Michael Hurley is my hero. 71 years old and still drawing in swarms of young, freak-folk followers. Officially co-headlining the evening, Hurley deservedly played last (and Vetiver respectfully called him up to sing along on their last song). Hurley’s set began with “Waiting for the Aliens” but they didn’t come. He played “Tea Song” from First Songs (1965), and fulfilled a request for 1971’s “Sweedeedee.” “Portland Water,” it turns out, was written while hitchhiking north from Petaluma.
Amidst the catalog, Hurley included a new tune about the horror that is Monsanto. Snock is currently collecting songs for a whole anti-Monsanto album! Hallelujah!! If you have any Anti-Monsanto songs, send ’em to Snock! Something must be done to stop these sick Monsanto fuckers. As Hurley points out, we can’t even enjoy eating anymore. No more popcorn, oysters, spaghetti, tortillas, or perch from Lake Champlain–all described in “Slurf Song.” The set closed with “Cars, Jars and Guitars” and some of the best rhymes in music history.
Opening the evening, SF’s Magic Magic Roses magically replaced Michael Chapman who’s name magically disappeared from the bill a few magical days ago. Chapman curiosity faded quickly when the warm harmonies began swirling around the Great American’s mighty columns. These days, with garage rock oozing out of every crevice, it is refreshing to hear some self-described ‘dreamy, meditative folk.’ Arthur Lee would approve. Experience them October 11th at Brick and Mortar, and while you’re waiting, buy their 2012 record, Valley, recorded at Tiny Telephone. Or start at the beginning with 2010’s The Living Room, recorded on a 4-track in the…well, you can figure that out… Float among rolling waves and echo drenched canyons, hear the sirens cry. You deserve it.
Speaking of Arthur, Vetiver borrowed a complete guitar line from Love (“She Comes in Colors”?). The last time I encountered Michael Hurley and Vetiver together was 2005 when they played Bolinas for Brightblack Morning Light’s Quiet Quiet Window Lights. It brought back some very fond memories including my first and most chilling experience with Joanna Newsom. Vetiver delivered a particularly mellow set enhanced by a tasty pedal steel. Vetiver are headed down to Big Sur for this weekend’s Mollusk Jamboree with Beachwood Sparks, Sonny & the Sunsets, The Tyde and more! Be there.
The Jamboree and tonight’s show were put together by the amazingly good people at (((folkYEAH)))! In the next few months, they deliver three killer nights at The Chapel with Thee Oh Sees, OBNIII and Blind Shake (Oct. 10-12), followed by DEATH at the New Parish on Halloween, and then Wanda Jackson to Don Quixote’s on Nov. 8th. (((FUCKyeah)))!!!