Backwoods Pondfest has just released its final artist announcement. New additions include Lucid, Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis & Friends (a Twiddle and Lucid fusion), Balkun Brothers and artist-at-large Ian McGuire, and will be joining previously announced artists such as Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish Is Bowie, Spiritual Rez, The Nth Power, Sophistafunk, Hayley Jane and the Primates, and more (purchase tickets HERE).Full Audio Of Pink Talking Fish’s Tribute To David Bowie & Prince Has EmergedEntering its tenth consecutive year, Backwoods Pondfest is ready for its biggest year yet, and takes place August 4th – 6th at Twin Ponds Campsite in Peru, NY. This also marks the beginning of an indefinite hiatus for Lucid, as the band has set plans to take time off the road. Lucid frontman Lowell Wurster discussed the band’s decision to play the fest this year, “When we made the decision to take a break from life on the road – from playing live shows … Pondfest was always sort of a grey area. We’re really psyched that we’re going to be up there playing music for everyone, we felt like it wouldn’t feel right if we couldn’t make it happen”. For additional information, check the festival website.We had the opportunity to chat with Backwoods Pondfest organizer and owner of Full Circle Music Productions’ Derek Haviland about this year’s event.L4LM: Tell us your thoughts about this year’s headliners.DH: Melvin Seals and JGB has always been a personal favorite. Going back to ’80 when Seals first started taking the stage with Jerry Garcia Band, his style and his presence on that B3 is unique and unrivaled in the Grateful Dead musical community. Pondfest has never had JGB and Melvin Seals before, but they did co-headline Backwood Pondfest’s predecessor festival along with Pork Tornado for Pondstock way back in 2001.Pink Talking Fish is another first-year artist, and we’re looking forward to this special Bowie incarnation they’re bringing us for Pondfest. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see Hayley Jane, and maybe even an artist at large in there to jazz things up even more. Mihali & Friends featuring members of both Twiddle and Lucid is also one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. With Lucid’s recent hiatus, and a ten year history playing at Pondfest for both Mihali and all the members of Lucid, the collaboration is really an awesome thing to have coming to fruition this year. We’re expecting a high-energy, electric performance from this fusion of artistry. L4LM: What are your expectations for this year’s event?DH: Expectations are high: we’ve got more bands, more days of music and more years of wonderful experience under our belts then ever before. L4LM: What do you think makes Backwoods Pondfest so unique? DH: Most festivals that are able to offer the scope and quality of bands that Pondfest does aren’t able to keep some of the little things that help make a weekend feel at-home and comfortable. Fans look forward to driving in and camping next to their vehicles, bringing their four-legged friends if they want to, and even having their own small campfire at night while they listen to bands and artists from throughout the country. L4LM: Which act on the bill do you think will surprise people the most?DH: The Lucid sets and Mihali & Friends are really going to blow people away, we can count on that based on experience. Lucid has always done two sets since the band and Backwoods Promotions helped create this thing ten long years ago. I can’t imagine Backwoods Pondfest without them, and a lot of fans made it clear that they couldn’t either. Mihali is another familiar face that’s never missed on opportunity for an on-stage appearance at Pondfest, and when you put the Twiddle boys and the Lucid boys together, ‘surprising’ seems like a bit of an understatement.L4LM: Thanks for your time, Derek!For ticket and additional information about Backwoods Pondfest, check out the festival website HERE.[Cover photo credit: Jerry Cadieux]
The Old Trafford manager said the Gunners gave his side too much space as they twice hit them on the break to score, and Irvine is hoping to exploit the same weakness. He said: “They play in such an open and expansive way. “They get so many players forward. On the one hand that gives you a huge problem dealing with all those players because I can give you video clip after video clip where they have eight players in the final third. “That only leaves three (in deeper positions) and one of them is a goalkeeper, so straight away you can see the difficulties they’ve got and how you can break out and hurt them. “But you’ve got to stop them first and Arsene (Wenger)’s philosophy has been ‘we attack and in order to be effective we have to commit a lot of players forward’. “That’s his method. Chelsea wouldn’t be quite as effective as that but then that’s their decision. “Manchester United under Louis aren’t being quite as open. “What’s a strength for Arsenal can also be a weakness but you’ve got to get the ball first and stop them from doing what they’re so good at, which is opening teams up. Irvine wants to cash in on the exposed Gunners defence and repeat Manchester United’s success at the Emirates Stadium last week when the north Londoners visit the Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime. Van Gaal’s United recorded their first away win under the Dutchman when they won 2-1 at Arsenal last Saturday evening. Press Association “They got a lot of criticism last week but Louis’ play almost didn’t work. If Arsenal had taken the chances they had it could have been a completely different result.” Claudio Yacob is suspended and Jonas Olsson (Achilles) is out for the Baggies while James Morrison is a doubt through illness. Saido Berahino is available despite being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving last month. Victory would leave the Baggies just one point behind the Gunners in the Barclays Premier League with Emirates boss Arsene Wenger under pressure during a stuttering season. But Irvine insisted the Frenchman does not deserve the criticism he gets. “He has been outstanding. He has brought in things that have changed the way people go about things in English football,” he said. “I don’t know how many times he needs to prove people wrong but he’s clearly done an exceptional job there. “They haven’t been the biggest-spending team there. They have spent a bit more money recently. “When they’re playing at their very best people say they’re a great team to watch, then everybody hammers them when they go and get caught on the counter-attack. “You probably can’t have it both ways.” Saido Berahino is available for West Brom at the Hawthorns despite the revelations of his arrest for alleged drink-driving. James Morrison is a major doubt for the Baggies though as he is struggling to recover from a sickness bug. The midfielder was on the bench for the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last week after feeling ill. Sebastien Pocognoli (hamstring) is a minor doubt and Jonas Olsson (Achilles) is out. Claudio Yacob starts a three-game ban after he was sent off at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident midfielder Jack Wilshere can return stronger from the setback of facing three months out with an ankle injury. The England international this week had surgery to repair ligament damage following a tackle by Manchester United defender Paddy McNair during the Barclays Premier League match on November 22. Wilshere is now set for another frustrating spell on the sidelines, having seen his progress hampered by various problems before and at one point being absent from the Arsenal first team for around 17 months after suffering a stress fracture in his ankle during 2011. Wenger, though, has no doubts the 22-year-old has the strength of character to overcome his latest challenge. “He is very down. Jack is a football man who loves the game, but on the other hand, he is a very strong character as well and he has learnt to deal with adversity at a very young age,” said Wenger, who has a host of fitness concerns ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at West Brom. “I think he will be back at the end of February, beginning of March, and he will focus on coming back to rehab, having a strong rehab, and then I am sure he will help us to do well until the end of the season. “Jack always came out stronger and, when I spoke with him, the final sprint of the season is already in his mind and [he wants] to come back stronger. “He is prepared and focused to come back and finish the season well.” Wenger believes Wilshere can shrug of the latest in what has been a long line of injuries to hamper his progress. “I was more worried one year ago than I am today because he had two or three surgeries on his right ankle. At some stage, you could raise that question, but today I am much more confident that he will [fulfil his potential],” Wenger said. “If he has no problem with his joints, he will make a massive career.” While Wenger feels McNair’s challenge was “very bad”, he accepts it was “not malicious”. He said: “When you see it again, I don’t think that anybody would have escaped without surgery in this tackle.” Wenger does not expect Wilshere’s dynamic playing style to change. “It is his strong point to turn, run at people and be committed – you don’t want to take that away from him,” he said. Arsenal will look to bring in “at least one body” to bolster the depleted squad, Wenger confirmed, with a defensive midfielder the expected target with centre-half Laurent Koscielny fit again and full-back Mathieu Debuchy close to a return from his long injury lay-off. Wenger, though, stated there had been “no enquiry from anybody” for Germany forward Lukas Podolski and denied a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. The Arsenal manager conceded, however, the set-up of the side would have to be changed, given the loss of captain Mikel Arteta to another calf injury, adding to an already packed treatment room. “I will adapt because I lost two players who can play in a defensive area in our midfield. We, of course, have to adapt,” he said. Wenger is confident Arsenal can use their midweek Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund to kick-start the Premier League campaign, his side currently in eighth place. “Even in the games we lost, there was something happening in the team. That, for a manager, is the most important thing,” he said. “I am very positive about this team because there is something special in there and we just have to keep going.” West Brom boss Alan Irvine has revealed his gameplan to beat Arsenal as he looks to follow Louis van Gaal’s lead.
Kershaw has an 18-3 record coming into the series at AT&T Park, where he has excelled. The importance of being 19-3 lies in the eye of the beholder.“I think (wins and losses) are important,” said Hershiser, who is now a Dodgers television analyst. “I think they do relate to your team, but they do also relate to the pitcher. They don’t specifically relate to the pitcher, or specifically relate to the team, but there’s a combination of weighting depending on the game that particular day.”Hershiser’s view is increasingly in the minority. As baseball statistics have exploded, the value of wins and losses have diminished in the public perception. Put simply, a pitcher’s win-loss record means less now than it did 29 years ago. The new school of thought and the old school of thought often break cleanly down generational lines.Count Kershaw among the non-believers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “As the stats come out more and more, and there’s more and more emphasis on certain things, there’s been less emphasis on pitchers winning — wins and loss record,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that we still have that. You still look at it.”Kershaw has been forced by fate to look away sometimes. In 2012, he lost five games in which he allowed two or fewer runs. Another five were recorded as no-decisions. He finished that season with a 14-9 record, which might have cost him the National League Cy Young Award. Winner R.A. Dickey went 20-6 despite a higher earned-run average. A year ago, Kershaw allowed two or fewer runs in nine games he didn’t win (15-2, seven no-decisions).“The win-loss record, it’s such a team thing. It’s a product of how good your team is,” Kershaw said before alluding to a pair of pitchers on the strugglnig San Diego Padres.“If (Andrew) Cashner or Tyson Ross or some of these guys were on our team, they’d have the ability to win a lot of games. They’d probably have a lot better win-loss record. But that’s kind of just a team stat.”Kershaw went 16-9 last year. Taken at face value, that’s noticeably worse. Yet Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has consistently said the similarities between Kershaw this year and last year outweigh the differences.Maybe the biggest difference is this: The Dodgers are scoring 4.54 runs per game in games Kershaw has started this season; only 21 qualified major-league starters have received more support from their offense.Last year, that number was 3.79. Only 21 qualified major-league starters got less support from their offense.“The breaks didn’t go his way as far as us scoring, days we scored, days we didn’t,” Mattingly said. “I don’t try to sit there and cut all the numbers up. I see some of the numbers. I know they’re really good. Historically, I think you kind of continue to see Clayton doing stuff that a lot of people haven’t done before.”That’s an understatement. Add them all up, and Kershaw could become the first pitcher to win the National League’s MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968. But because Sandy Koufax pitched for the same team, and because Kershaw missed all of April with a back injury, the 26-year-old might finish the season with only one major Los Angeles Dodgers pitching record: winning percentage by a starting pitcher. Kershaw can set another record if he maintains his 1.67 ERA; Koufax holds the record of 1.73 in 1966.Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke pays close attention to the numbers, but even he isn’t getting lost in them when it comes to Kershaw’s value.“I’d put a lot of other things he’s done as a bigger deal (than winning percentage), that’s for sure,” Greinke said. “I’d put it not even in the top 10 of interesting things he’s done this year. I would say his batting and bunting and baserunning is just as important — maybe even more interesting — and his fielding. All the little things like that are more interesting than his win-loss percentage this year.” Clayton Kershaw will pitch Sunday in San Francisco, craving a win like he always does, this time with a little more at stake than usual. The Dodgers lead the Giants by 2 1/2 games in the National League West with 16 games left in the regular season.Besides the burden of helping his team win a critical game, Kershaw faces the burden of history. He leads major-league pitchers in just about every statistical category — the ones you’ve heard of and probably some you haven’t. His third National League Cy Young Award is all but guaranteed. An MVP award is possible, if not likely.Kershaw also has a chance to tie a Dodgers team record.In 1985, Orel Hershiser won 19 games and lost 3, for a winning percentage of .864. That remains the highest winning percentage by a qualified starting pitcher since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. (A relief pitcher, Phil Regan, went 14-1 without starting a game for the Dodgers in 1966.)