18 Jul 19
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is in the stunningly beautiful Big Sur, set back from the elbow bend of a sharp curve on Highway 1, south of Nepenthe and the Hawthorne Gallery. Unless you’re a local or an in-the-know townie, it’s easy to miss it as you negotiate the curve, eyes glued to the road and heading for your next destination. But to miss the Library is to miss one of the area’s cultural hubs for all things literary, especially the work of Miller himself, as well as music, art, lectures, films, book signings and community events.
The Library is largely dormant during the winter months, although it is open for visitors and there are small intimate concerts and events inside the old wood homestead where Miller’s best friend Emil White lived. It’s the summer months when it blossoms into a buzzing hive of activity. The building that houses the library was built by White in the mid-1960s and it was named Henry Miller Memorial in 1981, a year after Miller died. With the help of the Big Sur Land Trust it was converted to a non-profit organization with the mission to “champion the literary, artistic and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, and Big Sur resident Henry Miller.”
It’s all that and more, with this next week serving as a huge example of what comes down the pike regularly. It’s worth braving the summer tourist traffic (Perhaps making your trip at an off-peak time to avoid the worst of it).
Often working in collaboration with the Folk Yeah! concert production team helmed by founder Britt Govea, library director Magnus Toren plays host to any number of major name artists booked to perform under the redwoods on the open lawn stage. This week there are two worthy artists to check out. Friday there’s keyboardist Benmont Tench, a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers who concurrently worked as a session musician on other artists’ recordings including Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Green Day and many more. High praise comes from producer/bassist/President of Blue Note Records Don Was, who played on Tench’s solo recording “You Should Be So Lucky” that came out in 2014.
“Here’s a guy who is a founding member of one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world. That would be enough for most folks, right? But Benmont might just be the most restless, searching musician I know,” Was said. “It’s like his life has been an immersion program in music. At their invitation, he’s been in the room with legends from every generation, playing his ass off, learning everything he can from every player he meets. And, believe me, it’s all stored in his mind, ready to come out his fingertips. He turns up everywhere . . . and when he does, things always get more musical.”
Doors open at the Library at 6:30 p.m. and there are tickets still available through Eventbrite; a link is at http://www.folkyeah.com. All tickets go for $58 which includes the facility fee.
The Mekons, who appear Tuesday, are a legendary British/American rock band that formed in 1976 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. What can one say about a group of artists that came together to not only make music but to make artistic statements that changed with every album, all 25 of them? With a history too convoluted to get into here, hopefully, if you aren’t already a fan you’ll be curious enough to dig a little deeper.
In the words of an equally legendary music journalist Lester Bangs, “The Mekons are the most revolutionary group in the history of rock ’n’ roll.” They are described by Mark Deming of allmusic.com as thoroughly uncompromising, creatively restless, at once witty and profoundly cynical, and seemingly incapable of repeating themselves, the Mekons are one of the few bands from the first wave of British punk who not only never turned their back on their guiding ideals, but clung to them with greater tenacity over time.cket
They sound a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun. They have a new album out this year titled “Deserted,” largely written and recorded during a sojourn in the California desert not far from Joshua Tree National Park. The music is described as “full of broad but sparsely populated sonic landscapes, interrupted by episodes of chaos and hallucinatory beauty, and shifting patterns of instrumental textures and individual and massed vocals.” If you think you are game to catch this show, I’m pretty sure it just might go down as one of the bigger spectacles on the scene today. Under the redwoods no less. Gates are at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $43 including facility fee. Go to http://www.folkyeah.com.
In addition to the music, there is another edition of Under The Persimmon Tree on Sunday, featuring a conversation between Magnus Toren and this week’s guest Supervisor Mary Adams. This series is an invitation to people who have a connection to Big Sur, who work there, who make an impact in the community and who have a history with the coast. Audio recordings are made of the interviews and published online creating an archive of good literary, historical audio to add to the Library’s existing archives. Upcoming guests currently scheduled on successive Sundays are Barbara Bullock-Wilson, Martha Diehl, Kirk Gafill, Senator Bill Monning, Lee Otter and Jaci Pappas.
Before she was Supervisor, Adams spent 30 years leading nonprofits that helped thousands of people. In 14 years as CEO of United Way Monterey County, she raised more than $50 million to help homeless children, provide meals for seniors, make healthcare more accessible, and much more. An estimated one in three local residents benefited from a United Way-funded agency or program that Adams led. She was recognized for this work with Woman of the Year Awards from the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women and CSU Monterey Bay School of Business. Prior to her position at United Way, she held leadership positions at the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Foundation.
After 12 years of hosting the International Short Film Festival, the Library is taking a break this year and instead offering Movies Under the Stars Thursdays, starting tonight and running through Sept. 12. The library’s screen is a large one set above the fence line, providing excellent viewing for those spread out on the lawn. Bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to sit on, wear warm clothing in layers and enjoy films in the fresh air with freshly popped popcorn available. All movies start at 8 p.m., and tonight features the Very Best of Scandinavian Feature Film.
And last but not least, this Wednesday you can enjoy “Burn, a Dialogue with a Demon Priest,” featuring a performance by Janice Blaze Rocke with Jess Juarez as the priest. Music performance by The Sonic Alchemists will follow a short intermission. For more information on this and all the summer’s events, visit www.henrymiller.org.
The Little Girl Sang – Photographs by Rachel Short, Opening Reception: Friday, 5-8 p.m., Gallery Exposed, San Carlos between Ocean and 7th, Carmel Square, Carmel. A new series by Short photographed over a four-year period. The series consists of images depicting the birth, life, death and exploring the circle of life. The little girl sang through her life, living free and joyfully. A celebration at being part of, and alive in, the universe. Inspired by Short’s favorite childhood book, “I Am Cherry Alive, The Little Girl Sang”, by Delmore Schwartz. All images are shot on the iPhone and platinum printed by Kim Weston.
A Funny Thing Happened – A Night of World Class Storytelling, Friday: Wine and food reception begin at 5:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m., Folktale Winery & Vineyards Barrel Room, 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel, $30, advanced at eventbrite.com. Folktale Storyteller Series presents a night of world-class storytellers. The show features six true short stories, told live without notes. Funny, poignant, intimate, and engaging. These storytellers include bestselling authors, Emmy-Award winning writers, TED speakers, stars of The Moth Radio hour, Snap Judgment, and accomplished comedic voices. Storyteller hopefuls, you’ll have the opportunity to join the all-star cast on stage to share your story. Volunteer names will be drawn from a hat and one lucky person will get to tell their funny story. Chef Todd Fisher and his culinary team will be there cooking delicious cuisine available for purchase. Wine, beer and soda will be available at one of our bars and during the show for table service. This event is strictly for people aged 21 and older.
Films in the Forest: “Secret Life of Pets”: Friday, 7-10 p.m., Outdoor Forest Theater, Santa Rita Street & Mountain View Avenue, Carmel, $10 at door, advance available at Brown Paper Tickets.
Presented by the Forest Theater Guild and sponsored by Pet Specialists of Monterey, The animated feature film “Secret Life of Pets” is about two mismatched mutts who get lost in NYC due to their feuding, and must find their way home. During their journey, they encounter a vicious bunny who plans to lead a group of abandoned pets on a mission of revenge against humanity. Films in the Forest is a series of first-run movies, classic feature films, and documentary film screenings on the outdoor stage of the Forest Theater in Carmel. Starting just after sunset on the Big Screen, the Guild often feature local and student filmmaker nights, offering the community a preview of the diverse talent in our region; an introduction to the up and coming directors, cinematographers and actors that will grace the stages and screens of the world.
Monterey Peninsula Pride Parade & Celebration 2019: Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Monterey Bay Custom House Plaza, Fishermans Wharf, Monterey. Come together for the Third Annual Monterey Peninsula Pride Parade and Celebration, this year in Monterey. The parade will gather on Polk Street, with the march leading the celebration at Custom House Plaza by the Wharf! This is a free, family-friendly event for the community, though donations are appreciated. For more information: https://bit.ly/2tcW0BN. Donate: https://bit.ly/2Iahdkw
The Mailboxes: Monday, 1 – 3 p.m., East Village Coffee Lounge, 498 Washington St., Monterey, $5-$10 donations suggested. The Mailboxes are currently on a national tour to promote their newest release “Inside Outside.” They are an art-pop band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Members Jillian and Logan Ivey are creative partners who also happen to be married to one another. Jillian plays piano, sings really loud, and writes catchy indie-pop melodies. Logan plays the drums, looks cool, and is trying not to break his arms again. They like touring across the country in their van and thru-hiking in the mountains. They just hiked for three months on the Appalachian Trail wearing custom lavender gear they created and playing ukulele and toy xylophone renditions of their new songs to fellow hikers and anyone they met on the trail. They play at small to mid-size venues, coffee shops, bars and even houses. They bring color and energy into every space they play and aim to make every show an artistic performance experience for the crowd.