Monday, July 02, 2007
Date Night and a Shameless Plug
When David invited us, we couldn't say no. We packed up a little tote bag with some bottled water, Rice Krispy bars and grapes, grabbed the plaid picnic blanket, our sunglasses and hopped in the car. We arrived early to say hello to David, then headed over to Subway to share a pastrami sandwich for dinner. Mmmmm. (Not every Subway has the pastrami, so it's extra special when we find one that does.)
After dinner we went to the church to stake out our places in the outdoor amphitheater. It was much nicer than I expected. I had envisioned it as something from summer camp--creaky wooden benches in semi-circles around a charred fire pit. This place was nicely done up with white Christmas lights lining the awning over the stage area. Two high-backed barstools stood centered on a round rug where the musicians would position themselves. As the sun set and the moon rose, the Christmas lights proved a wonderful touch. David said that there was a problem with some of the lights, but honestly, I don't think anyone noticed. The mics were a little hot too, but that was a minimal issue. Overall the sound was well balanced and carried well.
David has drummed up some local talent to showcase their stuff throughout the summer. The venue is delightfully small and intimate, almost like a coffee house setting. The only thing I found disappointing was that more people weren't in attendance. I sincerely hope that by the end of the summer the size of the audience at least triples.
Here's what David has to say about "Saturday Backyard" on his MySpace page about how it all came to be:
Sometime during my first visits to CRC, I noticed the quaint outdoor amphitheater. As the weeks went by, I had conversations with CRC Senior Pastor John Bales about it. With his blessing, I began talking with local musicians about an idea for a summer concert series. It turns out, they've been searching for just such an environment to perform in.Brad and I enjoyed the evening together on Saturday night. It was fun to be there to lend our support to David and the artists he invited to play. Since Brad and I are very enthusiastic music hobbyists (well, Brad's a music professional and I'm the hobbyist around our house) we often find ourselves attending things like this. It's always interesting to hear and independent artist and wonder about who their influences are, what their songs are about, and what they might get to do with their music in the future. When the musicians are people we know personally, it's even more exciting to watch their talent develop and have their goals materialize. The guys playing for the July 1 "Saturday Backyard" were Caleb Jude Green, and Ivan Cheong.
Caleb is from Encinitas has some of his music available for download and available for purchase on his MySpace page
Ivan Cheong is an 80's enthusiast and likes to sprinkle his original work with sampling of cover tunes. Saturday night he managed to include a short riff from the "Growing Pains" theme in one of his songs, as well as a Radiohead cover. What's on the horizon for the rest of the "Saturday Backyard" series? The schedule is below along with links and photos of the artists. If you're looking for a relaxing, no fuss event to occupy your time on a Saturday night, please consider stopping by Community Reformed Church in Escondido. It's such a laid back atmosphere and well worth the price of admission (which, by the way is FREE!) Brad and I will be sure to include "Saturday Backyard" in our future summer dates.
Oh, and by the way, it took me upwards of two hours just to construct this blog post with all the photos and links and stuff. You can imagine how much more effort David put into arranging to have these musicians perform, getting some publicity going about "Saturday Backyard," setting up the lights, the sound, and so forth. And let's not forget the musicians themselves, taking time to rehearse, go through sound checks, and ultimately put their best foot forward for a new audience and potential fans. I hope you'll find time to reward their hard work by coming to check them out at Community Reformed Church, 777 Felicita Avenue, Escondido, CA. If you find a sound you like, please consider supporting them b y purchasing their available audio tracks and CDs.
I hope to see you at the shows!
July 7: Jamie K. Crawford
July 14: Katie Christine
July 21: Rheanna Downey (opener) and Gayle Skidmore and the Eskimo Friends
August 4: Brenda Xu
August 11: Lindsey Yung with special guest, Dave's Son
August 18: Josh Damigo of Josh Damigo and the Pickpockets
August 25: Ian Gallagher
September 1: Free Air
September 8: Len Guarzon & Friends
September 15: Matthew Blake
September 22: Jordan Reimer
September 29: The Larson Sisters with Chris Clark