The Fishbon gang is busy as bees setting up for tonight's Chartreuse party down in the funkzone. They are building the stage, constructing big spring flowers, there's a tall rabbit that's supposed to project party-goers faces on the rabbit head, the usual crazy creative stuff!
Note: You can buy tickets for the Saturday night party until 5 pm, TODAY for $20. Afterwards, it's door only for $25 cash.
Below is taken from their Facebook event page.
Introducing: Fishbon Chartreuse.
This two-day event will take place near the corner of State and Yanonali. If you see a
twenty-foot bunny, hear irresistibly yummy music pulsing, and find yourself wading through crowds of beautifully adorned Bohemian art lovers, you will know you’re in the right place. Costumes encouraged.
On tap for this latest expression of Fishbon’s creative flow is a twisted mash-up of May Day, Beltane, Spring Equinox, and of course Easter.
Saturday night (9pm-2am) at Fishbon Chartreuse will involve two sultry fashion vignettes, a short and zany cabaret play, the impressive beats of local DJ's, aerial and fire performances, the fire belching Pyrobar, live art-making, a lavish lounge, and Fishbon’s famous tray girls.
The Sunday portion of the event (4-11pm) will feature a massive May Pole, slightly mellower DJ sets, live art silent auctions, and a variety of other off the wall acts and flirtatious antics.
Ticket Information Pre-sale Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday nighttime events are $20 (Saturday) and $10 (Sunday). Tickets go on sale: Midnight April 11, 2011 at: http://fishbon-chartreuse.eventbrite.com/
Ticket prices at the door: Saturday night: $25 Sunday afternoon: will be FREE from 4-8pm. Sunday night: $10 from 8-11pm
The crowds heaved their way to the Arlington last night for the annual visit of David Sedaris to the Four Seasons Biltmore, where he made a brief cameo at the Theater.
I want to say he talked more about the awesomeness that is the Biltmore than his writings, but I do know specifically that his story about his fear of competitive sports and his father's hyper-criticism of his failure to be sporty went on so long I actually nodded off, as did my theater companion.
I commented while in the queue to enter the Arlington that the audience looked like the types who are going out tonight only for Sedaris, but normally wouldn't go out at all. That's because Sedaris speaks to the quirky nature of social awkwardness within all of us. If that helps draw out the people who hide under rocks at night, this can be a good thing. I happen to really enjoy David Sedaris speaking. So much that I won't buy his books, I just like to hear him read the stories to me, whether that is on NPR, or in person at the Arlington.
As with previous speaking engagements, Sedaris' sign language interpretor stole the show with her innocent and enthusiastic gestures for assorted swears, sexual activities, and one of my favorites, going c-c-c-crazy (arms waving in the air). If you couldn't see Sedaris from your seat, you probably saw the sign language woman, and that was even better. There was a moment when Sedaris realized a book he wanted to talk about was left behind in the dressing room, and the woman walked off stage, returning a moment later with his bag holding the book. How sweet!
Sedaris read material from his latest book, starting off with the title story of "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk." It reminded me of Blur's "Good Song" video, which is also a cross-species romance gone wrong due to miscommunciation. I lack any photos of last night's show, so you get an unrelated music video instead. It does have a squirrel in it.
There was also funny diary entries read, funny jokes, funny audience Q & A, the usual good Sedaris evening. Drew Peacock? Chris Peacock? Ha! The only item that wasn't funny was that I was sitting near someone who had silent but deadly gas. Other than that, good times!
Tags: david sedaris, arlington, squirrel seeks chimpmunk, literature, humor
The first time I saw Dengue Fever in Santa Barbara, my date got a sort of Dengue Fever of his own that night and I spent most of the band's set patting his back while he threw up in a bin outside of janky Vons. The second time, I don't even remember, but I was there. The third time, this time, was awesome! Up front and center, aw yeah!
My Dengue Fever dance companion had been to Cambodia several times before and presented me with a traditional scarf while at Soho, thanks Matthew, it kept me warm while sitting out on the patio between the set of the opening band and Dengue Fever.
Was Soho packed? I dunno, I didn't look behind me. Did it rock? Yes. The band had great energy, with singer Chhom Nimol in a sparkly little number and the dudes in casual hipster-wear. If you don't already know, Dengue Fever is a 6-member band from Los Angeles, who play a combination of Cambodian pop and psychedelic surf rock.
Being so close to the front this time, I got a good look at the looping guitarist Zac Holtzman and brass man David Ralicke do throughout their performance. I happen to love looping, so this was very cool.
This week in particular was special to the band, as it kicked off the release of their newest CD, Cannibal Courtship, and their performance included several tracks from it. Also included in this tour was Zac Holtzman's custom made guitar-fused-chapei dong veng, a Cambodian 2-string long neck guitar. Confused as to what this is? Check out the youtube video of Holtzman explaining this device, called the Mastadong.
And tonight, the Mastadong's creator was also in the audience and he got a round of applause.
Overall, a great show. I was dancing by the most enthusiastic squealing girls ever, who helped call the band back onstage for an encore, and I was also by a very damper fellow in red trousers with a red jumper around his shoulders, so obviously this group attracts all types. :) I look forward to them playing next year.
Tags: dengue fever, cannibal courtship, cambodian pop music, mastadong, soho, concerts, live music
Hearing the buzz of bees isn't unusual in my neighborhood, bees frequent many of the fruiting trees. But hearing a large swarming buzz coming from a tree when I *know* there are no flowers on it catches my attention.
Ok, maybe it was stupid of me to have gotten so close, it was a big furious storm of bees on the move. But when I fetched my camera, they had mostly alighted on an apricot tree, in a dense hanging cluster.
I took photos until there were too many buzzing around my head, which was maybe two minutes. An hour later, they'd flown on. Yay, springtime!
This weekend I experienced the treat that is the Circle Bar B Ranch's Dinner Theatre. A $45 ticket gets you a generous Santa Maria style tri-tip and chicken bbq dinner, then a performance of their latest production, The Drunkard.
And you thought drunks were confined to lower State Street on the weekend? Oh hell no. This Victorian melodrama is the story of a young couple in love, financial woes, villagers with evil and creepy thoughts of resentment and revenge, and provides a lesson in what happens when "the demon drink" can get the better of the situation. Thankfully, the show has heroes as well.
Sean Jackson as farmer William Dowton was my favorite character. William appears simple, but is quick to understand situations and act on them, under the guise of innocent observation. His expressions throughout the play, his dance, his accent, and his character's empathy had the audience cheering, but mostly had them in stitches of laughter. I don't know if this was intentional, but I like how the sack of nuts he carried around in the play grew progressively bigger as the years pass.
Grant McKee as Squire Cribbs was another standout, as the quintessential (and campy) villian with maniacal laughter and a whirling cape. Again, much laughter, and also much booing and hissing as we are encouraged to particpate by way of cue cards.
Both Jackon and McGee, btw, are Santa Barbara actors! That was another cool thing about the CBB's production - lots of Santa Barbarans were in it. Too many SB connections to list out in this blog entry.
The item practically worth the ticket price alone was the Olio. Not the oil! An Olio apparently is a musical intermission between a melodrama. The cast and production crew donned multiple costumes and put on a Smothers Brothers-esque variety show, with vignettes from the Trillage People, Pelvis, and many more. Pelvis, with a cameo by producer David Couch, made the performance even better with a true wardrobe malfunction. Tee hee! Needless to say, the Olio had great costumes (Victorian Vogue, I believe) and lots of fun singing.
The Drunkard runs for three more weekends, through 15 May. The performances are Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoon. It is appropriate for all ages, great for groups, and an absolute hoot. On top of the show, there are other perks to going.
First, the drive up 101 and Refugio is gorgeous right now. I caught the golden hour driving up, with fields of grass and mustard, then passing through orchards of citrus and avocado and stands of Coast Live Oaks.
Second, the tri tip dinner is pretty good! Grilled tri-tip or chicken, and all the fixings of salsa, grilled bread, green beans with sundried tomato, mashed potatoes, green salad, chili beans and chocolate cake for dessert. Iced water, lemonade and coffee is also included in the price. The food is served buffet style and everyone sits at long tables together to socialize.
But yeah, The Drunkard is literally at Circle Bar B, too, because they have a full bar for cocktails while you nosh the tri-tip dinner. Whiskey? Brandy? Gin!?
The Drunkard or "Down with Demon Drink" Directed by Miller James Produced by Susie and David Couch
Last week I cruised by Haskell's on a lunch walk and saw some diggers parked near the trail entrance. At some point earlier they'd been out on the beach, leaving large ruts in the sand where the tide had not yet covered it over.
Coming back, I saw these. Remember the little portions of old pier scaffolding that were buried in the sand with just the tips sticking out? I think these are them. Some are way long!
The diggers aren't *that* big, how the hell did they pull those long logs up? I swear, Aquaman must be somewhere nearby and he summoned magical sand crabs to dig up the logs for him.
Tags: haskells beach, ellwood, winchester, beaches, pier, de-construction
Yeah, seriously. Is this news? No. But I found the rock at Haskell's beach today and it's sparkly and I can see a face in the rock. It's like o_o but with the mouth to the side, like he heard a joke that's not funny. Not all offended like, just not funny.
This is also an excuse to post my favorite Kid Koala song, "Tricks 'n' Treats."
Congratulations. You're over the hump.
Tags: rocks, boring, Haskell's beach, Wednesday, ellwood
I liked that they played as equals on the stage. Perhaps it won't be like this a few years from now, but for the time it's good and they have this aura of unspoilt enthusiasm. My friend compared their style to a cross between Dave Matthews Band and Irish folk music. I can see that.
The Tallest Man on Earth opened, and spoiler alert: he's not the tallest man on earth.
I only grabbed a snippet of video that's not worth posting, but that's okay, because it looked like the whole pit area was its own light show from the swath of LCD screens, so check out youtube for 298349202 videos of the show later on.
Or! You can watch the official music video for "Winter Winds," one of my favorites.
Tags: santa barbara bowl, mumford and sons, music, concerts, tallest man on earth
What: any choice of ground meat, including their range of beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, bison. It seemed like 1/3 pound.
Cheese: included in price. Cheddar, swiss, provolone.
I got mine with bison cooked medium, grilled onions, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and the usual condiments. I had my ciabatta bun toasted. It comes on a bed of fries which get soggy pretty quickly, so eat those fast.
Two weeks in business, and I finally made it to one of their Goleta locations for lunch snacks.
The style is street food bahn mi and tacos, with Vietnamese flavors.
Chicken or beef bahn mi: $5
Chicken taco: $2
Beef taco: $2.50
Tomato-basil soup: $3.50
Cucumber salad: $2.
French-style pastry pizzas: $4
They're all single servings, and if you're hungry the bahn mi is the way to go.
I had a beef sandwich, one each of the tacos and a goat cheese and onion pizza, all of which I shared with one other. The sandwiches and tacos came with plenty of crunchies like cucumber and carrot and cilantro, and drizzled with a tangy spicy sauce. No Sriracha needed, although it is provided. Price: $13.50 for all.
We sat nearby and gobbled down all the food, it made a bit of a drippy mess with all the cucumber and sauce. The tacos get a little unwieldy. In the future I'll grab a fork.
And one other item that makes this food truck different to the others (bless them, all) in town? They take Visa and Mastercard!
On Friday, 25 March, I experienced two new things.
The first was a visit to the Music Academy of the West. This Santa Barbara native had never been there before. I've even played music from grade school through college! With mediocre talent, mind you, but *still*.
Anyway, I finally made it there and it's like a Lotusland campus. Very lush and green, rooms to get lost in. Ponds and sculpture. Most everyone there for the evening performance lingered near Hahn Hall but I took a walk through the grounds at dusk and the only other people I encountered turned out to be friends.
The Music Academy was host to a special evening, and my second new experience, the Panzumo Spring Concert, a fundraiser to benefit Rhythm, Song, and Dance Programs at local schools. The line-up went far beyond the performers of Panzumo, though, and included an eclectic array of musicians and dancers.
There are far too many artists to mention all by name, you'll just have to trust me that I was treated to a variety show beyond my expectations.
The evening started with a blessing from Venessa Kay and Emiliano Campobello, and an invocation with Campobello, Budhi Harlow (Panzumo) and celebrated violist, Ray Tischer who was once himself a student of the Music Academy.
Tischer then performed his Triptic, three songs dedicated to spring: Bach's "Birds and Butterflies," Henri Viextemps' "Play," and "Fare Thee Well / Good Bye Pork Pie Hat" by Charlie Mingus.
The stage then lit up with vibrant color and energetic movement when Lisa Beck and her crew of women performed a series of Bollywood fusion dance. Hahn Hall was ALIVE with the dance, perhaps the first time the hall had Bollywood dancers gracing the stage since its remodel.
After a break of Budhi Harlow and Paul Forrester's musical piece of Medicine Dog, the audience was treated once again to a stage full of lovely women, as part of an all-female African drumming group, the Djun Djun Mamas.
I was so proud to see my friends up there, completely energized by the beats and rhythm. As it turns out, a close friend and I had made a small tradition of meeting up for walk or tea on Sunday evenings, because she would be in my neighborhood after her "drum group practice." Now I finally made the connection that this was what she'd been working towards these past few months, and it was truly impressive.
The artists tonight wove together each group's individual pieces by collaborating on smaller transitional songs, and the dancers filled the aisles with enthusiastic bumping and swirling to the upbeat rhythms when Panzumo finally took the stage in the last half of the show.
Members of the Santa Barbara High School Jazz Band - recipients the night's fundraiser - joined with Panzumo, along with many other special guests, for the remainder of the concert. And afterwards, all guests and performers were invited outside to join in a generous feast of delicious food. Much more than cheese, crackers and a pile of tart strawberries. There was hearty soups, salads, massive bowls of rice pudding, African tea, sliced vegetables from the farmers market, cookies and cake. It you were hungry, you could consume the value of the ticket price and there was an abundance still to share with others.
It may have cost just $16 to attend the Panzumo Spring Concert, but the energy of the show, the surroundings, and seeing my friends on stage blossom as dancers and musicians was priceless.
Panzumo Spring Concert, with Ray Tischer Friday, 25 March, 7:30 PM Music Academy of the West, Hahn Hall 1070 Fairway Road (near the Bird Refuge) www.panzumo.com
Tags: panzumo, music academy of the west, ray tischer, djun djun mamas, african drum, african dance, sbhs, music, Lisa Beck, Budhi Harlow, bollywood, viola
Henrik Ibsen, the father of modern theater, creator of plays frought with scandalous commentary on 19th century moral ideals, perhaps he's also the father of modern reality tv?
I caught the latest from the Ensemble Theatre Company, Ghosts, and was torn between feeling disgust of Pastor Manders (played by Gregory North) and his misogynistic narcissism, or the sleaziness of Jacob Engstrand (played by Michael Rothhaar), and recognizing that this is what can make for good acting. Whenever the pastor spoke I began to image a thought bubble above the other actors, saying "christ, what an asshole." I squirmed, and yet...the intermission and conclusion came faster than expected.
The play was intense, dramatic, and if you can set aside the dated sense of taboo, had plenty of the aforementioned uncomfortable scandal and misguided moral ideals.
The story takes place in the home of widow Helen Alving (played by Maureen Silliman) on the eve of dedicating a new orphanage that's been funded by the wealth of her deceased husband. Although the cause seems noble, Alving reveals that it is a coverup for husband's despicable behavior throughout their marraige, and that the orphanage exists to keep her son Osvald (Wyatt Fenner) from inheriting anything related to his father. Unfortunately, Osvald has inherited something more tragic from his father that Mrs. Alving could not protect him from - a venereal disease (oh dear! don't let the neighbors know). The ghosts emerge throughout the play as haunting reminders of futile sacrifices the characters make, the different levels of forbidden love from past to present, and emotions suppressed for the sake of public reputation, perceived morality and the greater good of god.
I found the character of Mrs. Alving to be the most powerful, as she has the greatest insight and intelligence to understand all the events taking place around her, but is frustratingly bound by male society and her "duty" to act properly within it. She has to make hard decisions against her dignity and nature as a person and a mother. The lights on the stage go down before we can see how she resolves her final challenge.
Reflecting on the play, I think about two things. First, it's a story, I know! But stories of family remind me of my own family, and how simple, undramatic and, frankly, boring we are. No philandering, no strife, no scandal, no disease, no divorce. And second, I'm pretty darn grateful for that.
Ghosts is directed by Jonathan Fox for the Ensemble Theatre Company, and runs at the Alhecama Theatre through 24 April. 914 Santa Barbara Street (behind Zaytoon and Playa Azul) Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Go with friends. It's better than losing a night in front of the tv watching Real Housewives and the Situation.
A one man ukelele show at Campbell Hall, sold out? How is this possible.
If it's any statement of the crowds I run in, it would take two hands to count the number of friends who actively play the ukekele. And they all love it. One has even produced cds of his work. Others are still thrilled to be able to strum two chords. There's a ukelele practice group at my work that meets at lunch times.
And I enjoy listening to them, at all their ranges of talent and enthusiasm. So the opportunity to hear Jake Shimabukuro play at Campbell Hall last Thursday on 31 March on was one I couldn't pass up. As it turned out, I sat directly behind one of these friends who promised me I was in for quite a treat. I was just grateful he agreed to slouch in his seat so I could get a better view.
Hawaiian born Shimabukuro had a humble but passionate presence on stage. One could feel small and overwhelmed as a solo artist up there, performing to a darkened room where nobody stands up to dance, but he put his energy into his music, moved comfortably about the stage and the audience responded enthusiastically at every conclusion. While he can probably strum out 300+ luau-swaying Hawaiian ukelele songs, his talent comes in transforming the little 4-stringer far beyond the traditional boundaries.
Every song had a story, with what inspired Shimabukuro and what his goals were. The song "143" referred back to the days before mobile phones, when the device of choice was a pager. Sending a page of 143 was code for "I love you." Following the theme of young love, his next song was "Boy Meets Girl." Both were sweet soft tunes.
"Bring Your Adz" was homage to the Hawaiian working class, patriotic and inspirational. Adz are traditional stone axe-like tools, used in canoe building or cutting.
Shimabukuro took a turn then for the pensive side when he spoke of the backstory to "Go For Broke," the catchphrase for Japanese-Americans interned during WWII who proved their loyalty to the US by serving in the military. He expressed deep gratitude for their sacrifice, and helping make a better life for people like him, a fifth generation Japanese American.
Shimabukuro then told the story of a friend's ailing grandmother who, under heavy medication, had visions of blue roses above her hospital bed, and at night the rose petals would fall down on her. This became "Blue Roses Falling," a song that is both sad and hopeful at the same time.
On a lighter note, "Five Dollars Unleaded" was a three-part piece about days out with his father, who'd continually let the gasoline tank in the car run near to empty during times when a gasoline tank could actually be filled with five dollars worth of gasoline. It starts out upbeat and fast, with anticipation of all that's possible to achieve on a full tank of gas, but then becomes frantic and fretful, as the tank drops low and nobody knows if they'll get to the station before the car goes dry...do they make it? Shimabukuro plinked at the ukelele, "glug glug glug" and the tank's full, everyone's happy and driving merrily along again.
The song that blew me away was "Sakura Sakura." Shimaburkura transformed his 4-string ukelele into a traditional 13-string Japanese Koto. It's about the annual cherry blossom season (happening around now, I might add) and when I closed my eyes, I stopped hearing the ukelele and thought about the cherry blossoms I once saw at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden a few years back. He dedicated this song to Japan, and made a gentle reminder to the audience that a donation box was out at the merch table, 100% of proceeds would go to Japan Relief.
The ukelele then made another transformation, to flamenco style, with "Let's Dance." If people could get up and dance, they would have. Instead, feverish clapping.
The concert wrapped up with two covers. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and the song everyone dares Shimabukura to play: "Bohemian Rapsody" by Queen. They were amazing! The audience stood for an encore and were treated to the one "traditional" ukelele song of the entire show, "Crazy G" that was, um, insane. Lightning fast hands to begin with, getting unbelieveably nimble as the audience cried for him to go faster! Faster!
Now I know why the show was sold out.
For your listening pleasure, some of his fine work is on youtube.
Drifts of vibrant color flutter in swaths along the Isla Vista bluffs. Sadly ignored by most passersby. Enjoy the spring flush while you can, for soon the winds will pick up and flag season will be over.
Seriously, it looks like a restoration project of native grasses. Which I wholly approve.
Tags: native plant restoration, do you have a flag?, isla vista