Archive for ◊ July, 2008 ◊

Bicycle Music Festival spreads to Southern California: Video Highlights of South Bay BMF

Event recap from John Silva of the South Bay Cruisers .

We couldn’t have picked a better day to celebrate the first ever Southbay Bicycle Music Festival, July 19th, 2008. On a warm sunny afternoon we met at Hermosa Pier, sang happy birthday to Cruiser of the week “Tony’, then we headed off towards the Esplanade cruisin’ to the Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. (What can I say, it felt like we were heading off to Woodstock so the mix was leaning a little towards the ’60′s for this ride)We had a few newbies and some returning youngsters like 2 year old Lola Martin and her 3 1/2 year old sister Sophia, who came with their dad Roger. (Sophia and Lola are former Southbay Cruisers of the Week’ as well.)

As we made our way to Valley Park we were greeted by Makena, one of our featured artists, all set and ready to perform for us thanks to help from ‘Amy ‘The Wonder Woman’ who missed the ride so that she could decorate the park with posters and banners and help the musicians set up. She was also helped by Mary Caldera-who along with Shawnee made two awesome posters just for this occasion. (See pics on www.southbaycruiser.com)

After settling down to a barbecue, Makena kicked off the evening’s performances which included some classic and orignal hawaiian music which inspired us to get up and dance. All the way from Hilo, Hawaii, Makena was awesome, feeding our souls with island tunes like ‘Ulupalakua’ and ‘Waikiki Hula’ It was sure nice to finish a ride in a park and be greeted by Hawaiian music. This duo has performed on MTV and around the world and it was awesome to have them kick things off! They even taught us a little about Hawaiian culture between sets.

As the evening set in we lit our bonfire and were mesmerized by Manhattan Beach’s Delfina. Although only 18 years old, and with only one year of guitar/singing behind her, you’d think she’d been playing since the day she was born. Filling up our souls with stirring original tunes like ‘April Eyes’, and ‘Ritmo Porteno’, this Argentian born rising star had us all on the edges of our rocks around the bonfire. Were it not for the fear that our shared battery powered amps might run dry, she could have performed for us all night long.

Next came The 3 Heads. Acoustic rock legends in their hometown of Eureka,CA, these four took our makeshift stage around the bonfire, and picked up on what Makena and Delfina had started. Belting out original tunes ‘Undertow’, ‘Holiday’, and their anthem ‘World Was Ours’, these guys really helped set an intimate mood around the campfire with their acoustic guitars, bass, and cajon. Their jokes between songs were even more entertaining. At one point they broke into a spur of the moment spontaneous ‘Southbay’ rap song at the end. We were even entertained to one encore performance although, we would have loved to heard them play a few more.

We finished off the night with some karaoke performances including a few from Victor and his son singing some classic Doors. It’s hard to follow up to acts like Makena, Delfina, and The 3 Heads, but we had to try, and we had fun doing it too.

Last but certainly not least, we helped benefit ‘A Window Between Worlds’, (www.awbw.com) a local Venice,CA based group that helps abused women and children get a second chance on life by providing then with safe housing and an art healing program. We brought them canned foods, art supplies, clothing, and $20 in cash donations.

We are looking forward to the next Southbay Bicycle Music Festival. A year seems a little long to wait, so we might have this become a semi annual or possibly even quarterly event.

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• Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008