Fare Thee Well Sayeth The Grateful Dead

logo, fare thee well

Happy July Everyone! As we prepare for Independence Day celebrations this weekend, a host of music fans have only three words in mind: Fare Thee Well. This week we are in the middle of the two weekends that comprise the Fare Thee Well tour, billed as the final shows from the Grateful Dead, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their formation in 1965 (then as The Warlocks). The band includes the four surviving members, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, with Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby sitting in at the Keys positions, which changed throughout the Dead’s career, and Phish’s Trey Anastasio, perhaps the only possible correct choice, taking on the role of Jerry Garcia.

The tour is comprised of two shows in Santa Clara, CA, performed on Saturday and Sunday of last weekend (June 27-28) and the three main shows performed at Soldier Field in Chicago July 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The venue is an notable one for the Dead and their fans as it is where they performed their final concert with Jerry twenty years ago (7/9/95) before he died the following month. The Grateful Dead officially disbanded after his death but would reform for secondary iterations like The Other Ones and The Dead. The former members would find greater success with their various independent projects: Phil Lesh & Friends, Bob Weir & Ratdog, The Rhythm Devils, and Furthur.

While songs from the original band find their way all throughout those bands’ setlists the idea of an actual run of Grateful Dead shows carries a unique joy and excitement. The one obvious pitfall is that the band is missing its heart, and though there are many fantastic guitar dynamos alive and playing right now, none of them could be Jerry.

Except for Trey. Trey can be Jerry without being Jerry.

Riding a wave of seemingly renewed artistic freedom in Phish’s 3.0 era, the opportunity to take on such a central role for Dead50 was one that Trey couldn’t refuse:

“I got a really heart-warming letter from Phil saying that he and the other three guys had talked about it and hoped I would do it,” Anastasio tells Billboard. “I didn’t hesitate for a second to say yes. It’s an absolute honor to be part of this final chapter.”

Though he’s recently said he’s never studied Jerry as a guitar player until now, a fact I find astonishing, Trey has long credited Garcia and the Dead as a primary influence on his vision for how Phish should perform as a band and operate as a business.

How was Weekend 1? KEEP ON TRUCKIN to find out…

Summer in the Midwest by Amanda Tumminaro

oddball and lime together @ www.JPLimeProductions.com6From our friends at Oddball Magazine, here’s “Summer in the Midwest” by Amanda Tumminaro.  Find more new poetry every day from the region’s brightest talents at OddballMagazine.com.

 

Summer in the Midwest

I’ll be sitting out in the park
as blunt as Bette Davis, letting the juices
of the fruit in the heat flow down my chin.
It seems then that the imperceptible
wind toys with my hair, strand by strand.

Here there is no Midas touch,
there is dirt and cornfields, rising past
my head like a farmer’s heaven.

The smoldering, golden sun turns all to
bronze. Ice water pours from faucets
like miniature streams and lemonade
wets the farmhand’s lips. The watermelon
stands make their appearance and peer out into the road.

Field by Allison Goldin @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

Amanda Tumminaro lives in Illinois with her family. She enjoys libraries and caffeinated drinks. Her poetry has appeared in Storm Cellar, Sassafras Literary Magazine and Hot Metal Bridge.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles.

InnerSpace: Coop Says Get ‘Em

For over a decade I have been recording my life and primarily my voice and ideas in an almost weekly freestyle session with my boy Coop.  We’ll both get off of work and thankfully he’ll make the initiative and call me.  I love rapping, just after work it doesn’t usually dawn on me how much I enjoy it.  That’s why I’m glad Coop calls and puts forth the effort.  Once that beat comes on it’s a different story for both of us.  Mild mannered teachers turn to rebel prophets or soulful crooners, even layman comedians depending on the vibe of the instrumental.  It’s the release; its incredible.  For instance, you wouldn’t know it but we’re listening to old tracks now that we recorded some time in April; it’s now June and school is almost over.  Coop often says, “Man, if these walls could talk, boy!!!!…”.  I love him for the enthusiasm and steady encouragement and I know ten years in he’s probably right. I’ll post some more of the gems on Soundcloud in the future.  I’ve posted a couple of them, so the world has had a taste.

Going back over the old ones is always interesting.  We’ve certainly hit our stride on a multitude and they sound great; it’s our own personal soundtrack.  Good or bad though, they’re all original freestyles.  It’s crazy because you have to have an objectivity to it.  It’s funny when either Coop or myself is muttering under our breath how we don’t like something but the other might be jamming or just having a better day. The streaming music services I mentioned in my last article are tremendous in their selections and possibilities as I mentioned and greatly appreciated.  Without them, I know my life after work would not be the same.

The thing I am thinking more of here, or rather appreciating, is the genuine ability to let go of emotions, feelings and the overriding thoughts of the day within a comfortable setting.  That is the essence of playing right?  Coop sparked this article with his usual effervescent attitude and demeanor.  “Get ’em Coop!!” and “Get ’em C. Gutta!!” are phrases often yelled in my living room.  When we first started we were by no means good. I mean we were okay, but the whole point was having fun.  It’s the camaraderie, the sharing of opinions, but its definitely all about sharing the moment.  Looking back to where we started, it’s truly amazing how all those moments have added up.  Coop will come over certain days and be super hyped about something we did (like today for example), and just hearing some of the old flows and ideas will of course spark another round of flows or lengthy conversation.  I guess these will be the lost tapes of Coop and C. Gutta.  Gotta ask Coop why he calls me that…
Read On and LISTEN..

Prof is Getting Married: A Groom’s Perspective

Save the Date finalWe’re under four months to go now, four months from the biggest and most important life decision I’ve made thus far, four months from Happily Everson After. Yes, that’s right, I am getting married this coming October (!!) and between now and then I’ll be bringing you here at #JPLMagazine a few volumes of ‘A Groom’s Perspective’, providing an insight into the under-spoken half of the nuptial process. I am not your ordinary groom. No idle passenger am I on this wedding ride, as any who know me might expect.

We intend to relish our big night and I am fortunate enough to have a fiancée whose composure and low level of girl-crazy actually allows me to enjoy this process and actively participate. A note to other ladies/future brides: I’ll not judge (much) in these columns, I know your wedding is a day you’ve been dreaming about since you were little and the desire for it to be special, perfect even, is completely understandable. But many of you take the wedding process as an opportunity to over-indulge your girl-crazy, pissing off your friends and alienating your man because you feel it is your right as a bride. But this is a day about two people and some of us fellas (not all, mind you) actually want to contribute. This has been a public service announcement on behalf of grooms everywhere. Moving on…

I’ll aim to keep as much attention as possible off of my fiancée AJ, as she is not much one for the spotlight, though I seek it like Superman deriving his power from Earth’s yellow sun. Opposites attract, yin and yang and all that. engagement @ www.JPLimeProductions.comI will say that she is my perfect beautiful companion and I am lucky she said yes. We got engaged last year on Valentine’s Day, the ten year anniversary of our first date. It happened on the Bow Bridge in Central Park and it all went according to my plan, other than slipping on the snow right as she walked up and nearly busting my ass. But my plan of a series of signs, held up by the settled snow, went off as I hoped and seemed to genuinely take her by surprise. She often quotes herself as not being able to collect herself enough to say “Yes” to my knee-bent request, instead fumbling out a “naahdfumpha- sure”. We then rode around Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage, happily hazed by the step we had just taken in our life together.

That was 16 months ago and we are now heavily in the middle of the wedding process. And you know what? We’re still enjoying it! We have secured our venue, our dj, our photographer, our videographer, and our officiant. ‘Save the Date’s have come and gone, we have a website, a registry, an Instagram account and even a hashtag (#HappilyEversonAfter). It’s a daunting amount of preparation, regardless of your personal style, but if broken into pieces and handled as a team, it’s all totally manageable. Naturally, we gravitated first to Music, one of the earliest and strongest bonds that AJ and I share. Rooted in classic rock, thrilled and aerated by funk, with a mix of Hip Hop, the 90’s, and various decades of Soul, our musical selections needed to be a central part of our night. After shopping around a bit, we were fortunate to land a DJ who is an old friend of mine, a preference we’ve shared for the entire experience whenever possible. We began a playlist on Spotify, which I am then able to share with our DJ, Will, and every few days it grows as another essential tune crosses our minds. I won’t ruin all the fun musical surprises but I’ll reveal a few:
Music, The Venue, The Best MEN and more, READ ON…

Rap Flashback, June Edition

We’re back once again with your monthly dose of Hip Hop History!  June is Gemini season and many of Hip Hop’s top artists are born under that sign.  We look at the personal dualities of three in particular – Left Eye, Kanye, and Tupac – and wish a Happy Hip Hop Birthday to many more.  And we look back at important June album releases including Warren G’s ‘Regulate’, Ja Rule’s ‘Venni Vetti Vecci’ and multiple from LL Cool J.

It’s all in this edition of the Rap Flashback!

InnerSpace: Just Putting Lines In My Evernote

Space biting JPLIt’s around two o’ clock and I get that sense of inspiration. You know when the creative juices start flowing you should be asleep and you get that idea and that surge of energy. It’s time to jot figures or draw and I need some music.  This is always the starting point to a possible time killer unto itself where you can say goodbye to creativity. In  past days the thought of what music to play would inevitably lead one down the path of digging, whether it be in crates or lost piles and miscellaneous bags, for that right vinyl or CD.  Maybe I’m revealing my musical indecisiveness and ADD? And still what took some people trips and much fortitude and persistence, perhaps even luck and a lady to find, can now be found in a few manipulations of a digit.

To the connoisseurs who enjoyed the trips to NYC and record stores with authentic merchandise and knowledgeable talking heads, the spirit remains alive in enhanced digital media downloads and even in keeping current with social media.  Honestly there is so much access today, you might actually ‘waste’ more time if you’re not really exacting in your searches.

For my tastes and activities I’m more of a streaming music kinda guy. Push some buttons and tap some words, push another button maybe and voila!  There are tons of sites and applications to find music nowadays, like YouTube, Rhapsody, heck even Google has its own music service these days.  My go-to application for streaming music is Soundcloud.  It’s perfect because it allows me to play either a list I’ve created from posted tracks or play new and exciting ones fresh or from a search.  Soundcloud is great because it even let’s you play your favorites on random.  Best of all you can play your newly uploaded music so you can write to it!  I also love exploring and finding new music from my friends. It’s often that I come upon these dope new sounds from friends and followers and become instantly inspired. The application truly is phenomenal. I only wish it had a repeat button so you can keep playing that cut you need over and over again (hint hint).

I know there is also Spotify and I have heard remarkable things about it.  I’ve even used it a couple of times, for me soundcloud is a userface and control preference.  I also enjoy being privy to more original beats and producers.  As I write this from my phone, I must say this generation is for the writer/creator if they are willing to push and expand.  The internet and multiple platforms as well as devices allows for a splendid convergence of brilliance and possibilities.

If I’m not surfing on Soundcloud or Soundclick then I’m probably enjoying my Amazon prime membership and their prime music selection.  Say I remember an old diddy and want to retrieve it or part for a song?  I can check my Google drive or Dropbox account, send it to my Evernote account and I’m back to piecing together my creation.  I mean, sonically, the sources of inspiration are endless. As as a writer and emcee, I’m totally thankful to be born during the advent of streaming music services and platforms.  Music is like any art that you want to share with other people.  The more connections we can make and inspire should only mean the music gets brighter.

 

Follow JP Lime on Soundcloud

44 Bars For Tupac’s 44th Birthday

Tupac InfinityToday (June 16th, 2015) would’ve been the late, great Tupac Shakur’s 44th birthday. Despite his untimely demise almost 19 years ago, the Thug Life ambassador remains a strong presence not only in Hip Hop, but Pop culture as a whole. Tupac somehow, some way seems to always pop up in our news feeds, whether it’s Tupac Tuesday on Facebook (and Twitter), theories that New Jersey emcee Kasinova Tha Don is actually a mouthpiece for a still alive and hiding in Cuba Tupac, a brand new Tupac dis track, and most notably in recent memory, his cameo appearance at the end of Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man“. Let’s face it, his legion of fans (self included) refuse to allow his memory to fade.

That he was a man of many sides, layers, and opinions and was very vocal and “in your face” when sharing said layers, in his music, writings, and interviews, in no small part contributes to why his essence continues strongly almost two decades after his death. Given this particular Tupac Tuesday is also ‘Pac’s 44th birthday, let’s explore a few of those layers that made him such an intriguing figure, by way of 44 bars from various tracks.

Note that you can click on the song title to hear the track in question and also that I’ve taken the liberty to bold bars that I find particularly strong and emblematic of the ‘Pac in question. 

Political ‘Pac – The son of a Black Panther, Tupac was never shy about expressing his strong political beliefs, in his music. He routinely called out the both the government and law enforcement for the disproportionate mistreatment of minorities and the under-privileged. A quick glance at the 16 bars below bring these concepts to light. Sadly, these ideas are still very much relevant in today’s society. Not only was ‘Pac political, but it’s powerful statements like these that lead many to say he was also prophetic.

Political Tupac

From “Panther Power” – 12 bars

My Mother never let me forget my history
Hoping I was set free chains never put on me
Wanted to be more than just free
Had to know the true facts about my history
I couldn’t settle for being a statistic
Couldn’t survive in this capitalistic
Government ’cause it was meant to hold us back
Using ignorance & drugs to sneak attack
In my community think of unity
But when I charged them, tried to claim immunity
I strike America like a case of heart disease
Panther power is running through my arteries

From “Trapped” – 4 bars

They got me trapped
Can barely walk the city streets
Without a cop harassing me, searching me
Then asking my identity
Hands up, throw me up against the wall
Didn’t do a thing at all
I’m telling you one day these suckers gotta fall

Loyal ‘Pac – Though Tupac had his fair share of rivals throughout his Rap career (we’ll get to that shortly), he was also a very loyal man to those loved ones who reciprocated that loyalty. Family, women he loved, and good friends, his homies if you will, were common themes in much of Tupac’s music, whether the stories he told were his own or pulled from the experiences of others. Through thick and thin, he remained loyal to those he loved. Let’s take a look at some prime examples of such.

Tupac Afeni

From “Dear Mama” – 4 bars

And even as a crack fiend, mama
You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand
for a woman it ain’t easy tryin to raise a man

From “Happy Home” – 10 bars

Look at him walking and talking, a lil’ child with my eyes and mouth
Father watch over lil’ seeds, help me guide them out
Had to change my whole lifestyle, married my baby’s momma
Made her my wife now, I’m trying hard y’all
Maybe in time I’ll be a better man
watching the older couples, handle it like veterans
Show me the meaning of forever and together we rise
If it would help our child grow, then together we’d die
Why – question my love? It’s so easy to see
Without my family all I’m left with is a shadow of me

 From “If My Homies Call” – 6 bars

And I, hear that you made a few enemies
But when you need a friend you can depend on me, call
If you need my assistance there’ll be no resistance
I’ll be there in an instant
Who am I to judge another brother, only on his cover
I’d be no different than the other

 Angry ‘Pac – Lastly, it’s well-known that after Tupac was first shot back in 1994, he began to express quite a bit of anger in his music. The entire East Coast vs. West Coast feud of the mid-90s was largely Tupac’s doing, for better or worse. He attacked a slew of emcees with a venomous ferocity matched by few, if any, on dis tracks before and since. Let’s take a look.

Tupac Angry

From “Hit ‘Em Up” – 2 bars

Biggie remember when I use to let you sleep on the couch
And beg the bitch to let you sleep in the house

From “Against All Odds” – 2 bars

Mobb Deep wonder why a nig*a blowed them out
Next time grown folks talking nig*a close your mouth

From “When We Ride On Our Enemies” – 2 bars

Heard the Fugees was trying to do me – look bitch!
I cut yo’ face, this ain’t no motherfuckin movie

From “Fuck Friendz” – 2 bars

Understand this, ain’t no nig*a like me, fuck Jay-Z
He broke and I smoke daily

Truth be told, 44 bars is not nearly enough to capture just how many different sides Tupac shared with us in his music. There’s religious / spiritual ‘Pac (“Ghetto Gospel“, “Black Jesus“), romantic ‘Pac (“Can U Get Away“), womanizer ‘Pac (“What’z Ya Phone #“), and the ‘Pac that truly empathized with a woman’s plight, (“Keep Ya Head Up“, “Brenda’s Got A Baby“, “Baby Don’t Cry“), to just begin to scratch the surface how multi-faceted he was. Happy Birthday Tupac and rest peacefully knowing your music and impact will not soon be forgotten, if ever.

We Bid You Adieu, Beloved Bonnaroo

Mumford was incredible. #Bonnaroo

A photo posted by John (@obuachalla) on

 

Just as magically as it appeared, the Bonnaroo Farm now morphs back to a quiet stretch in the middle of the Tennessee countryside.  Eighty-thousand concert-goers scatter to the wind for the voyage home, wherever that may be, heads full of happy memories, hearts laden with a desire to stay.  For four days they’ve formed a new community, one founded on joy and positivity and the power of music, complete with a credo and a language all its own (Stay True Roo).  It’s easy to understand why folks are reluctant to depart such a place; it’s truly magical and there’s nowhere like it.  Four octogenarians attending their first festival end up onstage with Guster? Only at Bonnaroo. Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper reverently joining Earth Wind and Fire?  Only at Bonnaroo.  But Roo is less a location and more a state of mind and the serenity we create for a weekend in June has the power to spread throughout our lives and the following year.

Our thanks our due to the dedicated staff (C’Roo), Superfly Presents, and AC Entertainment who work to improve the Bonnaroo experience with each passing year.  Since its inception in 2002 Bonnaroo has only grown, both in number and vibe.

 

#bonnaroo

A photo posted by John Voelz (@shameonyoko) on

 

My personal thanks to all of you who have once again, through the power of social media, welcomed me into your campsites, allowed me to chill in The Grove and ride the ferris wheel, and have brought a lineup bursting with amazing artists from Manchester, TN into my Massachusetts home.  I’ve never attended Bonnaroo but my desire and commitment to be there next year is once again affirmed and I think I even want to join the C’Roo.

 

@cherublamusica surprise sunrise set at #bonnaroo on the #kalliope stage! #Cherub

A photo posted by Nick Snyder (@nsnyder88) on

 

For the final day’s music Roo broke out the big guns…

Florence, Robert, Billy, and Roofus… READ ON…

Bonnaroo, Third Day

Well here we are Bonnaroovians, the final day of the summer’s best music festival.  There’s still plenty of music and adventure to be had before everyone is homeward bound including Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Florence and the Machine and, of course, headliner Billy Joel.  But before we get to Sunday’s festivities let’s take a look at Saturday’s awesome Day 3 action.

the best way to describe it; sleepless nights, the hottest days and the best music in the world.

A photo posted by j u l i a (@curiousjulia) on

 

There were two big names that dominated Day 3, playing back-to-back on the What Stage.

Jim James and My Morning Jacket hit the stage right at sunset

That hair though (📷: @ellishootsmusic) #BGSroo #Bonnaroo

A photo posted by The Bluegrass Situation (@thebluegrasssituation) on

 

 

 

Mumford and Sons

and after waiting all this time, I finally got to see Mumford & Sons 😩😍

A video posted by 🌞SMS🌙 (@schylar.stephens) on

 

“I Will Wait”

Mumford and Sons last night on the What Stage #Bonnaroo

A video posted by Nate Garland (@garrrl) on

Hozier, Gambino, DMC and more, READ ON…