Well, it's a good thing there's not much going on around the Monterey Peninsula this week. It's so quiet around here you can hear a quarter drop on the lawn. Yeah, right.
If you've just returned from the London Olympics or a weeklong backpacking trip and haven't read or watched the news, this is Monterey Car Week or Classic Car Week or whatever moniker you choose with either "Car" or "Auto" in it. And it's been going on since last weekend when the ginormous car trailers started arriving like an invading army.
It used to be that this weekend centered around one, glitzy, glamorous event, Sunday's Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach. But now it's a weeklong series of events, with historic races, auto rallies, auctions too numerous to mention, showcases of individual makes (Ferrari and other Italian autos seem especially popular), parties, receptions and even a Little Car Show (which was held Wednesday) that showcased tiny cars, the smaller the better, apparently.
Locals look on this event with a curious mixture of wonder, confusion and disdain. Sure, it brings a lot of folks (and their cars) to the area to frequent our bars, restaurants and merchants, giving the local economy a much-needed boost, but at what cost? Many of the events have a charitable angle, which makes it palatable to the average Joe and Jill.
But that doesn't stop us from complaining about the traffic, long waits for tables at your favorite eatery, loud engines and no parking. A favorite is a comment a friend of mine posted on Facebook: "Thousands of car-loving people on the Peninsula and not one of them can drive!" Had to click "Like" on that one.
So, take away all the cars (as if) and tourists, and it's actually a fairly normal week, musically speaking, of course.
So if you want to party and dance after a long day of drooling over Lamborghinis and Ferraris, you've got your classic rock and R&B/funk bands playing the local clubs.
For example, Sly McFly's will be packed to the rafters on Friday night for the ever-popular The Money Band and Saturday night for the R&B of Anthony Young & the Brothers Young, while just down the Row, The Wharf Rats featuring Nancy Jones and Boomdaddy will be rockin' Bullwackers on those nights, respectively.
The Money boys actually get things started Thursday at noon at Carmel Plaza and later at Baja Cantina
(6-9 p.m.), while Victory Lane plays Mucky Duck Thursday night, Fuse Lounge (with special guests Troy O'Shann and Mike Holland) on Friday night and at The Barnyard's Ferrari Event on Saturday from 4-7 p.
For the party types, Red Beans & Rice plays the Carmel Plaza from 5-7 p.m. Friday night and the Roger Eddy Band plays Cibo on Friday and Saturday nights.
But if you're looking for something a little less-hectic, quieter, a little more introspective, let's say, there are plenty of options, including singer-songwrier Amy Obenski Friday night at Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley; bassist Steve Uccello Saturday from 4-7 p.m. at The Venue in Seaside; the New York bluegrass band Six Deadly Venoms Saturday night at The Alternative Cafe; or the duos of Walter Rose-Mikey Selbicky Thursday, Rose-Taylor Kropp Friday and Cowboy Starr-Keith Damron Saturday, all at 7 p.m. at Jack London's in Carmel.
And the Alternative Cafe lives up to its name with an eclectic week of shows, ranging from country-rock (Tumbleweed Wanderers Friday) and bluegrass to jazz (Dillon Baiocchi Band Tuesday) and pop-rock (Yusif! on Monday). Details at thealternativecafe.com.
The Wanderers are an especially intriguing band. Hailing from Oakland, the band mixes country, rock, R&B, folk, with harmonies and multiple-instrumentation beyond the standard guitar-bass-drums.
And one I'd like to highlight is the Texas singer-songwriter Colin Gilmore, who is opening Saturday for Six Deadly Venoms at the Alt.
Gilmore is touring in support of his second album, "Goodnight Lane," which has garnered four-star reviews in music mags such as Mojo and Uncut and is featured on a Nick Lowe tribute album called "Lowe Country."
He also wrote "The Way We Are," a popular cut on "Hills and Valleys," the latest album by The Flatlanders — the crtitically acclaimed roots country trio of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. Yes, Colin's music roots run deep, his father is Jimmie Dale and he has been described as a "West Texas Nick Lowe" by Mojo.
Gilmore, like his father, has a unique high-timbre country voice (oddly enough, his dad has famously been critiqued for his unusual vocals), but he's got songwriting chops to spare and a knack for turning a phrase, much like Lowe. I hear his music (and vocals) as almost a cross between Lowe and another Texas stalwart, Rodney Crowell, one of coutry's best songwriters.
So, come for Venom, but get there early for Gilmore, you won't regret it. Show starts at 8:30, cover is $10 for this all-ages show.GO!