You have to be of a certain age to remember Hootenanny, a tv variety show that focused on the folk music revival in the early ‘60s. It came and went for a couple reasons. The first was your basic, “There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?” to quote the post-folk revival artist Bob Dylan.
There was a controversial decision by some network execs at ABC not to book Pete Seeger on the show because, well, he’s a left-winger. Folksingers like Joan Baez boycotted the show and that was the beginning of the end. Then there was a timing problem. Things change.
In Fall of 1964, with the folk revival quickly making way for a new youth music movement, ABC replaced the folk show with a rock ’n’ roll show, Shindig!
The first show featured Sam Cooke; James Brown, Bo Diddley, Jackie Wilson, The Supremes and The Beach Boys appeared on the show with the British Invasion represented by segments taped in England with The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones .
In January of 1965, NBC countered with its own rock/pop show, Hullabaloo, a tad less hip on the host front with the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr., Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon and others...
but the guests drew on the same pool as Shindig! James Brown, the Stones, etc, but also The Lovin' Spoonful, The Yardbirds, The Animals, Marianne Faithfull were guests. Beatles manager Brian Epstein hosted Brit segments further continuing the Brit Invasion.
The NBC show didn’t last too long — it was replaced by an oddball sitcom, The Monkees, in the Fall ’66 tv season.
You may be wondering why we’re on a tv history tangent. It’s because of a big to-do Saturday in Arcata, the YesWeCann Parade and Hullaballoo. Look up the word “hullabaloo” in the dictionary (or in this case Wikitionary) and you’ll find it’s defined a “an uproar or fuss.” There’s been a little uproar and fuss about the party. (See last week’s long letter to the editor/city council, "On that cannabis thing.")
In case you haven’t heard yet, the Hullabaloo is focused on cannabis, aka marijuana, pot, dope, and many other things including “the Devil’s weed.” (Attorney General Jeff Sessions sees it as “only slightly less awful” than heroin.)
He contacted me, describing the Hullabaloo as a “gathering with bands. Speakers, educators and our ‘Family Interactive Zone.’ A medical 215 Market inside the ballpark. Food drinks and fun for 6-7 hours.”
I told Stephen it was pretty amazing that the city signed off on all that, particularly the 215 zone. “They did, I worked hard for months,” he said, correcting himself to include his crew, “We at Humboldt Green worked hard to make it happen.”
Thinking back to when I was a teenager in the ‘60s, I always figured it was just a matter of time before pot was legalized. All of my friends smoked it, and not just the "bad" kids. I thought, as soon as these people are in political office, they'd legalize pot — it took over 50 years. Why not celebrate with a parade and a party?
The Hum-Green p.r. tells us, “The first YesWeCann parade was in 2015, through Eureka, and proceeded to the first ever Cannifest… Much like a ‘coming out’ for the local cannabis community, our community no longer needs to hide from the public. Stepping out of the shadows and into the light is hard to do alone, yet together it feels like home.”
I confess, I’ve smoking weed for decades, sometimes more than other times, and I probably could have smoked less in my teen years and my 20s, but it always made music sound better to me. They have music all day and into the night at the Hullabaloo. Appropriately the roster features Silver Hammer, the Beatles' Tribute band (yes, Sgt. Pepper smoked it)...
the funk/reggae/etc. outfit Dynasty One,
B. Swizlo's Hip Hop Lounge with NacOne, The New Traditions (which new traditions?) “and so much more!”
Later, take your pick of YesWeCann afterparties: The Mother Vines and Over Yonder are at The Jam. Bluesy Cold Blue Water, Rosewater (a Dead tribute) and DJ LE are at Humboldt Brews. Party on…
Remembers last week’s theme song “Hot Fun (in the Summertime)”? Queer Humboldt invites you to Hot Summer Nights at The Logger Bar (details below.)
Todd and friends say, “It's summertime so let's dance! Come out and enjoy the summer evening with an outdoor patio. Bring your beach attire and dance!” DJ Joe-E spins hot tunes.The also promise Jell-O shots, a piñata, a raffle “and more.” BTW, while the canna-crowd is still in the process of “coming out,” the queer community busted that piñata years ago. (Party on…)
Meanwhile Saturday at the Miniplex (in Richards' Goat Tavern), proprietress Aimee invites you to “catch local dune-psych legends White Manna, plus Seattle's avant-rock duo Zen Mother. ” The duo, Monika Khot and Wolcott Smith, describe their music as “about the proliferation of self-confidence and drug substitutes,” (whatever that means) and site Brian Eno, Igor Wakhevitch and Carlo Domeniconi among their influences. (Listen to Fogou to hear Eno, google the other two.)
White Manna is going back to Europe on a tour that includes a return engagement at the Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia. Asked by the fest about their influences, they noted, “Too many to list, but perhaps: Miles Davis, MC5, Gene Clark, Robert Anton Wilson.” (The later is not a musician, he’s a futurist/poet/novelist and author of The Illuminati Trilogy, among other things.)
BTW, Aimee suggests making your evening a full-on psychedelic experience at the Goat. “Catch our 5 p.m. screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky's latest, Endless Poetry, beforehand.” The autobiographic film is “an ode to the quest for beauty and inner truth, as a universal force capable of changing one's life forever.” Psyche on…
Down the road that same evening, it’s the 35th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony at the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary (by Klopp Lake at the end of South I St.). It’s a memorial for “all those effected by the WWII bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to bring awareness to the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and to advocate for peace and environmental sustainability. This event is an opportunity to offer spiritual consolation for people we miss, departed loved ones, ancestors, cultures and all we hold dear.”
Gather beginning at 7 p.m. to hear Rick Kruze playing the shakuhachi flute as people arrive. Mayor Susan Ornelas welcomes you, and will undoubtedly discuss peace and other things. Isadora Dancing offers a poem from the local Peace Poetry and Art Project with local high school students. (Ask about an associated book at Northtown Books.) Johnson Tilghman talks about the Sister City exchange between Kamisu and Eureka. My mom’s group,The Raging Grannies, sings peace songs, including one about peace boats she wrote for the occasion. Around 8:40, as the sun goes down, lanterns will float on the lake — for peace evermore.
You can make lantern in memory of anyone or anything earlier that day the the Arcata Farmers’ Market. Community groups helping to create this event include Humboldt Buddhist Peace Fellowship, GI Rights Hotline, Shinnyo en, Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Friends Meeting, US Servas, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the city of Arcata, peace lovers all.
Earlier that week…
Thursday the Redwood Coast Music Festival hosts an evening at Mad River Brewery with “live music, live art and great brews,” specifically Absynth Q “bringing the fire” as Matt Beard “molds those forces to paint” the 2018 poster for the Redwood Coast Music Fest.
Last year, for the first time in a long time, Flatmo did not make the annual RCMF poster. (He seems to be making a living as a full-time year ‘round Burner and more power to him.) Mr. Beard picked up the torch and in addition to designing the poster did a few more thematic pieces while they played jazz or whatever. I’ve seen him do this in various settings — bars, outdoors, the Graves — and he uses the music for inspiration and (special bonus) does it for one good cause after another. Extra bonus, AbQ is in extra-fine form this summer and should prove extra-inspirational. Did mention there’s no admission?
Later Thursday at the Miniplex:
Influential Swedish psych band Dungen have been making "ethereal, triumphant, heady" music since 1999, and have just released their critically acclaimed 9th album, Häxan. Jack White of the White Stripes is a fan (so much that he produced one of their albums) and Tame Impala has been heavily influenced by them. On Thursday, August 10th, The Miniplex is offering a rare chance to see these giants of the Psych Renaissance in an intimate setting, with two 45-minute sets and an intermission.
Showtime 8:30 pm, Sorry, 21 and up only.
I ran into the ultra-creative Violet Crabtree at the Outer Space Gunsafe+L.Battle+J.Lud+Bowlegged Buzzards show the other night. (Great set from Stella and co. as always and the Buzzards were a nice surprise.) Besides being besides a filmmaker, Violet is the graphic artist who created the drawing of Calvin Johnson above.
Violet invited me a show at the Sanctuary Thursday with Calvin and local faves Monster Women...
plus soon to be ex-local Roman Candles (aka Chris Gordon). Violet describes his songs as “sincere, often sad, a mixture of social and political folk punk.” This is his last local show before he moves on, and the beginning of a summer tour for this artist who prefers cassettes as a medium for his work.
Headliner is Selector Dub Narcotic from Olympia,WA. Now if you know reggae lingo, you might get the wrong idea about this “band.” A selector selects records (a DJ) and, well you probably know what dub is. (Think loopy heavy bass.) However, as Violet notes, “Selector Dub Narcotic is Calvin Johnson…” She mentions Beat Happening, The Hive Dwellers, and many other associated acts” in his resumé, indie rockers all. He also founded K Records, put Olympia on the map musically, and is one of the godfathers of indie rock overall. He has nothing to do with reggae, but creates danceable grooves when he isn’t playing his guitar.
A few years back I was in Portland visiting family and, craving music, ended up taking my niece Jessie to a “cassette release party” at the venerable Crystal Ballroom. Calvin had curated a tape included as the year bonus for Dave Eggers’ The Believer Magazine and the show. There were a bunch of interesting bands specializing in cassette releases alternating on two stages, a truly fascinating lineup, including Calvin singing a few — but there was almost no one there. The band members and their entourages outnumbered the audience. I felt bad for all concerned, but I did my part, I showed up.
Believe me, that’s important to a scene of any type. It’s important to our culture. Get off the coach and go out. Go hear some music, a play, attend a reading, a dance performance, a movie, anything. You are the culture. It doesn't exist without you.
"A colossal waste of time"
Daily Driver plays at The Logger Bar Friday, August 11 at 9 p.m. This newish band consists of the “notorious” Trujillo brothers of The No Good Redwood Ramblers with Colin on banjo (again), Cam switching from stand up bass to guitar (and writing most of the songs) and Lyndsey Battle (of The Lyndsey Battle Trio) taking up the bass for the first time. They promise, “the soulful sounds of Daily Driver are sure to get you stomping.”
There’s an opening set by Electro Saloon, who I’ve mentioned here before. Did I note that the duo includes the wife of Andy Powell, who writes The Setlist, the column that took the place of The Hum in the Journal? Andy is the bass player for Strix Vega and served as the band’s publicist for years, sending out polite, friendly p.r. emails. In his last column, he offers an explanation of why your show may not show up in the Journal unless you follow his advice.
He wrote, “I was tempted to not even mention [their last] show as way to teach Colin of Electro Saloon a lesson in local show promotion, but seeing as how my wife is the other half of said band, I thought better of it. So let this be a lesson to you other musicians who have been doing this not quite as long as Colin. Some of us find Facebook to be a colossal waste of time — perhaps a column topic someday — and may not surf around that digital data collection monstrosity to find out about your show. Send a quick email (which stands for electronic mail) to [Andy] so this grumpy stick-in-the-mud can help promote your show. If you don't want help, I totally get it.”
Now I have to admit, I like getting email to some extent, but I rely on Facebook since that’s how bands promote themselves. It’s designed to be easy to use — no bands maintain websites unless they’re hiring someone to do it for them, and sending email into the void takes time. That means I spend more time than I’d like Facebooking. It may be a “colossal waste of time,” but it’s how we communicate in the modern age. Since you probably read this via a FB link, I’ll assume you use it. C’est la vie. I won't pretend that I cover every show that comes along -- I miss a lot, but not for lack of trying. Anyway, I hope to see you out there somewhere — anywhere — participating in our rich culture. Be there…