As I wrote this column on Sunday evening in my "office" (a shed in our backyard) a serendipitous moment occurred. Over the occasional sounds of our dogs barking at absolutely nothing, I heard our son and daughter listening to Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" while lying in the hammock and grass (respectively). Perhaps as Father's Day is right around the corner, this moment had me thinking about our kids listening to "our" music and how I used to do the same thing when I was their age. I specifically remember hearing "Brown Eyed Girl" on the front porch of our childhood home in Southern California when I was just a bit younger than our son is now. I don't recall if this was the first time I had heard the song, but it was the first time it really slid its way into my memory. I recall the infectious groove and the heavenly perplexing "sha la la las" and "la dee dahs" that peppered the song. I also remember my Aunt's friend Don on the porch singing along with his young daughter while I just stood motionless, letting the sound swirl around me and take me somewhere. The music took a hold of me, and would never let me go. This wasn't "my" music in the sense of it being created by someone in my generation, it was from my parent's generation, but it became mine, and it's now becoming my kids'.
Next up, I heard my kids listening to The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," another one that will always be a part of me. Our son in particular has not only been a fan of The Beatles now for a bit, but has been asking me for Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin recommendations. Outside of my obvious pride in his "correct" taste in music, I began to wonder what it was that makes us want our children to like "our" music. Is it a sense of connecting our kiddos to what we define as meaningful art? Is it just a way of getting validation that we're still just as hip as we think we are? Or does it have simply to do with nostalgia? I'm still not sure but I love seeing our son begin the same musical journey that I did at his age. I wouldn't want his path to lead him along the exact route it took me but I can't help but feel excited it's beginning along the same direction. I hope he'll be more in tune with music that is being created and released as he grows up than I was, to have some sort of musical touchstone with his peers, but if he's already settling in with authentic, creative, curious, reflective and truthful music at his age, then I feel I have little to worry about. Perhaps there's no better gift to receive on Father's Day than a request for Dark Side of the Moon, Physical Graffiti, Astral Weeks, Abbey Road, Beggar's Banquet or Who's Next. Maybe the kids are all right after all.
Longtime and local bluegrass band the Compost Mountain Boys return to their gig at the Mad River Brewery and Tap Room up in oft-sunny Blue Lake. They'll start playing at around 6 p.m. and will probably keep picking away for about two and a half hours. It's a free show — as MRB does — but don't be afraid to the tip the band.
Sticking with Mad River Brewery here for a minute, local country lovers Cadillac Ranch are making the blocks-long trip to the Tap Room to get you up and swaying the night away. As you guessed, it's a free show starting around 6 p.m. Kids are welcome and so are dogs as long they're on leash, but feel free to leave both at home if possible. The Westhaven Center for the Arts is hosting an Open Blues Jam with Seabury Gould & Friends at 7 p.m. tonight. Players of acoustic or electric blues are asked to bring their instrument along to participate in the community jam. Should that be your jam, you'll be able to get in for free. If you'd rather be a spectator — nothing wrong with that — you'll be asked for a $5-10 cover charge to get in. Up from the lovely armpit of California, Fresno's roots-rock duo Cloudship is stopping by Six Rivers Brewery at 9 p.m. for a free show influenced by alternative rock, grunge rock and progressive rock. Welcome the band to our strange land with trees and water.
It's Oyster Fest today, so come up with a game plan in your head before getting silly day-drunk and making a total ass of yourself. If you want to frontload it pretty hard while the sun's out, who am I to judge? Just have a plan to get home safely and try not to be that person keeping the party/drinking going when the non-daylight shows kick off. Belligerent drunks with sunburns and bellies full of raw oysters at 6 p.m. isn't most bands' target audience. Let's be fair and just pick two out of the three. With those warnings issued, there's nothing like bagpipe music to make you think you can throw a few more down the hatch. The Humboldt Highlanders make a rare appearance at the Mad River Brewery at 6 p.m. and for free. If a piper goes down, it's probably due to dehydration. Buy a John Barleycorn to help him or her back up on their feet. I'm surprised more of these shows haven't been billed "Oyster Fest After-party," and as we know, every void needs to be filled. So with that, let's call this the official unofficial Oyster Fest After-party (as there is no elevation change from the Plaza): Diggin' Dirt and fellow locals Object Heavy are throwing the grooves down at Humboldt Brews tonight at 9 p.m. and for only $10. A little out of walking distance from the fest, local rockers the Sleepwalkerz are having a CD release show at Six Rivers Brewery at the top of the hill in McKinleyville at 9 p.m. It's a free show, but grab a copy of their new album if you like their tunes.
Happy Father's Day. Sober up.
New York Jazz is on tap tonight at the Palm Lounge in the Eureka Inn starting at 7 p.m. and for free. I'm told that Brian Post & Friends are playing standards and "Blue Note" which I'm assuming has something to do with Blue Note records. This talented quartet is made up of HSU professor Brian Post on the piano, Val Leone on guitar, Tom Lopes on bass and Don Baraka on woodwind instruments.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Powell is a congenital music lover and hosts The Album of the Week Show on KWPT 100.3 FM Tuesdays at 6 p.m. He wonders if he's all right.