Disc Jam Music Festival is, in my opinion, the best intimate event on the East Coast. Each year the festival boasts an incredibly diverse lineup with acts performing music ranging from experimental bass music to death funk, hip-hop to Americana jam – I’ve even seen an entire beatbox performance at Disc Jam. In a nutshell, there’s simply something for everyone at this festival, which is why it brings me great joy to announce CEG is an official sponsor of this summer’s event, and is hosting one of the two main stages with our friends and frequent collaborators at Live For Live Music. There’s a whole mess on incredibly diverse talent flying in from all over the country to perform on the CEG B Stage, so I thought it would be cool to kick off our Disc Jam editorial coverage with five must-see acts performing on our stage. Passes for Disc Jam are astonishingly cheap for what you get, and can be purchased right here. The event is scheduled to take place from June 8th – 11th in Stephentown, NY at the same venue made famous by the now deceased Bella Terra Music Festival. In chronological order, Lord Electro kicks off our 5 must-see CEG Stage B acts, just below the Thursday schedule.
I’m a big fan and supporter of The Disco Biscuits, so I’m naturally a fan and supporter of Lord Electro. To the best of my knowledge, there will not be a Biscuits side project or roaming musician at Disc Jam this summer, so there’s no chance in hell I’ll be missing the dance party that is Lord Electro’s jamtronica set. The three piece outfit from Albany, NY, was founded rather recently in 2015, and is powered by the talented Dan Gerken (synths), Steve Mink (bass/synth), and Jordan LeFleur (drums). During the Biscuits’ Cap run, I couldn’t couldn’t make it up for Night 1 on Thursday, so instead I made my way over to the nearby Arlene’s Grocery in New York City to catch Lord Electro headline a show with support from Of Clocks and Clouds and Monotronic. As soon as Gerken ripped his first synthesized keys solo, the fomo of missing Biscuits Night 1 immediately subsided and my dancing legs took control. The boys recently released a banging new album, which you can check out here. Thursday, June 8th, 4pm: CEG B Stage. Be there.
Roots of Creation
RoC is simply on fire in 2017. We just had them open up for the Lucky Chops on 4/20 at Irving Plaza in NYC, and although I personally could not attend, no one will stop talking about their phenomenal set and how they unequivocally stole the show. Not only that, but they’re just getting off a sell-out tour with Badfish – the best Sublime experience out there right now – and are scheduled to reunite with them on our summer Badfish booze cruise aboard the Jewel in New York City on Friday, June 30th (tickets here, get them while you can, this particular cruise sells out every year). Comprised of Brett Wilson (lead vocals/guitar), Tal Pearson (keys/vocals), Mike Chadinha (drums/SPDS sampler/vocals), Nick Mini (bass), Billy Kottage (trombone/vocals), and Andrew Riordan (sax/dub fx/vocals), Roots of Creation was founded way back in 1999 and has been conquering the modern reggae scene ever since. This year’s Disc Jam lineup is somewhat thin on the reggae front this year, so I’d highly recommend making your way over Stage B at 8:30pm on Thursday for a refreshing dose of dub without the step. Directly after on Stage A is one of my personal favorite bands, lespecial, and although I’m stepping away from the theme of CEG Stage B for a second, I can’t help but warn you we cannot be friends if you don’t catch lespecial right after RoC.
Adam Magnan (drums), Sean McAuley (keys/percussion), Sean Silva (bass/synth), and Wiley Griffin (guitar) are from my hood in Brooklyn and are my boys, but even if I didn’t know them personally and lived in Nebraska I’d still list Teddy Midnight as a must-see CEG Stage B act. Founded in 2010 at SUNY Oneonta in upstate New York, Teddy Midnight is an electro dance funk band that pushes boundaries by fusing dance music stylings with classic instrumental elements. Wiley joined the band a few years back from his former group MUN, which completed the current four-piece lineup. Each musician is incredibly talented at their craft, and you can easily tell they’re best friends just from their stage chemistry and the amount of fun they have playing together. Similar to Lord Electro, Teddy just put out a new project called Tedward Midi Volume 1, which shows off the band’s production abilities and comfort in the dance music genre (check out our review of the mixtape and our Q&A with the band here). At Disc Jam this year, the band is setting up a “Teddy TV” tent near the main stage with a full video set up to interview artists during the festival. I will be conducting a few, so get ready to watch me embarrass myself on camera.
On Saturday, I highly recommend catching Manic Focus‘s funky set. As the only main stage electronic music producer, this will certainly stand out as a memorable, unique experience at this year’s Disc Jam. As much as I love the creepy Woods Stage for some dirty, filthy bass music, it’ll be a nice change of pace to bring my electronic alter-ego to the main stage for a performance. Born John McCarten, JmaC is oddly enough a regular in the jam circuit and has made appearances at jam-centric festivals like The Werk Out in Ohio, and he even has a project called Manic Science with Brooklyn’s Break Science. Just like Lord Electro and Teddy Midnight, Manic Focus is also touring on a brand new LP titled Mind Rising, which was released on April 21st through his own independent label. JmaC holds the respect of many respected instrumental musicians, making him a perfect fit for the largely instrumental main stages. Check out his new album right here.
Representing Syracuse, New York and comprised of Adam Gold (keys/bass/vocals), Jack Brown (vocals/lyrics), and Emanuel Washington (drums), Sophistafunk fuses together hip-hop and funk music to build an incredibly unique sound and live experience. I was at the Brooklyn Bowl when they debuted their newest member, Tommy Meeks (sax) of the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, who adds a completely new texture to their already novel sound. I didn’t list Tommy as a fourth member in the beginning of this blurb, only because the band’s assets don’t currently list him as a member, but to my understanding and what I’ve been told verbally, he’s now a part of Sophistafunk. At Disc Jam, I absolutely expect Tommy to rip some crazy, dexterous sax solos on stage with Sophistafunk, seeing as his other band Funky Dawgz performs Friday on the CEG B Stage. Whenever I’m with a friend who sees Sophistafunk for the first time, without fail this friend gets blown away and tags along to every Sophistafunk show within a 50 mile radius. Don’t miss them at Disc Jam. Stay tuned for more coverage in coming weeks.