Music, books and shrooms: Lucinda Williams, Tea Obreht, and great glowing globs of flaming fungus

Well, I just went and purchased a ticket to see Lucinda Williams live at the Rio Theater next week in Santa Cruz. I think she’s a songwriting genius, so we should all indulge her a little bit, even if she sometimes gets grumpy, and even if she sometimes chooses to perform her own songs while reading the lyrics and chord progressions off a music stand set up near the front of the stage. The best Lucinda concert I’ve ever seen was at the Warfield, just after Car Wheels on a Gravel Road came out. Pure bliss. Another time I saw her, she had some kind of loud on-stage tiff with the bass player at the Fillmore. They worked it out, but it was a little dodgy there for a while. By the way, Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife, is coming to Bookshop Santa Cruz this Friday, while the mighty Fungus Fair — an exhibition of tasty, poisonous, beautiful and just plain disgusting mushrooms — rolls into town all this weekend. You’d better believe I’ll be there at all three events. I love this town, but sometimes cultural events come in these little bursts. No matter where you live, you’ve got to grab culture where you find it, even when it’s fungal. (and, by the way, if either of my two readers is curious about Lucinda’s music, and I know you are, the best places to start are the albums Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Sweet Old World, and the epynomous record Lucinda Williams. If you like all three of those and want to go a little deeper into the discography, let me know)

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