Tuesday, July 3, 2007


So lots of people keep asking me how bonnaroo was. All I keep saying was WOW. I think I consumed more live music in 4 days then I have in 3 months! So on to another chapter in our label misadventures…

I had the pleasure of heading to B’roo with Rachel an
d Nichelle. We hopped on the B’roo planning wagon train a bit late I have to say. When we went to go and check out renting an RV, Rachel was met with laughs of mischievous merriment from the rental agents. Most pretty much said something to the effect of “sold out since last year.” Not to be thwarted, we bluhammock ladies put our heads together and got on Craig’s list and eBay. Ta Da!! RV was found. Rachel in her true go-getter nature got on the phone with the listing company and talked them into taking the RV out of auction and giving it to us. WAY TO GO RACHEL!!

So, as we head to the airport to fly into Nashville, we have no
idea what type of RV or size of RV we are getting. It is pretty much a cancellation situation. When we get to RV Sales and Rental, we find that we have a pretty sizable RV to drive. Actually I should say: I have a pretty sizable RV to drive. I am the only one with insurance…I have never driven an RV…I was pretty stressed out on the inside. Cool as a cucumber on the outside lest they think they made a mistake of pulling the RV off the open internet market and take it away from us.

This is me driving the insanely large RV!

would like to give the folks at RV Sales and Rental a shout out for their absolutely through explanation of the vehicle and all of its amazing functions. This was a for real home on wheels. We can all now tell you how to put water into an RV, dump waste, check for power issues and flip some blown breakers. Stress was greatly reduced. About an hour of RV education later, we pull out onto the open road headed for where…Target! For those of you who have read my past blog posts you know I have a serious love for Target.

Many many many pit stops later, we reach B’roo....

I am not sure exactly w
hat we were expecting but I can tell you it was not this. Quick facts: B’roo becomes the 5th largest city in the state of TN during festival time. We are talking 80,000 people plus 5,000 support staff. That is insane. I have to give a ridiculous amount of props to Chad and Superfly Productions for creating such an amazing event. I have no idea what it takes to put up and take down a rather large city every year and I can only imagine. The most amazing thing about the whole experience was that practically every staff person that we interacted with was unfailing polite and helpful. The vibe was awesome and the festivalgoers super peaceful and friendly. I was told that it takes a month simply to clean up the site.

By the time we picked up our credentials it was dark. I managed to three-point turn the RV against a fence and put it
into its spot. Don’t ask me how. I almost took out a motorcycle parked with the bus next to us. Eeh.

<----This is Nichelle hanging out in the tent

Next up was setting up our hang area in front of the RV. I was born and raised in NYC and while I have camped in my life I have not camped in a long time. But, Rachel and I managed to put together a
tent in the dark with only the headlights of the RV to help us! With the set up complete and a long day of travel behind us, we all sat outside under the tent and had a well deserved glass of wine, lit some candles and admired our handiwork.

When we woke up the next morning, we all headed over to the Sonic Stage to
check out the bluhammock listening station installation. It looked awesome as always. Universal Buzz has never failed us once as they have moved the listening station around the country. Without them and our absolutely awesome program manger Barry, the listening station would still be an idea in our minds. Thank you to Carrie, Jake, and Barry for all of your hard work and extreme organization. You make us proud.

Barry & Chad having a moment:
It was awesome to see all of the hammocks filled with people listening to our artists’ music. Our location was also choice as you could see what was going on at the Sonic Stage from the hammocks. Our only regret was that we did not have more hammocks on site! There were not enough to go around. Knowing that it would be insanely hot in TN, we had made crazy amounts of paper fans so that people getting in hammocks could be as comfortable as possible. Rachel had the awesome idea of sharing the fans with everyone at the Sonic Stage! So as Ryan Shaw, a friend of mine’s amazing new talent, took the stage about 100 people were fanning themselves with the bluhammock logo. By the mid-afternoon, we had to stop handing out the fans so that we would have some for the remaining days. At one point there were about 300 people standing there, fanning themselves creating a sea of bluhammock blue. For the rest of the festival, we would be walking around and see the fans all over the grounds!

Rachel experiencing the listening station for the first time: Normal peeps checking out the music:

I could go on to write a novella about the entire experience but I think that would probably bore you to death. So, I will head along to the highlights and the lowlights in my mind. In case you were wondering what I was leaving out, the picture below should give you a basic idea....

1) Super Jam: Ben Harper, John Paul Jones, and Questlove
Here I could say: “ You had me at hello.” I am a huge fan of all of these artists but I have a major hankering for some Ben Harper. It was the perfect way to start the festival for me. Everyone killed it.

2) Rodrigo y Gabriela:
A total surprise for me. I had been reading the press and heard some of the music but had no idea what to expect. When I got to the stage I was engulfed in shimmering wall of lush sound. Beautiful and emotionally expedient.

3) Jonah Smith:
I had the pleasure of hearing Jonah play some of the songs off of his latest record in his apartment in Brooklyn. I loved what I heard then but to get to hear it on a larger stage it was awesome. His voice is so warm and soulful. His piano work funky and playful. “Little Black Angels” and “When We Say Goodnight” were killer.

4) Feist:
This was the show that all of us ladies were obsessed with seeing. Nichelle led the charge on this record in our office. It kills. It took me a min to wrap myself up in it but now I cannot stop playing “I Feel It All” or “Past in Present.” “Brandy Alexander” is pretty spectacular as well. I mean who can write a song about one of the most girlie drinks out there and make it meaningful? Leslie Feist that’s who. The whole band brought it but Leslie rocked out her guitar and really can sing like she sounds on the record. No pro-tools magic here.

Funny story, Nichelle and I are standing in the artists’ area in the back and we see a guy with shades on and an immobilizer on his leg. Seeing as I have blown out both of my ACLs and one MCL, I immediately recognized what the deal was and had to go over and share my empathy with the dude. We get to talking and I am asking how he blew his knee out; playing soccer last night after a gig with his band behind the club in the parking lot. Uggh. How much longer do you have to be out on the road before you can get it seriously looked at? Indefinitely was the answer. He told us that he was actually waiting there to see if they could find him a chair he could sit in and play. He requested a swivel so he could at least get into the show a little. That made me smile. Finally we ask what band is he with and it was Feist! Of course this prompts much gushing, observations that the intro on “I Feel It All” sounds like the intro to “Past in Present,” and the mention of the most amazing ortho surgeon in the US.

If you were wondering about the surgeon: Dr. Steadman of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, CO. The man saved my knees. He is the US Ski Team doctor and a master in his field. In the course of hanging out at his clinic, I got to know Peekabo Street, two world famous Brazilian soccer players and one pro beach volleyball player. If you ever need fixing… or if you just want to meet some amazing athletes…

5) DJ Shadow:
He is one of my all time favorite DJs. He played an extremely tight set with great accompanying visuals. Looked like he had 4 tables going at once from where I was standing and he played all of his greatest hits plus a lot of my faves. “Blood on the Motorway” was insane. I have to say when he started to take the set toward his newer material which is a bit more hip hop leaning I was a little bummed and wandered off…

6) Sascha and Digweed:
WHAT!!!!!! I used to go to this club Twilo once a month on Saturdays in the 90’s to worship at the church of S & D. I would leave somewhere around 2-3pm in the afternoon on Sunday with my sunglasses on having danced my feet into extreme soreness. There used to be a line around a complete NYC block to see them. Mayhem! I had not seen them spin for about 5 years. Brilliant does not do it justice. I stayed right up by the stage bouncing and dancing for at least an hour. If the people I had been with would have let me, I would have stayed and danced all night. They spun until 8am. More power to them and I was sorry I could not stay. Any former club kids reading this know what I am talking about.

7) The White Stripes:
This was actually the perfect way to end the festival for us. We actually were not sitting in the stage area. We were by the hammocks and the music just started to drift over us. When we heard it, it sounded amazing and we tuned in. The sun was setting and the music was not only filling the stage and covering the crowd is was reaching us all the way on the other side of the tents. Considering we had seen full bands up there that did not do the same. We were duly impressed with what the Stripes were achieving. Catchy, quirky, full songs played by few as opposed to many.

I could go on, as there were many more great acts that we saw but that could take up pages and pages. There was of course The Police who sounded just like the record and threw us all back to our childhoods and stunned us that they had practically the entire festival enrapt. But you probably knew they could do that already. Grab a ticket to the tour if you haven’t yet.

There were very few low lights but I thought I would share the ones that stick out even now a little over a week later:

Ok I completely understand that these are talented musicians and that they have a huge audience. I even kind of dig the record. But…the show was something else. Really well played but I could not shake the feeling that they were feeding the darkness in people’s souls with their music. Really. Nichelle and I were in the crowd for this show about 30 back so we could FEEL it. Felt like 80,000 people turned slightly evil to us…

Regina Spektor:
I am a huge Regina fan. HUGE. I remember seeing her play Tonic on the lower east side. But...for some reason, the festival thing was not for her. There was a great crowd to listen but she never seemed to fill the area with music. Everything seemed a little thin. This was totally disappointing to me since I have seen her play theaters and blow me away. Maybe it was because it was literally 98 degrees outside when she was playing…

Flaming Lips:
I am also a Lips fan. I would not claim to be a Lips zealot of which there are many I came to realize. I am more of a when I hear it I like it fan. When they actually played it sounded great and the songs were great but sadly the majority of the show was them either pulling insanely brilliant/beautiful stunts or foisting their political views on the crowd. I am all for getting your voice heard but not for almost an ENTIRE show. I will say that giving the crowd laser pointers and coming out on stage in a huge bubble then crowd surfing in the bubble was quite cool. Someone I was standing with turned to me and said: “so how much do you think they pay the dancing alien women and santas on the stage?” I responded: “Not a freaking penny!” That should tell something about Flaming Lips fans…

Of course there is more to tell but that is all that I can really say….look for posts from the ladies!

Until Next Time....