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Woodstock it is not, more like the little adopted brother that followed Woodstock around while it was getting big and thought "some day that will be me!" The Wakarusa Music Festival (a.k.a Waka or Wak-Fest for short) is that little brother; the five-year old little bro that's working its way up to hopefully one day be as great as its big brother.

With this being only the fifth [Wakarusa] festival ever put on, it's apparent that it has what it takes to really be something amazing. Between Wakarusa and Bonaroo, my generation has something to hold onto for that down-to-earth kind of experience. What made this festival even better? It was in Kansas! In my hometown of Lawrence, in fact. For the first time in two years, I only had to drive 20 minutes to get to my destination. Fantastic! So Thursday morning we set off for our adventures at the Waka, this is a little recollection of what happened:

From the first interview I did for Hybrid, I was thankful and grateful for the opportunities it has given me. Never before did I think I could do what I am doing now. Having the chance to interview all these great bands of today has been amazing. So needless to say, never in a million billion years did I think I would have the opportunity to interview a great band/mind of the past. That was until I received an email confirming my interview with THE Tommy Ramone. Tommy is the only surviving member of the historic punk rock band The Ramones. It is because of this man and this band that we as a society today have the genre Punk Rock. You're welcome Bowling For Soup, Sum 41, The Toadies and all the other bands that call themselves "punk." However with his "brothers" gone, Tommy has found another means of music. And his escape comes in the form of bluegrass. His performance with the current project Uncle Monk at the festival allowed for me to have a few moments. So in the presence of his greatness I asked a few questions (and naturally had to stick in a few about the Ramones):

Hybrid Magazine: Tell me about Uncle Monk. A.) Where did it come from? Have you always had a bluegrass side to you? B.) It seems that some of the greatest songwriters and musicians are drawn to bluegrass later in their careers, why is that?

Tommy Ramone: a.) I've always loved bluegrass. When I was very young and first came to this country my older brother would bring home records from the library of swing bands and bluegrass music. So I grew up listening to it. It's always been a favorite music of mine. Though I it never occurred to me that I would be playing it. As I grew up The Beatles and Rolling Stones came along and I got into rock. But about 15 years ago I got a banjo and just fell in love with the instrument. b.) I think that they discover how great a music it is. It's so rich in feeling and texture. I think they discover it later.

HM: A.) In your eyes are there any defining points in the past 30 years that the music industry has changed its course? B.) Do you fear for what it might become in the future?

Tommy:a.) I don't know if there have really been any defining points, it's more of an evolutionary thing. But sometimes unexpected things happen and sort of bubble up to the top. Music has gotten more and more segmented, more and more genres, etc. It's sort of been happening through the decades. Everything's getting a little segregated. Earlier in the '60s and early '70s, people would listen to all kinds of music. They wouldn't be so limited to having one favorite as they are now. I think if people allow themselves to taste different menus of music, they'll discover there's a whole world out there.
b.) There is certainly a lot of quantity, but the quality still seems good. So I think that live music is much bigger now and it's more going towards the live thing. I think record companies are going to evolve more into publicists and promotional companies. It's all going to have to be sorted out.

HM: Bluegrass music has an aspect to it that maintains its sustainability throughout many years. What do you think it is about this genre that keeps it (and its bands) around?

Tommy: It's sort of a language all its own. It's a cosmic thing, that's also deep and emotional and kind of special. One has to listen to it a little before they catch the bug. Taking up the instruments in a progressive manner opens up doors with experimentation and so many things can be done with just the instruments and the basic ground work of those instruments. You can segment it into different directions; it can have lots of branches and grow in different directions too.

HM: When describing how you write your music, you mention you add texture (through different instruments), what do you mean? Can you elaborate?

Tommy: The acoustic instruments themselves are very rich in harmonics. It's also the influences of the traditional music we hear, from recordings as far back as the 1920s. It has a lot of that old mountain soulfulness. And the music is inherently textural, it's gritty, and has a natural ambiance.

Ok I have to ask a few Ramone questions:
HM: With the music that you wrote and produced with the Ramones, you pioneered a genre that has grown exponentially since. However the punk rock sound has drastically changed. Are you happy to see it change with the times, or do you almost feel an injustice that it has changed so much?

Tommy: What they call punk rock has generated with every generation of young people coming up. It's sort of in a way electric folk music. People pick up instruments and just start getting their emotions out. They can do it anyway they want to, that's what it's for. I'm glad that they've found the genre so exciting, I like it a lot.

HM: When you were 18 you worked on a Hendrix album, what an experience that must have been. Did you get to meet Jimi? Was he as crazy as I'm sure everyone thought he was?

Tommy: It was so amazing. I was so young and at that time he was some deity or something, it was very strange. He was great and wonderful to work with, he was very nice. He wanted everything just right, a real perfectionist. He would do take after take of stuff. He would come up with incredible stuff. It was a real special time. He was working on what would become the Band Of Gypsies. He would put down layer and layer, track after track. And he died less than a year later, leaving all of those tracks. The producers were then allowed to produce them however they wanted.

HM: You produced the Ramones and an album for The Replacements, do you get a lot of requests to produce things now? Will you ever work on an album like those again or are you pretty content with staying in bluegrass?

Tommy: Yes, I do occasionally. I would have to hear something that would really excite me in a very unusual way. Usually what I would get involved in as far as production would be something very unique. It doesn't have to be any particular genre, just has to be something that excites me and is something special. I'm open to all kinds of things.

HM: It's been rumored that back in the day you played here before at an old record store; do you recall this at all?

Tommy: I remember playing and I remember a lot of wooden pillars. I remember we were on the border between Missouri and Kansas; we would go across the line for some subs and then back across the line for the gig. That's about it.

HM: If you could be a Muppet for a day, which would you be?

Tommy: That crazy dog, Rolf.

After I regained my composure and finished the interview; we decided to head back to the campsite for some good ole' brats. While we were finishing up dinner and enjoying the company of our new found neighbors/friends (Mikey and Donny); we noticed that the music had stopped. What? This is a festival, the music is never supposed to stop! Within 20 minutes of that thought, a man in a truck drove by. And with his bull-horn announced that the county was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, 70 mph winds and quarter sized hail. After contemplating it for awhile we came to the agreement that the tent (and us) would not fair well in that weather. So we, along with about 90% of the festival goers, quickly packed up our stuff and made way for shelter. We would resume the festival in the morning.

Upon our return we were informed that they had officially shut down the festival around 8 o'clock the previous night, after strongly urging everyone to leave and find shelter. That made us feel a little better about bailing. We re-built our "home" and got comfortable again before heading back to the festival grounds. One thing that was nice about this festival was the press tent. I was conveniently located right next to the main stage; it was shaded and always supplied with water. Therefore it was an excellent excuse to basically hang out there most of the time. You had a very nice seat for the shows, a place to chat and make friends with the other press members, while protected from the sunburns. So we made our way there, Friday afternoon. The first band we caught was Apollo Sunshine. This band is probably one of my new favorites! Sure some of their songs are a little mellow and could probably put you to sleep but just wait till they break out! Their music is a clever combination of chaos, guitar-heavy psychotic-ness, interestingly placed harmonies, which are all set to the tone that would make them perfect for a 60's diner jukebox. This is one of the few bands whose live show does not do them justice. I had to listen to them again at home, before truly discovering their sound. After Apollo was Mates Of State who can contribute their foundation to the very city we were all in, Lawrence. The couple met in Lawrence in 1997 when they proceeded to form their band. Then, of course leaving our humble abode for the West Coast, where they began to really succeed. I am glad that they keep coming back. Their music is of a different realm than Apollo. As a husband and wife duo, you can already see where their sound is heading: melodic, harmonious, and a large vocal range. They do however mix it up a little, by upping the tempo in most songs to almost a techno speed. Perhaps a better stage for them would've been [in] a club, because the complexity and real intensity of their music was kind of lost in that huge outdoor setting. As the Mates Of State finished their set, the press tent began to fill. This was because momentarily Wayne Coyne, lead singer for The Flaming Lips, would be joining us for a little conference of sorts. As press conferences go, you never get to ask all of YOUR questions. So a few of these are (sadly) not mine:

HM: How has this festival been treating you? You were at summer camp a few weeks ago and now here.

Wayne: Yeah, we arrived last night and it kinda looked like a war zone. I've found that there's some adversity that pulls people together. Watching bands, taking drugs, that's some of it. But when you have to rebuild your tent or find your underwear because it blew off, I think that makes it more of an adventure for everybody. So I'm all for that. I'm finding the festival season going great.

HM: Can you compare your previous shows in this area and how they will compare to tonight performance?

Wayne: Well, like all these festivals that you don't really know, from year to year if they're really going to exist again. And anytime that someone is trying to do something like this, everyone is coming from all around for the festival. So every time we do one of these and we know it's done by the people there. When it goes good we say, hey that was fun, lets do it again. And really hope that people believe in it. It takes a lot to organize and a lot of risks that the promoters take and when it goes good, I just try to acknowledge that it was cool.

HM: You've been marked as "One of the top bands to see before you die", do you feel that's intimidating at all?

Wayne: Well I like that that sort of alludes to the fact that you might be able to see bands after you die. Everywhere I go, people will mention that. What can you say to that? That's a great thing for people to hold you up to, to have some standard and some obligation and some level of anticipation. We use the audience; they do all of the work. We sort of set up stuff and sing songs. But if the audience doesn't respond, it's like blowing up a balloon when you just don't have enough air. But if you really get into this thing, it could become the greatest moment of your life.

HM: Can you tell us about the movie?

Wayne: Well tonight is only our second "premier" I guess if you can call it that. It's going to be shown in our big circus tent. We'll be serving popcorn and showing "Christmas On Mars." We started making it the beginning of 2001 and finished only a few weeks ago. I try to remind people that [among] all music, art and films, they are the most powerful medium. You watching it and your experience of it are really where all the power is.

HM: You've obviously been doing something right that you can still bring in a crowd like this today. What sets you apart from the "here this month, gone next month" type bands?

Wayne: I think it's just dumb luck actually. For whatever the reason, we seem to be the band that when you come to a festival like this, the things that we do: we put people in costumes, we put big lights up and all kinds of crazy stuff. And somehow it seems to work. But I wouldn't really know why, to tell you the truth. I love doing it, I'm glad we get to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow everybody woke up and said "the Flaming Lips suck." Oh well. It's sort of an inexplicable thing. I think sometimes the audience sees something within your songs and within your presentation that they make their own. We want everyone to live their own subjective experiences.

HM: If you could be a Muppet character for a day, who would you be?

Wayne: Cookie Monster!

Twice now at this festival I had done interviews with two great performers who were equally as great at interviews. The answers are a press members dream. They had great content, amazing insight and all completely and utterly sincere. This topped off the afternoon, so we meandered back for some dinner.

As the sun began to go to bed, we went to the Sun Up stage (ironically) to catch Pete Francis. For those of you who don't know Pete is the former lead singer of an absolutely incredible band by the name of Dispatch. The band split in 2002 after being together for roughly 6 years. They have since done 2 reunion shows including the most recent one in 2007 at Madison Square Garden. Where they were not only the first independent band ever to headline at the Garden, but sold out not 1, not 2, but 3 nights. His previous band was one of the most respected bands in the independent industry. They did everything their entire time without a label. Besides being in love with the music, Pete was one of the people I felt important to one day speak to. Luckily for me, he's still making fantastic music with his solo project. This time it's a little bit more toned down than the sounds of Dispatch, but very strong in the Americana Rock persuasion. This solo project was booked by the festival; therefore Pete was around for the weekend. I managed to nab him after his set Friday evening. We snuck away in the nice cool trailer and I was able to pick apart his brain:

HM: Your first solo album was released in 2001, however at that time Dispatch was still around until 2002. So it's obvious that this solo project was something you had been thinking about for awhile. Was there a fear that Dispatch's reign was going to end, so a need for another outlet? Or was it more a part of you that always needed to get out and now had the opportunity?

Pete: I think at that time, the three of us had been writing together for so long, but around 2001 we felt that creatively we were going in different directions. The songs that I was doing were a little mellower and I don't really think that they fit as much of a Dispatch sound. So I kinda wanted to go in a different direction after I presented a couple songs to the band and felt that they didn't like it as much. So that was sort of the beginning when each of us started going our own ways. I really wanted to make something stripped down.

HM: It was argued that Dispatch was rather hard to categorize, pulling influences from a variety of genres. However, now on your own perhaps it will be a little easier. Yet if someone heard your music for the first time, how would you describe it?

Pete: I think it's a bit of Americana rock, but has a sort of atmospheric element to it. Not just totally grounded, train ride. But, more sort of spaceship adventures.

HM: You've been part of a band that was called "the band that redefined independent music history", breaking records of attendance and gaining much success without the assistance of a label. You still maintain the independent status with releasing your solo albums on Scrapper. This is a clear indication of the music industry as a whole and how times have changed for beginning artists. How have things changed for you?

Pete: As time went on in the band, we met and dealt with a lot of record companies. And it seemed like they didn't want to put out the type of music that we wanted to put out. That's where I think that it gets a little dangerous. What the key was for us was that we had connections to schools. I really think that was important with how we developed as a band. We really did not play many clubs. It was more the college, prep and high school scene. Eventually, we would grow groups in places like New York, to where we were selling out 800 plus venues. Napster was a huge revolution, because it was this alternative form of radio. We were actually fortunate enough to meet Sean Fanning. Giving out your music for free through mp3 is a smart thing to do for a band. Because then people are going to hear it and it doesn't matter if they paid for it, because if they have it, then they love it.

HM: When you three officially went separate ways it was said that one of the causes was high tensions. This weekend Chad is here with his band State Radio. Are the tensions still there? Or is it just like old times?

Pete: It's good. When you're in this band and you're together for like 8 years, you get too enmeshed with too many emotions going on. Thinking back, if one of us were a little mellower, that maybe didn't have had to happen. These last reunion concerts, there were no problems. Kind of like old times. At the beginning of the band we said: if this things turns into something where we'll lose our friendship, then I think we should stop. We all three remembered that and agreed.

HM: Going back to Scrapper. Who are they? Is it your label? Is Bomber still around?

Pete: It's kind of similar to what Bomber is; Bomber is essentially Dispatch's label. We've said at the beginning that we've wanted to have our own label. Brad said that when something's "Bomber" it's strong and we liked that image. We had seen other record labels set up by other major artists like James Brown and Dave Matthews, and always thought it was a good idea.

HM: Your music is sometimes described as pure improvised rock and roll; can you explain how one would improvise rock and roll?

Pete: Within the standard form of rock and roll, I like to break out of it. Like I love jazz and I like that moment in jazz when you play the head and that moment that's improvised. What happens is almost musical freedom. So I like to bring that back into my own music.

HM: Dispatch has taken you many places that a good percentage of independent bands haven't gotten the opportunity. Where do you hope your solo career will take you?

Pete: What I hope to do is good gigs, as well as have time to write. And also work with new musicians. And I think that gives us a fresh sound to the band. I would say though that the audience is similar to that of Dispatch. The students are very excited and respectful about the music.

HM: If you could be a Muppet for a day, which would you be?

Pete: I love that question. I wanna be Snuffalufagus.

By the end of the interview each one of the members of his band had made their way into the trailer. Naturally being drawn in by the air conditioning, I imagine.

With my work finished we went to the more appropriate Sun Down stage and took our places for the Flaming Lips set. Now Wayne Coyne is a free spirit, so I didn't expect anything less from his performance. When I saw him inside of a giant blown up ball gliding across the crowd, it was right in line. Granted, I was a little let down that it wasn't new, I had seen that he has done the ball before. And from what I've heard of the Lips I had hoped for something off the wall new with each performance. Past that it was a pretty awesome show. In the first song the Teletubbies (yes I said Teletubbies) released tons and tons of practically rubber balloons into the crowd. Never before have I seen so many 25-30 year olds have so much fun with balloons. Every single person had a huge smile on their face. That energy carried out through the entire set. They of course, played all their huge hits and included a Led Zeppelin cover where some girls in their "birthday suits" joyfully danced around on stage. And any Flaming Lips set wouldn't be complete without an encore that included "Do You Realize?" - easily a crowd and fan favorite.

Within moments of their encore ending, we were in the Revival Tent for Cake's late night performance. Now Cake was actually supposed to have gone on before The Lips, but because of flight issues, they barely made it on time for their re-scheduled midnight set. Now THIS was the set I was most looking forward to. Cake was a major band of my past, I had grown up listening to them and to finally have the chance to see them live, had the excitement coming out of my ears. What a sensation to see the man behind the voice that has come through my stereo so many times. They played songs like "Sheep Go To Heaven" and "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" which continuously kept the crowd not only entertained but singing along. There was a slight disappointment that they did not play "Distance," although I suppose they are entitled to not play a song that I'm sure they are long since tired of by now. Their brilliant conundrum of funk, rap, ska and pop just made you feel happy all over. I was so glad that they didn't miss their flight!

It was after 1am by now, but we were far from tired. We were however, physically exhausted and hungry! So after grabbing a late night snack at the outdoor vendors, we found a place on the ground and took a moment to relax while we listened to the musical styling of the Everyone Orchestra. The Everyone Orchestra is not your typical ensemble. They are a revolving cast of musicians who pass the "musical talking stick" around the group allowing each member to conduct the group. As the "stick" is passed the musicians move to a new instrument. Creating a new experience most have not seen. The music they play is a variety, but generally leans towards the jam band feel. These guys have played with everyone from Phish to G. Love and even presidential candidates. They fit in nicely at Waka.

By 3am, we were done, even though the music was not.

After a fairly minimal amount of sleep, we got ourselves out of bed and began our Saturday. Now this was one of the hot days and the sun was already beating down on our freshly burnt skin. It made it a nice day to seek refuge in the shaded press tent. First for the day on the Sun Down Stage was our good friend Pete Francis again. This time he played to a slightly large crowd, which was good. Quite perfectly after Pete was Chad Urmston or as some have come to call him: Chetro, Chad Stokes, Charlie Stokes, Chad Stokes Urmston, Chay Stokeley, Chetroleum Stokes, Chicoree, etc. Well, I like to call him former bassist for Dispatch. Having already had the chance to see and speak with Pete made talking to Chad that much better. Two thirds of Dispatch is pretty good. First we caught Chad's set with his band State Radio. Now Chad's music is slight different than Pete's. State Radio has a little more of a reggae/rock character to it, making it very fun to watch. It's really the kind of entertainment that gets those little body movements out of everyone there. What I believe is if you took the sound and elements of what Dispatch's music was and split them in two you would get the Americana rock of Pete Francis and the reggae rock of State Radio. Thus, why I believe their side/new projects make so much sense. A few hours after his set, I snagged Chad as he was wondering around with his skateboard and we tucked away between a couple of trucks (with "Mad Dog" Mike - drums, in tow) for a quick interview:

HM: It's been said that you "road test" your music, by playing new songs in front of audiences long before any official recording. This could be considered a risk to some. Do you feel that your fans' input is a major part of the music? Or do you simply want to see if they like it?

Chad: I think it gives us a good indication of what people like of our new songs. We get a lot of input from the audience and we try to heed it. Usually our songs go through a lot of arrangements, so we want to find that right one. Sometimes we'll play a tune for a couple shows and then it's back to the drawing board.

HM: Three albums so far, with one that could be argued as more of a re-working than a new LP. How has the most recent of the albums Year Of The Crow been received by the industry/scene?

Chad: From what we can tell, the fans seem to like it. They know a bunch of the words already. When we play live we only play a couple songs from the old albums and people don't seem to mind, so I guess we're doing ok.

HM: With the influences from reggae and rock, it's possible that State Radio's style is a tad closer to that of Dispatch than say Pete's work. Do you think that helps in bringing in the long-time Dispatch fans? Or would you almost rather start your own new audience?

Chad: Maybe. We've been playing a lot more and tour all the time. So I think that has more to do with it. Perhaps more exposure is what's helping.

HM: You have more nicknames than any person I have ever seen. How? Why?

Chad: I think it's just something that in case the Russians parachute out of the air and are looking for me or something. Then I'll be able to hide under my different aliases. I think we're just waiting for one to stick. I guess I don't really prefer one of them, just anything but Chad.

HM: Tell me about the music. Where do you draw your lyrics from?

Chetro: Just life, books and newspapers, experiences, other musicians, etc.

HM: A hot topic today is the drastic changes that are taking place in the industry. Do you feel that it's harder or more difficult for bands today to get their music heard and become successful? Do you fear for the future of the industry and music?

Chadicca: I think it's easier to get to a certain level, to get out there on MySpace and recording's a lot easier (cheaper too). It's easier to get the music out there. Though, it may be harder to become a superstar today. I think those days are over with the big record companies, with the few huge clients. I think the age of the superstar is sort of dying. Now there's more of that middleclass of musicians that are touring around and not really on the radio. I think people see through the other stuff now and want what's real.

HM: When you three officially went separate ways it was said that one of the causes was high tensions. Are the tensions still there?

Charlie Stokes: It's pretty good now; it's a lot better than it was when we were playing together. Feelings are pretty good now that we're not in the band on the bus.

HM: If you could be a Muppet for a day, which would you be?

Chay Stokley: Telle
Mad Dog: Animal

Chad and Pete are two completely different men, with two completely different styles and two completely different bands. Yet in their previous career, made up one of my absolute favorite bands of all time. So, it's no surprise that I continue to enjoy their new music today.

After a break and an afternoon (ok, evening) nap, we were re-energized for the night. In hopes that Mr. Ben Folds might be doing interviews, we once again headed for the press tent. As we waited for the news we realized that the crowd at the Sun Down Stage was just going absolutely nuts! Taking a look on stage, we see that Leftover Salmon was jamming out. This band has probably one of the most interesting names out of all the bands at the festival. The unique name aside, this band was pretty freakin' awesome. They're a jam band out of Colorado, who blends rock, country, bluegrass, and Cajun into each one of their songs. They've even come up with their own genre of music: Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass. Let your imagination work on that one. And then you'll realize why there wasn't a single body in that entire crowd that wasn't moving. I've seen my fair share of jam bands, but these guys are something else.

By the time we got the news that Ben Folds wouldn't be doing interviews, we had started to hear a lot about the next band. STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) didn't really sound like the name of a band, but more some government experiment that was going on. Regardless of that fact, the people started to really pack in. And any time you asked someone about them, the common response was something like "they're incredible, there's no one like them!" Alright, we decided to stick around. And this decision didn't come lightly, as we would be sacrificing some if not all of the Ben Folds set to see them. What we ended up seeing was incredible. This is an instrumental band that brought in elements like electronic music, instrumental rock, psychedelic and even hip-hop. It was sort of like if Trent Reznor got together with The Crystal Method and wrote some songs. Now that would be something that you would want to watch. The coolest thing about their set was the glow sticks. At the beginning of their show someone in the middle of the crowd threw up a giant handful of glow sticks. But instead of holding on to them, the people in the crowd began throwing them in the air back and forth. Imagine you're in a field at night and you see tons and tons of different colored glow sticks flying through the air. That, coupled with the incredible lighting and music on stage, made for one of the best performances of the weekend.

We gave STS9 an hour before making an attempt to catch some of the Ben Folds set. However on our way we got a little detoured. Between the Sun Down Stage and the Revival Tent (where Ben Folds was playing) was the Flaming Lips tent. This tent was erected for the soul purpose of presenting the Flaming Lips movie. Well conveniently outside the tent was a Mr. Wayne Coyne. Who was sitting there signing autographs for all of his fans. Now I have to preface that Wayne had been sitting outside his tent we walked by to go to Leftover Salmon about 5 hours earlier! I don't know for sure if he had been there the entire time, but I wouldn't doubt it. So we decided to say hi to Wayne (and Kliff - drums) and get our tickets for the movie, instead of seeing Ben Folds. Eh, small sacrifice.

Exhaustion and tiredness was beginning to set in, but we knew the importance of staying up for the Lips movie. So we pushed on to the Revival Tent, where Keller Williams was playing his set. For a one man band, this guy really knows what he's doing. He plays a chord or a progression on his guitar then loops it into the computer. This allows him to use other instruments and computerized elements to add depth to the music, while putting on quite an entertaining set. A "one-man jam band" is what he's been called and that's just about right. He has the talent and the energy to equal five members of a classic jam band. Although I'm guessing touring on a bus is a little bit better with just one. We didn't quite stay for all of his set, because we wanted to make sure that we'd get a good seat for the show.

It was highly recommended by their publicist that I check out the movie, so what the hey, I had nothing else to do at 2am in the morning. Well let me tell you, this was quite a movie! It was disturbing, intriguing and entertaining all at the same time. Not your typical movie, for sure. But then this is not your typical band. I feel a tad reluctant to really give out any information, more for the pure fact that I want to pique your interest and make you want to see this movie. You're curious now, aren't you?

With no major bands that we wanted to see or really even on the schedule for Sunday, it turned into a straggler day. People would kind of wander in and out of shows, not with really any purpose of more than just listening to music. Therefore we followed suit. There was a brief chance of speaking to a band, but another round of storms due to hit the festival won over that block of time in the day. So we meandered. One of the bands that we did manage to enjoy was the pleasant sounds of Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk. Ivan is the son of Aaron Neville, an award winning, nationally known blues and R&B artist who has toured the world over for the past 40 years. With a father like Aaron, you know the quality of music is going to be un-matched. Ivan's band draws heavily from the family gene of R&B, yet mixes in a bit of rock & roll. That mixed with a lot of "uh" and "yeahs" kept your body wiggling. Leave it to Wakarusa to mix up the style of music even more.

Ivan was pretty much the finishing touches on the festival. That storm I mentioned was a mere hour or two away. And we really didn't need to risk it by sticking around. Plus, come to find out because of the damage caused that afternoon, a fair amount of the headliners for Sunday night had to be cancelled. All due to the weakening of stage roofs from wind damage. So, for my first time to this festival, I would have to call it a success. I was able to catch a nice array of major acts, locals, and even bands I've never heard of. And I've come away with a lot. The chance to finally talk with the members of Dispatch was a big step for me, but to be able to tell my children that I had the chance to sit down with the legendary Tommy Ramone. Now that is well worth all the ticks, the sunburn and storms that the festival had to throw at me. Looks like this will be a festival to officially add to my yearly circuit.

-Rachel Fredrickson

Wakarusa Music Festival
Lawrence, KS
June 5-8

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Boulder, CO

Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Lawrence, KS

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