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Community Spread - Willow Garden

from California Blood Lightning by idiomism

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    This is a compilation of California artists. Some of these words have been used to describe the sounds you are about to hear: Underground, Alternative, Punk, Hardcore, Independent, DIY, Psychedelic, Folk, Rock. You know, good music.

    Cherrystone - A band from San Jose CA
    Cliff Rich Jung - A writer from Santa Cruz CA
    Community Spread - A band from Benicia CA
    Egone - A band from San Jose CA
    The Eyesores - A band from San Jose CA
    Joseph Demaree - An artist from San Jose CA
    Lunacies - A band from Santa Cruz CA
    Palace of Fine Arts - A band from San Jose & Pacifica CA
    Relapse Queen - A band from Santa Cruz CA

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of California Blood Lightning, Along The Way, Demo Jams with Paco, Art & Music Show!, Insert More Words, A Window With A View, Wish You Well, Demons In Our Veins Monsters In Our Hearts, and 31 more. , and , .

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about

Community Spread have been playing folky haunted ol' tunes out in Benicia. I've gotten to see them play out a couple times as a two piece Their singer, guitar player Ben is an old friend and ex band mate. We toured and played in a heavy sludge punk band called Ringwurm. He liked to express the written word Mayonnaise to passing vehicles, tour madness hits us all in one way or another. Hey Ben, I love you old friend.

credits

from California Blood Lightning, released December 14, 2023
Ben, Charlie, Andy, Erik
Guitar, banjo, bass, violin

We first started playing while it was raining, sheltered inside a lean-to, near a campground by the south fork of the American River, while on MDMA, first time for Angela and I. Erik had his violin and convinced us to “roll” with him. Angela played drums on the picnic table. Angela was my lady, my love, and she’s dead now.
We started playing because she wanted to hear me play music, which I’d kind of drifted away from over the years. Erik played violin and I played guitar, and that night we didn’t have any songs yet, but we had a lot of fun. Not just because of the ecstasy.
When we started getting together after that, we started playing songs I had done with Charlie playing banjo years before. Life and then the pandemic had kind of interrupted that, but the idea of playing music with guitar, banjo and violin was exciting. I’ve been in the loud bands, and I still enjoy the energy, but I also like the idea of restraint, of quietude, and empty space.
Angela had a hysterectomy at the end of May 2022 and they found the cancer, a leiomyosarcoma, rare and aggressive, although at the time we didn’t know how aggressive. We didn’t have any idea she’d be dead less than 6 months later.
Angela loved to dance…like, really loved it. She volunteered at Jazzersize just so she could dance in some of the classes on the regular. If some danceable music was playing, she just had to get up and move.
In the weeks before Angela died, as she rapidly got sicker and sicker, in between taking care of things she needed, like more water, medications, a spoon of yogurt, new tea, more meds, I played and sang to her, because it made her feel at peace, and nothing about that time felt very peaceful. Details are for another story, but I just kept collecting songs to play because I couldn’t just keep playing the same ones.
So now that the old world has ended for me, I have to find my way in this shitty new world. I will honor Angela no matter what else I do. I asked for help. Charlie jumped in again, and Andy joined us to help with the goal of playing some dancing tunes at her memorial. We did, and now I think we all just enjoy doing this.
I know I do. This is one of the few lights in my dark life. Old punks playing songs from a hundred years ago. Who would have thought?
One of the things Angela talked the most about was how important community is. It’s been the only way I’ve been able to keep going. She also talked about how music and movement are healing. So that’s what we’re doing.
Community is a living thing, people come in and people leave, but that’s just part of it. These songs are like a path to the dead, all the lives that have come and gone. 100 years ago songs didn’t come in packages. The only way to hear them was to go to listen, or play them yourself. Songs made communities. If there’s anything I can carry forward for Angela, I hope to help us all find more community.
You don’t have to dance, but you might like it if you try.

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