Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Nov 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Comeback Kid

music_TheCobwebsFormer Sin in Space leader Cassidy Meijer kicks the dust off in The Cobwebs

At the start of the present decade, things were looking bright for local vocalist/guitarist Cassidy Meijer: His indie rock band Sin in Space was one of the most popular bands in town, and there was a sense among Santa Cruz audiences and music journalists that the group was going to make a big noise in the national college rock scene.

That never happened. Throughout his time in Sin in Space, Meijer was living with a heroin addiction stemming from an auto accident he was in at age 18, which left his left hand and pelvic bone broken. “Instead of dealing with the trauma, I got drugged … and liked to stay drugged,” he chuckles. Meijer’s habit led to the demise of Sin in Space in the mid-2000s, after which the vocalist and his girlfriend Sky ended up on the streets of Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, living in bushes and “doing whatever we could to make money to get drugs and stay well.”

“It’s like someone’s got the electrodes on you: ‘OK, do we begin the torture, or do you do what you have to do and come up with the money?’” Meijer explains. “I believe that opiate withdrawals are absolutely a form of torture, and I believe that torture is something that just about no one can withstand for too long.”

In March of ’07, while Meijer was serving four months of jail time for torture avoidance, Sky died of an overdose. Though this painful event made Meijer want to kick the habit, the lure of heroin proved too strong to resist. “I did a lot of dangerous combinations that would have killed most people, or most elephants or something,” he states. After using for almost another year, he finally overcame his addiction with the help of methadone.

Destructive as Meijer’s drug dependence has been, the musician has gotten one good thing from it: a collaboration with vocalist/guitarist David Sada, whom Meijer met at the methadone clinic. Out of this partnership has emerged Meijer’s latest band, The Cobwebs. If the name evokes images of a musty, spiderweb-filled garage inhabited by dark characters playing a hybrid of unpolished indie rock, ’60s pop and macabre folk a la Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads, it’s not without reason: That’s pretty much what the band’s all about.

Unlike Sin in Space, which was indisputably Meijer’s baby, The Cobwebs are half Meijer’s group and half Sada’s. The two musicians take turns singing lead and playing lead guitar, and the songwriting is very much a collaborative effort. Meijer says that in the early days of the group’s formation, he and Sada would stay up until 4 a.m. composing songs. After playing together for about eight months, they realized they’d come up with so many songs that they’d forgotten many of the ones they’d already written. “We had to stop ourselves from writing so that we could rehearse the songs that we already wrote,” Meijer laughs.

The Cobwebs recently added a rhythm section, starting with drummer Taz Palumbo, who put up an ad for a band immediately after moving to Santa Cruz from Upstate New York. “He was one of The Cobwebs before we even met each other,” Meijer states.

Rounding out the quartet is bassist Gideon Naude on bass, formerly of A Burning Water and Songs for Snakes. Given Naude’s professional experience, Meijer was slightly intimidated to approach the bassist about joining the band, but these reservations were erased when, after playing with the group for the first time, Naude enthused that he’d never in his life been so excited about being in a band. Meijer explains that on the night Naude first played with The Cobwebs, Meijer’s landlord had gotten into a car accident with another driver. The landlord’s car was turned sideways, and the other car had knocked a telephone pole over, causing a power outage on the street where Meijer lives. Rather than canceling the rehearsal, the group lit candles and played acoustically in the garage in which Meijer lives, making for an intimate, informal feel.

There was a sense of magic to the entire gathering. “The rest of the band showed up before I did, and walking right up on them, it looked like a band photo right away,” Meijer recalls. "I definitely don’t believe in destiny, because of what happened to Sky, mainly. I don’t believe in karma—I think bad things happen to good people, and the cards just fall wherever they do. But I’m just really lucky to have found these people.”


The Cobwebs play with Finn Riggins and El Olio Wolof at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $8. For more information, call 429-6994.
Comments (3)Add Comment
...
written by Jessi, February 23, 2012
Cassidy Meijer was the best big brother anyone could ever have.
...
written by C'ton, February 18, 2012
Cassidy was a sweet, talented and creative man with so much potential. He will be remembered and missed.
...
written by Toby, February 14, 2012
R.I.P. Cassidy Meijer

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Pop Life

The pop-up dining trend is freeing culinary imaginations and creating a guerilla version of event dining around Santa Cruz

 

Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pie Fidelity

A little Thanksgiving help, plus sip and shop locally at the Art, Wine and Gift Bazaar

 

What should be on everyone’s bucket list?

Hang gliding, because you're free as a bird. Jenni, Santa Cruz, Student/Administrative Assistant

 

Soquel Vineyards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s time to be thinking about the wine you’re going to serve with that special dinner, be it turkey, ham, a roast, or something vegetarian or vegan.

 

The Kitchen

Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery