Images from Jibberjazz's Some Kind of Jam 11

This past weekend I attended another great JibberJazz festival, the 11th annual "Some Kind of Jam" fest. Around 30 bands on 4 stages, with nearly continuous live music playing from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. Plus all the camping, partying, light shows, fire dancers, vendors, food, tie-died t-shirts, costumes, bumper stickers, painting, artwork, kids, dogs and friendly people you could possibly want, topped off with a parade.

This was my third JibberJazz event, so now that I know the lay of the land I was able to just relax and watch a whole bunch of bands. And take a lot of pictures, the best of which are presented here.

Last year I wrote up a lengthy diary of Some Kind of Jam 10, complete with a boatload of pictures. This year I decided to just experience the festival and not take a bunch of notes (I forgot to even carry my camera along with me until about half way through the first day). So no long write-up this year, just photos. I will mention that overall the weather was much better this year - it rained pretty hard on Friday night (and I discovered that my tent is no longer waterproof) and Saturday night temperatures got down to near freezing levels again, but for most of the weekend it was sunny and warm, nothing like the continuous bone-chilling cold of last year.

The festival-goers were very friendly again this year, for the most part. I ended up camping next to a group that were closer to my age (which is a couple decades older than most of the 20-somethings there), and we talked a few times over the weekend, whenever I went back to the tent to get something. I also had a complete stranger offer me a lollypop (which I took after confirming that it was just a lollypop).

In general, everyone I talked to was really nice, but I didn't really talk with that many people. I always get the sense that I'm the only one there who isn't with a group or at least part of a couple. Some of that is because I'm almost always watching the various bands and don't spend a lot of time just hanging out and partying - this time I managed to see at least a song or two by every single band, except for the 3am band on Saturday (they were still playing when I woke up at 6:30 on Sunday but by the time I got dressed and walked there from my tent, they had just finished).

Anyway, this year it just really struck me how I seem to be the only "lone wolf" at the festival. Next time I go, I'll have to make more of an effort to talk to people and maybe find a group to hang out with a bit. There was a guy at the back of the main stage area who had a sign that said "Tell me your story" - he spent the entire weekend talking with random strangers. I don't know if I want to go that far, but it would be nice to feel like I belong there a little more.

Anyway, enough rambling - here's some pictures:

Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang Bluegrass band Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang. You don't get much more country than a band with two banjos, a washboard, a barefoot mandolin player and a dog on stage.

Balancing Rocks I walked past this rock pile several times on Friday, and despite some high winds those rocks remained balanced there all day. I think I saw the people who pulled this off later in the weekend (see below).

The Indoor Jamhouse decorations The Indoor Jamhouse, decorated with an undersea theme, just before the late-night sets got started Friday night

On The Spot Trio's Keyboard The internal organs of the On The Spot Trio's keyboard

Artist Bob Ross projected on back wall Bob Ross painting happy little trees, projected on the back wall of the Indoor Jamhouse

Yosemight with On the Spot Trio keyboardist One of my favorite bands of the weekend, Yosemight, with the keyboardist from On The Spot Trio sitting in. This picture was taken around 4:30 in the morning. For some reason, bands that I really like often seem to end up with the 3am slot.

Stage clock showing 5:30 am I took this picture of the stage clock just to prove that I lasted until 5:30 am. Apparently the band called it quits about half an hour later when the crowd dwindled to just a handful of people.

Kate Vargas and the Reckless Daughters I took this picture of Kate Vargas and the Reckless Daughters on the Campground Stage mostly to document that mystery box that the percussionist played. Somehow it sounded like a full drum kit when she tapped different areas on it. Later in the set, someone's car alarm started going off and the band managed to incorporate it into a song.

Black Masala on the main stage Another of my favorite bands of the weeekend, Washington D.C. based Black Masala brought high-energy gypsy music with a horn section to the main stage Saturday afternoon.


Black Masala's vocalist and trombonist in the audience Black Masala's vocalist and trombonist bring the music to the people

Using a folding metal chair as a percussion instrument Using a folding metal chair as an improvised percussion instrument

Hula-Hoopers at Sunset I think this is my favorite photo that I took this weekend. Near the end of a great set by Strange Mechanics at the Musical Madness stage, a sudden influx of hula-hoopers descended on the area, just as the setting sun was casting long shadows into the pavillion. The combination of the light, dust in the air and the gyrations of the hoopers made for some great pictures.

More Hula-Hoopers Another photo of the sunset hula-hoopers

Even More Hula-Hoopers And another

Yet Even More Hula-Hoopers And another

And Yet Even More Hula-Hoopers And just one more

Lebowski Fest 'Go Out and Achieve Anyway' bumper sticker My favorite bumper sticker of the weekend

The Mike Dillon Band photographed from the tall grasses in front of the stage This was my attempt to get an artsy picture of the Mike Dillon Band from the tall grass in front of the stage. Dillon wasn't my favorite act of the weekend, but I have to admit that I've never seen a punk/rap band led by an electric vibraphonist before.

Late Night blacklight artist Late Night Saturday - an artist paints by blacklight in the Indoor Jamhouse

Shokazoba on stage late night Saturday The band Shokazoba kicked off a chilly late night Saturday show with their funky, horn-driven music and political lyrics.

Late Night Indoor Jamhouse crowd The Late Night Indoor Jamhouse crowd, around 11:30 Saturday night

Late Night light show Another picture of the Indoor Jamhouse's light show, taken not long before I decided to call it a night. Over the course of the three day weekend, I think I slept a total of about eight hours.

Sunday morning Yoga class Sunday morning Yoga class by the kid's area tent

Beautiful Sunday at the main stage The weather was beautiful for the three acts that closed out the festival on the main stage Sunday afternoon, but the shows were pretty sparsely attended. There were more people sitting behind me and dancing off to my right though.

This Way to the Egress on the main stage Sunday The fairly wacky band This Way To The Egress from Bethlehem, PA were a highlight on Sunday. They played everything from dixieland to a Disney song cover and even threw in a headbanging tuba solo. Hard to describe but amazing to see.

Creating art by piling rocks During the final band of the weekend, the couple in front of me created miniature artworks by carefully balancing rocks on top of each other

Picture of photographer And how's this for meta - I took a picture of the festival's unofficial photographer taking a picture of the rock sculptures that I had just taken photographed being created

Chalk Art on pavement The end result of a busy weekend for the chalk artists. You can't see much of it (except the tail in the upper left part of the picture) but someone drew a huge, nicely done and, um, artistically topless mermaid.

An artist paints to the final band on Sunday And finally, this sums up the mellow vibe on Sunday - an artist paints in the sun while the jazz fusion band Bonzo Terks play the final set of the festival.