Friday, June 30, 2006

Fox Sports Poker

I wrote the lead story for the poker section on Fox Sports. Here's the article called 2006 WSOP Preview. It was just published. Take a peek.
The Poker Diva

I mentioned poker pro Liz Lieu's site on my poker blog the other day and sent her a shitload of traffic. She was so excited and happy that she autographed this pic for me.

When I walked into the media room, I noticed that Otis was on the floor and away from his work area. I left the autograph on his laptop. When he saw it, he flipped me the finger.

He was excited to tell me about his dinner with SNL alum Norm MacDonald, but as soon as he saw the autograph he knew that was nothing compared to getting autographed pic from the lovely Liz Lieu.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pauly Videos: Panic & Grubby

Yes it's true. The amateur film maker in me is finally getting to splice together videos. Take a peek:
Panic at Red Rocks
Grubby's Secret Drawer
I couldn't sleep last night and I whipped these up. Enjoy.
Bluff Radio

I will be a regular on Bluff Poker Radio (channel 125 on Sirius) for the remainder of the 2006 World Series of Poker. Spaceman asked me if I was interested in helping kill some dead air and I quickly agreed, especially since they are paying me off in blow and hookers.

At 4pm PCT or 7pm EST starting this Thursday June 29th, I will be appearing on Bluff Poker Radio for about an hour before they broadcast coverage of the final table at 5pm. I have no idea what I'll be doing/saying and will be making up stuff as I go along.

Unfortunately, you have to have Sirius Radio in order to listen to the program. If you have Sirius, I hope that you tune in and listen to the unofficial "Spaceman and Pauly Show" on Channel 125. This should be tons of fun because I can drink before the show and curse since it's satellite radio. Plus I get to work with my buddy Spaceman who is one of the producers of Bluff Radio!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

On Assignment

I fell asleep on Grubby's couch. I was in the middle of editing something that I wrote and passed out from exhaustion. The partying at Red Rocks last weekend caught up to me. I crawled into bed and got five straight hours of sleep. I would have slept more but the damn landscapers and gardeners were out in force trimming hedges and mowing the lawn in the apartment complex. It doesn't matter if they are not right in front of our building unit because they can be three or four units away and you can still hear the echoes of their machines and leaf blowers.

Lots of people in Las Vegas work nights, like me. Sleeping in is difficult when these idiots come by twice a week to trim the lawn. The sad thing is that we pay for that service. It's built into our rent. Bastards.

Anyway, I spent my first full day at work yesterday at the Rio Casino. Stop by the Tao of Poker to read my updates that includes pictures.

My first day went somewhat smoothly. Before I even got to work, I got my first "flame" of the WSOP. Last year it got out of hand. There are a lot of bored inbred dipshits out there who have nothing better to do than anonymous flame me. I don't care if you think my writing sucks. Just don't read me. But I have zero respect if people don't have a spine and flame me anonymously.

Like Tony Pierce said about anonymous comments, "Everyone agrees that anonymous negative commentors are pussy ass bitches whose opinions are not even worth the milisecond that it will take to delete them. If you have the nerve to come into someone elses house and talk shit, have the backbone to identify yourself. I wouldn't accept a check without your signature, so fuck your pissy comment without a real email address."

That instance didn't upset me because I know I'm doing good stuff. Like Trey Anastasio said in Bittersweet Motel, "What's the deal with critics? Maybe they can't stand that so many people like something that they don't. Maybe what I'm playing is shit, but hey, I think it's great. And so do the people who come..."

Plus I don't care about the haters because I already got paid for the WSOP. That money is now invested in several mutual funds and stocks. As long as the people who sign my checks think I'm great... that's all that matters in life.

Iggy posted this with me specifically in mind:
One thing you notice when you start attending the blog conferences and hanging around the more well-known and respected bloggers on the planet: None of them seem to take it very seriously. They just get on with it. If what they do works for them, it's because it all comes naturally.
He's got a great point there. I take writing seriously. Blogging? Not so much. I try to have fun with it. That's the point, right? And to get paid to do it... wow. That's simply amazing. I guess that's what pisses the haters off the most... that I get paid to do something that I love when they hate themselves, their jobs, and everything in their lives.

I focused on trying to find a good story to write yesterday. I ended up hanging out with my friends and talking, which I didn't get to do too much last year since I was a "live blogging monkey" chained to media row. This year I get to wander around, play more poker, and drink more.

I had drinks at the infamous Hooker Bar with Otis and Grubby. Then Grubby treated me to a free dinner at the Diamond Club Lounge. We ate turkey & cheese wraps and Buffalo chicken wings. I skipped the egg rolls, but the potato salad was righteous. I ate a chocolate eclair and two cookies for dessert. Then I headed back down stairs to go to work.

For breakfast yesterday, I ate at the Sonic across the street from Palms. I'm addicted to their Texas Toaster breakfast sandwiches.

Since I got up an hour ago, I paid two bills and emailed a work assignment. I also read all the crap in my bloglines folder including articles on the lowly Knicks and the Yankees who lost to the lowly Braves last night. The Yankees play a day game today against the Braves and I've had it on since it started at 10:05 PCT.

Time to shower and head out to Summerlin to meet Friedman for lunch. Then it's off to work. I'm going to play one satellite and a couple of cash games.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Boulder & Red Rocks Pic Dump

I woke up on Monday froggy and groggy in Boulder after seven straight hours of slumber. I took a Xanax to stay asleep in order to catch up on Zzzzzs after a weekend of heavy and intense partying. The Joker's Boulder crew is very cool and well versed in high altitude training. His crew included a wedding singer, a former Olympic skier, a sixth-grade science teacher, and a professional racquetball player. We had the opportunity to party down at one of the most amazing places to see music outdoors. Red Rocks is truly a spiritual place and you have to go see a concert there at some point. Lucky for me, both Widespread Panic shows were tons of fun.

If Bonnaroo was the first set and Widespread Panic at Red Rocks was the second set, then the encore is two more Panic shows to see next weekend in Hollyweird.

Before I left cool and breezy Colorado, I made a quick drive up to the mountains overlooking Boulder. I reflected upon the last two weekends of music with several amazing people that I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with. I also attempted to mentally prepare myself for two months of non-stop poker during the 2006 WSOP. I needed to take a break from writing and poker for a few days to hit the road and travel and soaking up lively music before the biggest writing assignment of my life.

I also had a big decision to make which would have involved me moving to Las Vegas for the remainder of the year. I spent several hours deep in thought on that. But being in Colorado was hard for me because I always enjoy my time there and never want to leave. As I drove out of Boulder to the airport, all I could think was, "Man, I should have moved here years ago when I had the chance."

I got back into 110+ degree Las Vegas at 4:20pm exactly. I went home to do laundry and met Grubby for dinner. We ate the buffet at Silverton. We had a lot to discuss after he had an interesting job offer. I won't say more than that and I hope he talks about it soon on his blog.

Here are some pics that I took on Saturday and Sunday:

I'm a fast driver

The Joker's ride.

Beef and veggie burgers in the lot

My new crack

Santa & Jessie at Red Rocks


Trey's Languedoc

Red Rocks

Joker's Bratwurst

Me & Frankl


Angelina made a token appearance

The crowd at Panic

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday BG and Change100!

Two of my favorite people share a birthday today. Best wishes to both Change100 and BG.
Widespread Panic Sunday Red Rocks Selist

6.25.06 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO

Set 1: City of Dreams > Wonderin > Little Lilly > Bears Gone Fishing > Coconut, Old Neighborhood, Crazy, Travelin Man > Travelin Light

Set 2: Let's Get The Show On The Road > Rock > Thought Sausage, Casa Del Grillo, Impossible* > Machine* > Barstools* > Gimme* > Takeout* > Porch Song*

Encore: Low Spark > Blue Indian > Low Spark, All Time Low

Notes: * with Sam Holt
Much better show than Saturday!

Short first set but solid. Highlight of the entire show was Coconut, which I happened to call in the lots before the show started.

Second set featured am Holt on guitar for a few songs. The encore included a cover of Traffic's Low Spark. That's how you end a show.

I'm still in Boulder, CO. When I get back to Las Vegas, I will upload several pics.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Widespread Panic at Red Rocks: Saturday's Mini Review

This was a special show for me because it was my first Red Rocks Panic show! It rained for about twenty minutes before the first set began. We luckily missed a big hail storm. I went with the Joker and some of his Boulder crew.

I woke up early on Saturday in Las Vegas. I drove to Denny's for a French Slam breakfast before heading to the airport. When I left Vegas, it was 100 degrees. When I arived in Colorado, it was around 70 degrees. The drive to Boulder was quick and we headed out to Red Rocks right away. We picked up Edyn and hit the parking lot. The Joker grilled burgers and we drank beers.

I can sum up the show in seven words... average first set, kick ass second set.

6.24.06 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

Set I: Solid Rock, Little Kin > Thin Air (Smells like Mississippi) > Driving Song > Papa's Home > "Technical Difficulties" Drums > Jam > Driving Song > Breathing Slow > Ain't Life Grand

Set II: Slippin' Into Darkness > Good People > Blight > Give, Don't Wanna Lose You, Chainsaw City > Second Skin > Chilly Water > Drums > Ribs And Whiskey > Life During Wartime > Chilly Water

Encore: None of Us Are Free, May Your Glass Be Filled

Notes: John Keane on Guitar enire show except, Pedal Steel on May Your Glass be Filled, Ain't Life Grand, and Second Skin, and nothing on Give
Thin Air > Driving Song was pretty nice, but then they had some technical issues and went into a mini-drums session and jam before they got everything working again. I think that's part of the reason for the short set (about an hour long). They closed set one with Aint Life Grand which smoked! Too bad as soon as they got groovin' again, they ended the set.

Second set opened up with a sizzling Slippin Into Darkness. I was pumped to see Give and Don't Wanna Lose You. The busted out Chainsaw City, a Jerry Joseph tune that they do not play very often. They also played Second Skin into Chilly Water. Of course I got soaked during Chilly Water. There's an urban WSP myth that guys piss into beer bottles then toss it into the crowd during Chilly Water.

Ribs & Whiskey is my favorite song off their new album and it's a song that gets the crowd dancing hard. The highlight of the show was the Talking Heads cover Life During Wartime. I've seen them perform at several shows and this version had the highest energy.

I thought the encores were lame. It reminded me of a sick Phish show when they'd punk out with a weak encore. That was my biggest criticism of Phish... and Panic pulled one of their lame tricks.

Overall, I can't complain too much about the show. The drugs were good and I got pretty hammered. One of Joker's friends had brought almost an entire bottle of Jack Daniels in with her. We took a few pulls during the show. Plus drinking in high altitudes gets me hammered faster.

I forgot to add the Santa story. Jessie saw Santa Claus posing for pictures and she wanted one too. I'll post those later. He came over and was looking for a ticket. Edyn sold him one of her extras. On the way out of the show, we happened to cut through a row of cars in the parking lot and there was Santa taking a piss.

"Yo Santa, what's up?"

He smiled and kept on pissing.

"I sold you the ticket," slurred Edyn.

"You did! Thanks!" Santa said as he zipped up his pants.

One show down, one more to go.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bonnaroo Part 4: Sunday Finale

I was amazed that I had such a high level of energy when I woke up on Sunday. The knee throbbed a little bit and my feet hurt a tad, but aside from a few body aches and a minor headache, I was 100% considering what everyone else had to endure. Since Bonnaroo started, I had three hot showers and avoided shitting in a sweltering port-o-potty.

The Joker's gamble to stay off-campus paid off. We paced ourselves over the first three days and had lot of energy leftover for the final day. Just as more than half the crowd was running on vapors, we were at full speed. We witnessed three amazing days of music which included three dazzling gems at the sets of My Morning Jacket, Radiohead, and the Super Jam. We had one more day to go and anything we saw was going to be a bonus.

I opted for just one Texas Toaster sandwich at Sonic before we drove in. I noticed that a steady stream of cars began leaving the campgrounds. Those were the folks who had to go back to work on Monday or the slew of indie kids that showed up to Bonnaroo only to see Radiohead.

During the walk in, I could sense that people were frustrated after three tough days of camping. The intense heat, speedy drugs, and lack of sleep had made them go crazy. One couple screamed at each other in a domestic dispute a few blocks off of Shakedown Street. She was in tears and he had that look on his face like, "I wanna leave your ass here and go back to Ohio."

I wanted to see Michael Doughty from Soul Coughing but he was slated at 12:15 on Sunday. I went to bed around 7am and was still wasted from the night before. Change100 had to drive us home on Saturday night/Sunday morning as the sun started to come out. Due to the awful time slot, we missed out on Doughty. Col. Bruce Hampton and the Code Talkers played the main stage around the same time as Soulive and we missed both. I wanted to check out Soulive, a funky-jazz trio from New York City, but we didn't get in until after they started. I wasn't too upset. I had seen them twenty or thirty times before.

We could hear Bela Fleck's distinct banjo as we walked in. We headed over to see The Streets play. They are a weird rap band from England with zany lyrics. Mike Skinner joked with the crowd, "You guys have more money than me. But we're better at football. Oh, I'm sorry... soccer!"

We headed over to Matisyahu and skipped Son Volt. Jay Farrar used to play in Uncle Tupelo with Jeff Tweedy. Farrar stayed on the alternative-country path with Son Volt, while Tweedy went on to form the effervescent Wilco. I wanted to see them, but I had never seen Matisyahu perform live before. He was on the short list of acts that I was excited to see at this year's Bonnaroo. The Orthodox Jewish reggae-rapper was a hard-core Phishead who followed them for a while. He started making his own music with a uniting message of peace and love for everyone. He also encouraged the crowd to go make babies. Lots of them.

We had a decent spot for Matisyahu and we first began to see how exhausted the crowd was. People were passed out. Some were resting and others were sleeping. We had one passed out guy on the grass near us and another frat boy who looked like he had snorted an entire gram of molly before breakfast. He took the Oprah head and danced around for twenty minutes with it.

During one of the songs where Matisyahu raps, the Joker turned to me and tried to imitate Matisyahu.

"Flibbby flab. Flibbity flooo. Flibbity," he said not making any sense.

The Joker was wasted and it wasn't even 5:30. We were on a mission. Sunday at Bonnaroo was "smoke and snort your entire stash" day.

A couple of minutes later he turned to me and said, "Pauly man, I'm pretty wasted."

"What else is new? I've known that for two songs," I answered.

After Matisyahu's set, we headed over to see Sonic Youth They were the original indie band with Kim Gordon on bass and Thurston Moore on guitar. The formed in NYC in the early 1980s and most of the members were in various punk bands in one form or another. They were part of the Pigfucker music scene with other bands like the Butthole Surfers and Pussy Galore. I first listened to Sonic Youth when I was in high school and I snuck into one of their shows in the East Village. Back then, I never thought I'd see them at a Bonnaroo type festival when I was in my early 30s. Thousands of bands have come and gone since then, yet Sonic Youth survived due to the talents of Moore and Gordon.

We caught the end of moe. at the main stage and skipped "topless" Bonnie Raitt, drunken-country balladeer Steve Earle, and the rap-beats of Atmosphere. The end of moe.'s set was solid and we played poker as we waited for Phil Lesh and Friends to close Bonnaroo out with two sets.

During the break, a group of wookettes sat down in front of us. They had a guitar that the Joker asked to play. It was left-handed but he picked it up anyway.

"Where do all these wookies live?" asked Change100.

"Boulder, Colorado," the Joker and I said in unison.

"Maybe Ft. Collins," the Joker added.

BTreotch organized the Bonnaroo Poker Open. The Joker won the tournament and left to spend his poker winnings. He got a cheeseburger and a pair of funky sunglasses. They were more for show than to protect your eyes from the sun. They were hip enough that everyone on Shakedown Street asked the Joker if he wanted any molly.
6.18.06, Phil Lesh & Friends, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Uncle John's Band > Cumberland Blues, Big River, Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain > Watchtower > I Know You Rider

Set 2: Shakedown Street > New Speedway Boogie, Feedback > Caution > The Other One > Gimme Shelter > Not Fade Away > Midnight Hour > Franklin's Tower

Encore: Box Of Rain
Phil Lesh is my favorite post-Dead project. I'm not a fan of Bob Weir and never went nutty over Ratdog. I also thought that The Dead (minus Jerry) was flat. Now Phil Lesh and Friends kicked ass. His rendition and choices of Dead songs to play were similar to my personal tastes. Plus he always had excellent musicians to compliment his bass playing. You can never go wrong with Warren Haynes in your band. Sadly, he wasn't playing on this tour, but jazz guitarist John Scofield was. His inclusion was a nice treat.

Lesh's lineup included Joan Osbourne on vocals, John Molo on drums, Larry Campbell (from Bob Dylan's band) and John Scofield on guitar, and Rob Baracco on keys. I thought their first set started out hot. I dug Cumberland Blues and the crowd was into that high energy tune. Scarlet Begonias is my favorite Dead tune and that's always nice to hear. During New Speedway Boogie it started to rain. By the end of the song, it came down hard and we made a run for the back of the main stage area. There were shade tents where about fifty or so other people were seeking shelter. We put the chairs down and watched the majority of the second set there as the rain fell heavily at times.

We were all pretty trashed by that point and we finally found Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot. He wanted to see how fast the Joker could run from the back of the field to the front stage and back. The line was set for 6 minutes and thirty seconds. I had the over. The Joker took off in the darkness and disappeared into the crowd. He returned 1:58 later. He cracked two minutes and I lost my bet with Change100. The Joker ran a 10K a few weeks ago in the high elevation of Boulder... wearing a Santa's costume. I should have known he could have cracked the under easily.

After the Phil Lesh set, we stopped by Molly's campsite to say good-bye. We hit Shakedown one last time and there were all these locals selling Bonnaroo t-shirts for $5. I got a cheeseburger for the road and we looked for my nemesis Fred Savage. We never found him.

Sunday was the bonus day at Bonnaroo. We caught a bit of moe., The Streets, and Sonic Youth and saw all of Matisyahu and Phil Lesh's set. Combined with all the other delicious music we tasted the previous three days, I left Bonnaroo completely satisfied and felt as though I got my money's worth.

I left Tennessee with just a few bug bites and $200 under budget! No one in our group got into trouble and no one got so wasted that we had to take care of them. We all got along and had a blast.

Random Sunday Bonnaroo pics:

Meet the celebrity heads

Passed out guy

Jesus provided us with safe passage
during Bonnaroo

Elivs with Trey... "See ya at Vegoose!"

With the success of Vegoose in 2005, organizers are going to do it again, expanding the event from two to four days. I'm not going to miss out on that action. Vegoose 2006 is only four months away!

The Joker sent me a link that has a ton of 2006 Bonnaroo downloads.

Don't forget to see the two videos that I uploaded... Bonnaroo Part I and Bonnaroo Part II.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bonnaroo Part 3: Superlicious Saturday

Besides having a wicked hard-on, I woke up on Saturday morning with three things on my mind... Radiohead, Beck, and The Super Jam.

We got a slower start to the day and ran errands before we went to Bonnaroo. We stopped off at the bank and Walgreens to buy supplies like water, folding chairs, and poker chips. We ate at Sonic again and I got my customary two Texas Toaster sandwiches. That would be the only thing I'd eat that day.

We skipped some of the early acts on Saturday which included legends like the Neville Brothers and Buddy Guy. I've seen both a couple of times. At 70, Buddy Guy can still unleash a guitar lick that can make the hair on your arms stand up and shout, "Holy fuck!"

I wanted to see jazz guitarist Bill Frisell but we got in too late. I caught him a handful of times before but couldn't recall anything specific about those shows. Frisell is one interesting cat. He used to jam with the members that would go onto to form Earth, Wind & Fire. He also studied under guitarist Pat Metheny at the Berklee College of Music.

"Untuck your shirt, and let's party!" the Joker screamed at a middle-aged guy who had a Van Morrison concert shirt tucked into his shorts.

The guy reluctantly did that as the crowd around us in Shakedown burst out into laughter. We were on a resupply mission in search of applicable party favors that would enhance Saturday's musical menu. One shirtless kid wearing patchwork pants was slingling molly. He barely looked 19 with a scruffy patch of hair on his chin and a dancing bear tattoo on his shoulder blade. He couldn't stand still for more than two seconds as hundreds of people rushed by us while vendors shouted out what they were selling.

"Is this good shit," I asked pumping him for info. No one likes to buy bunk drugs, especially on tour from a skinny college kid who hasn't slept in a week. "Have you taken it? Is it good?"

"Is it good? Fuckin' look at me man!" he said as I carefully inspected his glassy Oreo-sized eyes. My boy was rolling hard.

The Joker called Shakedown "the Wal Mart of Bonnaroo," because if you needed anything, you could head down to Shakedown to buy it, whether it was food, beer, water, drugs, a lighter, a pipe, or t-shirts. We bumped into Dan who was looking to buy pot brownies or ganja goo balls for a girl in his group. He also knew that he'd find it at Shakedown.

We stopped off at Molly's campsite before we wandered in to see Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah. If you don't know, Clap Your Hands are the celeb du jour in the hispter-laden indie-band scene. Formed out of Brooklyn where four out of the five band members live (the other dude commutes from Philly), Clap Your Hands started playing gigs at Pianos on the neo-trendy Lower East Side. I only caught one live show with Haley a few years back. We thought they were better than average. They reminded me of Modest Mouse meets Wilco with a strong Talking Heads influence driving their music.

The show at Bonnaroo was peppered with emo wunderkids and indie-rockers fashionistas wearing $200 pairs of ripped jeans and blazers in the sweltering 95 degree heat. The Joker loves making fun of those emokids who are "too cool to dance and show their enthusiasm about the band." He often suspects that they showed up "to be seen" rather than to "see the band."

I was curious about all the buzz they had been getting over the past year. I wondered if they got better or had some new avant garde material that I missed. Clap Your Hands played for about an hour and they sounded much better this time around. I'll definitely keep an eye on the quintet from Brooklyn.

We skipped a couple of bands to see Clap Your Hands and Gomez back-to-back. The Elvis Costello collaboration with Allen Toussiant was a casualty (sorry Mean Gene) along with Rusted Root and one of Bob Marley's many kids Damien "Jr. Gong" Marley.

Gomez is a band from England made up of a group of college friends from Southport. My buddy Gil got me into Gomez in the late 1990s. I love the story about how they got their name. They had left a sign out front of the pub where they were playing at intended for their friend named "Gomez." The pub goers assumed that was the name of their band and the rest is history. I especially dug the material on their first two albums Bring It On and Liquid Skin. A couple of weeks ago, I started listening to their most recent release. The Joker caught their show in Colorado a week before and said they played a mix of old and new stuff. We caught about half of their set before we left to get a good spot for Beck on the main stage.
6.17.06 Gomez, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Bring It On, Love Is Better Than A Warm Trombone, These 3 Sins, Free to Run, Ping One Down, In Our Gun, Nothing Is Wrong, Here Comes the Breeze, Fill My Cup, The Way You Do the Things You Do, Bring Your Lovin' Back Here, Get Myself Arrested, We Don't Know Where We're Going, Revolutionary Kind, Whippin' Picadilly
The 6pm hour on Saturday at Bonnaroo had five bands that I would have loved to see, which meant that I had a scheduling nightmare to confront. That's the biggest setback to deal with at a large music festival like Jazz Fest or Bonnaroo. At some point, you're going to have to miss one of your favorite bands. It was a psychedelic version of Sophie's Choice. Which kid do you take? And which kid to you let the Nazis take?

Beck was our obvious choice. He won out over some serious competition that included Cypress Hill, Blues Traveler, Les Claypool, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. I caught my first Blues Traveler show in high school when they played gigs at Nightingale in the East Village with The Spin Doctors and God Street Wine. I already saw Les Claypool with Oysterhead on Friday. I've seen MMW over forty times (wow, I just realized that I've seen MMW as many times as The Grateful Dead). Skipping MMW was the hardest decision of Bonnaroo 2006 for me. But since I have the opportunity to see MMW more often than Beck, they lost that coinflip.

The Joker and I caught Beck at Vegoose. He ended up stealing the show. I knew he couldn't match the levels of his Vegoose performance, so I went in with an open mind. He didn't sound as good and at times the music was sloppy. Beck focused more on the presentation of the show than the music itself. Instead of running the normal video feed of the band on the two huge screens on both sides of the main stage, Beck ran the puppet version of the gig. In the corner of the stage, several marionettes played out the songs using puppets mirroring Beck and his band's performance onstage. His band also did the kitchen table jam where they used silverware to bang on plates and the table.

During the encore break, the video screens showed Beck's hilarious puppet movie where they all wandered around Bonnaroo. He made fun of the hippie lifestyle and mocked the insanity of all the walking that you have to do during the shows. I managed to get about 90% of it on video. Check out Bonnaroo Part I.
6.17.06 Beck, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Devil's Haircut, Black Tambourine, Geuro, Hell Yes, New Pollution, Information, Minus, No Expectations > Hotwax, Whiskey Clone, Paper Tiger, Broken Drum, Lost Cause > Do You Realize > Creep > Golden Age > One Foot In The Grave (all solo acoustic), Clap Hands, Mixed Bizzness

Encore: Puppet Show, 10,000 BPM, Where Its At, E-Pro
The crowd swelled during Beck and it seemed like all 80,000 people at Bonnaroo were anxiously waiting for Radiohead's set. The indie-trendoids and emo wunderkids were out in full force for Radiohead as they filled the field in front of the main stage.

I've seen Radiohead almost ten times over the past seven or eight years. My roommate in Seattle was a drummer who was crazy about Radiohead. I used to swap Phish bootlegs with him for Radiohead bootlegs. Those got lost in a relationship breakup a few years later and I've been jonesin' for those shows ever since. I'm not familiar with Radiohead's studio albums. I couldn't tell you what song came off of which albums since I've only been listening to their bootlegs. I definitely had a grasp of the majority of their material when I saw them a few years ago at Madison Square Garden in NYC when they actually played Creep.
6.17.06 Radiohead, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: There There, 2+2=5, 15 Step, Arpeggi, Exit Music, Kid A, Dollars & Cents, Videotape, No Surprises, Paranoid Android, Gloaming, National Anthem, Climbing up the Walls, Nude, Street Spirit, The Bends, Myxamotosis, How to Disappear Completely

Encore: You and Whose Army?, Pyramid Song, Like Spinning Plates, Fake Plastic Trees, Body Snatchers, Lucky, Idioteque, Karma Police

Encore 2: House of Cards, Everything In It's Right Place
The highlight of the show was a four song stretch containing Paranoid Android, Gloaming, National Anthem, and Climbing up the Walls. That was some crazy shit and one of the highlights of the day. Aside from My Morning Jacket, Radiohead's performance was one of the best at this year's Bonnaroo. They stepped up and cranked out a monster set. Along with Tom Petty and Phil Lesh & Friends, Radiohead was one of the three headliners that got to play uncontested on the main stage. I didn't find out that Radiohead was playing Bonnaroo until a month ago. That was a happy discovery since I consider Radiohead as one of the top 5 live acts of all time. If you have never been to a show... go soon before Thom Yorke disbands Radiohead.

Radiohead played ten songs over two encores. I was pumped to hear Pyramid Song, Karma Police, and Fake Plastic Trees. Those are my three favorite Radiohead tunes and I got to enjoy them for the encore. The one thing that Radiohead can do during a live performance that sets them apart from other bands is the ability to take the crowd from an utter frenzy to a moment of peaceful stillness and tranquility and then spiral back into that insane frenzy.

For a six hour stretch from 5pm to 11pm, I was a lit monkey and faded during Beck and Radiohead's set. I think that everyone in our group reached peak fuckedupness during the end of Beck and beginning of Radiohead. We all peaked at the right time.

I had no idea what to expect out of The Super Jam. In the past, several musicians from different bands rotated in and out on stage over two hours as they played random cover songs or jammed out. We tried to figure out who would play this year. I assumed one of the Neville Brothers would sit in with someone from Medeski, Martin & Wood with Mike Gordon, Phil Lesh, or Les Claypool on bass, and possibly Elvis Costello or Trey Anastasio would play too.

There were rumors that Trey and Mike were part of the Super Jam. That was the buzz around the campgrounds among all the Phisheads who have been jonesin' for any semblance of Phish since they broke up after Coventry two summers ago. I didn't want to get my hopes up as I popped my second roll of the day waiting for the Super Jam musicians to take the stage.

As we walked up to the tent, the Joker commented, "It looks like Stanton's kit."

Stanton Moore is the greatest drummer on Earth because he's an alien. He's the backbone and glue of Galactic. I assumed that he was on tour since Galactic was not on Bonnaroo's schedule this year. Alas, the Joker swore that was Stanton's drum kit on stage. As we got closer to the stage, the Joker noticed Mike's bass. At that point we were anticipating Stanton and Mike. That's when the Joker spotted Trey's unique guitar.

"I see a Languedoc," he said.

Eventually four musicians took the stage. As soon as the crowd caught a glimpse of Trey and Mike, the tent erupted in applause as glowsticks filled the air and people rushed in closer to get a better view. Molly was back at her camp site and I sent her a message to get over to the Super Jam to see Trey and Mike.

During the first few songs, I swore that the drummer was Stanton Moore although the Joker assured me it was part of the Benevento/Russo Duo. Those guys collaborated with Mike Gordon in the past. I caught their NYE show a few years back. Trey and Mike are touring with the Duo this summer opening up for Phil Lesh and Friends at a few venues. The cool kids are calling that quartet of Benevento, Russo, Gordon, and Anastasio... GRAB. While others are labeling the band "The New Phish."

They were spectacular, but I still miss Page and Fish. The band was called Phish for a reason and named after that short acid-chmoping freak in the dress who played a vacuum. I don't know how those guys could be replaced. As is, playing with the Duo allowed Trey & Mike to play different songs without the pressure of playing the same Phish songs night after night.
6.17.06 Super Jam with Trey & Mike

Set 1: ? Opening Jam > Dragonfly, Good-bye Head, ??, Casey Jones (with Phil Lesh), Going Down the Road (with Phil Lesh), Mr. Completely, Seasons, Trouble, ??, Spin, ?? "Fred Savage Jam", ?? Fog City

Encore: Drifting
Dragonfly was kooky and sweet. They all ripped the hell out of Good-bye Head. While Phil Lesh tuned his bass, Mike and Trey had a mini-guitar duel. Phil Lesh sat in for two Grateful Dead songs and the crowd's energy level got raised during Casey Jones. The crowd went nuts during Casey Jones as Trey got to feel like Jerry Garcia for six minutes.

The highlight of the set was the jam in Mr. Completely. That was the best I've seen Trey play since the Miami run in 2003. The energy in the tent was frenetic and reminded me of the intense Phish shows that I caught in 1997-98 during the Year of the Funk.

They played a few new songs that they wrote like Seasons and Trouble. The Fred Savage Jam was smooth. We called it the "Fred Savage Jam," because he appeared out of nowhere in the crowd. He's a Phishead and we smoked him up. He had a wookie girlfriend (although I thought he was married). Well, she was a newbie wook and had only one natty dread as she grew the rest out. That fucker Fred Savage disappeared and stole my bowl too!

The Super Jam surprised me as it capped off one of the best days of music I had seen in a very long time. I've witnessed Trey's different side projects and Phish a combined 200 times and I honestly feel that Trey has not played with that much invigorated energy since Miami 2003. Trey played a subpar show at Oysterhead the day before. But he must have taken some good drugs in the down time and partied all night without sleeping. He was also wearing the same clothes from the afternoon before. He wore long sleeves too in late night Tennessee heat.

At one point the Joker turned to me and said, "So when are they just going to stop fuckin' around and play MoMa Dance?"

One girl from Colorado who stood next to us was so faded that she thought Phish had taken the stage. When BTreotch told her it was 1/2 of Phish she bolted for the front row and said, "I have to be up close!"

Late night we headed over and caught the end of the Dresden Dolls set. They're an interesting mix of "Weimar-influenced cabaret" rock and roll. We met up with Molly at Sasha who's a DJ from Wales. Molly had slept through the Super Jam and missed Trey's best performance in years!

On our way out, we stopped by Shakedown Street. Bonnaroo is already filled with freaks, but the really sketchy strung out characters can be found around 4:30am. That's when the wastoids wander around aimlessly and the professional party people kick it into high gear. We spotted one skinny kid who looked like he was sleep walking. He carried a large fluffy pillow and wore jeans with a ripped t-shirt. He also had on an expensive blazer.

"Whooo hooo! Indie-rock kid needs a place to sleep!" the Joker yelled out.

The kid mumbled something incoherent as I shined my flashlight into his face. We continued walking when we came upon a Hare Krishna. They're all over large festivals like Bonnaroo. They figured they can scoop up a lot of wasted kids and indoctrinate them into their cult. One guy held out a book called Yoga for the Modern Age while he also had a stash of Bhagavad-Gita in his bag.

"Are you interested in a free book on meditation, spiritual enlightenment, and yoga?" the Hare Krishna asked us as I shined my flashlight into his soulless eyes.

"No thanks," said the Joker as we rushed by, "I live in Boulder, Colorado. They have plenty of that shit there."

A couple of steps later, we came upon a passed out kid slumped on the side of the road near a row of port-o-pottys. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that he was a wookie. He had a fresh cut on his face and was missing a shoe.

"How fucked up do you have to be to be homeless at Bonnaroo?" screamed the Joker. "Get your shit together!"

He was right. All the kid had to do was pass out twenty-five feet away in someone's camp site. Instead he passed out in front of a leaky shitter.

The Joker scolded the passed out wookie as we left the third day of Bonnaroo which featured a nice blend of indie-rock and the new reincarnation of the Phish. And yeah, Radiohead kicked ass. Aside from My Morning Jacket's midnight show the night before, Radiohead and the Super Jam became the other high-water marks at Bonnaroo.

Here are some random Bonnaroo pics from BTreotch:

Video show during Radiohead

... to be continued

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bonnaroo Part II: Fanfuckingtastic Friday
"Three shots of Jager for a bag of weed!"
That's what one kid screamed at the top of his lungs late Thursday night as we left the campgrounds. He walked around with a bottle of Jagermeister and hoped to trade three big swigs for a bag of nugs.

There's a Sonic on the way to Bonnaroo. We ended up stopping there all four days. Change100 was a Sonic virgin and never ate at the fast food chain. She popped her cherry the night before. She got addicted to the Texas Toaster bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I ate two of them on our ride into the festival.

We showed up early on Friday because BTreotch wanted to see Ben Folds. I caught one Ben Folds Five concert in the late 1990s before they broke up in 2000. Ben Folds is an exceptional musician and songwriter. He played piano and sung a couple of his more commercial hits. He also played a song that he wrote in a Waffle House and performed a collaboration that he did with Jay-Z.

We didn't get to see Andrew Bird who came on early. He's been recommended to me from several friends of mine. Bird is a music professor from Chicago and used to play fiddle for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. We also had to deal with scheduling conflicts for the first time. We missed Seu Jorge from Brazil but Molly caught some of his set. He's become famous as an actor in the Brazilian flick City of God as Knockout Ned. Seu Jorge composed a few songs on the soundtrack for Wes Anderson's film The Aquatic Life.

We also missed Steel Pulse in favor of Ramble Dove. They played at Vegoose and we skipped them there too. A commentor on PT (a Phish message board) described Steel Pulse as a bunch of wookies. They're a reggae band from England with heavy ska-punk influences. They also do a ton of charity benefits ranging from Hurricane Katrina victims to Africa poverty. Steel Pulse performed at Clinton's second inaugural ball, which is further proof that Slick Willy tokes the weed.

We caught a bit of the folksy Devendra Banhart, who I saw at Vegoose. We focused on getting a good spot for Ramble Dove featuring Mike Gordon from Phish on bass. They are a country and honky-tonk band that had been gigging up in Burlington, Vermont a lot. The closed their ninety minute set with a delicious cover of Johnny Cash's Jackson. During that set, an older guy handed me a beer. For free. I have that vibe where random people give me free stuff at shows like drugs and alcohol. One time at a Phish show with Molly at Nassau Coliseum, a guy handed me an entire fifth of Smirnoff during setbreak.

Mike Gordon & Ramble Dove went up against three bands that I didn't mind seeing. But I ended up skipping indie-rocker Bright Eyes, the SoCal folk trio Nickel Creek, and the rap-funk of G. Love and Special Sauce.

I had another scheduling conflict during Oysterhead. They were on the main stage up against three other acts that I could have seen. I skipped Robert Randolph and the Family Band because I've been to thirty or forty Robert Randolph shows since 2000. He grew up playing African Pentecostal church music in New Jersey and made a tremendous splash on the NYC music scene combining traditional gospel with blues. His pedal steel rifts will appear on Clapton's new record.

The influx of indie rock kids had a tough choice on Friday as well. They had to pick between Death Cab and Cat Power. We skipped Cat Power and the Memphis Rhythm Band. Fronted by Chan Marshall, Cat Power is another one of the many indie rock bands that were added to the Bonnaroo schedule. The Memphis Rhythm section injected a taste of soul and southern rock to her performance which would have been sweet to hear, but Oysterhead won out. We also skipped Death Cab for Cutie. I saw the indie rockers play for like $6 in Seattle, when they first formed in 1997-98. The crowd at their shows back then were filled with tweakers and runaway kids who snuck in. Some of their songs make me want to OD on Valium and write wrist-slitting poetry about spoiled sorority girls who broke my heart back during Bush I's sole term in office.

Since Oysterhead was a super-group that rarely performed, it was a no-brainer to see that group over bands that I can see any other time. Oysterhead got back together specifically for Bonnaroo. If you don't know, Oysterhead is a trio of some of my favorite musicians which included Stewart Copeland from The Police on drums, Trey Anastasio from Phish on guitar, and the out-of-this-world Les Claypool from Primus on bass. Claypool walked out on stage with a pig mask, which Trey sported two long sleeve shirts in the 90 degree Tennessee heat. Stewart Copeland looked like he was riding in the Tour de France. He wore shorts and a green soccer jersey with white fingerless gloves.
6.16.06 Oysterhead, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Little Faces, Oz Is Ever Floating, Mr. Oysterhead, Army's on Ecstasy, Radon Balloon, Rubbernecking Lions > Jailhouse Rock Jam > Shadow of a Man, Birthday Boys, Polka Dot Rose*** > Pseudo Suicide

Encore: Owner of the World
Claypool described Oysterhead as "audio sodomy." It was good to see Trey again, but the set was flat. I didn't expected much and wondered how much practice time the trio had before the Bonnaroo gig? They played their material from their only album Grand Pecking Order, which reminds me of Frank Zappa. The encore was a song written about Fish, the drummer from Phish. Trey busted out the "matterhorn" which is a weird guitar with antlers on it. Claypool had a few odd alien instruments that he played as well.

We stayed in the same spot for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers which had the headlining show for Friday as everyone at the festival filed into the main stage area. I haven't seen Tom Petty in six or seven years. He looked drunk or wasted on stage, but the Joker suggested that he was "just getting old."
6.16.06 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Listen To Her Heart, You Don't Know How It Feels, Won't Back Down, Free Fallin', Saving Grace, Mary Jane's Last Dance, I'm A Man, Oh Well, Handle With Care, Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks), I Need To Know (with Stevie Nicks), Melinda (with Stevie Nicks), Insider (with Stevie Nicks), Learning To Fly, Don't Come Around Here No More, Refugee, Runnin' Down A Dream

Encore: You Wreck Me, Mystic Eyes, Gloria, American Girl
Petty played a new song called Saving Grace which appears off of his new album. They also did a Traveling Willbury's tune Handle With Care. Stevie Nicks came out for a four songs plus part of the encore. She can still bring it. The crowd got into Gloria and American Girl.

Late night, we skipped Umphrey's McGee in favor of My Morning Jacket and their Midnight show. I've seen Umphrey's a dozen or so times. I'm not into them as much as other friends of mine. I put them in the same category as moe. and String Cheese. I'd go see them if someone had an extra ticket, but I'm not actively looking to go to their shows and I'm not gonna follow them around the country to see them play. I had never seen My Morning Jacket before. Lori raved about their set at Bonnaroo last year. I've listened to a lot of their material since then including their last two performances at Bonnaroo, specifically live MMJ shows that I snagged off of

We met up with the Joker's friends from Colorado, Dan & Courtney. I met them at Red Rocks last summer when we caught the Sound Tribe show. Dan's a musician and was one of the guys who told me I had to see Andrew Bird. I got my Andrew Bird fix when he sat in for a few tunes with MMJ as he added his melodic fiddle to the mix.

My Morning Jacket is from Louisville, Kentucky so they had a lot of fans at Bonnaroo. MMJ recently lost two members of their band. As MMJ grew in popularity, the responsibilities of a successful group increased as well. Danny Cash and Johnny Quaid decided that that they could not put the necessary time into MMJ's rigorous tour schedule. They both quit which left the remaining band members in a bind. Lead singer and song writer Jim James (guitar), Two-Tone Tommy (bass), and Patrick Hallahan (drums) decided to continue My Morning Jacket as they added Bo Koster (keyboard) and Carl Broemel (guitar).

MMJ has a deep Southern rock influence that includes acts like the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic. They also reminded me of Neil Young at times. They have a vast array of songs to play from that range from hard-rock head banging tunes to fluffier poppy tunes with a slight edge. They've worked hard on refining both the musical composition and the lyrics side of their music. Many bands have a tough time achieving perfection in both, while this comes easily for MMJ.

They energy in the tent was remarkable for that time of night as MMJ played two sets over three hours. The enthusiastic crowd soaked up everyone ounce of music as I witnessed the most raging set of Bonnaroo and the best concert performance that I had seen since Beck's Vegoose set last October.
6.16.06, My Morning Jacket, Bonnaroo, TN

Set 1: Wordless Chorus, It Beats 4 U*, What A Wonderful Man, One Big Holiday, Older Guys* > Head Held High***, Lowdown*, The Way That He Sings, Masterplan, At Dawn, Golden, Gideon**, Xmas Curtain, Dondante, Dancefloors, Anytime, Mahgeetah

Set 2: A Quick One****, Loving Cup$$ > Easy Morning Rebel jam >, Attitude$$$, Off The Record, Lay Low, The Dark, The Bear*, I Will Sing You Songs, Heartbreakin' Man, Evelyn Is Not Real, It's About Twilight Now, It Makes No Difference, Phone Went West, Run Thru

* with Andrew Bird
** Flying Burrito Bros. cover
*** Velvet Underground cover
**** The Who cover(first time played)
$$ Rolling Stones cover (first time played)
$$$ Misfits cover (first time played)
MMJ ended up being the musical highlight of Bonnaroo. MMJ blew me away during my first show. Only one other band impressed me to that degree and that was the first time I saw Galactic. MMJ also busted out a few cover tunes including a Phishy version of the Rolling Stones' Loving Cup. I dug the segue from Older Guys > Head Held High. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them cover a random Velvet Underground tune off of Loaded.

As I wandered off, I knew right away that I had a new favorite band. MMJ sounded even better than their bootlegs. They passed the "live" test in my eyes with flying colors. Their energy was immense and their set was tight. They totally took control over the crowd like very few bands can do these days. Of course, I left wanting more which is also an indication that their scrumcious flavor has infected my taste buds. BTreotch and The Joker both dug MMJ, as well as Change100 who caught her first MMJ show.

We stopped by Common's set after wandering around heckling all the spun out kids. Common is a hip-hop act based from Chicago, but he's originally from The Big D... Detroit. We listened to two songs before we got bored and wandered over to catch the end of Disco Biscuits. I guess I wasn't in a hip-hop kinda mood as my mind was fixated on processing the boisterous music that My Morning Jacket had just unleashed into my soul.

I've seen the Disco Biscuits at least twenty-five times, possibly more. That's where all the rolling kids were winding down the night during the Umphrey's-Bisco late night sandwich. We hung out in the back on the grass and smoked up. The Joker thought their light show was better than the music. I was indifferent as I kept thinking about My Morning Jacket's epic set.

Random Friday Bonnaroo Pics:

Weird Dudes

Les Claypool during Oysterhead


The music started out silky smooth on Friday and grew substantially better as the day progressed. I experienced an amazing run of 12 hours of kick ass music from Ben Folds's piano ballads to Mike Gordon & Ramble Dove's country fare to Oysterhead's "audio sodomy" to bona-fide rock stars like Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks to the au courant My Morning Jacket. Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks were making music before I was born and they were still cranking out some good shit. Plus Stewart Copeland was an 1980s icon with The Police, so to get to hear those legends of music perform at the same festival as an up and coming band like My Morning Jacket was special.

With two days down, we had two to go. We were plenty rested and ready to turn up the partying another notch during Saturday.

... to be continued

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bonnaroo Part I: Thursday Arrival

Editor's Note: If you are not hip to the Bonnaroo scene, check out an old post called Glossary of Terms and Slang for a little help if you get confused with the lingo.

I arrived in Tennessee on Monday, three days before the start of Bonnaroo. My goal was to spend quality time with Spaceman and Mrs. Spaceman in addition to acclimating to the steamy weather and the leisurely pace of the South. I've spent the majority of 2006 in major cities specifically New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Those locations could be classified as different planets instead of cities. Although we hung out in Nashville, it was important for me to get away from the grind of a major city and spend time in a quiet and rural area like Ashland City, Tennessee with wide open spaces, fewer people, and thousands of stars in the night sky.

For three days I had a true vacation away from my hectic life of deadlines and constant wandering. I enjoyed one of my favorite past times... sitting on a porch in the South drinking and talking. I did that with Spaceman and it was one of the highlights of my trip to Tennessee.

On our way to Wal Mart one afternoon, Spaceman and I drove past a factory/plant that employs the majority of the people living in the county. I reminded him that we were lucky to get to do what we do. We're poker tournament reporters and travel all over the world writing about what we see instead of humping the tedious swing shift at the massive factory for minimum wage. The sight of that ominous factory jolted reality into my brain. I was born under a lucky sign. Everyday I wake up with the freedom to travel, set my own schedule, gain life experience, and meet new people while others will never get to enjoy those advantages that life has provided with me. From that point forward, I held a greater sense of appreciation for my week in Tennessee. Not only was I on a vacation, but a celebration of my good fortune over the past year.

Despite some serious low points, I hit several major highs in 2006. Bonnaroo was going to be the pinnacle of that celebration. And I had a couple of good friends along for the ride which made the event twice as sweeter.

Over the last year, I had to give up one of my passions in order to carve out a career in writing. I sacrificed music for poker. Instead of hitting the road to see music, I spent my time sucking down casino oxygen covering various poker tours all over the world. And when I realized how many shows, bands, and festivals that I missed in the past year, the thought got me very depressed. Music mellows my soul. Music encourages me to write better. Over the past 15 years, I've seen around 100-150 concerts a year. Some of those are from my favorite bands while other concerts are from new bands. I'm open to almost any form of music... Funk, Hip-hop, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Indie Whiny Rock, Punk, Ska, Reggae, Jazz, Trance, even Country. I'll give any band a shot once, especially to see them perform live. That's when you separate the real musicians from the ones who have their marginal talent hidden by savvy record producers and engineers.

Music not only inspires me, but seeing live music is an entirely different and enriching experience. As a struggling writer I never made much money and spend what little I had on concerts and festivals like Jazz Fest. Summers were reserved for following bands and attending major musical events and since I lived in NYC, I always got a variety of shows to choose from. In the last 12 months, aside from Vegoose, I had put music on the back burner. Bonnaroo was going to end that drought. Plus music festivals are a great and economical way to see other bands of similar musical genres that I might not pay to see otherwise. I could see a ton of music in a short time. I had four days to soak up as much music as I could.

* * * * *

Change100 and I met the Joker, BTreotch, and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot at the Nashville airport. Right away, I spotted the Joker in baggage claim carrying around a Trey head, one of the many celebrity heads that he made. The Joker always shows up at festivals and concerts with props and toys. Wasted kids love that shit and it's a great icebreaker with the ladies. At Vegoose, he dressed up like the UPS man and gave out packages. Two years ago at Bonnaroo he and his crew dressed up like superheros. He was Robin. For Bonnaroo 2006, the Joker brought several heads on sticks. Actually they were rulers, not sticks, and the celebrities were Trey and Mike from Phish, Thom Yorke from Radiohead, President Bush, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Turtle & Johnny Drama from Entourage.

The drive to Bonnaroo from Nashville took around 90 minutes. The Joker and I made a crucial decision for Bonnaroo this year that would affect our entire adventure. During Vegoose in Las Vegas last October, there was no camping and we had to stay in a hotel on the Strip. Although I had to drive to and from the festival, our bodies didn't take a beating since we had the luxury of a hotel room. For Bonnaroo we decided not to camp out and booked a hotel 12 miles from Bonnaroo in Tullahoma, Tennessee. That gamble paid off... big time.

I don't mind camping, but it's a physical strain at a summer music festival. And it puts a lot of mental stress with the people you are with. After no sleep during a four day alcho-narco orgy, people get cranky, especially in the heat. You usually only sleep a few hours because once the sun comes up, sleeping in a tent becomes unbearable. And having to take a shit in a port-o-potty is hellish in searing 90 degree heat, especially when you are tripping.

We didn't have to deal with those hardest parts of Bonnaroo. We had a decent bathroom, a shower, AC, and a bed. The hotel was a shithole, but compared to camping next to a van full of wookies who haven't slept since April, we were in five star accommodations.

It took us about forty minutes to get into Bonnaroo on Thursday afternoon. Since Day Parking had not been set up yet, we parked on a local's front lawn for $20 and walked in. He had the most unfriendly dog named Vicious and he warned us that his dog bites. His house was about a mile or so to Centeroo, where all the music went down.

The music began at noon starting on Friday, but they included a few acts to kick off the festival on Thursday night at 7pm. We arrived just in time. During our walk in, a shirtless frat boy from Ohio was screaming at the car behind him and swigging down a bottle of Barton's Vodka. You know a bottle of vodka is cheap when it's in a plastic container. Only serious drunks need to take advantage of shatterproof technology and those are the ones who would drink vodka that could substitute for paint thinner or tractor fuel.

"Pace yourself!" the Joker warned.

The kid wasn't even into Bonnaroo yet and he was shitfaced. We gave him a few hours before he was passed out in some campsite. There was over 100 different campsites spread out on a gigantic farm, each with a different name referring to a pop culture or movie reference. Molly was camping out in R2-D2. There was a camp Paulie from Rocky and a camp Ferris Beuller. They also had VIP camping behind the main stage, which was a closer walk. The "streets" were numbered and the main area used NYC's grid. We'd have to remember that we walked down 10th Avenue and West Broadway to get back to the car.

Like any massive music festival, there are people everywhere walking around. Vendors are lined up on the walkways and you can get anything such as a variety of food and drinks and souvenirs like posters and clothes. They also have a high concentration of glass pipes and bongs. The main vending area is called Shakedown, named after the Grateful Dead's song Shakedown Street. That's where you can score some good shit and get a deal on a veggie burrito or buy a beer or two.

We headed to Shakedown to load up on supplies before we headed inside. There were 11 main tents or areas of entertainment. The main stage called the What Stage, featured the headliners such as Radiohead and Tom Petty. More music was going on simultaneously at other stages such as the Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent, The Comedy Tent, The Cinema, Sonic Stage, Kat Nip Cafe, Troo Music Lounge, and the Preservation Hall Cafe which featured New Orleans infamous Preservation Hall band.

There were comedians like Lewis Black performing in the Comedy Tent. We tried to get in, but the line was ridiculous. The cinema ran movies around the clock and also showed World Cup matches and the NBA finals. They showed flicks like Walk the Line, Star Wars III, Spinal Tap, King Kong, Rosemary's Baby, Rocky IV, Real Genius, Scarface, and a few music documentaries. BTreotch and the Joker are both originally from Texas so they wanted to keep an eye on the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat score.

We walked around a bit and checked out the different vending tents and other attractions such as the video arcade with classic games and the MLB tent which had a batting cage. There was a "silent disco" where you put on headphones and listen to different DJs while they danced. Forty or so people where dancing around quietly in circles when I walked by.

I met up with Molly at the Centeroo Fountain, a giant blue and red mushroom fountain about twenty-five feet high. The Joker warned us that they recycle the water in the fountain. Over the next few days people would actually shower in there as the water turned light brown.

For the first bands we caught, we split time between I-Nine and Motet. I-Nine reminded me of Soundgarden with a female lead singer. From Georgia originally, I-Nine and had been playing together since they were kids in different bands over the last two decades. Cameron Crowe "discovered" them when he used a few of their songs in Elizabethtown. Motet is from Colorado and the Joker described them as "Galactic Lite." I would describe them as fluffy salsa funky from the few moments I listened to their set.

We headed over to This Tent to see The Wood Brothers. I caught the brothers last year when they opened up for Trey Anastasio Band at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Oliver Wood (from King Johnson) plays guitar and his brother Chris Wood (from Medeski, Martin & Wood) plays stand-up bass. Since I knew I wasn't going to catch MMW's set, I made an effort to see the Wood Brothers. They performed all of their tunes off of Live at Tonic including Stealin' and One More Day.

We checked out DeVotchka which is an interesting mix of gypsy music, Eastern European folk, and polka music. Those are one of the bands that I've heard or read about but would never see unless they opened for another band I was seeing or they played a festival. For every established band like Radiohead, there were four or five other acts at Bonnaroo that welcomed the exposure to a crowd of neo-hippies that openly welcomed different types of music.

We watched the Hunab Kru Breakdancers at the Solar Stage. They were pretty good for a bunch of white people. At the same stage, they held yoga every morning at 8am. On our way to Molly's basecamp, we passed by Electric Eel Shock from Japan. Heavily influenced by American speed-metal, British punk, and general classic rock, Electric Eel Shock kicked out a raging set. The kids dug it.

While we hung out at Molly's camp site, the Joker went looking for beer. He disappeared in the darkness and returned a few minutes later with a couple of cold and wet cans of Natural Light.

"I was walking down the road and saw a cooler sitting there. No one was around so I opened it up. I saw a couple of Heineken's and the Natty Lights. I took the Nattys. I could have been a dick and took the Heineken's," he mentioned sympathetically.

When we finished those, the expert hunter and gatherer took off again. The Joker found another unaccompanied cooler filled with Bud Lights. He scooped up a few and took them back to camp. We didn't stay up too late partying. We headed back to the room relatively early compared to the other nights. We still had three full days of music left to see and wanted to conserve energy for an epic Friday of music.

Random Pictures from Thursday at Bonnaroo:

Walking through Shakedown

Late night lights

... to be continued
Bonnaroo Videos

Bonnaroo Part 1
Bonnaroo Part 2

By the way, these videos are NSFW. Because these are so big, the videos play faster than it streams. You might have to pause the video from time to time to allow it to catch up. If you pause the video at the start and let it load up for a few minutes, you should be able to see it all without having to pause it.

Part 1 is 10 minutes and features celebrity head interviews, Beck's puppet show, and clips from random bands such as Beck, Radiohead, and the glowstick war during My Morning Jacket

Part 2 is 7 minutes and also features more celebrity interviews and clips from random acts such as Oysterhead, Ramble Dove, and Matisyahu.

I spent almost 10 hours at the Nashville airport yesterday. I could not get on an earlier flight and my flight ended up delayed by 90 minutes. I took some time to splice a video together. It was too big, so I broke it down into two parts. When I have time, I'll cut it down into four parts for easier viewing. For now... enjoy the two videos of Bonnaroo.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tennessee (Non-Bonnaroo) Picture Dump

I survived Bonnaroo. I'm waiting at the airport, ready to head back to NYC. In the meantime, I uploaded a couple of non-Bonnaroo photos that I took in Ashland City and in Nashville last week.

Sunset along the Tennessee River

Plato the volleyball humping pig

These were alive once...

The Nashville Parthenon

Stay tuned for Bonnaroo setlists, pictures, reviews, and trip reports.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More Bonnaroo

The day started out good and got better! We caught indie rockers Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, then part of Gomez's set. We headed to the main stage for Beck and Radiohead. Both kicked ass. The Beck "puppet video" was hilarious.

"I smell hippies..."

Radiohead is one of the best live acts that I've ever seen. Easily top 10. And they knocked out an amazing set.

The midnight Super Jam featured Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon with the Duo. Simply amazing and one of the highlights of Bonnaroo 2006. I haven't seen Trey play that good since Miami 2003. And at times the energy seemed like I was at a Phish show circa 1998. They didn't play any Phish songs, but a few Trey band tunes and some new stuff that they wrote for the Duo'd summer tour.

Phil Lesh sat in and played two tunes with Mike, Trey, and the Duo... Casey Jones and Going Down the Road Feeling Bad. The crowd went apeshit during Casey Jones.

Three days down, one more to go.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bonnaroo Update

So far we've seen a ton of music so far and none of us have been arrested. On Thursday we saw I-Nine, the Wood Brothers, The Motet (which The Joker describes as Galactic Lite), and the Electric Eel Shock.

Yesterday was the first full day of action. We started out with Ben Folds who played a song that he wrote in Waffle House. Next up was Mike Gordon (from Phish) with a country band called Ramble Dove. They covered Johnny Cash's Jackson. We headed to the main stage for the supergroup Oysterhead which is Trey Anastasio (Phish) on guitar, Stewart Copeland (The Police) on drums, and Les Claypool (Primus) on bass. Les described their performance as "audio sodomy." Next up was Tom Petty was surprised me. He played better than I expected and I knew more of his set that I thought I would. He brought Stevie Nicks out to perform three or four songs. His set was 90 minutes then a 25 minute encore.

The highlight of Bonnaroo has been the midnight show from My Morning Jacket. It was my first MMJ show and they surpassed expectations. Andrew Bird sat in for two songs. They also covered a Velvet Underground tune.

We caught some of Common and the Disco Biscuits to end the night.

Saturday is the big day... Beck, Radiohead, then the Super Jam.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Southern Style Insomnia

I have not done any illegal substances since I arrived in Tennessee on Monday. Maybe that's why I've had about ten hours of total sleep since I stepped off my plane in Nashville. That's about 72 hours of clean living. I drank 1/3 of a bottle of vodka two nights ago and had a few beers, but that's been the extent of damaging my brain cells. I must confess that I have a new addiction... Jesus Christ.

Just kidding.

But I'm in the middle of Jesus Freak country. You will find plenty of Jesus Fish and Bush/Cheney stickers on cars out here in Ashland City. Spaceman got a piece of mail yesterday that was religious literature. He says he gets stuff like that all the time.

When I was a kid, I used to watch the Barbara Mandrell Variety Hour with her sisters. The Mandrell Sisters were not my favorite show. I watched whatever my mother watched and that was one of the programs on ABC at the time. This was in the era of pre-cable and the only stations we had were CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, and two local NYC affiliates WWOR and WPIX. That's my excuse for watching an hour of a country variety show.

A few minutes down the road from where Mr. and Mrs. Spaceman live is the estate of Louise Mandrell, one of the famous sisters. Since she's on the road all the time performing in Branson which Homer Simpson described as "Vegas for people with no teeth," her husband erected a huge cross on the side of the hill. It lights up at night. He did it so when Louise came home from doing gigs on the road, she could see the symbol of her husband's and Christ's love burning bright in the dark night.

I think that freaked out Change100 as Mrs. Spaceman told her the story as we drove by it. Yeah, everyone's favorite Hollyweird blonde entered the South for the first time. Talk about culture clash. She seems to be adjusting well to her surroundings despite the obvious differences.

We took her to Waffle House last night for the first time. It was one of the cleaner Waffle Houses I've seen and not as seedy as the one I described in my last Truckin' short story... Kentucky Waffle House. I ordered a waffle and a bacon-grilled cheese with hashbrowns. For lunch I ate a bacon cheeseburger with fries at the local dinner in L.A., which is an abbreviation for Lower Ashland City.

We went to Waffle House with Lydia who once mentioned, "Bacon makes me happy!"

She uttered these words after she devoured an entire plate of bacon at the Bellagio's buffet in Las Vegas. I forgot to mention that Mrs. Spaceman's aunt and uncle have a pig that humped their friend Lydia on Saturday at a BBQ. I think the pig was getting her back for eating all his ancestors. On Sunday, when I went to eat leftover BBQ, the pig humped a volleyball and spooged all over it.

I also discovered that Mrs. Spaceman's brother had a job when he artificially inseminated pigs. That was his first job out of college. He's the same guy who ate Little Joaquin the Rooster. Of course when I told Derek that story, he paused a beat before he replied, "You can eat a Rooster?"

Spaceman and Mrs. Spaceman have two little dogs. The youngest one licks my legs all the time. When I went to take a shower the other day, I didn't close the door all the way. I stepped into the shower for about thirty seconds and I looked down and saw one of the dogs peeking her head into the shower as she pushed open the door and then pulled back some of the shower curtain. The bathroom door was wide open and I couldn't get the dog out of the shower. I freaked out because I was worried Mrs. Spaceman would be walking by and she'd see me completely naked and wet picking up her dog in an erotic position. I dashed for the towel and I led the dog out of the bathroom and ran back inside. I've locked the bathroom door everytime I've been in there since then.

Mrs. Spaceman also told us several ghost stories the other night. Her house is haunted by the guy who originally built the house at the turn of the century. He's not a mean ghost, but a somewhat playful one. Those stories gave me the willies. She also told us about the infamous Ghost Dog that lives down the road in Clarksville.

We head out to the airport soon to pick up The Joker. Then we head to Bonnaroo for four days of music, sunshine, and fun. I've already taken a ton of pictures and I'll post everything when I get back to NYC on Monday night. I'm weary after not much sleep, but excited to party it down with some friends and some of my favorite bands.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Home Sweet Tea

I woke up in Tennessee today after a second straight night of restless sleep. I flew into Nashville on American Airlines. After spending 80% of my flights on JetBlue over the past two years, I have been spoiled with excellent service. The flight was OK and actually early. My flight was around $300. So that leg from NYC-LaGuardia to Nashville was about $150. I got a warm can of Dr. Pepper and a bag of pretzels with eight stale tiny pretzels inside.

There was a woman in her early 20s sitting adjacent and two rows in front of me. She made one of the most stunning entrances I had ever seen on a plane. She walked down the aisle with a half-full cup of beer in a clear plastic cup. I guess she had been at the bar when the flight was called and got her drink to go.

I finished my Arthur Nersesian book and zoned out listening to my iPod for the two hour flight. Within 15 minutes of deplaning I was sitting in my rental car. I'm a "Fastbreak" member of Budget Rental Car which means a discount on rentals and no lines to wait in. I rented a Saturn SUV for one week for Bonnaroo. One catch is it has Pennsylvania plates and I'm in the South. Although I've driven an SUV before, I never rented them due to the high gas costs. The ride from Nashville to Spaceman's house in Ashland City was smooth. The car stereo is iPod friendly so I could hook it up without any problems.

On Sunday, Mrs. Spaceman's family had a family reunion with 40-50 members coming from all over Tennessee and the South. On Monday, they had BBQ leftover dinner for the remaining guests in town and I got invited. As the only Yankee in the room, I was the source of questions about New York City. Let me say that the leftovers were as good as any BBQ I've been to. The pulled pork with hot sauce blew me away. Plus I had fresh biscuits and homemade sweet tea. I was in heaven for a few hours eating one of the best meals I had this year.

I also saw a pig and a camel at the house where the BBQ was held. Spaceman and I watched Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals. Edmonton looked bad compared to Carolina.

I woke up this morning and wrote for two hours before Spaceman took me to WalMart to get supplies for Bonnaroo like water, bug spray, sunblock, a tarp, baby/hand wipes, lighters, and a small flashlight. I usually boycott that establishment due to their atrocious business practices, but it was the only store in the area that had what I needed. I also got an apple fritter and a box of Dibs for late night munchies. I spent $20 less than I estimated and got a wrestling DVD for $1.

We pick up Change100 at the airport in an hour, then I'm taking Spaceman and his wife out for dinner. I'm sad to report that the rooster they named Joaquin is no longer living. He ended up someone's dinner a few weeks ago. Sorry guys. No pics of little Joaquin.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm Soooo Wasted

Over the past week, I managed to catch bits and pieces of the Katie Holmes flick First Daughter where she plays the daughter of the President (Michael Keaton). This is the last flick Katie Boobs did before she succumbed to the dark side of Scientology. It's been all downhill since then. OK, she might have done one or two flicks like Thank You for Smoking or Batman Begins... but I already saw those and had not seen First Daughter. Oh, and it's bad... all around. The acting is atrocious. The script is extremely flawed. And the pacing is as rough as a cheese grater. But you get to see her in a bikini for a few minutes of screentime and that's worth the price of admission. Her best film roles are smaller ones such as her work in The Ice Storm and in The Wonder Boys.

I think I'm going to have to break up with Katie officially. Besides, most relationships sour after seven years anyway.
Dear Katie,

I'm sorry Cupkates, but I have to say good-bye. It's not you. It's me. Thanks for seven years of masturbatory pleasure.

Very Truly Yours,
The season premiere of Entourage went down last night and I was satisfied. James Woods stole the show. Now that The Sopranos and The OC sucked camel testicles this past season... Entourage is my new favorite TV show. Johnny Drama and Turtle are the greatest comedic duo since Kip and Henry in Bossom Budies.

I'm 4 for 4 in my World Cup picks. Americans are more infatuated with Bradjelina's baby. On Sunday the Dutch, Mexicans, and Portuguese prevailed as I caught a few minutes of the Mexico-Iran match. On Monday I have the Yanks over the Czech Republic. I also have Australia and Italy to win. I have zero knowledge of soccer and especially international teams and players. I pick countries based on whether or not they have hotter women or not.

The NBA finals and NHL Stanley Cup finals are going on and I couldn't care less. The reason the Knicks and the Rangers are both not still playing is because of their owner James Dolan is a megalomanic who's unfit to ran a professional sports team, let alone two of the most storied franchises in all of sports history. He's ruined both teams and should have been strung up by his testicles years ago. All I know is that ever since Jeff Van Gundy left the Knicks, they have been unwatchable and the laughing stock of the league. I'm ashamed to be a Knicks fan and the Rangers are no better.

I watched a herpes commercial and had to laugh. Some guy actually went to film school and dropped almost $50K thinking he was going to be the next Martin Scorcese and he got stuck with shooting a friggin' herpes commercial. At some point dreams get transformed into humping crappy jobs and assignments. Even for guys making herpes commercials. It could have been worse... he could have been shooting a commercial for Purina Puppy Chow.

On Saturday, I crammed in the last bit of writing that I had on my agenda. I estimated that I put in 100 writing hours since Memorial Day which includes almost 20K words for the Born to Gamble series and 12 freelance articles along with keeping up my other sites. I'm peaking just at the right time. I worked on the June issue of Truckin' including my story about some hijinks in Hollyweird last month. I also answered all my backlogged email this weekend. I had over 260 pieces on Friday morning. All of my accounts have less than three items in each as of this morning. It's never been this clean all year.

I woke up early on Sunday for laundry and to write for a couple of hours. On my way back from laundry, I almost ran into a guy that Derek and I nicknamed the "serial killer." I turned a fast corner and he bumped into me. I hip-checked him and he slammed into the hallway wall. I quickly apologized as he muttered an apology back and scampered off. Now I'm worried that I'm on the serial killer's shit list, and he's going to wait until the planets are in alignment before he wacks me by injecting Windex into my bloodstream and sodomizes my ears and belly button.

There's one potential serial killer in every apartment building in every major city or one serial killer in every suburban neighborhood. He's the middle-aged guy with messy thinning hair and glasses as thick as astrays, who looks disheveled all the time wandering around with an odd look in his eye like he just drowned a sack full of kittens. He wears jeans that are one size too small and walks around with Reeboks circa 1987. One day he's gonna snap and they'll be yellow police tape blocking off his apartment as they sift through boxes of bleach and bottles of horse semen.

It took me less than an hour to pack for a week on the road. I'm traveling light which you can do in the summer, especially going to the South. I'm spending three days in Clarksville with Spaceman and his lovely wife Mrs. Spaceman. Oh, and eyeyrone's favorite Hollyweird blonde, Change100, is flying in on Tuesday to hang out as well before we hit up Bonnaroo when Molly and The Joker get in on Thursday. That's when we embark on a four day bender of musical madness and non-stop partying.

My too biggest clothing items are a sweatshirt and a waterproofed windbreaker to take with me just in case the weather gets bad at the end of the week at Bonnaroo. In the past, there were instances where the weather was horrible and lots of rain and mud.

I pack according the standard formula that I have. Like for underwear, it's "days away" plus 1. So one week that makes 8 pairs of boxer shorts. I'll take the same amount of socks. I can get away with four t-shirts and a couple of golf/dress shirts. No jeans but two pairs of light pants and two pairs of shorts. I usually travel and fly in the nicest clothes that I'm bringing.

That can all fit in a carry-on bag along with my toiletries kit and a book to read. I'm taking Lubricated by Arthur Nersesian. I never finished the book and my goal is to have it done before I move to Las Vegas in 10 days.

I'm also adhering to the Senor rule that if I need something when I'm on the road... I can always buy it. I have to make sure I have enough cash with me and my Bonnaroo ticket! I can't let either out of my sight.

I'm bringing my iPod with me because I'm not flying on JetBlue and I'll need something to keep me entertained. Do you think I actually talk to the peasants that fly Coach on domestic flights to the South?

I'm also bringing my laptop. I know that I'll be at a music festival for four days, but I might want to jot down some thoughts on future reviews that I write or upload photos. I have one business deal that's going down this week and I need to be close to email access. If this deal works out, then I'll have a sponsor for the WSOP for the Tao of Poker, which means I won't have to pay my own way in Las Vegas for two months.

So that's one carry-on with a week of clothes and one laptop bag with a laptop, digital camera, iPod, and necessary chargers and adapters and plugs. In addition to a few CDs to listen to in the rental car.

I'll be posting pictures and updates of my trip to Tennessee and Bonnaroo right here. Stay tuned.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Phil Lesh & Friends (featuring Trey & Page from Phish)
2. Tea Green Leaf
3. Django Reinhardt
4. Sidney Bechet
5. Lou Reed

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Last 5 Book I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Soul Mind Body Medicine by Zhi Gang Sha
2. The Holy Bible
3. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
4. Hot Item by Carly Phillips
5. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

Friday, June 09, 2006

Vicodin Dreams and Vegoose 2006

It was one of those blurry nights when I was up until 6am even though I popped a few painkillers around 2am. With my iPod on shuffle in the background, I had been chasing a loss for most of the night, which in poker terms is worse than chasing the dragon. I'm stuck 300-400 playing online poker since the month started and about 23% of those losses are due to my own stupidity. Just when I think I'm a decent poker player, reality grazes me in the nut sack.

My mind has been on hyper-active mode the past two weeks. When I slip into hard-core writing mode, it's hard to get my brain waves to stop racing. I had a goal to crank out 10-12 articles and I'm on pace to do that by Sunday. I desperately need sleeping aids to crash because all the internal chatter keeps me up. I want to stock up on a few nights of decent sleep in before I go to Tennessee and party like a rock star and sleep like seven hours inside of a week. I picked last night to take some painkillers, but instead of making me sleepy, they made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The last thing I wanted to do was kill the high, so I stayed up. I wrote a little bit and read the Paris Review Book, in particular a piece from Malcom Lowry.

I spoke to Change100 for a while late night. I needed to lift her spirits after she had to go to the ER on Wednesday night after a nasty spill in her local drug store. She split open her elbow and had to get stitches. She told me she's suing the chain. I joked that she might get a new car out of this ordeal. I wondered if it would affect her Bonnaroo performance and she assured me that she'll be able to party it up without any probelms. At least Showcase is around to take care of her, feeding her Vicodins and medicinal marijuana.

Man, the Bonnaroo music festival starts in six days and it couldn't come sooner. I've been waiting for this trip all year ever since The Joker and I made plans to go. I recall sending him the announcement in an email and he quickly replied back, "We're going!"

We didn't have to discuss the details. We bought tickets, made hotel and car reservations, then got flights. It was a no brainer. Then we added some special guests like professional Keno player Neil Fontenot. Plus, the perpetually stoned Change100 said she was in, then Molly got a ticket to Bonnaroo for graduation. We now have a great crew and at least three of us write for my music blog.

A week from today, I get to sample some Phishy music at Bonnaroo. Sure Phish has been broken up for almost two years, but their bass player Mike Gordon is playing country tunes with Ramble Dove next Friday afternoon. Then later in the day, Trey (Phish's guitar player) will be playing with one of his side projects, Oysterhead, which is a trio made up of himself, Stewart Copeland (drummer from The Police), and Les Claypool (bass player from Primus). They have not played in a few years and I've caught a few Oysterhead shows including their first ever gig at Jazz Fest several years ago. Oysterhead is like a superband.

Indie rockers Cat Power are performing with the Memphis Rhythm Band so that should be interesting. I saw Cat Power for the first time at a dive bar in Williamsburg like five years ago. They played a gig here in NYC recently, but I skipped it. Trey Anastasio Band is opening for Tom Petty at selected shows this summer, so I wonder if he'll sit in for a few songs during Petty's set. I'm really stoked to see My Morning Jacket who plays the late night show. Things get freaky during late nights at Bonnaroo. That's when all the amatuers go to bed and all the professional partiers kick it in to high gear. I've never seen MMJ before. I've heard several bootlegs and I like what I've heard so far. Lori caught them last year at Bonnaroo and said they tore it up.

Seriously, all this music happens in just a brief period of time and I can't wait. That's what's great about these music festivals... seeing a ton of music with your friends. This is my gift to myself for busting my ass all year.

I found out that the Vegoose music festival is going to happen again this year around Halloween in Las Vegas. Bands that are going to be playing at Vegoose never go to Vegas, so it's nice to have that opportunity to see them in cool venues. The Joker and I had a blast last year and I really want to go back. He had fun dressing up like the UPS guy and I went as Dr. Pauly. Widespread Panic's Halloween show was by far the highlight of last year's Vegoose. I have not been a room with so many wasted people in a very long time. The Flaming Lips and Beck kicked ass during their Vegoose sets too. I might have to postpone my trip to Asia by a few weeks so I can take in Vegoose for a second year in a row.

I woke up super late today compared to the rest of the week. I had been getting up by 7am and writing within an hour. By noon, I'd have at least one article done and made a few business phone calls. I woke up at 11am today very groggy and starving. I stayed in bed for twenty-seven minutes and listened to WFUV aka Fordham U radio. They played Beth Orton, The Wood Brothers, REM, Aaron Neville, Essex Green, and Jack Johnson.

Still sleepy, I threw on a hat and pants and went down to the corner for a bagel and iced tea. Now, I'm ready to edit an article I worked on yesterday. Plus I have to finish off my Born to Gamble series over at the Tao of Poker. That's been fun to write, but mentally draining. I'm glad it's almost over.

Thanks to AlCantHang for linking up some of the sites/blogs that Derek and I write on!

Recent Writing Music...
1. Medeski, Martin, & Wood
2. Lotus
3. Galactic
4. Brain Jonestown Massacre
5. Mike Doughty