bathtub gin



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he carries a martini
made of bathtub gin

Wendy's on the windowsill
Waiting to be let in
And were all in the bathtub now
Making Bathtub Gin


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the joker
31, Pisces
Denver, CO

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29, Capricorn
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"Music is a spiritual expression of what's in your heart. Music as a way of getting rich is a pretty new thing, and I often wonder if the mega-bucks glitzy atmosphere is making the quality of music suffer. You have to work really hard to get around that and remember why you're in it in the first place: because you have to be. It's like an addiction. You can't go a day without picking up your guitar. To me, the only commercial goals that are really valid are, 'Boy, I wish I didn't have to go to work. I wish I could do this all the time."
-Trey Anastasio

"Impose rules to make life simpler. Break them to make life more fun."
-Jon Fishman

Monday, June 14, 2004

On the road update, part 1: Bonnaroo

posted 10:42 PM by the joker

Well, Im here at a friend of a friend?s house in Nashville recovering from Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo 2004 was a lot of fun and definitely different from the past 2 years. Here is a recap and some highlights:


Wednesday/Thursday June 9-10:

We headed out from Dallas about 7pm and drove all night to Manchester, TN to Bonnaroo. It was about a 12 hour drive, and the lines to get into the campsites which have been notoriously long in past years moved very quickly- By about 11am Thursday we had arrived at out campsite and were setting up. We got a great spot- close to the stages, lots of room, and close to other necessities like porta-potties, wash stations and shakedown street.



Thursday night there were no "official" performances, but we ventured into Centeroo to hang out and see the scene. There is a big lit up fountain shaped like a mushroom that is a great place to people watch, and we were entertained by a 20 year old rolling his balls off on X?he was enchanted by a pole on the fountain and was kissing it?the kind of things that are very fun to watch and you kinda had to be there. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performed next to the fountain, parade-style, and we watched some of Papa Mali before calling it a night.



Friday June 11

Friday we woke up early and started selling breakfast sandwiches and bloody marys. We made some of the money for the RV back with the business and I had a great time selling. We set up shop by a road with a lot of foot traffic, and I perfected my sales pitch:



"Bloody Marys, Breakfast Sandwiches! Dance! All! Day!"

"Bloody Marys, Breakfast Sandwiches! MMMM MMMM GOOD!!!"

and the one that worked the best:

"Bloody Marys, Breakfast Sandwiches, FREE GUITAR SOLOS!!!" (and then I would play on my Tyco Hott Lixxs Guitar to the amusement of passers by and the annoyance of my companions)



Highlights on Friday were Wilco and Dave and Friends. I have never heard Wilco sound so good. Wilco played a set heavy with songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and their New Album coming out next week. They did several noise jams that were fantastic and intense. Jeff Tweedy looked and sounded like a new man. Setlist:

1. The Late Greats 2. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart 3. Hummingbird 4. At Least That's What You Said 5. Jesus, Etc. 6. War On War 7. A Shot In The Arm 8. Muzzle Of Bees 9. Company In My Back 10. I'm The Man Who Loves You 11. Theologians 12. Poor Places 13. I'm Always In Love 14. One By One 15. I'm A Wheel 16. Handshake Drugs 17. Spiders (Kidsmoke)



Dave and Friends was also a fantastic show. The setlist:

Dodo, Trouble , Up And Away ,Solsbury Hill , Stay or Leave , Save Me , Oh , Up On Cripple Creek, Some Devil, Dancing Nancies, Thing , Tell Me Something Good, Gravedigger, Grey Blue Eyes, So Damn Lucky, Too High, Fire, Hey Bulldog, Waste

E: Everyday>Bathtub Gin> Drum/Bass/Tim Reynolds Jam

Trey singing "Up on Cripple Creek" was fantastic. Dancing Nancies was just Dave and Tim. Fire was also sung by Trey. The Encore of Waste>Everyday>Bathtub Gin was just Dave and Trey acoustic. The crowd was very enthusiastic for this show and sang along to almost every song. Great Great set.

After Dave & Friends I sampled the late night sets: Vida Blue, Umphreys McGee, Praxis, and Danger Mouse. All were good, but I didn?t stay at any of them too long. There was a Mardi Gras Parade through the campsites & ending by the fountain with special guest Grand Marshall WILLIAM HUNG!!! (of American Idol fame) William sang all his hits, including "She Bangs", "YMCA" and my favorite, the touching "Can you feel the wub tonight".

Saturday

The rain came as I woke up Saturday morning and again in the afternoon. Bonnaroo was transformed into a hot, steamy mud pit, but I got to see some great shows and still managed to have a great day. I started out at Grandaddy, then headed over to Gomez. Both were great great sets. The Grandaddy songs from "Sophtware Slump" sounded great, and my favorite song at Gomez was "Revolutionary Kind".

After Gomez I met up with the group and all of us went to see My Morning Jacket. What can I say about My Morning Jacket other than the just fukkin bring the rock. What a great set. After My Morning Jacket, the first of the large, powerful thunderstorms came- Dan, Courtney and I retreated to a tent?we picked the one Jem was playing at. They started late and we got rained on (it was raining sideways) but once she finally started I really liked her. She is kinda sexy and her band is good and lays down a great groove.

The rain Saturday afternoon made things kinda go a little haywire- Galactic started late and I didn't get to see them. I met up with Lane, JLaw and Jairy back at camp and we got ready for our big night out dressed up as superheroes. Lane was Superman, JLaw- Supergirl, Jairy-Batman, and I was Robin. At the start of the night we had great fun getting attention from just about everyone we walked past. It was especially funny to me because more often than not a person would first see only one of us, and shout "Look, its Superman!? and then, seconds later, would shout "Holy Shit! Its Robin Too! And Batman! And Super girl!!! Holy Shit!!! That's Awesome!" We got our picture taken a lot and it was fun for a while, until about the time that we finally arrived at The Dead. We got to the show right at set break, and also right as the mushrooms were kicking in a little too much. The rain had made most of the well walked areas of Bonnaroo a huge mud pit, making it hard to walk and impossible to sit down. Combine that with no music to zone out to and all the spun out people coming up to us to take pictures and chat, we decided to bolt from The Dead, take a breather somewhere where we could sit down, and then regroup & head to Primus. The walk out of The Dead was amazingly tough with the mud and attention. We finally got to a beer tent and sat down, then things got to feeling better. Primus was supposed to start at 12:30, but because of the rain delaying the start of The Dead, Primus didn't start until about 1:40. The wait in front of the stage for Primus sucked the life out of me and Batman and we headed back to camp. I kinda wish that I had gotten to see some of Ween and more of Primus, but sometimes exhaustion takes over and you just cant fit it all in.

Sunday

Sunday morning we somehow managed to all sleep in till nearly 10am, which out at the loud, sun scorched campsites is quite and accomplishment. It was good to sleep, but it kind of gave us a late start to the breakfast business and a late start to seeing music. The rain and mud from the night before seemed to be getting better in some areas, but also huge mud pits developed in other areas. Sunday afternoon I caught a bunch of sets, each about 30-45 minutes of each band:

Moe.>Femi Kuti>Guster>David Byrne>Medeski Martin and Wood>Superjam

David Byrne, it must be said, is a genius and just radiates coolness. His set was a mix of solo & Talking Heads favorites. "Psycho Killer" was fun but probably the song of Bonnaroo for me was "Once in a Lifetime." Smiles all around and the whole crowd singing along, jumping up and down. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was. And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?

Right as Medeski was ending their set, the sky again opened up on us. I got separated from the group (and my backpack) and retreated to the Superjam tent almost by accident. The tent was more packed than any other show I attended, partly because of the sheets of rain coming down, but also because the show was amazing. The revolving cast of musicians was led by Stanton Moore (drummer for Galacitic), George Porter Jr. (bassist of Funky Meters fame) and Maceo Parker (Sax player for James Brown). Wow. They just laid down the fat funk and had everyone in the audience, despite being soaked to the bone, was grooving their asses off and smiling. Maybe we danced so much it caused it rain harder. Good times.

After the Superjam I attempted to find some of the group, but the rain had washed out some people and I couldn't get in contact with others, so I headed to the Trey show solo. This situation actually turned out to be one of the best of the weekend for me- I "borrowed" a fold up chair from a beer tent and walked straight down to the front of the main stage and sat down. Having a seat right in front (and not in the mud) was a blessing, as I had been standing and dancing all day. The people all around me were great folks and huge Phish fans, so I had a great time and instant friends.

The first set of Trey was with the Nashville Symphony orchestra, the second set was Trey Band. In the first set I thought the orchestra sounded beautiful and Trey just looked like he was having a great time. Highlights for me were "Inlaw Josie Wales" and "Guyute".

The second set Setlist:

Mr. Completely, Sing A Song, Alive Again, Night Speaks To A Woman, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Curlew's Call, Sultans of Swing, Push On Til the Day, Small Axe, Last Tube, Ether Sunday, Black Dog
Encore: First Tube

I wish I had a video of how hard I was dancing during this set, because I am certain that I looked like a fool. Nearly every song of this set was the best I have ever heard from Trey Band. Very tight, no sloppyness at all, and a very balanced performance from the entire band. They sounded more like a unit than Trey sanding in front of a separate band. None of the jams went on too long or lost their momentum. "Alive Again" is surely the theme song for my summer travels. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" blew me away. "Sultans of Swing"- amazing. "Last Tube"- fukkin a. "Black Dog" YES!

Every great story needs a peak, a big grand finale, and the encore of ?First Tube? was certainly that. Probably the best "First Tube" ever. The word epic is he closest thing I can use to describe it. Seriously. The band brought the music and there was a coordinated fireworks display over the crowd during the song that was nothing short of brilliant. I probably wont see as many fireworks on the 4th of July. When I look back on my life and think about moments that were just so perfect, so filled with joy, with such positive energy and moving spirit, I will surely always remember those 8 minutes of First Tube with the fireworks. Words can?t describe how uplifting and beautiful it was for me.

So, that is pretty much the summary of Bonnaroo. Tomorrow morning I will wake up and head towards Ashville, NC and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I need to be in Brooklyn for the Thursday night Phish show, so the next couple of days will be spent driving through the Appalachians, listening to XM radio and enjoying the sights. There are little bits and pieces of group drama and random stories that I have left out, but all and all these are the highlights and I am once again very glad that I made it to Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo is surely the greatest music festival on the planet and a national treasure. At departure it was very sad leaving JLaw and Lane- two of my closest friends- but I know that I will see them again soon. Even though I have only been gone for a few days, It already seems like a month. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Sleep deprived but it was worth it,



Neil

 

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