Started: April 27th, 2015
Last updated: Jun 1st, 2015

Some Kind of Jam 10

Where Hipsters met Hoopers (hula-hoopers) and 70s Deadheads met the Pothead Pixies of the new Millennium

(NOTE: As of this writing, a lot of audio recordings from the festival are available for free on the web - see links at the bottom of this page for all the ones I could track down. The ones from can even be streamed from their respective web pages, so why not listen to some of the performances mentioned below as you read this page?)

A few months ago, I was at a place called Bube's Brewery in my parent's home town near Lancaster, PA and on the way out I noticed this stack of flyers for a music festival called "Some Kind of Jam 10" being held less than an hour from where I live. I grabbed a flyer and noticed that two bands I had previously seen at ProgDay were scheduled to play (Consider the Source and Out of the Beardspace). Over the next few weeks the idea of attending grew in my mind, and when the weather finally started getting warmer, I made the decision and went online and bought a ticket.

Wondering what I had gotten myself into, I started searching the web for any info I could find on this "Some Kind of Jam" festival. If this was the 10th annual event, surely there would be lots of web sites with photos, descriptions, etc. But aside from the official web site which listed descriptions of the bands, directions to the event, ticketing info, etc, there wasn't much out there. So I decided that I'd go, take lots of pictures, jot down some notes whenever I got a chance and try to put together a web page. Here it is.

Base Camp Base Camp
I should mention that being forty-(cough) years old, I was over the median age of the festival by a good 20 years, at least. I wasn't the only older person there, but I was probably the squarest looking one. But while many of the younger attendees avoided or ignored me and a couple even went as far as sneaking stickers onto the back of my coat when I wasn't looking, I also ran into a lot of very friendly folks who went out of their way to make me feel included. A young guy from the camp site next to mine came over on the first morning to say "hi neighbor", and every time over the weekend that he'd see me he'd ask how I was doing, which bands I liked, etc. And at the very end of the weekend he came over to say they were heading out and to wish me a safe drive home. I'd like to thank him for his kindness - it helped make me feel like I wasn't totally out of place.

I arrived at the festival grounds around 11:00 Friday morning, after getting slightly lost - the directions on the festival's web site for those coming from the Harrisburg area don't say which direction to go on 183, just "419 North to 183 then east one mile on 895 to fairgrounds". So I ended up turning the wrong way on 183 and went about 5 miles out of my way before I figured out I was going the wrong direction. I found the place eventually though. Pulling into the grounds, a woman in a colorful jester costume asked if I had bought a ticket online, then yelled my name to someone who looked it up and brought over a ticket. A guy asked me to pop the hatchback so he could inspect the car (probably looking for glass bottles, which are prohibited at the fairgrounds and seemed to be the one rule that most people actually followed), and finally another guy charged me $5 for parking, wrote a large check mark on my windshield with some sort of white marker and they directed me into the fairgrounds.

There was a family campground on the left of the main road where a midnight noise curfew is enforced - I probably would have been better off camping over there, but since I was by myself I turned right into the main camping area. After circling the sites closest to the stage area and realizing that I wasn't going to find any space there, I headed out to the furthest reaches of the camping area, near where I first drove onto the grounds. Lots of space there, so I picked a spot by the treeline and started setting up my tent. A couple people asked why I had such a big tent for one person - I actually bought it years ago for a family camping trip that never happened, and it's the only tent I own. This was the first time it's ever been set up anywhere other than our back yard.

The Fairground Welcome sign, with smoking prohibition that all ignored The Fairground Welcome sign, with smoking prohibition that all ignored
It took longer than I thought it would to set the tent up - that thing is a bear to assemble, and I had forgotten that one of the support poles was broken. Between that and getting lost on the way there, I missed the opening ceremonies and the first half hour of the first band, although I could hear the bass from the stage rolling all the way to my distant camp site. Once the tent was up I grabbed my camera and raced over to the stage, wondering why so many people in the camping area were making no attempt to go see the band. Eventually I discovered that the majority of attendees just hang out at the campgrounds all day and only go see bands after dark. The newspaper/program that the festival was handing out actually contains a couple pleas for more people to go see bands during the day. I was very surprised - I'm used to ProgDay and other progressive rock festivals were everyone's there to see the bands. Apparently in the mainstream festival circuit (which I didn't even know existed before this weekend - there were flyers everywhere for all sorts of festivals of various sizes happening all over the northeast), most people are just there to socialize, party, wear crazy costumes, hula-hoop, do lots of drugs and maybe catch the headliner bands.

Wait, what was that about drugs? I was debating whether I should even mention it, because I don't want to make trouble for anyone, especially the festival organizers who do a ton of work to put on a hell of a weekend of music, but to paint an accurate picture of the event, it has to be said. On the festival's official web site, it lists these general rules: "No illegal substances, No weapons, No fires on the ground (elevated pits only), No nitrous oxide, No glass bottles, No underage drinking, No loud music in the camping area, No motorized carts, 4-wheelers or dirt bikes. Failure to adhere to the rules above will result in immediate ejection by JibberJazz security". Well...I'm pretty sure I saw most if not all of those rules being broken over the course of the weekend. To be fair, most of the festival-goers were very cool about it and didn't make it necessary for Security to "notice" what they were doing, but pretty much everywhere I went I smelled weed. A few times on Friday people tried to sell me drugs, including a guy wandering the campground who asked if I wanted to buy "a dose" before I even got my tent set up. I'm not naive, I know people smoke at concerts, and the big festivals like Coachella are particuarly known for it, but there was more of it than I was expecting at a little festival in rural Pennsylvania. Personally, I think if tobacco and alcohol are legal, then marijuana should be too, but it's not and since I'm subject to drug testing at work I shouldn't even have been inhaling the second-hand smoke. It'd be totally hypocritical of me to badmouth others' drug usage when I was drinking beer all weekend, but if you have a problem with illegal drug usage or are thinking of taking your kids to the festival, it's something to consider. There were also signs everywhere against smoking in general, and a big sign on the main stage that said no audio or video recording, all of which rules everyone cheerfully ignored.

Carbon Mirage on the main stage with early-in-the-day audience Carbon Mirage on the Main Stage with early-in-the-day audience
The other major drawback to the festival, just to get this out of the way, was that it was FRIGGIN' COLD. April is too early to be hosting an outdoor music and camping festival in Pennsylvania. I think Some Kind of Jam prides itself on being the festival that opens the season - I heard several people, including bands on stage, mentioning that it was their first music festival of the year. But the weather in PA in April is far from predictable, and the odds were good that we were either going to get cold or rain. We didn't get rain. Instead it was very, very cold. How cold? I bought a bag of ice for my cooler Friday morning at 9am, when I got home Sunday evening at 5pm, about a quarter of the bag was still unmelted.

The bands at the outdoor stages had those gas-powered, umbrella-shaped heater units so they could perform, but the audience and campers were left to tough it out on their own. Most people had the sense to bring those elevated fire pits so they could huddle around fires out in the campgrounds, and there was a bonfire at the back of the audience area at the main stage, but at best like 30 people could stand around it, leaving the other hundreds out in the cold. Both nights I was there, the temperature went below freezing, and while I was talking to the guitarist from Carbon Mirage (who had played the "early bird" show the evening before), he said Friday morning felt tropical compared to Thursday night. They should think about moving the show a few weeks further into summer before someone gets frostbite.

Anyway, at this point, we've reached where I started keeping a "journal" of the weekend, going back to my tent occasionally to jot down notes during the daylight hours, and writing what I could remember from the night before when I woke up in the morning. So I think what I'm going to do for the rest of this page is just transcribe the chicken-scratch from my notebook and add whatever comments occur to me as I write. But first, a few general observations about the festival:

OK, on to the "journal"

(The horizontal lines mark the breaks between writing sessions. Tense changes a lot because I was scribbling these notes across several sessions on all three days.)

Friday morning:

Carbon Mirage - really good young guitar/bass/drum trio from New York. Sort of jazz fusion, but with hints of surf rock, psych, punk, etc. Lots of improvisation. Guitarist is really good. Their sound reminded me of something but I couldn't put my finger on it until I read their entry in the band descriptions from the festival web site (which I printed out and took along) that two of their influences are Miles Davis and Sun Ra. These guys would be a good choice for ProgDay or Orion Studios. Bought both of the CDs they were selling - no one at the band merch table, so I just left $10 under a rock so it wouldn't blow away. Later the guitarist came out and I made sure he had gotten the money and chatted for a while. Shame there weren't more people there to see them play - as the first band of the day they probably drew an audience of about a dozen.

Nina Scarcia playing the Campground Gazebo stage Nina Scarcia playing the Campground Gazebo stage
Nina Scarcia - played at the Campground "Gazebo" stage. Only caught a couple songs between other bands, but what I heard sounded good. Solo set with acoustic guitar, folky/smokey tunes with love song lyrics.

When I went back to the main stage area, a solo blues guitarist named Tomm Dunn was playing. They generally had solo acts that were easy to set-up/tear-down play between the main bands, so there was almost always music coming from the main stage between noon and midnight. Dunn played a foot-stompin, old-school brand of blues that was pretty good, but I was only half paying attention because I was looking at the schedule and the map of the festival grounds, trying to get my bearings.

Next up on the main stage were the Hornitz. They were a two-man funk/hip-hop/dance band who built up songs using digital loops to record themselves playing keyboards, trombone, sax and vocal beatbox. They played several originals, but my favorite part of the set was the oddball covers like a reggae version of "A Horse With No Name", a one-man beatbox and vocals version of Phish's "Lengthwise" (!) and, unbelievably, a performance of the Day Man/Night Man song that Charlie on the show Always Sunny in Philadelphia wrote for his terrible musical. They were a fun band - not one that I felt compelled to buy a CD from, but entertaining. Should probably be voted festival MVPs - they not only played the most sets (one main stage, one campground stage, and a late-night set each night) but they also hung around all weekend and even sat in with other bands (I saw them join Hayley Jane and the Primates later in the weekend).

Weathervane - back at the campground gazebo. Sort of a countryish/Dead style band with guitar, bass, drums, banjo and mandolin. There was a bit of a lyrical obsession - I only stayed for three songs, one of which was called "Bananas and Blow" and another was a lament about how beer is legal but pot is not.

Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang - back at the main stage. Very bluegrassy country band with two banjos, a double bass, a mandolin and an acoustic guitar. Told some stories between songs and were entertaining, even though I'm not a huge fan of country music.

At 5pm on Friday, I had to choose between watching the end of Uncle Jake's set, seeing UZO at the Musical Madness stage or attending an improv workshop hosted by Carbon Mirage in the Indoor Jamhouse. I checked out UZO for a bit, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything fantastic there - they were a good, jazzy jam band with lots of improv and soloing, standard instrumentation - guitar, bass, drums and keys. I liked them, but since Carbon Mirage had really impressed me that morning, I decided to skip the rest of UZO and go see the improv workshop.

Me hitting the cymbal at Carbon Mirage's Improv Workshop Me hitting the cymbal at Carbon Mirage's Improv Workshop
When I got there, I was kind of surprised that the band were the only ones there. They had set up with the guitar in one corner of the room, the drums in another, the bass in another and an array of drums, cymbals and other percussion equipment in the fourth corner. The sound was incredible - walking in, it was like being in the middle of a surround-sound prog epic. I was expecting to just be a spectator, since I have no musical skills at all beyond being able to strum a few chords on a guitar, but as soon as I sat down the guitarist came over and told me to feel free to play anything in the room, even mess with the knobs of his guitar processing gear. At first I wasn't quite brave enough to join in, so I just sat and listened, but then eventually I walked over and picked up an egg-shaped shaker and tried to shake it in time with the music. Soon I was bashing the cymbals and playing the drums. My favorite thing was taking the padded mallets and creating swelling rumbles of sound on the crash cymbal. Felt like I was in "Pink Floyd at Pompeii". At one point a festival worker closed the door because the sound was carrying out to the main stage where another band was performing, so I was basically "trapped" into this improv session. When the door re-opened, a couple actual musicians came in and played guitar and bass for a while, but then they left. When time ran out, it was kind of magical - everyone just gradually slowed down and got quieter, like we had all decided at the same time to end it. That was one of the coolest things I've ever been part of - I hope those guys get really famous someday, partly because they're a great band and they deserve it, but mostly so I can say "Oh yeah, I jammed with those guys once".

When I wandered back out of the Indoor Jamhouse, The Steepwater Band was playing on the main stage. They were a decent blues/rock band, I watched them for a while but just wasn't feeling it for some reason, so I headed towards the Musical Madness stage where UZO were finishing up their set. On the way, I checked out the row of food vendor trucks. One of them was selling "stuffed soft pretzels". That sounded amazing, so I tried a buffalo chicken pretzel. It was a big soft pretzel stick that was hollow inside and filled with chunks of chicken, buffalo sauce and cheese. Very tasty - just what I needed, a new type of junk food to enjoy.

Food Vendor Row as seen from main stage area Food Vendor Row as seen from main stage area
I ate the pretzel stick while watching UZO finish their set, then caught the very end of the Stillwater Band's set on the main stage and finally wandered up to the Campground stage to see what was going on up there. The Hornitz were playing their second show of the day, so I watched a bit of that and finally wandered back to the tent while there's still some daylight and this is still fresh in my mind, to write it all down.

As the sun goes down, it's getting noticeably colder. Should be fun getting to sleep in a tent tonight [little did I know at the time]. Seems like most people are just here to camp out and party - most aren't leaving their camp areas. So far most of the bands I've seen have had like 10-20 people in the audience, with the worst attendance at the main stage. Weird.

Consider the Source is hitting the main stage next. I'm looking forward to it.

Native Maze at the Madness stage with Light Show Native Maze at the Madness stage with Light Show
While waiting for Consider the Source to come on, I went back to the Musical Madness stage to watch Native Maze for a while. I wasn't expecting much because the website description sounded like a reggae jam band, but they were so good I ended up staying for a while and missing the beginning of Consider the Source's set. Two guitars, a drummer, a dedicated percussionist, bass, keys and a vocalist who kind of came and went as the show progressed. They drew the biggest crowd I had seen so far that weekend - I hadn't fully figured out yet that most of the campers only came out to see bands at night.

As much as I liked Native Maze, Consider the Source was one of the reasons I had bought a ticket in the first place, so I eventually headed over to the main stage and whoa - where did all these people come from? I gradually worked my way towards the front through the crowd that decided to finally come see some music, a crowd which almost filled the grassy audience area. Consider the Source tore it up - three piece band, guitar, bass drums. Very proggy music - all instrumental, virtuoso musicianship, shredder solos. Like when I saw them at ProgDay, the guitarist had his instrument sounding like everything from a saxophone to a xylophone. Near the end of the set, the bassist played an insane solo that alternated between slap/pop and super fast 2-handed tapping. The crowd went nuts. I couldn't believe that several hundred 20-somethings were fanatically cheering a band I had seen play at a prog festival.

Once it got dark out, the main stage featured a massive light show that projected across the entire stage and spilled over onto the treeline on the hillside behind the stage. Also, for some reason each evening two artists would set up their easels at stage left and work on paintings, live on stage, while the bands played. That was a bizarre touch. Knowing that the field was going to fill up for the late bands, the organizers put up a projection screen behind the soundboard tent so that fans at the back of the crowd could see close-ups. But if you really wanted to see the band, it wasn't hard to work your way close to the stage.

Consider the Source on the main stage Consider the Source on the main stage
During the set, I ran into the folks from the tent next door and the guy who had welcomed me earlier yelled "Hey neighbor, what do you think of this band?" I told him I had seen them a few years ago at a festival, and he said he's seen them a bunch of times and they just keep getting better. I'd have to agree. Someone threw hundreds of glow sticks into the audience during the set - I picked up a red one and looped it through my coat's button hole.

After Consider the Source finished their set, I went back to the Musical Madness stage and Native Maze was still playing. The schedule listed them from 7:30 to 10:00, which I thought had to be a typo, but nope - they played a two and a half hour long set. I liked them enough to buy their CD, it's just a shame the sound mix at that stage was so miserable. [I listened to four of the five tracks on the CD today, and it doesn't sound much like what I remember from the show - it sounds more like the so-so reggae jam band I was expecting. Oh well.]

Next I decided to go back to the tent to get a sweatshirt to put on under the big winter coat I was wearing because it was FRIGGIN COLD. I heard The Motet soundchecking on the way out, and the sound guy is playing Gong on the PA system! Part of the "You" album, I think.

It's super dark walking back to the camping area now that the sun's down. I almost walked right into a traffic barrier, and did accidentally step in a huge mud puddle. Back at the tent I put some headphones on and listened to the festival's radio broadcast on an MP3 player/radio I brought along - headliners The Motet are still sound checking and it's almost 10:30. They were supposed to start at 10:00, and are supposed to be done by midnight when the Indoor Jam stage opens. Gonna walk back to main stage area now.

Saturday morning:

The Motet were OK, but not really my thing. Super-slick funk and R&B with a horn section. Very tight, very well rehearsed and with a dynamic, singin', dancin', cheerleadin' front man who must have worked "Some Kind of Jam" into his patter and lyrics at least a dozen times and got the big cheer he was going for every time. The crowd ate them up, but they just weren't doing much for me. Maybe I was just burnt out after seeing over 10 hours of music that day. I did like their encore cover of "Get Down Tonight", so maybe it's just their compositions I didn't care for.

Forgot to mention that there were a lot of hula-hoopers out on the main field during the day yesterday, and a lot of people dancing with various glowing things at night. There were even some fire dancers in a roped off area to the left of the stage. There was also a "tightrope" strung between two trees (but only a couple feet off the ground) that people tried to walk across, although none successfully, as far as I saw.

Some of the weekend's many hula-hoop dancers Some of the weekend's many hula-hoop dancers
After the Motet finished last night, I went into the Indoor Jamhouse where heaters were set up and The Big Dirty were playing. They had a really good light show projected on the wall behind them. The band was OK - another funky jam band with saxophone and the occasional bit that sounded kind of avant-garde. The stage wasn't very high in there and once the room filled up it was hard to see, plus I was getting really, really tired (I'm used to getting up at 5am for work and so I'm usually in bed by 10pm). Around 12:45 I called it a night and headed back to the tent.

As soon as I stepped out of the Indoor Jamhouse, the cold hit me like a slap and I knew I was in trouble. I made it back to the tent and changed into sweatpants and a t-shirt and climbed into my sleeping bag with three blankets draped over top. I couldn't stop shivering though, so I got up and put on a second pair of sweatpants, a sweatshirt with a hood and a second pair of socks. Pulling the blankets up over my head until I could barely breath, I was finally able to get warm enough to fall asleep around 2am.

Then around 3:00, a group from a nearby tent came back from the show, built themselves a big fire, tripped over the cords to my tent and dislodged a couple of them while heading to the woods to pee, then cranked up a boombox playing Phish songs and proceeded to party all night long. Lots of LOUD talking and laughing. One guy in particular I started thinking of as Bevis, because he laughed like Bevis and Butthead. I might have drifted in and out of sleep a few times during the rest of the night, but I know I was awake for most of it because I remember which Phish songs they were playing, and I could hear the band The Friz, who were the ultra-late band at the Indoor Jamhouse, playing a cover of "Bennie and the Jets" as their final encore around 6am. I was so cold and miserable that there were a few times that I considered just getting in the car and driving home, and coming back for the tent the next day. Looking back on it, I probably should have just gotten up, grabbed a beer and wandered over to the party campfire and asked if I could join them. I still wouldn't have gotten any sleep, but the night would have been a lot more enjoyable.

It's now 7am and I'm giving up on any hope of getting any sleep - might as well go look for the showers listed on the map.

Showers turned out to be at the exact opposite corner of the campground. It was a communal three-headed shower room in a concrete-block building with rubber mats on the floor. There was no one there when I arrived, so I took a quick shower. Lots of fun to step out of a hot shower into temperatures so low you can see your breath. Just as I started getting dressed, another guy came in to use the shower. Just before I left, a girl around 10 years old wandered into the room, noticed the naked guy taking a shower and continued investigating the room, looking (I think) for a bathroom stall. That was enough to make me decide that I'd wait until I got home on Sunday to take my next shower. After showering, I realized I had brought toothpaste and a toothbrush from the tent, but forgot to bring a hairbrush. So I had to walk all the way back across the fairgrounds with screwed-up, wet hair. Oh well, that's my own dumb fault. I didn't let my insane appearance stop me from hitting one of the vendor trucks to get coffee.

Hayley Jane and the Primates Hayley Jane and the Primates

Was finally ready for the day around 11am. First band wasn't scheduled to go on until noon, so I got out the cigar I had brought along and had a beer and read the book I brought. Listened to the youngsters at the tent across from me tell stories. They offered to sell (not give, sell) me a bloody mary, but I've never liked those so I turned it down. Then Bevis showed up. Apparently that guy never sleeps. He heard the party going on and came out to trade them a half-melted (!?!), half-empty bottle of rum for a bloody mary. He saw me reading and came over to ask what book it was. He introduced himself - turns out his name is David. Just one of those really boisterous party animal kind of guys that you end up liking in spite of how annoying they are.

As noon approached I put out the cigar and headed towards the main stage. First band up was Hayley Jane and the Primates. Kind of a folky jam band with bits of blues, country, etc. Bouncy, energetic lead singer (Hayley). During their set, a guy went around the audience and got everyone to lie down in a pattern that spelled out "SKOJ 10". The plan was to send a drone with a camera up and get an aerial shot of it. Once everyone was in place though, he discovered that he hadn't charged the drone's battery since last fall, and it was dead. As the crowd stood back up, I heard one guy say "I got my ass all wet for nothing."

Spelling out SKOJ 10 - Failure to Launch Spelling out SKOJ 10 - Failure to Launch

I noticed that while attendance at shows was still lighter in the morning than in the evening, on Saturday there seemed to be more people at shows overall. Maybe there were just a lot of folks who couldn't make it on Friday due to work or school. The distant camping area where I was located seemed a lot fuller on Saturday, but that might be because I hadn't seen it in daylight much since Friday morning.

As the Hayley Jane set continued, at 1pm the schedule listed a looping workshop with Mateo Monk in the Indoor Jamhouse. I've always been interested in how musicians use those looping devices to create music, so I went. I was the first one there, so I got to talk with Mr. Monk a bit - he seemed surprised that a non-musician would come to the workshop. Eventually about a dozen or so people, mostly musicians, filtered in. Monk built up various songs using guitar, a synthesizer, flute and vocals, and explained each step of the way how he was using the digital loop pedal to record and loop things. It was really interesting, even for this non-musician.

Mateo Monk's looping workshop Mateo Monk's looping workshop
By the time the workshop was done, Vinegar Creek Constituency were playing the main stage. They reminded me a lot of Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang - bluegrass and country, but with a violinist. I liked them, but after a few songs I started getting hungry so I went back to the stuffed soft pretzel place and tried the one with pizza cheese and pepperoni in it. Oh my god, there's a super-delicious heart attack waiting to happen. Good thing no one near where I live sells them, and if anyone starts selling them, don't tell me. That's the last thing I need to add to my diet because I'd eat a ton of them.

While eating the pretzel, I walked toward the Madness stage and heard what, from a distance, I thought was a Led Zeppelin cover band. Turned out to be the Balkun Brothers, a two-man band with just a guitarist and drummer. Their promo picture shows a bassist too - maybe he couldn't make it to the show. At any rate, even with just two people they made one of the loudest, fullest sounds I heard all weekend. Stompin' blues-rock. Really good band. I hung around until the end of their set.

After that I went back to my tent hoping to take a quick nap while the sun was still up and it was still relatively warm out. No luck - the neighbors right outside the front door of my tent were still partying, and the party had grown. So I wrote down these notes and I'm now heading back to the stage area.

On the way back, I heard music coming from the Campground Gazebo stage, so I went and checked that out. It was Hayley Jane and the Primates playing again, and this time they invited the Hornitz to join them. It sounded really good, but the schedule said the Wahoo Skiffle Crazies were about to start on the Madness stage. Just based on the name alone, I had to check that out.

Turns out the Wahoos are a jug/ragtime band that includes a washtub bass, a musical saw, a ukulele and a washboard player. Lots of old-timey songs, including "Hello My Baby" which they worked a verse of Pink Floyd's "Eclipse" into. My favorite tune had a chorus that went "Please bury me in my x-ray glasses, so I can see them coming for me. The CIA has found me, their laser beams surround me, but they won't make a zombie out of me." I wanted to buy their CD, but they hadn't brought any with them. They were scheduled for the main stage the next day, and promised to bring CDs to that set.

When the Wahoos finished, I went back to the main stage where Los Colognes were about halfway through their set. They were a...stop me if you've heard this before...countryish, bluesy jam band. Reminded me of a cross between the Grateful Dead and CCR, probably the most "classic rock" sounding band of the weekend. They played a couple Dead covers ("West L.A. Fadeaway" and "Bertha") and also did a cover of the Beatles' "One After 909". At the time I wasn't too into them because I'd already heard several other bands playing similar music and it was all starting to blur together. It's a shame I couldn't have heard them with "fresher ears", because listening to the recording of their set that I found online (see bottom of page), they were a lot better than I remembered. So good, I'm kind of regretting not buying their CD.

Some Kind of Parade Some Kind of Parade
At the end of the Los Colognes set, the "Some Kind of Parade" started. Everyone was invited to join the parade which started at the Indoor Jamhouse and wound its way all around the fairgrounds. They had a drum majorette with a megaphone leading the parade, followed by a brass band playing an upbeat marching song, followed by all sorts of hula-hoopers and outrageously dressed people. After watching them go by, I started back towards my tent, only to run into the parade again as it cut back across the campgrounds.

I'm back at the tent and listening to Jelly Bread soundcheck on the radio. It's actually kind of quiet - I can hear some people talking in the distance, but not loud. I tried to nap for about 10-15 minutes but it's not working. I'm just not a nap guy, even when I'm dead tired (like now).

Decided to get up and go see Jelly Bread. They were a good funk/disco/dance band. Kind of the same ground that The Motet covered last night (even a cover of "Get Down Tonight"), but I'm liking Jelly Bread a lot more. Not sure why. They did a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" that was really good. They also brought one of the guitarists from Poor Man's Whiskey up as a guest for a few songs.

Sunday morning:

Following Jelly Bread I came back to the tent and got a couple beers, and after that the night is kind of a blur. I made the decision to drink a lot, hoping that maybe drunkenness would defeat cold and noise and let me get some sleep. So I came back a few times and filled the big pockets of my winter coat with pint cans of Boddington's Pub Ale. Probably went through at least a six or seven of them during the last few bands last night.

Jelly Bread on main stage Jelly Bread on main stage
Just realized that I completely missed the bands Mupstep and Knitebitch at the Campground Gazebo yesterday. Oh well, can't see them all.

Mateo Monk played a solo set last night on the main stage before Poor Man's Whiskey came on. It took him a while to get set up, so at 8pm when he was supposed to be done, he was still in the middle of a song. After trying unsuccessfully to get his attention for a minute or so, the sound guy cut power to Monk's gear in the middle of a flute solo, causing one guy in the audience to yell out "At least let him finish the solo!" Sound guy turned the power back on, but as soon as it looked like the song was almost over he faded the volume down and cut power again. Should be interesting when Monk plays the main stage today.

I just noticed that the skin under my left thumbnail has split open from the cold. That's why my thumb stung like a bugger when I spilled beer on it last night.

More Gong before the headliner last night - some more from "You" and the song "Ooby Scooby Doomsday". I think I heard some Miles Davis and Gil Evans too.

I tried to see some of Out of the Beardspace's set last night and saw them do a long instrumental jam that was pretty good, and then a vocal song that was pretty bad (partly because you couldn't make out a word of the lyrics due to the bad sound). Since I'd already seen them at ProgDay and wasn't too wild about them there, I didn't stick around long and instead went to watch Poor Man's Whiskey. Noticed that Beardspace had flyers for their Beardfest festival all over the place.

Poor Man's Whiskey with light show Poor Man's Whiskey with light show
Poor Man's Whiskey didn't draw quite as big a crowd as Consider the Source had, but the field was still pretty full for a next-to-headliner band. The band blended country, rock and jazz pretty well with a line-up that included drums, bass, guitar and a banjo player/keyboardist/vocalist. They sounded like a few of the other jam bands of the weekend, but with a heavier country element. I liked them, despite not being a big country fan. Near the end of the set, I started working my way from near the stage back to the back of the crowd because I was going to go back to the tent for more beer, and just as I got to the back they announced their final song was going to be a cover of the Allman Brothers' "Jessica". I love that song, so I had to wind my way back towards the front. They nailed the song, and I thought the guy standing next to me was going to explode, he was so excited about it.

Made my way back to the tent, ate some of the granola bars and snacky food I brought along and stuffed a couple more beers in my pockets, then headed back to see Particle. While walking, I took my radio and headphones along and listened to comedian Burl Keiser on the main stage. He was spectacularly unfunny. His entire act seemed to revolve around making fat jokes about himself and drug addict jokes about the audience. At one point he invited a heckler on-stage and let him have the microphone, but nothing good came of that either. I had heard the very tail end of his set the day before, and realized towards the end that he was doing the exact same joke that bombed the day before. I don't think stand-up comedy should be his thing.

Particle with light show Particle with light show
While walking, I heard some good music coming from the Campground Gazebo stage. Turned out to be UZO playing again. While walking towards it, I noticed someone had set up a laser light system that was painting stationary, multi-colored dots on the road, the nearby tents and even the treeline. I tried to take a picture of it, but it just came out black with a few green and blue dots. It looked amazing when viewed live though.

Just as Burl was wrapping up, I squatted a spot front and center for Particle. Back when I was trying to decide whether I should go to the festival or not, I borrowed a Particle CD from a friend and really liked it. High-energy, dancable music created by virtuoso musicians on keys, guitar, bass and drums. On first listen, I thought it was all drum machines and sequencing, and then I realized it was actually being played by humans. Really talented humans. The band took the stage promptly at 10pm. The keyboardist had a big array of keys including a Moog - if they weren't so dancable, they might be considered prog. The CD I had heard was entirely instrumental, but their live set included a few tunes with vocals.

Particle keyboardist and on-stage artists Particle keyboardist and on-stage artists
About half an hour from the end of the set, some completely out-of-her-mind drunk chick buffaloed her way to the front of the crowd, then stepped over the chain that was supposed to separate the audience from the stage and started dancing around, waving a lit cigarette in the face of everyone in the front row. Then she climbed up into the bushes in front of the stage, and finally up onto the stage in front of the keyboardist (who seemed to think it was pretty funny) and started dancing around. That was a situation where it would have helped if Security were a little more stringent. Finally a bouncer saw her, but he didn't even remove her, he just kept pointing as if to say "get down" until the girl's boyfriend climbed up and dragged her down. She was back about five minutes later and tried to run back up onto the stage again until her boyfriend finally took her away.

Brass Band around the campfire Brass Band around the campfire
Just after Particle wrapped up their kick-ass set, the brass band from the parade came marching out from behind the stage and led a small parade to the back of the field where the bonfire was. They hung out there for a while, improvising music with the drummers and acoustic guitarists who had gathered there. It was cool, but I didn't hang around long because if you weren't standing right next to the fire, it was just too damned cold.

I went into the Indoor Jamhouse where it was reasonably warm and watched The Mantras. At this point I was running on an hour's sleep in the last two days, and had a six pack of British ale in me, so my memory's a bit fuzzy. I remember there were two keyboardists, two drummers, two guitarists and a bass player wearing a hooded robe who looked like a Jedi master. Turns out one of the two keyboardists was the guy from Particle who had come over to sit in with The Mantras for a while. The band had a fantastic light show that lit up the back wall and the rafters with multi-colored, psychedelic patterns. The music was kind of jam-band like, but super-tight and with lots of virtuoso solos. The only specific song I remember was their set closer, when they played a cover of the Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" alternating with a cover of the Dead's "Fire on the Mountain", including playing both choruses simultaneously. Amazing band - I got a bunch of good photos of their set, both the light show and close-ups after I nudged my way to the front of the crowd. After their set I immediately ran and bought a CD.

The Mantras' light show The Mantras' light show
After the Mantras finished, the Hornitz made their final appearance of the weekend. Their gear was set up to the side of the stage, and they played for around 45 minutes while the crew switched the main stage over for ELM (Electro Love Machine). I wondered if the name "ELM" was a reference to either ELO or ELP, and when I spotted their logo on the front of the bass drum, I realized it looked a lot like one of ELP's logos. I guess it was intentional.

It took a while for ELM to get set up, so their set didn't start until around 3am. At that point I was fading fast. I managed to stay for the first couple songs, and then made the dreaded trek back to my tent. At some point during the weekend I had figured out that putting the hood of my sweatshirt up made me feel about 10 degrees warmer, so that helped. But it was still bone-bitingly cold. My strategy of getting drunk worked though - there was some chatter near my tent, but after making myself some peanut butter crackers by flashlight and chugging a bottle of water, I went straight to sleep and didn't wake up until 7:30am. Which was still only four hours or so of sleep, but it beats the hour from the day before.

When I woke up it was still ridiculously cold out. I started shivering the moment I got out of the sleeping bag, so I got into my car, started it up and turned the heater on. I read a book and used a cigarette-lighter A/C adapter to charge up my cell phone.

It's now about 8:45 and music today kicks off an hour early at 11:00 with Mateo Monk's solo set. So I better get out there and tear down the tent.

It's 10:50am. The tent is down and the car is all packed up. That was lots of fun. Some freaky old dude was wandering around the campground while I was taking the tent down, offering to paddle people with this big wooden paddle he carried that he called "The Love Paddle". Most people did it just to get him to go away.

Temperatures have shot up since I started taking the tent down. I'm not even going to take my winter coat along to stage area today. Since there are only four bands scheduled today, all on the main stage and ending by 4pm, I probably won't be back to the car at all. So I'm taking my notebook with me and jotting down notes as things occur to me. Time to go look for breakfast.

Early morning Sunday jam around campfire Early morning Sunday jam around campfire
Wanted to get one of the breakfast pretzel stick things they were advertising yesterday, but the stuffed pretzel food truck wasn't open yet. So I went to the place where I got coffee yesterday and got a bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich (and coffee). The cook saw my Penn State Hockey sweatshirt and we got into a discussion about the owner of the Buffalo Sabres who had put up the money for Penn State's new arena. Turns out the food truck was from Buffalo and the cook was a huge Sabres fan.

Mateo Monk is about to start and I'm literally the only person in the audience. I think a lot of people might have already gone home - the camping areas looked less populated as I walked to the stage. The extra-early starting time probably isn't helping. As I write this, another guy just showed up, laid down on a bench near the stage and I think went to sleep. The atmosphere of the festival all weekend has been pretty relaxed, but today it's so mellow it's almost dream-like.

Monk is playing well - some of the same stuff he played at the workshop and during his solo set yesterday, some of it new stuff. There doesn't seem to be any bad blood between him and the sound guy who cut him off last night. Hey, he's currently playing Dave Brubeck's "Take Five", so now I've officially heard some jazz at this JibberJazz event.

Julie Corbalis and friend Julie Corbalis and friend
The next act is on. It was just listed as Julie Corbalis in the schedule, but she brought along a guy she introduced as her "main squeeze". She plays acoustic guitar and sings, he plays accordion. Mostly original singer/songwriter stuff. Pretty good.

Oh, cool, they're doing a cover of the Traveling Wilbury's "Handle With Care". I love that first Wilburys album.

12:20, the Wahoo Skiffle Crazies are getting set up for a gig on the main stage. There are several more people scattered around the field now, but I'm still pretty much the only person sitting in front of the soundboard area. Yet when a guy wandered up to watch from closer to the stage - guess where he decided to stand? Yep, right in front of me. What am I, friggin' invisible? Fortunately he eventually moved.

The Wahoo Skiffle Crazies The Wahoo Skiffle Crazies
Wahoo's sound check took longer than expected (one of them quipped that it's hard to set up modern amplification for instruments created in the 1920s), but they're playing now. Audience has filled in a bit more. The second song they played was that "Bury me with my x-ray glasses" song. I really hope that's on their CD [it turned out it's not, but you can download it from their Bandcamp page - it's called "X-Ray Glasses"]. I see they have a pile of CDs laying in front of the stage, I'll definitely have to buy one when they finish. [I ended up doing so, and had to track down a band member to give them the money. I think the band forgot they had put that pile of CDs out there. When they departed the festival, the discs were still sitting there.]

Someone from the audience asked who wrote the song "Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me" that they just played. The ukulele player told him, then said "I guess since we're a folk band, that's the sort of folk tradition stories we should be telling", and his wife the washboard player quipped "Ah, just Google it".

The Covered Bridge The Covered Bridge
Turns out I needed a trip back to the car after all. I wanted to get some moisturizer for my hands, because I'm finding that they're dried out and cracked in several places, to the point where they're actually bleeding a bit. I'm glad I thought to bring the moisturizer along. Since there's a half-hour scheduled between the Wahoos and the final band, I decided to make a wandering tour around the parts of the festival grounds I hadn't seen before. Turns out there's a lot that I missed - a covered bridge, a scenic fishing stream, an environmental trail, a lake, a dead turtle (I took a picture of it before I realized it was dead), etc. Everywhere I went, people were playing acoustic guitars and drums, or cranking all sorts and styles of music out of their cars. Lots of people walking or playing with their dogs.

As I walked, it was actually warm enough that I could take my sweatshirt off. I have my ProgDay '97 t-shirt on underneath. Lot of people looking at the artwork on the front. Maybe it will drum up some interest in the festival.

Just got back with the moisturizer and some sunscreen. Brought along a final beer - might as well have one while sitting in the sun and watching the last band. From their sound check, it sounds like we might finally get an actual jazz band. It's warm enough that I can actually take my shoes and socks off and feel the grass on my feet. Nice.

Final band is the Emilio Teubel Quartet. Keys, bass, drums and sax. Jazz fusion, with the emphasis on the jazz part. They remind me a lot of Weather Report.

Final band - the Emilio Teubal Quartet Final band - the Emilio Teubal Quartet
Ah, the keyboardist (who I think is Emilio Teubel) just mentioned that the drummer is from Argentina and their music uses a lot of rhythms from his homeland. That's probably what made me think of Weather Report. Oddly, the bass player is Japanese, and Teubel is from Spain. Wonder how this band ever got together.

The audience has filled in pretty well - I guess a lot of people want to see the last band before they go home. It's amazing how all these college kids and early 20-somethings have been digging fusion bands, prog bands - stuff that you wouldn't normally think they'd like. I guess as long as it's presented as a "festival band" and not a "prog band", it's cool. Even out in the parking lot, when the group across from me was having bloody marys yesterday morning, they were listening to some cool spacey dance music.

A guy just went up and asked the saxophone player if they have any CDs for sale, while the band was playing. What the hell. And even stranger, the sax player put down his sax and went and got a pile of CDs and laid them out at the front of the stage. Now that's some salesmanship. I'll have to get a CD after the set - these guys are good.

Just realized that the two bands this weekend that I liked most (other than the ones I had been expecting to like) were the very first one I saw and the very last one. Odd.

The quartet is taking a set break in the middle of their set. Really strange. They were only scheduled to play for an hour and 45 minutes, and they're spending about 20 minutes of it taking a break. Works for me though - I'll take this opportunity to hit the restroom and buy a "Some Kind of Jam 10" t-shirt.

As this break stretches out, since we're only 45 minutes or so away from the end of a very, very long weekend of music, I might as well take this opportunity to jot down some final thoughts about the festival.

There were a couple times this weekend when I almost bailed (mostly during the dead of night, when I was afraid of freezing to death), but I'm glad I stayed to the end. I wish the weather could have been as nice all weekend as it is now on Sunday afternoon.

Most of the people here were really nice. My next door neighbor's group decided to go home during the set break, and before leaving he came over and wished me a safe drive home. Nice. At times I felt like the square old man at the festival, and I certainly don't look or act like most of the people here, but in general I was socially comfortable most of the time. Wish I could say the same about physical comfort (FRIGGIN' COLD!)

OK, the band has started up again and I want to enjoy the last half hour or so of music. So I'll just finish by saying that I'm really looking forward to getting home to a hot shower, a heated house, a clean, private bathroom and a warm, soft, comfortable bed. Knowing me though, I'll probably immediately start writing reviews of the festival on the web [and, of course, I did].

As I drove off the festival grounds, a volunteer handed me a "newspaper" that served as the festival's program. That probably would have been a good thing to hand out at the beginning of the weekend instead of the end. Oh well.

The newspaper also contained an advertisement for the Madsummer Meltdown festival in June. I'd really like to go to that one - as much as I enjoyed this weekend, I think I'd enjoy it even more without the fear of frostbite. But when I mentioned it to my wife, she pointed out that it occurs the same week we have a planned (and already paid for) family vacation to Disney World. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Additional Photos

I took a lot of cool pictures over the course of the weekend - far more than I could jam onto this page. So here are some additional photos:

Photos from Friday

Photos from Saturday - Part 1

Photos from Saturday - Part 2

Photos from Sunday


As mentioned at the top of this page, many recordings from Some Kind of Jam 10 are available on the web -

From (where you can stream the music or download as FLAC, MP3 or OGG):

Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang's Thursday night pre-show set
The Hornitz Friday afternoon on the main stage
UZO's Friday evening set on the musical madness stage
The Steepwater Band's Friday evening set on the main stage
Consider the Source's Friday night set on the main stage
The Motet's Friday night headliner show on the main stage
The Big Dirty's late-night Friday (into Saturday) set on the indoor jamhouse stage
Hayley Jane and the Primate's Saturday opener set on the main stage
Hayley Jane and the Primate's Saturday afternoon set at the campground gazebo
Jelly Bread's Saturday evening set on the main stage
Poor Man's Whiskey's Saturday night set on the main stage
Particle's Saturday night headliner set on the main stage

As of this writing, a few other shows are available from the eTree torrenting site, but they require the knowlege and software to do torrents and play FLAC files. And unfortunately once all the existing "seeds" dry up, these recordings become unavailable. And they have to be downloaded, they can't be streamed. I don't know why they weren't put up on like the other shows, but if you've got the software and skills, there's definitely some music here worth listening to:

Carbon Mirage's Friday opener set on the main stage
Muppet & Troutman's between-band solo set Friday afternoon on the main stage
Los Colognes Saturday afternoon set on the main stage
Note that the last 15-20 minute of the "untitled session" file in the Los Colognes torrent is Nina Scarcia's Saturday afternoon bewteen-band solo set.

And finally, if you don't mind spending $7 to download a live set (it's totally worth it), here's a link to The Mantra's late-night Saturday (into Sunday) set on the indoor jamhouse stage

Unfortunately, no recordings have surfaced from Sunday (at least not yet). I'd love to hear Mateo Monk's set, the Wahoo Skiffle Crazies on the main stage and especially the Emilio Teubal Quartet's set, but so far no dice. The sound tent was taken down early Sunday morning, so maybe no recordings were even made of those bands. I'm glad I bought CDs from all of them, so at least I have those to listen to.