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The Wilhelm Scream is a legendary sound effect heard in more than 200 films since its creation in 1951, for the movie, Distant Drums. Since then, it’s been used in Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Team America: World Police, Poltergeist, Tropic Thunder, Man of Steel and many more. 

This could be a good time to post up in front of the TV with some friends, a case of Wilhelm Scream and a list of your favorite movies in which this famous call is featured. 

Since the Scream is typically heard with a bad guy present, make a little game out of it and take a sip from your Wilhelm every time the bad guy appears. 

As summer comes to an end, so, too, does its magical subset: Festival Season. This year, we hit the road for several tours of the east coast, hitting festivals big and small, from Florida to New York. Of course, there were dozens of festivals we couldn’t make, but whose performances will nevertheless live on in music lore for years to come. 

Among our most talked about experiences and heard-about hearsay, here are 5 that stand out:

1. The Hudson Project - a wonderful mud-filled experience. Kendrick Lamar and The Flaming Lips proved why they were headliners, and we got to party a little bit in the Dreamatorium with The Soul Rebels and Lettuce. Yes, the festival’s final day got rained out, but the Hudson Project is going to be a musical force to be reckoned with in the Northeast in the coming years. 

2. Bonnaroo - It’s tough for such an established festival to keep improving, but in our humble opinion, Bonnaroo does each year. This year saw Elton, Kanye, Jack White, Phoenix, Sam Smith and more. One of our favorite new features at this year’s ‘Roo was the Kalliope Stage. Once the sun set, the party started. Lights, lasers, bass, CRYOGENICS. It was a trip.

3. Wanee - One of the earlier festivals of the year, Wanee went down in Florida in April because, well, they can get away with things like this in April in Florida (we still have snow here in VT). Wanee’s lineup reached from the Allmans to Trey Band, Electric Hot Tuna, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and The Blind Boys of Alabama. 

4. WYSIWYG Festival - This small music-and-food festival just finished its second year, taking place on the grounds of Burlington College in Burlington, VT. Although it’s very much a local festival, WYSIWYG (short for What You See Is What You Get) threw down with memorable performances from Anais Mitchell, Shaky Graves and TONS of local food, beer and cider from Vermont’s best restaurants, breweries and cider makers. 

5. Newport Folk Festival - The granddaddy of them all. Newport was where Dylan went electric for the first time. It’s been around for 50 years and in the last five has seen a huge revival of spirit and performance. The Rhode Island oceanfront bared witness to Ryan Adams (touring for the first time in several years), Tweedy (Jeff Tweedy’s band with his son, Spencer, on drums), Mavis Staples, Dawes and more. The bands seem to love playing here as much as the fans love attending the festival. If you missed out, NPR usually streams a bunch of performances each year, and archives some as well. Check them out here. 

There are a few more left to go, and we’re looking forward to them, because each one, while totally unique and exhilarating, full of friendly faces and dancing feet, has a familiar feeling to it. It all starts with a car ride and a playlist, and then a camp set-up and a setlist. As memories face over time, we made a little video to keep them fresh. Check it out above. 

Neil Young - Needle Of Death

Neil young recorded his new cover album in a phone booth. Sort of. Okay, not really, but it was in something called a Voice-O-Graph, and it’s about the size of a phone booth. 

On Record Store Day, April 19th, Jack White’s label, Third Man Records released “A Letter Home” on vinyl, the deluxe set of which will be available on May 27th. It’s really an amazing, raw, old-timey sound that only someone like Neil can pull off to such an amazing effect. On the album, he covers Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Don Everly and more. 

Check out the video above to hear Neil’s cover of Bert Jansch’s “Needle of Death” and to see just what kind of space he was working with in the Voice-O-Graph. 

Probably the best $30-ish bucks we’ve spent in the last couple months was on a book of rock ‘n roll photos by Jay Blakesberg titled JAM. For years, Blakesberg has been capturing the energy of the greatest rock and jam bands ever to grace the stage. From the Grateful Dead to String Cheese to moe. to Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction, he’s got a knack for closing the shutter at that moment we wish we could see forever. Thanks to him, we can. 

Each photo is accompanied by a short paragraph of the musician featured where they describe what it’s like to be in the middle of a moment that seems to transcend space, time and consciousness, both the band and its audience. It reminds us of Jeff Tweedy’s great rant on “Sunken Treasure Live” where he says, “…you feel yourself being in a room full of people with all their hearts beating, and all of their thoughts and feelings, and you’re a part of it. You’re not just you, you’re a part of a group of people. In a really beautiful way. It’s a really wonderful thing to be a part of. … It’s what you do when you go to a concert. You’re a part of it.” 

If My Morning Jacket on the cover doesn’t sell you on it, there may be no hope for you.

JAM is still available over at Rock Out Books so hop to. And Like Jay on Facebook, too, because he’s constantly posting shots from shows he’s been to over the last four decades. 

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