Last night I had the absolutely unusual experience of watching C.W. Stoneking play music at the Redwood Bar in downtown Los Angeles.
An old and good friend whose initials, AB, fittingly begin the alphabet, and who has led me astray for the eventual betterment of us both (lover of walri*, gambling, and roots music) many times before, brought me to the show.
What you need to know about C.W. Stoneking: He sings, plays guitar and tenor banjo. He lived in Trinidad and traveled to West Africa and New Orleans. He plays pre-war blues, jazz, and early calypso. He writes his own songs and has a voice that makes your organs shake. He’s also a young, white, Australian guy. But don’t let that fool you.
Here is a short clip of one of my favorite numbers of last night:
This is Stoneking performing Robert Johnson’s song “All My Love in Vain” at a culb in Rosendale, New York in 2008:
Here is his music video for the title track from his most recent album “Jungle Blues:”
I suggest you visit him on Myspace here, and check out this Facebook group to learn a little more about him.
*walri: plural of walrus
I harvested my first tomatoes of the season this morning.
They are very sweet–even given their large size. These are the traditional, organic tomatoes. Now I can’t wait for the heirlooms (several different varieties) to come it. They made a delicious snack before heading to the airport for a flight to L.A.
Now at the Oakland Airport about to board for LAX. Makes me want to sing “Midnight Train to Georgia.” “L.A., mmm…proved too much for the man…he couldn’t take it! So he’s leavin’ a life, he’s come to knoooow!”
Except I’m going back to L.A. Eek! I’ll have to revisit those Vena Cava recommendations–did any of them mention how to stay sane in that mixed up Southland?
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one – Dr. Everything Gonna Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left–
Ask him how much of your mind, baby!
Cause in this life,
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own!
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Happy Monday morning.
Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes!
Gotta Get Up by Harry Nilsson
I got up this morning and headed to the Grand Lake farmers market where I picked up peaches, peaches, and more peaches. I’ll be experimenting with cobbler in the kitchen this morning, listening to “Jesus on the Mainline,” and calling Him up–praying for Mrs. Brown (happy 94th), and no rain in NYC for Rimpletide tomorrow. Happy Saturday.
What you’re listening to:
From “Ry Cooder & The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces: Let’s Have A Ball”, a film by Les Blank taped at The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA on March 25th 1987.
Ry Cooder: guitar, vox
Jim Keltner: drums
Van Dyke Parks: keys
Jorge Calderon: bass
Flaco Jimenez: accordion
Miguel Cruiz: percussion
Steve Douglas: sax
George Bohannon: trombone
Bobby King: tenor
Terry Evans: baritone
Arnold McCuller: tenor
Willie Green Jr: bass
Exciting things coming up in August both in and around Rockridge and further afield:
- Subculture the East Bay Express’s Best of the East Bay Party: With something for everyone (and I mean everyone), the East Bay Express will be celebrating everything wonderful about the East Bay at the Oakland Museum this Friday, August 7 from 5pm to midnight. The party itself is so massive and diverse that it makes summary a futile endeavor. Download a large copy of the invitation by clicking here (invite) or check the blog the EBE has set up for more information. (Best of the East Bay 2009 Party Blog)
- FLUX Super 8 Showcase: Sets from the short film Synesthesia by directors Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey of Terri Timely will be part of this exhibition curated by RESFEST founder Jonathan Wells. This is the first annual showcase by FLUX, organized to celebrate eight of the most exciting and emerging young artists working in film, video, music and design. Watch Terri Timely’s film here (Synesthesia via Terri Timely). Opening: August 15, 7pm Scion Installation L.A. 3521 Helms Ave (at National) Culver City, CA. 90232 (310) 815-8840. Through September 8.
from Terri Timely’s Synesthesia
- Oliveto Tomato Dinners: Oliveto’s annual Tomato dinners are the perfect capstone to tomato season, but this year in particular. Oliveto’s new Community Journal has been tracking the cultivation of this years crop from the time the Early Girls were planted as seeds back in February via Tomato Watch (check out their brilliant Tomato Watch timeline by clicking here). For those of us who have been watching all along, the Journal has taken the experience of anticipation of eating this prized fruit to new levels. Whether you’re a regular or an Oliveto virgin, the Tomato Dinners are sure to delight. Wednesday through Saturday, August 26 through 29, 2009. (Oliveto Restaurant, Oliveto Community Journal)
- Chalk Hill Clematis’s Mary Toomey Garden Open House: The eminent clematis cultivators Chalk Hill will open their doors to the public later this month for a tour of the Mary Toomey Garden. From the Chalk Hill website: The Mary Toomey Garden is adjacent to the nursery and consists of a large pergola planted with roses and clematis and five individual gardens each with a different theme including an eighty foot long perennial bed featuring many herbaceous varieties. Chalk Hill also produces their own Olive Oil and Vinegar, available for sale at the farm. In addition, cultivator Kaye Heafey’s book A Celebration of Clematis will be available for purchase Open House Friday August 28th from 9am-4pm. Chalk Hill Clematis PO Box 1847, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 433-8416 firstname.lastname@example.org
Artwork by Martha Kemp
- Os Mutantes LIVE: One of my favorite musical acts of all time will be performing live at the Independent in San Francisco as part of the second annual Outside Lands festival. Their blend of Tropicalia, Psychedelia, and progressive rock have made them a unique (and we all shudder to use that word, but in this case it’s appropriate) force in 20th century popular music consciousness since their debut in the mid-1960s. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see them in action. Sunday, August 30, 9PM (Os Mutantes Myspace) (Tickets via the Independent) (About Os Mutantes via Wikipedia)