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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.

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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

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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