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Rockin’ & Shockin’: Catskills Festival Special


ROCKIN’:
It’s August Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK
SHOCKIN’
It’s not a Bank Holiday in the USA

ROCKIN’
It’s Festival Weekend in the UK
SHOCKIN’
It’s Festival Weekend in the Catskills too

ROCKIN’
There’s a three-night festival called Camp Bisco taking place on Hunter Mountain, complete with on-site camping.
SHOCKIN’
And sure enough, it starts raining just as the festival-goers start setting up their tents.

ROCKIN’
The Juan MacLean, Brazilian Girls, RJD2 and Thievery Corporation are all playing Camp Bisco
SHOCKIN’
The Disco Biscuits are headlining – with two sets a night, for two nights

ROCKIN’
The festival is all of 5 minutes from our house
SHOCKIN’
We don’t have full time child-sitters

The Juan MacLean: Hoods in the house

ROCKIN’
We trust our increasingly adult Campbell to sit for Noel once the baby goes to sleep
SHOCKIN’
That’s not until 9:30pm

SHOCKIN’
By the time we get to the festival, the Guest List booth is closed (you didn’t think we were going to pay, did you?)
ROCKIN’
We walk unobstructed right in the front entrance like it’s a regular Saturday in winter and we’re season ticket holders (you didn’t think we were going to pay, did you?)

ROCKIN’
The Juan MacLean have just started
SHOCKIN’
And of course it’s raining

ROCKIN’
There’s a couple of hundred college kid age ravers watching them
SHOCKIN’
The fashion has hardly changed in fifteen years

ROCKIN’
It’s not just the last of the American ravers watching The Juan MacLean
SHOCKIN’
The rest of the audience is all young hippies

ROCKIN’
The Juan MacLean are all wearing hoodies – to stay dry in the rain?
SHOCKIN’
That anyone would risk touching this much electrical equipment in bad weather

ROCKIN’
The deep bass throbs that announces one of their songs
SHOCKIN’
That one of the adult ravers standing on a picnic table watching them knows his stuff: “Scanner dude, it’s fucking Scanner dude”

ROCKIN’
The good-looking girl wearing the luminous bikini and sunglasses at night in the rain
SHOCKIN’
The young hippie girl waving a glow stick – and wearing a tie-die shirt

Hippy-chick in the house.

ROCKIN’
Listening to live warped acid techno on my home mountain
SHOCKIN’
That it’s taken so many years to get an event like this going up here

ROCKIN’
The crowd recognizes tracks like ‘Give Me Every Little Thing’ and ‘Love Is In The Air’
SHOCKIN’
The lack of a proper light show

ROCKIN’
The Colonel’s Hall at Hunter Mountain – where Campbell and I usually play our après-ski pinball – has been turned into a live music room for the night
SHOCKIN’
There’s no act playing until 2am.

ROCKIN’
DJs set up in the Sushi bar inside the Lodge
SHOCKIN’
Someone forgot to turn the lights down

ROCKIN’
The same bartenders working tonight’s club party as work the usual après-ski hours
SHOCKIN’
I’m having serious culture shock

ROCKIN’
The girl wearing angels wings and not much else
SHOCKIN’
Her boyfriend wearing a sarong and not much else

ROCKIN’
The dude at the corner of the bar whose E is kicking in
SHOCKIN’
The way he dances with a full beer for an hour – without spilling (or taking) ad rop

ROCKIN’
The more it rains, the more people come indoors looking to dance
SHOCKIN’
The DJ – Naughty Nolan (ouch!) – can’t raise his game to meet the crowd’s expectations. He’s got this funky deep prog-house thing going that sounds promising, but he can’t beatmatch to save his life. Those of us who know our stuff look at each other in despair. The dance floor never quite catches light. Why couldn’t Thievery Corporation be playing this set?

ROCKIN’
Posie and I don’t let it stop us from getting on the dance floor
SHOCKIN’
The number of years we’ve been doing this.

ROCKIN’
The hippie-rave crossover. It’s actually quite sweet
SHOCKIN’
So many bare feet on the dance floor

Somewhere in the middle of this stage is the dancefloor Grateful Dead, aka the Disco Biscuits

ROCKIN’
Back outdoors, there’s over 5,000 people on the mountain slope watching the headliners give a serious festival presentation
SHOCKIN’
The Disco Biscuits play Godawful prog rock noodling electronica mixed with cod reggae; it’s an embarrassment that they can draw 500 people.

ROCKIN’
The crowd is so peaceful you wish all festivals could be like this
SHOCKIN’
There’s a thin line between peaceful and docile

ROCKIN’
Free shuttle buses back to the hotels and campsites
SHOCKIN’
The idea of camping in this weather

ROCKIN’
We’re home about ten minutes after leaving
SHOCKIN’
There’s something not quite normal about that

ROCKIN’
Two days later, everyone’s packed up and driven home, there’s been no damage, no reports of injuries, robberies or violence
SHOCKIN’
That even hippies have to leave so much garbage by the roadside.

ROCKIN’
Saturday is Shandaken Eagle Day
SHOCKIN’
It’s still raining

What’s a community without community issues? Dean Ritter is our potential Bruce Ratner. And yes, that is a ‘soccer’ net on the front lawn.

ROCKIN’
There’s a dedication to a big eagle at the entrance to Phoenicia
SHOCKIN’
There’s no reference to Crystal Palace FC

ROCKIN’
People giving out free kazoos, 3D glasses and American flags
SHOCKIN’
The American flags have ‘Made in China’ printed on them. (That’s not actually shocking, just sad.)

ROCKIN’
There’s a parade of quite innovative floats through the village
SHOCKIN’
We miss it

ROCKIN’
The town fair takes place on such a lovely village green
SHOCKIN’
It barely stops raining all day

Rain: what is it good for? Well, the trees, for one thing.

ROCKIN’
Posie volunteers to do face-painting at the school stall
SHOCKIN’
She’s too good at it for her own good. And doesn’t catch a break

ROCKIN’
The healthy Indian food stall
SHOCKIN’
The merch on the other non-community stalls is the same crap that gets sold at every village and street fair in America – most of it made of plastic. (And made in China.)

ROCKIN’
Running into friends on the green.
SHOCKIN’
How many of us are in the music or media world

ROCKIN’
There’s to be a bonfire when night falls
SHOCKIN’
When it will still be raining

ROCKIN’
We’ve been invited to see Latin legend Eddie Palmieri play at the Bearsville Theater
SHOCKIN’
We get a baby-sitter lined up and that’s now two nights in a row we’ve gone out to see live music.

ROCKIN’
The Bearsville Theater has to be the most beautiful small venue I know
SHOCKIN’
That we’ve only been here twice since moving. (Mercury Rev last Christmas was the other show.)

ROCKIN’
The older, upscale, mixed race crowd gets on the dancefloor the very moment the 13-piece Eddie Palmieri Orchestra starts playing
SHOCKIN’
They’re such good dancers we’re too scared to join in

Eddie Palmieri, one of the last Latin greats: Wouldn’t you like to look this happy to be on stage in your 70s?

ROCKIN’
The quality of musicianship in this group
SHOCKIN’
That I’ve not seen more Latin music like this over the years

ROCKIN’
Eddie Palmieri’s piano playing is not just of the salsa type that he’s famous for; it’s avant-garde jazz such as Thelonious Monk would have been proud of
SHOCKIN’
Eddie is one of the very last survivors from the generation that brought Latin music into the mainstream. (RIP Tito Puente, Ray Barretta etc.)

You think the band is well-dressed? You should have seen the audience!

ROCKIN’
Watching 70 years old dance this gracefully
SHOCKIN’
We’re close to being the youngest people in the room

ROCKIN’
The band is dressed casual
SHOCKIN’
The audience is dressed to the nines

ROCKIN’
Attending two such different concerts in two consecutive nights
SHOCKIN’
That more people don’t recognize that good music is good music is good music, regardless of genre

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Discussion

2 Comment(s)

  1. 1 September, 2006 at 7:34 am

    ROCKIN’
    The good-looking girl wearing the luminous bikini and sunglasses at night in the rain

    SOCKIN’
    You post the picture of the girl in the tie-dye and not the bikini

  2. 1 September, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    HA HA… Fair comment. Unfortunately I’m a coward when it comes to being alongside my wife, turning my back on her, facing back up the hill and blatantly taking a picture of a girl in a bikini standing on a bench! I can assure you she was hot, however!

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