Almost SCI YarmonyGrass

Skipping the Gorge? Want to see String Cheese but don't want to do the huge festival circuit, ie; bonnaroo and electric forest. Give YarmonyGrass a glance. There is a decent line-up that includes all of the members of SCI;

The Trancident - New SCI side project w/ Travis, Hollingsworth, Kang, and Hahn

Emmitt Nershi Band - Speaks for itself

Nershi-Law - Scott Law is great with Nershi

The Grant Farm w/ Keith Moseley - Keith's thing

That makes for a slight chance of a impromptu taste of an Incident for the late Saturday night session where a collaboration is scheduled, or whenever else...but highly unlikely. This idea got some speed in an article in the Vail Daily 'String Cheese Incident Members all Scheduled for YarmonyGrass'. Hey, in 2008 it happened, at Yarmony all members except Keith got together for 'Will it Go Round in Circles'. If you are in Colorado Aug. 4-6th, don't miss what could be the best low key festival of the season.

Don't miss the float trip this year, check out this video from last years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=737now8RdUA&feature=related
and heres another video from 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ-MZtAbYuQ&feature=related

Other great bands to see on the Yarmony lineup;

Greensky Bluegrass
The Travelin' McCourys
Head for the Hills
Dead Winter Carpenters
Pete Kartsounes band

Looking for other shows or pre/after-parties?

At State Bridge Lodge see The Wailers on Aug. 3rd complete with sand dance floor on the Colorado River.

Also, Aug. 4 - YarmonyGrass PreParty at the Lodge

In Colorado and want something earlier, a pre pre-party.. at thee20south in Breckenridge they will have Pete Kartsounes Band with the Drunken Hears June 10th. Also, The Grant Farm w/ the Drunken Hearts July 1th. They will be diving out YarmonyGrass gear and raffling a pair of festival tickets, enter at the parties.

Tahoe for Phish! Camping, and Riff Raff

Lake Tahoe is sold out and promises to be a summer highlight. If you are looking for some camping spots, here are some recommendations;

Camping Tahoe for Phish

'Campground by the Lake' - nearest to Harvey's.

Tahoe Valley Campgrounds - Good place to party.

Emerald Bay Campground - Beautiful views, a bit more family oriented, quiet.


Want to get a hotel? Can't handle nature? The lake + Phish is too much for some people, maybe too cold also, but do you really want to risk bed bugs? If so continue to read;

Best Western - just a couple blocks from Harvey's.

Stay at Harvey's...as close as it gets one would assume.

Montbleu - closer

Rent one of these little cabins http://tahoelodging.escapia.com/Unit.mvc/Details/14880

After Party? Night Life, Bars

The Divided Sky - A sweet little bar with music usually at night, food, and a full bar. Their signature drink is the fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit and finlandia vodka, refreshing and healthy especially after a 2 day phish run.

Montbleu Showroom - 8/9 Karl Denson's Tiny Universe w/ Mama's Cookin' 
Doors at 10pm, Show at 11pm

Great after-show/party option; 8/10 Lotus w/ Big Gigantic at Montbleu Showroom '    '

8/9 EOTO at Montbleu
8/10 Dumpstaphunk at Montbleu

Try this for bars and pubs..it is pretty cool; beermapping

Driving from Hollywood?

Take the 395 Route, which is awesome. It takes about 3 1/2 hours to get to Lone Pine and then there are a few places you can crash, motels, camping and even a hostel. Theres also a hostel downtown Lake Tahoe you may want to check out, $30/night usually, it's called the Monaco. Also the AAE Shamrock and Cal Lodge are nearby hostels.

Visit the ghost town of Bodie...there are over 150 some abandoned buildings you can explore and smoke out.

Have fun and resist the urge to use fireworks or have a fire pretty much in general and you won't be hassled while camping down in the basin.


Phish Holmdel...Jersey. Camping and good stuff, side trip.

Holmdel, New Jersey

What a place to be seeing Phish. Jersey. Anyways, after Bethel it will be fun despite anything else. Looking for a place to camp? Trying to avoid the police? Read on...

Camping @ Holmdel

Keep it cheap and camp out at the nearest chillest place, that you're going to find in NJ, and just be generally careful of law enforcement presence out there, bad reputation, but so does anywhere.

Goto Cheesequake State Park;

It will only take 13 minutes if you take Garden State Parkway North, 8 miles from the venue. Not quite walking material..also it is a state park so be cool with alcohol etc.

There is a lake, showers, big green flies, hiking, and campsites with firepits what more do you want?

Other things to do? Goto Holmdel Park...it is as close as you are going to get for rolling countryside here. Beautiful park with hiking and happiness abundance. Honestly there is nothing to do in Holmdel, after Phish quickly pack up the tent and get to Michigan or Ohio.


Going to Pickin' in the Pines Flagstaff?

Pickin' in the Pines

Flagstaff, AZ - Home of Ponderosa Pines, quaint bars and downtown, hippies & hobos...and a decent little bluegrass scene. This year they got Sam Bush. Finally, it has been a long time coming that they book a decent name to help put Pickin in the Pines on the map. Always this festival has been great, the town and location, and vibe. If you go be sure to see Muskellunge Bluegrass whom are local Flagstaff folk that are truly a kick ass bluegrass band. Here is some local info for anyone travelling;


If you aren't camping at the festival, or are looking to extend your trip, there is an abundance of amazing camping sites in the area. Try down Lake Mary Rd. take a left at the only road you can inbetween lower and upper lake mary..then go around the curves and head straight down the road towards Marshall Lake. The drive alone is worth it, only a few minutes but lots of lakes and forest scenery.


Undoubtedly there will be post-shows announced, where bands performing at the festival will also perform downtown at a local bar. These bars would be one of these options;

Mia's Lounge - good place for always free live music, lots of college-hipster type kids in the crowd. Nice patio out back.

The Green Room - great stage and floor space for shows, the bar is popular and gets packed. sometimes a cover charge.

Flag Brew - one of the coolest little bars, frequent 'patio parties' with bands playing outdoors, kind-of a Dead bar.

Monte Vista - on half of the vintage hotel is a vintage bar...that has a pool area, and stage and frequent live music usually free.

Charly's - great bar in the Weatherford historic hotel downtown, has two stories and a bar on each floor, the upper featuring a balcony to get drunk and yell and throw things at the maloneys and collins bro bar crowd. And free popcorn!

Also while you are downtown getting drunk and watching music, make a stop at Primo's across the street from Mia's Lounge and The Joint strip club...awesome little chicago hot dog place that does a lot of business around 2am (last call).

Avoid drinking and driving, this town is crawling with police that love to bust drunk drivers..it's a college town, and definitely a drinking town.

The best or most fun hotels to stay at would be the Weatherford at Charly's or the Monte Vista hotel. Very historic and a hopping bar with music at night.

Side Trips

Make sure to check out Sedona if you have never been. Red rocks galore and new agey tourist mecca. There are vortex's mannn.

Take the scenic route which is a fun drive from Flag to Sedona down 89a...Head south from town or the venue. Only a 30-45 minute drive. Oak Creek Canyon is on the way and is beautiful. Check out Grasshopper Point (obvious sign before town entrance) for cliff jumping and swimming. Oh yeah..and if you really want to do a scenic/fun drive, and have 4x4 (must have 4wd!) take the exit for Schnebly Hill rd off the highway towards sedona/phoenix, and follow that rocky switchback road down to Sedona. It is beautiful, a lot of old westerns were shot in the area.

If you are fighting a hangover during the festival goto Altitudes Bar & Grill by the railroad tracks downtown, and get yourself a bloody mary, they make them the best here. Also on Sundays is a 'bloody mary bar' where you build your own, delicious day-starter.

 Apparantly there are some hot springs in the area of sedona/prescott, if you want a real hike with a reward at the end, check out Verde Hot Springs..google it. Another great hike is in Flagstaff, up Mt. Elden. Will post more random area info as it comes to mind...


Going to the Gorge/NWSS Continued..

Vashon Island, Washington

During your gap time before or after the Gorge shows, you may want to consider checking out the Pike Place Market etc. in Seattle...then for something more unique take the ferry from Seattle to Vashon Island...it's practically out of the movie 'The Wicker Man'. You can stay in a teepee at the Hostel on the island. This is a very affordable awesome place. Then head into the village on the island for a reggae or related show at the one of maybe two bars the Red Bicycle...and meet some local Vashonians..hippy island folk.

  • While at Pike Place Market....
Stay at the Tortoise! The Green Tortoise is a hostel downtown literally across the street from the Pike Place Market. It is cheap and fun, do the pub crawl if your alone and bored. There is a little burlesque place on the corner there, you'll see it, where you can get an absinthe buzz. 

Widespread Panic Taos show Tips

Going to Taos? Check out the hot springs;

There are two hot springs in the Rio Grande river canyon just outside of Taos, NM. The more public of the pair is located on the western bank of the river, accessed by a relatively short trail leading from the first tight turn of the dirt road after crossing the bridge over the river.
Turn off NM 522 at Arroyo Hondo, NM.

The more private is on the east side of the river, a couple miles below the other spring. It is accessed via US 64, turning on Tune Dr a dirt road, before crossing the Gorge Bridge across the Rio Grande river. From there about 5 miles until the parking area and trailhead. A foot trail leads downriver from there a bit over a mile to the springs at the edge of the river. 

  • Camping @ Taos 
The word is that the on-site camping may not be ideal, so here are other options;

(it has been said that the venue camping is in a school yard, no fires, no smoking, no alcohol, across the street from a police station)

Check out Carson National Forest camping;

6 + miles from the venue, off Hwy 64 southeast of town or off Hwy 150 north of town. Or just get a room nearby, or deal with the camping, because all you want is the option to stumble to your tent after the show anyways.

Best places for a pre-game happy hour; 'The Gorge' 3-5, 'Alley Cantina' 5-7, Shadows Lounge 4-6.

Pre-Summit Prep

String Summit requires minimal planning, other than a cooler, money, lighter, maybe a portable stove, sleeping bag and tent. But here are a few other pointers for those of you about to experience your first Summit. This is the best festival or music event. The place to be is Horning's Hideout this time July.

  • Beer and Liquor
Is strictly forbidden...the security will confiscate your goods, and you will be making multiple trips to the gas station throughout the weekend. You can get booze in then, easily, if you are smart enough to get other things in. Here is a quickie; Take the spare tire out of your compartment (assuming you have a subaru or something with that compartment in the rear/trunk. Replace tire with 30 packs of PBR and ice bags. Enjoy the best weekend of your life!

  • Camping Spots
The best spots will be found by those who show up the early-bird night. Thursday...and why would you miss it when Greensky Bluegrass will be performing that night! Get the early-bird special! If you walk towards the stage from parking, up the dirt road just before the top right main entrance is camping area to the left in the trees. Just follow a path to the left into the trees and you can score a spot right by the concert entrance! Any spot is a good spot at Horning's really though.

  • Don't lose your wristband/bracelet
This can become a huge pain in the ass, if it falls off while you are setting up tent and you don't realize it until showtime..it is a big disappointment and hassle.

  • Best spot to have a preshow safety meeting
If you're looking for a good place to take a seat and enjoy some fresh air and other fun things, check out towards the water to the left of the stage, there is a small bridge walkway, and an island thing. Go sit there, and enjoy a beverage and smoke.

  • Bring a hammock
Seriously, this is a nice thing to have. 

Going to the Gorge or String Summit?

If you are headed to the Gorge shows, or Northwest String Summit, or even the

Widespread Panic Eugene date, be sure to take heed..

Some great spots to check out for a quick tour stop or to fill those gaps between String Summit and the gorge...

1. Bagby Hot Springs

Not far from Portland, or String Summit, or the Gorge depending on what the terms of far are...just between Oregon City and Portland sort-of..in the woods, surrounded by beauty;

This place is a great place to 'renew' and 'heal'...so the Indians say, natural hot springs heal all sorts of ailments and trouble in life, what better way to keep a road trip in the right direction. There are individual little rooms, private tubs, made of logs carved out, with a door and all, this is a really cool part of this place. It is a short hike in, takes 10 to 15 minutes, and you can camp at the entrance as well, or down the road you came from at multiple great spots.

2. The White Eagle Rock & Roll Hotel

This is the coolest little bar and hotel/hostel in Portland. Private rooms with shared bathrooms, European style. Cheap rooms usually 40-60 bucks/night. Free live music practically every night, awesome food and beer, you can live here for a week somewhat cheaply and comfortably.

3. Canada

Why not? It's like 2 hours or less from the Gorge shows...There is a little town, the last stop from the border that your can exit and go bury your stash in some yard or something. Once in Canada, head to Vancouver and line up a hostel or go camping.

4. McMinnville (Oregon Hotel)

A really nice rooftop bar and classy vintage feel rooms.

Rate the Venues (Phish Post)

Rate the Venues - Phish 1st leg

What follows is some Phish info, please go to next post if you are not here for Phish information. This is based on a phantasytour post...rated the venues, were they good/bad for one reason or another? Whether the security sucked, or you just sucked. Good lot scene, etc..;

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston, MI
Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH
Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh, NC
Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA

Now here are the results;

taking cops, traffic and overall venue sound and sight into the equation 1-10 scale

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY 7
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ 6
DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston, MI 7
Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH 7
Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH 5
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA 5
Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY 4
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ 5
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD 5
Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA 7
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC 6
Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh, NC 7
Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA 7

Nothing that great here. Sheds are sheds. Bethel is nice before they put the fence up around it - traffic and cops in the lot are also a big issue.

Blossom, Mansfield, Camden, MMP all lack camping it I remember right.

Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park = no security, beautiful venue, easy going ushers, small, cozy 

MPP has camping at nearby state parks..can come and go as you please..it's a 30 minute drive, but cheap as dirt.

Portsmouth- beautiful small venue on the water 

Darien = Grass parking lot, theme park, big white tent. Darien is like a giant cop trap also.

Blossom is laid back and incredible. inside and out. the place was built for the cleveland symphony so the acoustics are great.


Beloved Books From Highschool

  1. "The Hobbit"

Okay so maybe this was more like middle school, or 5th grade ...or even 4th. But it is still the best.

      2. "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"

You can live inside this book, throughout highschool. Or be less socially inept. Zarathustra is a character that can be a metaphor to Jesus in ways...perhaps even historical religion-wise. Anyways, he comes down from the mountains to enlight the people, the people of herd-mentality. "and Zarathustra began to go under" a life changing book.

3. "Less Than Zero"

This book is enjoyable and intriguing but a bit disturbing. Sex, drugs, and the 80's..or is it 70's? Awesome book that a terrible movie was apparently attempted of, don't waste your time.

4. "Da Vinci Code"

Yeah, it is in the list. This was before the movie and hype though. This is an awesome book.

Okay so this is going beyond Highschool into ALL TIME favorites...grade school, back in the day.

4. "Tangerine"


Random..but likeable..and it could've been fourth grade. You can't even write about it.

5. "The BFG"

Ultimate. It's motherf*%king  Roald Dahl. The BFG is so much fun, where farts and burps are a good thing again.

6. "Fallen Angels"

This book was amazing, in middle-school mind you, but this book rocks. It is a war book, but still fun and interesting to read. This is also the list desperately failing to continue further.

7. "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Classic and awesome, classicly awesome. The story of a man with such charm and love of vanity that it leads to his own demise, his beauty only ages and fades in the magical painting. Oscar Wilde the great.

8. "The Little Boy and the Tree"

Good book, you will cry, and be happy.

9. "Fugitives and Refugees"

If you are interested in Portland, check this out. If you aren't, give it a read anyways...very good book.


Thrifty Cheap Ways to Travel the World

When the thought of travel arises, you think adventure, living, experience, cultures, and expenses. How do people afford it? It is actually simple. There are a few ways anybody could travel the states or the entire planet. It takes a bit of scrappiness, a willingness to struggle, but for those of us the cons never outweigh the pros when it comes to seeing the world and experiencing life while we have it. You will need street smarts, and common sense, and some internet savyness to do proper reasearch.

Now go do something awesome and live or visit abroad...these sites will greatly assist you;

  • Become a WOOFER...that is; join WOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms);

Work on an organic farm in some country and get rent and living expenses paid for in exchange for a helpful hand, some hard work, or maybe not so hard work.

  • Check out workaway.info... it is a great site I found...I havn't been able to do extensive research on it but it appears to be totally legit and will provide you living situations...a private home or house, in some awesome country around the world, in exchange for some enjoyable type of work, like help at a hostel or farm.

  •  And then there is couchsurfing.org or whatever..that place is good, and obvious. I would personally rather use something like hostelbookers.


absolute best movies ever

The absolute best movies ever created in no particular order, if you haven't seen one you should rent it tonight, guaranteed no disappointment. These are unchangeable and undebateable, the list has been made. According to some guy, a very reputable guy.

the absolute best movies ever

  • "Seven Years In Tibet" 

Easily one of the best movies of all time. Brad Pitt isn't that bad, actually perfect for the role. If you know nothing of Tibet this would be a good movie to see. Pitt hangs out with the young version of the current Dalai Lama. Good stuff.

  • "2 Days In Paris"

A great low key movie, romatic and funny. Adam Goldberg plays a hypochondriac American in Paris with his French girlfriend visiting home.

  • "Away We Go"

Another low key movie, kind-of romantic, kind-of funny, type of movie that is really good, kind-of like the next movie in the list..

  • "The Tao of Steve" 
A really  underlooked movie, the chubby happy guy that smokes bongs and philosophizes about how to slay the ladies with his friends learns to love.

  • The Wes Anderson Collection: Life Aquatic, Royal Tenenbaums, and Darjeeling Limited.

Why not? Steve Zissou smoking hooters in a submarine gives warm fuzzies. If you like Bill Murray comedy, you will probably like all of these.

  • "The 13th Warrior"

Awesome adventure movie, Antonio Banderas kicks ass. If you don't like it you are probably boring and shallow...or cool and deep?

  • "Annie Hall"

This is a really good movie. Have to mix it up with a classy classic. Romantic, and funny.

  • "The Shawshank Redemption"

This movie is amazing. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will think about it for a long time. Lots of social contrasts or metaphors in here. Everything about this movie is perfect.

  • "The Doors Movie"

This is a good movie even if you aren't under the influence. Val Kilmer does his best acting ever as Jim Morrison, it is trippy, psychedlic, will blow your mind man. Smoke a j and spend a day with The Doors, "did you have a good life when you died? Enough to base a movie on?"

I did mention that these are in No particular order...

  • "Apocalypse Now" 

If you didn't like 'The Doors Movie' you may not like this. Another one in the trippy realm, it is long and goes in strange directions but locks you in. Some of the best cinematography ever, from ceiling fans segue into helicopter blades and explosions choreographed in sync to The Doors - The End.

  • "What Dreams May Come"

One of the coolest movies ever made. Very romantic, moving, entertaining, colorful, innovative, and an all around original movie. It will not be forgotten.