Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Shaking Slugs and Hips

blog_noise_SlugsNRosesSlugs & RosesTwo recent concerts brought the Dead to life
Separated by the harbinger of cold rain, but united by Jerry Garcia—a duo of weekend concerts evoked the spirit of musical community.

The Kuumbwa Jazz Center let its hair down on Friday, Oct. 22 when Deadheads gathered to raise funds for the UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead archive. With chairs pushed to the side, the dance floor filled quickly with community members dancing to Santa Cruz Dead clone band Slugs and Roses—while outside, Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether slung GD merchandise like a tour rat selling grilled cheese sandwiches in a parking lot. Nitrous tanks were absent, but dreadlocks, tie-dyes and patchouli were in abundance.

Members of the seminal Santa Cruz Banana Slug Band held down the Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh positions, with Airy Larry shredding the lead guitar and Doug Dirt dropping the bombs on bass. Keyboardist Dave Faulkner (whose other band Shady Groove will be opening for Dead drummer Bill Krutzmann’s 7 Walkers at Moe’s Alley on Oct. 29) brought the vibrant color while lead singer Michael Sammet poured his soul into the vocals. Virtually speaking, it was a holographic heyday.

blog_noise_MotherHipsMother Hips Tim BlumThe next night, Saturday, Oct. 23, the crowd across town at Moe’s Alley was thick with harvest haze by the time the Mother Hips took the stage. After 20 years of road work, the Hips are a frizzle frazzle of dizzle and dazzle performing like a quartet of grizzly bears awakened from hibernation and ready to feast. Tim Bluhm, recently coming off tour with Grateful Dead drummers Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart in the Rhythm Devils, sported a Garcia button on his guitar strap—so it was a pleasant surprise when the Hips’ set was peppered with Dead classics “Easy Wind” and “Friend of the Devil.”

Few bands have the ability to produce sterling studio albums and play live dynamic shows. The Hips’ 2009 Pacific Dust is mesmerizing—their other dozen releases have enough brilliant tunes to soundtrack endless variations of movies.

The Hips were recently joined onstage by Bob Weir at a Rainforest Action benefit show and there seems to be a Dead current coursing through the band. Billed on the poster as “indie rock pioneers”—the band seems ready to embrace the jamband culture. On the other hand, one of things that has kept the Hips so iconic over the years is their stubborn unwillingness to allow themselves to be pigeonholed to a certain genre. For a band that could easily cowboy-up for a night at the Grand Ole Opry and turn around and demolish the punkish vibe at, say, Bottom of the Hill—there seems to be no hurry for the Hips to sign-up to any particular camp.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Doug Dirt Greenfield, October 19, 2010
Great article ..what a fun gathering of the tribes...Loved all the family dancin it out loud...thank-you
Doug Dirt

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 2

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


Extra Pop

Assembly’s pop-up space goes into regular rotation, Cabrillo wine dinner, and a visit to Mozaic


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired