It’s been a few days since the Dam Jam. I’ve spent these days recovering, drinking lots of coffee, and (kind of) trying to get lots of sleep. I’ve also been reflecting on the biggest party of the summer.
Dam Jam 2012 opened Denmark and the surrounding towns up to the idea of welcoming hundreds to Moose Ponds quaint shores and partying until the moon was high. Dam Jam 2013 took this idea, and made sure Denmark knew it was here to stay. There were many memories made that night, here are my Top 12 highlights of Dam Jam 2013:
12. CokeWeed’s S.O.M. shirts
I know you’re all wondering what S.O.M. means.. and it’s kinda silly.. it means “Save Our Manatees”. And it’s incredibly silly! The cartoon-y shirt sports “CokeWeed” in wonky font with a toupee wearing Manatee hanging out. The shirt was a big hit with my friends, who all thought it was incredible. I don’t know man.. there’s just something about those shirts…
11. The Stage
I’ll get right to it. The stage was built on stacked cinder blocks. It was a little janky, a little scary. Even after we were built it, there were concerns we should have it on the ground like last year. But alas, the correct party won, and the stage stayed in the air. All around we learned from our mistakes last year, and it was put together well. The tent was bigger, the lights were better, and the bands were looking spiffy. Presentation is everything, and we definitely looked good. Hopefully the stage will be floating next year.
10. Grandy Oats
Making its appearance in the GreenRoom, Grandy Oats’ granola and nuts were a big hit with the bands (and staff) this year at the Dam Jam. I know many containers were smuggled out via purse or backpack. I’m actually eating a bowl of Maple Roasted Cashews as I write this..
9. Burlington Taiko’s Nibbling Dragons
There was a sight to behold as Burlington Taiko took a rest from their drumming and decided to let their dragons, ehem, costumed humans loose on the crowd at Dam Jam 2013. Set to a slow drumming beat, these masked marauders did quite a number on the unsuspecting crowd – even snagging a volunteer’s sunglasses.
8. Jamie’s Slide
One of the most memorable events at the Dam Jam must have been the return of last year’s hit Coke Weed. By their set, the sun was down and people were pretty ready to party (and pretty drunk). They were dancing, singing, applauding and shouting. And Jamie was.. sliding.. You all know Jamie’s dance moves. You know how fabulous they are. You know he likes to throw in a wild card. His wild card Saturday night? A slide. A full on, into the earth, rocking it hard, slide all the way up to the stage and into Nina’s feet. It was rad, it was cool, it was fan-frickin’-tastic, and it also ripped all the XLR chords out the snake, silmultaneously ending all microphone transmissions.
Don’t worry, it was fixed quickly, and imbedded into our brains forever.
7. Pure Popsicles
A big splash was made at the Dam Jam with our newest addition to the DAC family – PURE POPS! These organic, all natural, local popsicles are made with anything the cook decides, resulting in masses of strange flavors including Avacado Lime, or, Fig and Rice Pudding. Personally, my favorite is the Key Lime Pie. Dam Jam day was hot, and the sun was high. These popsicles kept selling until the last band ended. I once even heard a kid ask for any flavor (and you know kids are picky when it comes to food) ‘cus they were all so dang good!
Check ‘em out here. They’re always for sale at the DAC!
6. Meeting (and hugging) Kristin Hersh
Okay, sorry. This one is pretty personal for me. Kristin Hersh of the Throwing Muses was our headlinder, and she ROCKED Denmark. (See: “Something is rocking in…”) I was running around a lot this year, but Kristin’s set was the only one I told myself to really sit down on the grass and enjoy. Seeing a legend like her would be incredible in the first place, but having her in Denmark, and at my place of employment really blew my mind. After her set I found her on the steps of the arts center chatting with her hubby and just gushed. I always tell myself never to be an annoying fan, but oh la la, could I not help myself. I even gave her a big ass hug, cus she deserved it (and I’m a little selfish).
5. “The Drunks” (No not those ones!)
This year’s poster was incredibly different than last year’s. This year’s was brighter, with some furry characters sitting atop a Dam – inviting you in to enjoy the music. The Dam Jam itself is a family event that slowly fades into an adult party, and Jamie and I wanted the poster to reflect this. We wanted a furry animal smoking a butt, or maybe a jug of moonshine. Our artist Eric Hou was a little hesitant at first, but we eventually got him to put in some drunken character sans cigarettes. What resulted were these two:
4. Mountain Animation Blowing My Socks Off
When these two dudes showed up at the DAC, they were incredibly quiet, and a little distant. They had just come back from a tour coast to coast, so granted, they were allowed to be tired. Most of the bands I got to know as people because I was already intrigued with their music. However, I had never heard Mountain Animations music before. Subsequently through a mix of them being tired, and me being too tired (and them only going second) I got to know them through their music. As Jamie puts it, “Their dirty, energetic, and optimistic sound would be a tonic in any circumstance.” I heard them through the windows at the DAC and I promptly exclaimed :”They’re F-ing amazing!”
3. The Volunteers
This year we had a multitude of people incredibly willing to help work the Dam Jam. The even could not have been done without them, and we, here at the DAC are incredibly thankful for their hard work and participation. We hope to see you all next year, this could not have been done without y’all!!
2. Sunset Hearts Coasting Us Into the Moonlight
Incredible, incredible, incredible. That’s all I could say about this band and it would be sufficient. Their perfect mix of rock, pop, and synthesized fun was almost too much for me to handle. They were definitely the cherry on top for me at the Dam Jam, and the perfect ending to an incredible night. We even had about twenty teenagers come in after CokeWeed’s set just for this huge (11 people) band. Take a listen and see why:
1. Moving the Stage, Building the Stage, then Moving the Stage again (and again and again and ag…)
If you’re a hefty man from Denmark or an employee of the DAC, then you know of this long standing 2-year tradition. The aforementioned stage is a heavy one, made out of 4 huge, heavy, finger-crushing flats. The building, and transportation, and loading, and unloading of these flats is dreaded by anyone (except maybe Jamie) who has to participate. This is #1 on the memories, cus (sadly) it’ll be recreated every year.
This is definitely my highlight of the summer. See you all next year at Dam Jam 2014…