Month: June 2011

mid-summer update

At the beginning of this summer I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing for the duration of four months, and now two have gone by and this may be the third time I’ve opened up my laptop. Sitting with it open for 20 hours per day during the semester is a good way to get burned out on this whole technology thing. I do have to remind my mac I love her once in a while otherwise she will revolt.

My last post was from my second day at Bonnaroo, and I never posted finished photos so here are a few:

Other than drum-building, which I spent the majority of my time doing, I was able to see and hear some amazing sets: Old Crow Medicine Show, Eminem, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Matt & Kim, Florence & The Machine, GirlTalk, BassNectar, NOFX, Buffalo Springfield, Robyn, Lil Wayne, Primus, and Scissor Sisters (w/ Lady Gaga as a backup dancer). Not bad for a fest I got paid to be at.  The only shows I missed that I would have chopped an arm off for are Beats Antique and Arcade Fire.  I can’t wait until next year. I hope to do a few more drum workshops in the meantime. I’m planning another one here in Tallahassee for  early this fall.  It never occurred to me until recently that I could have written a thesis on my drum-building adventures. I know this seems like a big “duh!”, but I’ve been doing it off and on for so long that the phenomenology of it seems so second-nature.  I’m hoping an article will come out of it some day soon.

After Bonnaroo I was home for a few days after which I kidnapped several friends to New Orleans for a blast of a weekend. It was an odd one for me because I can’t remember a time when I’ve played tour-guide so intently. We even did the Katrina tour, including my old house which I hadn’t gone back to in years. I had a great time because my friends are so awesome, however I feel like I pushed and pulled them in a thousand different directions. I’m so passionate about the city and I want everyone else to love it as much as I do. I have to remember I can’t show people an entire city or ten years worth of memories in two days. I’m hoping next time can be a bit more relaxing, and filled with more of the lazy musicking I adore so much…

Here we are a few days from July and my research productivity has been close to zero. I have a giant stack of books with my name on it, and it’s time to get up close and personal with them in between soaking up this Florida sunshine and giving a hearty “Cheers!’ with some absolutely amazing friends.  We were supposed to head up to Kentucky this weekend for the Romp Festival in Owensboro where the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Steve Martin, and Emmylou Harris were taking the stage. Although I didn’t make it for financial reasons, I still have two major festivals to look forward to before the fall semester starts.

In a little over three weeks I’m heading north to spend some time with my family which will involve time on Cape Cod, in Central MA, a week on a reservation in northern NY, a few days in Quebec, and four days building drums and meditating at a festival in the Berkshires. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a jolly 4th, a couple of St. George’s Island beach days, a weekend trip to Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a FL coastal road trip to happen in the meantime.

For now, my house is a mess, I’m on Season 7 of The West Wing, I’ve got four drums sitting in my office which need to be finished, a stack of books begging to be read, and two dogs that need to run…. Cheers!


Today started off hot. At 7:30am I found myself dying of heat and popped out of my tent. After half a gallon of ice water and a much deserved PB&J, we headed toward Centeroo. A 45 minute walk later, we arrived… Spent the morning building shelving for the drum tent, sawing down a few saplings to create ceiling ambience, and putting drums on shelves. After a cold can of spaghettios for lunch (camping luxury), and some Uncle Ben’s ready-to-eat rice with palak paneer on top for dinner, we spent the evening building sample drums for customers. It’s midnight,
I’m exhausted and grimy, and in this particular camp spot, I’m surrounded by 30,000 trashed folks all partying like it’s the apocalypse, shooting off fireworks, and being fabulously silly. …. And the fest doesn’t officially start until tomorrow afternoon. A few pics from the day:













‘Twas the Tuesday before Bonnaroo…

…when all through the fields,
Every camper was shouting
“Bonnaroooooooo’s almost here!!”

Excuse the grammar below. I’m on
An iPhone here.

Got to Manchester at about 6pm tonight. No lines or waiting at the gate or at super secret vendor check-in. Set up our tent at the edge of the fest, then took a trip to the store for some watermelon margaritas, blueberry bread, and some Chef Boyardee. Met some locals at Subway who were wearing tie dyed shirts so they’d “fit in” with the fest folk.

Walked around a very quiet Centeroo for a couple hours. Folks are working hard. Vendors setting up, stages getting last minute touches before tomorrow’s sound checks, volunteers learning the ropes. Sat in our camp chairs, poured margarita into plastic wine glasses, plopped a little tiki umbrella into the drink, sipped… Listened to Zeppelin pouring through a far-away speaker, Gaga on the stereo at the camp next door, a guy wandering around twanging his banjo. Some pre-fest pics: