Five things worth knowing this week
1 – Peter Mulvey is even cooler than I thought!
I’ve been going-on these past few weeks about Peter Mulvey, a songwriter, road-dog, raconteur and almost-poet who will be playing at VCA on June 2 starting at 7:00 PM.
You just have to come hear this man play.
This week I tracked Peter down at his home to conversate with him about his background, roots, inspirations, and views on poetry, philosophy, and songwriting. The following video is about 14 minutes long, during which we manage to touch on . . .
- Naomi Shihab Nye
- Lisa Olstein
- Chris Dombrowski
- Sam Harris
- The Beetles
- Bob Dylan
- James Joyce
- Martin Luther King
- The Buddha
- Tom Waites
- Hoagy Carmichael
- Peter Singer
- Emily Dickenson
. . . and a whole lot more.
I’ve said this before, Peter is an elegant, thoughtful man, who has insightful things to say about songwriting, the morphic field, the universality of art, and so much more. I don’t know what else to say other than this interview is well worth a listen.
And right after you finish listening, head on over to our website and buy a whole pile of tickets.
2 – What the Hook (and Pan)?
The final chapter in our 2019 spring dance season is fast approaching. Filling out the Spring Trifecta (Original Works + Cinco de Mayo) is Divertissements and Hook & Pan, a double bill of non-stop dancing.
Divertissements is our advanced dancer showcase. On stage is a smorgasbord of the most famous short, traditional and reinvented variations from beloved productions like Swan Lake, Paquita, and Don Quixote.
Hook & Pan is 2019’s all-school production. Enjoy a performance of ballet, hip hop, tap, jazz, modern, and even disco in our own reinvention of a story about pirates, lost boys, fairies, and a boy that never wants to grow up.
This past week, dance parent / super volunteer / all-around clever guy Jonathan Kuzma (with help from Trish Thompson) moved his tools and considerable talent to our loading dock where he’s been building a set for the production. You’ll have to come to the show to see it in its full glory!
May 31 | 7pm
June 1 | 1pm & 7pm
June 2 | 1pm
$12 Student/Senior in advance, $14 Member in advance, $16 General,
$16 for all at the door
Buy (lots of) tickets here.
3 –Strings Students hitting all the high notes (really!).
One of the gems in the Vashon musical necklace is the Suzuki string program led by teacher / mentor / performer / impresario Gaye Detzer. I’ve been listening to them since the beginning of the school year as they practice in our atrium on Monday nights and they never cease putting a smile on my face.
This past weekend, Suzuki students visited the Vashon Farmer’s Market for a brief afternoon show—warm sunshine, a great crowd and, as teacher Gaye says, the Twinkles were “note-perfect.”
On June 4th, the stringsters break cover and take full flight with the presentation of Suzuki & I Solisti di Vashon performance. Tickets are the bargain price of just $5.
And, if you’ve got some aspiring musicians . . . get to the concert early!
As a double bonus, this year, VCA Strings will sponsor an “Instrument Petting Zoo” at 6:00 pm! Kids can try a cello, a violin, or a viola—with a little help from an “instrument keeper” —then head into the concert and enjoy the stirring music these instruments make on the stage.
Buy lots of tickets online here.
4 – Frosty in the House
Yeah, Frosty and the fellas are in the house.
Frosty is Forest Bowden, a very hip young musician who attends our local high school. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably never heard of him. But he and his band, Basement Tuesdays, are cool enough that they’re taking over our atrium to perform for an all-ages group (I’m sure he’s hoping anyone over 20 will stay away!).
Says Frosty, “We play indie punk music that is complemented with some slower jams. High energy, but not overbearing.”
Left to Right: Dimitrius Brown (senior), Frosty Bowden (kneeling) (senior), Chick Green (junior).
Our Gallery Manager, Lynann Politte, has played the role of promotor, and she caught up to him via email. Here’s the 4-1-1:
Lynann: How did your come up with your name?
Frosty: We got our name from the location and the day on which we practice. Every Tuesday we go to Chick’s basement.
Lynann: How long have you been playing together?
Frosty: We’ve been playing together since about October.
Lynann: Do you play originals and/or covers?
Frosty: We do originals, but we know a couple covers.
Lynann: What music /musicians inspire you?
Frosty: The music that really inspires us is our other bands. Each member of Basement Tuesdays is or was a part of other bands. We all come together to blend styles. Each of our inspirations and influences are very different.
Lynann: What are the three styles of each of the band members – that you referenced in one of your answers? Who writes the original songs?
Frosty: We all write the songs. You can kind of tell which songs are written by which band member. Dimitrius has more of an indie soft rock style. Chick is into music theory a lot. He also has a wide variety of music that he likes, so his style is like a progressive rock. My style is more punk rock. Simple music with aggressive vocals.
Lynann: How long have each of you lived on the island?
Frosty: All three of us have lived here for the majority of our lives. We went through pretty much the whole school system.
Lynann: What brought you three together as a band?
Frosty: This band started because all three of us think that there is a severe lack of youth music on the island. Chick came to us with the idea of making a band. Our three style were so different, we didn’t know how well it would blend. As it turns out, it blends very well.
Atrium in the Kay L White hall
$5 (cash) at the door
5 – “TREE” is coming soon
“The reason trees share food and communicate is that they need each other. It takes a forest to create a microclimate suitable for tree growth and sustenance.
Tim Flannery, Introduction to The Hidden Life of Trees (2015)
We’ve been incubating this idea for a gallery show for the last 12 months, and we’re finally ready to break cover.
This story starts with the ministrations and encouragement of island artist Ann Nicklason who turned us on to a very hip Georgetown gallery called studio e, founded and directed by Dawna Holloway.
Dawna is one of those relentlessly creative people with a vision and ambition that kind of takes your breath away. Opportunity met June of 2019 met Dawna’s imagination and a show she’s calling “TREE” popped through the floor and has been growing ever since.
Starting June 7 at 6:00, you can see it for yourself.
The inspiration behind the show springs from the underlying biology of the forest.
Says Dawna . . .
Tree ecosystems mirror human communities in striking ways. Contemporary forestry research has revealed that, beneath the forest floor, trees are constantly engaged in resource exchanges and other interactions that likewise unite them as an ecosystem of individuals.
Trees thrive in community. Via a network of roots, fungal web, and interaction with insects, they communicate information, share resources, and attract help.
“TREE” celebrates the northwest spirit of arboreal community by assembling works from a diverse and eclectic range of artists united by a common theme. The contrasting and varied approaches to the subject offered by 20 artists range from new abstract expressionism, to color-field painting, to conceptual, to video work and design, with each of these works contributing to and coalescing in the ecosystem and exhibit of Tree.”
Regular readers surely know my conviction that the two greatest challenges we face today are our collective alienation from each other and from our natural environment. This show is an example of the kind of work we want to present . . . work that helps us discover and rediscover our connection to each other and our world.
This will be a fabulous opportunity to see the work of a suberb group of Pacific Northwest artists, including: James Arzente, Brian Beck, Cat Clifford, Brian Cypher, Michael Doyle, Warren Dykeman, Marilyn Frasca, Damien Hoar de Galvan, David E. Kearns, Paul Komada, Molly Magai, Kate Murphy, Sarah Norsworthy, Tuan Nguyen, Sue Rose, Brian Sanchez, Gabriel Stromberg, Emily Tanner-Mclean, Gillian Theobald, and Cappy Thompson.
“TREE” opens Friday, June 7th at 6:00 pm.
Special guided gallery tour by Jim Demetre is Saturday June 22nd (Garden Tour weekend), with two tours, 12:00 noon and 1:0 pm at the Koch Gallery.
Opening reception Friday, June 7th 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Gallery art walk with tour guide Jim Demetre, Saturday, June 22nd (12 & 1pm)
6 – Finally, and this is a sixth thing
If you listened (all the way to the end) to my interview with Peter Mulvey, you know he plays a few bars of the Lennon / McCartney classic “I Will.”
He and I had been talking about the universality of at least some types of music. We had already hit on the classic “All you need is love . . .” We had also earlier talked about how he learned to play guitar . . .
“I mostly learned the chords to Beatle’s tunes while the teacher played the melodies . . .”
So, with those Beatle seeds set, it wasn’t a leap for him to pick out that song. Got me thinking, it did.
A closely held secret is that I once had a guitar, and like Peter, practiced early on by learning the chords to songs like “I Will,” “Listen (do you want to know a secret),” “Norwegian Wood,” and “She Loves You” just to name a few.
Inspired by Peter and the memory of my very short career as a guitar hero, I went spelunking on YouTube for evidence that people other than me, Peter, and Sir Paul himself had played the song. Turns out others have . . .
Here’s the album version, remastered.
Here’s a really nice version by Allison Krause and fiddler Mark O’Connor
This version has gotten a ton of plays. Sweet. Almost too.
This one by Ben Taylor, yeah that Ben Taylor, is probably my favorite behind the original.
Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.