Kevin L. Hoover
ARCATA – When Curtis and Julie Thompson started up Kulica, they did so without any long-range plan other than to make good music. “We love to play,” Curtis said.
But by doing just that – showing up, plugging in and sending out the tunes day after week after month, Kulica has achieved something that eludes many local bands – longevity, not to mention near-iconic status on the local music scene.
Kulica celebrates a decade in operation with its all-ages “10th Anniversary Shindig” at the Arcata Playhouse this Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Chris Parrierra opens the show. Admission is $7.
Beginning as a duo with Curtis and Julie, Kulica blossomed into a band before long, offering “fun jam songs,” according to Curtis. Over time, though, his songwriting sensibility matured, and the repertoire came to reflect more sophisticated themes.
“My songwriting has evolved,” Curtis said. “I’m more focused lyrically.”
But fear not – Kulica’s fun-friendly feel remains front and center. By way of proof, Curtis has written a song for Dell’Arte’s Mad River Festival titled “OG it’s Kush to be Mary Jane”
Musicality comes naturally to Kulica. Julie, who teaches piano and oboe, didn’t even pick up a bass guitar until she was 30 years old. “We had a bass sitting around,” she said. “It was really easy for me.”
Over the years, Kulica’s line-up has remained relatively stable, though drummers have changed from time to time. The core members, and mission, have held constant.
“People come and go a lot, so you have to continue to play,” Julie said.
They have, and after a decade it’s hard to name a local venue or event that Kulica hasn’t graced, from Woofstock to the Farmers’ Market, the Jambalaya, HSU and even the old Sacred Grounds Open Mic Night.
This Friday’s show will trace the band’s evolution, starting with Curtis and Julie as the duo that formed Kulica’s initial core. “We’re going to do a retrospective,” Julie said. Other members of the band will then join them on stage.
“This area’s been good to us,” Julie observed, and the reverse is true as well. “We’re still out there doing it,” Curtis said. kulica.com