We spent one more night in Morro Bay and then made our way up to Oakland. The show in Santa Cruz never quite panned out so we took our time driving straight to the Bay Area. Well, we did have one stop in San Jose not far off the 101, so Tom could introduce me to a yummy little place called Falafel’s Drive Inn. So good. Fast service, fascinating mural, grab a fork for the juicy falafel pita sandwich.
We had two shows in Oakland. The first was at an art collective called Rock Paper Scissors. I was excited to be playing at this beautiful and fun gallery that sits on the corner of Telegraph Ave and 23rd St. The heart of the Art Murmur, Oakland’s First Friday art walk. We were playing the Wednesday before the first Friday this month so as we arrived an exhibit of ornate and curious puppets was being installed among other beautiful pieces. Seemed fitting. It was our treat that evening to hear Tom’s new band Iron Henry. A heavy on wild vocal harmonies, light on the strummed, stringed instruments and soft percussion folk trio with lyrics descriptive of simple joys and observations. Then we heard a set of Oakland musician Andy Tisdall’s also rather new project Blow Dry. Lot’s of cords leading to lots of synthesizers and boxes of sounds. Keyboards, guitars and words wandering in melody. I was happy to see so many friends and new listeners. Also, multi-media artist Colleen Johnson assisted with the overhead projector. I helped out with a shadow puppet show dream of Colleen’s a few years ago and had very much enjoyed further exploring the craft and learning from her experience.
We had a second show at one of my top favorite book stores in the world. The Book Zoo. Once located in my old neighborhood near the Ashby BART in Berkeley, they moved to this new location just off of heavy foot traffic Piedmont Ave a few years ago. My old band, Paper Crocodiles played in the previous location lots of times. The owner, Eric, joked that we were the house band. I liked the idea of being a house band for a book store. This was the first time that I’d played in the new location. What a fun night with Tom’s roommates performing poetry and songs about a specific dog. Also, Jen Marie and Isobel helping with the projector, along with the children of the Book Zoo.
In between these shows I got to spend some time in the redwoods up near the Chabot Space & Science Center. We played some songs and used giant branches to pole vault around on the soft dirt ground. Also, we found a hut woven from branches around a family circle ring of the giant trees. Sid gave Rosina and I a ride back in her original mini coup. How does she drive stick with her left hand!?
I also had an adventure of almost tubing on the Russian River up near Sebastopol. Almost, because though it had been in the 90’s the two previous days, when we got up there it was cold and drizzly. Sitting on the banks and having a lovely picnic of laughing and rock throwing games worked too.
All the trees and river got me excited and looking forward to my visit to Goldmyer Hot Springs that was coming up soon…