Only a few stout, brave music lovers know the secrets to good music in Davis. Back in the early 1980s, it was seemingly everywhere. But even then, the few who really knew, who were on the inside with the hipper-than-thou crew, knew to look to certain houses, for the best music was more often found at house shows than at the local bars. The arts editor of this paper remembers the Vassar House, and others remember a little house at 616 Anderson Road.
They say that history moves in cycles, and if this is so, then it’s no great wonder that the Anderson House, the very same house that in the early 1980s held shows by such legendary acts as the Avengers, Camper Van Beethoven and the Meat Puppets, once again is hosting live-music events. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Today, the Anderson House is known as the Pirate Ship, and its hosts call themselves the Pirates of the Pentagram. There’s even a Web site (at www.piratesofthepentagram.org) so intrepid music fans can find the house and upcoming shows. Of course, the shows don’t always come off quite as planned: a show with local band the Black Dahlias in September was shut down by the police, and the Pirate Ship was levied with a $300 fine. Nonetheless, the Pirates raise sail and pilot their vessel across the sea of angry neighbors and irritated police officials—all in the name of Davis rock. Ahoy!
What brave and swarthy young men! One of them, Rob “Dragon Dick” Roy (a poetry student at UC Davis when he’s not out piratin’), is famous for two things: lighting his genitals on fire and drinking his own urine. He performed the latter party trick late last weekend, long after performers the Dead Science and Park Avenue Music had left the building (one suspects urine drinking isn’t really Park Avenue’s scene). In this way, Roy enters his name into a long and weighty logbook of urine drinkers, among them Mahatma Gandhi. I’m sure Mrs. Gandhi and Mrs. Roy are equally proud of their sons’ tough stomachs.
In completely separate news (really, completely and totally separate, lest you get the wrong idea about our beloved jazz musicians), Cadence Jazz Records has released Genesis, the latest CD from two local (and international) jazz mainstays, neither of whom, as far as I know, drink the pirate brew: drummer Mat Marucci and pianist Markus Burger. Marucci’s been up to much as a jazz educator these days (as has Burger, a member of the music faculty at Sacramento City College), with a new book for drummers wanting to put some serious studying under their belts, Drumstick Finger Systems and Techniques, and an upcoming article in Downbeat magazine titled “Making the Jazz Ride Swing.” It’s enough to still tongue-wagging guitar players who continue to claim that “drummers aren’t real musicians.” Marucci scoffs heartily. More information can be found online at www.geocities.com/matmarucci.