Flat Land
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Flat Land

Gainesville, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Gainesville, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Fusion




"Roosevelt Collier Leads Launch Party For Future Music Makers Charity"

"When artists come together to invest in the future of music education, it expresses a true commitment to the craft.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, Roosevelt “The Dr.” Collier jammed alongside members of Flat Land, Come Back Alice, Locochino, Gritt, S.P.O.R.E, Displace, Parker Urban Band, Holey Miss Moley and many more at the first-ever Future Music Makers benefit.

What started out as wishful thinking became a reality last April when Future Music Makers (FMM) founders were awarded $15,000 in crowdfunds at OneSpark Festival. The win gave the musicians enough seed money to start making moves and launch the organization.

Founded by Florida-bred funk-pop eccentrics Flat Land, Atlanta-based livetronica duo Bells & Robes and marketing and special events firm Phairground, FMM is a nonprofit that finds new ways to instill a love of music in local youth.

Eleven acts donated their time to play for more than 300 music lovers at hot spot The JAM: Gainesville. After six months of planning, the event introduced the mission of FMM to the community and set the tone for what’s to come.

“We all realized collectively that music was something we had the opportunity to learn at a young age,” said Fae Nageon De Lestang, Flat Land’s visionary violinist and frontwoman.

At 9:30 p.m., Flat Land hypnotized the crowd with a barrage of booming drum solos and sultry, strong vocals. After performing “Turn,” an ever-growing fan favorite, Nageon De Lestang invited Come Back Alice’s violinist Dani Jaye on stage. The two virtuosos played off one another in one of the best performances of dueling fiddles to date.

But as government funding for music and art programs continues to be cut, it becomes less likely that children will follow in these footsteps. The void in the curriculum grows larger, leaving remaining music courses understaffed and underfunded. The effect of this deficit runs deep.

“A lot of the kids in some of the schools we’ve worked with don’t even know that music is an option for them,” said Luke Sipka of Bells & Robes.

To combat this, the founders began to pool their talents and slowly develop a program that would have a lasting impact. It’s broken down into four main parts: private lesson scholarships, public school partnerships, workshops and master classes, and instrument collection.

The artists who performed at the benefit were hand-picked based on a demonstrated passion for the FMM mission, but many local musicians were quick to jump on board. Collier’s background in music made him an obvious choice.

Strong to his roots in Florida, one of his first memories is being surrounded by family members rhythmically banging on pots and pans. He played five times a week in the Church as he grew older, picking up tips and tricks from his uncles. He said he wouldn’t be here today if it weren't for his early start.

“Kids can pick up things crazy fast,” he said. “You teach the kids at a young age so they can choose their own path.”

Collier guided Saturday’s SuperJam with an inclusive, integrative magnetism that mirrored the Dr.’s famed Suwannee Getdowns. Five minutes before they hit the stage, he went over the game plan. Collier had no problem with maximizing the outdoor platform, inviting as many people on stage as possible.

Later in the night, the collaborative spirit took hold as 19 artists jammed together in an entirely organic SuperJam. The non-stop groove was infused with long-time favorites, with one of the highlights being Nageon De Lestang and Holey Miss Moley’s Danny Clemons cover of “Superstition.” As the bandleader, the Dr. recognized stand-out solos and gave each musician a chance to control the sound.

“Sure enough, the first song was pure magic,” he said. “At that moment when they’re shining, it’s their ballgame, and they’ve got the power to take it wherever they want.”

Collier’s background in music heavily influenced his decision to join hands with the FMM movement, so much so that he gave up another gig in Richmond, Virginia that was scheduled on the same night. FMM’s long-term goal is to keep building a network of musicians to volunteer at multiple different skill workshops that will be held each month in the new year.

“I felt the need to come and be a part of this,” Collier said. “This is our future. It’s a big circle, and it all works together.”

Future Music Makers has held assemblies, Q&A’s, lyric and rhythm workshops, after-school programs, and games tailored to the meet the needs of each and every age group. One of the main goals is to collect and restore used instruments to lend support to local music teachers who often receive less than $1,000 a year for supplies.

“We’ve realized that through our network, we can provide a lot of the resources that these programs need,” Nageon De Lestang said.

The ground-breaking SuperJam brought diverse musicians together to show support for music education as a whole. It proved that FMM is more than a nonprofit, it’s a catalyst for empowering youth, inspiring creativity and keeping the love of music alive.

“This is the start of something big,” Collier said. “Mark my words… this night will be remembered ten years from now as history.”" - Live for Live Music

"On the Rise: Flat Land"

"The 8th annual Purple Hatter’s Ball was winding down to its Sunday conclusion at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. Fae Nageon de Lestang and Grant McLeod, members of Flat Land, were about to head back home to Gainesville. They had performed second at Thursday’s pre-party and again on Friday at the River Stage. Here was the question:

How do you judge success at a festival such as this? Internet traffic? Likes?

McLeod, the group’s founder and drummer, observed: “This is a huge opportunity for us to meet other bands and new fans we might not have the opportunity to interact with otherwise. Every show we play is an opportunity to play the next gig and expand our reach.”

Fae added: “As far as metrics, it’s difficult to judge that. And it’s probably not the most accurate way to measure the impact. It’s about the people we meet and how we can collaborate.”

Flat Land refers to their music as “cosmifunkpop.” That barely begins to cover the breadth and depth of their repertoire. They range from beautiful ballads such as “Black Rain” and “Turn” to powerful songs such as “Rufio’s Last Stand.” “Everything You Wanted” is wonderfully Latin-tinged, and then the band can romp through Led Zeppelin; their set-closer Thursday was “Ramble On > Black Dog.

Fae’s vocal style is extraordinary. Her phrasing is often likened to Billie Holiday and Florence Welch, and there are similarities, but Fae’s voice is simply mesmerizing. She punctuates her songs with starts and stops; the only singer I know with a similar style is Alley, the vocalist for Wise Monkey Orchestra.

She would make a superb front woman for the band even if she were not also a wizard on violin. That extra dimension makes her unique indeed. Add to that incredible outfits and face decorations, and you might almost miss the fact that a superb band is playing with her.

Chris Storey is an excellent guitarist who can play ballads tenderly – and then shred like mad. His guitar and Fae’s violin mesh perfectly as they roll and tumble through the almost-metal parts of the band’s setlists. There is an incredible punch to the music.

But the real punch starts in the back, because, as everybody knows, it IS all about that bass… and drums. McLeod is a great rock drummer who can also match the dynamics and beauty of the ballads. His spot-on time provides the band’s engine.

There are two bass players working with the band currently, and fortunately for everyone, they both lay the perfect foundation for this music. In fact, Ashley “Dumptruck” Wilkinson played the set Thursday at Purple Hatter’s, and Nate Garland performed at the afternoon River Stage set.

Ian McLeod, Grant’s brother and partner in percussion, sits in with the band when he can. Fae says, “He adds auxillary percussion, stabilizing the groove-heavy riffs and adding extra flair to our music.” Ian plays with his own excellent band, ISM, as well.

Flat Land’s star has been on the rise for some time, but their noon set at Gov-Fest in February really seemed to send things into overdrive. As good fortune would have it, the sparse crowd (look, festie folks aren’t often even UP at noon!) was full of other concert promoters, photographers, writers and fans who were more than willing to spread the word about this Gainesville quartet standing the fest on its ear. They were magnificent, was the consensus.

Also of significance was their collaboration at Gov-Fest with Come Back Alice , the incredible Southern gypsy funk quartet from Sarasota. They first met at Woodstarke last July, when they were on the bill together. By my count, Dani Jaye, who plays violin in CBA, and Fae played together at least three times at Gov-Fest. This looks like the perfect musical marriage, their talents intertwining. They have since played together on multiple occasions, the results truly remarkable.

So the trick now lies in expanding the band’s brand, territory, and fan base. Every festival such as Purple Hatter’s helps lead to the next festival and the next set of dates farther from home, pushing that geographical envelope. They have played more than a dozen festivals and tons of dates in addition.

Upcoming performances include:

May 30 @ The High Dive, Gainesville, w/ Parker Urban Band & ISM

June 5 @ Red Lion Pub, Orlando, w/ Ancient Sun & The Happy Campers

June 6 @ Ashley Street Station, Valdosta

June 12 @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, w/ Damon Fowler

June 20 @ Summer Solstice Music and Arts Celebration, Deland

June 27 @ The Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg

July 3 @ The Atlantic, Gainesville, w/ Little Tybee & Hail! Cassius Neptune

July 4 @ Great Outdoors Jam, Maddox Ranch, Lakeland

Photos courtesy of Bryan Edward, John Phillips, Matt Warren and Scott Hopkins" - Music Fest News

"Local bands combine forces to bring music to kids"

"A lot of musicians join bands hoping for fame, wealth and glory, but two Gainesville-based bands’ ambitions are a bit more humble. They want their music to change the world.

The members of Flat Land and Bells and Robes grew up and lived through music. They believed it could inspire and change lives, but when they looked to their roots, schools where they had been inspired to learn and embrace their own musical abilities, they saw problems they wanted to help change.

So the two bands, along with Phairground, a marketing and special events consulting firm that primarily works with musicians, created a nonprofit. They entered a competition for fledgling nonprofits, won $15,000 and came back to Gainesville to begin their work getting music into schools and offering scholarships to budding musicians.

“It’s the type of thing that people can really get behind, because we are the artists, building the pathway,” said Scott Sacks of Phairground, vice president of the nonprofit Future Music Makers. “This is what we’re trying to do.”

Music has had a heavy influence on Sacks’ life. His mother taught music to kindergartners at a private school in Miami before he was born. The 32-year-old, who plays the guitar, said music has helped him through a lot of tough times. He performs with Tyler Hale, his partner at Phairground, who grew up in Gainesville.

“Music was always there,” he said. “It always comforted me. I’m married and have other things in my life, but when there were less things in my life holding me together, music will be there for me.”

Fae Nageon de Lestang, 27, one of the members of Flat Land, also grew through music. Raised in Naples, Florida, she began playing the violin in her middle school’s orchestra, and it helped her gain confidence.

After graduating from the University of Florida, she formed a cosmifunk band with three other University of Florida graduates, Christopher Storey (guitar), Grand McLeod (drums) and Ian McLeod (percussion). They named it Flat Land, after Florida’s terrain and a book that taught them to look at the world from different perspectives.

About a half a year ago, they joined with Bells and Robes, a local electronic band comprised of members Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol, to enter the Jacksonville-based One Spark competition for nonprofits, and when Phairground's Hale learned about it, the company joined, too.

Sacks said they were blown away when they won the One Spark's 2015 Judges Award in the music and arts category because they had an idea, but no foundation.

Armed with the funds, they formed their nonprofit and began conducting workshops, connecting with local schools and planning for scholarships for students they believe have potential for a future in music.

In their workshops, they work to keep the lessons fun. They use technology, like iPads. One time Nageon de Lestang played her electric violin for students learning to play the violin in school. After the performance, she said, all the students wanted their own electric violin.

Another time, they taught students how to find rhythm, and Nageon de Lestang said she was overwhelmed with their response.

“It was really cool to see how proud they were of themselves,” she said. “It made them feel really special. They were bragging like, ‘I’m really good at it. I want to be a drummer.’”

The group has organized a benefit concert by several bands Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Jam, which will include art, music, food trucks, vendors and a raffle, to raise more money for their scholarships, and a smaller, free event for families today at One Love Cafe that will include kids' activities and music workshops.

Nageon de Lestang said she’s overwhelmed by the positive feedback.

“[Music is] one of those things that might have an impact or really change your kid’s life, she said. “That might be the thing that makes your kid want to go to school or communicate or express themselves in a different way. There’s a need, and [people] know we’re serious and capable of making it happen.”" - The Gainesville Sun

"Local Band Flat Land Talks Hulaween and Performing With Big Acts"

"The Suwannee Hulaween lineup is one of the better groups of musicians we’ve seen in a while. This year, Flat Land is playing alongside Chance The Rapper and Odesza, two huge acts to come to the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park.

Flat Land is a sound not easily pinned to a particular genre. The quartet layers together dreamy melodies and funk with influences from Stevie Wonder to blues revivalist Jack White. Frontwoman and violinist Fae Nageon de Lestang recently did a quick interview with us to discuss the band’s origins, getting the chance to perform at Hulaween and playing alongside major renowned acts.


All of us live in Gainesville and studied at UF. We were all recruited by our mutual friend, Grant (our drummer). Chris (our guitarist) was in a previous band with Grant called Funkatron, and I had met Grant through the School of Music at UF. We started playing together about 3 and a half years ago, and things grew from there.

Our name is actually from the book Flat Land, which is one of our favorites. It’s also a reference to our state’s topography.


So much fun! I had never really been in a band before, and playing shows was really exciting. I think more than anything, having the flexibility to jump through different genres was a lot of fun for everyone. I studied classical music growing up, so playing funk music really pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I loved. We put together a cover band version of Flat Land when we first formed called Meatwood Flack. We picked a bunch of our favorite songs, and played a going away party for one of our best friends. I’ll never forget that show. We played at one of our favorite bars called The Bull. There were so many people in that little building that we almost didn’t have room to play our instruments … people danced so hard that all of the paintings were crooked at the end of the night. I felt high on life for two weeks afterwards.


When we first started, we had a different frontman, and he wrote most of the songs. We were much more influenced by blues-heavy artists like the Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. Our sound has evolved to be a lot jazzier since then. Currently, our biggest influences are artists like Shuggie Otis, Stevie Wonder and Hiatus Kaiyote.


It is such an honor! Our dream was always to play Bear Creek … when we heard it was cancelled we felt such a loss. But having the opportunity to play Hula is almost better in some ways. I think it’s fair to call it a dream come true. These large festivals are such a learning opportunity for us. It’s always interesting to see what bands do that is effective. We’re always taking notes. Some of the artists we’re playing with are people we really look up to … we’re kind of nerding out about it.


Good question! Well, the guys are totally obsessed with Les Claypool. If he were to show up and jam with us, I honestly don’t think they could keep it together. So, that’s a thing. All of the members of Nth Power are KILLER musicians. I mean, Nikki Glaspie … damn. Just, damn. I watched her play 10-plus sets at Bear Creek last year and just SLAY. As a woman, it’s always refreshing to see other female performers, especially with chops like that. Beyond that, anyone from the New Mastersounds, Elephant Revival and, of course, a lot of our friends from bands around Florida that we get to jam with on occasion. Dani (violin/guitar) from Come Back Alice will be sitting in on our set, and I can’t wait. Getting to rock out on the violin together is one of my favorite things ever.


Hula is going to be nothing short of Fing fantastical. The other day I saw someone coordinate hauling a trampoline to their campsite on facebook (Hometeam shout out). I think everyone is pulling out all the stops to make the weekend a blow-out. It’s not just a festival, it’s an occasion. And, I mean, it’s Halloween, which is already awesome. For most people, this is the one big thing they do with their friends every year. We have several friends that are flying in just to attend. The opportunities we have to spend time together are rare, you know? I think for us, a festival like this is about being with your peoples and having your mind blown by incredible musicians. The random interactions you have with the people attending. But, I mean, if you’re not into all that, then just go for Primus.


Wherever they’d like! It’s on Soundcloud, Spotify, Pandora and all that jazz, but we post our videos on our website and/or social." - Void Magazine

"Program Brings Music Scholarships to Alachua County Children"

"In April of this year, Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program (FMM) received an award of $15,000 to begin their efforts to bring music to the students of Alachua County.

The group, made up of local Gainesville band Flat Land, electronic duo Bells & Robes, and a local marketing and special events consulting firm Phairground, has been able to take their initial funding and lay the groundwork for their entire organization.

This weekend they will be holding their first fundraiser to help provide scholarships for six months of free music lessons. Any student in Alachua County 18-years-old or younger can apply for one of these scholarships. Applications are on the group’s website and the deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

The event begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday at The JAM: Gainesville and will feature different artists and musicians. The $10 entrance fee, as well as proceeds from the raffle will go towards the scholarship fund. There will be food trucks and vendors at the event as well, who will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the group’s fund.

Fae Nageon de Lestang, violinist and vocalist for Flat Land said that the goal is for the benefit to fund four scholarships, but FMM will definitely be giving away two.

“I think we realized that all of us had the opportunity to study privately, and that really helped us to hone in on the things we needed to work on and develop our skill sets,” she said. “We wanted to be able to provide that opportunity to a kid that might not necessarily have that.”

The band has estimated that one scholarship will be valued between $550 to $600. Nageon de Lestang said that the cost depends on the kind of lessons a child wants. FMM has a network of local musicians and instructors that they will work with to pair children with a teacher.

Aside from their scholarship program, FMM has been able to develop its after school programs. Nageon de Lestang said that the group has been learning a lot in the last six months.

“We’ve actually gotten a lot of support from the community, which has been great,” she said. “We’ve developed a lot of partnerships with different organizations around town as well as schools in the area and the Alachua County School Board.”

They have partnered with a few local schools, but Nageon de Lestang said that their pilot project has been their partnership with Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Elementary School in East Gainesville. The school, in their first year as a fine arts magnet, lets the children pick different instruments and focuses to study.

“We’ve gone in with them and we’re [going to do] doing monthly workshops with theirs kids, we’ve just started to do that,” she said. “That is kind of where we’re focusing most of our energy right now.”

Sharon Kuchinski, fine arts coordinator at Rawlings, said that FMM reached out to the school and she thought they would be a great asset to the new arts program. Students are exposed to all the different programs offered, such as music, art and theatre, and then the fourth and fifth graders choose a specific focus.

“What I want is that connection between the professional musicians and the students,” she said. “Sometimes students get frustrated if they pick up a guitar and realize they aren’t going to learn it in a week.”

She said she hopes that by interacting with professional musicians, the students will be able to see what it takes to get where they want to be and will be encouraged to continue.

Kuchinski said that FMM came in before Thanksgiving break and did an assembly for the students. The music they were playing was unlike the rap and other popular music the children are exposed to and she felt that some probably had never heard anything like it before.

Once a few students began dancing, though, Kuchinski said she knew the group would be a good fit.

“And it was like, ‘that’s it, that’s exactly what we want, that kind of connection.’ ” she said.

Kuchinski and FMM are now beginning to set up master classes that will be offered to the older focus students. Kuchinski said that the courses will be both small and large group sessions and they will also be offered to children whose focus is not music.

She hopes that through FMM’s partnership with Rawlings and the success of their students, other schools will see how beneficial FMM’s program is for children.

“I think they’re a great example of how musicians can contribute to our community, and I think that’s what our children need to see,” she said." - WUFT

"Future Music Makers Benefit at The Jam (Gainesville) December 5th"

"What do you get when you combine live music, live art, food trucks, vendors, and a raffle?

The Future Music Makers Benefit, a Youth Music Education Nonprofit, obviously! The event is brought to you in part by future Future Music Makers, Phairground, Brotherly Love Productions, Organic Visions Presents and Swamp Records. Here are the founder’s notes about FMM:

“Future Music Makers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded by a team of professional musicians and extraordinary friends fortunate enough to learn music at a young age.

What started off as a great idea immediately turned into a full-blown reality as recipients of One Spark’s 2015 Judges Award in the music and arts category.

We think music has the power to transform lives and that all children should have the opportunity to study music. Our goal is to provide children with the resources and skills they need to create original music and have fun while doing it.”

One part of the program involves the donation of instruments. “Future Music Makers is in need of instruments for school visits and workshops! Help us get more kids playing by donating today or at either of our events on Dec 4th & 5th. Right now, we’re especially seeking guitar, percussion instruments, keyboards, and bass guitar.”

A second aspect involves scholarships. “Come celebrate with us as we raise funds to give two students private music lessons scholarships for six months!”

The date? Saturday, December 5th. The time? 7 PM. The place? The Jam in Gainesville.

The music? Glad you asked!

Roosevelt Collier, king of the pedal steel guitar and lap steel as well, headlines this important event. He has just returned from an amazing run in Colorado. Roosevelt has always championed young musicians, so this is squarely in his wheelhouse.

Come Back Alice will also be part of the festivities. Their performance Saturday, November 28th, was over-the-top astounding (you can read the review here), and this quartet will deliver that same energy and more to this event. They played Suwannee Hulaween again this year.

In lockstep with Come Back Alice is Flat Land, another brilliant group featuring an amazing violin player. Don’t be surprised if you see Flat Land’s Fae Nae and Dani Jaye from Come Back Alice on stage together, lighting up the night!

Bells & Robes is an excellent electronic duo specializing in dreamwave. Luke Spika and Dean Spaniol have played a number of festivals, including Earthdance Florida and Reunion: Campout Concert Series.

Gritt are Tampa rockers just waiting to blow up The Jam. This should be a great set.

Les Voss, owner of Over Easy Creative, will oversee the Over Easy DJ Stage, so make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes. You’re going to need them all night.

Locochino plays some great funky rock. They were part of the first of Roosevelt Collier’s Suwannee Getdowns.

In addition to all of this incredible music, several artists-at-large will add their various talents to the benefit. John Parkerurban, superb guitar slinger and leader of the Parker Urban Band, will be on hand, as will Ian McLeod, leader of his band, Ism, and percussionist for Flat Land.

Vinny Svoboda, Tucker Sody and Sam Dobkin of the dynamic Tampa band Displace will also be on hand for this amazing night. Displace had a killer set at the recent Suwannee Hulaween.

You know what. You know who. You know why. MusicFestnews will see you there for this most worthy cause!" - Music Fest News

"Future Music Makers: A Cause Worth Singing About"

"...Future Music Makers (FMM) is a nonprofit started in April by Flat Land, Bells & Robes and Phairground, three groups actively involved in Gainesville’s music scene. The organization aims to promote and instill passion for music in young people in Alachua County.

“I want kids to have the same opportunities to learn about the joys of music that I did as a young boy,” said Dean Spaniol, vice president of FMM and Bells & Robes member.

The benefit concert will feature some of the best musical talent Florida has to offer, such as headlining lap steel guitar phenom Roosevelt Collier and Sarasota’s Come Back Alice. Local music fans can rejoice in the Gainesville-heavy lineup, including Flat Land, Bells & Robes, Gritt, Locochino and Les Voss.

“We’re excited to have such a fine group of musicians come together for a worthy cause,” said Gytis Garsys of Gritt.

If you can remember the feeling of jamming out to “Hot Cross Buns” on the recorder as a kid then you know the importance of music education. Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school and pursue further education.

So make your way to The Jam this Saturday night. If not for the music or the good times, then do it for the kids, people." - Gainesville Scene

"Future Music Makers: Youth Benefit Show to Support Music Education"

"Gainesville, Florida will host this year’s first ever F​uture Music Makers Benefit Concert on Saturday, ​in order to help support nonprofit organization Future Music makers Youth Enrichment Program. ​ The event will take place Dec. 5 at The Jam and will host some of Florida’s favorites, from cosmifunk quartet Flat Land to electronic duo Bells and Robes, as well as South Florida­-bred funk master Roosevelt Collier.

The benefit concert will help fund the nonprofit, which strives to help support and fund music education in youth by providing master classes and scholarships to obtain music classes. “Future Music Makers was brought about when brainstorming with other musicians in the Gainesville area about ways to promote music and arts in schools when much of the funding for these programs have been cut. All of us in the program have seen the benefits of music education first hand and wanted to give the same opportunity to those in school who might not have music in their lives otherwise. It all came to life when pitching to the One Spark crowdfunding festival in Jacksonville,” members of Bells and Robes said. “We all feel so blessed to be able to have the joys of music in our lives and feel everyone should have the same chance we did!”

After entering the O​ne Spark​competition, which is the largest crowdfunding festival in the world, t​he Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program project won a $15,000­ prize​ that went into the program, alongside 80 other competitors.

As part of their benefit show, on Dec. 4, the Future Music Makers Program will also host a family­ friendly event at One Love Cafe. This event will consist of performances and workshops hosted by all three groups of the Future Music Makers.

In regards to both music and Future Music Makers, content, outcome, and process are the three key ingredients to achieve direct results. “With Future Music Makers, I think our mentality is the same,” members of Flat Land stated. “Our goal is to have an impact in our community, and we have modeled our program to reflect that. Process is such an important part of any endeavor, but for us, we have modeled our process to meet the end goal.”

All tickets sales will go straight into funding the program and throughout the night, they will be accepting donations and will have various activities to support the cause." - Knight News

"Flat Land - Foothills Tour Dates"

"Gainesville, Florida’s cosmic funk-pop quartet Flat Land is embarking on their Foothills Tour, and will be several dates in Florida including Gainesville, Jacksonville Beach (10pm, free), and St. Pete.

...The quartet, fronted by Fae Nageon de Lestang on violin and vocals (a descendant of pirates with buried treasure somewhere off the east coast of Africa), has received critical praise for their sound from enough hippies at DIY venues to launch them into the national spotlight. One of MusicFestNews’ “Artist on the Rise”, the group’s dynamic sound lies in the realm of artists such as Beck, the Alabama Shakes, and White Denim. The band’s high energy live performances have propelled them to share the stage with the likes of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Benjamin Booker, Hundred Waters, Zach Deputy, The Main Squeeze, The Heavy Pets, and Roosevelt Collier, among many others." - Florida Music Blog

"Suwannee Hulaween 2015 Performers Talk "Ghoul Train", Hilarious Costumes, Exclusive News"

Get to know the Suwannee Hulaween 2015 performers as they talk about their favorite music from the “Ghoul (Soul) Train” era and remember their best Halloween costumes from the past. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park has an undeniable magic that offers a unique festival experience, not only for the attendees, but also the musicians. Here they share their sentiments on what makes Hulaween at SOSMP special to them. There’s also exciting things happening for each of these acts – read the exclusive details below and check out our Suwannee Hulaween 2015 playlist here:


string cheese incident, hulaween

Favorite Soul Train era music:
I remember seeing Sly and the Family Stone on Soul Train when I was a kid. It was a total culture shock for me. I was this sheltered, suburban, conservative middle class white kid and I was just in awe of the outrageous costumes and free-for-all attitude of the band. It was my first exposure to a jam band!

Favorite Halloween costume:
I loved the voodoo witch doctor costumes we wore at Suwannee 2 years ago.

On Hulaween 2015:
I am super excited to have my good friend Sheryl Rene singing with us. She will be joined by the great Leonard Julien and the Antbalas Horns for our special Ghoul Train set. We will be playing a whole set of old school, funky, dance party Soul Train goodness!

What’s coming up:
We have begun recording new SCI songs at our new studio space! We recently bought a warehouse and have been getting it set up for our rehearsals and recording. We just finished a week there with Jerry Harrison who produced our last album. We hope to have some new music out before the end of the year.

THE NTH POWER (Nikki Glaspie)

nth power

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Earth, Wind and Fire, The Gap Band and Parliament Funkadelic. We love all of these acts because they invented the game. The music is unprecedented. It was a style never heard before, plus a swagger that was unmatched. These guys were professionals. They gave everything they had every night, not to mention the wardrobe!

Favorite Costume:
I was Iron Man one year for Halloween with socks stuffed in my crotch. I wore it at a party in Dubai while on tour with Beyonce. We had been touring around for about 2 years and she couldn’t figure out it was me.

On Hulaween 2015:
I am looking forward to the art installations. This will be my first year there, and I heard the art is dope. We are also looking forward to hanging out with a lot of our musician friends that we don’t get to see on the regular basis.

What’s coming up:
We just dropped our single “Right Now” from our full-length debut album “Abundance” which comes out Friday, November 13th. You can download the song for free for a limited time on our website, www.thenthpowermusic.com. Pre-orders start October 23rd. You can also go to our website that day for special pre-order bundles. We have really cool stuff for our fans, and we are super excited for what’s about to come!


Favorite Soul Train era music:
Sly and the Family Stone are by far my favorite artists from that era. You can hear the musical chemistry between members of the band from the recordings alone. They were fun as fuck, sophisticated, funky, and experimental. I’m also really into The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, and Earth Wind & Fire.

Favorite Halloween costume:
Iron Maiden, Boston, circa 2010. That was a legendary night.

On Hulaween 2015:
I’m looking forward to seeing how Florida and the south get down! I’ve never been to a festival there and I’ve only performed a few times in the south so I’m stoked to play a big show there. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Suwannee Hulaween so I’m ready to get weird. I really wanna check out Chance’s show too.

What’s coming up:
I’m finishing up an EP. I’ve worked with a bunch of vocalists and the project is shaping up to be something special. I’m really excited to start releasing that. Also, I have several remixes on the way.


manic focus, manic science

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Bill Withers because he’s amazing.

Favorite Halloween Costume:
I was Batman at least 4 years in a row from years 4-8.

On Hulaween 2015:
I’m looking forward to playing with the homies Break Science as Manic Science, obviously. :)

What’s coming up:
We’re about to release a Manic Science EP within the next two months, and I’m wrapping up my next album to be released on All Good Records.

DOPAPOD (Chuck Jones – bass)

dopapod, suwannee hulaween

Favorite Soul Train era music:
CHIC and Rick James.

Favorite costume:
I once wore a huge dick costume, to represent my lack of one.

(dramatization, not actually Chuck)

Favorite Hulaween 2015 acts:
Primus and SCI.

What’s coming up:
We have a huge NYE celebration lined up called The Ball Drop with Turkuaz & Kung Fu. It’s our 3rd year ringing in the New Year in Worcester, MA at The Palladium, and we’re really stoked to be doing it alongside two bands that happen to be some of our closest friends.


Favorite Soul Train era music:
Some of our favorite acts are The Commadores, Sly & The Family Stone, James Brown, and KC & The Sunshine Band. They’re funky, and they shaped music as we know it. It was an awesome time in music and fashion. Chest hair bustin’, porkchop sideburns, sparkles, and sequins on everything.

Favorite costume:
My favorite costume was the spacesuit I wore at last year’s Hulaween, and I love it not only because it looks awesome, but it can bring hope and inspiration to all generations and cultures that we can explore space. (Tommy P – bass)

The Hulk. No one could recognize me, I had pillows for muscles and it was great. (Mike G – lead vocals)

On Hulaween 2015:
We’re excited for the new art installations, the new stage, Spirit Lake, new & returning acts, and the fact that it’s looking to be one of the biggest and most fun festivals this year. And Cheese of course!

What’s coming up:
Our first studio album “New Horizons” will be released at the beginning of our set at 1:15pm Spirit Lake Stage. We will be handing out physical copies all weekend and it will be released digitally later in November.

ELEPHANT REVIVAL (Bridget Law, fiddle)

Favorite Soul Train era music:
James Brown, hands down the best dance party music ever! Jackson 5, who doesn’t love a band of bros and sistas with a couple future superstars in the mix? Diana Ross and The Supremes, so much class!

Favorite Halloween Costume:
2 years ago we dressed as the circus. It was so fun! I was the acrobat, which is one of my alter-ego’s so I felt right at home. We also had a snake charmer, a tightrope walker, a ringleader and a bearded lady on stage at the Independent Theater in San Francisco that night.

On Hulaween 2015:
What a fabulous group of musicians gathering in a truly gorgeous place. I’m looking forward to swimming in the black water, scoping the costumes, enjoying the music of my sweet friends (SCI & Shook Twins), and a super rad late night Soul Train dance party!

What’s coming up:
Check out our new live album “Sands of Now.” It’s a live CD/DVD combo featuring our show from the Boulder Theater in late Fall of 2014. It was super fun!


Favorite Soul Train era music:
Michael Jackson! We quote MJ multiple times in our songs, and he is the king. Not to mention “Thriller” is the scariest video of all time.

Favorite Halloween costume:
Last year, I went as Popeye and my girlfriend, who looks like her, went as Olive Oyl. We played a gig where everyone else in the band was dressed as classic country music stars. It was awesome!

On Hulaween 2015:
Hands down, I’m looking forward to Spirit Lake. As far as bands go, Primus is at the top of my list. I’m going to go as Buckethead who collaborated with Les Claypool a lot.

What’s coming up:
We just released a new album, “Lost at Last,” and it’s already been reviewed in the NY Times. Dave King, of The Bad Plus, produced the album. We also released a music video for the first track, “Point to Point.”

FLAT LAND (Fae – violin, vocals)

Favorite Soul Train era music:
This is kind of like trying picking your favorite flavor of ice cream – impossible, at least for me. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, but Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder are my classic go-tos.

Favorite costume:
Last year I was a Purple People Eater for Halloween. I wore an eye patch and everything.

On Hulaween 2015:
I’m looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces! We’re good friends with most of the bands on the undercard. There is such an amazing scene here in Florida, and so many bands across the state are killing it right now. I’m looking forward to seeing their sets just as much as the headliners. And Primus. I mean, let’s be honest, they’re pretty rad.

What’s coming up:
We partnered with our friends Bells & Robes (who are also playing Hula) to form Future Music Makers, a music education nonprofit for kids in North Florida. We’re trying to provide opportunities for kids that wouldn’t otherwise get to study music. We’ve got a lot in the works over the next few months. Our website is www.futuremusicmakers.org. Also, we’re putting out our new album in January 2016, so we’ve got a lot of projects right now. Details at www.flatlandsound.com.

THE GROOVE ORIENT (Harry Ong – lead vocals/bass)

the groove orient

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers and BB King. They’re all extremely unique and each one of them can blow your mind.

Favorite Halloween costume:
One of my favorite past Halloween costumes was Rambo with Marge Simpson hair, which was worn during our performance on a Casino Cruise.

On Hulaween 2015:
It’s always a privilege to play Suwannee Music Park, always a really special energy; and with all the artists and fans attending this year, Hulaween 2015 will be no exception.

What’s coming up:
We were just in the studio recording a new album which can be expected in 2016.


Favorite Soul Train era music:
Everyone in Morning Fatty loves Stevie Wonder. We cover “Superstition” and “Sir Duke.” Stevie has soul like no other. Also Parliament and Earth Wind and Fire.

Favorite Halloween costume:
2 years ago I dressed up as Forrest Gump – the marathon runner version. My beard had been growing for over 2 years so it fit well. People either got the costume immediately or thought I was homeless. I wore it at a few shows we played.

On Hulaween 2015:
About 5 months ago we got a new drummer, Tim Mulberry. He has completely reshaped our sound. This festival will be the first time our fans get to see and hear the new Morning Fatty. We’re also excited to hear some of the awesome acts playing this year.

What’s coming up:
We are releasing the first recorded single with our new drummer Tim Mulberry. We’re also working on a music video to be released in the next few months.


beebs and her moneymakers

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Joe Tex is one of my favorite soul train era artists because who can argue with “I gotcha”?!

Favorite Halloween costume:
I dress as a guy named Raul sometimes. He has a pretty healthy mustache. I have yet to try him out on Halloween though.

On Hulaween 2015:
Looking forward to Chance the Rapper, Primus, and well, I’m looking forward to the entire event! It’s good to see a lot of Orlando family on the bill as well.

What’s coming up:
I just released a solo side project. The first video is called “Ride Around The Sun.” Excited to show the world another side of me other than a superhero or Raul. You can also follow all of my adventures on Instagram and Twitter: @BeebsMoney.

MASTER RADICAL (Angelo Zingaro)

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Parliament, The Meters, the King James Brown, Os Mutantes and the list goes on. They rock! Great Musicians, great songwriters.

Favorite Halloween costume:
I’d have to say dressing up as the Mario Brothers at a Halloween show at the beaches a few years back.

On Hulaween 2015:
We’re looking forward to playing alongside great musicians from all over, camping and more music.

What’s coming up:
Right now we are finishing up an 18-song album, going big. It should be done by Halloween. It’s entitled “Modern Day Western” and includes most of our songs from the last few years. After that we will be touring and writing the next album.


Favorite Soul Train era music:
George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic – they were just so funky and the name says it all. – Jesse James, fiddle

Favorite Halloween costume:
I went trick or treating as Judge Ito the year of the OJ Simpson trial – Zane Bowman, banjo

What’s coming up:
We are currently working on our second album at Shooting Star in South Daytona, Florida and on an innovative show to accompany it. – Graham Woodard, guitar


little hurricane, suwannee hulaween

Favorite Soul Train era music:
Any of the classics like Bill Withers, Al Green or Marvin Gaye. The songs are timeless and the music is what our parents listened to while we were growing up. We have been covering “Ain’t No Sunshine” for years, and it’s one of our favorite covers to play live.

Favorite Halloween costume:
I was a Dias de Los Muertos skeleton a few years back. I wore it to a bartending gig and then to a house party. It was a great choice the first few hours, not so great as the makeup wore off!

On Hulaween 2015:
We have never played in Florida before, so we are excited to finally play there and be part of a festival put on by a great company with a very diverse lineup.

What’s coming up:
We have a brand new full-length album coming out mid 2016. We have been working on it for a few years, and will be playing some new tracks at the festival.


hip abduction

Favorite Soul Train era music:
James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Etta James. It’s the tastiest of the tasty. Soul has indescribable healing powers. The vocal melodies take you to church, but the lyrics aren’t about religion at all. It’s also the first time that music and sex felt so right together.

Favorite Halloween costume:
Wrapped in Saran Wrap. It was in the Bahamas somewhere. It got weird.

On Hulaween 2015:
We’re looking forward to playing and hardcore chilling afterwards.

What’s coming up:
We have a new full-length album coming out in 2016. No release date of yet.

SHOOK TWINS (Katelyn Shook)

shook twins, suwannee hulaween

Favorite Soul Train era music:
I’m not that savvy with the Soul Train legacy. I just recently discovered its glory actually and I really dig it – the dancing is amazing and it makes me really wish everybody still danced like that today. Some of my favorite acts from the Soul Train are definitely The Jacksons and The Temptations because I’ve always loved watching a group of men look and sound so great together.

Favorite Halloween costume:
One time I went as a Christmas tree. I wired fake tree boughs to a green felt dress and added ornaments and twinkle lights. I wore it in college and when I’d get to a party – we hopped around to many – I would plug myself into the nearest outlet and get down. It was a hit.

On Hulaween 2015:
I’m looking forward to collaborating with our great friends, Elephant Revival, seeing all the rad costumes that people and bands come up with, and I’m really excited to rock out to Odezsa, they’re my jam lately!

What’s coming up:
We’ll be taking the winter off mostly to finally sit down and write the rest of a new album and then get all our ducks in a row and start recording it. We’re going to be collaborating with some great friends/producers and I’m very excited!


Suwannee Hulaween is hosted by seminal Colorado jamband The String Cheese Incident over Halloween weekend October 30 – November 1, 2015 at the famed Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL.

Performing at Suwannee Hulaween is Denver’s electro-soul and glitch-hop pioneer Pretty Lights, San Francisco eccentrics Primus, Chicago’s psychedelic hip-hop hero Chance The Rapper and his live band, The Social Experiment, legendary Georgia jamtronica innovators STS9, rising Seattle electronic-indie duo ODESZA, San Diego’s post punk reggae beach rockers Slightly Stoopid, and Detroit’s electro-funk and live saxophone sensation GRiZ, along with Lettuce, Railroad Earth, Papadosio, The Floozies, Sam Bush Band and many more. Fans will also be treated to three nights, and 7 sets, of The String Cheese Incident, along with a theatrical, surprise cover-filled show on Halloween.

Festival goers can also get excited for the return of an expanded Spirit Lake – an experiential artistic glowing menagerie of multimedia metalwork, paintings, sculptures, light projections and live performances that morphs the prehistoric-looking forest into a vivid dream-like space. With hardly any overlapping sets throughout the weekend, attendees have plenty of time to wander the mystical campgrounds abuzz with costumed fans and interactive theme camps while not missing any music they want to experience. Suwannee Hulaween will also feature theme nights, yoga, workshops and endless interactive surprises throughout the weekend. - Florida Music Blog

"Flat Land takes the stage at this year’s monstrous Suwannee Hulaween"

"Gainesville, Fla.’s favorite ethereal funk fusion quartet, Flat Land, will take the stage at this year’s Suwannee Hulaween 2015, an eclectic music festival that combines a wide range of music mixed with the eerie and ghostly aura of Halloween. The festival will be held in Live Oak, Florida from October 30 to November 1.
The band is no stranger to the swamps of Suwanee’s grounds. They played most recently at Purple Hatter’s Ball this past summer. Flat Land grabbed the national spotlight from MusicFestNews with their distinct sound, reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, the Alabama Shakes, and Hiatus Kaiyote. With frontwoman Fae Nageon De Lestang (a descendant of pirates with buried treasure somewhere off the east coast of Africa) leading the band on vocals and electric violin, their live performances are a manifestation of a modern disco mixed with an old­school
rock concert that are bound to make the most begrudging feet tap along.
Playing with Flat Land at Hulaween is fellow Swamp Records flagship artist, Bells and Robes.
This past year, the two bands worked together during One Spark festival where they won $15,000 to raise money for their nonprofit organization, Future Music Makers. The program provides music education opportunities to public school children, along with scholarships for underprivileged students to obtain private instruction. This October, they will take the stage with big­name artists like Chance the Rapper, a.k.a Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, The String Cheese Incident, Odesza and many, many more at Hulaween." - Valdosta's Happening

"Hulaween Expands Their Incredible Halloween Festival Lineup With Excellent Additions"

"Suwannee Hulaween easily boasted one of the best Halloween festival lineups around. The festival's initial lineup featured three nights of The String Cheese Incident, and sets from Primus, Pretty Lights, STS9, Chance the Rapper, Slightly Stoopid, Odesza, GRiZ, Lettuce, Papadosio, Dopapod, Goldfish, The New Mastersounds and more.

The festival, held from October 30-November 1st at the Spirit of the Suwannee Park in Live Oak, FL, has just announced some incredible lineup additions. Joining those esteemed performers will be The Polish Ambassador, Manic Science (a collaboration between Manic Focus and Break Science), TAUK, Michal Menert, Stick Figure, Little Hurricane, Big Wild, The Heavy Pets, Greenhouse Lounge, The Heard, and so many more!

Not only that, but Hulaween has announced a pre-party on Thursday, October 29th, led by Joe Russo's Almost Dead. That party will also feature performances from EOTO and Dumpstaphunk, kicking off this incredible festival on the right foot.

Furthermore, the festival has announced a "Ghoul Train" theme for their festival. Think "Soul Train" 70s/80s disco meets Halloween... don't hold back with your costumes!


Suwannee Hulaween 2015 Lineup
The String Cheese Incident (3 nights)
Pretty Lights
Chance the Rapper & Social Experiment
Slightly Stoopid
Railroad Earth
The Floozies
The Polish Ambassador*
Sam Bush Band
The New Mastersounds
Manic Science (Manic Focus x Break Science)
Future Rock
Michal Menert*
Elephant Revival
The Nth Power
Stick Figure*
Little Hurricane*
Sister Sparrow and the Dirtybirds
Big Wild*
Turbo Suit
The Heavy Pets*
Shook Twins
Greenhouse Lounge*
Thomas Wynn & The Believers*
The Heard*
Modern Measure*
Jon Stickley Trio
Catfish Alliance
Post Pluto
Master Radical*
Great Peacock*
Billy Gilmore & Friends*
The Hip Abduction*
Beebs & Her Money Makers*
Come Back Alice*
The Groove Orient*
Flat Land*
Bath Salt Zombies*
Morning Fatty*
Holey Miss Moley*

Thursday Pre-Party
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Herd of Watts*

*notes Wave 2 Additions" - Live for Live Music

"Local band Flat Land is funky, melodic, and just all around fun"

"Flat Land is one of the best bands in town. Period. They're funky, melodic and just all around fun. I've written about them so many times in the past, but hey, they're just that good. They have a sense of composition that is both professional and accessible, and they PERFORM. They don't sheepishly stand on stage, they have a great time, and it's infectious.

They're the perfect band for this town; funky, young, sophisticated ... pretty much everything that makes Gainesville Gainesville. Lead singer and violinist Fae Nageon De Lestang provides a much needed feminine touch to a scene that at times can seem like a bit of a boys club. Drummer Grant McLeod can make any drummer blush, and lead guitarist Christopher Storey makes Van Halen look like a chump. Seriously, these folks can play. I cannot stress enough how great these fine people are. Now if only they'd release some new recordings of their ever-expanding catalog.

Check them out July 3 along with Little Tybee and Hail Cassius Naptune at The Atlantic, starting at 9 p.m." - Gainesville Scene

"Roaring at Red Lion Pub with Ancient Sun, Flat Land and the Happy Campers"

"...Up next was Flat Land. I have seen them a number of times recently, including the previous Saturday night. I wanted to write that they triple-clutched, but most people these days have never driven a stick. Let’s just say they decided to throw it down as hard as they could. Guitarist Chris Storey pointed out that they had never played here and wanted to get everyone’s attention.

I assure you they did. Seriously, the crowd went bonkers throughout the set, extremely receptive to the best set I’ve seen from this Gainesville quintet. They led off with two powerful songs, “Feeling” and “Turn,” and, like everyone on the scene, they continue to elevate their game.

The band’s cover of “Taxman” allows Fae Nageon de Lestang’s incredibly powerful voice to soar. Also, you could hear the vocals all night. That is a tribute to house engineer James, who busted his behind all night to perfect the sound. I love it when I can understand the vocals, hear all the instruments, and not need to resort to earplugs. Thanks to James, I was three for three.

Nate Garland was having another great night on bass, working with the McLeod Brothers (sounds like a wrestling team): Grant on drums and his brother Ian on percussion. The band has been a quartet, but Ian has been performing with the band since March, a great added dimension.

After the ballad “Black Rain,” they kicked out with a superb “Rufio’s Last Stand.” When they finished the song, some guy yelled, “THAT WAS FU%K YEAH ON THE RICHTER SCALE!” (Getts, if that was you again, I swear…). Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Storey’s guitar and Fae’s violin were just blistering all night long. Fae asked if we like to dance, and they played dance music in the form of “Canned Heat.” Then Grant and Storey looked at each other (there was no written setlist this night) and marched into “New Song.” This one features heavy vocal effects from Fae.

After “Sunface,” they blew it up with Zep’s “Ramble On.” Other women have sung this song, but Fae just kills it! Throughout the set, the energy was travelling from band to audience and from audience to band. It was clear that Flat Land could feel the love and the enthusiasm." - Music Fest News

"Purple Hatter's Ball: Size Doesn't Matter; Heart Does"

"I love music festivals. I can explain this in the context of the first three bands I saw perform at the 8th Annual Purple Hatter’s Ball, held in loving memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. I missed the first artist at the Thursday pre-party, El Dub, but I could have left the park happy after seeing Flat Land, Mouth and Cure for the Common: they were that amazing.

I love seeing bands I’ve seen before have the chance to perform in a festival setting, expanding their fanbase by displaying their wares. Flat Land is a brilliant quartet (plus one) from nearby Gainesville; “Just a hop, skip and a jump,” said Fae Nageon de Lestang, vocalist and violin player for Flat Land. What I’ll say about this band I can happily say about almost every band on our scene: they somehow manage to find a new level each time out. I keep feeling it’s a roller coaster ride with no downs, only ups.

Fae is a remarkable vocalist who says she had never really done much public singing until the band’s previous singer left the band, and her violin-playing is wonderful. Chris Storey had a superb night on guitar, as songs ranged from ones from their EP to Led Zeppelin-esque majesty, concluding with a Zep medley of “Ramble On > Black Dog.” The theme, the leitmotif of the weekend, however, was (as usual): IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASS… AND DRUMS. Nick and Grant McLeod (and Ian McLeod on percussion) blew it up, getting the festival off to a rousing start." - Tie Your Shoes Reviews

"Flat Land, Parker Urban Band & Ism take the High Dive"

"...The set started with just the McLeods on stage, Ian on percussion and Grant on traps. Then guitarist Chris Storey walked on stage and grabbed his guitar (lying down, not in a stand). Nate Garland then came on and picked up his bass the same way, and “Turn” was off and running, as finally Fae Nageon de Lestang entered with violin in hand. Both this tune and the next, “Sun Face,” had an interesting Latin tinge to them, a beautiful coloration. Next, they blasted the Kinks’ “All Day, All Night” (which I realized I misidentified when I wrote the Purple Hatter’s Ball review sans notes).

“Rufio’s Last Stand” is a remarkable rocker and a wonderful showcase for Fae’s vocal style. This rendition was killer. You know how you notice something different every time you see a movie or hear a band? The band was in the middle of a Chris Storey guitar solo (and he had another amazing night). As they worked back toward the head of the tune, Ian was playing a blue cylindrical shaker, and he made it sound exactly like a rattlesnake. Then he gradually slowed up the tempo as the solo ended. When I mentioned it to him after the set, and he said, “That’s exactly what I was going for,” I’m not at all sure which one of us was more pleased. Let’s call it a draw.

Next was a new song, on the setlist titled “New Song.” I had seen Fae writing lyrics out during the Parker Urban set, and this is what she sang. Too cool! From there, they covered the Beatles’ “Taxman,” followed by their excellent original “Black Rain.” It was during “Feeling” and the closing “12/8” that Nate and Grant just blew it up on bass and drums. The thing was just so darn funky, and Fae was singing and playing violin simultaneously.

What a tremendous night! And the Parker Urbans and Flat Lands have vowed to do it again.

When it happens, that should be your only event of the day!" - Music Fest News

"Gainesville Locals Win $15,000 To Start Music Education Program"

"A group of 10 Gainesville musicians and marketers joined the world’s largest crowdfunding festival to raise funds for a music education project in Jacksonville earlier this month.

The festival, called One Spark, let artists, innovators and entrepreneurs showcase projects to raise funds and make connections. The local group raised money for Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program, the goal of which is to create music classes in established after-school programs to help kids learn how to create original modern music.

Out of 80 groups competing in the music category, the Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program project won a $15,000-prize.

The program is a collaborative effort between Gainesville-based band Flat Land, electronic duo Bells and Robes and Phairground, a local marketing and special events consulting firm.

Instead of raising money for an album, like some bands at One Spark, the group decided to focus on a music education project to benefit youth.

“We realized quickly that we could do something like this, and it would be great for the community and a great opportunity for us to do more music in our lives,” said Grant McLeod, Flat Land’s drummer.

The group might run some test programs in Alachua County but plans on starting classes in Duval County in fall 2015. McLeod said they want to return the investment they received from the Jacksonville community.

Dean Spaniol, a member of Bells and Robes, said the project comes at a time when funding for music education is being cut. He said the band members first picked up their instruments in music classes.

“To realize that these kids might not ever get that chance to pick up that instrument and to start creating and just to have the opportunity to express yourself through music is, for us, it’s scary,” he said. “We don’t know where we’d be without it.”

The classes would be taught once a week by the musicians. Both Bells and Robes and Flat Land create original sounds that stray from mainstream music heard on the radio. The classes are designed to help kids find their own sound and create original music.

The curriculum includes five classes made for elementary, middle and high school students: Group Rhythm and Percussion, Melody and Improvisation for Beginners, Intermediate Melody and Improvisation, Intro to Beat Making MIDI for Beginners and Advanced Production.

The group plans on using GarageBand on iPads to get students to create together.

Before One Spark, the project did not have any funding. The group is still deciding how they will spend the $15,000, but they said it’s good leverage for getting donations and connections. They have a business plan and are currently developing a strategy to get the project going.

Spaniol said they’ve received a positive response from educators and are now trying to form formal partnerships. They are targeting after-school programs that help prevent students from dropping out.

“It’s definitely very exciting, but it’s also a huge responsibility, and we take that very seriously,” said Fae Nageon de Lestang, Flat Land violinist and vocalist.

Tyler Pierce Hale works at Phairground and helped come up with the program idea. He said a big goal of the program is to allow students to have fun and express themselves.

“The biggest thing going in there is we’re teaching these kids how to communicate with each other, to put them all in a room and give them a common interest between everybody and actually let them enjoy their time,” Hale said. “Who knows the bonds or friends that they could make out of this group?”

The bands played a total of 15 sets at One Spark to get the word out about their project, but they credit their win to the bike stage.

Meredith O’Malley Johnson, the community and public relations director for One Spark, saw the group part a sea of festival-goers while performing on their 8-foot-by-8-foot trailer stage pulled by a bicycle.

“I’m not surprised they won because they were really great at performing and had really creative marketing,” she said. “People were paying attention to them.”

Hale said the program’s name comes from a line in the Arthur O’Shaughnessy poem mentioned in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”: “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

Hale said the award will allow them to live and breathe the message.

“It’s interesting how it’s evolved because we are the future music-makers and the dreamers of dreams,” he said." - WUFT

"Cope Back Alice, Flat Land | Skipper's Smokehouse 03.28.15"

"Gov-Fest 2015 at the Maddox Ranch was a magical time for a lot of reasons, but chief among those were the stunning performance of Flat Land, a quartet out of Gainesville, and the remarkable interplay between Fae Nageon de Lestang of Flat Land on violin and her musical twin Dani Jaye of Come Back Alice. If I counted correctly, the ladies performed together three times, and that doesn’t count the laughing, smiling and giggling.

Flat Land and Come Back Alice both had superb sets at Gov-Fest. The two bands had met and performed together previously, but there it was shared with lots of festival-goers. So the announcement that the two bands would be performing at Skipper’s Smokehouse March 28th was met with great anticipation.

However great I thought Flat Land was at Gov-Fest, this was even more fabulous. Guitarist Chris Storey crushed a number of solos throughout the set. Kudos go to John McCrary, who filled in on bass and had been with the band less than a week. He had a great night in tandem with drummer Grant McLeod, whose smile was visible from the back of Skipper’s, with a percussionist thrown in for good measure.

As I arrived, they were settling into their self-described “cosmifunkpop” set, although that really doesn’t do justice to the amazing range of their music. After several new tunes and a great one (“Rufio’s Last Stand”) from their self-titled EP, they played a rollicking version of Stevie’s “Signed Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours).” This is a powerful quartet, and they romped on “12/8,” covered a Jamiroquoi tune (“Canned Heat”), and closed with “Sun Face” and “60 Ft.” wrapped around a down-and-dirty “Use Me.”

The band had a different singer previously, and with his departure Fae, who had never sung before professionally, stepped up. You would never, ever believe that, hearing her soulful, soaring voice. She reminds me of Alley from Wise Monkey Orchestra. And she and Storey get in some epic back-and-forth onstage conversations between violin and guitar.

My impression initially was that not many people at the Skipperdome had ever seen Flat Land before. Within a very few short minutes, you would have though Flat Land was everybody’s favorite band. They brought the house DOWN!" - Tie Your Shoes Reviews

"Gov-Fest Friday the 13th | Maddox Ranch 02.13.15"

"...The first band up on the Gov-Fest main stage was Flat Land, a Gainesville collective identifying themselves as soulful funk pop. That might be the understatement of the century. They were remarkable, and everybody who caught their noon set was blown away. Guitar, bass and drums were fronted by a lady with a magnificent voice and an equally amazing violin.

More about Fae Nageon De Lestang in a moment, but the gentlemen of the band were superb. Chris Storey, Nate Garland and Grant MacLeod (guitar, bass and drums) just knocked us down with their deep funk and solid rock. I kept hearing Rubblebucket without the horns. Fae’s voice is beautiful, and it reminded me at times of Kalmia Traver and at others Alley of Wise Monkey Orchestra and Ellen McIlwaine. She rocked the violin and made judicious use of her voice box, giving her the ability to harmonize with herself, which was pretty awesome. I felt sure Thursday night that the Displace set would be the epitome of the fest. Now I was getting the feeling there were more peaks to come. In the moment, for me, this Flat Land set was as good as it gets." - Tie Your Shoes Reviews

"Scene and Heard: Flat Land"

"Flat Land’s Foundation

Flat Land is a creative conglomerate with Gainesville culture at its core. Starting out two and a half years ago as a blues trio, Flat Land has since transformed into a tight-knit group of great friends. When original member and drummer Grant McLeod brought in guitar god Chris Storey from a former musical project called Funkatron, the group was on their way to becoming whole and complete. But an integral piece of the puzzle was still missing. That missing piece was found in vocalist/violinist Fae Nageon De Lestang.

Via: ReverbNation

Chris Storey graduated with a degree in percussion performance, making his knowledge of music theory an important aspect of the song-writing process. Fae had never been in a band before, and references her past phobia of singing in public. Now, she writes all the lyrics and melodies, and also functions as the head of design and marketing. The patriarch of the group, Grant McLeod, never fails to take charge when it comes to keeping things organized and on time. However, his personality is as colorful as his clothing. According to Fae, “his closet is this hybrid zoo of Bootsy Collins-on-vacation-at-the-beach. That man owns his fair share of plus-size women’s clothing. Lots of velour and floral prints.”

Together, the trio of Gator alumni evolved to form their current compounded sound. Citing a few most recent influences like White Denim, Stevie Wonder, LCD Soundsytem, and Michael Jackson, it’s clear that Flat Land enjoys a diverse range of music that is emulated by their all-kinds-of-groove-infused style. When asked to describe their sound, Fae responded with “We’ve nailed down our sound a lot more in the past few months. I’m going to say cosmic soul/groove. Kind of like Southern-steeped jungle beat. With soul. Latin-tinged soul. Final answer. God, I don’t know. If you figure it out, please let us know.”

Song To Know

Recently, Flat Land released a studio session of “Turn,” a tune that was written and recorded in 2014 with Medusa Productions. The video that accompanies the performance illustrates that this group has got some major soul that flows deep down to the bone.

Flat Land Lately

Flat Land has established an unbreakable position in the Gainesville music community by constantly interacting with its members in new and unique ways. The trio has developed deep connections with other up-and-coming artists, and has put together a variety of events that appeal to many different demographics and fields of interest.

A particular area of involvement for Flat Land is to organize and perform at events that are related to sustainability. The trio brought together eight different bands to bring the boogie to this fall’s Open Streets fair, which encouraged drivers to share the road with cyclists and others who favor alternative transport.

As well, Flat Land finds inventive ways to make their point. “We performed in the UF Homecoming Parade on a bicycle-trailer stage… that was another adventure! Totally surreal experience. We’ve been working with our friends from Kanner Karts and Get Active GNV (a cycling advocate) for the past several months to make that happen,” Fae said.

Via: Not Normal

Flat Land traveled around the state to perform at shows and festivals this past summer. While on their journey, Flat Land was inspired to create a festival to showcase the local talent of their musical peers. Thus, the brainchild Forever Summer, which is an all day music festival that has taken place at The Jam, was born. Their most recent festival, Forever Summer: The Last Jam was on Saturday, Nov. 8. “With The Jam closing, we had to do one last festival there… because it really is a special space. The last one we put on was in July, with 16 bands—all of our favorite local bands. The lineup was incredible,” Fae said.

Live Experience

Flat Land brings a strong, eclectic groove to Gainesville. Their ability to perceive what works well together and flawlessly execute it is well recognized. In summary, their songs take you on a journey, where you’ll ride their wave into funky town. At a Flat Land show, you won’t be able to fight the impulse to break out your best moves.

Fae is a truly phenomenal front woman. She has an uncanny ability to captivate the crowd with sweet, sultry vocals, and shortly after, amp up the energy with a tremendous sound produced by pipes as powerful as thunder. Amid the fog-dusted, multi-color mosaic light show, Fae resembled an angel: spellbinding, spritely, and sparkling in a gold paisley vest. A virtuoso on the violin, Fae added a little southern rock to an extremely funky performance. Her vocal range perfectly parallels the high peaks and low valleys of each tune. Chris Storey is a force to be reckoned with. When you think you won’t be able to take your eyes off Fae, Chris commands the crowd in his direction by stringing intense guitar solos comparable to Santana. Grant pounded the drums with a fury unlike no other, and pumped up the rhythm of each and every song, all while dressed in a fashionably far-out striped velvet ensemble.

Via: Facebook

The performance featured a sit-in from bassist Wilson Stern from Hail Cassius Neptune, as well as multiple covers such as a funkier rock version of “Superstition.” While some referred to the performance as a “space disco,” others felt that it was a symphony of psychedelic rock.

All in all, Flat Land’s homegrown hybridized sound and unmatched stage presence made for an unforgettable performance. Flat Land blew me away because they put their heart and soul into each and every note.

Future for Flat Land

Flat Land intends to release their next album in spring of 2015, which will differ greatly from their 2013 self-titled EP. They will be working on another Open Streets fair in February, and will be continuing to put on events like Forever Summer in order to bring the local music community close together. Flat Land’s fondness for strengthening the ties of the local music will stay strong and ultimately influence a lot of their future projects.

Via: ReverbNation

“We really want to continue building the music scene here. We’d like to help bridge the gap between the University and the local scene here, because there’s not a lot of overlap. That’s something that will take time,” Fae said. Flat Land will continue to pursue their passion, hoping to one day take on a national tour. When asked about her idea of success, Fae responded with “I think being successful is constantly improving, and allowing yourself to enjoy where you’re at, and the moment you’re in. I think a solid benchmark of success is the peers you surround yourself with. My friends are working to make their communities a better place, in many different capacities. Getting to live vicariously through them while pursuing my own goals makes me happy, which I think is the ultimate success.”" - Gainesville Scene

"Flat Land a perfect blend of jam band and pop music"

"There’s something to be said of a band that can harness all of the qualities of a jam band and pair them with pop music. Either genre, by itself, can be tedious, boring or both. The semi-local quintet Flat Land has such a perfect balance between the two that you would think, or at least hope, that they would be the next big thing out of Florida.

Don’t misunderstand me and just limit them to a jam band that does pop or a pop band that can jam, because that wouldn’t be fair; they are so much more. Flat Land can get jazzy, funky, country, alt-y, or just plain rock out. They can do pretty much anything, and to find a band so dynamic in our current musical climate is like a breath of fresh air.

Go and see for yourself Friday when the band plays The Atlantic along with special performances by local heartbreakers Michael Claytor & His Friends, and David Lareau and The Copperpots, starting at 9 p.m." - The Gainesville Sun

"Flat Land brings diverse sounds to The Jam tonight"

"One of the most talented groups of people lives right here among us. Their name is Flat Land, and you better believe they’ve got the melody, grooves and attitude to give you a great evening of music. Tastefully jammy, these folks fuse the right amount of funk with rock and use every other genre to fill in the blanks, making them one of the most diverse bands in Gainesville.

They’re not new, but every time you see Flat Land, you experience something different, something fun and refreshing. They work hard at their sound, and it shows.

Your next opportunity to see them perform is tonight, when they take the stage along with South Florida’s dark-funk pop quintet The Heavy Pets at The Jam, starting at 9 p.m." - The Gainesville Sun

"Eclectic band Flat Land will perform Saturday at Atlantic"

"It’s always nice to see a college jam band branch out to start doing more interesting, controlled music; such is the case with local, five-to-six-piece band, Flat Land. I say “band” because there’s no other way of describing them anymore, they exist on their own plane. In the same set, you could hear a song that slightly resembles early ’90s grunge, a song that sounds a bit like Beck’s “Deadweight” and a piece that Radiohead would be proud to call their own.

These guys (and gal) can play for hours, some of the time improvising, sometimes looking like they’re improvising and sometimes just playing awesome covers and even better originals.

Not only are they just really, really tight, but they have tons of fun, which is what’s it’s all about. Their self-titled EP is almost as good as their live performances and definitely worth multiple listens.

Check out their set on Saturday with local soul singer/songwriter Ricky Kendall and local folk-acoustic quintet Nook & Cranny at The Atlantic, starting at 9 p.m." - The Gainesville Sun

"For the Record: Spring 2013"

"...Flat Land is a southern funk group whose lively rhythms will surely move your soul and your feet. Many of their songs build until the end, beginning with a subtle but catchy melody and crescendoing into an elaborate, groovy finale.
“We want people to be able to dance and have a good time when we play,” said Fae. It’s true- using complex percussion, gritty guitar riffs, fiery vocals, and a dash of mysterious violin, these talented musicians are able to create irresistibly danceable jams.
Formed in 2011, Flatland is composed of artists with vastly different influences like afrobeat, 1970’s psychedelic, and contemporary alternative. Flatland stays true to their roots, deriving inspiration from southern folk and blues artists as well. Even their name is a reference to the Florida’s level topography.
With a sound groovier than James Brown at a hoedown, Flat Land is a band you don’t want to miss." - The Fine Print

"Flat Land EP Release!"

"Flat Land just released a tasty five song EP that makes you want to invest in a fiddle. The sound is danceable yet unpredictable. Green pant wearing man on the drums? Fairy goddess serenading you with a violin on one arm? Bass player with a killer stance? Near riot raising guitar solos? Check, check, check. Oh, and a guest saxophone/flute player, Hunter Diamond, that conjures images of Ron Burgundy and Duke Silver in the best of ways.

Rufio’s Last Stand is the first song on the EP and my personal favorite. Fae Nageon De Lestang has a voice that is both mystical and haunting. Coupled by a male siren of sorts, Zach Tucker delivers with a vintage, smokey sound in Everything You Wanted. Overall the EP is a well-rounded indie folk assortment that isn’t afraid to get funky.

They’re fully downloadable at Flatland.bandcamp.com." - Buffalo Girls


Still working on that hot first release.



With a depth of sound all their own, Flat Land layers dreamy melodies over flashes of Stevie Wonder tinged funk and the occasional chaos of avant-garde blues revivalist Jack White. Frontwoman/violinist Fae Nageon de Lestang’s voice cuts through the sound, equal parts Billie Holiday and Florence and the Machine. Songs weave from afro-latin flavored riffs and soul-drenched rock-and-roll on a whim, bringing listeners on a sonic adventure where they’re sure to need their dancing shoes.

Band Members