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Category Archives: music
Billy Jam of Amoebe Records discusses his latest article Live Concerts from Prisons and Mental Institutions
BSI guest, Billy Jam, Amoeba Records journalist, shares stories about the 1980s punk scene. He recently wrote an article about live concerts in mental institutions. Here’s a link the article.
Cramps playing at the Napa State Mental Hospital.
If you didn’t get to the Cambria Ale House before 8PM you had better hoped you didn’t hike all day in Big Sur. Soon as the show started there was no place to rest a weary body. Standing room only on this special occasion.
This Ale House show was the first time opening band, Veronica and the Mental Foreplays, played with guitarist Brian Mueller. Veronica performed a short set consisting of older songs from the Run Run Pig Run Run album and several new songs like Bacteria Lovin. Brian’s guitar playing and Brandon’s vocal style reminded folks of a raw uninhibited Violent Femmes.
Headlining band, Given the Circumstances, bring to the stage “electric homeless melodies.” A sound developed in Prague that relies heavily on Suchi’s graceful vocal style and Eze’s guitar looping soundscapes. Given the Circumstances held the audience attention throughout the hour set. Their new fans didn’t give up their seats until Suchi put down the microphone.
Despite the nonexistence of casinos, big box stores, fast food, a red light district, theme park, or Saturday night cruz, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Cambria. If you are an artist, nature lover, musician, foodie, adventurer, animal lover, or outdoor person, you’ll love the Cambria walking and bicycle scene.
Cambria, is a socialist walking utopia. Cambrian’s believe everyone deserves universal walking benefits. Cambria adheres to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Walking Needs, i.e. plenty of public bathrooms, public drinking fountains, public space and public benches. If you believe these public items create a welfare state don’t worry there are plenty of shops, a gym, and hotels where a person can pay to poop, drink water, walk and pay to rest their weary body. Click here for the WELFARE WALKING THE STORY.
The author has explored all the following recommend attractions by foot or bicycle. His home base is the Bridge Street Inn located on Bridge Street in the East Village.
Many Cambria restaurants serve dishes made with local ingredients. Here’s a list of restaurants that pride themselves on serving up a local eating experience.
Creative meets local. International inspiration collides with the season’s bounty.
–Indigo Moon Cafe
Serving delicious house-made meals, extravagant wines, and eclectic cheeses.
–Black Cat Bistro
The Black Cat is known for serving Innovative Farm Fresh Fare.
Asian, Pacific Rim & Global Cuisine
Simple fare, built around fresh fruits and vegetables from area farms.
–The Sea Chest Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Serving fresh seafood for over thirty years.
–Cambria Pines Lodge
Enjoy home grown garden salads, live music, a lounge and food served till 11PM.
Click here to learn about the local black bean scene.
Harold Black Bean Vacations at The Bridge Street Inn
Cambria is located between 2 amazing music cities: San Francisco and Los Angles. It’s no surprise then that Cambria too has a music scene.
–Cambria Ale House frequently show cases singer song writers and has open mic every 3rd Sunday.
–Mozzi’s Saloon offers a live dancing band every Saturday night.
–Cambria Pine Lodge has live entertainment 7 nights a week.
-Los Cambritas’s dishes up huge burritos and has a dancing band on Sundays.
HIKING, BEACH and NATURE:
You would think with a population of 6,000 Cambria’s public space would consist of a dirt lot with a squat toilet and some hand sanitizer. Not so, Cambria has amazing hiking areas. Some trails are developed with benches, boardwalks, and handicap accessibility. Other trails are dirt paths that take you to places in Cambria where you are completely alone and isolated even during tourist season. A hiker need not worry about bladder infections or dehydration. Strategically placed through out Cambria are 5 public restrooms with water fountains.
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve: Catch the West Fiscalini Ranch Preserve trail system 3 blocks from the BSI.
Moonstone Beach: 30 acres, includes Leffingwell Landing, Moonstone Beach Drive, and Santa Rosa Creek.
Shamel Park: On Windsor Boulevard North, Park Hill, in Cambria is a 6-acre County Park with a playing field, swimming pool (open in season), barbeques, picnic tables and a children’s play area.
The Bridge Street Inn Cemetery is a mile walk along forested Bridge Street road. The living feel welcomed with amenities like guests restrooms, picnic tables, water, and plenty of art. Guests leave the cemetery feeling even more alive.
Greenspace Creekside Reserve: This property was once Cambria ’s historical “Chinese Center,” the social focus for workers who harvested seaweed and abalone for shipment back to China, or worked in local quicksilver (mercury) mines in the mountains.
San Simeon State Beach: In 1994, a 3.3 mile trail was constructed encircling portions of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible. Free summer trolley and bus service from Cambria.
Surfline Magazine has this to say about surfing in Cambria, “A reliable source for finding something ridable if the Cayucos Pier sucks, or if the San Simeon area is too funky.”
Santa Rosa Creek surf
For the bicycle rider who loves leisurely rides that involve world class scenery and local culture Cambria’s location will amaze.
Santa Rosa Creek Road for the Skilled
Santa Rosa Creek starts in Cambria and meanders through the farm and ranch land of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The one lane windy road ends near the top of the highway 46 pass. Old Creek Road picks up on the other side of 46. Follow the road into Cayucos then take Highway 1 back to Cambria. This 42.2 mile loop is not for the laid back beach cruiser cyclist. Click here for loop details.
SANTA ROSA CREEK ROAD FOR THE CAREFREE
The carefree Santa Rosa Creek adventure does not involve walking your bicycle or wearing padded shorts. The first 5 miles of Santa Rose Creek Road takes a cyclist through rolling farm/ranch land along a tree lined single lane road. Besides the beautiful natural landscape there’s plenty of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, horses, old farm houses, and barns to look at. Be careful a good looking pig can prove as distracting as texting.
Linn’s Original Farmstore is 5 miles up the road. Linn’s offers individual fruit pies and drinks. Linn’s will only serve their pies on disposable wear. This problem is easily solved by bringing a small camping plate and fork. The farmstore provides shade trees and tables. A perfect place to play cribbage.
On the way back into town stop by Stolo Family Winery and Tasting Room. This is the last stop before Cambria. It’s located only a couple miles out of town. Despite not having bike racks I felt comfortable leaning my bicycle against the building. A tasting costs $5. The tasting room has a wonderful open feel. There are several chairs and tables outside near the entrance door facing west. An ideal spot to soak up some sun rays, write a poem and watch the sunset. The Stolo family is a nontraditional family. No, two women are not the head of the family, two members of the Stolo family are goats. Chet and Betty are fun to pet while drinking wine.
The Hearst Experience
Many parts of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur are shoulderless, steep and narrow. A bicycle rider should not pedal through Big Sur if they pedal erratically, curse god when they break a sweat or do not have the mental capacity to handle near death scrapes with inexperienced RV renters. However the 7 mile stretch of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Hearst Castle is the section of PCH pavement for you.
The one small hill allows the inexperienced bicycle rider to enjoy the couch up till the day of their adventure. A bicycle rider with one hand on the handlebar and the other on their smart phone can update their Facebook and text while navigating the wide PCH shoulder. What a cyclist missed because of digital distractions, they can recapture with a scenic postcard, purchased at the Hearst Castle gift shop.
On a serious note no matter what type of bicycle rider you are Sebastian’s General Store will amaze you with their large Hearst beef sandwiches piled with delicious veggies. Also located in the general store is the Hearst Wine tasting room.
Digest your food and sleep off the wine at the W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach.
45.7 miles of Bicycle fun between Cambria and Pismo Beach
The wind blows North to South along the PCH. Cambria is the second to last stop for the RTA bus heading North. A bicycle rider can pedal the 45.7 miles from Cambria to Pismo Beach with the wind at their back. If a bicycle rider doesn’t want to pedal back to Cambria against the wind he or she can put their bicycle on the bus. RTA BUS SCHEDULE
The Weekend Boni’s Tacos Bicycle Picnic
People say, “LOCATION, LOCATION.” Linn’s is on the corner of Main St and Bridge Street. Their outdoor tables are the first to get direct sun in the morning.
–Lilly’s Coffee House
Modern coffee meets old style conversation at Lilly’s. Virginia can serve up all of the latest coffee drinks. However you can’t drink your fancy mocha with your internet friends. At Lilly’s there’s no internet and when Virginia asks, “how’s your day?” She means it.
–Cambria Coffee Roasting Company
Cambria Coffee serves up one of the best Americano’s on the central coast. They have a cozy upstairs with leather sofas and internet. A good environment to work on travel writing and upload photos.
The talented multi instrumental band Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us made the trip from Big Sur down the PCH to play at the Cambria Ale House on January 26th.
Who is Mr. Harry and what songs did Hotbox Harry teach the band?
“Hotbox Harry was a warm and gentle hobo-like figure who taught us wonderful country songs of love and loss. He was a warm, roly-poly kind of guy. He wore suspenders, hopped trains, and beat Woody Guthrie in a card game in 1943. He has a special place in our hearts. As a tribute to him, we started a band and called it Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us.” Facebook
Hotbox Harry taught the band, “Tunes by Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons, Loretta Lynn, Elvis, Don Gibson, Buck Owens, George Jones, Bob Dylan, and more.” Facebook
The folks in Cambria dug Hotbox Harry’s choice in music. Some folks danced, banged on tables, and sang along while consuming the finest craft beer in Cambria. Besides the music being spot on it was great to have 3 solid vocalists with 3 distinct styles.
For those who could not attend the show here’s a sample of what you missed out on.
To learn more about Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us check out these links.
Special Thanks to Brian Mueller for putting the show together!!
The Bridge Street Inn received some sad news. Grandma Kelsey has canceled her Sept 17 show at the Cambria House.
Dear Bridge Street Inn and Cambria Ale House,
Thank you so much for everything… all your patience with me and setting a show up for me. I put a lot of work into my six week tour, raising money and getting out. I am absolutely heartbroken to have had to cancel literally half of it do to an emergency, but I have no other option. I hope to make up for it in the future.
Grandma Kelsey is the anonym of Boise based singer/songwriter Kelsey Swope. A solitary, wingless creature armed with autoharp, guitar, and song, Grandma Kelsey’s disarming voice blends poetic narratives and structured melodies that draws the hearts of her listeners. It is rare to feel alone in a room full of people, but one can not help feeling singled out by her sincerity. Grandma Kelsey is in the midst of recording her first full length album which is set for release in the Summer of 2012.
Check out her sound http://soundcloud.com/grandma-kelsey/
Rounding out this unique experience Jake, The Old Crow. There are no recordings of Jake, The Old Crow. Grandma describes his sound as traditional folk singer and guitar player.
Brandon Follett, the opening act, delights the audience with a simple strum pattern and sings songs inspired by his nose.
BSI interns Marie Beaupere and Anna Lombardet made this cool stop motion video. One of my favorite personal BSI projects. Thank You!!!!