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    Orgone: The Grand Finale That’s Actually an Intro


    2011 - 11.15

    Out of the many excellent bands on the contemporary funk circuit, I personally think that L.A.’s Orgone is one of the greasiest and most underappreciated groups doing it today. Each one of their albums is heavy-laden with meaty cuts that you might swear came from 1977 if you didn’t know better. I’ve been evangelizing about this band for a while now to anyone who will listen, and was anxious to see their deliberately crafted retro sounds in motion again.

    Orgone played twice last year at Bear Creek, although the first show seemed under-attended and the second was early in the afternoon. That being my first time seeing them, and knowing full well the extensive size of their catalog of gems, I was quite cross to find that they actually repeated maybe three to five songs between their two sets at BC’10–a big no-no for back to back festival performances! Don’t get me wrong, their performance was excellent, but it just wasn’t…. what I knew it could be!

    This year, on the other hand, was exactly the Orgone show I’d been waiting for. They dropped a great mix of new tunes and old, with a ferocious amount of energy on stage. Unlike last year this set was outdoors after sunset, and a giant, enthusiastic crowd had gathered to move to those west-coast grooves!

    Their keyboard player, whose solos really did a number on me at their previous shows, never really quite stepped up to the intensity level of which he is capable. But as seen in the photo collage above, artist at large Robert Walter stepped in to provide that B3 hotness.  The horn section certainly was as powerful and brazen as ever–a central component to the signature punch Orgone delivers. Being partial to brass horns, these guys with their tight articulations and well-crafted harmonies are an inspiration to behold. Seeing their trumpeter and trombonist work together is a treat.

    There’s been some personell changes since I caught them last, although from the looks of their website I think the band may just have several players who swap out depending on availabilty. That makes sense since these guys have a positively brutal touring schedule. If you get a chance–and you will–go check them out. Seriously. Top shelf grooves, this stuff.

    It was certainly great to get in the crowd and feel the energy their music was stirring up amongst the people. When the performance ended in a climactic frenzy, Bill commented “That felt like some kind of grand finale.” to which I roared with excitement, “And this is literally just the very beginning of the must-see shows at this fest!”

    Finito at BC’11, deluge of photos in 3, 2…


    2011 - 11.14

    Just caught the late night jam session at the treehouse at Bear Creek and almost ready to turn in.  The last 2 days have been an utter onslaught of funk.  I was intending to blog more as we watched the music, but there was just way too much awesome to really tear my eyes/ears off of.

    Lots of opinions and pics over the next weeks!

    And the beat goes onnnnn


    2011 - 11.12

    Bear Creek continues to deliver! Just finished watching the new mastersounds, who were in excellent form.  Guest appearances by Robert Walter, Skerik, Roosevelt from the lee boys and more.  Pete’s bass playing was fast and furious tonight, and Simon played those drums with aplomb. 

    Highlights of yesterday were Orgone, who put on the best show I’ve seen from them yet (I’ve seen them 4x), Soulive, and Medeski, who threw it down pretty funky.  Sometimes Medeski can get too avant/abstract for my tastes, but not last night!  Awesome set.

    Galactic had some nice crowd pleasing moments, and Stanton Moore never seems to disappoint, although their sax player still just doesn’t cut through to me.

    Eric Krazno and Chapter 2 tore it apart this morning, including an incredible rendition of the Beatles “Get Back” which culminated in a half-tempo swingin version of the refrain.  That was a treat.  Anxious to listen back to the recordings on that and tonights mastersounds.

    And there’s still more.  Egads!

    Houston, we have landed


    2011 - 11.11

    First show of Bear Creek: Dr. Lonnie Smith.  B3 black magic!  His guitar player is Jonathan Kreisberg!  Sweeeeeeeeet

    Also, the purple hat stage is outdoors this year!  Big improvement, sound-wise from last year.

    Much more to come

    As I fly off to catch the funk, some fly beats from the underground to get it groovin


    2011 - 11.11

    We were riding the subway in NYC when we pulled up to the West 4th street stop and there was this kickass drumming going on when the doors slid open. I listened for a split second and then said to my brother & girlfriend, hey let’s get off for a minute and check this out. My bro was like … YEAH!

    So we step on to the platform and I pull out my admittedly huge camera and the dudes kinda trailed off. They looked at me and said ‘hey we gots to get paid or else we can’t play!’ So I dropped some jazz millions in the collection bucket and told them to keep it rolling.

    True story.


     

    Countdown to the FUNK!


    2011 - 11.10

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    Bear Creek is imminently upon us! I cannot wait to scope out what badassery it has in store this go-round. I’ve rented some extra camera gear and the emails have been flyin’ fast and furious this week to set up some interviews with musicians. I’ll be chatting improvisational wizardry with Eric Krazno of Soulive fame, riffing with Sam Kinninger about horn lines, and maybe chatting with Karl Denson and/or Robert Walter as well. HOT. DOG. The anticipation and excitement cannot be overstated.

    Those interviews will be filmed so stay tuned in the coming weeks for some heady video of people who know their music.

    Awesomeness guaranteed.

    Only ONE more week until Bear Creek!


    2011 - 11.03

    Oh man. I am fired. Up. Fired up for the FUNK.

    Fired up for the press access, fired up over maybe getting to meet some of these musicians backstage, fired up to take a boatload of pictures, and fired up for the music festival atmosphere.

    As a recap, check out this post with the discussion of Soulive’s performance last year.  AWWW GIT IT!

    Bear Creek: Plan your attack!


    2011 - 10.22

    Looks like they’ve posted up the hour-by-hour schedule for Bear Creek 2011. And man, it’s a doozy. I’m not sure when I will have a chance to breathe with that much funky music filling up the air. Both the blessing and the curse of a fest like this is that jeez, there is just SO-MUCH-AWESOME occuring all at the same time that there is simply no way one can catch it all. I see several spots on the timetable with some agonizing choices–for instance Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is playing at the same time as Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Ahhh! What do I do?!?

    Here’s a silly MS paint synopsis of how my day will go on Saturday:

    I get to do WHAT?!


    2011 - 10.16

    Okay, not gonna lie: extra-large size awesome news struck on Friday and I’m totally not able to play it cool about this.

    The most excellent people at Madison House Publicity have helped me obtain a media pass and photo credentials for the 2011 Bear Creek Music Festival.

    Just gonna sit back and absorb that one for a minute…

    Ah yes, that’s ah, well, you might say that it’s, um, geez, what can you say about that??  It’s gonna be flippin amazing.

    In the coming weeks I’ll be adding several posts leading up to the festival, and then once I’m there, I intend to upload photos and do a little live-blogging as the fest unfolds.  Then for (many?) weeks afterward there will be a steady stream of photos and other coverage.  I’m not even sure what all that will entail yet.  Being the ambitious guy I am, I intend to try to make the most of it.

    So consider this like a tiny preface to a novel that you’re about to read (and see and listen to!) on here.  It’s going to go deep into the artistry of funk music, like I’ve only scratched the surface of before.  This is something I’m terrifically excited about.  For serious.

    Album Art Feature: BT Express “Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied”


    2011 - 09.29

    A totally bomb album that I only discovered this summer, BT Express with “Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied”

     

    Open up to the inside and check out this badass picture of these guys! The eponymous track of this album can be heard as the second tune in my previously posted Cactus Vinyl Funk Mix. This is some smokin hot 70’s funk right here!