Thursday, July 4, 2002
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS It''s a bad day to be a chicken, but a good day to be a human-every city, town, village and wide spot in the road has cooked up a Fourth of July celebration, and many of them involve barbecues. At 10am the city of Monterey kicks off a day-long downtown parade, barbecue and entertainment extravaganza starring The Original Comets (as in Bill Haley and), who play on the steps of City Hall at 12:20. Living History Day follows at historic sites downtown. Fireworks start on Del Monte Beach at 9:15. Pacific Grove whoops it up from 11am-2pm at Caledonia Park with a patriotic program honoring vets, a barbecue and surf music. Carmel presents a concert by Sound Bytes and food and games at Devendorf Park starting at 1pm. A. R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas busts out with a day-long (not free) party featuring the 5th Dimension ("Age of Aquarius"), a barbecue and evening fireworks accompanied by Monterey and Santa Cruz symphony orchestras. In Salinas, Tower of Power, City Limits and the city''s police and firefighters star in a shindig at the Sports Complex that starts at 5pm. Soledad gets down to business early with a 7:45am Flag Raising Ceremony at the Little League Park and an 8am Finest vs. Bravest softball game. Pablo Reyes plays the oldies all day until 5pm, when the DJ starts spinning Latin music. Spreckels sponsors a 10K run, a parade, live music and a crafts fair. And King City weighs in with Valley Heritage Days: a race, parade, games and food in San Lorenzo Park, and fireworks at dusk>.
ALIGATOR He''s a man, he''s an animal, he''s a soulful entertainer. Monterey''s own Aligator dragged himself into the beach town a long time ago, but he still sings the blues like he means it, and plays the guitar with real authority, mixing a little bit of Bayou spirit, Cajun riddems and even some Zydeco into his bluesy performance. At some point, on some evenings, he will walk his guitar into the audience, trailing his chord like a tail. It''s engaging, but almost scary.
9pm. Bullwhacker''s Patio Pub, 653 Cannery Row, Monterey. Free. 373-1353.
Old Songs for Little Americans
NANCY RAVEN Morgan''s Coffee and Tea is the place to bring the little ones this morning for an hour of songs and games led by Nancy Raven. Early Americana is the theme, as the kids will learn to sing along with old favorites like "Skip to my Lou" and "I''ve Been Working on the Railroad." Nancy''s bringing in her collection of hand-made early Appalachian dancing dolls, who will show the kids how to step lightly to the music. They''ll also learn a Spanish song about making chocolate, "to honor the first inhabitants of this area," Nancy says. Amy Krupski will bring along her harp, and there will be musical instruments from around the world for the children to play. This is so much better than plopping them in front of the TV set for yet another Saturday morning of cartoons.
10am. Morgan''s Coffee and Tea, 498 Washington, Monterey. $3 adults, $2 children, babies are free, no family pays more than $10. 649-6080.
JACKIE RYAN QUARTET On her latest release, Passion Flower, the gorgeous chanteuse Jackie Ryan sings a medley of Billy Strayhorn beauties, which she dubs "A Bouquet for Billy"-including the album''s title track and the gem "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing." Aside from the sheer sensual pleasure, the number provokes nostalgia, and not just because these are old songs. Ryan''s delivery, her phrasing, even the timbre of her contralto is a little old-fashioned. And altogether beautiful. In tonight''s show, she presents a tribute to the great Sarah Vaughn, so the audience is likely to hear memorable versions of "Misty," "Broken Hearted Melody," and "What is This Thing Called Love." Ryan will also probably sing her Strayhorn tribute, as well as a few jazz classics that she has given lyrics (she was, for a while, associated with the great vocalese-ist Jon Hendricks) and a handful of Brazilian songs, all infused with a form of beauty that was once in vogue and is still powerful.
7:30pm. Jazz and Blues Company, 236 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel. $35; Students under 18, half price. BYOB. 624-6432.
Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow
FUNKSHUN JUNCTION Why are there no all-funk radio stations, as there is all-jazz radio and talk radio? I mean, K-Ocean is cool and plays a bunch of the good stuff, but how about a solid set of Bootsy Collins followed by James Brown followed by Rick James followed by Dazz Band followed by Sly Stone? The reason must be that people would be crashing their cars all over the place, dancing in their seats, and refusing to go to work in the morning after dancing around the breakfast table. Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow is an eight-piece funk band from San Jose, made up of old-school veterans and spicy newcomers-three singers up front, a keyboardist on either side of the stage, a moneymaker guitar in the middle and a big bass and drums on the bottom, all intent on one thing: booty-shakin''. This is funk where it belongs: live, in a nightclub, where we can all dance like wild, yet safely.
9pm. Sly McFly''s, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey. 649-8050.
He Plays, and the Parrot Sings
FLAMENCO OLE! Terrence Farrell has been playing classical, Spanish and flamenco guitar on the professional circuit for 25 years, and he draws crowds wherever he performs. In Brazil they wrote that "his music transports the soul," while in Munich they insisted "the audience was enraptured." Transport and rapture...OK. He''s also put out an admirable collection of recordings, from Bossa Nova to traditional Spanish tunes to Old World Masters to jazz boogie. Not everyone would attempt that range. Farrell (with parrot, we can only hope) strums his stuff Sunday afternoon at the Outdoor Forest Theater as part of the City of Carmel''s musical offerings to the public, a series that continues through July. As always, patrons are invited to bring a picnic. And the parrot doesn''t really sing-in public.
2pm. Outdoor Forest Theater, Santa Rita and Mountain View, Carmel. Free. 620-2000.
Ready, Willing and Abel-Steinberg
PIANO AND VIOLIN RECITAL ''Tis the season for classical music fans to fill their social calendars. As the Bach Festival gears up for an intriguing season, the California Summer Music program at Robert Louis Stevenson School gathers 70 young musicians for three weeks of master classes and-here''s the good part-free concerts. Tonight''s recital by the Abel-Steinberg Duo brings to the stage two musicians with gifts for interpreting modern classical music. In Elapsed Time by Paul Dresher, Sonate (1911) by Darius Milhaud and Grand Duo by Lou Harrison, pianist Julie Steinberg gives rein to the musical sensibility that has guided her to perform works by John Cage and John Zorn, among others, at 20th-century music festivals around the world. She and accomplished violinist David Abel have premiered works at the Library of Congress and frequently perform together.
7:30pm. Keck Auditorium, Stevenson Upper School, 3152 Forest Lake Rd, Pebble Beach. Free. (415) 753-8920.
Hey, Is That a Chicken on Your Mic?
RUBBER CHICKEN POETRY SLAM This is hands-down the most fun event on the Monterey Peninsula, at least for the price, and it happens every other Wednesday (more or less), brought to us by the wildly talented slam duo of Garland Thompson and Kathryn Petruccelli. Last month''s slam was three hours of side-splitting, throat-choking, laugh-out-loud, finger-snapping spoken word put on not by professionals, but by the people with whom we live, work and go to school. A 17-year-old kid from Seaside High brought down the house-and took home the rubber chicken-with his elegy to a fresh-baked pie, which he topped in the final round with an erotic paean to the chicken trussed to his mic. New Age types from Big Sur, soldiers who trot down the hill from DLI, English teachers and Alvarado street kids are all regulars at what is fast becoming a bi-weekly scene. It starts at 8pm, kind of, and the tables fill up long before then, but there''s plenty of standing room. Have patience during the Open Mic period that kicks off the evening-it goes on way too long-but once the slam starts, all is forgiven.
8pm. Morgan''s Coffee and Tea, 498 Washington, Monterey. $5 general, $2 for slammers. For info, www.rubberchickenpoetry.com.