Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And, now for Something Completely Different

Ching says:

It is time to diminish the ego and decrease activities.
Blaming and criticizing are wrong ways to diminish;
offering up and giving away are correct.

If one reduces one's faults,
assistance will come.

Reduce desires,
discard trivial things;
be frugal, sincere and honest.

Desires, anger, arrogance and anxiety
are obstacles to a peaceful mind.
Curb anger and appetites,
develop resolve.

If you desire only profit,
you will create disaster.

Let go of pain,
let go of bitterness.

Remove the unnecessary,
grow, persevere, enjoy.

Even with nothing,
the sentiment of the heart
can be expressed.

Sincerity makes simple offerings acceptable,
and blessings follow.

Don't be negligent,
but relax.
What's needed is in place.
Let go.

Go straight to the heart,
realize Tao in action,
becoming what is meant to be.


Devious people block harmony in world affairs.
Use criminal law to remove obstruction,
bringing peace.
It is beneficial to use imprisonment.

Thunder stirs things up.
Awareness spreads.
Suddenly, one sees clearly
and overcomes ignorance,
as the essential is revealed.

Kitchenpoet responds with a haiku:

Storm clouds and lightning, 
absurd satori flashes, 
and still there are stars. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Slanky Revs It Up

Cody welcomes back Phil and Chris

Sam White wails on the sax

Jaron Hein on trumpet

Longtime veteran, Jim Rogers, remains at the keyboard.

Reverend Slanky has been one of Zootown's most popular bands for years. Many university students have played with this outfit and moved on, after graduation, creating vacancies. The line-up has evolved with regular updates. Cody Hollow has been the glue holding the sound together and recruiting new members. 

On Friday, July 8, 2011, the Reverend showed his latest face at the Badlander. A couple of lost sheep returned to the fold, and Cody moved to a drum kit, giving up the big drums. Sam White, who can't always come down from Helena, hit his horn hard. Slanky has always loved to funk with swing tunes. This incarnation brings back more rock sensibility, still swings, and, in the Reverend's proud tradition, is still among the most dance-able music in town.   

Do I need to tell you there are more images from this night and previous performances on the flickr archive? You will find thousands of photos of local bands over there. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Skurfs Way Up, Pounding the Mountains

OK, so the 3D gizmo didn't perform as promised, but the Skurfs certainly did. It was a raucous party as the group released their CD, First Run, at the Top Hat on Friday, July 1, 2011.

Gavin McCourt says Skurf is a combination of ski and surf, and the sound is Montana surf music.

Sam Ore

Aaron Johnson

Dan Venturella, Aaron, Gavin and Sam

In the Independent, Jed Nussbaum said this wasn't the Beach Boys' Surfin' USA. No kidding! This sound is the Ventures, on crack, mating with the Beach Boys a'la Deliverance. The roots are there in the 60s surf music, but this music is here and now, without a whiff of anything old. It's also brilliant. 

If you see Skurfs on a marquee or in the ads, get out for some live and local music. 

Yes, I am returning to the "live and local" mantra, because it is important. Zootown is a hotbed of artistic creativity, and music is a huge part of the scene. Since government wants to cut the arts (because studying art teaches us how to think rather than what to think), we must assist artistic impulses where ever and whenever we can. 

Most local bands play for love of music, as they struggle to make ends meet. When they have honed their skills and produced the awesome sound they were after, Portland, Seattle, Austin, and even the city of Angels appear to be bigger, greener pastures. I have wanted to rant or weep when terrific local bands left town. Anybody been in touch with Thomas Pendarvis lately? What happened to the iNHUMANS?  Closer to the Skurfs, do you remember Arrows to the Sun?

Citizens who can afford it, please, pay the lowly cover charges for live and local, buy locally recorded CDs and assist in keeping some exceptional music in Missoula.

I, on the other hand, cannot afford cover charges. If I paid cover charges, my archive of Missoula music and musicians would only contain hundreds of images, instead of the thousands currently there. Just saying, if you want your image or venue to appear here in the kitchen, or on the stove, let me in. Do not ask me to deal in filthy lucre, since I have none. Disclaimer: I am slow, not from age; I've always been a bit that way. I cannot accept all invitations, can't be everywhere at once, and can't carry a tune in a bucket. Please, don't ask for a song and dance. 

There was a thunder shower just know, and I must go for a walk. I'll see you all along the way, down the road, and hopefully near some art, because I love the stuff and the people who make it.

Still to come:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boukman Eksperyans/Haiti to Butte

A prophet pointed to the light

in the spirit of Bob Marley and other timeless spirits,

as Boukman Eksperyans,  from Haiti, set the place afire to climax the folk festival in Butte on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Officially, this was the Montana Folk Festival,and this tent was the Montana Tourism Dance Pavilion.

They were the reason I wanted to go to this shindig in the first place, because I saw them twice on Santa Monica Pier many years ago. They knocked me out then, and I figured they would again. Figured right.
This was my Sunday church meeting, a knock your socks off tent revival with spirited hymns of redemption and freedom.

Butte hosted the National Folk Festival for three years, learned how to run the thing well, and figured why not continue the tradition for the state. It worked well with good crowds, numerous shuttles, a wide range of food, and some stunning music.

There are more images of this group on my flickr archive, as well as thousands more of mostly local Missoula performers making music. Coming soon: the Skurfs CD release, a report on July's First Friday a reformed version of Reverend Slanky, and more.

Skurfs @ the Hat, July 1, 2011

El 3-oh on Higgins for First Friday in July

More fun-seekers prowling downtown on First Friday