Category Archives: Music

The Big Picture; A Unique Musical Performance on KMUD

The Big Picture 6 cov

I’m really excited about my partner, Amy Gustin’s, latest radio show: Episode #9 of The Living Earth Connection, titled The Big Picture. The Big Picture airs Sunday March 30 at 9:30 AM Pacific Time on KMUD, Redwood Community Radio. You can also listen to it online by clicking “listen now” or by searching the archive @ http://www.kmud.org.

kmud-radio-logo

The Big Picture airs during a time-slot known as The Spiritual Perspectives Hour, and Amy’s show, The Living Earth Connection, airs only on the fifth Sunday of the month, and only in those odd three or four months a year that have five Sundays. I know that most religious programming sucks, but I promise you that this show will be unlike anything you have ever heard on the radio before.

nothing you've ever heard before

I’m really excited about this show because it combines Amy’s Animist message with my electric didgeridoo music in a way that took on a life of its own. The resulting one hour-long musical performance, traces the history of life on Earth from its earliest microscopic origins through the evolution of the human brain, and uses science to reveal the ecology of beliefs that underpin the current environmental crisis. That’s why we call this project, “The Big Picture“.

animist vision

The combination of spoken word and didgeridoo in The Big Picture engages the whole brain, synthesizing the rational intellect with the wordless depths of the emotional subconscious in a way you’ll find both entertaining and edifying.  I hope you’ll tune in.

tune in


Happy Hour in The Sunset Room on the Mendocino Coast

 

Happy Hour in The Sunset Room on the Mendocino Coast

lost coast culture machine lg

This Friday, November 8, from 5-9pm at the Lost Coast Culture Machine in Ft. Bragg, I’ll make my Mendocino County debut on electric didgeridoo. The Lost Coast Culture Machine is an art gallery on the North side of Ft. Bragg, and I’ll be playing in a space called “The Sunset Room” for “Happy Hour”. I don’t know exactly what “Happy Hour” means in an art gallery, but I’m told that “The Sunset Room” is an art exhibit featuring the work of several local artists.

sunset room lccm

Anne, the curator of the Lost Coast Culture Machine describes the “Sunset Room” show as “Georgia O’Keeffe meets Jimmy Buffett”, which sounds pleasant enough.

GeorgiaOKeefe jimmy buffett

I can’t think of a more appropriate place for a show called “The Sunset Room” than Ft. Bragg, and the Lost coast Culture Machine seems like the kind of place where Georgia O’Keeffe just might run into Jimmy Buffet.

beaches of glass

I’ll be there, doing my best to make “Happy Hour” as happy as possible.

John Hardin electric Didgeridoo

photo by Bob Doran

So, please join me this Friday at “Happy Hour” from 5-9pm for an evening of electric didgeridoo music in “The Sunset Room” at the Lost Coast Culture Machine gallery at the North end of Ft. Bragg (190 E. Elm St. 707-961-1600).

lccm store


Free CD for Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do Readers

 

Free CD for Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do Readers

 

free-cd

 

So… Did you participate in last week’s Audience Participation? No? Me neither. They wanted an email address, a password and a screen name just to take their stupid survey. Fuck that! I don’t give my own mother that much information.

 

cant trust your mother

 

This week, I have a much better idea for audience participation, at least for readers in Humboldt County. This week I have two gigs that are free to attend, one in Redway and one in Arcata. Not only are these gigs free to attend, anyone who mentions this blog: Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do will receive a free CD. No work, no campaign, no tedious forms to fill out, just come out, enjoy some music, say “Hi” between sets and then mention “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do” and you’ll get a free CD.

 

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I’d like to see as many of you as possible at these two live events this week, and I hope you will introduce yourself and take home a free CD. Here are the details:

 

details-poster-alternative

 

Local Didgeridoo Player Drones On

 

Local didgeridoo wiz John Hardin will bring his unique brand of trance-dance didgeridoo music to both sides of Humboldt County this week, with performances on Wednesday, October 9 at Persimmons Garden Gallery in Redway,

persimmons

and on Friday, October 11 from 6-9pm in Arcata at Moonrise Herbs as part of Arts Arcata.

moonrise_herbs_logo

 

John blends ancient aboriginal didgeridoo tradition with techno-trance groove sensibilities to create a sound that unites the generations. That is, John’s music inspires three-year-olds to dance, hipsters dig the psychedelic rhythms, while elderly listeners enjoy the sonic massage.

 

 

John explains the appeal of his music this way: “I love this music. I don’t understand it, but this is the most original, organic and inspiring music I’ve been involved with in my 30+years as a musician. I feel like this is what I was born to do. Now that I have begun to share it with people, the response has been amazing. For as strange as this music sounds, I’m surprised at how many different kinds of people seem to enjoy it.”

 

 

John’s new album John Hardin Live Electric Didgeridoo was recorded live at The Hemp Connection in Garbervile. It is currently available there, as well as at The Works Records in Eureka, People’s Records in Arcata or through John’s blog, www.lygsbtd.wordpress.com John will also have copies of his CD for sale at both of these upcoming shows.

JH LED cover

 


Shut up and Play Yer Didgeridoo

I have two gigs coming up in October.  On Weds. Oct 9 I’ll play at Persimmons Garden  Gallery in Redway, and two days later, you can hear me in Arcata at Moonrise Herbs.  Here’s a taste of what you’ll hear:

I tell people that I do what Syd Barret did that got him kicked out of Pink Floyd.  That is, I stare off into space, play one note all night long, and drool on the floor.   Sound entertaining?  Come on out and see for yourself.

Photo by Bob Doran

Photo by Bob Doran


Something Better To Do This Weekend

Something Better To Do This Weekend

something better to do 1

This Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, folks in Northern California will have a chance to hear me play electric didgeridoo for free at the 40th annual North Country Fair on the Plaza in Arcata.

north country fair

Get there early though, because I’m the first act on the North Stage, playing from 10:30-11:35AM, both days.

North Country Fair is my favorite local festival. It includes lots of great music on two stages, a samba parade, and the famous “All Species Parade” led by animal themed kinetic sculptures followed by revelers in animal costumes and puppets of all kinds.

All-Species-Parade-2013-web.preview

They also have the best of our local craft artists, festive food, and information booths for local non-profits. Besides playing at the festival, I’ll be manning a booth for KMUD all weekend.

kmud

I love North Country Fair for many reasons. First, North Country Fair is a free event. It costs nothing to attend because the costs of putting on the festival are born by the craft artists and food venders.  Anyone can come and enjoy the fair, whether they have money to spare or not, and people who have money, can spend it on handmade crafts, clothes and food, which supports local artists, and helps build Humboldt County’s economic diversity.

diversity-matters

Second, North Country Fair pays all of the musicians who perform at the festival. It’s not much, but each performer, not each act, but each performer, gets paid $10 for appearing on-stage at North Country Fair. That is a token of appreciation for the work that these artists put into their acts.

ten dollars

When you listen to a live musical act, you enjoy the fruits of years of training and practice, months of rehearsal, hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of instruments and equipment, not to mention the courage to get up on-stage and the energy it takes to pour themselves out for an audience.

audience

Too many local festivals, (like the big one at the beginning of the Summer in SoHum) pay big bucks for a headline act, but expect local musicians to work for free. At the same time, they charge admission to the festival, even though local craft artists pay the expenses of putting it on, and volunteers provide most of the labor for free.

volunteer issue

Yes, the folks who put on North Country Fair (The Same Old People) may not make much money themselves, (which comes from beer, wine and t-shirt sales) but they provide an excellent example of how a community non-profit should operate. The Same Old People don’t own a world-class concert hall, but they know how to support the arts in a small rural community.

community supported art


Do Not Adjust Your TV Set

There is nothing wrong with your screen.  This is just a short video from the outer limits of music.

 


Relax, and Experience the Good Vibrations, Before I Get Back to Pissing Everyone Off

What can I say about my didgeridoo music?  I realize that this must look and sound pretty weird, but something about it feels very right to me.  Take a moment to relax, and let the vibration reverberate through your being.   This video takes less than three minutes, and will relieve enough stress to more than make up for it in the time that it will add to your life expectancy.


A Didgeridoo Diversion

 

A Didgeridoo Diversion

Remember the old TV variety shows? They always used musical numbers to pad out the funny stuff. Well I thought I would borrow a page from their playbook, and use this new video I shot of me playing electric didgeridoo to pad out this weeks post. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Come hear me play at the North Country Fair in Arcata, CA on Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22 on the North Stage from 10:30 to 11:45AM both days, and please “like” my fb page.  It will keep you up to date on future appearances.  Thanks!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Hardin-Electric-Didgeridoo/345710938798286


The Power of the Press

 

The Power of the Press

power of the press 1

Today, I am especially grateful to all of the writers and editors of our local newspapers here in Humboldt County who helped save my most recent gig. First, I want to thank Jennifer Savage who has been covering the music beat for the North Coast Journal while Bob Doran recovers. Not only did Jennifer do a nice write up about my show, she reminded me to send a photograph, which would not have occurred to me if I hadn’t read her column. The Hum, the NCJ’s weekly music feature is the best single source for upcoming music events in our area, and it was great to see my picture prominently displayed there.

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Kevin Hoover gave me a nice bit of ink in his colorful, and colorfully written paper, The Arcata Eye. Humboldt County’s only daily newspaper, the conservative Times Standard printed my entire 800 odd word press release almost verbatim in their Sunday edition, as did their SoHum sister paper, The (weekly) Redwood Times.

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Not to be outdone, my favorite SoHum newspaper, the family owned, left-leaning, free, weekly paper The Independent printed two great stories about my little gig way up there in Eureka, in the weeks preceding the show, and listed it in the calendar section as well. Special thanks to Managing Editor Joe Kirby for going the extra mile.

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Even the Tri-City Weekly, an oft ignored, but ever present collection of classified ads fluffed out with entertainment and human interest features, gave me a mention on their Calendar page. Counting the listing in the Arts Alive section of the North Coast Journal, that was a total of six newspapers, six stories, one picture, and nine listings in our local print media, for one little performance at a record store. The show had also been mentioned on one of KHSU’s most popular music shows, Fogou with Vinny Devaney, as well as on KMUD’s Community Callendar.

vinny devaney

The biggest surprise in media coverage was a great piece by John Olson that appeared on the RadioHum Yahoo Group web site. John not only plugged my didgeridoo gig, but also mentioned the radio show that I host on KMUD on behalf of the Southern Humboldt Amateur Radio Club called The SHARC Report. Judging by the number of Hams that turned out for my gig, John’s piece clearly made an impact, and all of that coverage really saved the day for me. Besides putting my name and picture in front of thousands of people and luring some of them to come out to hear me play, that press actually saved the gig itself.

saved the gig

To me, as a musician, this little gig at the record store was a pretty big deal. It’s the only gig I have scheduled this month, and Arts Alive actually draws a pretty big crowd in Eureka. I knew that a lot of people would hear me play over the course of the evening. To most downtown business owners, however, Arts Alive is a pretty small part of running their business. Most business owners want to support local artists, and hate to say “no” to anyone who asks to show their work, or play in their establishment.

hate to say no

Bandon, owner of The Works Records in Eureka is especially supportive of local musicians, so when a personal friend of his asked him, just a few days before the Arts Alive event, if his band could also play at his record store on the same night, Bandon said “yes”, thinking that the two of us could split the three hours of Arts Alive.

dont-say-yes

Now you might think that an hour and a half of unaccompanied didgeridoo solos might be more than anyone should have to endure, but I very much wanted to play for the whole evening, knowing that there would be a completely different audience at 8:30 than at 6:30. I have two new CDs, and I wanted to make this event my CD release party for both of them. I intended to play two sets and demonstrate some of my circuit-bent instruments between sets. Like I said, this performance was a pretty big deal for me, and that’s why I pulled out all the stops on the press coverage.

pulloutallstops1a

My experience tells me that August is a good time to send out press releases because the news gets a little thin this time of year, but newspapers still have the same amount of space to fill, so items that might get ignored during busier times of the year, have a better shot at getting ink in August. Sure enough, every single paper I sent a release to, covered the story, and every single paper told its readers that I would be playing from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

clyde watches cubs game

So, when I checked in with Bandon on the day of the gig, I pressed my case. In a calculated assault, I began with a Savage blow, and dropped a copy of The Hum from the NCJ, that included that great picture taken by Traci Bear Thiele, in front of him, and let it sink in for a moment. Then I dropped the clipping from the Arcata Eye on top of it, followed by the piece in the Times Standard, The Independent, The Redwood Times, the second story from The Independent, and the Tri-City Weekly. Finally, I dropped a printout of John Olsen’s story from the HumRadio Yahoo Group, which was quite well written and flattering, Boom!

keep-calm-and-boom-boom-boom-8

Bandon was overwhelmed. All of the clippings said that I would be playing from 6:30-9:00pm, none of them mentioned any other band playing at his venue that night. Bandon apologized for the mixup, called his friend and told them they could play at his store for Arts Alive next month, but their gig for that night was canceled. Success!

success

I got to play two sets, show off my circuit-bent creations and sell my CDs all night, as I had hoped. I had a great time, Bandon seemed happy about it, and the audience dug it too. It just goes to show you that despite the explosion of “new media”, newspapers still have clout, and Ham radio can still save your ass in times of emergency. Let that be a lesson to all of you seeking attention in the modern media landscape. Do not underestimate the power of newspapers to to change the course of history.

1001-battles-that-changed-the-course-of-history


A Musical Alternative to Reggae on the River

A Musical Alternative to Reggae on the River

alternative_music

I know that many of you can’t wait to put on your wristbands and file into the the sun-baked meadow to breathe the dust-choked air for a weekend of drug-crazed revelry and shit-encrusted porta-potties at the world famous Reggae on the River, now returned to its original French’s Camp location.  Like most SoHumers, I have many great memories of Reggae on the River at French’s Camp.

dancers

For instance, I remember having to grab a young man by the shoulders and point him in a different direction to prevent him from peeing on my tent, I remember blowing wads of French’s Camp out of my sinuses for a week after the festival was over, and I remember that it was at Reggae on the River at French’s Camp that I first learned to shit standing up.

reggae porta potty

When I moved to Humboldt County, about 15 years ago, I liked reggae music. I thought it was alright. As a long-haired vegetarian pot smoker, I respected the Rastafarian religion, even if I did not exactly identify with it, and I sympathized with the oppressed and impoverished people throughout the Caribbean, especially those who inhabit the “trench-town” around Kingston Jamaica. I still do. In fact, I sympathize with them more, now that I’ve seen firsthand how greedy drug dealers and concert promoters exploit them.

totally exploited

My experience in SoHum, however, has turned me off to our premier Summer festival, and the music it celebrates. Between the greed and ugliness exposed in the reggae wars, the bourgeois dope yuppies who blast it out of their giant diesel trucks, and the egotistical homophobic fundamentalism expressed by some Reggae artists, I’ve kind of ODed on Reggae. Like the rehabilitated “Alex” in A Clockwork Orange, the music I once enjoyed, now makes me sick to my stomach.

clockwork orange

So I won’t be at Reggae on the River this year. Instead, I’ll be at another concert, a free concert, listening to an artist whose music means more to me than the music of everyone who has ever played at Reggae on the River combined. That artist would be me.

JH LED cover

I will perform on electric didgeridoo on Saturday August 3, from 6:30-9:00pm at The Works Records in Eureka, as part of Arts Alive. It’s been more than 5yrs since I last performed in Eureka, and I sound better now than I ever have in the past. If you’ve never heard me play before, you’ve never heard anything like it. I play electric didgeridoo, and I have developed a sound that is totally original and that words cannot describe.

words cannot describe

All I can say is that I have discovered the sound I was born to make, and on Saturday August 3, I’ll happily share it with anyone willing to listen. At this rare, free performance, I’ll celebrate the release of two new CDs of original music:

born to make a sound

John Hardin, Live Electric Didgeridoo documents the birth of this new sound. Recorded at live gigs at The Hemp Connection in Garberville. Live Electric Didgeridoo captures the energy of those live performances where this new sound finally took form, after over a decade of gestation. Live Electric Didgeridoo contains 12 very different didgeridoo solos, both very different from anything you’ve ever heard before, and different from each other. You’ll hear many of them performed live at The Works Records in  on August 3.

theworkssocialimage

210 C St. Old Town Eureka

Tin Can Luminary, Um.. Uh… Gum Eh? is an album of music I composed over the past year, using a unique collection of circuit-bent toys and acoustic-electric instruments that I built myself. My partner Amy Gustin and I added vocals to this mix to create a very eclectic pop album that is both accessible and avant-garde. Recording Um… Uh… Gum Eh? involved multiple overdubs, computer manipulations and unpredictable instruments, making the music on it prohibitively difficult to recreate live.

front cover

I will bring a few of my homemade and circuit-bent creations to the event, and demonstrate them between sets of live didgeridoo music. Anyone interested, will have the opportunity to hear a few tracks from Um… Uh… Gum Eh? at the event on Saturday August 3 from 6:30-9:00pm at The Works Records in Eureka. Both CDs, Live Electric Didgeridoo and Um… Uh… Gum Eh? will be available at the event for $10 each. See you there.

what a deal

BTW you can also find Live Electric Didgeridoo and Um… Uh… Gum Eh? at The Works Records in Old Town Eureka, People’s Records, on the square in Arcata, and at The Hemp Connection in downtown Garberville, anytime, in case you can’t resist Irie vibes at French’s Camp this weekend.

rasta uke


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