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
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:
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.
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, decorated with an undersea theme, just before the late-night sets got started Friday night
The internal organs of the On The Spot Trio's keyboard
Bob Ross painting happy little trees, projected on the back wall of the Indoor Jamhouse
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.
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.
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.
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 bring the music to the people
Using a folding metal chair as an improvised percussion instrument
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.
Another photo of the sunset hula-hoopers
And just one more
My favorite bumper sticker of the weekend
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 Saturday - an artist paints by blacklight in the Indoor Jamhouse
The band Shokazoba kicked off a chilly late night Saturday show with their funky, horn-driven music and political lyrics.
The Late Night Indoor Jamhouse crowd, around 11:30 Saturday night
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 by the kid's area tent
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.