Saturday night in NYC was one for the books with the double header of Soulive and Galactic bringing the funk to Terminal 5. The packed house was buzzing with excitement, ready for a double dose of funk provided by some of the best in the biz. The addition of the legendary Cyril Neville to Galactic’s set made for a particularly special show, highlighted by memorable covers of The Meters, Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, the Pointer Sisters and more.Soulive opened strong with their classic “Hat Trick”, during which guitarist Eric Krasno channeled his inner Jerry Garcia vibe for a short measure. Drummer Alan Evans then took to the mic to introduce everyone before delving into a new tune, “Common”. The band weaved seamlessly through “Common” into an older classic “Shaheed” before crushing on another new one called “BB Gun”. The trio slipped the new songs in without throwing the crowd off with the newness, but the diehards who knew, knew. It was perfect placement and flawless.New Orleans staple Galactic was next on the docket and ready to bring the funk hard. The band got the crowd into the NOLA spirit from the start, entering the stage to Carnival tunes resemblant of a Mardi Gras morning. They kicked things off in high spirits with a track off their latest album, “Sugar Doosie”. Frequent guest singer Erica Falls joined on shortly after, leading the band through newer track “Right On” into a funky cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Hard Times”. A powerful rendition of their “Dolla Diva” kept things grooving before delving into Rebirth Brass Band’s “AP Tureaud”. The energy in the room exploded as Cyril Neville took the stage, introduced as “the greatest soul singer alive” and ready to prove himself worthy of that title. The New Orleans legend came out grooving to a cover of The Meters’ “Gossip”, for which Neville provided vocals on the original. Continuing with the theme of keeping it in the family, he then busted out “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind”, a Neville Brothers throwback.Neville briefly departed from the stage as Soulive/Lettuce guitarist Eric Krasno joined on for the very funky “Cineramascope” off Galactic’s Ya-Ka-May. A soulful guitar solo quickly escalated into a rocking jam, prompting a massive dance party from the audience. Falls returned to the stage to aid on one of the band’s most well-known, feel-good tracks, “Hey Na Na”. As the band has cycled through several guest singers over the years, this song has been tested out by its fair share of vocalists from across a wide spectrum, including David Shaw of The Revivalists and Maggie Koerner on the studio version. While each of these contributors adds a little something different – Shaw more of an edge perhaps, and Koerner a softer feminine touch – Falls’ dominating stage presence and booming voice on this song really knocked it out of the park. In this moment it was clear that she has gotten into her groove with the band and established herself as a key member.Falls continued to shine with the highlight of the show, a powerful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” that had everyone singing and dancing along. She then left the stage as the band was joined by saxophonist Ben Ellman’s cousin, Lucas Ellman of Chicago-based band The Heard, leading the funk army through a grooving rendition of Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band’s “65 Bars And A Taste Of Soul”. Neville rejoined the group for a heavy Meters double header, segueing into a cover of “No More Okey Doke” and following it up with “You’ve Got To Change (You’ve Got To Reform)”, all the while maintaining the good spirits and high energy in the room. Neville left the stage to make way for Falls to close out the show with a crushing version of the Pointer Sisters’ “Going Down Slowly”, her electrifying vocals filling over the room for one last time before the encore.After a short break, the quintet returned to the stage one last time to play an older original, “Funky Bird”. Finally, Falls and Neville both came out to bring things to a close with The Meters’ “Africa”. The combination of the two dynamic vocalists along with seasoned funk veterans Galactic was out of control, and funk levels were at an all time high with everyone vibing together on stage, raging properly and showing New York how NOLA does it.Setlist: Soulive at Terminal 5, New York, NY – 3/26/16Hat Trick, Common, Shaheed, BB Gun, One In Seven, Revolution, PJ’s, TuesdaySetlist: Galactic at Terminal 5, New York, NY – 3/26/16Set: Sugar Doosie, Right On, Hard Times, Dolla Diva, AP Tureaud, Gossip, Tell Me What’s On Your Mind, Cineramascope, Hey Na Na, Like A Rolling Stone, 65 Bars And A Taste Of Soul, No More Okey Doke, You’ve Got To Change (You’ve Got To Reform), Going Down SlowlyEncore: Funky Bird, AfricaPhotos by James Bell. Full Gallery: Load remaining images
When it comes to backyard wildlife, the cup plant does it all. To me, it is like the flag-bearing perennial for bees, butterflies and birds. It is a stalwart and is native in 34 states, from Louisiana, north to Canada and sweeping across all states east.Its size makes it seem like it is the composite, or aster, that ate New York. It is big, bold and wonderful, and this is the time of the year it shines the most.If you are interested in the cup plant but unfamiliar with the flower, it is known botanically as “Silphium perfoliatum” and, as I alluded above, is cold hardy from zones 3 through 9. It can grow tall — 4 to 10 feet — and colonize, so it is a plant for the back of the border. Here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, ours are around 7 feet.Although it may be hard to imagine that they can dwarf a brown-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia triloba or Brazilan sage (Salvia guaranitica) are both considered large plants and terrific partners for the cup plant. Within close proximity, the pagoda flower (Clerodendrum paniculatum), Java glory bower (Clerodendrum speciosissimum) and baby lace (Hydrangea paniculata) all do their part to bring in hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.Why is this called the “cup plant”? As the plant grows, it develops large, square stems that give the impression that they are piercing the center of the large leaves. There are actually two leaves without petioles that are attached to the stem, forming a perfect cup with which to collect rainwater. Small birds, like finches, take advantage of this natural reservoir of water. These same birds also feed on the seeds as they mature and disperse.The blooms will eventually be covered in what may best be described as a “pollinating frenzy.” Every kind of bee, including honeybees by the hundreds, bumblebees and more, like wasps, are there doing their thing. On a recent morning visit to the Coastal Botanical Garden, I saw eastern tiger swallowtails, long-tailed skippers, fiery skippers and yellow sulphur butterflies. It was like a park for pollinators. Though I didn’t see any, everyone reports hummingbirds on the plants as well.The nature lover will find the cup plant to be one of the most thrilling plants to incorporate into the landscape. Get a chair, a pair of binoculars and a camera, and you will be ready for a day of journaling.Gardeners may need to adjust before planting. First, they must be ready to incorporate such a tall aster family member into the back of the border. Then, they must accept a colonizing racehorse of a plant, so to speak. Not only will gardeners have rhizomes spreading, but they will have reseeding. In other words, there will be some maintenance required to confine the plant to the space allotted.Native plant nurseries sell the plants, and if we can buy them, so can you. They are also easy to start from seeds. Sow unstratified seeds in the fall or stratified seeds in the spring. If using stratification, give seeds a three-month cold, moist treatment in the refrigerator. Putting moist, coarse sand and seeds in a plastic bag is a good method. Then, choose a sunny location with good soil moisture.Since this plant will be the backbone of your wildlife habitat or pollinator garden, choose companions that are not only beautiful but will incorporate the cup plants. I mentioned salvias and brown-eyed Susans, but Joe-Pye weeds, milkweeds and ironweeds native to your region would partner with cup plants well. Other favorites could be anise hyssops like ‘Blue Fortune,’ ‘Blue Boa’ and ‘Black Adder.’ They would give that complementary sizzle of opposite colors. Lastly, use the cup plant to create mystery in the garden by blocking a view and forming an area of transition.The cup plant does it all for wildlife and pollinators, all the while showing dazzling 3.5-inch yellow blossoms. You have to agree that it is pretty doggone special.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.
Undergraduate Student Body President Mikey Geragos and Black Student Assembly Director Lamar Gary issued statements Friday in response to Wednesday night’s shooting.A man allegedly shot Geno Hall, a former Crenshaw High School football star, and three other victims in a confrontation that occurred outside of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Police also detained another male suspect on Wednesday, though they have not released his identity.The suspects and victims were in line for the Halloween party “Freak or Greek,” which was being held in the ballroom, according to eyewitness accounts. At least 500 students from USC and other colleges attended the party, which was heavily promoted by the event organizer LA Hype across social media. Scheduling papers for the event were filed under the Black Student Assembly’s name.Geragos expressed his condolences to the four victims who were injured in the shooting that occurred outside the “Freak or Greek” party.“It is truly disturbing that the shooting happened during one of our assembly’s campus events, but we are working with our University leadership in taking immediate action to develop additional measures for campus safety and security,” Geragos said.Gary said he hopes the incident will not reflect poorly on BSA.“We are currently working in conjunction with the administration to address any concerns that might have arisen,” Gary said. “This incident is not a reflection of the Black Student Assembly. We have gone to great lengths this year to direct our attention towards cultural awareness and mentorship.”