Camp Bisco: Old Friends, New Bands and Classic Segues
Photos by Calder Wilson, via Camp Bisco’s Facebook page
The Disco Biscuits played three of their only 2012 shows at Mariaville, NY’s Camp Bisco 11 festival this past weekend. The original idea for Camp Bisco in ’99 was to feature electronic acts alongside jambands and, while the festival has weighed those two genres differently over the years, they are Camp Bisco’s two stylistic calling cards.
As the electronic movement—especially dubstep—has increased in popularity, the festival’s DJ and livetronica offerings have received a higher billing. Beginning with last year’s festival, Camp Bisco has also attracted a fanbase from outside the jamband scene. In addition to six sets of the Disco Biscuits, this year’s festival boasted Bassnectar, Skrillex, Amon Tobin ISAM, Crystal Castles, Atmosphere, Big Boi, Emancipator, A-Trak, Lotus, Simian Mobile Disco(DJ Set), Porter Robinson, Dada Life, Zeds Dead, Portugal. the man, Big Gigantic, Bonobo( DJ Set), Break Science w/ Chali 2na, Rubblebucket and many others. While many have used Bassnectar’s co-headlining status as a sign of the festival’s changing demographic, the rising electronic star has actually appeared at Camp Bisco for the past five years.
In a recent interview with Jambands.com, Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein said his band plans to focus on their classic material throughout the weekend. So it was no surprise that the band performed many of their best known songs throughout the weekend. Some highlights included a run from Basis for a Day” into “Mindless Dribble” and “Aceetobee, ” the second portion of “Basis for a Day,” “42” and “Helicopters” (7/12), a segue from “7-11” into “Little Betty Boop,” “Tricycle,” The Great Abyss” and “Spacebirdmatingcall” (7/12) and the package of “King Of The World,” “Helicopters,” “Digital Buddha,” “Cyclone,” “Munchkin Invasion,” “And the Ladies..,” “Run Like Hell” and “Basis for a Day” (7/14). During one of their “Nughuffer” narratives on Friday, the band also invited out longtime head of security Marshall Rodriguez—the founder of festival friendly Marker Protection Services security guards—for a birthday bow and toast. In addition, on Saturday Big Gigantic saxophonist Dominic Lalli sat in on “Spaga” (members of Big Gigantic, Underground Orchestra and the Biscuits offshoot Conspirator have a side-project called Giant Underground Conspiracy).
One last minute addition to the festival, Emancipator, featured a slew of guests during his “and friends” performance, including Lalli Bonobo, Gabe Lehner and Eric Poline of Inspired Flight, and Molly Kummerle of Paper Tiger. A hiccup did occur when border crossing issues forced hip-hop star Big Boi to arrive late, cutting his set to only 20-minutes. His one sing-along anthem was Outkast’s “The Way You Move.”
All four members of the Disco Biscuits also played bonus sets for fans who purchased VIP tickets through CID Entertainment. Brownstein and keyboardist Aron Magner performed as part of Giant Underground Conspiracy while drummer Allen Aucoin played a solo set as DrFameus. Disco Biscuits guitarist Jon Gutwillig used the opportunity to debut the new group Kick Rocks, which featured fellow performers drummer Mike Greenfield (Lotus), bassist Clay Parnell (Brothers Past) and keyboardist Eli Winderman (Dopapod). Though they mostly stuck to improv, the quartet did offer an instrumental
Reworking of Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom.” Greenfield, who played an extended set with Lotus as well, and guitarist Eric Zeiler, of the indie group Xylos, performed at the second Camp Bisco with their group The Ally and have returned in recent years with more established fulltime projects.