JUST PLAY CLOSING: Just Play Music, the longstanding CD, record, and music merchandise store at 619 State Street, is closing its doors at an undetermined time soon. For a couple of years, Just Play Music was the only record store in town after Morninglory closed and before Warbler set up shop. It was also a rocking refuge for music fans like myself, where in its dimly lit, black-walled interiors one could feel in a musical little world apart from the drab commerce lining the blocks. Though the vibe there seemed perhaps a bit cryptic at times, as author to the column named Positively State Street, I do declare that Just Play impacted State Street positively, from their awesome storefronts to their deep (if sometimes expensive) selection of albums, posters, T-shirts, DVDs, and odds and ends galore, and many musical frontiers were opened up for me there. It was a small shrine to not just music but music cultures, where rock-god veneration was the belief of choice. Alas, business models come and business models go, and technologies, inevitably, change. Farewell, Just Play, and thanks for the music.
LUCIDITY’S LAST: The year 2017 also sees the final chapter of the Lucidity Festival, the consciousness-expanding psychedelic music and arts festival of life and spirituality where ancient oak trees meet EDM, dubstep, and folk music. For one last time, the Live Oak Campground (4600 Hwy. 154) will be ablaze with breakbeats and breakthroughs from Friday-Sunday, April 7-9. Back in 2012, Lucidity introduced the world to a festival unlike any other: a festival staged in six parts, told across six years of revelry following the path of the Hero’s Journey as laid out by mythologist Joseph Campbell. Now in its final year in its current form, the festival centers around the theme of Eudaimonia, a Greek philosophical concept meaning “the good composed of all goods,” said Alison Hensley, Lucidity’s Food and Sustainability Department head. With the rites of spring just kicking in around then, with the hills gloriously alive with wildflowers, it shall be the perfect weekend to celebrate human flourishing, as Eudaimonia encourages us to unite in a fractious era. “Whether it’s folky singer/songwriters or banghra-electronic-funk-fusion, we want to amplify the idea that great music is a unifying force,” said James Spektrum, one of the booking managers for Lucidity. As positive impacts go, Lucidity has brought positivity to a lot of lives. Though I have yet to experience it myself, I know many have found it to be akin to a Burning Man in its cosmic crossroads nature. For those who have frequented the lucid fest, or for those who have always been curious, this April will give you one last chance to feel the good vibes and the higher power of music before the festival transforms into something else.
“What lies beyond Eudaimonia is still unclear, even to us,” said Jonah Haas, marketing director of Lucidity Festival LLC. “We’re considering writing chapters 7 through 12 or expanding by moving to a different location. One option is even to end on a high note and close the book on the festival. The authentic truth is — we just don’t know yet.”
THE RIGHT STUFF: Meanwhile, over at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), Dennis Quaid & the Sharks will take a bite out of Friday night, February 17, with soul-surfing, fun-loving rock ’n’ roll and country soul. You can expect a mix of covers and originals from the actor/musician, who has recently shown great Fortitude on television while he also helped to let us know A Dog’s Purpose on the silver screen. Here, your purpose as much as theirs will be to have a great time, and all signs point to your purpose being fulfilled.
TEAR IT AWAY NOW: Also at SOhO, the night before, The Tearaways will tear it up for the good of Dos Pueblos High School’s (DPHS) Instrumental Music Program with a fundraising concert. The band’s vocalist and guitarist John Finseth remembers playing in the school’s Greek Theatre when he himself was a student at DPHS and said there are few things more important than music education. He should know — their band has, somewhat improbably, gone on to be honorary Liverpudlians, no doubt the kind of experiential education that makes for a good lifetime. Check them out and support a good cause.