Funk Fest Punta Gorda Offers Sunny Skies And Smoking Jams

first_imgFunk rockers The Fritz call Asheville, North Carolina home ,and the artistic spirit of that city is very evident in the music they make. While Jamar Woods fronts the band with his vocals and keys he has plenty of help from a tight rhythm section and monster bass lines laid down by Jake O’ Connor. Check out the heart and soul they bring to the stage in the clip below. The two day event saw Voodoo Visionary taking double duty. With sets on Friday and Saturday, fans got a chance to really check out the Atlanta based jam-funk artists, and the band was eager to show what they could do. Guitarist Mike Wilson showed impressive chops while drummer Mac Schmitz handled the varying styles being juggled with deceptive ease. Watch them win some new fans with this tune from their Friday set: To close out the first night of Funk Fest Punta Gorda, Denver’s The Motet were brought in to show Southern funk lovers how things are down out west. Human spark plug Lyle Divinsky pinwheeled around the stage pumping up the energy. Garrett Sayers and Dave Watts demonstrated the proper procedures for getting the funk down and dirty. Guitarist Ryan Jalbert wound his crisp lines in and out of the rhythm and the horn bursts like a daredevil riding through a musical minefield.The crowd reaction to The Motet’s day ending jams showed full well just how stellar Colorado’s funk band of choice can be when the stage is cleared for them. Check out some of their fiery fun below.Saturday’s Funk Fest Punta Gorda line up started off with New Orleans sons Naughty Professor, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and a second helping of Voodoo Visionary before getting a bit rockier in the early afternoon. Beloved Dave Matthews sideman Tim Reynolds stepped up to the plate on the main stage, and knocked it out of the park. Reynolds only has one setting; full speed ahead.With his partners Mick Vaughn on bass and Dan Martier behind the drum kit, Reynolds delivered song after song of tight, aggressive funk-tinged rock that got the crowd on their feet and cheering. Check out their rendition of the Booker T & The MGs classic “Hip Hug-Her” below. Florida’s Funk Fest Punta Gorda was the perfect place to get the festival season off to as early a start as possible. Promoters mixed national acts like Dumpstaphunk, The Motet, Tim Reynolds and perennial festival faves Here Come The Mummies with regional talent like The Fritz, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Voodoo Visionary and more to give music fans plenty of reasons to shake their booties. With daytime temperatures in the 80’s, music fans and bands were able to enjoy some hot tunes and fun in the sun.Funk Fest was born out of civic pride. When organizers first conceived of the idea of hosting a fest, the thought was born out of love for Punta Gorda and the beaches, boating and fun on the Gasparilla Sound Harbor. With picturesque sunsets and a laid back Florida vibe, the town is rich in both style and charity, both strongly represented at Funk Fest 8.Organizers converted an empty city block into a two stage festival grounds, surrounded by palm trees, the harbor, and the beautiful downtown waterfront district. As soon as the gates opened, the fans streamed in to find food trucks, art for sale, and funk to fill their hearts and move their feet. If you are looking to throw a funk festival and you need bands then the first place you should look is America’s funkiest city, New Orleans. Joining a few of their fellow Crescent City friends on the Punta Gorda stages was Big Sam himself, alongside his band the Funky Nation. Seizo Shibayama practically set his fret board on fire with his high speed guitar strumming and Drew “Da Phessah” Baham provided plenty of direct support to the man out front, Big Sam. Check out Sam’s dance moves and trombone mastery on the raging clip below.Ever since Here Come The Mummies blew the crowd away at Funk Fest 2, they have been party mainstays, and it was clear that the fans were hyped to see their return engagement. The crowds packed in as close as possible to catch a glimpse of the mystery shrouded funk band from beyond the grave. Mixing grind house horror with genuinely catchy funk tunes is an inspired move and the musicians behind the make up lean into the act with all they have.At a Mummies show, choreographed dance moves and t-shirt cannons share time with uptempo tunes and comical lyrics. Here Come The Mummies embrace the theatrical fringes often explored by bands like P-Funk and KISS to a truly crowd pleasing, though less provocative, end. Watch their antics as they entertain and try to enlighten the crowd in the 12 minute clip below.After the second helping of The Motet on the Funk stage it was time to close out the big stage in style with the last big New Orleans heavyweight band of the day, Dumpstaphunk. Ivan Neville tickled the ivories next to his nephew Ian on guitar, the triple threat Tony Hall on guitar, bass and vocals, Alvin Ford Jr. on drums, and the incomparable Nick Daniels III on bass alone are enough to lay any party to waste on a given night.Luckily for the Punta Gorda crowd Dumpstaphunk was in the mood to kick things up a notch, and brought out the Naughty Professor Horns to help bring the fest home right. Mixing songs like their most recent single “Justice” with Dumpsta classics and even a cover or two, Dumpstaphunk proved to be the perfect choice for closing out the days music.With the perky horn accents sharpening the highs and Daniels providing insanely deep lows Dumpstaphunk had the most musically wide open set of the weekend. and the crowd seemed shell shocked by the funk bombs that had been dropped.Check out the funky take on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” that Dumpstaphunk and their guests delivered to the lucky Funk Fest fans below:Dumpstaphunk (with the Naughty Professor horns)When the lights came on to help folks find their way either home or to the special Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad late night set, the shell shocked expressions quickly turned to smiles. Fans wandered in all directions, some exiting to the many bars and restaurants that surrounded the downtown venue, while some just relaxed and watched the waves lap on the shore in the moonlight. It is hard to image a more beautiful metropolitan backdrop than Punta Gorda, and it is easy to see why so many fans who come for the first time become fans for life.For fans of the Florida funk, don’t miss Lettuce and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at the upcoming Fool’s Pardise in St. Augustine, FL on March 31 & April 1. They’ll be playing alongside The Motet, The Floozies, The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, and Oteil Burbridge & Antwaun Stanley as artists-at-large. Find out more information here.last_img read more

From playing a DA on TV to running for Congress

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Diane Neal has spent much of her life in the glow of a photographer’s flash or the focus of a TV film camera. For a model and actress, it has been lucrative work, but Neal, who graduates with an associate degree from the Harvard Extension School in May, knows a hefty paycheck isn’t everything.“Money buys you two things: time and opportunity,” said Neal, on campus recently for one of the School’s creative writing seminars. “But if you don’t make use of either one of those things, it’s pointless.”Best known for her role as assistant district attorney Casey Novak on the popular police procedural “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Neal has made the most of both. She has devoted much of her off-screen time to charity work, and then taken the opportunity to go back to school and use her Harvard education to inform her current political campaign.“This run is about the people of NY19. I want to represent us. Big money and the party machines have enough advocates,” said Neal, who announced her candidacy for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat in February.Neal once dreamed of a different spotlight entirely. She graduated high school at 16. “I was the kind of kid nobody spoke to unless they needed their homework done. I did no school plays. I was a science kid. I thought I was going to go into medicine or be an astrophysicist. A Nobel or a MacArthur ‘genius’ prize, that’s the kind of thing I would fantasize about.”Instead, in 1993 she landed a modeling contract after her sister signed her up for a contest during her first semester of college. For the next few years, Neal crisscrossed the globe for photo shoots, excited by foreign countries and cultures. The travel fueled her interest in and compassion for others. “You see all these people who have such capacity, and because of their circumstances, they are never going to have the opportunity to live up to it.”Later, on breaks during filming “Law and Order: SVU,” Neal quizzed the show’s guest stars. What “motivates you? What gets you going? What’s your worst fear?” she asked them. “I wanted to absorb everything I could about every part of everyone I met even in every job, from the wealthy people to the poor people to everyone in between.”,She was also eager to know more about the world. “I wanted to go back to school so badly. I was just dying to learn stuff,” said Neal, who recalled “trying to teach myself ancient Greek.”She considered programs at Columbia and New York University that were closer to most of her filming in Manhattan, but she knew there would be other shoots in more distant locations, and that a flexible schedule was key. “I needed something I could do remotely and in weird pockets of time.” She also wanted a robust program with academic variety. The Harvard Extension School was the perfect fit.“I realized I could do neuroscience, I could do psychology, I could do archaeology, I could do theology, I could do everything I wanted to learn,” she said. “Harvard has given me access to the smartest people in the world who genuinely love what they do. Everyone is a true believer in what they are doing. They are so passionate and enthusiastic about it, it makes you catch fire about it too.”Neal has been enrolled since 2009, working online from New York, or on the road, or on campus for classes when she could. The learning has helped her hone her candidate’s platform.A course on the psychology of close relationships has helped her better understand other points of view. A class on the ethics of environmental land management has opened her up to new ways of thinking about how humans treat the planet. A course on the science of physical activity has reinforced her belief that staying active is a key to health and that “you can actually build policy around that.”It was often a struggle to balance her work with her studies. When she was considering dropping a class, she remembers turning to Mark Harmon, whom she worked with during a number of guest appearances on his show “NCIS,” for a pep talk. He offered her some tough love in the form of the Navy SEALs’ unwritten code.“You just eliminate quitting as an option,” Harmon told her.Neal persisted despite personal trials, including a divorce, a car accident that sidelined her from work with a back injury needing surgery, and a home ravaged by two hurricanes.“I’ve been most impressed with Diane’s overall commitment to completing her degree, facing challenges head on, and always with a sense of humor,” said Sue Albrigo, her Extension School academic adviser.That attitude will come in handy on the campaign trail. Her desire to act crystalized on Nov. 9, 2016. The country’s polarization, she said, fueled her desire to get involved and to “get people excited about this grand experiment of the democratic republic.”It’s a lofty goal, one she thinks she can accomplish by running as an Independent.“I wanted to find a way that would have the biggest impact, where the most people would listen,” said Neal. Language on her website echoes that desire. “I offer an alternative to the divisive partisanship where neighbor turns against neighbor for no better reason than a party label. I truly believe in our combined ability to bring out the best in each other.”For Neal, getting people from both sides of the divide talking is a critical first step, and she plans to use what she’s learned at Harvard to jumpstart the conversation. Her Harvard time, she said, has helped her see the big picture and taught her how to explain difficult concepts. It’s also reinforced her appreciation for listening and for other perspectives, and shown her “how interconnected everything is.”last_img read more

Trump niece describes ‘malignantly dysfunctional family’ in new book

first_img“He short-circuited Donald’s ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion,” Trump writes. “Donald requires division. It is the only way he knows how to survive – my grandfather ensured that decades ago when he turned his children against each other.”The book, due out next Tuesday, is the first Trump biography written by a family member. Reuters obtained a copy of the book. The president’s brother Robert has tried unsuccessfully, so far, to block its publication. The court battle continues but is not expected to halt publication.White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday that it was a “book of falsehoods.” Its publication comes as Trump, a Republican, seeks a second term in the Nov. 3 presidential election.Mary Trump has a troubled history with her uncle, who clashed with her father, Fred Jr., before he died at age 42 after a battle with alcoholism. Topics : Mary and her brother also engaged in a protracted legal battle over Fred Sr.’s estate after his death in 1999. She writes she secretly helped New York Times reporters on a 2018 investigation that outlined how Trump and his siblings avoided millions of dollars in taxes.Speculation about Trump’s mental state is common among his political detractors. Mary Trump brings a different perspective, however, because she has a PhD in psychology and decades of first-hand experience with Trump and his broader family.”I have no problem calling Donald a narcissist … but the label gets us only so far,” she writes, adding that the president might also suffer from other pathologies that prevent him from accepting responsibility for his actions and empathizing with others. She writes that he also may suffer from learning and sleep disorders.”He knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be,” she writes. “He knows he has never been loved.”center_img In a new book, a niece of President Donald Trump applies her training in psychology to conclude that the president likely suffers from narcissism and other clinical disorders – and was boosted to success by a father who fueled those traits.In “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Mary Trump writes of a “malignantly dysfunctional family” dominated by a patriarch, Fred Trump, who showed little interest in his five children other than grooming an heir for his real-estate business.Ultimately, he settled on Donald, she wrote, deciding that his second son’s “arrogance and bullying” would come in handy at the office, and encouraged it.last_img read more

Mikel Arteta explains how he convinced Granit Xhaka to stay at Arsenal

first_imgAdvertisement Mikel Arteta and Granit Xhaka are forging a good relationship (Picture: Getty Images)Mikel Arteta has revealed the details of the heart-to-heart he had with Granit Xhaka which convinced the Swiss midfielder to stay at the club.Xhaka has had a turbulent season with the Gunners and his career in north London looked to be over after a public fallout with the fans which saw him stripped of the captaincy.A deal to take 27-year-old to Hertha Berlin looked to be agreed, but Arteta arrived to take over as manager in December and he quickly put a stop to those plans.The Spaniard has described how he spoke to the former Arsenal captain and explained that he sees him as a big part of his team going forward, as well as setting out a plan to heal the wounds of the previous few months.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘The first message for him was that I wanted to understand how he was feeling, why he was feeling that way,’ said Arteta.‘I wanted him to hear from me my opinion on him, and that I was ready to support him and that I was ready to push the club to be supportive of him too, because I thought he could be a really, really good player for us and he could enjoy playing under me in this football club.‘I tried to convince him that way. He thought about it, he had a very positive response afterwards, and I think he changed his mind.’ Comment Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 9 Jan 2020 11:37 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link986Shares Xhaka’s low point came as he was booed off against Crystal Palace (Picture: Rex Features)The level-headed new Arsenal manager was keen to downplay the problems Xhaka had gone through earlier this season, describing them as commonplace in the modern game.The Swiss has started three of Arteta’s four games in charge of Arsenal so far and the Spaniard just wants to put the issues in the past.‘It’s very common now,’ said Arteta. ‘Every club has its own issues. Some things come within the club, some within the media, some from social media.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘It’s very difficult nowadays to have one full year where everything is perfect. It’s the environment, we have to deal with that and hopefully in a few months nobody remembers those issues.‘Of course it’s not ideal when players respond and it creates an instability. So as much as we can avoid it, the better.’Arsenal are looking to make it three wins on the spin under their new boss when they travel to take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.MORE: Mikel Arteta against Gabriel Martinelli leaving Arsenal to join Brazil’s Olympic qualification tournamentMORE: Mikel Arteta explains plans for Emile Smith-Rowe as Arsenal work on loans for three youngsters Mikel Arteta explains how he convinced Granit Xhaka to stay at Arsenallast_img read more

‘Mercy killing’ for stray dogs

first_imgApprehended stray dogs would beimpounded at the city government motorpool on Delgado Street where owners couldclaim them. Dr. Tomas Forteza, city veterinarian,agreed to round up stray dogs which Atinado claimed were digging up anduprooting ornamental plants. Forteza urged those with dogs to beresponsible pet owners and by that, he meant that the dogs must be leashed. Stray dogs remain a concern in Iloilo City. They must be leashed and confined only within their owners’ premises, according to the City Veterinary Office. Stray dogs, too, are being blamed for vandalizing ornamental plants that the city government has planted at the Iloilo Esplanade and the median strip of the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao district. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO City – Not only humans. Straydogs, too, are being blamed for vandalizing ornamental plants that the citygovernment has planted at the Iloilo Esplanade and the median strip of the Sen.Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao district. “We hope to solve this problemsoonest,” said Forteza. “Gasagodsila ido pero wala sila galantaw sang ila responsibilidad para mag-safe aton community.They must keep their dogs within their premises,” said Forteza.center_img “If no one shows up to claim the dogsor adopt them, we will do mercy killing. We will put them to sleep,” Forteza. Unclaimed stray dogs would beeuthanized, City Veterinary Office is scouting foran area where to set up an animal impounding facility, he revealed./PN An overdose of injectable barbiturateswould be administered to the dogs. City Beautification Program head NindaAtinado sought the City Veterinary Office’s help.last_img read more

The Latest: Asian football cancels Oct., Nov. qualifiers

first_img“Our job as coaches and mentors is to provide opportunities for our players, and do everything in our power to not take them away,” coach Walt Bell said. “Today’s news was devastating, but we will be resilient and prepared to be our best when our best is required.”UMass joins fellow independent UConn, Old Dominion and all the schools in the Mid-American Conference and Mountain West, a total of 27, in postponing its football season.UMass joined the FBS in 2012 and has not had a winning record since. The Minutemen were forced to try football independence when the Mid-American Conference pushed them out after the 2015 season. The program relies heavily on the revenue it generates from playing road games against Power Five schools and had been due to receive $1.9 million to play Auburn in November, but that game was canceled when the Southeastern Conference decided to play only league games.___More AP sports: and Associated Press The LPGA plans to return next year to the Qizhong Garden Golf Club in Shanghai. PGA events, men’s and women’s tennis tournaments, cycling and a Formula One Grand Prix are among the events that have already been canceled.___Massachusetts is the latest school from the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football’s highest level, to cancel its fall season.UMass is an independent in football and its decision affects only that sport. Most of UMass’ athletic teams compete in the Atlantic 10. Athletic director Ryan Bamford said the school will try to conduct a football spring season if possible. August 12, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Asian Football Confederation has postponed all qualifiers scheduled in October and November for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.center_img Those who tested positive self-isolated in line with the guidelines provided by the USL. Only those who tested negative are permitted to enter training facilities. Anyone identified via contact tracing will also be quarantined and tested. The league said it will announce COVID-19 test results on a weekly basis for the rest of the season, but no specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided. ___The LPGA Tour has confirmed the 2020 Buick LPGA Shanghai has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.China’s government last month announced all international sports events in the country would be canceled until the end of the year, and organizers of the Oct. 15-18 women’s golf tournament made the cancellation official in a statement Wednesday citing “the current health concerns and significant travel restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19.” The Latest: Asian football cancels Oct., Nov. qualifiers The AFC says the delay is to protect the health and safety of all participants because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The games will be rescheduled in 2021.The 2022 World Cup is set to be played in Qatar and the Asian Cup will be held in China the following year.___The United Soccer League says 1,293 tests were given to players and club staff from the 35 championship clubs, with nine individuals testing positive from two clubs.The USL also confirmed Tuesday that 458 tests were administered to players and club staff from the 11 League One clubs between July 27 and Aug. 3, with five individuals testing positive from one team.last_img read more