Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
May 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

It’s (Not) Always Sunny

music BadWeatherColorado band, Bad Weather California, embraces chaos, crafts accidental rock masterpieces

"I died once," Chris Adolf says matter of factly. It was the winter of 1999 as best he can recall. While winding down Highway 65 from Mesa, Colo. on the way to Grand Junction, the driver of the Jeep Cherokee he was in overcorrected and sent the vehicle rolling. He flew out of the sunroof and landed 30 feet from the vehicle, airways clogged with mud and snow, his face mangled, struggling to escape the clutch of death that ultimately came, if only fleetingly.

Adolf, lead singer and songwriter for the Denver-based band Bad Weather California, can hardly recall what happened next. Apparently, a team of ski patrol medics and vacationing doctors came upon the accident and kept him alive until the helicopter lifted him from the cold, icy road.

When he does remember the crash, he recalls it in brief flashes. Adolf surveys the entire scene from an elevated vantage point—floating high above the Jeep, the doctors, and his mangled body. He also remembers the words "he's gone" being uttered by one of his caretakers.

"I believe in the spiritual side of the world," Adolf says. "I know that there is a magic in the world. But that's not what our band is about. We're just normal dudes who go skateboarding and stuff."

This is the essence of Bad Weather California—a band that positively hums with American mysticism—with the kind of energy that drove Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey to pack up everything they could fit in a weathered suitcase and just go. It is a devout existentialism, thought up by a post-modern Preacher Casey in a half-drunk fever dream.

"Hush, baby! Don't you cry. You know we're all bound to die," Adolf half croons, half shouts on “I’ll Reach Out My Hand,” the first track off the group’s first LP on their new label, Family Tree Records.

So begins Sunkissed—a joyous ode to doom and destiny. It is a record that proclaims with every vibrating, reverb-drenched, jangly, surf-guitar riff, that if you ain't busy living, you're just busy dying.

"He don't know nothing about riding a skateboard/ but he stepped on anyways/ when urethane gets under your feet/ you can't help but hit the street," Adolf wails on "Skate or Try." The 44-second song ends with a nasty spill and a bag of ice, but the hero of the tale isn't fazed: "He said, 'My ankle is broken and foot is fucked, but life is nice.'"

It's a boogying, foot-stomping track, that owes as much to ’60s garage psychedelia as it does to skateboarding and punk rock. They are three of the band's biggest influences, Adolf says.

"Skateboarding is really where I discovered punk music," he says, remembering sending away for records he would read about in Thrasher Magazine. Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. were two of his early favorites.

The singer grew up in Colorado, just over the boarder from Utah, in a small desert town. His family owned a farm and grew "greenhouse plants—flowers, trees, and stuff like that." The rural setting wasn't the friendliest place for a skateboarding, punk rock kid like Adolf.

"You could get your ass kicked for being a skater," he remembers. But he and his skateboarding friends didn't care. They created their own scene and discovered their own music by trading mixtapes.

That DIY aesthetic is easy to hear all over Sunkissed, which incorporates a variety of disparate genres and strange found sounds, without regard for convention. The record seems to fall together almost by accident—a beautiful accident, that is.

Just like Dean Moriarty, the record makes order and sense out of the senselessness and chaos. 

Bad Weather California plays at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $7/adv, $10/door. For more information, call 479-1854. 
 Photo: Cory Gustason

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival