henry miller library benefit poster

Seeing a show at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur is a special experience. Seriously. You’re surrounded by towering redwoods, and the smell of pine and ocean is everywhere. Music just sounds better out there — notes seem to vibrate a second longer in the crisp, clean air, and carry higher borne on up the grand tree trunks.

The Library was founded as a nonprofit bookstore and arts center in memoriam of Henry Miller, a prolific writer and artist with major influences on the Lost and Beat Generation writers. Miller hailed from Brooklyn, spent time in Paris, and fell in love with Big Sur, where he lived between 1944 and 1962.

Britt Govea of (((folk yeah))), the group who brings stellar indie acts to the Library, as well as other venues around the Bay Area, emphasizes the incomparable experience of seeing live music in Big Sur, and the impact it has on concert-goers.

“Nothing compares to the vibe and experience of seeing one of your favorite artist perform an intimate concert to 300 people in the ancient towering redwoods of Big Sur,” he said. “We set the scene and bring in the amazing artists, but it would be nothing without the music lovers who travel far and wide to attend and bring their joyous vibes to these unique events.”

In addition to hosting the annual Woodsist Festival (this year’s is sold out, so keep an eye on Craigslist, Real Estate fans), recent performances have included Bon Iver, MGMT, and Bill Callahan.

But the Library is having some financial difficulties, and could use your support. Of course, seeing as amazing live performances are their jam, you can have yourself a great night while helping out one of the more special venues in Northern California. On Monday, June 25, Philip Glass and Joanna Newsom will headline benefit concert at the Warfield; the two will perform individually and together. The modern-yet-classical style of both artists is sure to make for an evening of beautiful, captivating music — I mean, a badass harpist plus an incendiary composer? Yes, please.

There are a number of shows coming up in Big Sur as well: The Flaming Lips just announced a September 11 show at the Library (tickets go on sale at noon on 6/14), while Jenny Lewis is playing on June 15, and Lucinda Williams is performing on June 29. More shows will be announced soon, and there will be a second, smaller benefit concert at the Library in the fall.

You can donate directly to the Henry Miller Memorial Library here, and check out their full roster of summer events here.

Philip Glass and Joanna Newsom, with Tim Fain
The Warfield
June 25, 2012
8 pm, $62.50-$140

Jenny Lewis (plus special guest), Nik Freitas
Henry Miller Memorial Library
June 15, 2012
7:30 pm, $35

Lucinda Williams, Lucy Wainwright
Henry Miller Memorial Library
June 29, 2012
7 pm, $80