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The Beat

Akron / Family – Round 2 video from 1.20.12

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Round 2 Video from that epic Akron / Family Show on 1.20.12 with guests the Sun Ra Arkestra. The footage mashed in is from Sedona AZ during Novemeber 2011. Enjoy!

The Thinking Man discusses online video changing society

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Cameras are getting smaller while still getting more powerful and the improvements are only speeding up.  Aside from having better video of your latest show or family moment, having this much video kicking around is sure to change society in unknown ways.

Start with kids.  I have one.  I also have no less than 4 accessible ways to capture him on film.  Cameras, phones, laptops, etc.  Much of his life, and the lives of his peers is digital. 
How will the fact that he is a little Derek Zoolander affect him later in life?

Unclear, but I hope he doesn’t turn out like this…

With all that video kicking around, society is likely to get more depraved as every politician, movie star, and public person will be fighting off embarrassing video of themselves from years past.

The pool of people with no embarrassing videos loaded to social media sites will only become smaller. I believe this has serious ramifications for society at large.  Some good, some bad.

Think for a moment about politicians.  Part of the reason why normal people consistently rank their elected representatives as “crap” is because these are people who have been squeaky clean as they’ve aimed for an office of public life since they were young.  Or they had rich parents to cover things up for them.

More and more, people will be forced to confront their past, which they hope society will judge as youthful transgression.  Obama admitted past drug use.  Bush did the same but would things be different if we had a video of George W. Bush pulling a 4 foot bong hit in the frat house?

What about embarrassing Facebook photos and video of that night you got really drunk and your friend posted online?   What about video of you that was captured via CCTV or without your knowledge or consent?  When was the last time you picked your nose in public? Are you comfortable with what is out there about you?  If you aren’t is there anything that you can do?

Akron/Family – 1.20.12 – Video of “Everyone Is Guilty” with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

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Akron/Family stopped by the Blockley on 1.20.12. Just as they did last year they brought life to the crowd with amazing versions of “So It Goes” “River” and an amazing version of “Everyone Is Guilty” with members of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Miles Seaton talked briefly about how Etta James would have wanted us to party in the beginning of the show. They brought up Etta James “At Last” as fitting house music to end the show. The video below is a slice of the evening including most of the spirited “Everyone Is Guilty.”

Yacht – Live in Philly – 12.4.11 VIDEO

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Yacht raged Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church – peep them doing Dystopia and more below.

The Thinking Man: Purchasing Your Future Body

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I want a new knee.   OK, maybe that is a bit dramatic.  I want my knee to work better for longer than it currently does.  How much longer do I have to wait until I can get a replacement that works better than the original?  A while yes, but progress is being made.

You’ve probably seen the Cheetah legs before but as this story discusses, the future holds some interesting questions.  Do the legs give an advantage and if they do,  what are we supposed to do about it?

If you look ahead, you can see that this type of personal augmentation will wreak havoc with how we treat health care.  We all know that our health care costs are rising but what happens when someone literally wants to become a six-million dollar man?  Assume for a moment that new knee exists.  It won’t be cheap.  Who pays?

For a guy like me who can still get around, this might qualify as a luxury purchase.  For someone who had been hobbled for years and is in constant pain, insurance will pay the bills.  Where does the line get drawn?  I suspect this will become a key consideration in the future.

The Soul Rebel Brass Band and The New Mastersounds – Live at The Blockley – 11.19.11

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The Blockley put on an amazing funk show this past weekend with The Soul Rebels Brass Band absolutely blowing away my expectations and creating one of the most fun and dancable sets I’ve yet to see at the Blockley.  The UK band The New Mastersounds was no slouch either tearing through a rock and jazz filled set that went late into the next morning.  Peep the action in the video below.


Battles – Halloween in Philly – Video of “Ice Cream” live on 10.31.11

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The New Mastersounds and Soul Rebels @ The Blockley – Nov 19

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Rubblebucket Q & A with singer and saxophone player Kalmia Traver

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There is one heck of a protest going down in the country right now fueled by a DIY attitude and a zealous desire for change.  If you put a soundtrack to the energy in the country what would it sound like?  Some may feel Tom Morello strumming them towards a new world.  While for others it’s something older with twangs of Dylan and Richie Havens.  In my mind its more upbeat and constructive it seems to have the heaviness of bass mixed with an uplifting horn section.  It’s got multiple voices and many heartbeats.  To me it seems that Rubblebucket, a band that lives and breathes a DIY lifestyle plays a fitting soundtrack to tone of our current movement.   A few weeks ago BOMS sent off an email to Rubblebucket’s publicist with a several questions for this eclectic band.

Here are Rubblebucket’s singer and saxophone player Kalmia Traver’s answers.

BOMS: How would you describe the type of music you are creating – dance rock, new wave, artsy pop – something else?

KT: short answer: Psychedelic Pop

long answer: Ecstatic psychedelic dance art-pop with horns and sweaty action and lots of dancing so come it’s going to be great!!

BOMS: What can one expect when coming out to see a Rubblebucket show?

KT: See above? (haha) No really… I think we all pride ourselves in being some very hard-working members of show business. We love to play live and feel the energy that comes off whoever’s in the room. We kind of live for those magical moments when a bunch of stuffed-up post-workday self-conscious people suddenly become transformed into hyper joyous dancing sirens. We all lift each other up!

BOMS: Rubblebucket seems to thrive in an upbeat sounding area.  “Came Out Of a Lady” and “Silly Feathers” are hard not to enjoy with a smile.  Your rhythms, horns and muti-layered songs drive the listener to movement.  What pushes you towards the light vs. darker side of music?

KT: This question probably has a lot of different answers, depending on which band member you ask. I will tell you my answer (Kalmia): I’ve almost never used music as a force of dark in my life. I know that many people let it plunge them deeper into their emotional lows, or have experienced it as a community which houses and enables their insecurities. But I’ve almost always been lifted up by music. Playing it and listening to it. Not always in a an annoying, cheery way, sometimes I cry, but it’s always expanded me, and pushed me forward. That’s just the reality for me, and I’m so thankful for it.

BOMS: You’ve recorded “Came Out Of a Lady” several times on different albums – have you perfected it yet or will you give it another go?

KT: The first time we recorded it was for a web series called “Masters from their day” The idea was to get bands who are good at the instruments, and record and completely mix one song in one day, in the way of the old greats. The producers wanted a new song, so we chose came out of a lady. It was only a month old, and we were really excited about it – felt it had a lot of potential. So of course that recording has got a lot of special vibe, and we also ended up using it for our music video. The new one (on Omega La La) is Eric Broucek’s take. I love them both, and probably couldn’t choose one over the other. I think that song’s done for now, but I sometimes think about going back and re-recording the song Violet Rays. It’s a beauty, and it’s evolved a lot since we first recorded it.

BOMS: How much are you influenced by musicians from today vs. Musicians from an earlier era?

KT: With some of the most amazing emerging bands that I love these days, I can hear their ears hearing old music that’s influenced me too. It’s crazy to be making music in the middle of this information-availability explosion. I get so overwhelmed sometimes, that I just shut down. But I think the truest answer to this question has to be that we all owe huge tribute to musicians of bygone eras. Lots of our sound is based on rhythmic fundamentals that flow throught the blood of humanity, and have been unveiled and discovered and expanded on through the years of pre-recorded and recorded music by awesome visionaries. Sometimes I feel all this music that’s been created in the world is a giant playground and, with our contemporaries, we are just little kids running around, all digging, playing and exploring side by side.

BOMS: So with 3 albums tucked under your belts how has Rubblebucket evolved as a band since the first?

KT: We’ve finally settled on a line-up, and we all get along with each other, for the most part. That’s pretty huge. We’ve been always following our ears and our ears have definitely been leading us somewhere. It’s a place of art and grind, synesthesia, and rolling out the carpet for people, so we can all get our free on together.

BOMS: You’ve played hundreds of shows– could you pick and describe a favorite and why?

KT: Playing at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT is always a benchmark. That is one of our biggest homes, and has some of the most loving fans, and we’re friends with everyone who works there. I think every time I’ve played there I’ve left saying “that was the best show to date”.  We’ve also had some amazing ones with very low attendance

BOMS: You’re a substantial band at 8 pieces deep already, but if you could invite any musician(s) to join you in the band (alive or dead) who would you pick, and why?

KT: First I immediately thought Moondog, but that’s just because I’ve always wanted to meet him and to collaborate with him in any way would be a dream come true. I think we could share some mutual fun with George Clinton, if he came up with us just doing his thing. We’ve got some mutual colors.

BOMS: Do you feel more comfortable playing in a live setting or in the studio?  And why is there a comfort level difference – if there is one?

KT: There are extreme pressures in both. The studio is warm, bright, smells great, and I can sip as much tea as slowly as I want. But in the end, something amazing has to come out, and I have to be happy with it FOREVER. I find myself going in and out of bouts of hilarity when we’re having fun, and then nervous heart palpitations, if something isn’t feeling right, or communication is blocked in some way. The stage and the road are very hard on the body. But the liberation is exhilarating. It is possible to get into a comfortable rhythm, but takes a lot more effort and organization (WHERE are my raisins and keys and left boot??). However, we get to play all these live shows where it’s really about “leaving it all on the stage”. I have permission every night to have a public spaz attack. Talk about emotional release!!

BOMS: If you believe music evolves over time – where do you see the Rubblebucket sound going 5 years from now?

KT: I think in a way we’ve finally made it to our sonic home, after 3 albums. Not to say that we won’t keep evolving, because that’s in our nature. Five years is a lot of time, so I suppose it’s hard to predict specifics. We’re always listening, bopping around, joking and absorbing. I think our music does have some settling to do. I can imagine softer deeper tones, and more evolved lyrics.

BOMS: What inspires you away from music – art, food, play?

KT: Absolutely. And also sex.

Rubblebucket is on tour in US through mid-November for more information visit here

Popped! Music Festival 2011 – The video recap

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Peep this music fans and watch as Foster The People, The Hold Steady, Elbow, Cage The Elephant and many more throwdown some wild times in Philly!