Days of Lore

No more buffalo haters…

No more buffalo haters…

Indiana Jones and the Crazy People Camped Outside Theaters Across America
I went and saw it—twice—throwing down my $15 share of the $126 million Memorial Day weekend receipts taken in by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Just doing what I can to make Lucas and Spielberg a little richer.

My first time was last Wednesday night at 12:01 a.m. The line outside of Tinseltown stretched down the sidewalk and around the corner of the building. There were about a dozen people in various stages of costume … no, I wasn’t one of them. One of the box office attendants said people had been camped outside since 10 that morning … no, I wasn’t one of them.

The second time was in Sacramento. Not as long a line, but a decent group had descended on the theater, including a father-and-son duo with matching fedoras. Not going to touch that.

I haven’t been to a movie, let alone a blockbuster, during its opening week in a decade. The entire scene sort of creeped me out. The sheep being herded through the velvet rope maze … yes, I was one of them. It got worse when the audience laughed at unfunny previews (Haha! A robot named WALL-E! Ha ha hahaha ha! Oh, that WALL-E!) … absolutely NOT one of them.

But Indy IV was a whole lotta fun, and I can say proudly that in no way did it taint the franchise. Whew! We dodged a poisoned dart there. But Lucas has hinted that there may be more films on the way (the movie subtly sets up Shia LaBeouf as perhaps the new Jones on the block). It wouldn’t surprise me. Because the sheep will follow … and no, I will not be one of them. Maybe.

When does WALL-E open, anyway?

Strawberry fields forever
Just as things were warming up around here, I escaped to the mountains of Camp Mather in Yosemite for the Strawberry Music Festival. A push of the button and my cell phone was off, and I was off for a little camping, some live music and rain. Three days of it.

It may have dampened my tent and my shoes, but it didn’t dampen my spirits. Emmylou Harris performed with her new band, playing songs from her forthcoming record All I Intended to Be (Nonesuch, June 10). Harris’ voice hasn’t changed one bit, and a large crowd stuck around in the cold and rain to see her performance. Just as an aside, things didn’t work out for her and me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from him, but Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder was impressive (Louvin Brothers-influenced country bluegrass; stellar harmonies). After quickly getting over the disappointment that the South Austin Jug Band was, in fact, not a jug band (although from Austin), I did enjoy the six-piece’s blend of melancholy pop and bluegrass. The group’s latest record, Strange Invitation, will not send shivers down your spine, but it will keep you warm on a rainy night.

The music that fell outside the cozy bluegrass confines came Sunday night. Peter Rowan & the Free Mexican Air Force sounded like Radiohead had sex with a backwoods yodeling champion—seems gross, but it’s true.

The most unlikely performance was by Chuck Prophet, the former member of Green on Red, which jangled along with Dream Syndicate in the ’80s. Prophet is solo nowadays, and he brought a fun, sardonic sensibility to the proceedings. It wasn’t bluegrass, that’s for sure. Ironically, even though the rain had subsided, Prophet drew the smallest crowd. One of the reasons I liked him best.

Where the buffalo roam(ed)
Finally some decent public art, and it gets ripped down. This past Tuesday, artist Jesse Hazelip slapped up an image of a cockpit-headed buffalo on the tall board outside of the building on Third and Main streets where renovation is taking place. The next morning, the board was still there. The buffalo wasn’t.

Geez … buffalo have never been able to catch a break here in America. I’m sure whoever removed the pest had a good reason. If you missed it, you can see it here:

Plus, you’ll be able to see it in its rightful habitat along with the rest of Hazelip’s Time’ll Tell exhibit at The Space (right here at the CN&R) Sat., June 7, to kick off Art First Saturday.

Cruel to be kind