SCI’s Michael Kang Talks Ghoul Train’s Return, Gregg Allman, Acoustic Shows & More

first_imgL4LM: I know a lot of fans were blown away by your recent secret show in Colorado. How did that all come together? MK: A good buddy of ours who we’ve known for years and years and years, it was his 40th birthday, and so he invited us up to come play. Some of were like, you know this could be really fun to have a no-pressure party, and so we came around on it. We told him, we don’t want it to get too out of control, so we’re basically just not going to say anything about it, can’t really release it to the general public. There were no tickets sold or anything like that. It just kinda came about that way, it was a 40th birthday, it was only a couple hundred people there. It was just really fun to have this small intimate, no pressure show.We just showed up and played. I live in California now so I had to fly in for it, but yeah it was super fun.You Can Download The String Cheese Incident’s Secret Show For FreeL4LM: You’re hitting Red Rocks this summer in its 75th year too. That must be exciting.MK: They just asked us… I guess there’s a Red Rocks Hall of Fame, and they’re putting us in the Red Rocks Hall of Fame, which is hilarious. I think at this point, besides Widespread, we’re like the second or third band that’s played there the most. It’s just cool for us.L4LM: That’s quite the honor! Congratulations, and thank you so much for your time Michael. We really appreciate it! Just last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with The String Cheese Incident’s founding member, Michael Kang. The multi-instrumentalist spoke to us at length about the band’s newest endeavor, the SCI Sound Lab, which is essentially a creative workspace that the band can call their own. With new music just released and a whole lot more in the pipeline, Kang switched gears and talked about what fans can’t get enough of – live String Cheese shows!With Electric Forest coming this weekend, a major tour that includes shows at Red Rocks, a collaborative set with Gregg Allman, and the return of Hulaween Festival, there was no shortage of great conversation with Kang. Read on for his take on all of these exciting events!L4LM: Summer tour is coming up soon! It all starts this weekend at Electric Forest. I know that festival has evolved over the years, how do you feel about where it is and where it’s going?MK: It’s great. Our history with that festival goes way back and a long way. Back when we were throwing a lot of the Horning’s Hideout shows, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, we had this concept of wanting to bring a super immersive atmosphere that not only incorporated music but art and performance art. Just really give people a fully immersive experience that they could experience even if they’re not just watching the show. We did those shows for many years, and then it morphed and evolved due to some of our involvement in Burning Man and going there, seeing the potential for how people can have this kinda of experience. It culminated with our management starting the Rothbury Festival.The first years of Rothbury was right actually when the band was taking a break, but some of us still remained in the production side.  I, and some other friends of mine, brought this immersive style and ambiance to the festival. We stayed involved in the production, so when they decided to re-launch it as Electric Forest, we stayed involved and have been a mainstay at the festival. It was the culmination of us wanting to create this Horning’s Hideout style event in the Midwest, and having more resources to be able to go big with it. The first year it did good, the second year it did even better, and now it’s totally blown up. There’s a focus – a lot of the kids these days are listening to EDM. To me, EDM or live or whatever, they’re still getting to see us for the first time. A lot of the mainstay acts are friends of ours really, Bassnectar – I introduced him to the whole jam scene, way back when. We used to play these shows as Elastic Mystic together, way back when I found him at Burning Man. It’s all one big family as far as I’m concerned. The music may sound different, but it’s still kind of the same people that pervade it all.L4LM: Speaking of Bassnectar, we recently caught an interview where he said he was going to be a “resident DJ” of Electric Forest.MK: Yeah, I heard that too! I think that’s great, I think he gets it. He really believes in the same family community, music as a community vibe that all of us come from and the same kind of place and all that. L4LM: I know you mentioned Horning’s in there a couple of times. Is there any chance of you going back there?MK: You know, we’d like to. Unfortunately, the grounds themselves at Horning’s are a little restricted because it’s very difficult to get into. It’s a pretty small venue, and the guy who owns it, Bob Hornings, really has a pretty busy schedule of a lot of events. He really doesn’t do a lot of concerts there, so when we do come in, it’s quite the big impact, for better or worse for him. We still want to focus on creating these events. If you were to ask us what the band goal was over the next 10 years, it’s to really have a few of these hubs throughout the year – one in the East Coast, one in the South, we’ve got Electric Forest up on the North, and on the West Coast we’d like to start something like that. We can spread this transformative music event that really gets people going. We’ve been able to do that in Suwannee for Hulaween and we want to continue being involved in these things that become more of a complete creative expression of what we feel wants to bring to expand.We’re going to continue to look for places, and it may happen at the actual Horning’s Hideout again. But there are some prohibitive issues with that site. It’s really actually very difficult to pull off for our crew and management. But it is magical and we definitely don’t want to take it off the table either.L4LM: I know a lot of fans are going to be excited for the Gregg Allman Incident coming up. Have you met with Gregg yet? MK: He’s an absolute legend. We’ve been conversing, but at a distance. I’m sure once we get through a couple of these events, we’ll hone it down. We’re trying to figure out what the ideal setlist would be, what he wants to do. We’re just going to see what happens. We’ve now done a few of these collaborations, we usually do one or two a year. Since we’re not doing LOCKN’ this year, and having a big collaboration of some sort – last year we did it with the Doobie Brothers. Every single one that we’ve done has been great, where it’s like a real meeting of the worlds. Yeah, it’s been really cool.Right now we don’t have any specific plans, but I’m sure as time goes on, we’ll work it out.L4LM: There’s just so much material from the Allman Brothers catalog to pull from. MK:  Oh man. It’s dizzying when you really start to think about it. L4LM: So I don’t want to keep you for too long, but I have to ask if our April Fool’s joke about the GWAR Cheese Incident made it back to you guys.MK: Yeah… somebody even mentioned it last night. I was like, man that would awesome, but it would be a stretch. People are taking it seriously. Even our bookkeeper asked, “when are you guys doing this heavy metal thing?” I’m like, “You don’t see the joke in that?”L4LM: I mean, we did do a joke about you doing a dubstep set, and you wound up collaborating with Skrillex on stage.MK: We feel the freedom. We’re obviously not an electronic act but we love electronic music. [Michael] Travis and Jason totally have EOTO, so we’re not afraid of throwing that into the set at all. It’s always funny to sometimes see, because some people are like, “no don’t do that,” but other people are like, “oh my god this is the best thing ever.”But that’s always been our shtick from the beginning. There’s nothing we won’t try.L4LM: Is there anything you haven’t tried yet that you want to or is just whatever comes?MK: Whatever comes. We love the collaborations; they’re really cool because you get a sense of how other songwriters and people have done it. It would be really cool one day to do something with an orchestra. There’s all kinds of stuff that’s possible. We’re always trying to come up with new ideas and see what sticks. But we feel like we cover a pretty broad range of things at the same time.I think at some point we want to do some more fully acoustic stuff too, which is a cool part of our whole band. L4LM: That’s interesting, because Bill Nershi had a similar comment when he spoke to us last year.MK: A lot of times when we’ll play festivals, we’ll change the band, because we have such a varied repertoire. For Billy as mainly an acoustic guitar player, and even for me as a fiddle player and a mandolin player – I play mostly electric now but it’s really fun to play acoustic too – it keeps you on your toes having to keep up all your chops in the varying styles.L4LM: Among those many styles was last year’s “Ghoul Train” set at Hulaween. I think fans are curious as to what you’re going to do next.MK: The Ghoul Train is here to stay for a couple years. There’s so much material, and we’ve already been talking about that. There’s no shortage of shit to throw in the mix there.last_img read more

Day Lily Rust.

first_imgA new plant disease threatens to blemish the reputation of Georgia day lilies. Timely identification and strict regulatory efforts, though, have stopped the disease for now.The disease, day lily rust, was first identified in Georgia in August 2000, said Jean Woodward, an Extension Service plant pathologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It has also been found in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and California.”Right now, the day lily rust is a concern for nurseries in the state,” Woodward said. “The average gardener shouldn’t be worried, but should be aware.”Apart from their beauty, day lilies have the reputation for being low-maintenance plants. The rust disease could compromise that reputation.Stopping the Spread”If we let the rust go and don’t stop its spread, 10 or 20 years from now there may be a lot of day lily rust around,” Woodward said. “There’s a day lily in every garden and every roadside, and there’s a chance this could spread.”But because we were so quick to identify the rust, get the right people involved and get information out to major growers to watch the imported day lilies,” she said, “we were able to get on top of this.”It has worked. Nurseries that had the rust, she said, aren’t seeing it this year.Woodward wants consumers and gardeners to be aware of the new disease, though. If you believe a day lily may be suspect, contact the county extension service.Looks Like Streak, Acts Like Rust Photo:UGA Plant Pathology Daylily rust covers the upper and lower part of the leaf surface with orange spores. Initially, the rust looks a lot like another common day lily condition known as leaf streak, which causes tanned spots on the plant.”If it (the day lily) has a sunk-in and water-soaked appearance,” Woodward said, “(don’t) be concerned. It’s leaf streak.”If it’s the new disease, though, within two weeks a fungus will produce powdery spores on the day lily. The bright orange spores will be on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, she said.The disease can spread fast, because the wind easily carries the spores. “Because it’s rust, it’s not going to kill the plant,” she said. “The rust needs living tissue to survive.”The rust’s survival depends greatly on the type of day lily. Georgia grows two types: dormant and nondormant.The rust may not survive the winter on dormant varieties, Woodward says. But it will survive on nondormant types, as well as on older leaf tissue during milder winters.”One year a day lily could experience the disease and the next year be totally free of it,” she said.Big Domestic IndustryDay lily rust is native to Asia. However, it’s believed to have been introduced into at least one Georgia nursery from plants originating in Central America.Day lilies are commonly shipped into the United States from Central and South America. Most of the day lilies grown in these countries, particularly in Central America, originate in the United States, not in Asia.The actual origin of the disease, then, is a mystery. Woodward said it may have come to the United States from Europe. U.S. day lilies shipped to Central America were then shipped back to U.S. growers.”If a grower has rust (in his day lilies), the grower should cut back the foliage, burn it and get into a fungicide spray program,” she said.Day lilies are the No. 1 perennial in the country, she said, and the Southeast produces most of the day lilies sold in the United States. Production of day lilies contributes greatly to Georgia’s $400 million nursery industry.Georgia is home to four of the top nursery growers in the country and the largest nursery east of the Mississippi River. “The industry is growing in Georgia at about 5 percent a year,” Woodward said.last_img read more

Thiem tames ‘Big Match’ nerves to break Grand Slam barrier

first_imgBy Sudipto Ganguly(REUTERS) – Dominic Thiem ended a six-year wait for a new name on a men’s Grand Slam trophy on Sunday with his U.S. Open triumph but it was not just Alexander Zverev that the Austrian had to battle on court to fulfil his “life goal”.Rafael Nadal had denied Thiem the French Open trophy at the previous two editions of that tournament, while at the start of 2020 it was world number one Novak Djokovic who outlasted him in the Australian Open title clash.Thiem did not have to go through Djokovic, Nadal or Roger Federer, the sport’s ‘Big Three’, during the two weeks at Flushing Meadows this year but that presented a unique mental challenge as the 27-year-old wrestled with long-time friend Zverev, 23, for success in his fourth Slam final.“We both didn’t face one of the ‘Big Three’, so I guess that was in the back of the head for both of us,” Thiem told reporters. “That’s why we were nervous. (It) was a very good chance for both of us.”The experience of playing three Grand Slam finals previously was supposed to be an advantage for the Austrian against an opponent who was featuring in his first final at a major.But it proved to be a burden for Thiem, who found himself two sets and a break down against the big-serving German before fighting back to win 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6).“Honestly, I think it didn’t help me at all because I was so tight in the beginning. Maybe it was not even good that I played in previous major finals,” he said.“I mean, I wanted this title so much, and of course there was also in my head that if I lose this one, it’s 0-4. It’s always in your head.“Is this chance ever coming back again? This, that, all these thoughts – not great to play your best tennis, to play free. That’s what exactly happened in the beginning.”But Thiem managed to quell those doubts and levelled things against Zverev before winning a nerve-jangling final set tiebreak to achieve “a life goal, a dream”.Thiem hopes to play more freely with fewer nerves in future, having finally tasted success at one of the sport’s biggest stages while also becoming the first man since Croat Marin Cilic won the 2014 U.S. Open to secure a maiden Grand Slam trophy.He is also the first player born in the 1990s to claim a men’s Grand Slam, and the first outside Nadal and Federer, who both missed the tournament, and Djokovic, who was disqualified, to win a major since Stan Wawrinka’s 2016 U.S. Open triumph.CHARTING OWN PATHThiem will now face heavier expectations in future Grand Slams but has proved he is not one to shy away from pressure.The Austrian, who faced his share of criticism for playing in Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour event, declined to contribute to an emergency fund for financially struggling lower-ranked professionals during the COVID-19 shutdown, fully aware that he would draw flak from pundits and fellow players for his stand.Thiem, who has earned almost $27 million in career prize money, stood his ground in the face of criticism, proving that he was ready to chart his own path forward.Most of Thiem’s early success came on claycourts, where long baseline rallies test a player’s patience and endurance, but he showed the first signs of a smooth transition to hardcourts when he won last year’s ATP Masters at Indian Wells.Reaching the season-ending ATP Finals further underlined his development while he put any lingering doubts about his hardcourt prowess to rest by progressing to the Australian Open final in Melbourne earlier this year.“Before I started to work with him, when I saw him like a spectator, I said he can play everywhere, not only on clay,” his coach Nicolas Massu said.“He can have the same results on every surface because of his shots, he’s talented, he has everything. Maybe he needs to adjust small things.” Caption:Dominic Thiem of Austria won the U.S. Open on Sunday in five sets. It was his first singles title in a Grand Slam event.Photo saved: Thiemlast_img read more