You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

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Because each existence is in constant change, there is no abiding self.

– Shunryu Suzuki

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well, after taking most of this week to recover from the mayhem that is GrassRoots I am officially back in action. as promised, I’m updating you on all the behind-the-scenes tunes, talk, and (a bit) tipsy tirades I experienced while hanging out with many bands, friends, and fellow campers.

since it was my first time camping EVER (yes, I’m from upstate NY and have never been camping…let the heckling begin) my girl friends and I decided that canteens were a must. see above. and below is proof of my spider-killing-wet-tent experience.

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our first stop at the festival was to see our beloved Horse Flies. thanks to my favorite band members and founders Jeff Claus (guitar, banjo uke, vocals), Judy Hyman (violin, vocals) and Richie Stearns (banjo, vocals) we swayed to songs that will stay in your head for days – in the greatest way possible. As Rolling Stone so eloquently put it: The Horse Flies churn out swirling, addictive songs, blending tradition with invention.

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next stop: Rusted Root. the band that came fast and hard in the 90s only to fade into the black for the past seven years is slated to make their comeback with the recent release of their new album, Stereo Rodeo. I couldn’t decide whether it was cooler to stay behind-the-scenes to watch them enter the stage to the hoots and cheers from the youthful GrassRoots crowd. OR. if I wanted to be a part of the mass dancing and mouthing each and every word from “Send Me On My Way.” I went for the latter and was very happy about it.

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feeling revved and in the spirit, we left the infield stage and ventured over to the grandstand to check out Grammy winners Toots And The Maytals. for the record: this man absolutely killed it. best reggae I’ve heard in a long time. I was immediately transported from the chilly, sprinkly night in Trumansburg to a steamy, hot beach in Jamaica. and after watching his two back-up dancers quietly shake their groove thang backstage, I couldn’t stop moving my hips to the liquid rhythm.

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day two was a messy one. clouds incessantly threatened our good time with gray and gloom while periodic showers washed the mud over our bare toes drenching our hoodies. but we kept it movin’ straight to the dance tent to hear the gospel energy from the soul searching Flying Clouds. I get goosebumps just thinking about their crooning vocals and killer drummer.

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religious or not, you can’t help but get into the American South spirit for the Big Dance.

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from gospel harmonizing to head-banging, we journeyed from the dance tent back down to the infield stage – a walk that felt like forever in muddy goulashes – to jam with Ayurveda. while the band’s name means to live a holistic existence by surrounding oneself with spiritual influences, they’re certainly louder than any granola-crunching drum circle. the thump of the bass beats in time with your tapping foot and damn-the-man blazing lyrics.

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now here comes my all-time favorite GrassRoots band. the Campbell Brothers know how to move Heaven and Earth with just their fingers. this music seeps into the crevices of your very soul, soothingly reminding you to just shut up and dance.

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here comes the First Lady of Funk. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings held the festival in the palm of their hands. well, in the palm of Sharon’s hand. rockin’ a black tiered flapper dress that bounced and shook with every grind of her hip, Sharon not only serenaded the luckiest guy in the world (I beamed with jealousy), but she took down the house. literally. not one body stood still. captivating to say the least, she brought the old school home. and for that we’re forever grateful.

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time to get back to your roots. as you already know I’m a big J-san & the Analogue Sons (JATAS) fan. not only because they’re great friends, but because they bring you back to your roots the moment they plug in. one love.

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last stop of day #2: John Brown’s Body. thoughtful, wise, and mystical with an edge. someone called them “the future of reggae.” if this is any indication as to what our “Yes We Can!” future sounds like then I’m all in.

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Day 3 (and my last day) at the festival was not as packed as the two days prior. by the third day your body is surrending to sleep and everyone’s energy goes down a bit from partying and stage hopping for two straight days before. but it was relaxing to cruise around the festival armed with cheese fries and a PBR to witness a few of my favorites. the usual suspects, local Ithaca acts, and fresh faces were there: The Horse Flies, JATAS, Jennie Lowe Stearns, Campbell Brothers, Oumou Sangare, Flying Clouds, Evil City String Band, and Donna the Buffalo. but then there was the two-time Grammy nominated Pine Leaf Boys. or as my girl friends like to call them the “Pine Leaf Babes” for their Cajun style and fine exterior. you’re welcome!

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needless to say, I had a blast. my senses were in overdrive thanks to all the music filling the air, my lungs, my head, my legs, my heart and soul. while I may not go camping for a while, I will certainly have the beauty of non-stop music and burgeoning memories for a long time to come. I hope you enjoyed a backstage glimpse of GrassRoots! ’till next year! xo

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Additional photos thanks to Meredith Towsand

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it’s that time of year for the annual GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg. some of my favorite local and worldwide acts will be playing this weekend and I promise to deliver you a play-by-play of the events thanks to my nifty press pass!

4 days. 4 nights. 4 stages. starting tonight Donna and the Buffalo and Rusted Root – debuting their first album in almost a decade – kick off the festivities. tomorrow presents The Horse Flies, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, John Brown’s Body and Jsan and the Analogue Sons. I’m only name dropping a few so you should definitely check out the full list of players below.

I’m camping out Friday night for the first time ever in my life (!!!) so I’ll clue you in on all the debauchery and musical love I’ll be feeling while playing and sleeping under the stars with friends and musicians. should be a very REAL Ithaca experience for sure. I can smell the patchouli already…

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Photo thanks to Annie Campbell

just read my horoscope for today…

PISCES: Your intuition is on the mark and your reactions fit in with all around you. It’s easy to agree with any plans or goals in your relationships, and most people will if you let them, so spread as much good energy as possible. Any agreements now will be a benchmark for cooperation in the future.

I’m taking a cue from the “spread as much good energy as possible” tip and doing just that. spreading wonderful energy that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of these last few weeks. much love to you on this bright Tuesday afternoon. xo

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I don’t know about you, but with the summer sun finally gracing our bar stools I’ve been as thirsty as ever. I could place the blame on enabling friends who love to frolic in the heat as much as I do, but I’m just as guilty. there’s something about sitting in the sun smelling grilled chicken that makes you want to indulge in something clean, cool, and wet. usually that means a cold beer or refreshing white wine loaded with calories and environmentally hurtful ingredients. definitely a diva don’t.

fear not, chicas. thanks to our friends at Social Diva, your one-stop connection for everything divalicious, we can get the party started without making a huge thundering footprint on our Earth. after all, Mother Nature is the ultimate diva. get your drink on with these organic liquors and wines. I’ll have another!

Mix More than Mojitos: Cuca Fresca, an award-winning premium cachaça made from organically grown sugarcane, makes a mean Miami Blue: Combine 1.5 oz. Cuca Fresca Premium Cachaça, 1/2 oz. Blue Curacao, 1/2 oz. pineapple juice, 1/2 oz. simple syrup, and a splash of fresh sour mix in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist. Now, that’s what we call a Miami Vice!

Turn Up the Tequila: 4 Copas are the world’s only certified organic (and tres yummy) tequilas and, if that weren’t enough, the manufacturers also recycle waste materials into organic fertilizer. Pump things up with a 4 Copas Pomegranite Margarita: mix 2 oz. of 4 Copas Reposado, 1/2 oz. fresh organic lime juice, 2 oz. fresh pomegranate juice, and 1/2 oz. of 4 Copas Organic Blue Agave Nectar in a shaker filled with ice. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and serve topped with a splash of club soda. Shots are optional.

Very Chic Vodka: Certified USDA Organic, Crop Organic Vodka, is harvested from soil free of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals, and distilled so no carbon treatment or charcoal filtering is required. For your next summer bash, grab a pitcher and make their Organic Vodka Watermelon Cooler: Muddle 4-5 pieces of watermelon, a handful of fresh mint and 1/2 part agave nectar in a pitcher, then add in 2 parts Crop Organic Artisanal Vodka and 1 part lime juice. Serve over ice and enjoy the compliments on your bartending, Diva.

Wild on Wines: If you’re feeling like a nice glass of wine, we’re fans of the Yalumba Organic Viognier 2007 or the Marimar Torres Russian River Estate Pinot Noir 2003. If it’s more of a dessert wine you crave, Port Finest Reserve Casal dos Jordoes is a fabulous organic port that is certified vegan. Either way, feel free to sip, guilt-free.

Mad for Mocktails? Don’t leave your non-imbibing guests out on all the eco-fabulous fun! Make a Kiwi Fesper: muddle two peeled and chopped kiwi fruits with 6 oz. white grape juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and then strain into two sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Garnish the drinks with unpeeled kiwifruit slices and serve them with a smile.


edie

feeling edie’s signature thick eyeliner and modern cropped raincoat in today’s sloppy stormy Saturday. xo

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen

“Lay, Lady, Lay” – Bob Dylan, Edie’s long-time friend

in a sea of chaos it’s uplifting to hear some positive news, especially when it involves saving those who cannot speak for themselves.

83 elephants are now safe and secure in a protected reserve after conflicting with a village in Malawi, explains International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) president Fred O’Regan in a newsletter. The elephant family was in constant conflict with locals until they were safely moved to the Majete Wildlife Reserve.  Displaced elephants can find themselves herding in the wrong direction which is common due to overpopulation and man-made technology interfering with their otherwise natural habitat and manner. This can result in chaos and destructive, unnecessary killings – but not this time.

O’Regan describes the scene as one where villagers and animal lovers alike were satisfied with the handling of these beautiful creatures. Crowds cheered and sang as caravans full of captured elephants – with the help of specialists so trust that it was a safe and healthy process – quickly passed by. One massive elephant filled an entire trailer by himself! O’Regan credits the Malawi government as being an admirable partner to the IFAW by resolving the conflict in an ethical and humane manner. “It was a great victory for animal welfare,” said O’Regan. “It proved that a conflict like this can be resolved without a gun.”

check out the slideshow of the Malawi Elephant Rescue here. Note: some images are startling at first because some of the elephants were temporarily “put to sleep” to avoid any mishaps and additional stress to both parties, but if you keep watching you’ll soon find these gorgeous beasts frolicking in the greenery at the reserve.

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Photos thanks to IFAW.org

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reading:

watching:

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is. – “Mirror” Sylvia Plath

after describing one of my all-time favorite childhood memories in a previous post, I felt compelled to share the beauty that is my grandma, Grace Henbest. we love and miss you endlessly.

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