Getting thrown a Curveball – When a Phish Festival Cancels While You Are Already There

Before we even got to New York there were signs that things were not right- texts from the airline saying our flight had been delayed and we wouldn’t make our connecting flight. Getting on standby for a different flight only to be told “never mind! Your original plane is on time now!” Having the computers go down at the rental car place and hearing the young worker say “I quit”. Snagging my Phish necklace and breaking the chain off my neck. Mercury being in retrograde…

Once inside the Curveball campgrounds things started looking up. Easy security, great campsite that was almost under these two trees (if we had been just one car later in line!) and hot sunny weather that laughed in the face of that week’s torrential downpours and flooding.  After putting the tents up we grabbed our schmancy new Phish Nalgene bottles from Glen Close concierge and excitedly went off looking for water to fill them with as we walked on to soundcheck.

This is where things got fishy. They had some blue spigots you could get water from but we continued on to the gates expecting to get some from the filling stations inside. 3:00pm gates closed and gate staff boredly says “come back in an hour”. 4:00pm gates closed but now we are told “The Bunny will tell you”. There were ominous words in retrospect. Walking back one of the big speakers was being lowered down from the stage, and suddenly it made sense as to why they hadn’t started soundcheck yet- there’s a sound issue!

Back to the campsites to settle in and listen to The Bunny for instructions, I decided it was a good time to jump in that nice ice cold shower. It wasn’t. Just as I am finishing my shower I hear the first scream; didn’t even bat an eye until the second guy screamed. As I rushed into my clothes and out of the shower a woman that worked there gave me a sweet smile and taped a sign up “DO NOT DRINK. NO POTABLE WATER”.

Outside the campground was still. People just standing there in shock, hand over mouth, faces concerned. Did a band member die?? Back at my tent I grabbed my phone and saw a ton of texts, the first from my husband asking me “Why does Phish.com say Curveball is canceled?” Now I’m standing in shock, hand over mouth, eyes welling up and then I heard The Bunny.

“We are so terribly sorry…” rang out as people gathered to radios like moths to a flame. Instantly shock and yet acceptance hit. We all had been watching the local weather all week, and the video of the overflowing waterfall was really concerning. We expected potentially rough times. We expected mud. Never cancellation, yet here we were watching the stage and Ferris wheel coming down.

Fortunately the campground made proverbial lemonade, commiserating, contemplating, what nexting and dancing in a ditch in the shadow of a bunch of horse cops. No we didn’t get to hear primordial ooze come out of that big silver ball or see if they were going to play Talking Heads’ “The Great Curve”, but the people there received a valuable life lesson refresher that being together  with respect and kindness is a majority of that collective love high you get from a Phish show. :::enter obligatory “So keep what’s important and know who’s your friend” lyric:::

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Village Voice published my Phish Hand Signals piece

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While I was away, the Village Voice published my Guide to Phish’s Hand Signals piece. It’s just a little entertainment piece, not meant to actually be considering some official guide. Most are from the Red Rocks show filled with one-offs because I didn’t want to give too many of their secrets away (plus, it’s hard to find video of the signals, most Youtubes start when the music starts). Obviously, they don’t use signals all the time, but it’s a fun treat to catch one. Read the humor piece at the Village Voice here:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/03/a_guide_to_phish_hand_signals.php

UPDATE: over 100,000 views on this article! Thanks to my wonderful, goofy readers!

Got just under two minutes?

Dances

Listen to Dances new single “Rat” today off their debut EP coming out this spring on Black Bell Records. One minute and 41 seconds of reckless, jangly, melodic fury. In their press release it says they are influenced by 60’s psych and 90’s alternative, I didn’t have to read further. Sold. The NY trio will be playing the Sailor Jerry party at SXSW on 3.13, won’t be missing that one.

Woods new single “Leaves Like Glass” has a Bob Dylan feel

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As New York’s psych folk rock act Woods‘ sound constantly evolves, it bears to note that it always evolves for the better. The new single “Leaves Like Glass” from their upcoming album With Light and with Love has a perfect, sunshine-y, jangly spring sound that will be perfectly timed with its April 15th release date. Dylan-esque vocal inflections mix with beautiful organ chords and tambourine to create a perfect pop gem that is at once joyful as well as melancholy and bittersweet; the music builds gracefully before reaching a blissful crescendo.

Ten bands that jam to check out this year

20140120-225704.jpg pho to by Russ Simon

First off, highly suggest Wings Over the Rockies museum at Lowry Air Base in Denver. Cool stuff, sweet retired military men telling you stories, and some really fun lighting to shoot.

I compiled a list of “jam bands to watch out for in 2014” for the Westword, and it was my best performing article yet. I figured many people were tired of listening to the same old stuff. Do not be deterred by the words jam bands, these are just straight up funky, rocking bands that get a little loose. Their music feel alive:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/ten_jam_bands_to_watch_in_2014.php

Habibi- “I Got the Moves”

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Brooklyn girl group Habibi‘s new single is a little cloudpuff of a song, the smooth 60’s garagepop sound sweet but not too syrupy. Their name means “my love” in Arabic, and their sound is feminine and sexy. Hope they make it out to SXSW again this year. Listen here:

Couldn’t have asked for more at Phish NYE

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I was supposed to review String Cheese Incident in Denver for New Year’s Eve, but as is typical in the world of Phish, they started playing too well so we last second booked the last two seats flying out of Denver that morning. We stayed with wonderful friends in Williamsburg who had a view of the Empire Building from their fire escape, and even managed to get tickets for face value (one a shiny glittery lotto ticket!). It was fairly amusing that coming to NYE last second took way less planning and stress than if I had decided to go months ago, but isn’t that always the case? The city streets were absolutely electric with excitement, topped only by what Phish was about to pull off inside. My best moments of the NYE run article was published today at the Westword, read all my gushings here. It’s days later and I still spring little tears of joy and gratitude thinking about that Forbin’s.

Read here: http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/best_moments_phish_madison_square_garden_new_years_eve_2013.php

I could sit here for a lifetime:

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