Jacksonville brethern Greenhouse Lounge released their sophomore effort, Freak Out//Now Reflect, today (10/15/2013) and kick off a headlining run around the Sunshine State with literal bro Sir Charles tomorrow. Stops include Gainesville, Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Tallahassee…which also includes DrFameus. Stream Freak Out//Now Reflect below and then download it for FREE because it’s awesome.
“How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?” This is what my ride asked me over the phone before the trip began. I hadn’t intended to go that far, but I found myself there anyway. Pulled into the energy of this land, these people, this wonderful Gratifly Music Festival.
This place is sacred, located at the beginning of the Trail of Tears, and hosting its first ever gathering of this type. And the intentions are strong to honor the spirits that rest here, to keep things uplifted and positive.
It is a masterpiece of co-creation. The Installation Village features structures of varying shape, size, and texture, each offering something different, but only adding to the whole. A large wooden temple resembling a teepee, a healing zone, and a geodesic dome are just a few examples. Vendors as well as free-roaming individuals offer wares of all kinds. Brilliantly put together outfits and costumes add so much life and color. Creativity abounds.
A cool cascading river provides respite from the heat and the sweat that builds up on many treks up and down the hills. The land is really beautiful, and reminds me of what I consider home, the SouthwestVirginia mountains. The fresh air and open fields give us all room to exhale and release the things that we’ve carried with us from our respective homes. We are allowed to just be in the moment; nothing else matters. All the things that have worried me and pressed on me melt into the woods and are forgotten.
Blissful reunions with old friends who have gone their separate ways and playful introductions to new friends who become like the old almost instantly. Everyone is open to meeting the opportunities of the moment, barring nothing, simply being free.
The music reflects it all right back to us, as the musicians honor the same sentiments of the festival and the people who are attending. It’s like a persistent feedback loop, amplifying, amplifying, amplifying, until the sounds of unity and love are so loud, it’s almost too much to bear. The earth shakes with the movement of the people, the trees sway in unison, the wind wraps it all together.
Performances by Rising Appalachia, The Human Experience, Papadosio, Futexture, and EarthCry are the highlights of the night. After a little bit of a late start, things are going strong and the music is powerful. Crowds of dancing and singing people dot the landscape, stage lights dancing over them, pulsating, quickening. All is well with the world. Everything is at peace.
A day full of wandering. A solitary trip down from the campsite leads me into a beautiful opening ceremony at the Temple. By the end of it, I am in tears, amazed by the abundance of pure love that surrounds me. We are told to carry that vibe with us throughout the rest of the weekend and the rest of our lives. It’s a hard task to live up to, but we know this is the way.
The air is sweet and I feel safe here. Essential oils and sensual aromas are everywhere. I roam around from stage to stage catching glimpses of bands and workshops as I go. Empire Strikes Brass brings a high-energy horn section that is a nice break from the electronic sounds.
A talk with some of the brilliant minds behind Papadosio, Akara Project, The Human Experience and others reveals some of the secrets of intentional music creation.
It is so nice to see the exchanges of energy and knowledge constantly unfolding. Open hearts meet open arms and open ears; the landscape is rich with transformation, as it should be. We are all here to support and love each other, to build each other up until we all reach that high point. Healing is the goal.
The sun begins to set and the excitement is palpable. The night’s lineup is amazing; I know I’m going to wear out my dancing shoes. Drumspyder gets me into the tribal vibe with some world music tracks accompanied by mind-blowing beats on a drum pad. I literally cannot stop dancing.
I see Aligning Minds for the first time and am more than impressed. A live drummer adds to the electronic element; I always appreciate the blending of organic and inorganic sounds. Not to mention a killer light show that even has the trees dancing. After that, Papadosio’s second set of the weekend is an absolute love fest; I don’t think I’ve smiled harder.
A fire circle sets up in front of Phutureprimative. Spinners of all types bring their pieces of the magic with mesmerizing fire dances. I can’t take my eyes off the flow.
My lack of sleep begins to wear on me, so I head over to the Tribal Council Stage to occupy a hammock and be serenaded by the late night sounds of Bird of Prey, and Merkaba. Random Rab closes out the night with a sunrise set that goes well into the morning. I finally wrestle myself from the comfort of the hammock and head back to my tent to catch a bit more sleep before starting on the new day.
Random Rab plays through sunrise. I wake up and am surrounded by people still partying like sleep is a figment of their imaginations. I go back to the tent to catch some warmth and some Zs. Day 3 is here.
Throughout the entirety of this festival, I have found myself wanting to wander, to stumble into new and exciting things, and Gratifly has more than delivered. There are so many things to do and see; I am engulfed in the magic.
This is the dawning of the East Coast transformational festival. An all-encompassing experience that stimulates the mind, body, soul, and spirit. It really isn’t just about the music. Performances are intentionally delayed until the late afternoon each day to allow for attendance at the many workshops and talks. We are all destined to learned something this weekend, as long as we are open to it.
Hoop icon Baxter leads a hoop dance class and shows us all how to “sway,” freeing up our arms and our energy to truly flow with the hoop. We then learn how to be hoop ninjas and how to smooth out our tosses. Though simple tools, they are powerful and won’t soon be forgotten.
Cooling off in the jelly dome that doubles as a giant mister, I take in all the movement and flow around me. There is something about the manipulation of the body and props that is truly beautiful, and I will find myself getting lost in fire dances and acrobatics again tonight.
Some notable musical performances include Kalya Scintilla, EsKmo, The Werks, and many others whose names I have yet to learn. When you are open to the festival flow, you find yourself stumbling into different artists at different stages, sometimes without even knowing who is performing.
I’m off to bed early tonight (if you can call 1 a.m. early) in order to make the best of my last day. I want to get in several workshops and my usual Sunday drum circle. I’m sad to even think about the last day, but every good thing must come to an end. However, in this case, I get to carry Gratifly gratitude in my heart forever.
The last day is always bittersweet. We want to stay forever, but the demands of reality call us home. Onward to light other fires with the flames that have been kindled in our hearts.
An early rise leaves me feeling grateful for the opportunity to walk the grounds while they are still at peace, although Adam Shaikh is still raging the Tribal Council Stage from the night before. (This goes on ‘til after 10 a.m.) I venture into the Fairie Forest, an area of full of magic and inspiration. It connects to another piece of the river, just deep enough to stick your feet in or lay down to cool off.
The empty Yoga Space calls me to do a few downward dogs and center myself for this final adventure. I have been blessed by the themes of health and healing throughout the weekend, and take a few minutes to honor my body and how far it has carried me. A simple thank you is not enough.
A workshop led by Nick Joyce on mindful drumming teaches us to listen and breathe within the circle, never losing touch with the whole. This way we connect and find our place in the groove, creating something beautiful together. Clearly, these lessons apply outside the circle, as well.
Ehren Cruz and a panel of several other visionaries educate on the vision and goals of SolPurpose, a website that helps creative types find their purpose while still caring for their material needs. As something that I personally struggle with — wanting to immerse myself completely in my art and spiritual development, but also needing to pay the bills — the talk was very enlightening and I encourage anyone dealing with those same issues to check out the site.
Jamie Janover speaks on Nassim Haramein’s Unified Field Theory, as scientists are uncovering the secret long known by the ancients that everything is indeed connected and that there are several planes of existence all interacting with each other in sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, ways. As we learn more about this field, we can use to it our advantage and understand that it is working with us to create the better world that we crave.
Adam Shaikh plays another set and I get down and dirty with my hoop. I’ve had several breakthroughs this weekend and feel like I’ve finally solidified my hoop “dance.” There are few connections stronger than the one between man (or woman) and hoop (or poi, or staff — whatever your prop may be).
The sounds of Infinite Geometry meld with my tired eyes and I am asleep in a hammock once again. I wake to Ployd and then head over to the Gratitude Stage to be Emancipated. Doug Appling and Marley Carroll lay down the soothing sounds they are so well known for and my heart is at peace.
Desert Dwellers close out the night. At this point, I can barely keep my eyes open, but my crew plans to leave after the music, so I stay awake. Carrying all our gear down what has been dubbed “Buzzkill Hill” in the dark is not an easy task, but it is done and we hit the road at 5 a.m. with an eight-hour drive ahead of us. It is not easy to say goodbye, but the love and light that have been imparted to me cannot be dimmed by distance. Thank you Gratifly, and I hope to see you again next year.
Next Friday (6/1) will be a night of reckoning at the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton. The beat machine known as DrFameus, or more intimately as Allen Aucoin to his legions of fans, will lead a full an assault on our hip hookah & brew lounge. Known best for his extensive work as the “replacement” drummer for the Disco Biscuits, Aucoin has earned a reputation as being something other than human when he sits down behind his kit. If you can respect high-energy performance and technical skill, you do NOT want to miss this opportunity. Atlanta’s electro-folk troupe Stokeswood and Miami’s club-rockers Freq support.
DrFameus w/ Stokeswood + Freq
@ Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery
Boca Raton, FL
$8adv, $10dos | 9pm | 18+
On July 1, 2007, BLP hosted our very first show…an after-party for the D.U.M.B. (Disco Biscuits/Umphrey’s McGee) show at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre at a small little bar known as Cheers featuring none other than our good buddies, The Heavy Pets. WOW…how things have grown! The SoFlo music scene, the BLPfam, The Heavy Pets and all the other great bands we’ve worked with along the way.
We have worked as hard as always to put together a proper celebration of the milestone aiming to include as many of our friends as possible…four nights, four venues, nine bands and the BLPfam…we hope to see you out!
On Thursday 6/28, we will kick off our FREE Thursday night AURA Parties at the Funky Biscuit with hometown homeboys Aquaphonics! This is an event that we hope takes off over the following months and develops into THE spot to be on Thursday nights in SoFlo.
Friday 6/29 is STACKED at the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery with three of our faves. Ketchy Shuby will kick the night off as they do so well before handing the Bamboo Stage over to longtime SoFlo stalwarts Cypress. Then Fusik closes out the evening with a power set of their infectious funk.
Saturday 6/30 is something special. We’ve worked on a LOT of shows at the Culture Room over the years, but this marks the first time we’ve hosted our own event in SoFlo’s baddest club. We hope everyone comes out early to hang and set the tone for the evening. SOSOS will start things off on the patio with their chill vibe, and the first 50 attendees will receive a special BLP birthday present PLUS we are offering everyone who attends a chance to win a pair of AURA Music & Art Festival tickets. Then the main stage will take off with sets by COPE, The Resolvers and The Heavy Pets. We are also offering a special BLP Family Invite (PW: BLPfam) for Friday and Saturday for just $20 which includes taxes and fees EXCLUSIVELY through BLPfam outlets.
Then Sunday 7/1 will be a special edition of our weekly Rockout With Your Cookout hosted by local super-group, El Groundscoro for an electrified jam rotating members of The Heavy Pets, Fusik, Cypress, The Resolvers, COPE, Ketchy Shuby and MORE through the grooves! We will also up the ante for the FREE BBQ and encourage everyone to come out early grub up and get ready to get down!
Fusik w/ Cypress + Ketchy Shuby
@ Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery
$10 | 9pm | 18+
The Heavy Pets w/ The Resolvers + COPE
Patio vibes by SOSOS
@ Culture Room
$12adv, $15dos | 8pm | 18+
* Birthday presents for the 1st 50 attendees PLUS everyone will receive a chance to win a pair of AURA Music & Art Festival tickets!
Rockout With Your Cookout ft. El Groundscoro & Friends
w/ members of The Heavy Pets, The Resolvers, COPE, Fusik, Cypress, Ketchy Shuby & MORE!
@ Hurricane Bar & Lounge
6-8pm – FREE BBQ
9-?am – FREE Jams