The Upful LIFE Podcast
015: EDDIE ROBERTS (New Mastersounds/Matador! Soul Sounds), SPUT & NATE (Ghost-Note), NOLA JAZZFEST AFTER DARK (Preview)

015: EDDIE ROBERTS (New Mastersounds/Matador! Soul Sounds), SPUT & NATE (Ghost-Note), NOLA JAZZFEST AFTER DARK (Preview)

April 18, 2019

Episode 015 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* features the one and only EDDIE ROBERTS, guitarist/founder of New Mastersounds, and more recently, of Matador! Soul Sounds. Eddie is also one of four men at the helm of Color Red, a record label/brand based out of Denver, Colorado. For well over 20 years, Eddie has been an omnipresent force in the jazz/jam/funk scenes from the UK to the Bay Area and all points between. During a mid-February three night stand at Boom Boom Room in SF (with The Eddie/Logic Project, and his own Eddie Roberts' West Coast Sounds), Eddie made himself available for a long-form interview at the exquisite Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco.



Image result for new mastersounds


We start out talking about his charity organization Eddie Roberts' Payback, which was initially created to help the plethora of suffering people in the Tenderloin neighborhood of his former home in SF. He explains how the org continues to do the good work in his new residence (of four years) in Denver, CO. However, Eddie’s roots are in Leeds, England, and he briefly takes us back to his youth, when he was originally a pianist, before he became infatuated with electric guitar and at 10 years old he begged his parents for an axe. Eddie grew up idolizing Jimi Hendrix and then really fell hard for the late jazz guitar great Grant Green.


A favorite of mine as well, Grant Green gives Eddie and I an opportunity for a short detour about the legendary guitarist, and how Eddie arrived at the tremendous tribute show he has often put together to honor Green. From there we go back across the pond to Eddie’s early days tailor-making bands and DJ nights in Leeds, and the earliest incarnation of his band, The Mastersounds. He riffs on his organ trio The Three Deuces, before explaining how he put together The New Mastersounds around 1999. We talk a little bit about “Acid Jazz” as a bad word, and the scene in England where Eddie Roberts style truly took root. Other topics include when the Greyboy Allstars visited England in 1995, and when The New Mastersounds returned the favor ten years later in Chicago. Analog recording techniques and the low-fi vibe, why Eddie’s records sound so authentic, plus the origins of the “shitty is pretty” aesthetic. Roberts reaches back for some humorous memories of Bear Creek in the early days, and explains his original idea and vision for the Suwannee Rising festival that took place earlier this month.


Image result for Color Red records colorado


I had to get the scoop on the Color Red label, as Eddie details the humble beginnings of the brand, and a little about his partners, including Sunsquabi bassist Josh Fairman. From studio equipment to musical connections, brand recognition and art-design continuity, Eddie expounds about why they are not exclusive to Colorado artists. Also a bit on the importance of making original music and why Color Red pays attention to remix culture. We also had to rap about the magnificent Matador! Soul Sounds project with Alan Evans, Chris Spies, Kim Dawson, Adryon de Leon, and Kevin Scott. How that band took shape, with regard to Soulive’s Evans and the pair of singers, as well as what’s on the Matador docket moving forward.


Image result for matador soul sounds bassist


I would be remiss if I didn’t ask Eddie about his penchant for fashion. We are talking about a sharp dressed man here. Naturally, I had to find out what was at the root of Eddie Roberts' patented look, and just give him some props for always carrying it with dignity, class, and panache. Unfortunately I had to go to work this particular afternoon, and that (plus some technical difficulties) caused me to cut the interview a little shorter than I’d like, but we left a lot on the table for a sequel. Thank you kindly, Eddie Roberts, for this enjoyable chat!

JAZZ FEST AFTER DARK Preview (1hr 11mins)

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor


A very brief rundown of some of the hottest night shows in town, as we approach this year’s musical Mecca. This is my blessed 17th year heading down to the Jazz Fest, and I thought it would be beneficial to offer a few options for folks on the proverbial fence about which gigs to hit after they leave the Fairgrounds, or on the days between. This preview is STRICTLY AFTER-DARK OPTIONS! And only a few suggestions, there's plenty more I do not have the time to touch on. Check it ALL out at Jazz Fest Grids.

Ghost-Note checks in at 1hr 35min

Ghost-note, nate werth, robert sput searight, ghost-note interview, mononeon

Photo- Jeffrey Dupuis  

Backstage at the inaugural Suwannee Rising festival at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, I was lucky to snag a few minutes with Robert "Sput" Searight and Nate Werth of Ghost-Note, and both formerly of Snarky Puppy. These GRAMMY-Award winners have embarked on a serious new endeavor with Ghost-Note, so it was only appropriate to catch them at SOSMP, where I was first introduced to Snarky Puppy at Bear Creek nearly a decade ago. Sput & Nate were both amped to return to the music park, but even more stoked on NOLA Jazz Fest and their huge SWAGISM show on second Saturday at One Eyed Jack's. So for about twenty minutes, we retraced the making of their album in NOLA, and then they set the proverbial table for what's to come next week in the Crescent City. An abbreviated, print-version of this same interview is available to read on L4LM here!

*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week*

Image result for james booker slowly but surely

Piano Prince of New Orleans! James Booker: "Slowly But Surely" 

SPECIAL THANKS to Path2Panacea Tea Blends!

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!

Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE


014: ADAM “SHMEEANS” SMIRNOFF (Lettuce) / J.A. on The Dirt

014: ADAM “SHMEEANS” SMIRNOFF (Lettuce) / J.A. on The Dirt

March 28, 2019

Episode 014 of *The Upful Life Podcast* welcomes the incredible Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff (guitarist, co-founder of Lettuce) to the show for an hour-long chat that I am quite proud of. It’s no secret that Lettuce is my favorite band and has been for some time; naturally I was stoked AF to host a member on the podcast. We linked up at the phenomenal Barbarycoastcollective dab lounge for a sweet powwow on all things SMZA.


Image may contain: one or more people and shoes

photo- J.Timmermans

Topics include the recent LETT run with John Scofield at SFJAZZ, as well as Lettuce’s humble beginnings and the early days. We touch on Adam’s reverence for the city of New Orleans and it’s musical heritage, Bear Creek, self-care and staying healthy on tour, the exponential joys of parenthood and how he’s Daddy DayCare when he’s not on the road. We naturally pivoted to emotional conversation with regard processing a parent’s passing. Very powerful passage from Adam.

As we transition back to the musical landscape, Shmeeans offers poignant perspective on the term “jamband”, and traces LETT’s patented hip-hop jam modus-operandi. We revisit the glorious LETT JGB set from LOCKN’ 2019. I asked him to reflect on being the lone guitarist in Lettuce over the past few years, and Shmeeans reiterates his reverence and respect for former Lettuce guitarist (and co-founder) Eric Krasno. He speaks on continuing to evolve as a player in the current configuration of LETT. At the very end of the conversation, Smirnoff lets the cat out of the bag as to when the next Lettuce album will arrive (soon!), and vigorously defends NY Knicks owner James Dolan when the Sixer fan in me tried to push his buttons. I feel like Shmeeans and I only scratched the surface, but yes indeedy, this was a fantastic first chapter of LETT on *The Upful LIFE Podcast*.


Image result for The Dirt


Another check in from Philly correspondent J.A., with regard to the brand-new motion-picture The Dirt, based on the 2001 quasi-autobiographical book about Motley Crue. J.A. and I both loved Motley in our youth, and some of our first concert experiences were with the Crue, but it didn’t make this film any less troubling, or cringe-worthy. Please enjoy being a fly on the wall as two old friends look back at a shared glam-band past and discuss this long-awaited rock biopic, among other humorous asides. 

*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* is The Time's 1982 classic "777-9311" (extended mix) 

Image result for The time 1982

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
Contact the host at


013: SHIRA ELIAS (Turkuaz vocalist) / IRMZIE takes the Bay

013: SHIRA ELIAS (Turkuaz vocalist) / IRMZIE takes the Bay

March 14, 2019

Episode 013 of *The Upful Life Podcast* welcomes very special guest Shira Elias of Turkuaz ! We caught up with the vixen vocalist on a SF tour stop in early February. Despite being the "newest member" of the band, Shira was among the first in the KUAZ clan that I connected with off the stage, and we'd been eyeing a proper long form powwow ever since I first interviewed her for L4LM a couple years back.

"The Question" by TURKUAZ 2.02.19 Fillmore SF (13min mark)



Image may contain: Shira Elias


Shira explains just how she ended up singing with Turkuaz, one of the hottest bands on the scene; detailing her path from British Columbia to the Big Apple, from the theater world of Broadway dreams onto the stage with Brooklyn's finest funksters. The very-personable singer heaps hella praise upon her amazing bandmates, and pulls back the curtain a little bit on how the 'KUAZ keeps kicking so much ass, night by night. She tells a heartwarming story about an early The Nth Power performance, how she was spiritually moved that morning, and why that was the very moment when Shira realized she was right where she's supposed to be. I asked Shira no-holds-barred to share some of her personal and professional experiences with regard to being female in the male-dominated music industry.

Thanks to her willingness to be a veritable open book & go deep, we cover the past, present and future of Shira, Turkuaz, and more with a dynamic personality, vibrant vocalist, and wonderful human being. Thank you Shira Elias!


Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and shoes


Episode 013 special thanks & LARGE UP to Funk It Blog and the incredible Randy Bayers! One of the most essential assets to the scene, a true historian and collector. Peep game HERE.   

In keeping with the divine feminine vibe of the past couple of episodes, I included in Episode 013 a brief conversation with my own mother, Irma Feld Getz, aka "Irmzie". She was visiting the Bay Area from Philly in mid-January, just as *The Upful LIFE Podcast* was getting it's groove. My mom will be attending her 11th NOLA Jazz Fest this spring, is a lifelong music fanatic, and has hoped that I might interview her for some time. And for a while now, I've wanted to introduce her to the podcast audience. In this short segment, Irmzie describes how and why music culture is in our shared DNA, offers a little Philly music history, and some proper Jazz Fest chatter. Welcome to the podcast world, Mom!

IRMZIE Interview at 1hr 13Mins


Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoor


*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week*: "The Riddle" by ROU (Goopsteppa Remix)

Image result for Goopsteppa rou the riddle


The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
Contact the host at


February 28, 2019

Episode 012 of *The Upful Life Podcast* welcomes the lovely and talented Jasmine Fraser, a West Coast DJ best known as Naughty Princess. Jasmine is a rising star in the bass music underground, and we were lucky to get her on the show for fascinating conversation that lasts just under an hour. This took place the day after her huge set at Resonate in Oakland, and Jasmine was a really good sport this rainy San Francisco afternoon. We had to chase my phone down, because I dropped it somewhere in transit, and luckily a Good Samaritan scooped it up. Once I retrieved said device, we settled into her gold minivan on a random city block for a proper conversation about music... and life. 


Image may contain: 3 people


Topics include her formative years in Melbourne, AUS, as Jasmine takes us back to the ashrams of her youth and how chanting to ecstatic states affected her as a kid. A little bit on Trance music, before we sort of time-travel into 2010 pretty quickly. She reflects on catching Bassnectar on his way up at a small SF club, and how that scene and community welcomed her at a transitional moment in her life. Fraser also discusses the mentorship of An-ten-nae, and details the nature their collaboration "Hearts".

Then things get a little heavy, in the best kind of way. Jasmine's father was Andy Fraser, bassist for legendary British band Free, a member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Jasmine explains how it was Andy’s 2015 death that really propelled her to become a DJ, and the Naughty Princess was born. We recall our chance meeting at Burning Man 2016, both of us consumed by the grief of the loss of our respective fathers, and how that brief but potent exchange on Playa bonded us for life.


Image result for andy fraser


Since she identifies as a feminist, I asked her to share some thoughts and feelings on the patriarchy, specifically in the music world and festival culture, We talk a lot about Trap music themes, and rap music's misogynist lyrics, with regard to how fans respond to the messages found within songs. Jasmine tells a potent personal story about a Burning Man performance, when a young woman reached out to her after the set, concerned about a single song Naughty Princess played. This reflection turns into a meditation on the innate power of language and how even she and I are affected. Naughty Princess also touches on some less controversial topics, like tabla-trap, ecstatic dance vs. urban dancefloors, Nevada City CA, and much more... with the consistently-amazing Jasmine Fraser.

(1hr 8mins) PLUS a short chat with red-hot Atlanta producer Daily Bread, who checks in about his career momentum, dope collaborations and more. Rhett explains why D.I.T.C. and NYC boom-bap influenced this native ATLien more than the crunk and Dungeon hometown heroes. Shout-out to Whit Hawkins and the Hawk's Nest roster.


Image may contain: one or more people and people standing


Included towards the end of Episode 012 (1hr 27mins) is a humorous and informative interview with Shepherds Meadow Farms master grower Brandon. A Mendocino County, CA-based organic ganja farmer who (some of) you may recall heaved a giant sack of cannabis onstage to Jay Kay of Jamiroquai last April at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. After much hullabaloo, we finally get the 411 on that craziness, and while we were at it, a little Q&A about how a small farmer grows 100% organic craft cannabis. This conversation took place in December, on Sunday night at the tail end of The Emerald Cup, and it's safe to say that the weekend full of weed had taken a toll by the time I conducted this interview. Please excuse my blaziness. 

*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week*,

(1hr 39mins) we want to honor the memory of the late, great Kofi Burbridge. A true icon of our music community, friend, brother, otherworldly multi-instrumentalist. A first ballot Spirit of Suwannee Hall of Famer. Instead of a moment of silence, we will hear his music to honor his memory. I've chosen a celebrated collaboration in tribute to Kofi Burbridge, his appearance alongside trusty axeman Derek Trucks, both sitting in with the home team, Lettuce, at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, for Bear Creek's 2009 finale. If you were at this set, then you remember how truly special it was. Rest in Power, Kofi.


Image result for kofi burbridge


The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
Contact the host at
011: JEFF FRANCA (Thievery Corporation, Congo Sanchez)/ BECAUSE Of The LOTUS

011: JEFF FRANCA (Thievery Corporation, Congo Sanchez)/ BECAUSE Of The LOTUS

February 14, 2019

Episode 011 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* welcomes JEFF FRANCA, drummer of Thievery Corporation and founder of Congo Sanchez and Natural Selectah, to the show for an informative and emotional powwow. Jeff is a rising star in the Denver music scene, and traces his musical and personal roots back to the District of Columbia. We took a solid ninety minutes to chop it up about a number of salient topics that ran the gamut and it was a thoroughly enjoyable conversation that I think will resonate with the Upful LIFE listeners.


Image may contain: Jeff Franca


We begin by discussing the Washington D.C. music scene and the successful, trendsetting new venue there The Anthem, spiralling out into a few directions from there. His earliest memories of Pink Floyd hitting his ears, and the music that first reached him deep inside. Topics covered include his roots as a thorough study of iconic jazz drummers from the late 50’s through the early 70’s, such as Billy Higgins, Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy Cobham, and Max Roach. He touches on themes and concepts native to each of their styles, and how those cats changed, and basically shaped, the game for decades to come. We also touch on his time at the University of Indiana as a double major, whether or not he wanted to try out for The Disco Biscuits, and his thoughts on jazz jamming verses jamband jamming.

Jeff then takes a deep dive on a topic that will resonate with anybody who listens in, the relationship he had with his late brother Nicholas, who died in 2011, after a lengthy illness. Jeff details how his music career intersected with the last months of his brother’s life, the cosmic Virgo/Sagittarius connections within it all, how his brother empowered him to forge onward as a musician and an artist. He recalls in emotional detail spending days at Sloan Kettering in NYC with Nicholas and then chasing John Zorn, Adam Deitch, hanging at The Stone, and the experiencing the downtown scene after dark. It was during this time that the seeds were being sewn for Jeff to begin playing with Thievery Corporation.


The courage of love
Jeff's late brother Nicholas Franca

Jeff brings us all the way back to Eighteenth Street Lounge music in D.C. and how stints producing records with Funk Ark and touring with See-I laid the foundation for his role as Thievery Corporation’s touring drummer. Franca explains the roots of Thievery in D.C. culture, and around the world, and how that heritage has taken shape over two decades. Jeff continues by meticulously breaking down his role playing live drums in an electronic music outfit, and it’s fascinating to hear him unspool it all, the nuts and bolts of how Rob Garza, Eric Hilton and company have evolved their live sets into a true live band performance, without sacrificing any of the thump.

We get a thorough introduction to Congo Sanchez, Jeff’s fantastic side-project that mixes it up in mysterious styles of world electro and future dancehall. He recalls some humorous road stories and a comical debut at Electric Forest 2012, before opening up a bit about the cultural and thematic concepts inherent in the Congo Sanchez trio. 

All that plus his presence on Eddie Roberts’ Color Red label in Denver, and why the music scene there is different then anywhere else in the States today. Having a partner as a tour manager, why the grind of touring is an authentic and essential element to making honest art. And a tribute to true East Coast OG, the late great Ryan Dewitt.

Image may contain: 7 people, including Roberto Garza, people smiling

Thievery Corporation on the road in 2015


We follow that up with another interview from the Emerald Cup cannabis event in Northern California, in early December. This time we chat it up with Moe Angelo and Pat Anglin of the immersive art installation Because of the Lotus, which is a festival favorite and a beloved part of the fabric of Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, which coincidentally just announced another fantastic event Suwannee Rising, April 4-6.




The *Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* is a classic golden-era hip-hop jam from twenty-three years ago: Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers: Crooklyn Dodgers 95 featuring Chubb Rock, Masta Ace, and Jeru the Damaja, with DJ Premier production. Among my all-time favorite hip-hop jams. This is history. Word to fat asses and cases of Heineken!


Image result for crooklyn dodgers 95


The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
Contact the host at
010: JEFFREY DUPUIS (Addiction Counselor / Concert Photographer)

010: JEFFREY DUPUIS (Addiction Counselor / Concert Photographer)

January 29, 2019


Episode 010 of *The Upful Life Podcast* welcomes a very special guest in Jeffrey Dupuis, longtime music/concert photographer, and professional Addiction Counselor. A spirited convo with an old friend, inspirational human, & someone who is a treasure to several communities.


Image may contain: Jeffrey Dupuis


As the host of this show, I am proud to unveil an episode with a focus on Addiction/Recovery, including some honest and transparent reflections on my own struggle. In recent months I've felt called to find a greater purpose in helping people fight their way out of this darkness, to find their way home. I intend for *The Upful LIFE Podcast* to be a vehicle for these transmissions, and this episode is a prime example.

Jeffrey Dupuis Interview Starts at 17 Mins

I was visiting NOLA a couple months ago, and trekked 'Uptown, bebe' to Jeffrey's lovely shotgun crib, for an early evening long-form interview. We start in the Bayou, where Jeffrey takes us thru his personal path to the photo pit, everything from capturing legends at the holy Tipitina's Uptown, to shooting The Phish from VT, with a few local detours and humorous lagniappe along the way. We go back two decades to his online music media work with a pioneering Tom Speed at Honest Tune, as well as our years working with a fledgling JamBase in the early daze. Since we're in the Crescent City, we chop it up about jam-culture at Jazzfest, and Jeffrey unveils a few tales from the rail. He poignantly cautions of the realities of working with music media and the festival business in 2019, and why its important to "keep your day job. "


Image may contain: 3 people, including Stanton Moore and Jeffrey Dupuis, people smiling, eyeglasses and beard


From there we pivot into the main reason I asked Jeffrey on to my show: his work in recovery, and how it is both relevant & important to our music culture- from the stage to the rage. Jeffrey reveals humbling personal reflections on his own journey in and out of addiction, and his amazing, rewarding life in recovery. We talk about sober jam collectives like Wharf Rats and the Phellowship, before he delves deep into his actual profession in New Orleans as a licensed addiction counselor. We share an honest and frightening conversation about the stark reality of Fentanyl.

Jeffrey , a man many years sober & abstinent of any kind of substance, then bravely leads the way into an informative discussion in his area of expertise, the oft-controversial, progressive-in-nature, solutions-based, and urgently-needed Medication Assisted Treatment for opiate abuse and addiction. Jeffrey keeps it 100 and I'm certain this convo will have value to a plethora of people on all sides of this ever pertinent issue. Thank you Jeffrey for opening your heart, mind and spirit. You, sir, are a Real One.

Jeffrey Dupuis : MARC (Medication Assisted Recovery Centers) in Metarie & Slidell. Click HERE

Also on Episode 010, an appropriate ***Deep Bow*** in gratitude and appreciation to Dopey Podcast (4min mark) a show that serves as great inspiration to me, and a lifeline to thousands affected by this scourge of Addiction. A proverbial tip of the Kangol to Dave & Dopey Nation. 

We lighten up a bit and finish this episode with another phone call to J.A., my brotha' from anotha'. He's our resident Glimmer Twins aficionado, & checks in on all things Stones at NOLA JazzFest. Not only my best bud since 5th Grade, but also a wealth of perspective on music culture, most specifically the Rolling Stones. J.A. will continue steadily sliding thru the pod every few weeks, because the streets demand it. My man is very popular guy!


Image result for rolling stones 1972


 *Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* "Water" off Phrenology (2002), from The Roots 


Image may contain: 5 people

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
Contact the host at
009: MAYTEANA MORALES (Pimps of Joytime, Walk Talk), MARIA HERRERA (Journalist/Activist/Consultant)

009: MAYTEANA MORALES (Pimps of Joytime, Walk Talk), MARIA HERRERA (Journalist/Activist/Consultant)

January 17, 2019


Image result for mayteana morales

Episode 009 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* is back with Brooklyn, NY-based Mayteana Morales, singer/percussionist with Pimps of Joytime, and leading an exciting new project Walk Talk. Ms. Morales has been wowing audiences with the Pimps for many years, and it’s been a joy to observe her blossoming as a singer, on the congas, and now as a songwriter in her new endeavor. Mayteana was out in NorCal pulling double duty, playing a pair of gigs with the Pimps of Joytime (Oakland and Lake Tahoe) as well as three shows with Walk Talk. As such, I was lucky and grateful to get Mayteana for a few minutes before band practice one afternoon.

PLEASE EXCUSE THE TRAFFIC NOISE ! Time crunch and had to get the convo in where we could.


Seated outside in an industrial-like area of Oakland, Mayteana takes us back to her humble beginnings studying music theater in school, and how she fell in love with singing, and one day just knew that would be her path. It was during these fertile years that she was introduced to a wide swath of music that would shape and influence her, everything from Nina Simone to Jeff Buckley. Slowly Mayteana found her way to the stage, and then spread her wings to fly. Before getting into her career arc, we take a lengthy detour into her recent trip to Cuba, where Mayteana regales us with tales of the cultural explorations she enjoyed, and makes plans for a return to sink even deeper into the Cuban traditions. 

Ms. Morales then gives us the lowdown on how she came to be a long-tenured member of Brooklyn electro-funk syndicate Pimps of Joytime, a collective headed up by the enigmatic Brian J. We discuss how the electronic element and onstage sampler, once a formidable component of the band’s DNA, is no longer a part of their onstage performance, as they’ve evolved into more organic instrumentation. 


Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, tree, plant, outdoor and nature


A brief chat about some PoJ lineup changes, making sure to love on longtime KDTU drummer John Staten, who did a tour of duty with the Pimps after leaving Denson’s brigade. Mayteana touches on her new project with PoJ bassist David Bailis, they call it Walk Talk, and it’s fantastic. She details how her creative muse is able to blossom freely into colorful expressions in this new musical paradigm. We finish up with some reflections on first Brooklyn, and then New York City. We geek out on how revolutionary Antibalas was when they hit the scene, and how they've influenced and evolved through their two decades. Some favorite NY spots of yesteryear, the cultural impact of the music scene, and how it’s mutated and coalesced, and been reborn again and again, over the past fifteen or so years. A fascinating powwow with an amazing artist and lovely human spirit, Ms. Mayteana Morales.


Image result for pimps of joytime

From there, I couldn’t help but take a moment to address an unfortunate incident that transpired at a concert in Oakland last weekend, a short story, a diatribe and heartfelt appeal to look out for and respect each other, to treat all people with dignity on the dancefloor, and other golden-rule isms. I wasn’t sure I was gonna go there, but I guess I just had to.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Then we segue back into some positive vibrations, and introduce one of the best people I know, Ms. Maria Herrera, a journalist, activist, community organizer, and cannabis business consultant. Maria is one of my most loyal, trusted and treasured friends in this life, an unwavering and unconditional connection unlike any other I’ve shared. She is also a brilliant woman on the front lines of the legal cannabis revolution taking place in Northern California.


Maria checks in on the heels of the Emerald Cup in mid December, to share some fascinating experiences from a variety of perspectives: political, personal, community, business, and beyond. She's worked extensively with the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, hosts her own women-in-cannabis radio show on KVMR Higher Frequency. Maria's got boots on the ground at City Council meetings and commiserates with mayors and farmers alike, and she headed up the opening team at Elevation 2477, the first cannabis dispensary in Nevada County, CA. Meanwhile, she continues to consult with numerous boutique cannabis brands and labels throughout NorCal.

If you are wondering what legal weed is like, and how it is all happening beyond retail shopping in a dispensary, then this conversation will be quite interesting to you. Maria may even inspire listeners to get involved in this movement and/or industry in their own backyards, or take action in their community as the legislature continues to evolve and the laws follow swiftly behind. I am honored and proud to know Maria professionally, and eternally grateful to call her a best friend. Look forward to future appearances on the podcast from Maria, on this topic and much more.

*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* : D’Angelo "Unshaken" from Red Dead Redemption II OST

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!
Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE
008: RYAN RISING (Permaculture Action Network)

008: RYAN RISING (Permaculture Action Network)

January 3, 2019

Episode 008 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* welcomes Community Organizer/Permaculture Educator RYAN RISING of Permaculture Action Network to the show for a profoundly informative chat on a gang of salient topics. Ryan was kind enough to invite me over to his beautiful Berkeley backyard garden, where we linked up and sat down for a lengthy conversation.

For several years, Ryan has been a force of nature in the music community, leading the Permaculture Action Network in various collaborations with musicians and festivals; his work with The Polish Ambassador in 2014 on the groundbreaking Pushing Through the Pavement Tour and documentary film Pushing Through the Pavement: A Permaculture Action Story was essential to the burgeoning Permaculture movement in live music/festival culture, as is the Permaculture Action Hub which he helps organize and produce at various international events.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Jill Trashley and Ryan Rising. Permaculture Action Day at Gill Tract Farm in Berkeley CA, 2016

It was at this time that The NOHM Co.'s Jill TrAshley, a trusted friend and the person that first put Permaculture on my radar, was adamant that Ryan Rising was doing big things; that's precisely why I pegged him as a "person of interest" so many moons ago. Finally, I had the chance to ask about his journey, how this important organization and movement was launched.

Before Ryan Rising, first a shout-out to our friends at Disc Jam Music Festival; and take a stroll through the NYE-week run of shows in the Bay Area (4mins 30secs), including CloZee/Goopsteppa, Erykah Badu, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe featuring Z-Trip, Thievery Corporation, and Dave Tipper.

Ryan Rising Interview Starts at 23:50



Rising starts off with the upcoming Oakland Permaculture Action Day, Sunday January 20th, at 319 105th Ave, Oakland, CA.  The Action Day will be at the Sogorea Te' Land Trust & Planting Justice Nursery, where the indigenous women’s land trust is building the first ceremonial arbor that has been on Ohlone land in 250 years. Sogorea Te’ and Lead to Life are at the helm, and so is Planting Justice, who started a nursery in West Oakland using an economic justice model that Rising details in a language that we can easily understand. He explains just why Sogorea Te’ is the organization he's most honored to work with, and delivers passionate downloads on what Lead to Life is all about. It was empowering to find out about all these righteous organizations doing good work right here where we live, and Ryan explains how we can plug in here in the East Bay and get involved.

But the work Ryan does and his plethora of relationships and collaborations extends well beyond the Bay Area. He's been involved in Atlanta, Georgia (with Lead to Life), and Permaculture Action Network's varied Action Days across the country, including a few I was honored to participate in. Ryan Rising explains how Permaculture Action Network got connected with Rising Appalachia and some of the collaborations they have undertaken, and what that work has lead to over the past few years.  



 Permaculture Action Network and Rising Appalachia collaboration. #ActionDay

Ryan Rising talks about his evolution from being a "weird kid reading anarchist books in math class", to how he found himself inside of punk rock. His life's work begins volunteering with Food Not Bombs and various organizations, and evolves into demonstrating at George W. Bush's second inauguration in Washington D.C., all the way to Rage Against the Machine's legendary township rebellion at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. From there Ryan details his path as a Community Organizer and his involvement in Occupy Wall Street, how Occupy informed his organizing and direct action tactics and concepts, and how he brought them to the West Coast.

Ryan takes us back to his time living and learning with the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico, and how he brought those ideals and lessons back to the States. We both were turned on to the plight of these people through the music of Rage Against the Machine, and we discuss how we were individually awakened by singer Zach de la Rocha poignant lyrics at a fertile time in our respective youths. Ryan explains how punk music was at the core of his belief system at a very young age, and how the DIY ethos informs his ideals and way of life. Naturally, we take the opportunity to geek out on some music ish, talking hip-hop, punk, and later Drum & Bass and Tipper.


No photo description available.


Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week (1hour 47mins)

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe's lusty, timeless chestnut "Groove On" from October 2002. Happy 62rd Karl!

Image result for Karl Denson 2018


Check out all things *PERMACULTURE ACTION NETWORK* here!

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!

Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE


Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and text


Thanks to all for tuning in! 



007: DERRICK SMOKER (SOUL Brass Band’s Derrick Freeman)

007: DERRICK SMOKER (SOUL Brass Band’s Derrick Freeman)

December 12, 2018

Episode 007 of *The Upful Life Podcast* comin' atcha with special guest Derrick Smoker, NOLA's own drummer/emcee/singer-songwriter/jazz-cat/lightning rod. Back in late October, the man they call D-Free was kind enough to meet me midday, somewhere near the Bywater, for a colorful stroll thru his career & journey. Embarking from Houston to NOLA in 1992, to study Jazz at UNO, we revisit all the people, places, and experiences that life as a Crescent City working musician will manifest. AKA Derrick Freeman, who you may know from Soul Brass Band, Smokers WorldKermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, Low End Theory Players, or even way back in the Crönk days, as well as the HBO David Simon docu-drama Treme, and (my personal fave of the Smoker legacy), 2012's seminal hip-hop/R&B/Comedy album Blurple Pain.



Image result for Derrick FreemanBlurple Pain album

I asked this dude to rap for a reason, & Derrick brings the goods in his atypical no-holds-barred/frank AF fashion, with recollections dipped in both humor and the realness. We keep things mostly music and mostly NOLA, as Smoker covers career-spanning relationships with luminaries, legends and locals alike, including (but not limited to) Ellis Marsalis, Walter Payton, Ed Peterson, Shannon Powell, Kermit Ruffins, Davis RoganCyril Neville, and many, many more. Smoker gets very poignant and reflective when recalling the myriad ways in which the late, great Theryl Houseman DeClouet (formerly of Galactic) put him on game. We get into Derrick's various projects thru the years like CoolBone, All That, Mass Hysteria, the all-too-short-lived NOLA funk gangstas Crönk. Of course his current gig, SOUL Brass Band, as well as solo albums like Blurple Pain and DWB (Driving While Black). 

Related image

Theryl "Houseman" deClouet The HOUSEMAN Cometh! album cover

With regard to The Upful Life Podcast's intention to shine a light on human resilience, Derrick discusses the ups and downs of the music biz, especially in NOLA, and how he almost quit altogether. Later, he reveals how fellow drummer Nikki Glaspie put the battery in his back, her inspirational words motivation to get out and really do his own music. Inevitably during the chronological telling of his career path, Derrick also touches on his experience surrounding Hurricane Katrina, when he was overseas with a who's who of NOLA music, watching the storm footage and Superdome via Fox News. The aftermath and his wayward path back to the city, which took him from Brazil to Miami to Dallas to Alabama to Canada before he finally returned home to NOLA, while now-wife Carolyn held him down the whole way through. 

Later we get into the swamp of Jazz Fest politics - again from a local working musician's perspective- and why it's important for both Jazz Fest fans AND promoters to have the best intentions when returning to NOLA each and every spring. From where I sit (and what I do), this was an important dialogue to have with a brutally honest cat who is really living this on an authentic & local level. We wrap things up in the now, with SOUL Brass Band, his project with James R. Martin, Leon "Kid Chocolate" Brown, and a krewe that came together pretty much by accident. SOUL is now a white-hot book, taking Smoker & company global. We finally get hip to The Low End Theory Players, a local-to-NOLA live hip-hop ensemble that recreates the greatest works of titanic artists like OutKast, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, and more.  A thrilling conversation with a musician and personality in the middle of all things New Orleans. In a nutshell- I asked Derrick to shoot me straight, and for exactly 100 minutes- he absolutely did, no two ways about it. 


All That Smoke plus B.Getz's usual ramblings du jour, & shout-outs to the good folks at Euphonic Conceptions.  Closing (2:03:35) with the *Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* : "I Get Lifted" by GALACTIC featuring the late Theryl "Houseman" deClouet

This past week, though still reeling from the July 2018 passing of their iconic former frontman, the five full-time members of Galactic purchased the legendary venue Tipitina's Uptown in New Orleans ! So this 2002 Galactic rendition of a K.C. & the Sunshine Band cut, with Houseman at the helm, culled from Live at Tipitina's: We Love 'Em Tonight, is our *Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week*.

*Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week*: LISTEN HERE!

The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!

Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

Thanks to all for tuning in! 



006: RANDOM RAB / Personal reflections from B.Getz / .Paak’s Oxnard & more

006: RANDOM RAB / Personal reflections from B.Getz / .Paak’s Oxnard & more

November 28, 2018


Episode 006 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast* is proud to welcome Random Rab to the show for what is an enlightening conversation, a free exchange of ideas cutting a wide swath over his magical journey and meteoric career. But first, shout-outs to scene stalwarts JamBase and Silverback Music Management, a look toward New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, before we kick things off. A rundown of what's on the horizon for Upful LIFE coverage in December, including DJ Williams/Shots Fired, Dimond Saints, Thriftworks, the annual Favorite Albums listicle, and much more. We take a moment to discuss how people can get involved, donate and help out with the devastating Camp Fire in Northern California. Snap-judgements/hot-takes on Anderson .Paak's highly-anticipated third full-length LP Oxnard, as we examine the oft-putting casual misogyny that runs throughout the record. We discuss and have a listen to .Paak's "Cheers" (featuring Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest), a touching eulogy-in-song to dearly departed emcees Mac Miller and Phife Dawg.

Photo by Zipporah Lomax

List of organizations to donate to help victims of the Camp Fire. 

We met up with Random Rab in early November in his "White Whale", an old-school Sprinter van that he uses as a trusty mobile-dwelling on the road, this was the cozy confines for our dance down memory lane. Rab was in the midst of a Fall tour up the West Coast, and was teaming with longtime pals Dirtwire for a sold-out engagement at the Cornerstone in Berkeley CA. As such, the host caught Rab for about 30 minutes before the show, and another half-hour as Dirtwire was finishing up. Before diving in to the hour-long dialogue, I take a minute to recite my own 2017 artist bio of Random Rab, to further familiarize listeners with our very special guest. (SHAMELESS PLUG: Need an artist bio? HMU! )

Random Rab segment begins at 30:30, Interview starts at 36:00

In this heart-filling interview, Rab brings us back to his humble beginnings in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a classical-music student on the trumpet, and his heavy metal adolescence on guitar, before taking us on a cross-country jaunt that relocates him on the West Coast after a brief stint in Mexico. Most notably, he breaks down the origins of the seminal El Circo troupe, and Rab spends several minutes beautifully eulogizing his friend, the late Tiffa Novoa, a pioneering fashion designer and matriarch in Burning Man culture who tragically passed away in 2007. Rab reflects on what Tiffa meant to him and El Circo, and on being asked to master the ceremonies at her funeral. We both explore how this avant-garde collective and halcyon era would sew a myriad of embryonic seeds that continue to flourish inside and out of festival culture so many years later.


Tiffa Novoa 1975-2007 (photo:

Image result for Random Rab photos

Random Rab at El Circo camp, Burning Man 2009

Click HERE for Upful LIFE's RANDOM RAB Playlist 

From there, Rab and I touch a number of topics and tales from his lengthy career : seminal songs and records, his masterful mining of sorrow for authentic artistic expression, harnessing other emotions as he's both become a father and matured as a musician. About his 20-year consecutive Burning Man streak, how his legendary sunrise sets were born on the Playa, and how they have grown to otherworldly levels of grandeur for eight consecutive blissed-out years at Envision Festival in Costa Rica. (At one point, Dirtwire's David Satori knocked on the door of the van so we took a minute to chat with him off air. We also break so Rab can perform to a sold-out room, before Dirtwire takes the stage.)

To break up the split in the interview I play my favorite Random Rab song "Kloud Kings" (1:02:10) from ARose, then we return to the conversation (1:07:00)Rab recalls how a fan once proposed to his partner at a sunrise set (I was present for this magic), and how that same benevolent man gave Rab maybe the greatest personalized gift he's ever received. We talk about how Rab's music has fundamentally changed from 2000's Epicycle to 2017's Formless Edge, and how he's approaching songcraft, guitar playing (and instrumentation in general) in 2018. Rab explains why when recording with fellow musicians, it's essential for him to actually get in the studio in person, and how friendship and collective conviction are at the root of nearly all of his numerous collaborations. All of that jazz and a whole lot MOUR in this candid and open-hearted pow-wow with the whimsical wizard Random Rab.


After we wrap up with Rab, (1:37:00) I felt compelled to share some personal reflections regarding my guest's ever-looming influence in my own life. This powerful interview led me to open up considerably, with regard to when Rab and I first met outside the Fractal Planet sound camp at Burning Man 2013, and how that fateful morning interaction and his eventual co-sign (of a festival media application) steered me (and JamBase) towards Symbiosis Gathering 2013, which were the first pages of the next chapters of my musical life, and career as a journalist. From there I was driven to dig even deeper, and unpack something we touched on in the interview, this time in far greater and more intimate detail.


My father Lloyd Getz passed away in April 2015, at a time when I was incarcerated, and I revisit how Random Rab's music reached me in my darkest hour of need, even there in the custody of the State of California. My story then takes us back to Black Rock City, to the Temple at Burning Man in 2016, when I finally had the chance to honor my father's death on my own terms. Again, Rab organically and cosmically becomes embedded into this narrative, and I only chose to reveal this extremely personal reflection because it's so closely interwoven with my guest; I hope that both Rab and I can serve to bring others a measure of comfort and inspiration if they are going through similarly dark times.

Image result for Burning Man Temple 2016

The Temple burns at Burning Man 2016

We conclude with the Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week, "Cloaked" by Tipper, (2:35:00) a ebullient and emotive piece of music Dave Tipper composed and released on the day of his own father's death in 2017. I thought it appropriate to include this mystical track at the tail end of Episode 006 of *The Upful LIFE Podcast*

Rest in Power Lloyd L. Getz,


The Upful LIFE Podcast is available on iTunes!

Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE