Our favorite things this week include Bear Creek, CCR and a stolen iPhone.
Mine/Not Mine: When someone's iPhone was stolen on the beach in Ibiza, the victim could have bored his friends by whining about it, or drank himself goofy in helpless frustration (which is partly how this adventure started). Instead, he joined the ranks of the web-enabled professional snarks because the thief didn't realize that the phone's Dropbox app automatically uploaded photos to the owner's computer. The thief, whose name we learn is Hafid, didn't sell the phone; he kept it and used it, including the camera, so pictures from the thief's day-to-day in Dubai went straight to the rightful owner. These photos form the basis of the tumblr page, Life of a Stranger Who Stole My Phone. From it, we learn that everybody just wants pictures of themselves. One of the more surprising posts presents the audio of the thief's nervy attempt to hit on one of phone's owner's female friends on his Skype account, but really, the site just gives the owner the chance to creatively and repeatedly call the guy a thief. (Rawls)
CCRiders: For the past four days, a few friends and I, each with differing music tastes, have been hitting up cities like Washington, D.C., Nashville and Atlanta during a quick trip through the Southeast. We've spent hours scanning Sirius XM stations — mostly resting on the '90s, '00s and classic rock stations — as well as constantly switching out iPods and iPhones. After the second or third time we listened to Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel," one of my most hated songs, it struck me that the perfect road trip music is simply something everyone can sing along to, whether it's Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" or the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden." Sometimes you have to shed your pride and accept that Mariah Carey has some insanely catchy songs.
The perfect balance of fun and substance came from an unexpected source: the Creedence Clearwater Revival station on Pandora. It may seem cliché, but nothing beats driving through the Appalachians while John Fogerty's irresistible Louisiana-by-way-of-California drawl flows from the speakers. It gets even better when the best southern rock hits of my dad's high school days follow. We kept waiting for one bad song to come on so we could move along to something else, but we were powerless. As much as I would have enjoyed rediscovering the catalogues of my favorites, it isn't a compromise to sing along with the pop hits of the last 50 years. (Sibile)
An Autumnal Funk: Festival season not quite long enough? Want the jam/funk festival experience without waking up after camping in sauna-like conditions, willing to trade beer for water? The Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak, Florida is six hours east, cheaper than the major jam/funk festivals, and it's in the middle of November. The stages are smaller, the crowds less overwhelming, and the performances more intimate. Antibalas, Bernie Worrell and the Bonobo Live Band headline a festival heavy on New Orleans artists, including Flow Tribe, Galactic, George Porter Jr., Dumpstaphunk, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, and The Revivalists. Other notable bands scheduled include The Roots, Toubab Krewe, Pimps of Joytime, Lettuce, Brownout and Bootsy Collins, but really, what it offers is something bigger festivals don't: focus. Bear Creek's for those who like their songs long and funky. (Halmon)