Soule Monde

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”

-Aldous Huxley

soule monde

In my never-ending search for good funky jamming music, I have come across once again, two guys who know the true meaning of funk. I mean really cool fluid funk that you have to dance to. The band is called Soule Monde.

Composed of only drummer Russ Lawton and Hammond B3 Organist Ray Packzkowski (both members of TAB), they often seek the company of like-minded musicians with the only thought being of producing a collaborative effort that will melt the mind. Standby for an altering of consciousness!

You would think that the missing guitar and organ produced bass line most of the time would take away from the quality and depth of the music, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. With guests dropping in like Trey Anastasio (1/10/19). an element of musical exploration is added that you wouldn’t necessarily see with TAB or Phish for that matter.

These two guys trade grooves almost to the point where you would think Mr. Spock had a mind meld on them. But it isn’t just one groove that sustains an entire show. It’s a carefully coordinated mixture of movement from both of them that actually compliment each other throughout a show. Now granted, I am basing this on videos that I have seen on YouTube as well as recorded shows on archive.org and not only can you feel the intensity from the musicians, but the audience as well.

As luck would have it, they are playing tonight 3/21 in Port Chester, NY and I will not be able to attend the show. I would think, however, that with The Capitol Theatre’s close proximity to NYC, they may not be playing alone. And that would be a good thing.

 

 

Has Spring Sprung?

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
― Anne Bradstreet

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Early spring last year at Ward Pound Ridge

It’s amazing what a single day can do your mind and your psyche. Tonight at 5:58 pm marks the official start of spring. Even though the temperature on my way in this morning read 26 degrees, my brain was still stuck on the idea of it being spring. In the northeast you still have to expect chilly nights, but the days will certainly get warmer each and every passing day. With that will come no snow, no mud and hopefully long afternoons of hiking after school.

The high temperatures between now and Sunday range from 48 degrees today to 55 on Sunday. In that range however, you do see a 39 slipped in on Saturday. But the good thing is that a 39 degree day on Saturday March 23rd is just a little bit different than a 39 degree afternoon in the middle of November.

With that said, I am pretty sure that I will head out to Ward Pound Ridge a couple of times in the next few days to venture out on a 3.5 mile loop that isn’t that difficult.

Here’s some info about spring that you  might find interesting that I got from The Old Farmer’s Almanac:

The vernal equinox signals new beginnings and nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere! Many cultures celebrate spring festivals, like Easter and Passover.

Observe nature around you!

  • Worms begin to emerge from the earth. In fact, the March Full Moon is called “The Full Worm Moon” for this reason.
  • Notice the arc of the Sun across the sky as it shifts toward the north. Birds are migrating northward, along with the path of the Sun.
  • Speaking of birds, did you know that the increasing sunlight is what triggers birds to sing? Cool, eh? Enjoy our Bird Songs page.
  • Trees, shrubs, and flowers are sensitive to temperature and day-length, too! Since ancient days, people have used them as indicators of when the weather is right for planting. For example: Blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishesparsnips, and spinachSee more of nature’s signs.
  • Of course, the longer days bring warmer weather! Both we and the animals around us strip off our clothes and heavy coats!
  • Ready, set, plant! March is time to start gardens and sow seeds in many regions. See the best planting dates according to your local frost dates or our Vegetable Gardening for Beginners guide for gardening tips!

Here is the website: https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox#

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hiking & The Brain

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I’m always on the hunt for articles or videos that stress the importance of hiking in relation to a healthy lifestyle. Here is a link to an excellent article on how the brain changes due to hiking. Even though the article was written three years ago, it is obviously still valid today. When you read it, you may think to yourself, “I already knew that.” As a hiker, you probably did.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/04/08/doctors-explain-how-hiking-actually-changes-our-brains/

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Let’s Go Over The Basics…

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This is about 1/2 mile from the spot that has so far caused me just about nine months of hiking.  When I finally get out there no one will be able to say I’m not ready!

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

– John Muir

I’ve mentioned in previous posts the importance of being prepared when you go out hiking. It doesn’t what the length of the hike is, you need to have certain things with you, just in case. Just in case of what you might ask? Who knows!!!! The variables are constant and many. You really have to be prepared for what you know, and more importantly, what you don’t.

If you hike in the same area then you should be pretty familiar with the basics. I know that I plan for where I am going to be. If you hike in the same general area, this should make your planning a little easier. For example, what plants are poisonous, what is the terrain like, which snakes are poisonous and which ones aren’t and so on. This may seem like a lot of  information, but the more you know, the better prepared you will be just in case you run into trouble.

Here is a common list that I think is important to have even on short day hikes. It may differ from others that you have seen but I am making this based on personal experience. I learned the hard way last summer that you really, really need to be prepared.

1) Water-I know that I have beat this one pretty close to death, but it is a fact that even if you are heading out for a short hike, drink water before, during and after your hike. As a matter of fact, I bought two more of the 48 ounce Nalgene bottles a few weeks ago. This will bring me to 192 ounces of water even for a day hike. Since that comes to a nice 12 pounds of water, friends have told me I am crazy for carrying that much water. With my mishap last summer, I’ll file that under “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

2) Sawyer Squeeze-Ok. I know that with carrying that much water I shouldn’t need a purification system. Once again, you never know what is going to happen so I’ll file this under, “I know I’m crazy but it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

3) Rain Poncho/Emergency Space Blanket-I have never really made it a priority to hike in the rain. Although I have been caught in thunderstorms during a hike, I have never set out to do a hike in the rain. This year I plan on making an effort to get out even in the rain. The poncho can also act as a nice shelter if something happens and I can’t get out of the woods right away. Of course The Emergency Space Blanket will help keep me warm.

4) First Aid Kit-I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. This one gets filed under, “you could be screwed if you don’t have one.”

5) Multi Tool/Fire Starter/Boonie Hat-Once again, pretty self-explanatory, always handy if you need them and a huge problem if you need them and don’t have them.

6) Map/GPS (Garmin Etrex 30)-Even though I know many of the trails that I hike on, having a map of the area is always essential. I don’t carry a compass anymore because I don’t stray from the trail like I used to 15-20 years ago. My days of bushwhacking are done. My GPS, a Garmin is used just to calculate exact mileage. In the old days, I would almost have to guestimate how far my hikes were.

7) Kelty Zephyr Daypack/Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles/Vasque St. Elias GTX Hiking Boots-I saved the best for last. For over two decades now I have hiked with my Kelty Zephyr Day Pack. Since I have no reason to retire it, I will use it for another year. Second, I did have to buy new trekking poles after snapping one of mine last year. My boots? They remain the same and probably will for at least the next few years. I still have the almost new ones that I never got to wear last summer, plus I got another pair a couple of months ago for just about 50% off. Can’t beat that with a stick!

So there you have it! I have read many, many different “essentials” that you should take day hiking. I have adapted my list to accommodate my own personal situation and I am hoping that it will make for a outstanding summer of hiking.

What are your essentials? Do they differ much from my list? What would you add or take away?

HAPPY HIKING!!!

It’s Closer Than You Think…

“I felt free and therefore I was free.” 

-Jack Kerouac

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This is what I’m talking about.

I can sense it. It’s almost time. The weather for the next few days looks like it should be for mid-March. With temps in the mid 40’s during the day and high teens to the early twenties at night, most of the snow has melted and now all we are left with is soul sucking mud. Even though we didn’t get a whole lot of snow this winter, the amount of rain we saw was unbelievable. It seems like it has rained non stop for months. As a result, we now have mud that will literally stop you in your tracks.

But that too shall pass. The trails will soon be clear and the warm air of spring will come. Oddly enough, however, one day out of nowhere it will be so hot that I’ll be trying to get my hikes in very early in the day just to beat the heat. But that’s ok. School ends on June 26th and we return on August 28th. That’s 62 days of hiking glory!

But let’s worry about the here and now. With the days getting longer and longer and more days between now and the end of school than in summer itself, I’ll be making plans to get out. Until then, my pack, poles and boots sit waiting.

Happy Hiking!!!

  

Movin’ And Groovin’ With Star Kitchen

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I decided today that archive.org needed another look and sure enough, I found another gem that definitely deserves a look for all of you folks who are into jamming.  StarKitchen, a side project of the Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein, started its first tour a few months ago and I found myself listening to a show from this past weekend.

Even just into the first two minutes of the first song, Star Kitchen at Nublu in NYC had me moving and grooving on my couch. From the very start, the mixture of the organ and guitar trading off lengthy solos made it really difficult to sit still. And even though I can really get into the guitar solos, the rhythm guitar during the organ solos was really, really tight.

Full of funk, this band knows what it’s doing. The segues between songs are seamless and each of the jams proved to be exploratory in their own right. No useless noodling of scales here.  Along with that came the spacy guitar jams even before the first set ended. Usually, the mind-expanding jams are left for the second set of a show. These guys jump right into every song and give each one everything they’ve got. Hopefully, this band will continue to tour and if you get chance, go see them. At the very least check them out on archive.org, you will not be disappointed.

Peace.

 

You Need More Live Music In Your Life

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Who doesn’t love live music? With many bands, you can often travel beyond the normal limits of your everyday existence. It’s a chance to escape all the insanity that this world has to offer. Even though I have known about this website for many years, I am just now really digging deep into a catalog of fantastic live music.

Archive.org, is truly the place to go if you are looking for some outstanding jam bands, some that are well known and others that aren’t. It’s worth a look just to hear some bands that you may otherwise never get a chance to experience.

The format of archive.org is a simple one. If the show is a soundboard, you will more than likely just be able to stream the show. Audience versions or perhaps lesser known bands soundboards can be downloaded.

After a friend suggested that I check out Twiddle . I streamed a show from early February of this year and was pleased with what I heard. One of the things that I like about Twiddle is their ability to put out some intense Grateful Dead covers. Not to downplay their originals, because they also cut through the nonsense and set up a really tight groove that you can no doubt dance to. I’ll have more on them in other posts and I go through some more of their shows.

Speaking of dancing, Organically Good Trio, a band from Boston, plays some seriously funky music interfaced with a dose of reggae and some mellow and trippy guitar. I am currently listening to a show from 3/16/18 where they opened for Dumpstaphunk at the Brooklyn Bowl. I haven’t heard a tune yet that I didn’t like.

If you do check out this show, make sure that you pay special attention to Wild West, Grow Your Own and No Hard Times. This is just some really good music.

Now I have to admit that many of the bands that I will choose to listen to will be because I find their name cool, weird or just really out there. If the music is good, I’ll write about it.

More at another time.