It's that time again, when you dust off the camping gear and fill up the cooler, for what has become an annual first camping trip each year. There's no better way to ring in spring than the Boonville Beer Festival. It's a must for any fan of oat soda or barley pop. This year's celebration of suds is on Saturday, May 3rd. The glorious taps will be flowing from 1-5 pm. This event is well worth the cost ($41+). Bring cash and don't forget your A game, trust me I know what the alternative looks like and it isn't pretty. I also recommend carpooling, you'll save a little dough and you'll help everyone in the camping area by limiting the number gas guzzlers. Have fun and drive safe. Be prepared to get after it.
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down | Castro Theatre | April 29
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down will be performing at the one and only Castro Theatre on Tuesday, April 29th. This will be a one-of-a-kind show, as their performance is part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The band will play live with a mixture of films from the silent era. One of the silent films being shown is, The Pawnshop with Charlie Chaplin. Also on the playbill is, The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra. Original videos made by Thao will be showcased as well. One of her creations was made especially for this event. Animations by Harry Smith, along with classic newsreels, will also accompany the live music. This should be one hell of an event, too cool for school, so they're having it at the Castro. Maybe we'll see you there.
Those fortunate enough to have seen a Pygmy Owl know how awesome they are. They might be itty bitty but they're still at the top of the food chain. In our neck of the woods we also have some resident Barn Owls, as well as, a nesting Great Horned Owl couple who have had owlets in the past. Recently I was shown this video, hopefully you find it as amusing as I did. So, here's to the silent fliers within the world of raptors and birds of prey. Here at the Watertrough Project we're big fans of owls.
We're also fans of beer. I recommend sipping on a Pygmy Owl itty bitty IPA by Big Sky Brewing this summer. It's a tasty session-style IPA and right up there with Go To by Stone Brewing. Those of us in Sonoma get the goods, Dribble by Russian River and Day Time by Lagunitas. Thankfully I'm blessed and inundated with high quality brews, the raw beauty of nature, and its wonderful creatures.
Composting is an everyday effort at the Watertrough Project. We have a DIY compost bin constructed with reclaimed pallets, chicken wire and fasteners. It's a two-stage basin near some of our roses and one of our raspberry patches. Recently, Agent M noticed a growth...slime mold. It was cool to see it manifested, knowing that it didn't just "sprout" up out of nowhere. Apparently it's a healthy sign. You know, protists feeding off of broken down plant materials. Anyhow, Agent M began searching the Tube. She showed me this amazing video. The first mold you see forming below is what visited our little habitat. Thankfully we live in an area that is still surrounded by nature and open space.
Slime Mold Time Elapsed Video | Music by: Higher Intelligence Agency | Delta.
Steve Nash returns to the court in the fourth episode of "The Finish Line". He reminds us, and himself, of his ability to create/maintain space and make the right play. Regardless of limited minutes, or his age, he produces. Dirty Dirk joins him for dinner as they reminisce about what could have been, and Steve asks Dirk what he would do if he were facing the same situation.
My favorite part, the beginning...
"It's like a very familiar place. A place of comfort... I feel like it's a sanctuary for me. To just be alone with my thoughts, and a ball, and just working on my game." - Steve Nash
Hockumentary and Grantland present | The Finish Line | Episode 4 | Dinner with Dirk
Don't forget Record Store Day is this Saturday and with it comes the joy that only vinyl can bring. I'll be frequenting the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa in hopes of scoring one of the favorites on my personal list. Options that I'm stoked on this year come from LCD Soundsystem, Built to Spill, Johnny Cash, Phosphorescent, The Black Angels, Tame Impala, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead, let alone the countless other rad options.
Remember, this year there are three types of releases. There's the RSD exclusives, RSD limited run/regional focus, and the RSD 'first' releases. The last option also has a later release date, so if you can't grab it this Saturday, don't fret. Those titles will be re-released to the masses.
See you at the Last Record Store. Be there or be square. Besides, who wants to be square on a day that celebrates records, they're round? Enjoy, I know I will.
PS. If you live in the City (SF), hit up Amoeba. For my peeps in Asheville, it's all about Harvest Records. Those back in Minneapolis, check out The Electric Fetus, Know Name, Roadrunner, Hymie's, or Tree House.
Who is William Onyeabor? He's a Nigerian funk musician who's mysterious, under-valued and way ahead of his time. His music has seen an increase in interest, stemming from a compilation album released last year titled, Who is William Onyeabor? His strange manipulation of the synthesizer was a signal for the electronic music scene to take its cues from. Unknown is an understatement when trying to describe the man or his music. Throughout the 1970's and 80's he curated his sound, his way, unsullied and purely original. Between 1977 and 1985 he self-released eight albums that can only be measured in funkiness and eccentricity.
Needless to say his art spurs many questions. How did he get the equipment? Was he the only one on the continent of Africa, let alone Nigeria, to have produced such music at that time? How was he so far ahead of the European and American music industries? Why didn't he continue to pump out mind-bending music? Back in the day he had not yet gained fame and fortune. Later on he become a born-again christian, choosing to never again speak of himself or his music. He was a trend setter from Enugu who would influence the developed world's music. There may not be an EDM scene without the likes of William. He chartered a new course, his own, that will continually inspire our future musicians. One can only hope that others will realize that their art is what speaks to the world.
Where has this music gone? I guess it will always be there, thanks to the years gone by. Real music makes you feel, it doesn't just take up time. When something is exposed, raw and stripped down, you begin to see the ornate possibilities that were always there. Lee Moses was deep soul and Bad Girl sought to strike an emotional picture, rather than paint it. Commercial success may not have been there for this single in 1967, but his pain and energy were being revealed. For more of his music check out the 1971 LP, Time and Place. America's rhythm and blues are an example of the treasures that the 1960's and 70's gave us.
Timber Timbre released their 5th album on the first day of April. Known for their dark and lusciously melodic sound, this Canadian band continues to work for their audience. Timber Timbre music has an effect on you, akin to a mystery being solved. Beat the Drum Slowly is the latest single off of their newest effort, Hot Dreams. Chad VanGaalen animated the video below, which is certainly a thought provoking piece on its own. Check out Timber Timbre on tour as they dot North America, east to west, and back through Canada. They Play the Independent in San Francisco on June 5th.
Timber Timbre - Beat the Drum Slowly - animated by: Chad VanGaalen
March Madness may end in April, but don't let the four teams remaining fool you. The Florida Gators, winners of the South region and 30 in a row, will take on the East region champions, the Huskies of Connecticut. The last time these two teams met, on December 2nd, was also the last time Florida lost. I'm rooting for Connecticut in the rematch. I relish the grit and intensity of OG Big East teams and Shabazz Napier is the epitome of why I love college hoops. The West region is represented by the Wisconsin Badgers (the only other team to beat Florida this year), taking Bo Ryan to his first Final 4. They will be pitted against the villainous, Kentucky Wildcats. Coached by Darth Vader, aka John Calipari, Kentucky is redefining what a team of freshman can do. Needless to say, go Badgers. North Texas plays host to the Final 4 this year. A special shout out to all the collegiate players and coaches who have battled to make this one of the most exciting tournaments in years. Every round has been filled with dramatic, down-to-the-wire action. Seven overtime games have been played and another thirteen have been decided by three points or less. One can only hope that the three remaining games will be as riveting. For the schedule click here.