the ladies Bojon took vegas by storm over memorial day weekend, honoring one of their posse about to change marital status.
the facts surrounding this trip remain sketchy, and most direct inquiries were met with a stern, "NO COMMENT." however, a few details were released:
chicks in bikinis are well-received at the hard rock pool . . .
boas make good wigs . . .
girl power reigns supreme in vegas . . .
Studio 54 loves the white headress . . .
breast cancer awareness fund raiser last night
friends o' Bojon guest bartending at the fishbowl.
brought in celebrity doc. from portland. an expert.
various patients, free exams
ladies holding court . . .
courting jest . . .
excellent cause, good times . . .
the bay-to-breakers is a beautiful thing.
this signature san francisco ritual is 1/10th road race and 9/10ths costume parade, and this year's version was about as good as it gets. in contrast to last year's driving rain storm, absolutely perfect weather treated sunday's revelers to ideal let-your-freak-flag-fly conditions.
the pure creativity that this spectacle evokes is both invigorating and inspiring. while the actual runners at the head of the pack take the competition rather seriously, it's the miscreants that bring up the rear who give this race its character.
dress for this festive affair ranges from elaborate, hand-made costumes to, well, very little at all.
a group of kenyans dominated the race again this year, crossing the 7.5 mile course in about 35 minutes. as is typically the case, these runners finished the race before over 50% of the participants even hit the starting line.
rolling kegs, rocking house parties, outdoor bands, and tolerant police make the roughly 4 hour jaunt through the city streets a roving free-for-all.
"we've been to frisco, and we've seen it all," declared a bunch of tourists quoted in the chronicle. well put. the bay-to-breakers has it all, and it truly embodies the spirit of what makes san francisco such a colorful playground.
well, yes, the chef is a hall of famer.
and as a little tribute to his soul, here's some vintage footage of the legend himself showin' how it's done.
rollin', rollin', rollin', keep those good times rollin'
the secret to full tilt boogey for 4 straight days?
smoke and mirrors, baby, smoke and mirrors . . .
to say that saturday at the fest was more of the same would not do it justice. let's just say it was more.
more food, more friends, more fun. more.
of course, after a few days, everything does start to blend together. especially when you're trying to recount the trip to people a week later.
even the pictures do not help that much. especially when you're wearing the same outfit in each shot.
we again scored some primo real estate on saturday, setting ourselves up nicely for the day's festivities.
by your third day at the fest, catching up with the extended posse at base camp starts to feel like the sweetest of reunions. everybody's got war stories from the night before, and everybody's earned their stripes enough to garner madd respec. a few knowing nod's, some chillin' "hey bro"s, and it's ON again.
another noticeable difference by saturday is that everyone's got their timing down. you know when to dart to the bathroom. you know when to hit the beer tent. you know how to get to the congo stage. and you know where to find your favorite dish.
music line-up saturday was superb yet again. things started rolling with anders osborne playing on the acura stage along with big chief monk boudreaux followed by the always smokin' funky meters.
wildcard of the weekend had to go to LL Cool J on the congo stage. jazz fest's got range!!!
widespread panic closed things out and brought the house down. their whole set was tight, but their cut of Space Wrangler was surreal. and then they pulled out Aint Life Grand for the encore. perfect.
no sunday shows for us this year, so when we packed it up after widespread, that was it.
sentimentality reigned as we slid from the fairgrounds for the last time this year. the place is just magic, and you leave with the hope that you'll be able to do the pilgrimage again next year.
pen the epilogue as it suits. shell fest, F & M club, karl denson . . . it was all good.
we returned home with cheshire grins on our faces and full charges in our souls.
ahhh, dearest jazz fest, until we meet again . . .
bam! the fest in full effect and friday had it all: killer music, an abundance of reindeer games, and a wheelbarrow of conniving!!!
the rest of our crew rolled in at various points on thursday, and so we were at full strength on friday. we charged the fairgrounds early, set up shop in a prime location, and let it flow.
the camaraderie that the fest elicits is infectious. new faces from the day before became best friends today. and best friends from the day before became outright soulmates today.
'twas a treat to have the female bojon crew on board as well. a balanced ratio is just good chemistry.
killer music was the rule all day on friday. early treats included the IronMountain Native Dancers and a jammin' band called Ethan. then the heavy hitters came to play. back-to-back-to-back: Los Lobos, Robert Randolph, and Ben Harper.
Los Lobos was on top of its game, capping things off with an epic rendition of Bertha. Ben Harper was tight as well, but it was Robert Randolph who took best o' show.
Robert Randolph's a wizard on the slide box guitar, and he just tore through endless high energy riffs. and what's more, he was having so much fun on the stage that you got the sense he would have stayed there all night. guarantee we would have!
well shit, where do you go from there? retire to the hotel and pack it in?
more like swing by the hotel to don some funky threads and then check back into the mix.
first stop: the state palace theatre to catch jack johnson and galactic. more foot-stompin', groove-catching mayhem.
by this point, our crew was in full stride, and if there were any reins to pull back on we weren't looking for them.
next up was G Love and the Special Sauce at Tipitinas. my kingdom for the transcript of our conversation as we were waiting for the 3am show to start.
the one thing i do remember is that gravity was still very much in effect. i watched in slow motion as one of our best mates passed out standing and hit the ground hard . . . only to bounce back up and declare himself just fine . . . only to hit the ground again before he could finish the thought.
we stuffed him in a cab as he explained that alcohol had nothing to do with his status. just a touch of dehydration, that's all.
and yes, the G Love show was sick. intimate venue, raucous crowd, love in the air, and G Love bobbin' and weavin' all over the stage.
exactly what time we made it home is unclear. what is clear is that friday was a chart-topping, stone cold groove!!!
we somehow missed the fest last year, so it was especially killer to get back to the fairgrounds this go 'round. didn't matter that the crew was collectively working on about 18 minutes of sleep from the night before . . . the fest just exudes energy. we set up camp in front of the main stage and let the festivities commence.
the weather was sunny and warm, and a positive vibe greeted us at every turn. the headliners on thursday included Sonny Landreth, the North Mississippi Allstars, and John Mayer.
North Mississippi was the best of the bunch, but a group called The Benjy Davis Project had a killer garage-band-before-it-goes-big sound. turns out we were sitting right next the parents of the band. was pretty cool watching the beaming elders cheering on their offspring.
at one point, the proud mama next to me leaned over and said, "i just bought him that guitar."
"well," i relayed back to her, "he's definitely putting it to good use."
however, it was a player of a different ilk who stole the show. some time mid-groove this crazed cat set up shop at our camp calling himself "Voodoo Daddy."
sporting a funky jester's hat and a strong personality, Voodoo Daddy was fixated on two things: chasing the buzz and chasing the tail.
somebody said later that they heard Voodoo Daddy is actually a stockbroker in atlanta the rest of the year. well, on this particular day, everything was a "buy." the brother must have picked up a minor in pharmaceuticals along the way, 'cause our boy was packing.
Voodoo had this way about him that was at once both overbearing and endearing. it was a trip watching this paradox play out. one moment, some lass would be tossing a beer in his face. the next, she'd be sitting in his lap.
since Voodoo did very little discriminating and was truly oblivious to rejection, the drama played out all afternoon. he had two categories for everything he saw: "jester likey" or "jester no likey"
we saw Voodoo Daddy a bunch of times throughout the rest of the weekend. he returned to the bojon camp each day bearing gifts and talking smack.
i'll never forget one of his comments. somebody asked him what he was going to do that night, and he replied, "i'm gonna zig, and i'm gonna zag, and eventually something's gonna bite." what a beauty!!!
as a general rule, it pays to budget room at the fest for randomness. this can come in the form of killer bands you've never heard of or whacky characters you've never met.
the verdict on the Voodoo Daddy effect: DOUBLE THE BUDGET!!!
the fellas rolled into new orleans a day early this year to get a headstart on The Fest and to throw down in honor of one of the bojon crew about to take the plunge into married life.
The Artist Formerly Known As Solo (aka The Artiste) has been a lifelong Bob Marley fan, and so the festivities took on a decidedly Rasta flavor.
we grabbed some eats in the french quarter at a casual joint called the The Red Fish Grill. Pee-Wee Herman paid The Artiste a visit as did many an inquisitive tourist snapping pictures and wondering what the hell was going on.
unable to account for ourselves, we took the show on the road and went to catch the Garage a Trois gig at twiropa. if anybody actually heard the band play, please fill us in because we were too busy cavorting to notice.
late, late night was spent back in the quarter looking for trouble. rest assured, we found our fair share.
good times all around, and by the end of the evening we did manage to get The Artiste home safely.