Bringing out your inner flower child

Ah, Festival Season: in which we all go our toe-tappin’ ways to this fest or that, with some crossover for those borderless music lovers.

American Hardcore is one of the music DVDs that can be found in the Nelson Public Library's collection.

Ah, Festival Season: the season in which we all go our toe-tappin’ ways to this fest or that, with some crossover for those borderless lovers of music. You might see a librarian or two in the crowd; contrary to popular myth, we don’t always have our noses in a book — just as, contrary to those same persistent myths, the library isn’t just about books. Read on.

This weekend Starbelly Jam hosts the Kootenay favourite Pied Pumkin with concerts for adults and kids. It’s no surprise that the playful trio — Shari Ulrich, Rick Scott, and Joe Mock —  who brought us such classics as Kootenay Bark and Orville Goes to the Country would be a winner with the small set, too. If you’re taking the family to this family-oriented festival, you can prime ears by checking out the Pumkids: Tuneful Tales for Kids and Kin CD from the library.

Beloved as the band is here, Pied Pumkin doesn’t appear in the excellent Canadian music survey: Oh What a Feeling: A Vital History of Canadian Music (781.640971). But the band does show up in Making Music: Profiles from a Century of Canadian Music (780.92271). There, Ulrich explains the Pumkin’s home-grown marketing scheme: fans paid for as-yet-unrecorded albums, and when there was enough money the band would go and make the record. And although she doesn’t mention it, the Pumkin helped the Vallican Hole earn its W (Pied Pumkin played the Whole this past Thursday, too). Honourary Kootenay folk, I think.

On the August long weekend comes Kaslo Jazz Etc. festival, celebrating its 21st year. Kaslo Jazz enjoys  that ideal critical mass that fits so perfectly into Kaslo Bay’s natural amphitheatre facing the floating stage. Prime yourself for this year’s fest by checking out CDs by Taj Mahal, Jimmy Bowskill, and Laura Landsberg.

Shambhala’s idea of critical mass is quite a bit bigger — 10,000 people! —  with themed forest stages hosting a swath of electronic and live music from around the world. I saw Delhi 2 Dublin at Kaslo Jazz last year; this year, they’ll be wowing the Shambhalese.

Shambhala — which runs annually on the Salmo River Ranch the second weekend in August —  sold out some time ago, but you can still borrow a Delhi 2 Dublin CD from the library, as well as a documentary about the festival (782.42166 in DVD) so you can see what all the fuss is about.

For all its size, Shambhala is a creature of the Kootenays, and the organizers have been great community citizens by supporting all sorts of local organizations — including the library.

The most iconic of music festivals must surely be Woodstock, and although those days are gone, we can still relive them through books, films, and music. At 781.66079 find two great books, The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang, and Back to the Garden: the Story of Woodstock by Pete Fontanale — and of course our own Tom Wayman’s latest novel is aptly titled Woodstock Rising. We have the DVD Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Love, and CDs by Janis Joplin, Santana, The Band, CSNY and others from that famous lineup.

One of my favourite music DVDs — among many in the collection, from Bob Dylan to American Hardcore: a History of American Punk — is the romp that is Festival Express, a film that documents a 1970 cross-Canada rail tour with concert stops and en route jams by Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, and The Band, and others. Relive those heady days at 781.66 in DVD.

All this to say if you’re out there in the blazing sun, the pouring rain, or the comfort of your living room, there’s no reason not to be toe-tapping this summer. You might even find your inner flower child.

Anne DeGrace’s library column is featured in the Star every second Friday

 

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