Truth be told, it was just the odds catching up, I guess, but yesterday it felt like a spell was broken. For the past few laps around the sun, I've found out about concerts right after they happen. I'd be listening to Camper Van Beethoven one day when the computer was handy, I'd look up their tour dates, and see that they'd been in Seattle the night before. D'oh! At one point which I will memorialize as El Tiempo de Los Losses, I missed Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys in rapid succession, and then later the 20th Anniversary Lobos tour for Kiko, one of my favorite albums ever. Fucking D'oh.
This week, I looked up them and a bunch of other bands, because I had a hankering to see some music. Luckily, I hadn't just missed the Hackensaw Boys or some other band I've been waiting to hear for years. On the other hand, there was nothing going on that I wanted to hear.
So I went with the flow, which led me through the garden for a while, and then into the garage, where I turned on KAOS and looked for something to carve. As Chef Moss laid down the reggae beat, I picked up a piece of milo wood that I've probably had for 15 years. It's a little sapwood scrap, chainsawed flat on two sides, no bigger than my hand. The reason I kept it is that it has this nice teardrop hole through it, and because it has a strong resemblance to certain Hawaiian ki'i (tiki). Strong enough that maybe that's why I never laid blade to it.
Yesterday, though, I picked it up and saw something completely different, and I sat and carved while the music played and the ripe sun shone softly.
Then I thought I heard the DJ say something about Mike Love and Paula Fuga being in town. KAOS being a friendly community station, I called in and found out that yeah, they were playing in a few hours at the Olympia Ballroom. Touring as a trio this time around, I've been listening to them as Dubkonscious since 2005 or so, when I was mapping a Kona village with two other guys who played in the band. For years since, CDs of their two performances on University of Hawai'i's Monday Night Live show (on KTUH, another friendly community station) have traveled with me all over.
So getting to see them was incredible. It was a good (and not crowded) crowd, there to listen and dance. Paula's voice was beautiful and her style, just like it is in Dubkonscious and her solo album Lilikoi, is strong and individual. Mike Love's voice spoke in words, whistles and beyond (including a killer horn riff with no horn), while his hands played and thumped the guitar. Which is enough for most people, but he was busy with both feet making loops and adding effects, affecting several additional players up on stage. Sorry to say, I don't even know if percussionist and non-virtual trio member Sam Ites was in Dubkonscious back when, but now his beats and vocals transformed the duo into something much more.
During their break, I picked up a Dubkonscious album, and talked to Paula and Mike for a while. Actually, I got them to sign the first KTUH disk, and found out that they don't have the second one, so I can burn one for them. I think they were happy to see a disk (the Kona-mapping bass-player's handwriting on it) from so far back, and know that a person has been listening to the whole time. Paula told me that the guy who made the CD for me now lives in Washington!
Maybe there's nothing special, and it really was bound to happen that I'd find out about a concert before it happened, but I'm not gonna look at it that way. As I sat and carved that wood, looping around the hole, the spell broke and the flow was restored. The music played and looped, a recording from years away circled back to find it's singers, and I found an old friend living in the NW. I'm gonna be all non-sciency and think that this is One Love at work.