Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Take it Easy, Star, You're an All-Star

With their very awesome reggae covers, from Dub Side of the Moon to the Lonely Hearts Dub Band to Radiodread, Easy Star All-Stars has proven to be a great addition to the Camp Bisco program. Their performance last year on the main stage gave the lineup a much needed dose of ska, dub, and reggae. It’s great to hear those Beatles, Floyd, and Radiohead tracks with some added brass and genre-typical off-beats. The band’s performance cast is constantly rotating to include various members and talent of the reggae and jazz scene, so you never get the same exact thing twice.

No matter who is on stage at the time, the show includes plenty of the feel-good reggae sound as well as the lively Jamaican energy and personality. Last year’s set was raised to a whole ‘nother level once the bassist/singer, Ras I Ray, threw off his cap and brought his dreads out to play. The crowd went wild to see those long locks swaying along behind him. Vocalist Menny More sure was a character on stage as well (he's the one rocking the credential, I don't know why). Here’s a clip of them at Camp last year (Don't Stop the Music):

And here’s one of my favorite tunes from them:

Don’t you love hearin’ that dub at Camp?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nom Nom Nom - Eating at Camp Bisco

Though there are great food vendors dishing out various options for yummy eats, it’s really best to pack your food for the weekend at Camp Bisco. Spending a lot of time dancing and then walking between stages is surely going to get your stomach grumbling, so prepare some food that is easy to eat and more importantly, to digest. The last thing you want during this awesome weekend is nasty gas, nausea, or the shits (all because you brought along the leftover Chinese takeout).
It is definitely cool to bring a small propane grill to cook up some hot dogs and burgers, and I’ll talk about a couple ideal grills in a bit, but I actually found that I never wanted to sit at home base and cook anything. I would rather eat something easier to make and carry around, so I could head right back to the stages. And truthfully, I wanted to eat something that gave me a little more energy than that typical American cookout. So whether you agree or disagree with me here, you can see that when it comes to eating at Bisco, there are lots of ways to go.

I’ll break it down here:
  1. Pack some bread or rolls, get your favorite meats and cheeses from the deli (I love Virginia Ham and Sharp Cheddar Cheese), slice up some tomatoes and grab some lettuce, pack it all in the top of your cooler (for easy access) with some condiments, like Mayo/Miracle Whip and GreyPoop On, and have a weekend with your deli favorites.  I found that I wanted the most basic of tastes, nothing too spicy or crazy to upset my stomach while I was already feelin’ good. (You also have to think about pooping in the portapotties—if that bothers you, don’t eat things that will bring that on.) Besides the sandwiches, pack some snacks like chips and crackers, and fruit when you’ll want something sweet. Apples, oranges and bananas are great to boost your system in the mornings. Just be sure to keep everything in a cool spot!

  2. When it comes to bringing a grill, there are some great propane grills (remember--no fires!!) that are easy to use and don’t take up a lot of room.  The cheapest is the Coleman Fold n Go; it’s small and perfect if you’re cooking for only a couple people.  This one from Blue Rhino is a little bit more expensive, but it’s awesomely equipped with a griddle and a stove, opening up your cooking options a bit more. So pack some dogs and burgers, maybe grab some yummy vegetable or cheese infused patties from the butcher, and don’t forget the buns and condiments. I had a friend who brought steaks last year, but seriously… no one wanted to wait around that long, though the thought was appreciated. Bacon and eggs are surely feasible, too.

    Heck, grill up some pineapple!
  3. Live off the land! Sort of. You are certainly allowed to just eat everything there. There’s enough delicious food choices offered by the vendors there that you won’t have to eat the same thing twice all weekend.  It’s all up to you!
No matter how you plan on eating at Camp, just remember to clean up after yourself. Don’t litter, respect the property, and stay healthy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nero--not the software, not the Roman Emperor

For some reason, I am pretty sure I have experienced more Nero appearances than anything else in the past couple years. Maybe it’s not really for no reason—it’s quite possible that the duo is crazy talented and appealing. Actually, I’m positive that they are. From Do You Wanna? to the Philharmonic Dubstep Symphony, Nero has shown off their talents in many ways. A song I particularly have a relationship with is Bad Trip; this song may have caused the first actual bad trip that I couldn’t talk myself out of in my life. At the time I hated it, but now I respect it as some sort of frenemy—it can come to my parties, but it’s not drinking my beer… I can't find a YouTube that isn't a remix, so check it out on .... Myspace... haha

A more recent track that I love is off their last album release, Welcome Reality. Promises was dropped by Skrillex at last year’s Bisco, since he played earlier in the festival than Nero did (which only featured half of the duo), and I think maybe only five people besides my friends and I were singing along. That Grammy-winning midget seemed confused as to why the whole crowd wasn’t shouting the chorus, and admittedly, I was as well. Maybe it was too new, maybe the Skrillex audience only listens to Skrillex, I don’t know… but this is a great track regardless, as are most of the sounds compiled from the past couple years to be put on this album, especially In The Way/This Way, Crush on You, and Guilt. The video is also really cool and it features the super confusing yet innovative technology of the Reactable.

Nero also has some great remixes, other have remixed their tracks, etc… They are a great duo who has been around for a while now. Look forward to their future…

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Biscuits from the past, but they sure aren't stale.

How else to start a Bisco Blog than with the beginning of The Disco Biscuits. Here’s an early tune from the 1998 album, Uncivilized Area. I mean, if a guy sang this to me, I’d be floored. How can anyone resist those lines? “Jamillia, I wanna feel ya up and lift your skirt right over your head.”
And to get an idea of how far Camp Bisco has come, check out this performance from Camp IV in 2005. If you’ve been to a recent Camp or Biscuits show (or just looked up videos online), you can see how things have changed, from the lights to the stage design to the visuals…
Yet, even today the attitude of the performance remains the same—everyone still feels good listening and watching. It’s really great to see such an amazing and influential group of musicians keeping that going and furthermore, spreading that tone to other artists. In future posts, you’ll see more recent Disco Biscuits songs and performances that I really like, so until then, get felt up under the skirt by the past.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Only a Few Months Away...

Camp Bisco 11 is still a bit of time away, so until then, I'm going to post some awesome Camp tunes, festival tips and ideas, and good-to-know info. Follow, groove, and ponder along until we all get in our cars and head to Camp this summer for an experience that is never the same every year.