty McRage ~ He was my fav 🙂

Arriving at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, it was immediately clear that the place had seen some better days.  Run down and tired, there were stains all over the carpet, holes in our closet door, bottle openers attached to the back of our bathroom doors…the list goes on.  Don’t get me wrong, the Resort totally served it’s purpose that weekend but the place was by no means classy!  And it is just as well because the majority of wookies attending this festival were not the kind to take their time and put their trash in the trashcan or their cigarette out in the ashtrays.  I mean, as soon as we entered the lobby, we saw a dog take a leak right on the carpet.  Dayum!  Apparently, the resort was animal friendly so dogs were allowed in the venue and even in the stage areas.  At times, it was very captivating to turn and see a dog resting his head on his paws, watching the show with you.  I just wish they they not be allowed on the dance floor.  That made for a lot of jerked leashes and frightened dogs.  And above you, Fatty McRage.  I deemed him so as the poor thing was, as the talented Jeffery Lockhart would later say, “To fat to even bark!”

View from 1707
View from 1707 ~ I can dig it!

Everyone arrived just about the same time.   Parting ways from Eric and T in the check-in line, I joined up with Aaron, my roommate for the weekend and a fabulous cat I met on Jamcruise 8!!  The sign-in process was a mess.  There was no organization and the staff had little to no knowledge on what was going on.  After trying to gather information from the website in the weeks  prior and recognizing it’s lack of organization, I knew we were in for a little mess.  We managed to get through the line a lot faster then most and went to check out our room.   All the way at the end of the hall, with a king bed and a large windowed view of the lake and Willow trees,  it was a nice place to face plant when the time would come.  I immediately jumped all over the bed when I entered the room.  I suggest you always jump on the bed in the hotels!  I do it every single time!

Murry, Trance & J-Man @ Rock The Resort II
Murray, Trance & J-Man wookin out the lobby

When we got settled in I set off to meet up with some friends, old and new.  My boys who drove me were right across the hall, Woot!  Justin, a fellow blogger and friend who maintains the Music Marauders website, was apparently kickin’ it in the Jacuzzi suite that weekend.  Seriously, he and Murray were raging in what turned out to be the nicest suite at the resort.  Apparently, the room had been booked months prior through Murray but it had been high-jacked for an “After Party” room of sorts so it was stocked with tons of mini fridges and what not.  Aside from the jacuzzi, there were plush leather couches and pretty bar near the front door and tons of space for wookies to pass out, which is just what happened.  We After-partied and Pre-partied the SHIT out of that room and ironically, numerous artists raged in the room as well, so really, all was as it was meant to be in reality.

Jaden and her fan!
Jaden @ Rock The Resort II

There was music at this thing right?  Got to be honest, it was nice not having a jam packed lineup of amazing music.  This festival is perfect for hanging out with friends, chillin with the artists, networking, and just going full face melt.  I had a friggen blast.  I never felt I was truly missing anything if I was not in front of the stage.  There were, of course, those few bands I HAD to see this weekend, but if I were at Wanee or Jam Cruise, I wouldn’t have moved from the stage and ended up speaking to no one.  So, bare with me because by the time I checked out my first show, my handwritten notes had already become illegible.  At 7pm the music was set to begin; Jaden on the Empire Stage and Roots of Creation on the Manhattan Stage.  Both acts I had never seen.  Both venues were located side by side so you could just walk 55 feet and be in front of the other stage.  The wall dividing them was a wall of windows sometimes covered by curtains…or not.

Jaden @ Rock The Resort II
Jaden @ Rock The Resort II

The first act I caught was Jaden.  I had heard so much about this little lady that I had to check her out.  Wow.  The talent that child has playing the guitar is going to grow and I can’t WAIT to see her in like 10 years.  Hell, I can’t wait to see her in five.  I only checked out a song or two, both of which were covers; Bob Marley’s Mellow Moon and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.  Both of which she played consistently on point. When she starts taking liberties with her solos I have a feeling she is going to spit fire.  She has quite a way to go with her voice but she has talent in those fingers at the age of 8 that some won’t have when they are 80.  And how sweet was it to see that Jaden had a posse of about 8 tweens who were there fanning it up!

Roots Of Creation @ Rock The Resort II
Roots Of Creation @ Rock The Resort II

After a few songs I walked over to watch Roots of Creation’s set. I had heard good things.  There were maybe 15 people in the theater.  I sat in one of the rolling chairs on the first tier of the theater and propped my feet up for the rest of their set.  My understanding was that they were reggae but the first few songs I heard were groovy and full of trippy jam.  I remember feeling that it was too slow for the moment but I didn’t move. I was locked in my chair and my arms were to heavy to write.  I turned in my chair and saw a golden retriever, head resting on it’s paws, laying serenely on the table, straight up smiling.  Yeah, I guess they did kinda rock!

Soulive @ Rock The Resort II
Soulive @ Rock The Resort II

At this point I peeled myself out of the chair and made my way up to the Jacuzzi suite and a few other friends rooms, missing Sellassie & Alchemy Unit.  My hall had become Shakedown Street within the first hour so I stayed away from that floor most of the night.  I was able to kick it with Nigel Hall while he got ready for his set.  We talked music and wardrobe.  He was lookin’ forward to the show and going to see his son the following day!  We headed to the lobby by way of the elevator where we ran into Justin, Trance and the rest of the guys making their way down for the Soulive set.  See, the very FEW of us who were there to see live music knew when to get their our asses out of our rooms.  Soulive was one of the shows NOT to miss this weekend.

Skerik and Nigel Hall @ Rock The Resort II
Skerik and Nigel Hall @ Rock The Resort II

They completely kicked it off hard.  This was the first time all day that the theater had more then 30 people in it!! It was the first time all day I actually heard a CHEER from a CROWD.  But that is exactly what I expected. When Soulive plays, people go see them.  And they planted it hard.  The trio kicked it off with a few throw backs from their older discs and a few from their new Rubber Soulive album. Eleanor Rigby made it’s way in as it always does.  Nigel Hall was brought on stage as he always is.  The moment I was really waiting for was coming.  Skerik..Skerik…Skerik with Soulive.  Two of my favorites…together.  This is why I had bought my ticket.

Al Evans @ Rock The Resort II
Al Evans @ Rock The Resort II

When Skerik came out, the stage decided to fight back. The microphone that had been set up for Skerik was not working.  This was incredibly frustrating but the only thing you can do is hope the artist bend and that is what they did.  Nigel went from singing into the mic to planting it in Skerik’s horn so we could hear him solo.  The exchange went on  for a few songs and the mic never never did get fixed even after an extensive attempt.  But that was the charm of it all, no?  Skerik left Nigel with the microphone and exited the stage.  Soulive, with Nigel raging his vocals, belted out a few more songs before ending the set.  It was time to go play with friends again.  At this point the elevator rides were getting longer and more animated as they both decided to just pick and choose which floor they would stop on only after going between the basement and lobby three times.  Reminding me of Jam Cruise, they had a formula; the formula was fun.  The elevators are crucial to the experience!

Particle @ Rock The Resort II

Particle @ Rock The Resort II

After running around the resort again, it was time for more music.  Particle was playing next and I had not seen them in YEARS!!  I made my way down to the theater and set myself up.  The people packed the theater for this group as well.  I am not sure if they played numerous songs or if it was one long song but I felt like they didn’t stop for a very long time once they started.  I liked what I heard.  It was consistent and rockin’ pretty hard when I decided to use the restroom.  THANK GOD for a tiny bladder because in the Lobby was Nigel Hall, Soulive and a grand piano that was about to Rock the Resort hard!  I am not even sure if this was on the schedule to be honest.  Everything was so disorganized and there were none available to us.  But scheduled or not, this was magic in the making.

Soulive watching Nigel Hall and Skerik @ Rock The Resort II

Soulive watching Nigel Hall and Skerik @ Rock The Resort II

As I walk over, Eric tells me to put my boa on Nigel.  Apparently he needs a little pick me up!  Ha!  It wasn’t long before the boa was off and the music was on!!!   At first it was Neal and Nigel on the Grand, Eric on the congas and Alan smiling widely behind them; just playing around and feelin’ things out.  Then Eric and Alan stepped away as the microphone was handed to Nigel.  He sang a lovely rendition of Donnie Hathaway’s “Singing this Song to You,” while Neal played the keys.  Skerik shows up at this point and his horn case was laid down besides him.  The word was out!  It was funny because you could see Skerik itching to jump in.  He bites his lower lip.  MMMM!!!   It was Nigel’s turn to take the lobby over for himself.  Just him, his voice, and his keys. It was beautiful, as it always is.  Skerik can’t handle it anymore and he pulls up a chair beside Nigel as they play a beautiful, slow melodic tune with a soft horn and simple keys.

Soulive, Nigel Hall & Skerik @ Rock The Resort II

Soulive, Nigel Hall & Skerik @ Rock The Resort II

The lobby was slowly filling up with people as they had heard a completely different sound then what was coming from the theater.  At one point someone ran out of the theater and screamed, “Particle is playing live right over here!!”  The lobby responded by not moving and sticking around to see what was definitely the most special of moments for those who knew what they were witnessing.  Improvisation and musical freedom at its best.  Talent mixing at its best.  The artists themselves were having a BLAST at that moment.  Kraz’s smile never faded.  After the slow tune it was on.  Nigel and Skerik are both out of their seats and Neal is back down on the keys, Alan is on the congas and into “I’ll Never Know” with Kraz helpin’ out on the chorus!  Such a family affair!!

There is a mix of players all over the instruments.  At one point we had Nigel Hall and Neal Evans on the Grand.  Alan Evans on the congas and Skerik on the horn. Then Eric had his guitar.  The wookies were picking up the percussion instruments and the lobby was on fire!!!  Particle apparently played a great set and it was a shame that I was unable to truly give them a listen before running into the magic land.  But I truly enjoyed the hell out of the lobby performance.  Those are the moments that make it all worth it.

Break Science @ Rock The Resort II

Break Science @ Rock The Resort II

After that awesome musical adventure, we had tons tons of time to kill before Break Science would make their way to the stage.  I was able to kick it with the boys from Soulive for a while before I started wanting familiar faces.  During that time, Kraz is on the phone asking Adam Deitch when he plans on getting here as his set was meant to happen 20 minutes ago and he was still 2 hours away in Brooklyn.   That is how things went at this festival.  And it was ok, because like I said, it was so much fun getting to hang with your friends without feeling like you were missing great music.  And half the people never left their rooms anyway.  The lulls and downtime allowed for some rather rad adventures that otherwise wouldn’t have happened if things had happened on schedule.  I headed up to the 8th floor where the Jacuzzi suite entertained me until Break Science finally arrived!!

Borahm Lee @ Rock The Resort II

Borahm Lee @ Rock The Resort II

Meant to go on Saturday night, Break Science was moved to replace Segway that night as Deicth had an engagement in Australia that he need to attend.  I arrived at the theater a little early so I wandered into the Empire stage.  The window wall had the curtains opened so as I listened to a rather funky band, who I have no idea of their name, as  I watched Break Science set up.  What an interesting perspective.  I could hear Break Science’s sound in my head as they set up but my actual music backdrop was the jam happening on the stage behind me.  Finally, I saw Deitch sit down at the drums.  It was time to walk through the window…

Adam Deitch @ Rock The Resort II

Adam Deitch @ Rock The Resort II

I swear Adam Detich’s bones are made of drum sticks.  Seriously, he is amazing.  And Borham Lee, I would like to get inside his brain.  With grimy dubstep and hiphop beats flaring, we danced our asses off until 6am I believe. I had completely and utterly lost track of time at that place hours ago.  The highlight of the show was the Drums vs. Beat battle between Adam Deitch and Radioactive.  Scheduled to battler earlier that day, they ended the day with an assault on the senses.  Radio would beat box a gnarly beat and Deitch would rock it back through his drums and visa versa.  It takes a talented ear to do what they did and it really was awesome.  After a heavy session of dance beats and a battle like that, the night of music was finally over.

At the end of the Break Science set,  everyone headed off to their various rooms for a raging night of various mixed adventures with their friends; the cracked out elevator stopping to open on every thrashed floor.  Heading to the eight floor, everyone exited the packed elevator aside from myself, Skerik and RadioActive.  I mention that Radio’s shirt is off the hook as it looks like a ribcage made of microphones.  Radio jokes that he is thinking of having it tattooed on his chest as Skerik sees it and gets wide eyed. “Yeah man, that’s really cool,” says Skerik as he opens Radio’s hoodie to get a better look.  No, chillin’ in the elevator with Skerik and Radio was cool 🙂  The shirt pattern was a bonus!   We all exited the elevator and headed to the room of our fancy.   I spent the rest of the night/morning, chillin’ with my favorite wookies in the Jacuzzi suite.  Ben from Particle, among others, raged with us and we all talked music, listetend to music and made music.  Eventually, the sun came up which meant it was time for us to lay down.  We had another day of fun coming up in a few hours.

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April 2010’s Potential Show Run Down

(If there is ANYTHING that I have missed that must not be missed, please point it out. I add things constantly.)

April 1st, 2010

  • ($15 adv) South Memphis String Band feat. Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus & Luther Dickinson @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($35) Rebirth Brass Band & Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom

April 2nd, 2010 –

April 3rd, 2010 –

  • (Free) Second Line Across the Brooklyn Bridge @ 10am
  • ($5) Rubblebucket, Woodhands @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($??) Dred Scott w/ Gary Wong @ Blue Fin

April 4th, 2010 –

April 5th, 2010 –

  • ($20) Jason Lindner Trio (The Omer Avital Group) @ Small Jazz Club

April 6th, 2010 –

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall

April 7th, 2010 –

  • ($5 – Suggested donation) The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl Benefit for Earth Day

April 8th, 2010

  • ($45) Caetano Veloso @ Terminal 5
  • ($7) ?UESTLOVE: DJ Residency @ Brooklyn Bowl

April 9th, 2010

  • Rock The Resort II
  • ($42) George Clinton & The P-Funk Allstars @ B.B. Kings
  • ($10) Apollo Run w/ Horns @ The Bell House
  • ($10) The Sullivan Street Shakedown w/ DJs JT Donaldson and Nutritious, VJ Mamiko Kushida, Dynasty Electric (DJ Set) @ Sullivan Hall (11:30 PM – 4am)

April 10th, 2010

  • Rock The Resort II
  • ($53+) George Benson @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (Someone needs to go to this for me, so sad I can’t make it!)
  • ($10) Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band @ 171 Lombardy St.
  • ($8) 6Figures Live @ The Blue Note
  • ($15) Particle @ The Bell House

April 11th, 2010 –

  • Rock The Resort II
  • ($12) Danny Barnes (The Legendary Shack Shakers) @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($Free) The Revelations @ City Winery

April 12th, 2010

  • ($55) Ben Folds and a Piano
  • (Free) NY Funk Exchange @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10) Daniel Sadownick & Tomas Doncker @ Blue Note

April 13th, 2010

  • ($55) Ben Folds and a Piano
  • ($45-$65) Joan Osbourne @ City Winery
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall

April 14th, 2010

  • ($30) Refugee AllStars of Sierra Leone @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($7) Trouble & Bass @ The Studio at Webster Hall
  • ($12) Danny Barnes (The Legendary Shack Shakers) @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($18) Cherry Poppin Daddies @ The Bell House
  • (Free) Borahm Lee @ Brooklyn Bowl 2nite w/ NYC hip hop band DUJEOUS

April 15th, 2010

  • ($?? ) Ches Smith w/Mary Halvorson Trio @ The Jazz Gallery
  • ($7) ?UESTLOVE: DJ Residency @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • (Free) Milo Z @ The Red Lion

April 16th, 2010

April 17th, 2010 –

April 18th, 2010 –

  • We got nothin’ today? Weird!

April 19th, 2010

  • ($10) – Ches Smith w/ Brian Drye @ IBeam
  • ($25) The Mingus Big Band (Charles Mingus is turning 88!!) @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($50) Snoop Dog @ Brooklyn Bowl

April 20th, 2010

April 21st, 2010

April 22nd, 2010 –

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • (Free) Grace Potter & the Nocturnals @ Times Square (outside)
  • ($10) Funk Fest Five with NY Funk Exchange, Frank Viele & The Manhattan Project @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($35) Pee Wee Ellis All Star Band w/ Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Mulgrew Miller @  Iridium Jazz Club

April 23rd, 2010

April 24th, 2010

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • ($15) Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • (Free: 9pm) Apollo Run @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($25) DAM-FUNK @ Rocks Off Cruise
  • ($10) Bobby Previte will be playing a concert-length solo acoustic drum show for the first time @ Rose Live
  • ($35) Pee Wee Ellis All Star Band with Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Mulgrew Miller @  Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($10) Turkuaz, Ikebe Shakedown, and Lyle Divinsky: CLUSTERFUNK (Brooklyn’s monthly funk freakout) @ Cameo

April 25th, 2010

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • ($35) Pee Wee Ellis All Star Band w/ Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Mulgrew Miller @  Iridium Jazz Club
  • (Free) Laura Cheadle @ Rockwood Music Hall (from 6pm-645pm)

April 26th, 2010

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • (Free) Aarron Dugan’s Theory of Everything: Jason Lindner Trio & Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Mark Guiliana: Now vs. Now @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings on The Colbert Report
  • (Free) Gogol Bordello on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

April 27th, 2010

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • ($20) Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Sold Out) Gogol Bordello @ The Brooklyn Bowl

April 28th, 2010

April 29th, 2010

  • The 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
  • ($50) Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) @ Radio City Music Hall
  • (Free w/ 1 drink min) American Babies @ The Living Room ($5 suggested donation)
  • ($7) ?UESTLOVE: DJ Residency @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10) Mark Guiliana w/ Chris Morrisey Quartet @ Barbes
  • (Sold Out) Night of the Licing Funk : Devi, Three Legged Fox, Jay D. Clark, & Zach Maxwell
  • ($20) OK Go @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg
  • ($25) Los Amigos Invisibles @ S.O.B.s

April 30th, 2010 –

~ See May’s Potential Show Run Down ~

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